10 things you need to know today: May 25, 2023
Rock legend Tina Turner dies at 83, DeSantis launches 2024 presidential campaign with glitchy Twitter announcement, and more
Music legend Tina Turner dies at 83
Hall of Fame rock star Tina Turner died Wednesday at her Switzerland home "after a long illness," her representatives said. She was 83. "With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model," they said. Turner, who burst to fame as the star of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, won eight Grammy Awards and sold 200 million albums. She became a solo superstar at age 44 with her album "Private Dancer," and cranked out a series of hits in the '80s and '90s that included "(Simply) The Best," and "What's Love Got to Do With It." Her 1988 "Break Every Rule" tour demolished box office records in 13 countries, with 180,000 fans at a single show in Brazil.
DeSantis enters the 2024 GOP presidential race
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday filed paperwork to officially launch a campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. DeSantis, 44, has raised his national profile with a wave of combative policies, like defunding diversity programs in public universities, that pleased the GOP base. He has emerged as former President Donald Trump's strongest Republican rival, although he has lost ground in recent polls. DeSantis announced his campaign in an unprecedented livestream conversation on Twitter with the social media platform's owner, Elon Musk, but the audio-only event was marred by 20 minutes of technical problems that prompted mocking by rivals. Trump called the launch a "disaster," but DeSantis raised $1 million online in the hour after his announcement.
White House calls latest debt ceiling talks productive
President Biden and Republican negotiators held what the White House said were productive talks Wednesday on raising the debt ceiling to avert a catastrophic default. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the two sides remain divided but a deal is possible before June 1, when the Treasury Department says the federal government will run short of money to pay all its bills. "If it keeps going in good faith, we can get to an agreement here," she said. Democrats have called for raising the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling without conditions, but Republicans say any deal must include deep spending cuts. It will take several days to pass legislation to raise the borrowing limit, so negotiators have little time to spare.
Russian mercenary leader says Ukraine conflict could trigger Russia revolution
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Russia's Wagner mercenary group, said Wednesday in his latest expletive-filled rant that President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine could plunge Russia into a revolution unless the country's privileged elite commit themselves to the war effort. He warned angry people with "pitchforks" could storm the homes of Russia's pampered rich if they continue to live lavishly as others sacrifice. "We are in a situation where we can simply lose Russia," Prigozhin said in an interview with Konstantin Dolgov, a political operative and pro-war blogger. "We must introduce martial law." He added: "Russia needs to live like North Korea for a few years, so to say, close the borders ... and work hard."
Russian hypersonic-missile scientist accused of giving China secrets
A leading Russian scientist who worked on Moscow's hypersonic missile technology has been arrested on suspicion of treason is accused of handing secrets to China in 2017, Reuters reported Wednesday. Alexander Shiplyuk, head of Siberia's Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, and a colleague were arrested last summer. A third scientist from the center was detained in April. Shiplyuk, 56, maintains his innocence, and "is convinced of the fact that the information was not secret," one of Reuters' sources said. Russia has touted its hypersonic missiles as unstoppable, but Ukraine said recently it shot down several of them fired at Kyiv.
Jan. 6 rioter who put feet on Pelosi desk sentenced to 54 months
A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced Richard "Bigo" Burnett, the Jan. 6 Capitol rioter photographed putting his feet on a desk in then-House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi's office, to 54 months in prison. Barnett, a retired firefighter and bull rider from Arkansas, was convicted in January of obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building with a dangerous weapon, and six other charges for his role in the 2021 attack aiming to prevent Congress from certifying then-President Donald Trump's loss to President Biden in the 2020 election. Barnett, 63, was among 350 people convicted over the riot, but his antics in Pelosi's office made him one of the best-known members of the mob.
Texas House passes bill allowing chaplains in schools
The Texas House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that will let unlicensed religious chaplains work in public schools, including to replace professional counselors. The state Senate had already approved the legislation, so it goes next to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for his signature. The legislation was pushed by lawmakers who called the separation of church and state a "false doctrine," and had pushed several controversial bills regarding religion. A bill passed by the Senate sought to require a version of the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all public school classrooms in the state, but the House didn't vote before a midnight Tuesday deadline, so that proposal died.
Microsoft says Chinese malware targeting U.S. infrastructure in Guam
Microsoft warned Wednesday that its security researchers have uncovered a Chinese-sponsored hacking campaign, code-named "Volt Typhoon," using malware to target critical infrastructure in Guam, which has a naval port that would be key in any U.S. response to an invasion of Taiwan, and other U.S. targets. The operation, which started two years ago, "could disrupt critical communications infrastructure between the United States and Asia region during future crises." Microsoft said the hacking hasn't been destructive — Chinese intelligence and military hackers usually focus on gathering information. But The New York Times said China could use the hackers' computer code, "which is designed to pierce firewalls, to enable destructive attacks, if they choose." China denied the hacking allegation on Thursday, calling it disinformation by Western agencies that "have no proof."
Biden renews call for gun laws a year after Uvalde shooting
President Biden on Wednesday urged Americans to remember the 21 people killed in a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school a year ago, and marked the anniversary with a renewed call for Congress to pass tougher gun laws, including a ban on assault-style semi-automatic rifles often used in mass shootings. "God bless those 21 blessed souls lost on this day in Uvalde and may God bless their families," Biden said. The president expressed frustration that lawmakers haven't taken action in response to mass shootings. "We can't end this epidemic until Congress passes some commonsense gun safety laws and keep weapons of war off our streets and out of the hands of dangerous people," Biden said.
Super Typhoon Mawar knocks out power on Guam
Super Typhoon Mawar slammed into the northern part of Guam on Wednesday with top winds of 140 miles per hour, knocking out power to most of the island. Authorities warned residents to stay inside due to ongoing danger from high winds and flooding. Mawar is the most powerful storm in decades to hit Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean with about 170,000 residents. "This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation," the weather service said. Forecasters initially thought the storm would devastate the island, which is 30 miles long and up to 12 miles wide, with a direct hit, but it shifted north as it approached land, so only the northern edge got the full force.