Nation and world news in brief for Thursday, March 21, 2024

This undated photo provided by Foremost Group shows a portrait of Angela Chao, CEO and chair of her family's shipping business, the Foremost Group, and president of her father's philanthropic organization, the Foremost Foundations. Chao, a sister-in-law of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, was killed in car accident in Texas, Feb. 11, 2024. The family confirmed Chao's death in a statement. The 50-year-old was part of a prominent, immigrant family with ties to Republican leaders and former presidents. (Courtesy of Foremost Group via AP)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey delivers the State of the State address at the state Capitol, Feb. 6 in Montgomery, Ala. (The Montgomery Advertiser via AP, File)

Alabama governor signs bill barring diversity, equity and inclusion programs

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed legislation that would ban diversity, equity and inclusion programs at public schools, universities and state agencies. The measure signed Wednesday would also prohibit the teaching of “divisive concepts,” including that someone should feel guilty because of their race or gender. The legislation was part of a wave of GOP proposals taking aim at diversity programs on college campuses. Republicans said the programs deepen divisions and promote a particular political viewpoint. But opponents said it is a rollback of hard-won advances and programs that welcome underrepresented student populations.


Angela Chao, Mitch McConnell’s sister-in-law, was drunk when she drove into pond, police say

Angela Chao, a shipping industry CEO and sister-in-law to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, was intoxicated when she drove into a pond and died last month in Texas. That’s according to a law enforcement report released Wednesday. The investigation by the Blanco County Sheriff’s Office concluded that Chao’s death was an “unfortunate accident.” The 50-year-old died the night of Feb. 10 after having dinner at a ranch in Johnson City. That’s located west of Austin. The report describes a frantic scene as friends and deputies tried to pull Chao from her Tesla after she backed it into the water.

Airstrike in the West Bank kills at least 3 Palestinian militants, officials say

An Israeli airstrike has killed at least three Palestinian militants traveling in a car in the northern West Bank near the town of Jenin, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials. The Islamic Jihad militant group claimed the three dead men as members. The airstrike occurred as raids of the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip raged on for a third day. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is determined to carry out a Rafah ground offensive, even as tensions between Israel and the United States intensify. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel this week as part of his sixth urgent mission to the Middle East since the war began.

A police officer was accused of spying for China. The charges were dropped, but the NYPD fired him

A New York City police officer once charged with spying for China says he is fighting the commissioner’s decision to fire him. Baimadajie Angwang was arrested by federal agents in 2020 and charged with feeding information about New York’s Tibetan community to the Chinese consulate in New York. Prosecutors dropped the case against him last year, after he had spent six months in detention. In a decision recently made public, Police Commissioner Edward Caban fired Angwang, saying he refused to cooperate with an internal affairs investigation into the spying case. Angwang says he declined to speak with department investigators on the advice of his lawyers.

Reddit poised to make its stock market debut after IPO prices at $34 per share amid strong demand

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Reddit will enter a new era as a publicly traded company with a market value of $6.4 billion. The social media platform’s initial public offering was priced at $34 per share Wednesday. The price came in at the top end of the target range set by Reddit’s investment bankers as they spent the past few weeks gauging investor demand for the stock. It sets the stage for Reddit’s shares to begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “RDDT” in a debut likely to spur a flurry of commentary on Reddit’s own platform, as well as competing social media outlets.

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