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HeadlinesMay 16, 2023

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200,000 Fled Sudan in First Month of Fighting Between Rival Military Factions

May 16, 2023

In Sudan, military forces unleashed airstrikes near a hospital in the capital Khartoum Monday targeting paramilitary rivals as fighting between the warring parties enters a second month. Airstrikes and shelling were reported in other cities in recent days, including intense battles in the western region of Darfur and in the cities of Bahri and Omdurman. The U.N. estimates some 200,000 people have fled Sudan to neighboring countries since the war erupted in April, with the vast majority of those displaced being women and children, many of whom are malnourished. Hundreds of people who’ve escaped the violence in the capital to relatively safe cities like Port Sudan now face shortages of food, water and shelter as extreme heat hits the region.

Akomo Oloj: “People, they don’t like us to be here. And now the way we are here with the children and the mothers, some of them are sick. And there’s no food. People, they can’t eat. So we are suffering.”

Over 600 people have reportedly died since the beginning of the conflict, though the death toll is expected to be much higher. Prominent Sudanese singer Shaden Gardood was killed in crossfire between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Omdurman city Friday, despite an agreement between the two sides to protect civilians. Meanwhile, there’s been multiple reports of women and girls being sexually assaulted by armed groups.

Flooding in Somalia Kills at Least 22, Affects Nearly a Half-Million People

May 16, 2023

In Somalia, the United Nations says some 450,000 people in the central Hiran region have been displaced by flash flooding caused by torrential rains. At least 22 people have died. This comes after a record drought in Somalia left millions of Somalis on the brink of famine.

Heat Waves Bake China and West Coast of North America

May 16, 2023

China’s government has issued heat advisories in the capital Beijing and other major cities as temperatures reached record highs for the date. In North America, an early-season heat wave has smashed high temperature records along the west coasts of Canada and the United States, with Seattle and Portland reporting record highs for several days in a row. On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Alberta province, where an intense early start to the wildfire season has forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate and slashed oil production in Canada’s tar sands region.

House Republicans Reject Closing Tax Loopholes as June 1 Deadline on Debt Ceiling Looms

May 16, 2023

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Monday the United States remains on track to default on its debts as soon as June 1 unless congressional leaders agree to a deal raising the limit on the national debt. Her warning came as House Republican leaders rejected White House proposals to close tax loopholes as part of any deal to raise the debt ceiling. The proposals sought to collect more tax revenue from cryptocurrency transactions and from large real estate investors. President Biden said Sunday he’s optimistic lawmakers will reach a deal by June 1 — an idea shot down Monday by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy: “So, no, I don’t think we’re in a good place. I know we’re not. This ignoring the problem, thinking it’s going to go away, he could bumble his way just into a default, like he did on the — on the border.”

SCOTUS to Review South Carolina Congressional Maps Struck Down over Racist Gerrymandering

May 16, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could see South Carolina reinstate a congressional redistricting plan that was struck down by a lower court as an attempt at racist gerrymandering. In January, a three-judge panel of the federal district court in Columbia, South Carolina, ruled unanimously that state Republicans unfairly drew maps that split Black neighborhoods in Charleston, leading to the exile of more than 30,000 African American citizens from their previous district.

Trump-Era Special Prosecutor Faults FBI over Probe of Russian Interference in 2016 Campaign

May 16, 2023

In Washington, D.C., special counsel John Durham has completed his investigation into the FBI’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 Trump campaign. Durham’s 300-plus-page report concluded the FBI should never have launched its investigation, which Durham said was based largely on leads provided by political opponents of Donald Trump, and relied heavily on “raw, unanalyzed and uncorroborated intelligence.” The report does not recommend any major changes to FBI and Justice Department policies. Durham was appointed special counsel in 2019 by then-Attorney General Bill Barr, after Barr referred to the FBI’s court-authorized activities as “spying.”

Ex-Associate Sues Rudy Giuliani, Alleging Rape, Abuse and Harassment

May 16, 2023

In New York, a $10 million lawsuit filed Monday against former New York City mayor and Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani alleges he raped and harassed a former associate over the span of two years. The suit was filed by Noelle Dunphy, who says Giuliani hired her in 2019 promising an annual salary of $1 million, but instead repeatedly sexually assaulted her. She also accuses Giuliani of being constantly drunk, making racist and sexist remarks and antisemitic comments — many of which were recorded. Giuliani also allegedly plotted to sell pardons for $2 million, to be split between him and former President Trump, and asked Dunphy to refer anyone who needed one.

18-Year-Old with Assault Rifle Kills 3, Injures 6 in New Mexico

May 16, 2023

In New Mexico, three people were killed and six others injured in the community of Farmington Monday morning when an 18-year-old armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and two other guns went on a rampage, firing randomly as he walked through a neighborhood, before he was shot dead by police. Investigators say they’re still searching for a motive and haven’t released the names of the dead and wounded. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement, “This serves as yet another reminder of how gun violence destroys lives in our state and our country every single day.” According to the Gun Violence Archive, it was the 225th mass shooting in the United States so far this year.

Vice Media Files for Bankruptcy Following Mass Layoffs of New Staff

May 16, 2023

Vice Media has filed for bankruptcy less than a month after laying off over 100 employees across its global newsroom. A group of company lenders, including Soros Fund Management, has submitted a bid of $225 million to purchase Vice’s assets, while remaining operations are expected to keep running. The media company was once considered to be worth $5.7 billion. In April, Vice canceled its award-winning weekly show “Vice News Tonight” and shut down its international news unit, Vice World News.

San Francisco DA Won’t Bring Charges Against Guard Seen in Video Killing Banko Brown

May 16, 2023

San Francisco’s district attorney said Monday she will not bring charges against a security guard who shot and killed 24-year-old Black trans activist Banko Brown last month after he allegedly tried to steal snacks from a Walgreens pharmacy. The announcement came as the DA’s Office released surveillance video of the killing. It shows the guard repeatedly punching Brown, slamming him to the floor and lying on top of him. After Brown flees the store, the guard pulls a handgun and fires a single, fatal shot directly into Brown’s chest. District Attorney Brooke Jenkins on Monday called the killing “reasonable.”

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins: “What he said was, 'I saw a movement that led me to believe something dangerous was about to happen to me. Could have been a knife. Could have been whatever it was. I believed that I was in imminent danger.' And the law doesn’t require that you wait and see, is it a gun, is it a knife, is it scissors. The law allows you to have a perception and a belief, so long as it’s reasonable.”

Brooke Jenkins was appointed San Francisco’s interim district attorney last July by Mayor London Breed, replacing former progressive DA Chesa Boudin, who was ousted by voters in a multimillion-dollar-funded special recall election led by the real estate industry. Jenkins received over $100,000 as a consultant for a nonprofit that led efforts to recall Boudin. Banko Brown’s killing has ignited protests across the San Francisco Bay Area, where nearly half of all residents live in families listed as low income — or very low income.

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