In Ukraine, Kyiv, Lviv and other cities have come under intense attack from Russian missile strikes, following Saturday’s explosion at a key bridge linking Russia to Crimea, the Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia in 2014. The blast on the Kerch Bridge — the longest bridge in Europe — collapsed two roadways and reportedly left three people dead. President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukrainian special forces for the the explosion, which he called an “act of terrorism.” Ukrainian officials say retaliatory assaults by Russia killed at least 10 people and struck infrastructure in 12 regions of Ukraine, knocking out electricity and water supplies.
On Sunday, Russian missiles rained down on the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia, killing at least 13 people. This came after the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant temporarily lost its power supply Saturday due to shelling and had to switch on emergency diesel generators to prevent a nuclear disaster. This is 10-year-old Bohdan Pavlenko, who survived Sunday’s attack on Zaporizhzhia.
Bohdan Pavlenko: “I heard the sirens and some person next to me screaming. There was no mobile connection. It was horrific. My mother took me under her arm. Then I looked after my little brother and sister. … The Russian Federation, the way it’s doing all of this — special operation? I don’t think that this is a special operation.”
In other news from Ukraine, the governor of Donetsk province says mass burial sites have been found in the recently liberated town of Lyman. It’s unknown how many bodies were discovered, but one site reportedly held about 200 individual graves.
In Iran, a live news broadcast on state-run television was apparently hacked Saturday evening during a segment featuring Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The hackers placed a photo of Khamenei with a target over his face on the screen, along with the messages “Join us and rise up” and “The blood of our youth is dripping from your grip.” The image also displays photos of three women killed in recent protests in Iran, as well as Mahsa Amini, who died while in custody of the so-called morality police. Amini’s death has sparked mass demonstrations in Iran, and around the world. The group Iran Human Rights says at least 185 people have been killed in recent protests, including at least 19 children.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces killed four Palestinian teenagers in three separate attacks over the weekend. The youngest victim was 14-year-old Adel Ibrahim Daoud, who was shot dead near the Israeli separation barrier. On Saturday, an Israeli soldier was fatally shot at a military checkpoint in East Jerusalem.
In other news from the Occupied Territories, Israel has agreed to pay $141,000 to the family of Omar Asaad, an 80-year-old Palestinian American man who died after being violently detained by Israeli forces in January. It’s extremely rare for the Israeli military to admit wrongdoing or compensate Palestinian victims of its crimes.
The United Nations is calling for an investigation into the deaths of 15 migrants found Friday on a beach in western Libya. Eleven of the victims were found partially burned in the charred remains of a boat. Four other bodies with injuries were found near the boat. The U.N. says the migrants’ deaths likely resulted from clashes between rival human smugglers in an area that’s frequently used as a launching point for asylum seekers hoping to reach Italy by boat. The International Organization for Migration reports at least 216 people have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean so far this year, with another 724 missing and presumed dead.
Here in the United States, judges temporarily blocked abortion bans in Ohio and Arizona Friday, while challenges to the bans proceed. Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade in June, at least 13 states have enacted a near-total ban on abortions. Meanwhile, people took to the streets Saturday in nationwide rallies organized by the Women’s March, ahead of next month’s midterms. In Washington, D.C., protesters marched to the U.S. Capitol.
Jackie Foster-Walker: “We’re here today because my blood and my tears had to fight to vote, had to fight to get Roe in the first place.”
Emelie Tdsalvo: “My personal attitude is that I don’t believe that anybody should be made to become a mom if it’s not in the cards for them. And I don’t think that politics should determine that. It’s my body, my choice, for every woman in the world, not even just our country.”
In Nevada, Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville launched into a racist tirade at a Trump-held rally in support of Republican midterm candidates Saturday.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville: “They want crime because they want to take over what you got. They want to control what you have. They want reparation because they think the people that do the crime are owed that. Bull [bleep]!”
Journalist and author Jemele Hill tweeted in response to the racist remarks, “A reminder that Tommy Tuberville was a collegiate coach for nearly 30 years, during which he coached scores of Black players. He made millions off their abilities, but here’s what he really thinks about Black folks.”
In San Antonio, Texas, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales has named James Brennand as the police officer who shot 17-year-old Erik Cantu as he was eating in a McDonald’s parking lot last week. Cantu remains hospitalized in critical condition. Brennand opened fire on the teen moments after opening the driver-side door, even though Cantu posed no risk and was unarmed.
The Uvalde, Texas, school district has suspended its entire police force. The move comes as families continue to demand answers over the failed police response to the May 24 massacre, when a gunman shot dead 19 schoolchildren and two teachers. Police officers on the scene waited 77 minutes before confronting the teenage shooter.
In Utah, a jury has acquitted two animal rights activists who faced prison time for rescuing two sick piglets from a Smithfield Foods factory farm in 2017. It’s a major victory for animal rights advocates and the group behind the 2017 rescue, Direct Action Everywhere, who have been fighting to establish a “right to rescue” animals in distress. This is activist Wayne Hsiung, speaking to journalists and supporters after the verdict.
Wayne Hsiung: “You had these two beautiful creatures who didn’t deserve the crate and the suffering they were living in. And the jury bought that, too. So, on to the next rescue, huh?”
In New York, two hospitals have agreed to pay $165 million to 147 patients who accused a gynecologist of sexual abuse. Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian announced the agreement Friday. Robert Hadden surrendered his medical license after he was convicted in 2016, but was not sentenced to any prison time. He’s currently awaiting trial on separate federal charges of sexually abusing dozens of women over two decades.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Friday declared a “state of emergency” in response to the thousands of asylum seekers arriving to the city in buses sent from Texas and other Republican-led states. Since April, over 17,000 asylum seekers have been bused to New York from the U.S.-Mexico border. Adams spoke at a press conference Friday.
Mayor Eric Adams: “We need help from the federal government, help from the state of New York. New York City is doing our part, and now others must step up and join us. From our federal partners, we need legislation that will allow these asylum seekers to legally work now.”
In London, thousands of supporters of Julian Assange formed a massive human chain around the British Parliament Saturday to demand freedom for the jailed WikiLeaks founder. Solidarity actions were held in other cities around the world, including in Washington, D.C., where protesters called on the Justice Department to drop its efforts to extradite Assange. Assange faces up to 175 years in U.S. prison on espionage and hacking charges, for exposing U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is Julian’s wife, Stella Assange, speaking in London.
Stella Assange: “It casts a very dark shadow over the British government that it hasn’t stopped this. The British government should be speaking to its counterparts in the United States to bring this matter to an end immediately. It’s already gone on for three-and-a-half years. It is a stain on the United Kingdom, and it is a stain on the Biden administration.”