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10 things you need to know today: April 16, 2023

Dozens of deaths in Sudan as army battles paramilitary group, Japanese PM vows to increase G7 security after bomb threat, and more


Dozens of deaths in Sudan as army battles paramilitary group

Fighting intensified in Sudan over the weekend as the country's army continued to battle a paramilitary group attempting to overthrow the government. The fighting reportedly reached a fever point after months of tensions between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia group, which culminated in the RSF claiming it had captured several key sites in a coup d'etat, including the country's presidential palace and multiple airports. At least 56 people have been killed and more than 600 injured, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, with the battle continuing to intensify in the capital city of Khartoum. The RSF now says it controls "more than 90 percent of strategic sites in Khartoum."


Japanese PM vows to increase G7 security after bomb threat

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed to increase security at his country's upcoming G7 summit on Sunday, one day after a suspect threw a smoke bomb towards him as he was waiting to give a campaign speech. While Kishida escaped unharmed, the incident raised new questions about Japan's security for VIPs, and the prime minister said the country would "maximize its efforts" on protecting world leaders at the G7. "At a time when high-ranking officials from all over the world are visiting...Japan as a whole needs to maximize its efforts to ensure security and safety," Kishida told reporters. "It's unforgivable such a violent act was committed during an election campaign."


G7 leaders pledge heightened efforts towards renewable energy

Foreign ministers from the world's seven wealthiest nations made a pact Sunday to hasten the timeline for a shift to renewable energies and greener emissions. Officials presented a 36-page plan to help reduce carbon emissions, as well as a framework "accelerating the clean energy transition to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 at the latest." The G7 leaders added that it was crucial to create a "predominantly decarbonized power sector" by the mid-2030s in order to achieve this goal. The group added that it would "work with other countries to end new unabated coal-fired power generation projects globally as soon as possible." However, the framework notably did not give a timeframe for when these coal-fired plants would be phased out. 


At least 100 Ukrainian POWs freed as part of Easter exchange

More than 100 Ukrainian prisoners of war were released by Russia, officials said Sunday, as part of a prisoner swap marking the Orthodox Easter holiday. Ukrainian presidential advisor Andriy Yermak wrote on the social media site Telegram that 130 "soldiers, sailors, border guards, and others captured by Moscow" were returning home following a "big Easter prisoner exchange." While the celebrations of the holiday were toned down in Ukraine due to the ongoing war, numerous messages of families being reunited were circulated across the internet. Among those who have been released, Yermak added, were prisoners who were captured fighting in Bakhmut, the city that has become the epicenter of Russia's invasion push in recent months. 


Fox News formally apologizes to judge in Dominion case

Fox News has apologized to the judge overseeing the network's $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion after lawyers for the network entered a late-stage admission about Rupert Murdoch's role at the company. In a letter to Judge Eric Davis, Fox attorney Blake Rohrbacher said the situation was a "misunderstanding" and that they "understand the Court's concerns, apologize, and are committed to clear and full communication with the Court moving forward." Davis sanctioned Fox last week after he determined the network had made "misrepresentations" to the court and had allegedly withheld evidence. "What do I do with attorneys that aren't straightforward with me?" Davis had asked, adding that he would likely appoint a special master to investigate the matter. 


Indictment boosts Trump campaign fundraising, report finds

Figures obtained this weekend from former President Donald Trump's team show that his 2024 campaign received a massive boost in fundraising following his criminal indictment. Trump reportedly raised $18.8 million in the first quarter of 2023, largely through campaign events and his fundraising committee. However, data also shows that the former president raised almost that same amount — $15.4 million — in just two weeks after charges were filed against him relating to an alleged hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. According to the figures, nearly a quarter of those who contributed to Trump's campaign had never given before, underscoring just how much the indictment may have rallied his MAGA base. 


Gunmen storm Mexican resort, killing 7

A group of armed gunmen stormed a resort in Mexico on Saturday and killed seven people, including a seven-year-old child, three men, and three women, authorities said. The attack occurred at the La Palma resort in Cortazar, about 40 miles south of the city of Guanajuato. Video posted to social media showed the devastating aftermath of the attack, in which people can be seen walking toward piles of dead bodies located near one of the resort's swimming pools. According to eyewitnesses, the gunmen arrived and started directly targeting a group of people, then removed the security cameras before leaving the scene. While cartel violence has been increasing steadily in Mexico, a motive for the attack remains unknown. 


SpaceX planning test flight of Starship rocket

Elon Musk's spaceflight company SpaceX is planning a test launch Monday of its Starship rocket, a vessel that could potentially ferry humans to both the moon and Mars. While the test flight will be uncrewed, it will mark the first launch of a "fully integrated" Starship craft riding on the company's "Super Heavy" rocket, SpaceX said. While the launch is not set in stone, the 150-minute test window begins at 7 a.m. CT, though that schedule is "dynamic and likely to change," officials said. The trip is slated to take place from a remote launch site in southern Texas. Musk himself previously tweeted, "Success maybe, excitement guaranteed!" in regards to the test. 


South Dakota governor says 2-year-old granddaughter owns several guns

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) told an audience this past Friday that her granddaughter "already" owns several guns, despite the fact that she is only two years old. Speaking at a National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbying conference in Indiana, Noem, a popular leader in the conservative movement, said her granddaughter Addie "already has a shotgun and she already has a rifle, and she's got a little pony named Sparkles too. So the girl is set up." It is unclear if Noem was joking or not, but she is a strong and notable supporter of gun rights. Noem was later joined on stage by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, who falsely claimed the Biden administration "want to take our guns." 


Resort from Elvis’ ‘Blue Hawaii’ film to be rebuilt

The Hawaii resort made famous by Elvis Presley in his 1961 film Blue Hawaii is finally scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt, three decades after it was irreversibly damaged by a hurricane. The Coco Palms Resort, located on the island of Kauai, is slated to be torn down and replaced by a new 350-room hotel. Beyond being the primary location of Blue Hawaii, the resort also made a name for itself as a popular hangout for icons like Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, and Bing Crosby. However, the 46-acre property fell into neglect after Hurricane Iniki struck the island in 1992, and plans to repurpose the area have been in the works ever since. 


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