10 things you need to know today: April 10, 2022
Trump endorses Dr. Oz for Senate, Macron and Le Pen expected to advance to second round of French presidential election, and more
Trump endorses Dr. Oz for Senate
Former President Donald Trump announced his endorsement of author, TV star, retired surgeon, and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz on Saturday. "This is all about winning elections in order to stop the Radical Left maniacs from destroying our Country," Trump said, describing Oz as "brilliant and well-known" as well as "popular, respected, and smart." Recent polling has Oz in a close primary race with hedge fund CEO David McCormick, who was also vying for Trump's endorsement. If elected, Oz would be the country's first Muslim senator.
Macron and Le Pen jockey for first place as French voters head to polls
Centrist French President Emmanuel Macron and right-wing challenger Marine Le Pen are vying for the top spot in the first round of France's presidential election Sunday. Just one month ago, Macron held a commanding lead over Le Pen, who he soundly defeated in 2017, but voters' concerns about rising costs of living have wiped it out entirely. The two are polling dead even for both rounds of voting and are all but certain to face each other two weeks from now in the runoff election. Polls opened at 8:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. in most places and at 8:00 p.m. in some of France's larger cities.
Russia's invasion threatens 'the whole European project,' Zelensky says
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address late Saturday that Russia's invasion of Ukraine threatens "the whole European project" and is "a catastrophe that will inevitably hit everyone." He also warned his people to brace for a major Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine while also pledging to continue looking for "diplomatic ways to put an end to this war." It seems, however, that Zelensky is committed to negotiating from a position of strength. Mykhailo Podolyak, one of the Ukrainians engaged in negotiations with Russia, said Zelensky does not plan to meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin until Ukrainian forces have defeated Russia's new campaign in the east.
Pakistan ousts prime minister with no-confidence vote
Pakistan's parliament ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan with a vote of no confidence on Sunday, potentially bringing a peaceful and orderly end to a political standoff many feared would result in Khan's arrest or a military coup. The vote was originally scheduled to take place a week earlier, but Khan's allies in parliament blocked the vote in a move Pakistan's Supreme Court later ruled unconstitutional. Ahead of the vote, Khan repeatedly accused the United States of plotting to overthrow him and said he would not step down if he lost the vote. On Monday, Pakistan's parliament is expected to elect Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to replace Khan.
Satellite images show 8-mile-long Russian military convoy in eastern Ukraine
Satellite images released Saturday by Maxar Technologies show an eight-mile-long Russian military convoy moving through a town near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Friday. The convoy, which reportedly includes "armored vehicles, trucks with towed artillery, and support equipment," could signal that a major Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine is about to begin. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that his country's military will face a "hard battle" as Russian forces withdrawing from around Kyiv are redeployed to eastern Ukraine. "Yes, [Russian] forces are gathering in the east [of Ukraine]," Zelensky said. "This will be a hard battle. We believe in this fight and our victory."
Pope Francis calls for Easter truce in Ukraine
During Palm Sunday Mass on Sunday, Pope Francis called for an Easter truce between Russia and Ukraine. "Let the weapons be put down! Let the Easter truce begin," the pontiff said. He added that the purpose of this truce should not be "to reload weapons and resume fighting" but "to reach peace through real negotiations." For Western Christians, Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week, a commemoration of the final week in the earthly life of Jesus Christ, culminating in his resurrection on Easter Sunday, which falls on April 17 this year. Eastern Christians, who make up the majority of the Russian and Ukrainian populations, use a different calendar. Their Easter falls on April 24.
Ukraine and Russia exchange prisoners for 3rd time since war began
Russia and Ukraine swapped prisoners on Saturday in the third such exchange since the war began on Feb. 24. "On the order of President [Volodymyr] Zelensky, the third prisoner exchange took place today. 12 of our servicemen are returning home, including one female officer," Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram. Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova confirmed the exchange on Sunday, claiming that among the Russian nationals who returned home on Saturday were 14 sailors who had been held at the port of Mariupol, several soldiers, and four employees of Russia's Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation.
More than a dozen states are considering versions of Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill
Florida's parental rights in education law — referred to by critics as the "Don't Say Gay" bill — that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed last month is already inspiring imitators in red states across the country, accoridng to a report published Sunday. The law bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Bills with similar language have been proposed in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, South Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Ohio. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said a Florida-style education bill will be a top priority in the next legislative session.
Boris Johnson meets with Zelensky during secret trip to Ukraine
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson met in person with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Saturday. A spokesperson for Johnson said that the meeting was intended as a "show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people" and that the two leaders discussed the U.K.'s "long-term support to Ukraine" as well as "a new package of financial and military aid." The U.K. pledged additional military aid to Ukraine after a Russian missile attack on a train station in eastern Ukraine killed at least 52 civilians on Friday.
Ketanji Brown Jackson gets advice from Harriet Tubman in new SNL cold open
Saturday Night Live celebrated the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in its latest cold open. Jackson (Ego Nwodim) stood alone in the Oval Office, imagining conversations with Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Kate McKinnon) and Thurgood Marshall (Kenan Thompson), baseball star Jackie Robinson (Chris Redd), and anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman (Punkie Johnson). 'Tubman' was alarmed when 'Jackson' explained that she would be a Supreme Court justice for the rest of her life. "Don't like that. Sounds like a trap," said 'Tubman,' adding that 'Jackson' should "light two candles and meet me in the farmhouse at midnight" if she wants out.