Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 10, 2022

Russia strikes Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities after bridge blast, L.A.'s City Council president faces calls to resign over leaked racist remarks, and more


Ukrainian cities hit in flurry of Russian strikes

Russian strikes hit Kyiv on Monday, killing at least five people and injuring 12 in an apparent retaliation for a weekend explosion on a bridge connecting Russia to annexed Ukrainian territory in Crimea. The explosions were the first in months in Ukraine's capital. Russian strikes also hit Kharkiv in the northeast, Lviv in the west, and Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro in central Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the strikes and accused the Kremlin of trying to wipe Ukrainians "off the face of the earth." Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called the attack on the bridge a "terrorist act" by Ukrainian special services. One of Zelensky's advisers called Putin's claim of victimhood "too cynical even for Russia."


L.A. City Council president under fire over leaked racist remarks

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez faced calls to resign on Sunday after a profanity-laced audio recording was released in which she allegedly made what the Los Angeles Times described as "openly racist remarks" about the Black child of a white council member. In the recording, several Latino council members discussed their frustrations with a city redistricting map in a closed-door meeting. Martinez said the white council member, Mike Bonin, treated his Black son like "an accessory," and described the child's behavior saying, "Parece changuito," "like a little monkey." Martinez also described Indigenous Oaxacan immigrants in Koreatown as "short little dark people." It was not clear who leaked the recording. Martinez and another council member, Kevin de Leon, issued apologies.


Russia struggles to restore supply lines to Crimea after bridge explosion

Russia pushed to restore supply lines to its military forces in Crimea on Sunday after an explosion damaged a 12-mile bridge linking Russia to the annexed Ukrainian peninsula. The disruption of the flow of weapons and other material could hurt Russia's effort to defend against a Ukrainian counteroffensive that is forcing Moscow's troops to withdraw from some of the territory they had seized in southern Ukraine. Kyiv did not claim responsibility for the blast on the bridge, although Russia blamed the explosion on Ukraine, and Ukrainian leaders celebrated the setback for Moscow on social media. Ukraine destroyed a Russian rail hub in the south of the Donetsk region with a barrage of Himars rockets on Saturday. 


U.N. secretary-general proposes 'rapid action force' in Haiti

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposed in a letter to the U.N. Security Council that one or more countries send "a rapid action force" to help police in Haiti battle gangs that have taken control of much of the capital, Port-au-Prince, Reuters reported Sunday, citing a copy of the letter its reporters reviewed. Haiti's government last week said it would request a "specialized armed force" to contend with gangs that have blocked the Caribbean nation's main fuel port, bringing transport, businesses, and hospitals to a halt. The crisis also has hit as the country reports its first cholera outbreak in years. Benoit Vasseur, Haiti head of the aid group Doctors Without Borders, cautioned an armed foreign force could deepen the crisis, saying, "This means more bullets, more injuries, and more patients."


Report: Election officials step up security ahead of midterms

Election officials across the United States have stepped up security in response to threats and intimidation by conspiracy theorists who believe the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. Reuters reported Sunday that it had surveyed 30 election offices and found that 15 of them had increased security with a variety of measures, including bulletproof glass, panic buttons, and extra security guards. Election officials, particularly in battleground states, have publicly called for more security in congressional testimony and other statements. Many election offices have trained employees in conflict de-escalation and getting away from active shooters, Reuters reported.


North Korea says missile launches part of practice for nuclear attack

North Korean state media reported Monday that Pyongyang's recent flurry of missile launches were part of a series of tests on using tactical battlefield nuclear weapons to "hit and wipe out" South Korean and U.S. targets. The test launches were meant to send a warning to the United States, Japan, and South Korea after their joint military drills, the North's Korean Central News Agency said. The targets included "the enemies' main military command facilities," and ports. Key military installations in South Korea include Camp Humphreys, the largest U.S. military base outside the United States. It has more than 36,000 U.S. service members, civilian workers, and other residents. North Korea has conducted seven weapons tests since late September, including an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew farther than any previously launched North Korean weapon.


Hackers interrupt Iranian news broadcast as protests continue 

Hackers hijacked the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network's nightly news broadcast over the weekend during a segment on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attending a meeting in the southern city of Bushehr. The report was interrupted with the image of a cartoon mask with a beard against a black backdrop, followed by a photo of Khamenei with a target superimposed on his face. Next to his image were photos of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died after being detained by Iran's morality police, along with photos of Nika Shahkarami, Hadis Najafi, and Sarina Esmailzadeh, three other young women who have died in the last month during protests over Amini's death.


Floods kill at least 22 in Venezuela

Heavy rains caused flooding that killed at least 22 people in Venezuela, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said Sunday. At least 52 other people were missing. The Saturday rains caused five small rivers to overflow in central Venezuela, sending tree trunks and debris from mountain areas crashing into the Tejerias community 40 miles southwest of Caracas. "We have lost boys, girls," Rodriguez said in a visit to a flooded Tejerias street. "What has happened in the town of Tejerias is a tragedy." The floods also destroyed pumps needed to run the town's drinking water system.


Ben Bernanke, two others receive economics Nobel for work on financial crises

The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded Monday to former Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke, Douglas Diamond of the University of Chicago, and Philip Dybvig of Washington University for their work during the 1980s on banks and financial crises. Bernanke, who chaired the Fed during the 2008 financial crisis, received the award for his research on the Great Depression. Stockholm University economist John Hassler announced the prize, saying the laureates' work was crucial to understanding and addressing the 2008 crisis. "The measures that were undertaken rest on the ideas that we recognize today," Hassler said. Diamond said the award came as a surprise. "I was sleeping very soundly, and then all of a sudden, off went my cellphone," he said.


Harvey Weinstein faces 2nd sexual assault trial in L.A.

Disgraced former film producer Harvey Weinstein's second sexual assault trial is scheduled to start in Los Angeles on Monday. Weinstein, 70, is serving a 23-year sentence following his conviction in New York two years ago on rape and sexual assault charges. The New York Court of Appeals has agreed to reexamine that case, so the Los Angeles trial could determine whether he will ever be freed. In the Los Angeles trial, Weinstein faces 11 charges relating to alleged assaults against five women, identified as Jane Does 1 through 5, from 2004 to 2013. Jane Doe 1, an Italian model, says Weinstein forced his way into her hotel room and raped her during the 2013 L.A.-Italia film festival.


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