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10 things you need to know today: October 30, 2022

Death toll rises beyond 150 in South Korean Halloween disaster, Biden criticizes Russian move to suspend Ukrainian grain deal, and more


Death toll rises beyond 150 in South Korean Halloween disaster

More than 150 people are confirmed dead, and hundreds more suffered grave injuries following a human crush accident at a Halloween festival in Seoul, South Korea on Saturday. The incident occurred in the city's Itaewon District, one of the hubs of Seoul's nightlife. According to reports, the crush began when throngs of people began filing into a narrow alley near one of the district's most popular hotels, resulting in people being trampled and suffocated as they struggled to free themselves. Video of the incident showed a massive response by police, fire, and rescue personnel, many of whom could be seen treating injured festival-goers on the ground. Officials said the death toll may continue to rise. 


Biden criticizes Russian move to suspend Ukrainian grain deal

President Biden on Saturday harshly criticized Russia after the country exited a United Nations-backed deal that would've allowed Ukrainian grain exports to be funneled through ports of the Black Sea. Ukrainian and international officials admonished the move as one that could potentially cause additional problems to arise with the global food supply chain. Biden told reporters that Russia's decision was "purely outrageous. It's going to increase starvation." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there are currently 170 ships stranded in the Black Sea which are now unable to transport food. Zelensky called the Russian pull-out an "intention of Russia to return the threat of large-scale famine to Africa and Asia."


Supreme Court set to hear arguments in landmark affirmative action cases

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on Monday in what could turn out to be landmark cases against affirmative action in American universities. The cases are based on appeals from a conservative group that is suing Harvard University and the University of North Carolina for what it claims are illegal student admissions policies. While many tentpole university systems employ affirmative action policies toward Black and Hispanic enrollment, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court may decide to side with the appeals group, in what could be a landmark decision that may even end up overturning the court's own previous decisions on the matter. 


Election day arrives in Brazil ahead of contentious runoff

Brazilians headed to the polls on Sunday to cast their ballots for the final time, in the runoff election to determine the nation's next president. The election pits President Jair Bolsonaro, a staunch far-right politician, against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a leftist union leader who previously served as Brazil's president from 2003 to 2010. The outcome of the election could have a drastic domino effect on South America and the global community, with Brazil remaining one of the world's most important rising powers. Polls heading into the runoff showed Lula with a slight reported edge against Bolsonaro, but experts predicted the race would likely come down to the wire. 


Nancy Pelosi says husband is improving following home break-in and attack

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Saturday night that her husband, Paul Pelosi, was starting to improve following he was attacked following a break-in at the couple's San Fransisco house. Paul Pelosi, 82, was ambushed by a suspect who was reportedly looking for the speaker, who was not home at the time. Following a physical altercation, Paul Pelosi was struck with a hammer as law enforcement arrived at the house. In a letter to the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi wrote, "Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop." The attack was condemned by members on both sides of the aisle. 


Elon Musk reportedly ordered company-wide layoffs throughout Twitter

Billionaire Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, had planned to begin laying off employees from the tech company almost immediately upon taking control of the company, a report from The New York Times revealed Saturday. Musk, the world's richest man, known for his ventures with Tesla and SpaceX, became the owner of Twitter upon the closing of a $44 billion deal, making him the head of perhaps the most influential social media company in the world. The layoffs are among a number of controversial moves Musk has pledged to make, and previous reports indicated that he was looking to drastically decrease the company's workforce.


Somalian president says at least 100 killed in pair of car bombings

A pair of car bombs in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital and largest city, left at least 100 people dead and wounded an additional 300, Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said Sunday. In a statement, Mohamud asked for "our international partners and Muslims around the world to send their medical doctors here since we can't send all the victims outside the country for treatment." According to eyewitnesses, the attack occurred Saturday at Mogadishu's education ministry in one of the city's busiest markets, and marked the deadliest event in the country in five years. While no groups immediately reclaimed responsibility, President Mohamud linked the attack to the terrorist organization al Shabaab.


U.K. officials urge investigation into possible phone hacking of Liz Truss

Officials across the United Kingdom are urging an investigation into claims that former Prime Minister Liz Truss had her cell phone hacked while she was serving as foreign secretary. New reports Sunday revealed that messages between Truss and foreign officials had been hacked and fallen into nefarious hands. This reportedly included vital messages exchange about the Ukrainian war, as well as numerous other topics. The hack was reportedly discovered by British intelligence this past summer, but officials suppressed it in an attempt to maintain support for the Conservative Party. It remains unclear as to how the attack occurred. 


Astros stage Game 2 bounce back to tie World Series against Phillies

The Houston Astros came out swinging on Saturday night, besting the Philadelphia Phillies in a 5-2 win that tied the World Series at one game apiece. The Astros bats heated up early and never stopped, racking up three doubles just four pitches into the game and putting up their five runs through just five innings. While sluggers like Jose Altuve got the bats going for Houston, their starting pitcher, Framber Valdez, was dominant on the mound, striking out nine Phillies and sitting 19 players total. The World Series now switches to Philadelphia for the next three games, with the venue likely providing a change of pace for both teams. 


'Saturday Night Live' cold open admonishes GOP midterm candidates

Saturday Night Live continued its tradition of political sketches with its cold open on Saturday, with the cast portraying controversial GOP candidates. This included admonishing Herschel Walker, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Kari Lake for their lack of experience and inconsistencies with the truth. This was the second time on the show that Walker has been portrayed by cast member Kenan Thompson, known for his wide variety of characters. Despite angst surrounding some of these candidates, all three candidates are featured in races that could end up turning a whole slew of areas into battleground states. 


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