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If you’re planning to enjoy the outdoors this weekend, meteorologists say proceed with caution. An unrelenting, early season heat wave will reach the eastern and southern tiers of the US over the next few days – and nearly 60% of Americans are expected see temperatures at or above 90 degrees.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday said Donbas is “completely destroyed” as a result of Russia’s constant strikes. Donbas is a heartland region that blankets much of eastern Ukraine and has been at the front of the country’s conflict with Russia since 2014. “The bombing and shelling of other cities, the air and missile strikes of the Russian army – all this is not just fighting during the war,” Zelensky said. “This is a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible,” he added. In the eastern Luhansk region, Ukrainian military officials said 12 civilians were killed and 60 properties were destroyed yesterday by Russian bombardments. Separately, the US Senate approved a $40 billion emergency aid package for Ukraine. The bill will be flown to South Korea, where President Joe Biden will sign it during his first trip to Asia.
A jury has found the three White men who killed Ahmaud Arbery in 2020 guilty of all charges in their federal hate crimes trial, backing prosecutors’ case that the men chased the 25-year-old through a Georgia neighborhood while he was jogging because he was Black. In November, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted of murder in state court. Yesterday, the three men were found guilty of interference of rights, a federal hate crime; and attempted kidnapping. For the federal convictions, the three men could now receive up to life in prison and steep fines, on top of the life sentences they received for their previous murder convictions. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
Oklahoma’s legislature has passed one of nation’s strictest abortion bills that would ban the procedure from the stage of “fertilization.” The legislation also allows private citizens to sue abortion providers who “knowingly” perform or induce an abortion “on a pregnant woman.” Exceptions will be made for medical emergencies or if the pregnancy was a result of rape, sexual assault or incest and reported to law enforcement, the bill states. The measure now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has previously pledged to sign every piece of legislation limiting abortion that comes his way. However, abortion rights advocates are vowing to mount a legal challenge should it be signed into law. The bill’s passage comes as Republican-led states have been pushing strict abortion measures in anticipation of the US Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade next month.
Democrats are facing a wave of exits in the House ahead of the critical midterm elections. Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush and Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence both announced they will not be seeking reelection in the fall, bringing the total number of Democrats planning to retire to 25. Eleven other members – six Democrats and five Republicans – are also planning to leave their posts to run for Senate or governor. Democratic leaders worry that the wave of resignations, along with redistricting efforts and low morale in the House, could bring more challenges to an already uncertain election season. Republican Devin Nunes, a close Trump ally who represented California for nearly 20 years, has just resigned from the House as well. He announced last month that he would be leaving Congress at the end of 2021 to become CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group.
4. January 6
Former Attorney General William Barr has “tentatively agreed to give sworn testimony behind closed doors” to the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations. Barr has talked informally with the committee, but this formal request would add to several sworn testimonies the committee has sought from other Republican lawmakers as part of its probe into circumstances leading up to the storming of the US Capitol. Separately, the committee yesterday announced it has evidence that Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk led a tour of the US Capitol complex the day before pro-Trump rioters stormed the building. The committee is now looking for more information from Loudermilk about the purpose of the tour and its participants.
5. Saudi Arabia
The White House is working towards a first presidential meeting with Saudi Arabia. President Biden and Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, could meet for the first time as soon as next month, multiple sources told CNN. A meeting between American and Saudi leaders would have once been considered routine, but now marks a significant shift due to the recent strain in the relationship. It would also likely spark some controversy at home for Biden, who has been highly critical of the Saudis’ record on human rights, its war in Yemen, and the role its government played in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Biden administration’s effort to return to better relations with Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, comes as gasoline prices hit record highs in the US.
Winners of the Golden Globes announced
Imagine going to grab a midnight snack from the kitchen and then you see… Hank.
A mother promised her son $1,800 when he turned 18 – if he stayed off social media for 6 years
Six years of FOMO (fear of missing out)?! Sorry, no deal.
Striking images from Sony World Photography Awards finalists revealed
Which of these incredible photos is your favorite? There’s so much talent here, it’s hard to pick just one!
‘The Wendy Williams Show’ is ending
Sherri Shepherd joyfully announced yesterday she will take time slot.
You should be eating citrus this month
Here are some fruits and recipes that will lift your spirits if you’re feeling a little winter drag.
That’s the amount Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received in a federal stimulus payment. The US Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts has filed a request to have that stimulus payment and other funds in Tsarnaev’s inmate trust account turned over to his victims while he serves a life sentence in Colorado. Four people were killed and hundreds of others were injured after Tsarnaev and his brother set off two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line in 2013.
That’s approximately how many people were killed in a gold mine blast in Burkina Faso on Monday. The cause of the explosion in the West African country remains unknown, local officials said. Burkina Faso is home to some major gold mines run by international companies, but also to hundreds of smaller, informal sites that operate without oversight or regulation. Children frequently work in these so-called artisanal mines where accidents are common.
President Joe Biden, in a fiery speech yesterday commemorating the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. Biden thoroughly denounced participants in the riot and made the rare move of denouncing former President Donald Trump as a threat to democracy – without naming him outright.
– Mayor Richard Newton of Colleyville, Texas, announcing that a hate crime investigation is underway following the discovery of anti-Jewish flyers that were left in driveways this week. This comes one month after a terrifying ordeal in Colleyville where a man held four hostages in a synagogue during an hours-long standoff. Anti-Semitic attacks, including assaults, vandalism and harassment, are on the rise in US, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
You’ve made it to the finish line of the week, which is not unlike this thrilling little corgi race. (Click here to view)
Meet the couple that built their own island! The floating fortress is a 45-minute boat ride from the nearest town. (Click here to view)