10 things you need to know today: September 9, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96, Blinken announces more aid for Ukraine, and more
Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest reigning monarch, died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland after 70 years on the throne. She was 96. Her eldest son, Prince Charles, 73, inherited the crown, taking the name King Charles III. His wife Camilla is now Queen Consort. Charles said his mother's death was "a moment of the greatest sadness" for the royal family, and for people worldwide who regarded her as a symbol of grace and stability. Thousands gathered at Buckingham Palace, where news of the queen's death was posted on the gate. "It's an extraordinary achievement to have presided with such dignity and grace for 70 years," said Britain's new prime minister, Liz Truss. "Her life of service stretched beyond most of our living memories."
Ukraine, other nations threatened by Russia get more U.S. aid
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday announced another $2.8 billion in aid to Ukraine and other nations threatened by Russia. Blinken, speaking during a surprise visit to Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, said the long-term military financing would help Ukraine and 18 nearby nations "potentially at risk of future Russian aggression." The money is on top of $675 million worth of heavy weaponry, ammunition, and armored vehicles for Ukraine announced by U.S. military leaders earlier in the day. The news came as Ukraine pushes to retake territory Russia has seized in southern and eastern parts of the country. Blinken reportedly met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and told him the U.S. realized this "is a pivotal moment" as the counteroffensive intensifies.
King Charles III to address nation as Britain starts national mourning
King Charles III, who automatically acceded to the British throne when Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday, will return to London from Balmoral Castle in Scotland to deliver an inaugural address on Friday. The televised speech is expected to stress the continuity of Britain's constitutional monarchy. Charles also will hold an audience with Prime Minister Liz Truss, who took office earlier this week. Parliament will gather to pay respects, with Truss leading tributes to the late queen in the House of Commons. It is all part of a meticulously planned transition, codenamed Operation London Bridge, after the death of Britain's longest-serving monarch. The country is launching a national period of mourning with cannon salutes and bells tolling at Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Windsor Castle.
North Korea declares its nuclear status 'irreversible'
North Korea on Friday officially claimed the right to use nuclear weapons in a new law, state media reported. The country's leader, Kim Jong Un, said the law makes North Korea's nuclear status "irreversible" and rules out talks on denuclearization, state media reported on Friday. North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly, approved the legislation on Thursday, replacing a 2013 law that declared the country's nuclear status. The original law said Pyongyang could use nuclear weapons to repel invasion or attack from a hostile nuclear state. The new one allows for preemptive strikes if North Korea believes it faces imminent attack with weapons of mass destruction.
Judge orders Las Vegas elected official held without bail in journalist's murder
A Clark County, Nevada, judge on Thursday ordered county Public Administrator Robert Telles held without bail after his arrest in connection with the fatal stabbing of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German, whose investigative work Telles had blamed for his loss in June's Democratic primary. Las Vegas police said earlier Thursday that Telles' DNA had been found at the scene of German's murder. "Every murder is tragic, but the killing of a journalist is particularly troublesome," Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. German, 69, was found dead early Saturday beside his house. Earlier this year, German reported on an allegedly toxic atmosphere in Telles' office, and he was working on a follow-up when he was killed.
Bannon pleads not guilty to New York money laundering, fraud charges
Stephen Bannon, one-time key adviser to former President Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty Thursday to New York criminal fraud and money laundering charges linked to a private effort to raise money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Bannon and the "We Build the Wall" fundraising campaign were charged with conspiracy to skim some of the $25 million in donations the effort raised. "I'm going to stay and fight this," Bannon told reporters as he left the courthouse after his arraignment. His next hearing is Oct. 4. The state charges are similar to federal charges that Bannon diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars raised in the campaign for his own use. Trump pardoned him in that case before it went to trial.
DOJ asks judge to return access to classified documents seized from Trump
The Justice Department said Thursday it is appealing a Florida federal judge's decision to grant former President Donald Trump's request to appoint a special master to review materials the FBI seized during a search of his Mar-a-Lago home. The Justice Department is asking U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to partially stay her Monday order, saying it has caused the intelligence community to pause its assessment of the potential national security risks from Trump's retention of government secrets at his private club. Cannon told the FBI it couldn't use the documents in its investigation of Trump's handling of classified material until the special master's review is completed. The Justice Department asked Cannon to restore access to the 100-plus classified files, citing national security and other concerns.
ECB announces biggest rate hike since 1999
The European Central Bank on Thursday raised interest rates by 0.75 percent, its biggest hike since 1999, early in the history of Europe's currency union. The move is intended to help bring down record inflation. That effort is being complicated by an energy crisis sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine that has already nearly pushed Europe into a recession. Rising borrowing costs are likely to increase the chances of a recession. ECB President Christine Lagarde said inflation, which is forecast to average 8.1 percent this year, is threatening to spread beyond energy to many other goods. "We want all economic actors to understand that the ECB is serious" about fighting inflation, Lagarde said.
Report: 4.4 million U.S. acres to fall below tidal boundary by 2050
Nearly 650,000 private coastal properties will fall below changing tide boundaries by 2050 as sea levels rise, according to an analysis released Thursday by the research nonprofit Climate Central. The researchers reviewed scientific data on projected sea-level rise and the records for more than 50 million individual properties to identify parcels at risk. They found 4.4 million acres of privately owned land projected to be under the tide line by 2050, and 9.1 million acres threatened by 2100, with a collective assessed value of $108 billion. The calculations are based on current levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The authors noted that complete property values were not available for all counties, so the actual economic cost could be higher.
Bernard Shaw, CNN's 1st lead anchor, dies at 82
Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw has died of pneumonia unrelated to COVID-19, the network said Thursday. He was 82. Shaw, who died Wednesday in a hospital in Washington, D.C., served as CNN's first chief anchor, joining the round-the-clock cable news channel when in launched on June 1, 1980, after working previously at CBS and ABC. He stayed at CNN for two decades before retiring in 2001 at age 61. Shaw was perhaps best remembered for his calm reporting from Baghdad when the city was under attack at the start of the Gulf War in 1991. The journalism world also lost another well-respected reporter this week, when longtime NPR foreign correspondent Anne Garrels died of lung cancer at 71.