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Russian troops are escalating their offensive in the south and east of Ukraine but are facing stiff resistance as they target the country’s central and western regions, Ukrainian officials said yesterday. This comes as Russian forces took control of the Kherson City Council, weeks after first occupying the southern Ukrainian city. Russia also announced it will stage a referendum asking people to approve the “independence” of a new entity called “the Kherson People’s Republic.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the move a “sham referendum,” saying civilians have already shown “their attitude toward the occupiers” by protesting in occupied towns. Meanwhile, as the war enters its third month, Zelensky said Russia has fired more than 1,100 missiles at Ukrainian targets, in addition to “countless bombs and artillery.”
Twitter said yesterday it will sell itself to Elon Musk in a roughly $44 billion deal. The agreement, which was unanimously approved by Twitter’s board, is expected to close later this year pending approval from shareholders and regulators. In a statement yesterday, Musk reiterated his proposed changes for the platform, including his goal to bolster free speech. He said in a tweet yesterday that he hopes “even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.” Many people are wondering whether Musk plans to restore former President Donald Trump’s account, which was suspended early last year for violating Twitter policies against inciting violence following the Capitol Riot. Such a move could have significant ramifications for the upcoming 2024 US presidential election.
A federal judge in Louisiana yesterday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending a Trump-era pandemic restriction on the US-Mexico border that allows authorities to turn migrants back to Mexico or their home countries. The public health authority, known as Title 42, was on track to end on May 23, but this latest ruling may throw a wrench in the administration’s plans moving forward. The decision to lift Title 42 has been criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike because border authorities say a massive surge of migrants would follow. More than 20 states had asked the court to block the administration from ending the restriction and last week asked the court to immediately intervene.
China is battling its biggest Covid-19 wave yet amid widespread lockdowns and increased restrictions. Yesterday, Beijing rolled out mass coronavirus testing for nearly 20 million residents in most of the city as authorities race to contain a fresh Omicron outbreak that has sparked panic buying as citizens fear a mass lockdown is imminent. Since Friday, Beijing has reported a total of 80 cases. Although the caseload is still relatively low, authorities are not taking any chances, especially after seeing how fast the Omicron outbreak in Shanghai spiraled into tens of thousands of new cases. Dozens of residential compounds across eight districts in Beijing are already under strict lockdowns, in which residents are banned from leaving their homes or community grounds.
5. Capitol riot
CNN has obtained 2,319 text messages that former President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sent and received between Election Day 2020 and President Joe Biden’s January 20, 2021 inauguration. The text messages, which Meadows selectively provided to the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, show how Trump’s inner circle, supporters and Republican lawmakers worked behind the scenes to try to overturn the election results. The messages also reveal how Trump’s family members reacted to the violence at the US Capitol during the insurrection. Separately, a New York judge is holding Trump in civil contempt for failing to comply with document subpoenas as part of an investigation into the former President’s company. The judge yesterday said Trump will be fined $10,000 a day until he complies.
Coachella: Second weekend highlights
Props to the festival-goers who stood on their feet for hours baking in the desert sun! They came, they saw, they hydrated.
Amazon’s proposed new building looks like this emoji
The internet is undefeated… Trolls pounced on the opportunity to joke about this, well, imaginative design.
How 15 minutes of mental health hygiene can change your whole day
Breathe in, breathe out. Check out these tips to make your day a little better.
The Chevrolet Corvette is officially going electric
Add this to the list of electric sports cars we can’t wait to see on the road!
Burger King is giving away free fries
That’s how many tornadoes the Jackson, Mississippi, area has experienced in less than five weeks. It has been an above-average tornado season for much of the Southeast this year, according to meteorologists. So far, the US has had 562 preliminary tornado reports since January. On average, we typically see 426 at this point in the year.
“I was able to come this far with the support of many people. I hope you will continue to have fun, [and be] cheerful and energetic.”
— Kane Tanaka, the world’s oldest person, shared this message on Twitter earlier this year before passing away on April 19, according to Guinness World Records. Tanaka died in Japan at the age of 119, according to the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. She was born on January 2, 1903, survived cancer twice and lived through a multitude of historical events, including two world wars and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic — as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Cake or fake?
Have fun testing your eyes with this video! Which of these objects is actually a cake? (Click here to view)