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

Shooting at Russian military range leaves 11 dead, 15 wounded, White House blasts Palestinian government’s comments on United States, and more

President Biden giving a speech in Hagerstown, Maryland.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

1. Shooting at Russian military range leaves 11 dead, 15 wounded

A barrage of gunfire from a pair of men at a Russian military range near Ukraine left 11 dead and 15 wounded, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday. The ministry's statement said the shooting took place in the Belgorod region, located in southwestern Russia near the border with Ukraine. Reports from the Defense Ministry stated that the two men were from a former Soviet republic, though it did not specify which. The men allegedly opened fire on volunteer soldiers at the range during a target practice exercise, before being killed themselves by return fire. The attack comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin is in the midst of a large-scale mobilization effort.

Associated Press

2. White House blasts Palestinian government’s comments on United States

The White House is showing anger at recent comments from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he did not trust the United States or the Biden administration. A statement from the U.S. National Security Council said the administration was "deeply disappointed," and sources told Axios senior officials within Biden's inner circle were "furious." Abbas additionally thanked Putin for Russia's support of Palestinian efforts, saying they were "happy and satisfied." Abbas further claimed that the U.S. could not work as a mediator between Israel and Palestine. The remarks come just one week after Palestine's second-in-command was hosted at the White House by national security advisor Jake Sullivan.

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Axios The Times of Israel

3. President Biden decries U.K. economic plan from Prime Minister Liz Truss

President Biden on Saturday lambasted the abandoned tax cut agenda from British Prime Minister Liz Truss, and said her plan was a "mistake." The president further warned of a lack of "sound policy in other countries" that could harm the world economy. He did say, though, Truss' move was "predictable," given she had proposed an aggressive tax cut for some of the highest earners in the U.K. The president added, "I wasn't the only one that thought [Truss' plan] was a mistake." Biden's comments marked a rare point of harsh criticism from the U.S. concerning their longtime ally, and comes as Truss continues to battle economic hardship across Britain just one month after taking office.

Politico Associated Press

4. Elon Musk to continue funding Starlink in Ukraine following backlash

SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Saturday that the company will continue to financially support its Starlink terminals in Ukraine. The tech guru and billionaire had received criticism after asking the Pentagon to take over funding the Starlink — a series of satellite communication systems originally donated by SpaceX to Ukraine earlier this year. The satellites have proven to be a vital tool in Ukraine's fight against the Russian invasion. Amidst massive backlash on social media from his proposal to stop funding Starlink, Musk tweeted, "The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we'll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free."

Politico

5. Former President Obama to campaign for Democrats in battleground states

Former President Barack Obama said Saturday that he would be campaigning for Democratic candidates in a slew of battleground states ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. The former president will make appearances in Georgia and Michigan in order to help candidates "up and down the ballot, especially in races and states that will have consequences for the administration of 2024 elections." These visits will come in addition to a stump speech in Wisconsin that Obama will give for Senate candidate Mandela Barnes, who is looking to unseat GOP Sen. Ron Johnson. In Georgia and Michigan, he is likely to campaign for gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, respectively.

NBC News

6. Xi Jinping hints at stronger military development in speech to party congress

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke at his Communist Party's congressional opening on Sunday, and urged his nation to ramp up military development. "We will work faster to modernize military theory, personnel and weapons," Xi said. "We will enhance the military's strategic capabilities." Xi further asserted the need for further control by the Communist Party, as well as the strengthening of China's territorial claims in Taiwan. The president said he would "never promise to renounce the use of force" when it came to these claims, and also hinted he would award himself an unprecedented third term as general secretary, giving no indication he would step down.

Associated Press CNN

7. Suspect in series of potential serial killings arrested in California

A suspect has been arrested in a series of shootings in Stockton, California, that police had branded as the work of a potential serial killer. Weslee Brownlee, 43, of Stockton, was taken into police custody Saturday morning, and law enforcement said another killing was likely to have taken place that night as he was apprehended. Brownlee was arrested wearing dark clothing, with a mask around his neck and a firearm, fitting the description of the shooter, said Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden. "He was on a mission to kill. He was out hunting," McFadden said. "We are sure we stopped another killing." Brownlee is suspected of killing at least six people.

CNN

8. Severe flooding continues to pummel parts of Australia

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese toured parts of Victoria state on Sunday, as the country's southwest territories deal with massive flooding following days of heavy rain. Albanese spoke in Melbourne — Australia's second-largest city — where he said, "Australians are coming together, they are helping each other out and once again we are seeing at the worst of times, the best of the Australian character." In addition to severe weather in Victoria, parts of New South Wales and northern Tasmania were also pummeled by a reported month's worth of rain this past week alone. Multiple people are reported to have died from the floods.

Reuters

9. 'Saturday Night Live' tackles final Jan. 6 committee hearing

Saturday Night Live once again began its cold opening by tackling the current events of the day, this time poking fun at the final public hearing of the Jan. 6 House Select Committee investigating the U.S. Capitol attack. The sketch spoofed a number of key moments from the actual hearing, including a parody of the actual behind-the-scenes footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the latter of whom seemed to be more concerned with lunch than the chaos unfolding around him. Another moment also saw a parody of former President Donald Trump casually asking if his vice president, Mike Pence, had died yet.

The New York Times

10. Astros advance to 6th straight ALCS in marathon 18-inning game

It took the length of two full games, but the Houston Astros advanced to the American League Championship Series on Saturday by besting the Seattle Mariners, 1-0, in an 18-inning marathon Game 3. The victory capped off Houston's sweep of the Mariners and sent them to the ALCS for the sixth consecutive year. The pitcher's duel saw the two teams throw 42 combined strikeouts, setting a major-league record. The dam finally opened when rookie Jeremy Pena hit a solo home run in the top of the 18th, which proved to be the game's lone tally. The Mariners had been trying to make it to the ALCS in their first postseason berth since 2001.

ESPN

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