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HeadlinesApril 17, 2023

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Sudan’s Civilian Deaths Near 100 After 3 Days of Fighting Between Rival Military Factions

Apr 17, 2023

Sudan is roiling from a third day of violence that’s killed nearly 100 civilians and injured hundreds more since Saturday, as rival leaders of Sudan’s military government battle for control of the northeast African nation. There are reports of heavy artillery fire in the capital Khartoum, explosions at Khartoum’s main airport, and airstrikes on military barracks and bases in cities and regions across Sudan.

The violence pits two factions of Sudan’s military establishment against one another. One is led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who’s been the de facto leader of Sudan since the overthrow of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. The other faction is led by Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemedti,” the former commander of the janjaweed militias responsible for murders, rapes and torture in Sudan’s Darfur region. The World Food Programme has halted all operations in Sudan after three of its employees were killed and a U.N. humanitarian aircraft was damaged at Khartoum’s main airport.

The United Nations, the African Union, the United States, Russia and China are all calling for a ceasefire in Sudan. The African Union’s Peace and Security Council also warned against external interference in Sudan. The fighting has dashed hopes of a civilian-led, democratically elected government, a key demand of protesters who led the mass mobilizations in 2019 that led to al-Bashir’s ouster. After headlines, we’ll go to Khartoum for the latest.

SCOTUS Pauses Ban of Mifepristone to Review Case Ruled On by Anti-Abortion Judge

Apr 17, 2023

The Supreme Court on Friday temporarily restored access to the abortion pill mifepristone, but only until Wednesday, in order to further review a lower court decision which banned the country’s most popular abortion method just one week earlier. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that Matthew Kacsmaryk, the conservative, Trump-appointed judge who issued the ban on mifepristone, removed his name as the author of an anti-abortion and anti-trans law review article and did not disclose the article to the Senate Judiciary Committee as he was going through the judicial nomination process. Rallies to defend abortion rights took place across the U.S. over the weekend.

Colorado Enshrines Protections for Abortions and Gender-Affirming Care

Apr 17, 2023

Colorado’s Democratic Governor Jared Polis has signed three bills into law protecting access to abortion and gender-affirming care, upholding what he called Colorado’s reputation as a beacon of freedom and choice. Among other things, the measures shield people who receive, provide or assist in abortions or gender-affirming care from criminal prosecution or lawsuits in other states where they are outlawed.

Russian Missile Attack Kills 11 in Sloviansk Amid Intensifying Battles in Eastern Ukraine

Apr 17, 2023

In Ukraine, a Russian missile attack on a residential neighborhood in the eastern city of Sloviansk killed at least 11 people Friday. This comes as Ukraine says the bloody battle for control of Bakhmut has reached “unprecedented” intensity.

Kremlin Critic Vladimir Kara-Murza Sentenced to 25 Years for Antiwar Activism

Apr 17, 2023

In Russia, prominent opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for treason for condemning Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian-British former politician helped make the case for Western governments to sanction Russian officials and said his country was committing war crimes. In a statement last week, Kara-Murza said, “I know the day will come when the darkness engulfing our country will clear. … Our society will open its eyes and shudder when it realizes what crimes were committed in its name.”

Brazil’s Lula Calls on Nations Backing Peace in Ukraine to Form Group to Counter War Machine

Apr 17, 2023

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said he is working on forming a group of leaders that “prefer to talk about peace rather than war,” in hopes of ending the conflict through diplomatic means.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: “President Putin does not take the initiative to stop. Zelensky does not take the initiative to stop. Europe and the United States contribute to the continuation of this war. I think we need to sit at a table and say, ’That’s enough. Let’s start talking,’ because war never brought and will never bring any benefit to humanity.”

Lula, who was speaking from Abu Dhabi, said he had discussed joint mediation efforts with the United Arab Emirates, as well as China, which he visited last week. In China, Lula also focused on rebuilding Brazil’s diplomatic relationship with Beijing and agreed to expand cooperation on trade, technology and other areas.

2 Indian Politicians Killed on Live TV While in Police Custody

Apr 17, 2023

In India, two high-profile politicians were shot and killed on live television Saturday while in police custody in the northern city of Prayagraj. Atiq Ahmed, an organized crime leader who also served in India’s Parliament, was shot in the head, as was his brother, Ashraf Ahmed, a former legislator in Uttar Pradesh state. At the time of the murders, the brothers were being escorted in handcuffs to a hospital for a medical checkup. The assassins were swiftly arrested by police.

Ramit Sharma: “According to primary information, three men came posing as media personnel and started firing. Three people have now been arrested, and they are being interrogated. And Atiq and Ashraf died in this incident.”

Both victims were from India’s Muslim minority. One of the assassins was recorded chanting a slogan popularized by Hindu nationalists in anti-Muslim campaigns.

Macron Signs Highly Unpopular Retirement Reform into Law After Greenlight from Top Court

Apr 17, 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron has signed into law a hotly contested retirement overhaul which raises the retirement age from 62 to 64 years old and extends the years of work required to receive a full pension to 43 years. The Constitutional Council on Friday ruled in favor of the measure, after Macron and his party had to force it through by executive action, given its widespread unpopularity, including among lawmakers. Protests continue as union leaders seek to ramp up the pressure on Macron.

Sophie Binet: “For three months, there have been extremely important strikes, demonstrations, and our determination is not weakened. This will relaunch the mobilization this evening. For the first time since the end of the Second World War, unions jointly call on all employees to massively demonstrate on May 1 to win the withdrawal of this reform.”

G7 Members Pledge to Boost Clean Energy But Won’t Agree to 2030 Phase-Out of Coal

Apr 17, 2023

In Japan, members of the G7 have vowed to speed up the phase-out of fossil fuels and the transition to renewable energy, aiming to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, by boosting solar power and offshore wind capacity. But the group of ministers could not collectively agree to a 2030 deadline for phasing out coal, a goal pushed by Canada and other members. The group also refused to cut off investments in gas.

Elsewhere in Japan, the foreign ministers of G7 nations are convening for three days of meetings to discuss the Ukraine war, China and North Korea. Protesters gathered near the train station in the resort town of Karuizawa as officials arrived Sunday.

Mieko Yamazaki: “The objective of G7 to hold talks only among developed countries in the first place is questionable. I have doubts about the purpose for them to have a meal together to talk about the opinions of poorer countries and the countries that are currently at war.”

World leaders will meet in Hiroshima next month for the official G7 summit.

Prisoners Transferred from Atlanta Jail Where Prisoner Was “Eaten Alive” by Insects

Apr 17, 2023

In Georgia, over 600 prisoners are being transferred from the Fulton County Jail after the family of a deceased prisoner says he was “eaten alive” by insects and bedbugs in his cell last year. The family of 35-year-old Lashawn Thompson, who was being held in the jail’s psychiatric wing, is demanding a criminal investigation and that the jail be shut down.

4 Killed, 28 Injured at Birthday Party as U.S. Suffers Another Deadly Weekend of Gun Violence

Apr 17, 2023

The U.S. marked another deadly weekend of gun violence. In the small town of Dadeville, Alabama, a shooter opened fire in a room full of teenagers celebrating a “Sweet 16” birthday party, killing four people and injuring 28 others. Among the dead was star student athlete Phil Dowdell, who was remembered by a coach and teacher at his high school.

Mardracus Russell: “Great student athlete. You know, not only did he win — excuse me. Not only did he win the 100 and 200 last year, but, you know, he set goals to be able to play and to be able to win that. And just he’s so goal-oriented, always had a smile on his face, just willing to help anybody.”

Elsewhere, a shooter opened fire on a crowd of hundreds at a park in Louisville, Kentucky, killing two. This came as Louisville is still reeling from a mass shooting at a bank last Monday that claimed five lives.

A shooting in West Oahu, Hawaii, left two people dead Friday.

Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Missouri, a Black teenager was shot and hospitalized after accidentally ringing the wrong doorbell while trying to pick up his siblings.

And in Nashville, a seven-months-pregnant woman was rushed to the hospital last week, where she had an emergency C-section, after she was shot by a Walgreens employee who said he suspected her of shoplifting. The employee claimed self-defense, even though he followed her into the store’s parking lot, where he opened fire.

At NRA Convention, Donald Trump Pledges to Return as Most Pro-Gun U.S. President

Apr 17, 2023

In Indianapolis, top Republican hopefuls for the 2024 presidential nomination joined the three-day annual meeting of the National Rifle Association over the weekend. Headlining the event was Donald Trump, who received a two-minute standing ovation before declaring himself “the most pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment president” in U.S. history.

Donald Trump: “With me at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, no one will lay a finger on your firearms, just as took place for four years when I was your president. … I will also create a new tax credit to reimburse any teacher for the full costs of a concealed-carry firearm and training from highly qualified experts.”

Rutgers Faculty and Academic Staff Suspend Strike After Reaching Tentative Deals with School

Apr 17, 2023

In New Jersey, faculty at the state-run Rutgers University have suspended their strike and are returning to classrooms today after reaching tentative deals on pay increases, job security and union representation. These include a 48% raise for adjunct faculty and a 33% pay raise for graduate workers. The first faculty strike in Rutgers’s 257-year history was organized by three unions representing over 9,000 professors, lecturers, graduate assistants and researchers.

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