10 things you need to know today: April 24, 2023
Aid workers remain trapped in Sudan after diplomats evacuated, Delaware becomes 22nd state to legalize recreational marijuana, and more
Aid workers stuck in Sudan after diplomats evacuated
Aid workers and other Americans remained trapped in Sudan on Sunday after U.S. SEAL Team 6 and other special forces evacuated diplomats from the U.S. Embassy by helicopter. Fighting between two rival Sudanese factions — army soldiers led by the country's de facto leader and paramilitaries under his former deputy — continued for a second week. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) said most of the thousands of Americans remaining in the resource-rich, northeast African nation are aid workers or Sudanese Americans. Warner urged them to shelter in place until the U.S. and its international partners find a "safe way to get them out."
Delaware becomes 22nd state to legalize recreational marijuana
Delaware on Sunday became the 22nd state to legalize marijuana after Gov. John Carney (D) let a bill clearing the path for recreational use of the drug become law without his signature. Carney announced Friday he would not veto two bills legalizing pot use for people age 21 or older, although he said he still opposed the change because he thought it was "not a step forward." He said he decided not to veto the bills because "we've spent far too much time focused on this issue, when Delawareans face more serious and pressing concerns every day. It's time to move on." The state hasn't established legal dispensaries yet, but one of the bills creates regulations and licensing rules for growing and selling marijuana.
China ambassador sparks condemnation by questioning Ukraine's sovereignty
Officials in Ukraine, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and France on Sunday condemned China's ambassador in France for questioning the sovereignty of former Soviet countries. "These ex-USSR countries don't have actual status in international law because there is no international agreement to materialize their sovereign status," the ambassador, Lu Shaye, said Friday in an interview aired on French television. Lu was asked whether Crimea, which Russia has occupied and illegally annexed, was part of Ukraine. "Even these ex-Soviet Union countries do not have effective status, as we say, under international law because there's no international accord to concretize their status as a sovereign country," Lu said.
Kenyan police exhume dozens of bodies from cult leader's property
Kenyan police have exhumed about 37 bodies on land owned by a pastor, Paul Mackenzie Ntheng, who has been accused of telling followers in his Christian cult to starve themselves to death so they could go to heaven. Four others were found starving at the Good News International Church, and later died. Authorities have sealed off the 800-acre, forested property near the coastal town of Malindi to continue the search. Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki said the case would lead to "tighter regulation (including self-regulation) of every church, mosque, temple or synagogue going forward." Earlier this month, police rescued 15 members of the church who said they had been told to starve themselves to death.
Ex-President Alejandro Toledo arrested after returning to Peru
Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo returned to Peru from the United States on Sunday and was placed in pre-trial detention for 18 months on corruption charges, making him the South American nation's third head of state to be imprisoned. Toledo, 77, is being held in the same prison outside the capital, Lima, as fellow former presidents Alberto Fujimori and Pedro Castillo. Toledo's lawyer said he would seek permission for Toledo, who served as president from 2001 to 2006, to be transferred to house arrest due to his health. Authorities accuse Toledo of accepting $35 million in bribes from Brazil's Odebrecht construction company to secure the contract to build the Interoceanica Sur highway.
NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell steps down over 'inappropriate relationship'
NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell is leaving his position after an investigation found he had an "inappropriate" workplace relationship, the company's owner, Comcast, announced Sunday. In a statement, Shell apologized for having an "inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company" and said he is "truly sorry I let my Comcast and NBCUniversal colleagues down, they are the most talented people in the business and the opportunity to work with them the last 19 years has been a privilege." Shell became CEO in January 2020, after serving as chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment. Comcast, which has not named a successor to Shell, said the investigation into his behavior was launched after someone filed a complaint.
Twitter starts restoring checks of prominent users
Twitter has started restoring the blue checks verifying accounts of prominent users with more than one million followers. The social media platform last week started stripping Twitter Blue status, designed to indicate the users were who they said they were, from people who didn't pay a new subscription fee. Twitter provided the blue check for free before Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought the company last year. Twitter also verified the accounts. Musk introduced the fee of $8 per month for individuals. Broadcaster James O'Brien, who has 1.1 million followers, said his blue check had been restored but he hadn't paid. He said some users with fewer than one million followers got their status back, "anointed entirely at Elon Musk's discretion."
Spain to exhume fascist leader's body
Spain on Monday will exhume the body of José Antonio Primo de Rivera, a fascist leader who inspired the Franco dictatorship, as part of a government push to remove symbols of fascism. Primo de Rivera's remains will be removed from a giant mausoleum built outside Madrid by the former fascist regime, and moved to Madrid's San Isidro cemetery to be buried near members of his family. Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange movement, was the son of dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera, who governed Spain from 1923-1930. He was executed by a Republican firing squad in 1936 after playing a key role in Gen. Francisco Franco's uprising that started the 1936-1939 civil war, which left 500,000 people dead. Franco's remains were removed in 2019.
9 teens injured in shooting at Texas after-prom party
At least nine teenagers were injured, none critically, in a shooting during an after-prom party near Jasper, Texas, local police said Sunday. The incident took place at a home just outside the east Texas town near the Louisiana state line. The victims, ages 15 through 19, were sent to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. "We are working leads and questioning people of interest," a spokesperson for the Jasper County Sheriff's Office said. The incident, the latest in a string of mass shootings, came days after a deadly shooting during an Alabama teen's Sweet 16 party.
Florida prosecutor orders investigation of shooting of Instacart driver's car
A Florida prosecutor has ordered an investigation into a shooting that occurred when two Instacart workers mistakenly went to the wrong house to make a late-night grocery delivery, the latest in a series of shootings involving people who mistakenly went to the wrong house or got into the wrong car. Waldes Thomas Jr., 19, and Diamond D'arville, 20, were on the phone with the customer trying to figure out how to get to the house on April 15 when they drove onto the property of Antonio Caccavale, 43, in Southwest Ranches, a town about 30 miles northwest of Miami. Caccavale and his son went to tell the driver to leave, and allegedly fired two bullets into the vehicle when it started driving erratically and they feared for their life.