10 things you need to know today: April 12, 2023
Biden marks anniversary of Good Friday accord in Northern Ireland, Manhattan D.A. sues Rep. Jim Jordan over alleged interference in Trump case, and more
Biden marks Good Friday Agreement anniversary
President Biden was greeted by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday as he landed in Belfast for a four-day visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The visit marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which ended 30 years of violent sectarian conflict. Biden said before he arrived that his trip would underscore "the U.S. commitment to preserving peace and encouraging prosperity." The White House said "tremendous progress" had been made in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, although its power-sharing government described in the accord isn't functioning due to a political impasse between British unionists and Irish nationalists. Many city streets were closed for Biden's visit as part of a massive security operation.
Prosecutor accuses Rep. Jim Jordan of intimidation over Trump case
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Tuesday sued Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), accusing him of a "brazen and unconstitutional" attempt to "intimidate" prosecutors for filing criminal charges against former President Donald Trump. Bragg last week charged Trump with 34 felonies mainly connected to his alleged role in making hush money payments to a porn star to cover up a sex scandal just before his 2016 election. Bragg and his lawyers are trying to block Jordan and other Republican lawmakers from enforcing a subpoena issued to Mark Pomerantz, a former lead lawyer in the Manhattan DA's Trump investigation. Jordan said Bragg indicted Trump "for no crime," then sued to block congressional oversight of his use of federal funds "to do it."
U.S. could impose Colorado River cuts in Southwest
The Biden administration on Tuesday proposed reducing Colorado River water delivered to California, Arizona, and Nevada by as much as one-quarter to keep the reservoirs supplied by the river from falling to critical levels. The government proposed two unprecedented options: An across-the-board cut, or reductions following a water-rights priority system. The river's flows have fallen by one-third from historical averages due to a 23-year drought worsened by climate change. Water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the river's two main reservoirs, have fall so low there soon might not be enough water to power the turbines in their dams to produce electricity. The river supplies drinking water to 40 million people in the U.S., and irrigates 5.5 million acres of farmland.
Democrats pick Chicago to host 2024 convention
The national Democratic Party announced Tuesday that it will hold the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The city beat out other finalists that included Atlanta and New York. The party said Chicago was important to holding onto Democrats' Midwestern "blue wall" states — Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota — that are considered a key to President Biden's expected bid for re-election and helped Democrats perform better than expected in the 2022 midterms. Although the party announced the decision, it was really up to Biden, who called Chicago a "great choice." "Democrats will gather to showcase our historic progress including building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, not from the top down," he said.
Police release body-cam video of Louisville bank-shooting response
The gunman who killed five people and injured eight others in a Louisville, Kentucky, bank livestreamed the murders, local police said Tuesday. "We're hopeful that we can have that footage removed," interim Louisville Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said. Former co-workers said suspect Connor Sturgeon, who was killed in a shootout with police, had completed an internship and been hired full time at Old National Bank. "I can't even wrap my head around that Connor would do this," said Kevin Luoma, 42, who worked at Old National Bank but left in May 2022. Police released body-cam footage showing officers confronting the suspect. One of the officers, trainee Nickolas Wilt, remained in critical condition after being shot in the head with an AR-15 round.
Volcano erupts in Russia's Kamchatka, covering villages with ash
The Shiveluch volcano erupted on Russia's far eastern Kamchatka peninsula on Tuesday. The volcano, one of Russia's most active, blasted a vast ash cloud across 41,700 square miles, blanketing villages in up to 3.5 inches of gray volcanic dust. The cloud prompted a warning for aircraft, as the ashes shot nearly 15 miles high. Lava flows melted snow, prompting warnings of potential mud flows. "The volcano was preparing for this for at least a year," said Danila Chebrov, director of the Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Survey. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit off Kanchatka's coast hours after the eruption started, apparently an aftershock from an April 3 temblor. The peninsula, which is home to 300,000 people, juts into the Pacific northeast of Japan.
Retired firefighter sentenced to more than 4 years over Jan. 6 role
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced retired firefighter Robert Sanford to four years and four months in prison for throwing a fire extinguisher at two police officers during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters. Sanford hit the officers on the head with the fire extinguisher as he stormed the building. He also hurled a traffic cone at a Capitol police sergeant, The Associated Press reported. Prosecutor Janani Iyengar wrote in a court filing that Sanford also shouted "obscenities and insults" at officers, calling them "traitors." Sanford, 57, of Pennsylvania, retired in 2020 after working as a firefighter for 26 years.
Myanmar military junta airstrike kills 100 people
Myanmar's military bombed a town in the country's Sagaing region on Tuesday, killing about 100 people, according to the shadow government of the ousted administration. The attack killed "scores" of civilians, "injuring many more, including children and pregnant women," the National Unity Government Ministry of Labor said, calling the bombing a "heinous act" constituting a "war crime." The Irrawaddy and other local news outlets said the warplane dropped two bombs and fired on a crowd gathered for the opening of a local government office. The military junta did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN. The junta seized power in a coup against the democratically elected government in February 2021.
Mexico to charge top immigration official over deadly fire
Mexico's federal Attorney General's Office announced Tuesday that it would file criminal charges against the nation's top immigration official over a fire that killed 40 migrants in a Ciudad Juarez detention center last month. Prosecutors said Francisco Garduño, the head of Mexico's National Immigration Institute, failed to take actions that could have prevented the disaster despite warning signs of problems at his agency's facilities. Initially, the public directed its anger over the tragedy at two guards after security video showed them fleeing the March 27 fire without unlocking a cell door as migrants pleaded for help, but President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Tuesday the guards didn't have keys.
Judge rejects Elizabeth Holmes' appeal to avoid prison
Disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes has lost her bid to avoid going to federal prison while she appeals her fraud conviction. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila issued an 11-page ruling saying Holmes' lawyers hadn't produced evidence compelling enough to justify allowing her to remain free while she appeals her conviction for misleading customers and investors about the capabilities of her now-defunct blood-testing startup's technology. Holmes, 39, now is scheduled to surrender on April 27 to start serving her 11-year prison sentence, which Davila set in November. Holmes and her lawyers had argued that prosecutors omitted key evidence that ultimately will exonerate her.