10 things you need to know today: May 9, 2023
Putin says the West is fighting a "real war" against Russia in Ukraine, the Texas mall gunman shared extremist views online, and more
Putin blames the West for Ukraine conflict in Victory Day speech
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday promised victory in what he calls Russia's special military operation in Ukraine during low-key Victory Day celebrations marking the Soviet defeat of Nazi forces in World War II. Putin blamed the West for the Ukraine conflict, which Russia falsely links to the fight against Nazis, saying foreign enemies were using it as a proxy war against Russia. "A real war has once again been waged against our homeland. Today, civilization is at a critical juncture," Putin said. Russia scaled down this year's parade, which included World War II-era tanks but less heavy military equipment as usual. Hours before the parade, Russia rained missiles on parts of Ukraine.
Texas mall gunman shared extremist views online
A social media page attributed to Mauricio Garcia, the suspected gunman in the mass shooting that killed eight people at a Dallas-area outlet mall, included posts expressing bigoted attitudes toward Jews, women, and racial minorities, and showed he had Nazi tattoos. Post on the page mentioned his apparent mental health struggles. Garcia, 33, maintained a profile on Russia's OK.RU social networking platform, where he appeared to have referenced extremist online forums. The rants, posted since September, included content from white nationalists. Ahead of the attack, the user posted dozens of photos of the Allen Premium Outlets mall, where the shooting occurred. Garcia was killed by a police officer responding to the attack. The Army reportedly booted Garcia due to mental health issues.
Trump rape and defamation case goes to jury
Lawyers made their closing arguments Monday in writer E. Jean Carroll's rape and defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump. The case goes to the jury on Tuesday following a two-week trial in which Carroll repeated her allegation that Trump raped her in a dressing room at the upscale Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in the mid-1990s, then defamed her in recent years by calling her a liar when she told the story in a book. Trump wants people to ignore the evidence and believe "there is a vast conspiracy against him," Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for Carroll, said. Trump's lawyers called no witnesses. Joseph Tacopina, attorney for Trump, said Carroll's claims were "odd, inconceivable, unbelievable."
Russia continues biggest recent wave of Ukraine drone, missile strikes
Russia on Monday launched its biggest recent wave of drone and missile strikes against the capital city of Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine. The assault continued with a barrage of about 25 missiles overnight into Tuesday, although Ukraine's air force said it shot down 23 of them. Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said Russian forces had launched nearly 60 drones against Ukrainian targets. He said all 36 drones that targeted Kyiv had been shot down, although five people were injured by falling debris from one kamikaze drone. One person was killed in the southern Odesa region. A Red Cross warehouse also was hit in the fourth air attack in eight days.
Driver charged with manslaughter after hitting crowd near Texas migrant shelter
Texas police said Monday that a man accused of driving into a crowd at a bus stop near a Brownsville migrant and homeless shelter had been charged with eight counts of manslaughter and aggravated assault. Eight people were killed when 34-year-old George Alvarez ran a red light and lost control of his SUV, hitting 18 people as the vehicle flipped onto its side, Brownsville Police Chief Felix Sauceda said. Alvarez allegedly tried to flee but several bystanders restrained him, Sauceda said. Investigators are checking for traces of alcohol or drugs to determine whether he was impaired. Police haven't ruled out the possibility this was an intentional attack. A judge ordered Alvarez, who has an extensive criminal history, held on $3.6 million bail.
Thousands march in Belgrade in angry protests after mass shootings
Thousands of people participated in a silent march in Belgrade on Monday to express grief and anger over two mass shootings that killed 17 people last week. Opposition parties called the protests to demand the resignations of Serbian government ministers, and the stripping of licenses from state-controlled media that allegedly promote violence. Some of the protesters demanded that the country's increasingly autocratic president, Aleksandar Vucic, step down. Vucic called the protest "shameful," saying the opposition was exploiting public grief for political gain. "It's pure politics," said Vucic, calling the organizers of the events "vultures." Vucic has announced a crackdown on illegal weapons in response to the mass shootings. Education Minister Branko Ruzic resigned Sunday.
U.S., Texas surge personnel to border
The U.S. and Texas governments are sending extra personnel to the southern border ahead of the end of the pandemic-era Title 42 policy. The Trump administration imposed the policy to allow border officials to turn away asylum seekers to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and its expiration on May 11 is expected to result in a surge of people trying to cross the border from Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security is sending hundreds of specialized investigative agents and air marshals to help manage the border, Reuters reported. Texas is a specially trained National Guard unit to prevent migrants from entering the United States through border "hot spots."
Israel strikes kill 3 Islamic Jihad leaders and 10 others
Israel on Tuesday launched strikes that killed three Islamic Jihad leaders in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said a total of 13 people were killed, including four women and four children. The Israel Defense Forces said the strikes targeted the militant group senior operatives, Khalil Bahitini, Tareq Izzeldeen, and Jehad Ghanam. It blamed them for recent attacks, including rocket fire into Israel from Palestinian territory. Armed Palestinian groups warned they would retaliate. Ismail Haniyeh, a senior leader of Hamas — the Islamist militant group that runs Gaza — said Israel would "pay the price," The Washington Post reported.
Canada wildfires disrupt energy production
Wildfires burning out of control in Canada's main oil-producing province, Alberta, are disrupting about two percent of the country's oil production, the equivalent of 185,000 barrels per day, Reuters reported Monday. The province declared a state of emergency over the weekend. The fires also contributed to a drop in Canada's natural gas exports to their lowest level since April 2021, according to data from Refinitiv. Firefighters are battling more than 100 active wildfires across the region, 31 of them burning "out of control." More than 29,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes due to what officials said was an "unprecedented situation."
Tourist boat capsizes in India, killing at least 22
A double-decker tourist boat capsized in southern India, killing at least 22 people, including children who were on vacation from school, local officials said Monday. Police said rescue teams are pulling the boat ashore and expect to recover more bodies inside. The vessel was carrying more than 30 people when it capsized Sunday night in muddy water near a beach. Most of those on board were tourists visiting Tanur, a coastal town in Kerala state. Accidents on overcrowded boats occur frequently in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "pained by the loss of lives" and said the government would provide compensation to the victims' families.