Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 30, 2023

U.S. continues evacuating American citizens from Sudan, manhunt continues for Texas mass shooting suspect, and more


U.S. continues evacuating American citizens from Sudan

The United States began a mass evacuation of American citizens from war-torn Sudan over the weekend, facilitating the first-large scale U.S. movement in the country since the fighting began three weeks ago. American-piloted drones helped escort convoys of buses along a 500-mile journey from Sudan's capital, Khartoum, to the nation's west coast, sources told NBC News. While exact figures of those evacuated have not been released, hundreds of citizens were reportedly on at least a dozen of these buses, with more large-scale evacuations set to take place in the coming days. Fighting between warring factions of the Sudanese Army has ramped up despite a temporary ceasefire having been drawn up this past week. 


Manhunt continues for Texas mass shooting suspect

A massive manhunt continued in Cleveland, Texas, on Sunday for a suspect accused of killing five of his neighbors after they asked him to stop shooting his gun. Francisco Oropeza, 38, was asked by his neighbors to stop firing rounds in his yard around 11:30 p.m. on Friday night because their baby was trying to sleep, the San Jacinto County sheriff's office alleges. After declining their request, police said, the suspect allegedly returned to his neighbor's house and killed five of the ten people, including an eight-year-old child. Those killed were reportedly shot "execution style" in the neck at close range, police said. FBI officials described Oropeza as "armed and dangerous" and a threat to the community. 


Biden, Roy Wood Jr. serve up laughs at White House Correspondents' Dinner

Washington came out Saturday night for the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. President Biden took to the dais on a more somber note, pushing for the release of detained journalists across the world, including Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is currently being held in Russia. He then transitioned to jokes, however, taking time to poke fun at his advanced age while also getting in a few digs about Fox News. The evening's host, Roy Wood Jr. of The Daily Show, then took the stage for a laugh-filled segment of his own, getting in fun-natured digs about Biden while also taking aim at former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). 


Surging Mississippi River brings flooding concerns across Midwest

Concerns rose about potential flooding from the surging Mississippi River this weekend, as melting snow accumulation continues to cause the river to crest in states across the Midwest. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flood warning in numerous parts of Iowa, including the city of Dubuque where the Mississippi was seen cresting between 23 and 24 feet. Bellevue, Iowa, was also expected to see crests up to 21 feet high, according to the NWS. Saturday's water levels reportedly came close to previous records not seen since 2001, and Dubuque closed its floodgates for just the third time ever in response to the rapids. Flood warnings were also issued for cities in Illinois and Wisconsin. 


U.S. asks China to stop harassing Philippine vessels

The United States accused China on Saturday of harassing and intimidating Philippine ships in the South China Sea, and urged the nation to cease these actions as tensions flared between the two countries. The U.S. State Department said in a statement that China should "desist from its provocative and unsafe conduct," calling China's recent undertakings "a stark reminder of [Chinese] harassment and intimidation of Philippine vessels as they undertake routine patrols within their exclusive economic zone." The U.S. accusation comes after the Philippines accused China itself of "aggressive tactics" in dealing with its ships. The pushback comes just days before President Biden is slated to meet in Washington with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Jr. 


General Mills issues nationwide flour recall after finding salmonella

General Mills has issued a recall of select bags of Gold Medal flour after discovering they could contain salmonella, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced. The FDA and General Mills issued a joint statement recalling two-, five-, and ten-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached and Bleached All Purpose Flour that have a "better if used by" date of March 27, 2024, and March 28, 2024. General Mills enacted the recall after discovering salmonella in a sample from a five-pound bag, the FDA added. A spokesperson for General Mills told CNN they were "continuing to educate consumers that flour is not a 'ready to eat' ingredient. Anything made with flour must be cooked or baked before eating."


California man sentenced to more than 4 years for role in Capitol riot

A Southern California man was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for attacking police officers during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said Friday. In a press release, the DOJ said Jeffrey Scott Brown, 56, of Santa Ana, California, was sentenced to 54 months in prison for various felony and misdemeanor assault charges related to his actions at the Capitol. Brown and two co-defendants were previously found guilty of attacking police officers during the riot, and prosecutors said Brown had used a stolen can of pepper spray against law enforcement. Brown is one of more than 1,000 individuals who have been arrested for their role in Jan. 6. 


Woman who left newborn to die 2 decades ago sentenced to prison

A woman who admittedly left her newborn son to die on the banks of the Mississippi River two decades ago has been sentenced to 27 years in prison. Jennifer Matter of Red Wing, Minnesota, pleaded guilty this past January to second-degree murder in the death of her son, which occurred in Dec. 2003. Matter admitted to leaving the boy on Methodist Campus Beach, near the shores of Minnesota's Lake Pepin. While she said she did not have a plan to get the boy to safety, she hoped "that someone in the nearby houses would find the baby." Investigators found the boy's body days later, but DNA evidence did not tie Matter to the body until 2022. 


Toronto Maple Leafs win playoff round for 1st time in 19 years

While they still have a long way to go, the Toronto Maple Leafs can celebrate a small milestone: they won a playoff series for the first time since 2004 on Saturday night. The Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime on a turnaround shot by their captain, John Tavares, to win Game 6, 2-1, and take the series four games to two. This ended an 11-game streak of losses in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the long-suffering Leafs, who have had a string of playoff heartbreaks and have not won the Cup since 1967. Toronto now awaits the winner of the Boston Bruins-Florida Panthers series. 


Celeb-packed 90th birthday celebration for Willie Nelson kicks off at Hollywood Bowl

A 90th birthday bash for country music legend Willie Nelson began at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night. The two-day event features a concert from Nelson, as well as musical performances from a variety of notable singers. The celebration of Nelson will feature dozens of singers alongside the icon, including Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Snoop Dogg, Kacey Musgraves, Neil Young, Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley, and many more. Throughout his six-decade career, Nelson had made a name for himself as one of the preeminent folk-country singers of all time, and is also well known for his advocacy of marijuana


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