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May 21, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:



For excerpts and links to full stories,click “read more” and scroll down.


World watches in disbelief and horror as U.S. nears possible default (Washington Post)

Most nations don’t have a fixed debt ceiling. But Washington’s fight over raising the cap carries global implications.

Biden calls GOP proposals ‘unacceptable’ as debt ceiling deadline looms (Washington Post)

Ahead of a call with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the president also said it was unclear whether invoking the 14th Amendment could address the crisis because of likely legal challenges.

2024 race won’t be like 2020. That’s good and bad for Biden (AP)

As President Joe Biden seeks a second term, he won’t have to depend on glitchy Zoom connections, or deliver remarks in largely vacant theaters with attendees in chairs ringed by circle markings on the floor to ensure enough social distancing. His advisors won’t scrutinize the 1918 flu outbreak for clues on pandemic-era voting.

Taliban kill mastermind of suicide bombing during U.S. withdrawl (AP)

A ground assault by the Taliban killed the Islamic State militant who spearheaded the August 2021 suicide bombing at the Kabul airport that left 13 U.S. troops and about 170 Afghans dead during the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Tuesday.


George Santos confessed to theft in Brazil in deal to drop charges   (NPR)

On Thursday, Santos signed a deal with Brazilian prosecutors that he would confess and agree to pay almost $5,000 in fines and restitution in exchange for dropping the charges….Brazilian prosecutors alleged he used a fake name and a stolen checkbook to buy goods, including tennis shoes, in a store in Niterói. He was formally charged in 2011 but authorities lost track of Santos until he became a U.S. congressman in 2022.

Guardsman in leaked docs case talked of violence, may still possess secrets, feds say (AP)

The Massachusetts Air National guardsman accused of leaking highly classified military documents kept an arsenal of guns, talked of “violence and murder” on a social media platform and an “assassination van,” prosecutors wrote ahead of Thursday’s hearing for 21-year-old Jack Teixeira.  The court filings raise new questions about why Teixeira had such a high security clearance and access to some of the nation’s most classified secrets. They said he may still have material that hasn’t been released, which could be of “tremendous value to hostile nation states that could offer him safe harbor and attempt to facilitate his escape from the United States.” 

Centrist group No Labels causes ire with 'unity ticket' plan  (NPR)

The centrist political group No Labels is getting on the ballot in individual states, causing consternation among members of the major political parties about the organization's endgame.

History and civics scores drop for U.S. eighth-graders on national test History, civics scores drop on national test for U.S. students   (NPR)

This year's history scores are the lowest recorded since the assessment began in 1994, and the new data mark the first-ever drop in civics…. Only 14% of students reached at or above "proficient" mark in history, and in civics only 22% of students met the same benchmark.

Abortion bans fail to pass in 2 conservative states (Axios)

Two bills severely restricting abortion in South Carolina and Nebraska's Republican-dominated legislatures both failed to pass on Thursday.

Behind Trump’s musical tribute to some of the most violent Jan. 6 rioters (Washington Post)

Most nights at 9 p.m., defendants in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol flicker the lights in their D.C. jail cells to signal to supporters outside that it’s time to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” together. The recital has become a sacred ritual for a subset of Donald Trump’s movement devoted to heroizing the accused rioters. The former president is now embracing their cause, lending his voice to a recording of the “J6 Prison Choir” and playing it to start the first rally of his 2024 presidential campaign.

Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio, 3 others guilty of Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy(Washington Post)

Prosecutors alleged defendants viewed themselves as Donald Trump’s army, intent on keeping him in power through violence

Jury finds Trump liable for sexual abuse, awards accuser $5M (AP)

A jury found Donald Trump liable Tuesday for sexually abusing advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in 1996, award...

Man gets 14 years in January 6 case, longest sentence imposed yet  (AP)

A Kentucky man with a long criminal record was sentenced Friday to a record-setting 14 years in prison for attacking police officers with pepper spray and a chair as he stormed the U.S. Capitol with his wife…. His criminal record includes a “jaw-dropping” 38 prior convictions since 1991, “several of which involved assaulting or threatening officers or other authority figures…..”

At least eight Trump electors have accepted immunity in Georgia investigation  (Washington Post)

At least eight of the 16 Georgia Republicans who convened in December 2020 to declare Donald Trump the winner of the presidential contest despite his loss in the state have accepted immunity deals from Atlanta-area prosecutors investigating alleged election interference, according to a lawyer for the electors…. Georgia was among seven states where the Trump campaign and local GOP officials arranged for alternate electors to convene with the stated purpose of preserving legal recourse while election challenges made their way through the courts.

Tucker Carlson ousted at Fox News following network's $787 million settlement (NPR)

…The ouster of Fox's top opinion host comes less than a week after Fox settled an epic defamation lawsuit by an election technology company for more than $787 million…Carlson featured in Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit. Yet he is also the focus of a lawsuit from his former senior booking producer, Abby Grossberg, who filed two separate suits.

What to know about Trump’s CNN town hall: Lies about election and abortion, attacks on accuser (AP)

Donald Trump’s primetime return to CNN Wednesday for the first time since 2016 felt like a throwback: Trump with the long, twisting answers; the interviewer at times struggling to fact-check him or return his focus to the question at hand; and then, eventually, both talking over each other as Trump flings insults her way.  



Chaos at Ensenada car rally:  Shooting leaves 10 dead, 9 injured  (Times of San Diego)

At least 10 people were killed and nine injured in a Saturday shootout at a car rally in Baja California, the municipal government reported.  The attack occurred during an all-terrain car racing event in the San Vicente area of Ensenada, about two hours south of San Diego.  At around 2:18 p.m., authorities said people with long guns exited a gray van and began shooting at participants at a gas station, according to reports of 911 calls.

F-16 fighter jets: Biden to let allies supply warplanes in major boost for Kyiv (BBC)

The US says it will allow its Western allies to supply Ukraine with advanced fighter jets, including American-made F-16s, in a major boost for Kyiv. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said President Joe Biden "informed his G7 counterparts" of the decision at the bloc's summit in Japan on Friday. US troops will also train Kyiv's pilots to use the jets, Mr Sullivan said.

US man, 79, beaten to death in Mexico while delivering donations to the poor (Guardian) 

A 79-year-old American man who transported clothes, food and toys into Mexico to donate to the poor was beaten to death during a delivery trip in Tijuana, family members and authorities said.

The coronation of King Charles III: Memorable moments in photos and videos  (Washington Post)

It’s the first coronation in 70 years, and the pomp was on full display.

Armed U.S. drones escort evacuation of American citizens in war-torn Sudan   (NBC)

The unmanned aerial vehicles flew above a convoy of buses as they made the 500-mile journey from the African nation’s capital, Khartoum, to Port Sudan on the country's east coast, a U.S. official familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News. Several hundred Americans were on board at least a dozen buses, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Turkey faces runoff election with Erdogan leading

Turkey is headed for a runoff vote after President Erdogan led over his opposition rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu in Sunday's election but fell short of an outright majority to extend his 20-year rule of the country.

Pope Francis allows women to vote at bishops' meetings, a historic shift (NPR)

Ever since the Second Vatican Council, the 1960s meetings that modernized the church, popes have summoned the world's bishops to Rome for a few weeks at a time to debate particular topics. At the end of the meetings, the bishops vote on specific proposals and put them to the pope, who then produces a document taking their views into account.  Until now, the only people who could vote were men. But under the new changes, five religious sisters will join five priests as voting representatives for religious orders. In addition, Francis has decided to appoint 70 non-bishop members of the synod and has asked that half of them be women. They too will have a vote.

 Russia claims Ukraine tried to hit Kremlin; Kyiv denies it (AP)

Russia claimed it foiled a Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin early Wednesday, calling it an unsuccessful assassination attempt against President Vladimir Putin and promising retaliation for what it termed a “terrorist” act. Ukraine denied any involvement, saying Moscow could use it for further escalation of the war.  Putin wasn’t in the Kremlin at the time and was at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.  There was no independent verification of the reported attack on the Kremlin, which Russia authorities said occurred overnight but presented no evidence in support of the claim.

China attempts to downplay diplomat’s comment on ex-Soviet republics' sovereignty (Washington Examiner)

Beijing is in damage control with European leaders following a diplomat’s decision to question the sovereignty of former Soviet republics, including Ukraine….

UN: by month end, India population to become worlds largest (AP)

By the end of April, India’s population is expected to reach 1.425 billion, which means it will match and then surpass mainland China’s, the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs said in a news release. The forecast is based on their latest estimates of global population….Another U.N. report last week projected that India would have 2.9 million people more than China by mid-year….

Cuba food shortages, prompt, rationing, event cancellations(AP)

Cuba’s fuel shortages have increased dramatically with authorities suspending activities, including a concert by the country’s national symphony, as well as rationing gasoline sales and moving some universities’ classes online.  Cubans have experiences shortages of all kinds of goods amid the recent economic crisis but the cancellation of activities because of fuel shortages had not been reported previously. The cancellations come following days of long lines to get gasoline at filling stations.  Experts say the lack of gasoline and diesel is not due to a lack of crude oil…but to the difficulties refining it. 

Syria's Assad boosted by return to Arab fold (Reuters)

President Bashar al-Assad has always seen time as an ally in the Syrian civil war, along with the Iranian and Russian firepower that helped him defeat his enemies, according to sources familiar with his thinking.  After more than 12 years of civil conflict that made him a reviled figure to much of the world and killed 350,000 people, his strategy appears have paid off as Arab states that once shunned him welcome him back into the Arab League.

The Offensive Before the Offensive: Ukraine Strikes Behind Russian Lines (Wall Street Journal)

Call it the offensive before the offensive. Strike by pinpoint strike, Ukraine is taking aim at ammunition stores and caches of other supplies that Moscow’s forces need to fight, seeking to weaken them ahead of a broader ground campaign to push back the Russian invaders.  For Ukraine, which is battling a larger military, the attacks are important to chip away at Russia’s battlefield resources.  

Baby among 4 children found alive 17 days after plane crashes in Amazon forest  (USA Today)

The Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) said the May 1 crash, which claimed the lives of three adults, took place on the border between Caquetá and Guaviare in the southern central region of the country, about 250 miles south of the country's capital of Bogota…. The four children− ages 11 months, 4, 9 and 13 − are believed to have ventured into the Amazon rainforest where…they "survived on  fruits and built shelters using sticks and branches that were discovered by the rescue personnel."

Nuclear watchdog's worries grow over Ukraine plant safety  (AP)

The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is expressing growing anxiety about the safety of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, after the governor of the Russia-occupied area ordered the evacuation of a town where most plant staff live amid ongoing attacks in the area.





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