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Oct 25, 2021
Democrats may finally reach a deal, asPresident Joe Biden hosted party adversaries Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and conservative Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday at his Delaware home to rescue his contested overhaul plan. California’s historic drought ends dramatically, with major flooding, mudflows and other destruction as historic rainfall batters the state. Haiti endures yet another calamity hard on the heels of earthquakes, flooding and the assasination of its latest president as fuel shortages imperil electricity. Meanwhile, notorious drug lord Dairo Antonio Úsuga, aka Otoniel, may finally face the music after years of evading drug enforcement and commanding one of the world’s biggest cocaine rings.
1 - Democrats Inch Toward Deal
After Sunday meeting, democrats optimistic for a deal this week
President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and conservative Sen. Joe Manchin met at President Biden’s Delaware home to continue negotiations for Biden’s ambitious $2 trillion government overhaul plan. Democrats were set to reach an agreement by last week, but Sens. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema refused to budge on their demands. Even at its greatly reduced price tag, this domestic initiative would still be larger than any legislative package passed in recent history. The plan includes investments in healthcare, childcare and strategies to tackle climate change. (Source: AP, CBS)
2 - Too Much Too Late
California is hit with “historic rain”
After months of a devastating drought, Northern California was hit by a powerful storm this past weekend that triggered mudflows, downed trees and flooded highways as it headed toward Southern California. The storm was brought on by an “atmospheric river,” a large plume of moisture from off the Pacific Ocean. The National Weather Service’s Sacramento office recorded historic rainfall. (Source: AP, NPR)
3 - Fuel Shortages in Haiti
After two weeks of fuel shortages, Haitians are left in the cold
Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, is practically under siege by warring gangs. But that’s not all. Aside from the well-publicized recent kidnapping of one Canadian and 16 U.S. missionaries, the city has been reckoning with more than two weeks of fuel shortages, due to gang blockades and the widespread abduction of fuel truck drivers. Haitians rely on these fuels to run personal generators to compensate for the country’s highly unstable electrical system. All of this on the heels of an earthquake, major floods and the assasination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in July.(Source: AP, Guardian, WaPo)
4 - Columbian Drug Lord faces Extradition
Columbia’s most wanted drug trafficker awaits extradition in Bogotá
After years on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s most wanted list, Dairo Antonio Úsuga was arrested on Saturday. Úsuga, commonly referred to as Otoniel, had a $5 million bounty on his head at the time of his capture. He stands accused of importing 73 metric tons of cocaine into the U.S. between 2003 and 2014, and will face trial in the U.S. once he is extradited from Bogota. Úsuga led Columbia’s largest criminal gang for years. (Source: BBC)
5 - Woman Killed in Uganda Attack
Tragedy strikes Kampala bar as waitress is killed in bombing
On Saturday night, three bombers disguised as customers planted explosives under a bar table in the nation’s capital, police say. A 20-year-old waitress was killed in the attack, which the Islamic State group later took credit for. The U.K. had already issued a terrorism alert in Uganda one week before the explosion. The warning advised British citizens that although attacks of this kind are rare in Uganda, they were entering a time when “terrorists are very likely to try to and carry out attacks”. (Source: BBC)
Meet CEO, Darren Walker
1 - Picasso Plunder
Picasso Masterpieces top $110 million at Las Vegas Auction
The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas has offloaded 11 original artworks by Picasso. The Bellagio, owned by MGM Resorts, said that Saturday’s auction was meant to improve the diversity of its art collection to acquire more works by women and minority artists. Picasso’s 1938 masterpiece, Woman in a Red-Orange Beret, fetched the highest price at $40.5 million dollars. The collection, on view at the hotel for more than 20 years, included nine paintings and two ceramic pieces, spanning more than 50 years of the artist’s career.(Source: BBC)
2 - Cardinals Set to Hire New Manager
Bench coach Oliver Marmol tapped as team manager
The St. Louis Cardinals have announced plans to hire Oliver Marmol as their new manager. Marmol, viewed as a favorite during the search, is well-respected within the organization. Drafted in 2007 to the Cardinals, Marmol has long been immersed in the culture of the Cardinals’ organization, and has served as bench coach for the last two seasons. At 35, he will be the youngest active manager in the MLB since 2003. (Source: ESPN)
3 - Details Emerge on ‘Rust’ Crew
Crew member who furnished gun was the subject of past complaints
Prop maker Maggie Goll spoke out about concerns she had raised in 2019 over assistant director Dave Halls’ conduct on set. Halls has been named as the assistant who unwittingly handed lead actor Alec Baldwin the prop gun that killed Halyna Hutchins on Friday. Goll confirmed she’d filed an internal complaint with the executive producers of Hulu’s series Into the Dark concerning Halls’ disregard for safety protocols. Halls allegedly tried to continue filming after a supervising pyrotechnician on set lost consciousness. Halls cannot be reached for comment. (Source:AP, NBC)
4 - Copy Cats for Good
South African scientists attempt to replicate vaccine.
Scientists at African Biologics, a Cape Town startup, are attempting to reverse engineer a coronavirus vaccine for South Africa and other countries that have not been able to afford the shots. Specifically targeting the Moderna vaccine, they hope to make the formula widely available. The WHO hired the scientists as one of the most promising ways to address inequalities in global vaccine distribution, as well as to empower Africans. Moderna, widely accused of holding poorer nations hostage, will not pursue legal action. But they won’t help either. (Source: NPR, AP)
5 - Takeover in Sudan?
Military detains Sudan’s Prime Minister in apparent coup.
Sudan’s troubled transition to democracy since the toppling of autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019 may have just come to an end. After a failed coup attempt in September, military forces detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other civilian leaders early Monday in what pro-democracy groups are calling a military coup. The Sudanese Professionals Association has reported internet and phone service outages across the country. (Source: AP, Aljazeera)
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