(12) updates to this series since Updated
Ukrainian and British officials say Russia suffered heavy losses when Ukrainian forces destroyed the pontoon bridge enemy troops were using to try to cross a river. That's another sign of Moscow’s struggle to win decisive victories and salvage a war gone awry. Russia’s campaign in Ukraine’s east is making faltering progress. Ukraine’s airborne forces command has released images of what it said was a damaged Russian pontoon bridge over a river and several destroyed or damaged military vehicles. The command said its troops “drowned the Russian occupiers.” Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia lost “significant armored maneuver elements” of at least one battalion tactical group. Ukrainian authorities opened the first war crimes trial of the conflict Friday.
The Biden administration is taking the first steps to release $45 billion to ensure every U.S. resident has access to high-speed internet by roughly 2028. The administration is inviting governors and other leaders Friday to start the application process. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is overseeing the distribution. Raimondo is traveling to North Carolina and says universal access to broadband internet would be akin to the electrification of rural America during the 1930s, a recognition the internet is a utility needed for U.S. residents to function in today’s economy. The funding is part of the $65 billion for broadband in the $1 trillion infrastructure package President Joe Biden signed into law last November.
President Joe Biden is stepping up his administration’s response to a nationwide baby formula shortage that has forced frenzied parents into online groups to swap and sell to each other to keep their babies fed. The White House says Biden spoke Thursday with executives from manufacturers Reckitt and Gerber about how they could increase production and how his administration could help. And he talked with leaders from Walmart and Target about how to restock shelves. The shortage stems from supply chain disruptions and a safety recall. Retailers are limiting what customers can buy, and doctors are urging parents to contact food banks, physicians' offices as well as warning against watered-down formula or making DIY recipes.
Mayors, police chiefs and other local officials have visited the White House to share with President Joe Biden how they are spending money from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on policing and public safety programs. Biden highlighted some of these efforts during an event in the Rose Garden on Friday. And he urged cities to spend even more of their coronavirus relief money on public safety before the summer months, which typically bring a spike in violent crime. The 2021 relief package included $350 billion for state, local and tribal governments. Biden said, “Taking action today is going to save lives tomorrow,."
Elon Musk said that his planned $44 billion purchase of Twitter is "temporarily on hold" pending details on spam and fake accounts.
North Korea says six people have died and 350,000 have been treated for a fever that has spread explosively across the country. The announcement Friday came a day after it acknowledged its first COVID-19 cases of the pandemic. North Korea likely doesn't have enough testing supplies and said the cause of the fevers was unclear. Experts have warned a COVID-19 outbreak could be devastating in a country with a broken health care system and an unvaccinated, malnourished population. Leader Kim Jong Un was shown on state TV at a pandemic response meeting, where he took off his face mask and smoked a cigarette while talking with officials.
The new White House COVID-19 coordinator is issuing a dire warning. He says in an Associated Press interview that the U.S. will be increasingly vulnerable to the coronavirus this fall and winter if Congress doesn’t swiftly approve new funding for more vaccines and treatments. Dr. Ashish Jha said in the interview Thursday that Americans’ immune protection from the virus is waning, the virus is adapting to be more contagious and booster doses for most people will be necessary — with the potential for enhanced protection from a new generation of shots.
The United Arab Emirates’ long-ailing ruler, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has died. He was 73. The UAE’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced a 40-day period of mourning and a three-day suspension of work in all ministries and the private sector beginning Friday, including flags to be flown at half-staff. His name was immortalized on the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai. After suffering a stroke, he had long ceased having involvement in day-to-day affairs, with his brother, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, seen as the de-facto ruler. There was no immediate announcement about a successor, though the crown prince is in line to succeed Sheikh Khalifa as president.
Wildfires in the West are on a furious pace early this year. Wind-driven flames tearing through vegetation that is extraordinarily dry from years-long drought exacerbated by climate change has made even small blazes a threat to life and property. A fast-moving blaze in Southern California is the latest example, where 20 multimillion-dollar homes lay in smolders Thursday. In New Mexico, the largest blaze burning in the U.S. has now consumed an area bigger than Dallas. That fire east of Santa Fe has churned through mountainous forests for more than a month. Nationally, more than 2,000 square miles already have burned this year. That's the most at this point since 2018.
House investigators say they have issued subpoenas to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers as part of their probe into the violent Jan. 6 insurrection. It's an extraordinary step that has little precedent and is certain to further inflame partisan tensions over the 2021 attack. The Jan. 6 panel’s subpoenas for McCarthy of California and Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama come as the investigation is winding down and as the panel prepares for a series of public hearings this summer.
DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 33 points and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns 113-86 on Thursday night to force a Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jordan Binnington made 25 saves and the St. Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Thursday night in Game 6 of their series to advance to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.