The plot thickens. Prince Hamzah, King Abdullah’s half-brother and former heir to the throne, vowed in a recording released today that he won’t obey army orders to keep silent after he was placed under house arrest Saturday. Allegations that Hamzah, an outspoken critic of corruption, was involved in a “malicious plot” with foreign countries have rocked the wealthy and usually stable Arab state. “Of course I’m not going to obey when they say you can’t go out, you can’t tweet, you can’t communicate,” Hamzah said. Regional powers and the U.S. are so far backing the king.
2. Reservoir at Florida Phosphate Mine Leaks Contaminated Water
“A real catastrophic flood situation.” That’s what Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida officials were rushing to prevent Sunday after a wastewater reservoir outside Tampa started to leak. More than 300 homes were ordered to evacuate after warnings that the 79-acre reservoir’s total collapse could send a 20-foot wall of contaminated water cascading into the area around an old phosphate plant. Water is being pumped out to try to lower the pressure, but scientists are worried that even if the leak is stemmed it could fuel algae blooms, which have a detrimental effect on marine life.
3. Champagne Zionism? Netanyahu in Court Over Booze Bribes
Is it bye-bye Bibi? Unlikely, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in court today for opening arguments in his corruption trial. The right-wing leader is accused in three separate cases of bribery and fraud — including that he received cigars and champagne from businessmen in exchange for favors and helped improve a newspaper’s circulation in return for positive coverage. Netanyahu is short of a parliamentary majority after elections last month failed to end a two-year political stalemate. This week President Reuven Rivlin will nominate who he thinks has the best chance of forming a new coalition government.
4. Amazon Apologizes, Admits Drivers Do Pee in Bottles
To pee, or not to pee, that is the question. The answer is “sometimes,” Amazon executives now admit after categorically denying last week that tough working conditions mean delivery drivers sometimes have to urinate in bottles. They now say it’s a “long-standing, industry-wide issue” that drivers have trouble finding restrooms — a problem that’s been made worse by the pandemic. Amazon apologized to Rep. Mark Pocan, who called out the retailer on the issue, prompting a snarky but “incorrect” response from the company. Meanwhile, the results of an Amazon unionization vote in Alabama are expected in the coming weeks.
Chicago officials have agreed to release bodycam video of the police shooting of a 13-year-old boy after pressure from his family and activists. Canadian pop star The Weeknd, the son of Ethiopian immigrants, has announced he’s donating $1 million towards relief efforts in the conflict-stricken East African nation. And Spanish soccer team Valencia CF walked off the field Sunday after defender Mouctar Diakhaby was subjected to racist abuse by home team Cadiz.
Coronavirus Update: Experts are divided over whether the U.S. is entering a fourth wave of the pandemic with cases on the uptick in several states. And in his Easter message from the Vatican Pope Francis called for broader and more equitable access to vaccines across the world.
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With China on the rise, how will America react? Chinese influence across the world is growing, in economic and political terms. This raises serious questions for the new Biden administration. Today, Carlos Watson and the BBC's Katty Kay discuss this issue with Kaiser Kuo, Editor at Large at SupChina, a media company that focuses on explaining China to the West, and Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center. Listen now onApple Podcasts,Stitcher, theiHeart Radio app orwherever else you get your podcasts.
Join the coolest new streaming platform. With CuriosityStream you can dive into history and explore nonfiction films and series. Interested in other topics? They have thousands of documentaries on topics ranging from food to space exploration to animals.
Rapper DMX is in a vegetative state, his former manager said last night, with “lung and brain failure and no brain activity.” The 50-year-old “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” singer, born Earl Simmons, was rushed to a New York hospital on Friday after a heart attack, prompting speculation of a drug overdose: He’d publicly battled mental health issues and drug abuse in the past. The Ruff Ryders motorcycle crew is planning a vigil outside DMX’s hospital today, and there’s been an outpouring of support from celebrities including Missy Elliott, Ja Rule, SZA and Chance the Rapper.
What do you think? Tell us your favorite DMX song and why and we may include your view in the PDB. Reply to this email, including your first name, last initial and city or state.
2. MLB Georgia Boycott Leaves Omar and Abrams at Odds
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and voting rights activist and Georgia native Stacey Abrams are divided on Major League Baseball’s decision to pull its All-Star game from Georgia over the state’s new law restricting voting access. Omar pointed to the success boycotts had during the civil rights movement and in apartheid-era South Africa, saying, “Our hope is that this boycott will result in changes in the law.” Abrams, however, says she doesn’t want Georgia families to be hurt by job losses, urging businesses and celebrities to “stay and fight.”
NASA announced Sunday that after traveling together for 293 million miles, the Perseverance Rover successfully dropped the $85 million Ingenuity helicopter the final 4 inches to the surface of Mars. The solar-powered 4-pound drone has arrived at its destination, a mini Martian airfield where it will attempt the first controlled flight on another planet April 11, but it must now use its own internal battery to keep warm in the subzero temperatures the red planet sees at night. Ingenuity aims to complete a series of increasingly challenging flights in the next 30 Martian sols, or 31 Earth days.
4. The Mummies Return: Ancient Pharaohs Move to New Museum
That’s a wrap ... or rather 22. In a star-studded, glittering parade worthy of the pharaohs — which of course they were — 22 royal mummies were relocated to their new resting place at a Cairo museum Saturday. Ramses II and Queen Hatshepsut, the only female pharaoh (and a false-beard-wearing, cross-dressing one at that) were among those transported in boat-shaped, winged vehicles along the Nile corniche from the older Egyptian Museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The mummies were buried some 3,000 years ago in the Valley of the Kings and first excavated in the 19th century.
After a 29-year gap, the Stanford Cardinal have retaken the national title by defeating the Arizona Wildcats in the thrilling final of the NCAA women’s tournament last night, led by legendary coach Tara VanDerveer. Tournament MVP Haley Jones contributed 17 points as Stanford won 54-53, holding off a fierce Wildcats attack from superstar guard Aari McDonald in the final seconds. “She was killing us all game,” Stanford’s Kiana Williams said, but the Cardinal defense managed to block her final shot. Lakers legend Magic Johnson described McDonald as “the most exciting player in the entire tournament.”
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