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News Brief: March 17 – March 24


North Korea Tests Banned Missile

On March 16, North Korea tested a banned intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time since 2017. This missile appeared more powerful than the ICBM they fired five years ago, reaching an altitude of 6,000 km, according to Japanese officials.

Such an altitude suggests it could have a range of 13,000 km if fired at a lower trajectory, which would allow it to reach any part of the continental United States.

South Korea responded by firing five missiles while the United States condemned North Korea’s violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

“The door has not closed on diplomacy, but Pyongyang must immediately cease its destabilizing actions,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Ethiopia’s Tigray War: Government Declares Humanitarian Truce

After over a year of conflict, Ethiopia’s government declared a humanitarian truce with the rebels in the Tigray region.

The civil war has left more than five million people in need of food aid. No food has been delivered to Tigray since mid-December, according to the BBC. Both sides have been accused of preventing aid from reaching the people of Tigray.

The World Food Programme said almost 40% of Tigrayans were suffering from a lack of food.

Ethiopia’s government said the truce was indefinite and effective immediately, although Tigray People’s Liberation Front said they would only reciprocate the truce if they were recognized as the legitimate authority in Tigray.


Trump is Guilty of ‘Numerous’ Felonies, Prosecutor Who Resigned Says

Mark F. Pomerantz, one of the senior Manhattan prosecutors who investigated Donald Trump, submitted his resignation last month.

In his letter, Pomerantz gave an account of his decision to resign and said the district attorney’s office could have convicted Trump. This would have been the highest-profile case in the history of the Manhattan district attorney’s office and would have made Trump the first American president to face criminal charges.

The investigation reportedly fell apart due to disagreements between veteran prosecutors and the new district attorney over whether they could prove Trump knowingly falsified documents, specifically his financial statements.

Pomerantz, however, believed the evidence enough to prove Trump’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Madeleine Albright, First Woman to Serve as Secretary of State, Dies at 84

At 84 years old, Madeleine Albright died of cancer in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Albright was the first woman to serve as the United States Secretary of State.

Albright was the daughter of refugees who fled to the United States during World War II. Albright rose through the ranks as a brilliant world affairs analyst and White House counselor on national security.

Read more from the New York Times article here.


OKC Zoo Euthanizes Fred, the Elk

On Wednesday, March 23, the Oklahoma City Zoo humanely euthanized its American elk Fred, who had been a resident there since 2005.

At 16 years old, the staff consistently monitored Fred for end-of-life care. His ailments included arthritis, limited mobility and a recent decrease in appetite.

They accommodated Fred with habitat modifications and medication for his arthritis but, “when it was evident that Fred’s pain from these issues could no longer be mitigated with treatment, the veterinary and animal care teams made the difficult but necessary decision to humanely euthanize him,” the zoo wrote on Facebook.

Oklahoma’s New Abortion Bill

Oklahoma has a new abortion bill: House Bill 4327.

Modeled after Senate Bill 8, the controversial Texas law, the bill allows private citizens to enforce the legislation via lawsuits against anyone who “aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.” The private individual who sues will be awarded at least $10,000 dollars in damages.

Stricter than Senate Bill 8, which begins enforcement at six weeks, HB 4327 begins at conception, although it does include some exceptions.

Sponsor of the new bill and GOP state Rep. Wendi Stearman said the legislation would protect the life of the unborn.

Emily Wales, the interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, said, as seen in Texas, the “state-created bounty hunters” do not drive abortions down, only away.

Outcome of Texas, Oklahoma Tornado Outbreaks

Twenty tornadoes were reported Monday night, 19 of which occuring in Texas. Some caused significant damage as wind gusts of up to 64 mph and golf ball-sized hail were reported.

According to County Rural Fire Chief Jason Jennings, a high school and elementary school in Jacksboro, Texas, both received heavy damage. While some students and faculty were present, all were reported safe.

Other Texas areas affected by the storms include Round Rock, Elgin and Northwest Grayson County, where the only confirmed death occurred. Damage in Kingston, Oklahoma, suggests it also experienced a tornado Monday night.

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