10 things you need to know today: October 17, 2022
Russia attacks Kyiv with kamikaze drones as Ukraine shells Russian border region, Parisians protest France's rising living costs, and more
Russia attacks Kyiv with kamikaze drones
Russian forces hit Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, with Iranian-made kamikaze drones on Monday, a week after a flurry of Russian airstrikes killed 19 people across the country. Drones hit the Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv hours before the Kyiv attacks. The drone strikes, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said were terrorizing civilians, came as more than a dozen explosions hit the occupied Ukrainian city of Donetsk and Russia's Belgorod border region, a staging ground for Russia's Ukraine invasion. Those strikes, which Russia blamed on Ukrainian shelling, came as Russia continued an unpopular draft of more troops to send to the front. On Saturday, two men killed 11 Russian soldiers at a Belgorod military range before being killed by return fire.
Parisians protest France's soaring living costs
Tens of thousands of people marched in Paris on Sunday to protest the rising cost of living. France has been rocked by expanding strikes at oil refineries and other businesses. The march intensified pressure on French President Emmanuel Macron, who is facing a crisis in the National Assembly, the lower house of France's Parliament. Opposition parties plan to try to bring down Macron's government this week in a fight over a budget bill, hoping for a boost from the labor disputes and public anger over gas shortages. Inflation in France has risen above 6 percent, lower than in the rest of Europe but high enough to anger French citizens, despite an inflation relief package lawmakers approved this summer.
Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake declines to promise to accept election result
Arizona Republican Kari Lake declined Sunday to commit to accepting the November election results if she loses her race for governor. CNN's Dana Bash asked Lake three times on State of the Union whether she would accept the results. After initially dodging the question, Lake responded: "I'm going to win the election, and I will accept that result." Lake, a former news anchor at the Phoenix Fox affiliate, has former President Donald Trump's support. Lake said she would not have certified President Biden's victory in her state, backing Trump's false claim that the 2020 election was "stolen" and "corrupt." Lake's Democratic rival, Katie Hobbs, said Lake's refusal to commit to accepting the election result is "disqualifying."
Whistleblower files complaint against Trump Media
Will Wilkerson, a former executive at former President Donald Trump's social media company, has filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission, The Washington Post reports. Wilkerson alleges that the company violated securities laws with "fraudulent misrepresentations" in its effort to raise money through an investment vehicle known as a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. He also said Trump pressured Trump Media & Technology Group co-founder Andy Litinsky to give some of his shares in the company, which owns Trump's Truth Social app, to Trump's wife, Melania. Litinsky refused, and was removed from the company's board five months later. Trump Media said the Post's inquiry was "rife with knowingly false and defamatory statements and other concocted psychodramas."
Fauci says he 'gave everything' he had to protect public health
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said in an ABC News interview broadcast Sunday that as he prepares to retire after 54 years at the National Institutes of Health he hopes people will remember him as "someone who gave everything they had" for public health. Fauci was a leader of the government's coronavirus response under both former President Donald Trump and his successor, President Biden. Fauci has faced criticism over school closures, but he noted he had urged school districts to keep students in class as long as possible. He said he regretted that the "triple whammy" of a pandemic, political divisions, and an election campaign made the crisis get "political very, very quickly."
Fire kills at least 4 at notorious Iran prison
A fire at Iran's Evin prison, notorious for housing political prisoners, has killed at least four inmates and injured 60, an Iranian state news agency reported Sunday, according to BBC News. Sources inside the facility told BBC Persian that the toll was higher. Videos indicate that in addition to the fire there were explosions and gunfire in the prison. Hundreds of people arrested in anti-government protests that erupted last month were sent to Evin. The unrest has been building across Iran since the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman detained by the country's morality police. Activists said detained dissidents chanted anti-government slogans before violence erupted inside the prison.
New U.K. finance minister to reverse prime minister's tax plans to calm markets
Britain's new finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, announced on Monday he will "reverse almost all" of his predecessor's tax proposals, sending the British pound rising. Hunt had promised Sunday to restore public confidence in the tax and spending plans of Prime Minister Liz Truss' government. Truss appointed Hunt on Friday after an uproar over her proposed unfunded tax cuts resulted in the departure of Hunt's predecessor, Kwasi Kwarteng. Those policies sent the value of the British currency plummeting, and forced the Bank of England to take emergency action to protect pension funds. The crisis also drove mortgage costs higher, worsening household financial troubles.
Gates Foundation pledges $1.2 billion to fight to end polio
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Sunday that it will contribute another $1.2 billion to the effort to eradicate polio worldwide, bringing its total commitment to nearly $5 billion. The foundation said at the World Health Summit in Berlin that it could provide the money to help the Global Polio Eradication Initiative realize its strategy to end the polio virus through 2026. The initiative is focusing on two countries where polio is endemic, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The group's fight against polio also aims to strengthen national health systems to help countries deal with future problems. "The last steps to eradication are by far the toughest. But our foundation remains dedicated to a polio-free future," foundation CEO Mark Suzman said.
Report: Radioactive contamination found at St. Louis school
A recent study found significant radioactive contamination at a suburban St. Louis elementary school, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, citing a recently released report by Boston Chemical Data Corp. Researchers said radioactive waste up to 22 times the expected level was found in soil, dust, and plant samples in a kindergarten play area at Jana Elementary School in the Hazelwood School District. The school is in the Coldwater Creek flood plain, which was contaminated by waste from nuclear bombs manufactured during World War II. "I was heartbroken," said Ashley Bernaugh, president of the Jana parent-teacher association. She has a son at the school. The district said it will "determine next steps" with help from lawyers and experts.
Japan launches Unification Church investigation
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday ordered an investigation into the Unification Church, which has ties to several members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Support for the party has been falling as calls mounted for an inquiry into allegations that the church may have influenced lawmakers. In July, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while delivering a campaign speech. The suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, posted online that his mother made large donations to the Unification Church, which led to his family going bankrupt, and he blamed Abe for promoting the organization. In the wake of the assassination, police discovered that several lawmakers with the Liberal Democratic Party did not publicly reveal their close connections with the Unification Church.