Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 16, 2022

Trump endorses J.D. Vance in Ohio Senate primary, Ukraine uses facial recognition software to send photos of dead Russian soldiers to their families, and more

1

Trump endorses 'Hillbilly Elegy' author J.D. Vance in Ohio Senate primary

Former President Donald Trump announced Friday he was endorsing Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance in Ohio's competitive Republican Senate primary. Trump said in a statement that, despite Vance's previous criticism of Trump, Vance "gets it now." A Trafalgar Group poll conducted before the endorsement was announced had Vance trailing former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel — who is also aggressively courting Trump's base — by five points. "I continue to be a proud supporter of President Trump and the America First agenda. I look forward to earning his endorsement in the general election and working with him to defeat Tim Ryan in November," Mandel wrote on Twitter.

2

Ukraine uses facial recognition to send photos of dead Russian soldiers to their families

Ukraine's IT Army, a government-directed force of volunteer hackers, is using facial recognition software to identify dead Russian soldiers and send photos of the corpses to their families. In a Telegram video reminiscent of those produced by the hacker group Anonymous, IT Army accused the Russian military of "leaving their dead comrades on the battlefield to rot." The distorted voice narrating the video goes on to claim that Russia's "first Chechen war was stopped by Russian mothers" and implored Russian to "Stop killing your children now." The software — and training on how to use it — has been provided to Ukraine free of charge by Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That.

3

Biden administration to resume selling leases for drilling on federal land

The Biden administration announced Friday it would resume selling leases for oil and gas drilling on federal land, albeit at a higher cost to energy companies and with less available land. Royalties will increase from 12.5 percent to 18.75 percent of the value of any oil or gas extracted, while the acreage available for drilling leases has been reduced by around 80 percent from the amount previously under evaluation. President Biden announced a moratorium on new drilling leases on federal land the day he took office, but a federal judge halted the moratorium in June after 13 states sued.

4

Dozens of Palestinians wounded in clash with Israeli police at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli security forces entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem early Friday as thousands of Palestinians were gathered for prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. Medics with the Red Crescent say at least 117 Palestinians were wounded in the ensuing melee, some by rubber-coated bullets or stun grenades and others beaten with batons. Israel said three officers were wounded from "massive stone-throwing." Israel's Foreign Ministry said officers were responding to dozens of masked men who had marched to the compound early Friday and started gathering stones in anticipation of violence, and "police were forced to enter the grounds to disperse the crowd and remove the stones and rocks, in order to prevent further violence."

5

Biden administration grants temporary protection to immigrants who fled war-torn Cameroon

The Biden administration on Friday announced it would be offering up Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, to Cameroonian immigrants in the United States. The designation will allow immigrants to work and live legally in the U.S. for 18 months without fear of deportation. It does not, however, make them eligible for permanent residency or citizenship. In making its decision, the Department of Homeland Security cited the "years-old conflict between the Cameroonian government and armed separatist groups in the country's Anglophone regions in the west," as well as a surge in attacks by Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. About 40,000 Cameroonian immigrants are expected to qualify for TPS.

6

Zelensky: Possible Russian nuclear weapon use should be a concern for 'all of the world'

The world should be prepared for Russia to use nuclear weapons in its war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday. In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Zelensky said, in CNN's summary, Russian President Vladimir Putin "could turn to either nuclear or chemical weapons because he does not value the lives of the people of Ukraine," adding that the threat of Russia using such weapons is "a question not only for Ukraine but for all the world, I think." The U.S. and other Western countries are already investigating claims that Russian forces may have used chemical weapons in Mariupol. President Biden has warned of a NATO military response if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine.

7

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott stops secondary inspections at border after bipartisan backlash

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Friday he had ended his policy of having state troopers conduct secondary inspections of trucks crossing from Mexico into Texas. The policy, enacted on April 6, snarled truck traffic at the border and led to a protest by Mexican truckers on Monday that halted trade at some major border crossings. It also subjected Abbott to sometimes blistering criticism from businesses on both sides of the border, Mexican state and federal governments, the White House, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Democratic gubernatorial rival Beto O'Rourke, and Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller (R), among many others.

8

Twitter board turns to 'poison pill' to stop Elon Musk takeover

Twitter announced Friday that its board had voted unanimously to adopt a limited duration shareholder rights plan, also known as a "poison pill," to stop billionaire Elon Musk from taking over the company. Earlier this month, Musk bought more than 9 percent of the company, but declined to take a board seat. Instead, he offered Thursday to buy the rest of the company for $43 billion. Under the poison pill plan, which will last for one year, shareholders will be allowed to buy additional shares at a discount if any person or group acquires more than 15 percent of Twitter's stock without board approval.

9

$518,000 sale of Tom Brady's 'last touchdown' football voided after un-retirement

Sports memorabilia website Lelands confirmed on Friday that the sale of what would have been the ball with which quarterback Tom Brady threw his final touchdown pass has been voided. The ball was sold at auction in March for $518,000 after Brady announced he would retire at the end of his 22nd NFL season. But just one day after the sale was made, Brady said he wouldn't retire after all — raising the question of what would happen with that sale considering the ball no longer carries the same significance. Now that the sale has been voided, Lelands plans to sell the ball privately. One expert estimates its value at around $50,000.

10

Liz Sheridan, Jerry’s mom on 'Seinfeld,' dead at 93

Actress Liz Sheridan, who played Jerry Seinfeld's mother on Seinfeld, died early Friday at the age of 93. "Liz was always the sweetest, nicest TV mom a son could wish for. Every time she came on our show it was the coziest feeling for me. So lucky to have known her," her TV son wrote on Twitter. Aside from Seinfeld, Sheridan was known for her work on Broadway and her romantic relationship with actor James Dean in the early 1950s. Sheridan is the second prominent Seinfeld alum to pass away this month. Less than two weeks ago, Estelle Harris, who played George Costanza's mother, died at 93.

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