Scores of Ukrainians were feared dead Sunday after a Russian bomb flattened a school where about 90 people were taking shelter in the basement, while Ukrainian fighters held out inside Mariupol’s steel plant as Moscow’s forces apparently raced to capture the city ahead of Russia’s Victory Day holiday.
Emergency crews found two bodies and rescued 30 people at the school in the village of Bilohorivka after Saturday’s bombing, according to the governor of Luhansk province, part of the eastern industrial heartland known as the Donbas.
“Most likely, all 60 people who remain under the rubble are now dead,” Gov. Serhiy Haidai wrote on the Telegram messaging app. Russian shelling also killed two boys, ages 11 and 14, in the nearby town of Pryvillia, he said.
First lady Jill Biden spent part of Mother's Day making an unannounced trip to Uzhhorod, Ukraine, a small city in the far southwestern corner of Ukraine, a country that for the last 10 weeks has been under invasion by Russia.
At a converted school that now serves as temporary housing for displaced citizens, Biden met with Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, who has not been seen in public since the start of the war on February 24.
"I wanted to come on Mother's Day," Biden said to her Ukrainian counterpart, the two women seated at a small table in a classroom of a former school that is now a source of temporary housing for displaced Ukrainians, including 48 children. "We thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people this war has to stop. And this war has been brutal." Biden added, "The people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine."
Zelenska, who early on in the Russian invasion sent a letter to Biden, has exchanged correspondence with her American counterpart in recent weeks, US officials tell CNN.
About 100 demonstrators, hoisting signs and chanting pro-choice slogans, marched from Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Maryland, to Chief Justice John Roberts’ home nearby, Bloomberg reported. After returning to Kavanaugh’s Chevy Chase home, police instructed the group of protestors to disperse, according to the outlet.
“The time for civility is over, man,” protests organizer Lacie Wooten-Holway, 39, told Bloomberg. “Being polite doesn’t get you anywhere.”
Video posted on Twitter showed a group gathered during the rainy, cool evening outside Roberts’ home chanting, “The whole world is watching!” and “We will not go back” as well as “My body, my choice” on Kavanugh’s street.
The projection, made Friday by a senior administration official during a background briefing as the nation approaches a covid death toll of 1 million, is part of a broader push to boost the nation’s readiness and persuade lawmakers to appropriate billions of dollars to purchase a new tranche of vaccines, tests and therapeutics.
In forecasting 100 million potential infections during a cold-weather wave later this year and early next, the official did not present new data or make a formal projection. Instead, he described the fall and winter wave as a scenario based on a range of outside models of the pandemic. Those projections assume that omicron and its subvariants will continue to dominate community spread, and there will not be a dramatically different strain of the virus, the official said, acknowledging the pandemic’s course could be altered by many factors.
Several experts agreed that a major wave this fall and winter is possible given waning immunity from vaccines and infections, loosened restrictions and the rise of variants better able to escape immune protections.
Many have warned that the return to more relaxed behaviors, from going maskless to participating in crowded indoor social gatherings, would lead to more infections. The seven-day national average of new infections more than doubled from 29,312 on March 30 to nearly 71,000 Friday, a little more than five weeks later.
“What they’re saying seems reasonable — it’s on the pessimistic side of what we projected in the covid-19 scenario modeling run,” said Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. “It’s always hard to predict the future when it comes to covid, but I think we’re at a point now where it’s even harder than normal. Because there’s so much sensitivity, in terms of these long-term trends, to things we don’t understand exactly about the virus and about [human] behavior,” Lessler said.
Another modeler, epidemiologist Ali Mokdad of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said in an email Friday that a winter surge is likely. His organization, which has made long-term forecasts despite the many uncertainties, just produced a new forecast that shows a modest bump in cases through the end of May and then a decline until the arrival of winter.
South Korean military said North Korea fired what is believed to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) into the sea off its east coast around 0507 GMT on Saturday from near Sinpo, where North Korea keeps submarines as well as equipment for test-firing SLBMs.
Japan also said the projectile was a short-range ballistic missile. Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said North Korea's recent development in nuclear missile-related technology and repeated launches of ballistic missiles threatened the region and the international community.
"This is absolutely unacceptable," he told reporters, adding that Japan will continue to "strengthen defence capabilities drastically" to protect its citizens from such security threats, in close cooperation with the United States, South Korea and other allies.
The launch comes three days before Tuesday's inauguration of Yoon Suk-yeol as South Korea's president, and ahead of his May 21 summit with U.S. President Joe Biden in Seoul.
Three Americans died of unknown causes Friday at a Sandals resort on the Bahamas' Great Exuma island, and police are investigating, officials said.
Two men and a woman died at the resort, and a fourth American -- a woman -- was airlifted to a hospital in Nassau, the Bahamas' capital, Bahamian Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper said Friday.
Though police are investigating, Cooper has been "advised that foul play is not suspected," he said.
No signs of trauma were found on the bodies, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said in a statement to CNN.
Preliminary reports indicate that the bodies were found unresponsive in two different locations; a man was found first in one villa with no signs of trauma, and the couple in a second villa, police said in the statement issued on Saturday.
The couple complained of illness the previous evening, according to the report.
"The officers found a Caucasian male slumped against a wall in a bathroom, unresponsive," the Royal Bahamas Police Force said. "The woman was also unresponsive. Both individuals showed signs of convulsion. The officers examined the bodies and found no signs of trauma."
The police will wait for an autopsy report to determine the exact cause of death, adding that for now "this matter remains under active investigation."
Dozens more were injured in the blast that blew the facade off the Hotel Saratoga, across from the Cuban Capitol, around 11 a.m. Friday. On Saturday, officials released the names and ages of the dead; they included a pregnant woman and four children aged 10 to 17.
The cause of the explosion was unclear, officials said, but preliminary investigation pointed to a gas leak.
“It wasn’t a bomb or an attack,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel said. “It’s an unfortunate accident.”
The hotel was preparing to reopen on Tuesday after closing two years ago during the coronavirus pandemic, it said in an April 28 Facebook post, the most recent on its page. Havana Gov. Reinaldo García Zapata said the hotel was undergoing repairs and there were no tourists inside, according to the Communist Party newspaper Granma.
Kevin Morris, the attorney known for crafting the $550 million licensing deal for the creators of South Park and who later won a Tony award as a co-producer of the hit musical "Book of Mormon," is now crafting a legal and media strategy for Hunter Biden, his office confirmed when reached this week. It declined further comment.
President Biden's son maintains a robust New York-based legal team handling his defense in the ongoing criminal probe in Delaware that has been focused on his tax and financial dealings. Morris has been operating behind the scenes and has turned his attention in recent weeks to conducting a forensic analysis and investigation into what happened to Hunter Biden's laptop — including how the device became public, sources familiar with his efforts say.
Entering the bruising political fight is an unusual move for Morris, who has long been a maverick in Hollywood. Morris founded a law firm that represented a cast of A-list stars and then began writing fiction and producing documentaries. He also subsequently helped negotiate another "South Park" deal, this one worth a reported $900 million, with MTV Entertainment Studios, which is part of the CBS News' parent company Paramount.
Hunter Biden could not be reached for comment, but his criminal attorney, Christopher Clark, confirmed that Morris is serving as an "attorney and trusted adviser" to Hunter Biden.
The bitcoin price was around $34,500 as of press time, down 3.8% over the past 24 hours.
Early Sunday the largest cryptocurrency slid to $33,710, the lowest since Jan. 24. If price falls below $32,951, it would hit a new low – since July 2021.
Bitcoin had stayed mostly between $35,000 and $46,000 for the past couple months, so the latest price decline might mark the beginning of a new market trend.
Popular price-chart indicators were leaning bearish late last week, as bitcoin's price broke below a three-month rising trend line.
A U.S. Labor Department report on Friday showed that employment growth stayed robust last month, at a level that should continue to worry the Federal Reserve about a too-tight jobs market. As more employers compete for workers, wages might start to escalate, adding to inflationary pressures and forcing the Fed to tighten monetary conditions faster. Recently, bitcoin has reacted negatively (along with stocks) to more aggressive actions by the U.S. central bank.
Some traders may have been rattled by data showing that the Terra blockchain's stablecoin, UST, briefly lost its peg on Saturday. The Luna Foundation Guard, which maintains a standby reserve that kicks in if the "algorithmic stablecoin" fallsbelow $1, held about $3 billion of bitcoin as of last week.
All-time high reached in late 2021 was $69,000, so a price drop below $34,500 represents a correction of more than 50%.
The elaborately titled fantasy epic, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, summoned another $265 million in foreign markets for a total opening weekend gross of $450 million, according to Walt Disney Pictures, the corporate parent of Marvel Studios.
The sequel's $185 million domestic haul makes it the 11th-biggest opening in American film industry, between “Incredibles 2” ($182.7 million) and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($191.3 million) in 2015, according to Disney.
The film also notched the second-largest domestic debut of the pandemic era — behind only Marvel's “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which earned $260 million in North American ticket sales when it swung into theaters in December.
The movie “carries on a summer season Marvel tradition with this massive debut by igniting the spark that will set in motion what promises to be a very strong summer movie season in theaters,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, a company that tracks box office data.
The movie is a sequel to “Doctor Strange,” a psychedelic origin story released in 2016, and a continuation of the main storyline from 2021’s “WandaVision,” a Disney+ streaming series starring Olsen as a grief-stricken sorceress known as the Scarlet Witch.