Monday, May 9, 2022

Wake-Up Call: Russia Bombs School Shelter

Ukrainian officials said Sunday that more than 60 people were feared dead after Russian forces bombed a school a day earlier in the eastern village of Bilohorivka that was being used as a shelter. Authorities said there had been some 90 people shelting in the school's basement and that while rescue crews pulled out 30 people and found two bodies, the governor of the Luhansk province wrote on Telegram, quote, "most likely all 60 people who remain under the rubble are now dead."

Russian forces continued to try to take the sprawling steel mill that represents the last pocket of resistance in Mariupol, the southern city that has largely been reduced to rubble. The last of the civilians who'd been sheltering in the tunnels and bunkers under the plant were evacuated Saturday, but an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters have refused to surrender. The Russians may be pressing to fully capture the city for Russia's Victory Day holiday and military parade, which marks the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, giving President Vladimir Putin something to declare as a major victory.

The leaders of the Group of Seven (G-7) industrial democracies yesterday vowed to ban or phase out imports of Russian oil, and the U.S. announced new sanctions against Russia. They include barring Western advertising from Russia’s three biggest TV stations, banning U.S. accounting and consulting firms from providing services, and blocking wood products, industrial engines, boilers and bulldozers from Russia' industrial sector.

Biden, Zelenska
Jill Biden Meets with Ukraine's First Lady:
First Lady Jill Biden met with Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, in western Ukraine Sunday in a surprise visit. Biden told Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy's wife, "I wanted to come on Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine." Zelenska thanked Biden for what she called her "courageous act." Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also traveled unannounced to Ukraine, where he met with Zelenskyy.

➤DEATH TOLL RISES TO 31 IN CUBA HOTEL EXPLOSION: The death toll from an explosion at a luxury hotel in Havana, Cuba, Friday had risen to 31 by Sunday evening as search crews continued to look for possible survivors. The five-star Hotel Saratoga was readying to reopen after being closed for two years when the powerful explosion took place, apparently triggered by a gas leak. There have also been 54 people listed as injured, with 24 of them hospitalized. As of Saturday, there had been 19 families who'd reported people missing, but authorities didn't say Sunday whether that number had changed. Several nearby buildings were also damaged, including the historic Marti Theater and the Calvary Baptist Church, the headquarters for the Protestant denomination in western Cuba.

➤TWO PALESTINIANS KILLED BY ISRAELIS; SUSPECTS APPREHENDED IN STABBING ATTACK: Two Palestinians were killed by Israelis in separate incidents in the West Bank Sunday, the latest violence in weeks of Palestinian attacks in Israel followed by Israeli military raids in the West Bank that have left 18 Israelis and more than 30 Palestinians dead. One Palestinian man was fatally shot by Israeli troops as he tried to cross Israel's separation barrier near a military check point, and an Israeli civilian fatally shot a Palestinian 17-year-old armed with a knife who entered a West Bank settlement. The incidents came hours after Israeli police captured the two Palestinian suspects in a stabbing attack in Israel last week in which three people were killed in the city of Elad.

➤MORE HUMAN REMAINS DISCOVERED AT LAKE MEAD AFTER BODY FOUND IN BARREL: Less than one week after the remains of a man were found in a barrel in Lake Mead amid the reservoir's water levels being at historic lows due to a drought, more human remains have been discovered. The National Parks Service said someone saw human skeletal remains in the Calville Bay area of Lake Mead on Saturday (May 7th). The coroner hasn't yet identified the cause of death and an investigation is ongoing. After the earlier remains in a barrel were found last week, police have warned that more bodies could turn up. Authorities have said the man whose remains were in the barrel had been shot and was most likely killed between the mid-1970s and early 1980s based on the type of shoes he was wearing.

➤AMERICAN SICKENED IN BAHAMAS RESORT NOW IN U.S. HOSPITAL AFTER THREE OTHERS DIED: An American woman who became sick due to unknown causes at a resort in the Bahamas is now at a hospital in Miami, after three other Americans died, also of unknown causes. She is in serious condition. The three other Americans and the woman staying at Sandals Emerald Bay resort on Great Exuma all were stricken on Friday, with foul play not suspected. They were found unresponsive in two villas, having shown "signs of convulsion," but without other signs of trauma. Their identities have not yet been released. An investigation is ongoing.

🚘POLL: 66 PERCENT HAVE OR WILL MAKE SIGNIFICANG DRIVING CHANGES:  Amid the current high gas prices, a recent Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion survey found that two-thirds, or 66 percent, of vehicle owners or households said they have already made or will make significant changes to their driving patterns if the national average cost of gas is between $4.12 to $4.35 per gallon. The other 34 percent said they likely won't significantly change their driving habits unless the price gets to around $5.00 per gallon. The national average is currently $4.28 per gallon, but in some parts of the country, including California and Nevada, they are already past $5.00 per gallon. Among the changes respondents said they've made or will make were: cut back vehicle used for just necessities (like grocery shopping/doctor visits): 62 percent; not fill the tank, but just put in what is affordable: 41 percent; take public transit or take it more: 35 percent; drive to different gas stations to find the best price: 34 percent; and cancel planned summer holiday travels by car: 29 percent.

➤STUDY: GOING VEGAN FOR JUST 12 WEEKS COULD HELP YOU LOSE 16 POUNDS:  Eating a vegan diet might help you lose weight. Copenhagen University Hospital researchers analyzed 11 studies about vegan diets and weight loss. They found, when looking at adults who were either overweight or had type 2 diabetes, those who switched to a vegan diet for 12 weeks lost 16.31 pounds compared to those who did not change their diet. Lead study author Anne-Ditte Termannsen says, “Vegan diets likely lead to weight loss because they are associated with a reduced calorie intake due to a lower content of fat and higher content of dietary fiber.” But, UK experts have urged caution over the findings, saying it has not been peer-reviewed and that people should consider the negative health risks of a vegan diet before following it.

🏀NBA PLAYOFFS: Results from second-round games yesterday:
  • Dallas Mavericks 111, Phoenix Suns 101 - Series tied 2-2
  • Philadelphia 76ers 116, Miami Heat 108 - Series tied 2-2

🏒NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from first-round games yesterday:
  • Boston Bruins 5, Carolina Hurricanes 2 - Series tied 2-2
  • St. Louis Blues 5, Minnesota Wild 2 - Series tied 2-2
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 7, Toronto Maple Leafs 3 - Series tied 2-2
  • L.A. Kings 4, Edmonton Oilers 0 - Series tied 2-2

🏈USFL SCORES -- WEEK 4: Here are the results of this weekend's USFL games:
  • Philadelphia Stars 26, Michigan Panthers 25 (Friday)
  • New Jersey Generals 21, Pittsburgh Maulers 13 (Saturday)
  • Birmingham Stallions 16, Tampa Bay Bandits 10 (Saturday)
  • New Orleans Breakers 23, Houston Gamblers 16 (Sunday)

After Rich Strike's shock upset victory in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, the 80-1 long shot coming out of nowhere to cross the finish line first, his team is considered whether to run him in the Preakness on May 21st, the second race in the Triple Crown. Veteran trainer Eric Reed said Sunday morning, "As long as he’s OK and after a week I know that it’s the right thing to do, we’ll do it. I have to do what I’ve done from day one with this horse, and that’s manage him and take care of him."

🏀GRIZZLIES' JENKINS: INJURED MORANT UNLIKELY FOR GAME 4 AGAINST WARRIORS: Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said Sunday that injured star Ja Morant is unlikely to play in Game 4 of their second-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors tonight. Morant hurt his right knee during Game 3 on Saturday, which Memphis lost 142-112, putting them behind 2 games to 1. Jenkins said Morant wasn't able to do any basketball activity Sunday, stating, "There’s probably a really good chance he doesn’t play tomorrow."

🏀SACRAMENTO KINGS HIRING MIKE BROWN AS NEW HEAD COACH: The Sacramento Kings have agreed to hire Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown as their new head coach, ESPN first reported yesterday. Brown has twice been head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and also had a stint as head coach of the L.A. Lakers. The Kings haven't made the playoffs in the past 16 years, setting the record for the longest drought in NBA history.

🏀DALLAS FAN REMOVED AFTER HARASSING, PHYSICALLY CONTACTING FAMILY OF SUNS' PAUL: A Dallas Mavericks fan was removed from the American Airlines Center in Dallas yesterday after reportedly harassing and physically contacting family members of the Phoenix Suns' Chris Paul in Game 4 of the teams' second-round playoff series. Paul's mother and his wife and their two children were sitting close behind the Suns' bench, and his mother had hands put on her and his wife was pushed, ESPN reported, also saying Paul's wife was followed up the aisle when she left her seat. The Mavericks said in a statement, "It was unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. The Mavericks, along with American Airlines Center, swiftly removed the fan from today's game."

🏎VERSTAPPEN WINS INAUGURAL MIAMI GRAND PRIX: Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen won the inaugural Miami Grand Prix yesterday, the reigning world champion getting his third win in five races to start the season. There were 85,000 people on hand for the race, run on a 19-turn, 3.36-mile circuit built around Hard Rock Stadium. The event gives the U.S. two F1 races in one season for the first time since 1984, with Las Vegas being added as a third American race in 2023.

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