A New York jury unanimously found former President Donald Trump liable for the sexual abuse and defamation of writer E. Jean Carroll, awarding her $5 million in damages. The jury, however, rejected a rape charge. During the trial, Carroll recounted her sexual assault by Trump in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman in the 1990s. Since it was a civil trial, Trump was not convicted of a crime and does not face prison time. Trump’s lawyer said he would appeal, while the ex-president called the verdict a “disgrace” and said, “I have absolutely no idea who this woman is,” on his Truth Social website. In a statement, E. Jean Carroll said, “Today, the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.” We’ll have more on this after headlines.
CBS News is reporting the Biden administration is expected to publish today new procedures for quickly deporting migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, ahead of the lifting of the Trump-era Title 42 pandemic policy on Thursday. President Biden said he expects the situation at the southern border to become “chaotic.” The new rule would require the majority of asylum seekers to request refugee status in another country, such as Mexico, before reaching the U.S. Deported migrants will be barred from reentering the U.S. for five years.
Earlier this week, 233 groups, including the ACLU, Amnesty International USA, Detention Watch Network and RAICES, sent an open letter to President Biden demanding he follow through on his commitment to never detain migrant families, end for-profit immigration jails, and to allow people to live with dignity in their communities while their cases are being resolved in court, instead of being locked up and surveilled. The groups write, “Detention places people in conditions known to cause mental and physical harm and endanger their lives. Detention is not a deterrent to migrants who have no choice but to flee dangerous or violent conditions in search of a better life.”
Immigrant justice groups in Texas held protests at the state Capitol in Austin Tuesday to demand lawmakers reject H.B. 20 and H.B. 7, which would deputize vigilantes to carry out immigration enforcement in Texas, and create a parallel court system to try migrants and smugglers picked up by state-run patrols.
President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy remain at a stalemate over debt ceiling negotiations after meeting Tuesday for the first time in three months. The two agreed to meet again as the U.S. inches closer to a possible default as early as June 1. McCarthy has demanded spending cuts before agreeing to raise the debt limit, which Biden has refused to consider, as Democrats slam Republicans for economic hostage-taking. Biden spoke after Tuesday’s meeting.
President Joe Biden: “Everyone in the meeting understood the risk of default. Our economy would fall into a significant recession. It would devastate retirement accounts, increase borrowing cost. According to Moody’s, nearly 8 million Americans would lose their jobs. And our international reputation would be damaged in the extreme.”
Calls are mounting for Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment, which would allow him to continue issuing debt, bypassing Congress. Biden has said he has not taken that option off the table.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers shot dead two Palestinians during a raid in the town of Qabatiya. Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip continued for a second day, with at least one Palestinian killed today, after the air raids killed at least 15 Palestinians and wounded 22 others Tuesday, according to officials. This is a shop owner in Gaza.
Nael Qidra: “It’s a hard situation, to be honest. We face fear. We are staying tuned. We don’t know what will happen. The situation is, everyone doesn’t know what will happen, whether we are going to have a war or ceasefire.”
In Ukraine, French journalist Arman Soldin was killed in a rocket attack Tuesday in Chasiv Yar near the war-torn eastern city of Bakhmut. The 32-year-old worked for the AFP news agency. The Committee to Protect Journalists says he is the 15th journalist to be killed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February.
In more news about the war, the head of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group said President Putin’s troops have started to abandon their positions in Bakhmut. This comes as Britain is poised to designate Wagner as a terrorist group. France’s National Assembly approved a similar measure Tuesday and urged the EU to follow suit.
In Pakistan, nearly 1,000 people have been arrested as protests broke out following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday. His supporters gathered today as Khan made another appearance at an Islamabad court, where he was indicted for selling state gifts during his premiership between 2018 and 2022. A court yesterday ruled his arrest was lawful, as his legal team continues to fight the charges. Former U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called Khan’s arrest a “dark day for democracy.” Authorities have shut down social media sites, while a judge is set to rule on a request for permission to detain Khan for at least 14 days. This is one of Khan’s supporters.
Khan supporter: “What they have done, is this not hooliganism? Is this not terrorism? Imran Khan had gone to appear before court. Now, where is Supreme Court? Where is High Court? Where are the judges?”
In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his main rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, have held massive rallies ahead of crucial elections this Sunday that could see the end of Erdogan’s rule after more than two decades in power. President Erdogan announced Tuesday his government is raising its workers’ salaries by 45% in a bid to counter voter concerns over the country’s ailing economy amid soaring inflation. Erdogan is also facing continued backlash over his response to the catastrophic February earthquake and damning reports of lax building regulations and neglecting warnings about the safety of structures.
Mehmet Genc: “Let’s talk the truth here now. My whole family is gone. They are all deceased. Why wouldn’t I be angry against the government? No machinery came to help. Nothing did.”
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who is backed by a multiparty alliance, has vowed to pursue closer ties with NATO and the EU, and reinforce democratic institutions like independent courts and a free press. He also said he would reverse Erdogan’s dissolution of the position of prime minister in the 2017 constitutional referendum.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu: “We are not going to leave the fate of the Turkish Republic in the hand of one person, and no one will accept the words of just one person.”
Conservative President Erdogan has also appealed to his religious base, accusing his opponent of being “pro-LGBT” at an Istanbul rally Sunday.
Embattled Republican Congressmember George Santos is expected to appear in a New York court today after federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against him. Details of the charges are not yet known, but the New York congressmember has been under investigation for his many lies around his campaign financing, biography, education and work history. Santos has defied numerous calls to resign. Separately, a hearing in Brazil is scheduled for Thursday over charges Santos committed check fraud.
In California, a state reparations task force approved recommendations on compensating and apologizing to Black residents for generations of discrimination and violence from slavery to the present day. Congressmember and U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Lee, who is helping lead a congressional push for reparations, spoke at the meeting Saturday in Oakland, which she represents in the U.S. House.
Rep. Barbara Lee: “Reparations are not a luxury for our people but a human right long overdue for millions of Americans. Millions of Americans. A promise of 40 acres and mule made to formerly enslaved people over 150 years ago has yet to be filled. And it’s critical that the promise be made — that was made to our ancestors many years ago is kept. And the process of truth-telling and racial healing, that’s got to be carried out also. The atrocities committed against Black Americans are undeniable, and reparations are a tangible route to acknowledging and making amends.”
If the measure is approved by California’s Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom, it will provide monetary compensation to Black residents for discriminatory policies including mass incarceration, policing, housing discrimination, healthcare inequalities and environmental racism.
Paramount Global is laying off 25% of its staff and shutting down MTV News. The head of Paramount Media Networks, Chris McCarthy, made the announcement to employees in an emailed memo. Paramount is also the parent company of CBS, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Showtime. The latest media layoffs come after massive job cuts at Vice and other companies, and the shuttering of BuzzFeed News.
David Miranda, Brazilian journalist and the first LGBTQ member of the Rio de Janeiro City Council, has died at the age of 37. The news was announced by his husband, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Tuesday. Miranda had spent nine months in intensive care after being hospitalized last August for a severe gastrointestinal infection. Tributes to Miranda, who also served in Brazil’s Congress, poured in following the news, with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva noting his “extraordinary trajectory.” Miranda, born in a favela and orphaned at the age of 5, continued to fight for Brazil’s poor and the LGTBQ community, which came under renewed attack during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden also paid tribute to Miranda, celebrating his courage and righteousness in helping bring his leaked documents to light in 2013. Miranda was notably detained for nine hours at London’s Heathrow Airport but refused to cooperate with authorities. Snowden wrote, “It was that courage that set him free.” Miranda is survived by his husband and their two children.