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10 things you need to know today: April 2, 2023

Recovery efforts continue across Midwest and South following tornadoes, news outlets ask for unsealing of Trump indictment and cameras in court, and more


Recovery efforts continue across Midwest and South following tornadoes

Recovery crews and search-and-rescue teams continued combing through Southern and Midwestern states on Sunday following a series of devastating tornadoes that left at least 25 people dead. The storms destroyed homes, knocked out power to thousands, and left many people trapped in rubble and debris. Alabama, Delaware, and Mississippi, each confirmed one death, with many more coming in Indiana, Illinois, and Arkansas, the latter of which was perhaps the hardest hit. The governors of Indiana, Kentucky, and Arkansas have already declared states of emergency as the recovery process gets underway. Federal assistance is expected to be provided to a majority of the states that were affected. 


News outlets ask for unsealing of Trump indictment and cameras in court

A group of news organizations, including The New York Times, The Associated Press, NBC News, and others, sent a request Saturday to Judge Juan Merchan to unseal the indictment against former President Donald Trump and allow cameras in the courtroom for his upcoming arraignment. A law firm representing the coalition of media groups wrote that the indictment should be disclosed "because of the overwhelming public interest in the contents of the indictment, and because no valid purpose is served by keeping the indictment under seal pending arraignment." The coalition added, "Consequently, the need for the broadest possible public access, cannot be overstated." Merchan has not responded to the request ahead of Tuesday's arraignment.


Brittney Griner urges Biden administration to bring home jailed journalist in Russia

WNBA star Britteny Griner has voiced her support for Russia-jailed journalist Evan Gershkovich, and implored the Biden administration to do everything possible to bring him home from Russia. Griner, who herself was released from Russian incarceration during a prisoner swap last year, wrote on Instagram Saturday in a message with her wife that "our hearts are filled with great concern for Evan Gershkovich and his family," adding that supporters should "encourage the administration to continue to use every tool possible to bring Evan and all the wrongfully detained Americans home." Gershkovich, a reporter with The Wall Street Journal, was arrested last week on accusations of spying in Russia, an allegation he has vehemently denied. 


UBS may cut up to a third of jobs following Credit Suisse purchase, report says

Swiss bank UBS may end up cutting up to a third of its jobs following the acquisition of rival Credit Suisse, it was reported Sunday. Citing unnamed sources within the company, Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger said that the bank was poised to cut anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of its 120,000 employees worldwide, with up to 11,000 jobs potentially being lost in Switzerland alone. The potential for job cuts was cited as one of the top concerns of the new merger, which was designed to help stabilize the global banking system and relieve pressure on Credit Suisse. However, it also raised questions about the operating costs of a bank that size, with over $1.6 trillion in assets. 


Forest fire in Seoul forces 120 South Koreans to evacuate homes

A forest fire broke out Sunday afternoon on Inwangsan Mountain in Seoul, South Korea. The inferno covered about 20 percent of the mountain's total area and forced the evacuation of about 120 homes in the immediate vicinity, South Korean officials said. No deaths were reported as firefighters worked into the evening to continue fighting the blaze, with at least 500 people and nine helicopters being deployed to put out the flames. About 80 percent of the fire had been extinguished within three hours, local officials said, but firefighters were still working to contain the fire near the most densely populated areas of the mountain. People who were evacuated are not yet being allowed to return home.


Thousands protest in Portugal over rising housing prices

Thousands of people took to the streets in Portugal on Saturday to protest the country's rising housing prices and skyrocketing rents, in the middle of an inflation-heavy economy that is already pushing up the cost of living. People were seen flooding the roads of the capital, Lisbon, and other cities across the country to make their voices heard. Rita Silva, from the Habita housing group, told CNN, "There is a huge housing crisis today," and called the situation a "social emergency." While Portugal, like the rest of western Europe, is highly developed, it remains one of the continent's poorer countries. Government data showed that at least half of workers earned less than 1,000 euros ($1,084) per month in 2022. 


Finland goes to the polls as prime minister seeks re-election

Finland headed to the polls on Sunday in a parliamentary election that could have wide-ranging effects on the Nordic countries and Europe as a whole. Prime Minister Sanna Marin will look to keep her liberal Social Democrats party in power, but she faces a tough challenge. While Marin, a 37-year-old who is one of the world's youngest leaders, remains widely popular with a 64 percent approval rating, the Social Democrats are neck-and-neck with its two main competitors — the conservative National Coalition party and the far-right nationalist Finns party. A potential victory from the Finns party could go a long way towards marking the latest shift towards the hard-right takeover that has been seen in other European countries in recent years. 


Pope Francis leads Palm Sunday mass following hospital discharge

Pope Francis held this year's Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter's Square, just one day after leaving the hospital for bronchitis treatment. The ailing pontiff, 86, was hospitalized last week with a respiratory infection, but appeared to leave the hospital in good spirits on Saturday, joking that he was "still alive." During the Palm Sunday proceedings, Francis sat for the majority of the Mass, but reportedly sounded strong as he began delivering his sermon. His voice wavered as time went on, but he finished the 15-minute speech despite clear hoarseness. He continued to ask for prayers for the sick, as he had done during his time in the hospital. 


San Diego State to face UConn in March Madness championship

The end of the March Madness tournament is finally around the corner. The San Diego State Aztecs and UConn Huskies are set to face off in the NCAA's national basketball championship on Monday, after the contenders took unlikely paths to the top in a tournament filled with surprise upsets and routs of high-ranking teams. San Diego State beat Florida Atlantic University on a last-second buzzer-beater to win the game 72-71, while UConn dispatched the University of Miami in a dominant 72-59 rout. UConn is one seed higher than San Diego State, but as has been seen in March Madness, anything can happen when the ball tips off.


'Saturday Night Live' parodies Trump's indictment

There was no doubt heading into the new episode of Saturday Night Live what the cold open would be, and the show didn't disappoint. James Austin Johnson returned to parody former President Donald Trump following his recent indictment. Johnson, as Trump, lamented the charges against him, and eventually broke out into a series of songs to try and raise money for his legal defense fund. Several recurring characters in Trump's life, such as his son Donald Trump Jr., made appearances throughout the sketch. "Well folks, it happened. I got indicted, or as I spell it: indicated," Johnson quipped. 


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