10 things you need to know today: March 18, 2023
Trump says he expects to be arrested Tuesday in Manhattan, Biden hosts Irish Taoiseach at White House for St. Patrick’s Day, and more
Trump says he expects to be arrested Tuesday in Manhattan
Former President Donald Trump said in a social media post on Saturday that he expects to be arrested this week in New York. Trump wrote on his Truth Social account that leaks from the Manhattan DA's office indicate he "WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK." Senior officials with the Manhattan District Court have previously said that the former president is likely to be indicted for an alleged hush money scheme involving porn star Stormy Daniels. The Secret Service has reportedly been talking with the NYPD, the FBI, and New York state court officers, among other groups, to prepare Manhattan for any potential charges. Trump's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, indicated that the former president would turn himself in if charged.
Biden hosts Irish Taoiseach at White House for St. Patrick’s Day
President Biden celebrated St. Patrick's Day at the White House on Friday by welcoming Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. The president, who often makes note of his strong Irish heritage, met with Varadkar in the Oval Office to discuss a wide range of issues. Among these was the ongoing controversy over Northern Ireland, which Biden said he would talk about with Varadkar closely. As such, the pair discussed the Windsor Agreement, a new framework between the U.K. and Northern Ireland to ensure post-Brexit peace. "Ireland and the United States share friendship and long, long traditions," Biden said. While the president has said he would be visiting Ireland soon, the White House has not announced formal plans.
Arrest warrant issued by ICC for Putin
The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine. In the warrant, Putin, along with Russian presidential commissioner for children's rights Maria Lvova-Belova, were accused of "unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, in prejudice of Ukrainian children." Russian government officials dismissed the warrant, saying that Russia does not recognize the ICC as a legal body. However, the decision was lauded by the United States and President Biden, with his administration previously asserting that Russia had committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
Additional protests planned in France over the weekend
Following a series of violent protests in France this week over a plan to increase the country's retirement age, smaller gatherings were reportedly planned for the weekend as the backlash against the reforms continues. A notable quiet came over the city of Paris on Saturday after two straight days of protesters clashing with law enforcement, with water cannons and tear gas being used to dispel the rioters. Hundreds of people have been arrested over the past few days, but the violence seems to have calmed, at least temporarily. The protesters were previously seen burning an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has pressed forward with the reforms despite near-universal anger from the French public.
Wyoming governor signs bill to prohibit abortion bills statewide
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) on Friday night signed a bill prohibiting the prescribing of abortion pills statewide, which appears to be the first such ban in the country following the stripping back of protections from the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The new law says that it will now be "unlawful to prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell, or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion" in Wyoming, with penalties of up to $9,000 and six months imprisonment possible for those who do. However, the law does exempt people from criminal liability for using the pills, and also allows for additional exemptions if the drugs are needed to treat a miscarriage.
GOP members in South Carolina walk back support of bill allowing death penalty for abortion
At least nine GOP members in South Carolina have walked back their support of a controversial law that would theoretically allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for women who receive abortions. The legislation, which originally had 24 Republican co-sponsors, was introduced in South Carolina this past January, but has been steadily losing support as anger brews over the possibility of the death penalty. State Rep. Matt Leber (R), who was among the first to pull his support, told NBC News that in [the bill's] current form, I cannot keep my name on it," adding that he "wouldn't want to prosecute or charge women at all." The bill has not yet been considered on the state House floor.
North Korea claims 800K volunteered to fight against the U.S.
North Korean state media claimed Saturday that 800,000 of the country's citizens had volunteered to fight the United States by enlisting in the North Korean military. The country's state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmum, reported that the "soaring enthusiasm of young people to join the army is a demonstration of the unshakeable will of the younger generation to mercilessly wipe out the war maniacs making last-ditch efforts to eliminate our precious socialist country." The claim from North Korea comes as the hermit state continues to test-launch ICBMs amidst rising tensions in the region. It is unclear if there is any truth to North Korea's claim, though all men must serve in the nation's military for at least a decade.
United Nations aviation council to hear case of MH17 against Russia
The United Nations aviation council on Friday voted to hear a case against Russia for its involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in 2014. The action was initiated in 2022 by Australia and the Netherlands following continuing investigations into the cause of the crash. MH17 was struck over rebel-occupied Ukraine by an alleged Russian-made surface-to-air missile, killing all 298 people on board. While Russia has continually denied any involvement in the incident, the international community has continually blamed the country for the deaths and urged criminal prosecution. Investigators previously said that Russian President Vladimir Putin, while not directly responsible, was likely complicit in the crash.
Actor Lance Reddick dies at 60
Actor Lance Reddick, known for his roles in the HBO series The Wire and the John Wick film franchise, passed away Friday at the age of 60. Reddick's publicist confirmed that the actor had died "suddenly...from natural causes," though an exact cause of death has not been revealed. The actor's body was reportedly discovered in his Los Angeles-area home by law enforcement on Friday morning. Best known for his starring turn in The Wire, a drama about Baltimore-based homicide detectives, Reddick was currently undergoing the press tour for the upcoming film John Wick 4, in which he reprises his role from the prior three films.
Top-seeded Purdue knocked out of March Madness in stunning upset
The number-one-seeded Purdue Boilermakers were defeated by the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights on Friday night, knocking the top team out of the NCAA March Madness tournament in a stunning upset. The Knights battled hard against Purdue all game despite being significantly outmatched on paper, and were able to stun the Boilermakers with a 63-58 win. While there are always unexpected happenings and upsets in March Madness, this marked only the second time in history that a number 16-seed bested a number-one seed, following UCMB's win over Virginia in 2018. Fairleigh Dickinson will next play Florida Atlantic University for a chance to go to the Sweet 16.