Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 8, 2022

Bridge explosion in Crimea cuts off key Russian supply route, Uvalde school district suspends entire police force following school shooting, and more

1

Bridge explosion in Crimea cuts off key Russian supply route, leaves 3 dead

An explosion destroyed a large portion of a 12-mile bridge connecting the Crimean Peninsula with Russia, killing at least three people and cutting off a critical supply route for the Russian Army. Crimean officials, backed by the Russian government, blamed Ukrainian forces for the bombing. While Ukraine has threatened to attack the bridge on a number of occasions, military personnel in Kyiv did not officially take credit for the bombing. The Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee said that the bridge collapse was the result of a truck bomb that caused a slew of train cars to catch fire. This eventually led to the "partial collapse of two sections of the bridge," officials said. The attack on the bridge, which is the longest in Europe, comes just a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin's birthday. 

2

Uvalde school district suspends entire police force following school shooting

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District announced Friday it would be suspending its entire police force in the wake of the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School this past May. "The district has made the decision to suspend all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time," the district said in a statement, adding that currently employed officers would be transferred to other jobs within the district. In addition, the district's superintendent, Hal Harrell, reportedly told staff that he was planning to retire. The decision to halt all police activities within the district comes amidst continuing scrutiny over the handling of the shooting, which left 19 kids and two teachers dead. Responding law enforcement was heavily criticized for allegedly waiting over an hour before engaging the shooter. 

3

U.S. adds 263,000 new jobs in September, large decrease from August

The United States added 263,000 new jobs in September, according to the official report from the U.S. Department of Labor released Friday. However, this figure, while helping to decrease the unemployment rate to 3.5%, still fell slightly short of expectations, as the Dow Jones had estimated the number of new payrolls to be around 275,000. This job report also marked a steady decline in the number of new jobs month-to-month from August, which saw 315,000 new employees enter the workforce. The addition of just 263,000 tied for the lowest monthly increase in the market since April 2021, reports said. Notably, a drop of 25,000 government jobs was a big contributing factor in the shrinking figure, though it was noted that jobs at both the state and local levels are often heavily seasonal. 

4

Herschel Walker encouraged woman to have second abortion, report says

As problems continue to mount for Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, a new report published Friday by The New York Times claimed that Walker had pressured a woman into getting a second abortion, two years after paying for her to have the procedure the first time. The woman allegedly refused to do so, and reportedly told the Times that Walker "had barely been involved in their now 10-year-old son's life" beyond paying child support. Walker has denied all allegations against him, repeatedly claiming that any report of a paid-for abortion was a lie. Walker's stance comes despite The Daily Beast obtaining photographs that reportedly showed both a $700 check and a get-well card that Walker had sent the woman after her initial abortion. Amidst the continuing scrutiny, Walker's campaign fired its political director this past Wednesday.

5

Arizona appeals court blocks anti-abortion law, allowing procedure to continue

An Arizona appeals court on Friday struck down the enforcement of a sweeping abortion ban that would have blocked the procedure with almost no exceptions. The decision by a three-judge appeals panel voted to grant an emergency stay that had been filed by Planned Parenthood, meaning that abortions up to 15 weeks can -— for now — continue in the state. The potential abortion ban had been based on a 1901 law that stopped the procedure in all circumstances. While Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie said in September that the 1901 law could be enforced, the appeals panel wrote that the abortion ban had to be temporarily blocked "given the acute need of healthcare providers, prosecuting agencies, and the public for legal clarity." The Arizona Attorney General's Office said it would be reviewing its legal options before taking the next steps. 

6

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to slate of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian anti-war activists

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a pair of human rights organizations in Russia and Ukraine, as well as a jailed activist, for their "outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses, and the abuse of power." The first prize went to Memorial, a Russian group that first arose during the Soviet era as a remembrance organization for victims of the communist regime. Following the Soviet Union's collapse, the group reportedly became the largest human rights organization in Russia. The second prize went to the Ukrainian group Center for Civil Liberties (CCL), which formed in Kyiv in 2007 to try and uphold the rights of all Ukrainians, and has since attempted to "identify and document Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population." A third prize was also awarded to Ales Bialiatski, a notable pro-democracy activist in Belarus in the 1980s who has been in prison since 2020. 

7

Tesla shares plunge nearly 16 percent as Elon Musk continues Twitter feud

Financial and legal troubles continue to pile up for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who told his 108 million Twitter followers on Friday that it had been a "very intense 7 days indeed." At the closing bell on Friday, Tesla's stock had dropped to $223.07 per share after closing at $265.25 the prior week — a drop of nearly 16 percent. This represented the worst week for Tesla's shareholders since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Additionally, reports for both expected vehicle production and manufacturing did not meet analysts' expectations within the company. The stock drop-off comes as Musk continues to stir up controversy both at home and abroad. He controversially used a Twitter poll to try and solve the war in Ukraine, and also sent a letter to Twitter saying that he would purchase the company, after previously attempting to back out of a $44 billion deal.

8

Gas station explosion in Ireland kills at least 10

The death toll reached 10 on Saturday following a massive explosion at a gas station in County Donegal, Ireland, police said. At least eight more people are still reported to be in the hospital in various conditions. The explosion reportedly occurred just after 3 p.m. local time in the village of Creeslough, though police have not released any information as to the explosion's cause. Photographs of the scene provided to Reuters showed that the explosion had partially destroyed a residential unit above the gas station, and debris had been scattered across the scene. Law enforcement added that the explosion could be heard from "miles away," and that rescue workers were still attempting to reach people that had been trapped. 

9

NFL agrees to concussion protocol changes prior to Sunday’s games

The NFL Players Association has agreed to a change in the concussion protocols prior to the upcoming slate of NFL games this Sunday, and is now urging the league itself to follow suit. The change in procedure comes following heightened scrutiny over the treatment of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The 24-year-old was seen to be wobbly and disoriented following a hit against the Buffalo Bills, but despite this, he was cleared to play just four days later against the Cincinnati Bengals, where he sustained another massive hit and had to be stretchered off the field. In light of Tagovailoa's injuries, the NFLPA's union agreed to a slate of changes to help further protect players. 

10

Anna Sorokin, namesake for ‘Inventing Anna,’ released from jail

Anna Sorokin, the phony heiress whose unbelievable story was the subject of the Netflix series Inventing Anna, was officially released from prison on Friday. Sorokin had been in an ICE detention facility for the past 17 months after being found guilty of more than $200,000 in fraud. The thievery occurred among Sorokin's family and friends and she worked her way through the upper echelons of New York City high society. However, an immigration judge earlier this week cleared Sorokin for release, claiming that keeping her in detention was no longer necessary. Her release comes with a number of conditions. Among them, Sorokin must stay off social media and continue living at the same address. A judge said that she may also be forced to wear an ankle monitor in the future. 

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