Dozens of people are estimated to be dead after a high-speed train derailed in a tunnel in Taiwan today, with President Tsai Ing-wen warning hospitals to prepare for an influx of casualties. Authorities said at least 41 people died and over 80 were injured. The packed train was heading from Taipei to Taitung at the start of the annual Tomb Sweeping Festival long weekend, when a construction vehicle is believed to have slid down an embankment and hit the train just as it entered a tunnel. Rescuers are still working to free trapped passengers and recover victims’ bodies.
2. Video Suggests Ethiopian Troops Massacred Unarmed Men
Investigations by the BBC, CNN and Amnesty International have found Ethiopian troops in the troubled Tigray region committing atrocities. A graphic video from a soldier-turned-whistleblower shows troops shooting a group of unarmed men and pushing the bodies off a cliff, cheering each other on while doing so. Addis Ababa launched an offensive in November against a breakaway party in the northern region and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has previously suggested troops from neighboring Eritrea may be responsible for war crimes there. He’ll now be under pressure to investigate his own forces.
3. Paramedics and Ex-Officer Testify on Fourth Day of Chauvin Trial
Derek Chauvin should have removed his knee because George Floyd was not resisting, a retired police sergeant told the court yesterday, while two paramedics said they didn’t see any signs of life in Floyd when they arrived at the scene. Their testimony should help the prosecution's case by shining a light on questions of when and how the Minneapolis man died. Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, also took the stand, describing how they’d both battled opioid addiction and saying how much her partner had loved his mother, who he called for as he was dying.
4. Woke Coke: GOP Fumes After Companies Criticize Voting Law
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp won’t be asking a flight attendant for a Coke any time soon. The Republican has hit back at two companies based in his state, Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, after they came out against a new law making it harder for Georgians to vote. Kemp told Fox News the companies would “have to answer to their shareholders,” while GOP Sen. Marco Rubio accused them of being “woke corporate hypocrites.” Some Georgia Republicans are even considering penalizing Delta with increased taxes.
Coronavirus Update: Authorities in São Paulo are exhuming bodies from old graves to make space for COVID-19 victims as new cases in the Brazilian city soar. And five U.S. organizations with links to extreme Hindu nationalist groups received federal coronavirus relief funds totalling more than $800,000.
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You may know iconic actor Sean Penn for his Oscar-winning roles in Mystic River and Milk, but do you know how he’s revolutionizing the world of service? Today, the change-making actor discusses his organization’s involvement in COVID-19 vaccine distribution, why we need a moratorium on technology and how we need to reform our views on citizen service. Tune in to The Carlos Watson Show to hear more.
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Is China the wolf? Or is it the West? Or ... who is the wolf, again? Many were baffled Thursday when the Chinese Embassy in Ireland posted a cryptic tweet, since deleted, mangling a fable. “Aesop described how the Wolf accused the Lamb of committing offences,”it said, adding the confusing caveat, “BTW, China is not a lamb.” Foreign Policy deputy editor James Palmer suggested an embassy staffer was calling the West the wolf. “As he gets to the end, he realizes he's left himself open. China can't be portrayed as a weak lamb that will be eaten up. China is strong, powerful! So he adds the ‘BTW.’”
Has it seen My Octopus Teacher? Unlucky beachgoer Lance Karlson definitely got schooled when he went swimming in Perth recently. After filming a grumpy octopus lashing out at a gull — and then turning its anger to him — Karlson waited 20 minutes to return to the water. But the cephalopod was waiting. “I was struck on the arm from behind,” he explained. “My goggles fogged up and then I was struck again, this time on the neck,” noting the tentacle attack left big red welts. “You have attacking octopus,” one social media user commented. “I’m never going in the water again!”
3. Two Killed as Another Gender Reveal Party Turns Deadly
Gender reveals must be high on the list of the most dangerous celebrations. Two more people died this week when a stunt went wrong off the coast of Mexico. A small aircraft had just released a pink substance announcing the baby was a girl when it plummeted into the water, killing two aboard. The accident was caught on video by the family in a boat below. In February, a New York man was killed when a gender-reveal device he was building exploded, and a Michigan man died as a baby shower turned deadly when a novelty cannon blew up.
4. Bad Timing: UK Auction House Withdraws Tiananmen Watch
It has a picture of a Communist soldier on its face, and the back is inscribed with “89.6. In Commemoration of Quelling the Rebellion.” The watches were given as gifts to Chinese soldiers involved in the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989, in which hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people died. British auction house Fellows defended the sale, but withdrew the timepiece from its catalogue after the owner received threats, although it said the vendor was not associated with the Chinese military or government. The watch had been valued at up to $4,800.
5. Majorie Taylor Greene Does Pull-Ups Against Fauci
It wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. “This is my Covid protection,” the QAnon follower and Georgia congresswoman said in a Twitter post Thursday, accompanied by a video of herself lifting weights. The enthusiastic conspiracy theorist, who also did an unusual form of pull-ups, added, “It’s time to #FireFauci.” Health experts say exercise will not protect you from COVID-19, and several professional athletes, despite being young, strong and in good health, have experienced major complications from coronavirus. Taylor Greene, a former gym owner, is a big proponent of CrossFit, although the company recently disavowed her.
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