BIDEN HITS THE ROAD TO PUSH PLANS FROM CONGRESSIONAL ADDRESS: As it traditional after a president delivers their address to a joint session of Congress, President Biden hit the road yesterday (April 29th) to try to build support for the big-money economic and social safety net plans he laid out in his speech Wednesday night. Biden headed to Georgia, where he held a socially-distanced car rally in Duluth for hundreds of supporters, like those he held during his presidential campaign. Biden also met with a group of Dreamers, young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, to discuss immigration reform. He’s set to travel to Pennsylvania and Virginia to tout his plans in the coming days.
- Biden and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, met with former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, at their home in Plains, Georgia, earlier in the day.
AT LEAST 44 KILLED IN STAMPEDE AT RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL IN ISRAEL: At least 44 people were killed and some 150 injured in a stampede at a religious festival in Israel early Friday (April 30th) attended by tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews. The stampede began when large numbers of people tried to get through a narrow tunnel-like passage during the event. The festival at Mount Meron was celebrating Lag BaOmer, the first mass religious gathering held legally since Israel lifted nearly all coronavirus restrictions. Large crowds traditionally light bonfires, pray and dance as part of the annual celebrations, which honor a 2nd century sage and mystic buried there.
‘N.Y. TIMES’: REMOVAL OF U.S. AMBASSADOR AT CENTER OF GIULIANI INVESTIGATION: The New York Times reported yesterday (April 29th) that Rudy Giuliani‘s role in the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, is at the center of the Justice Department’s investigation of him. That probe led to the raid by federal agents Wednesday on Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment. The Times said the probe is focusing on his communications with Ukrainian and U.S. officials before Yovanovitch was removed in May 2019, examining whether he broke lobbying laws and whether he pushed her removal at the behest of Ukrainian officials or former President Donald Trump‘s. The issue of Yovanovitch’s removal was involved in Trump’s first impeachment. The former New York City mayor is a personal attorney for Trump.
NORTH CAROLINA COUPLE FOUND DEAD WITH GUNMAN IN INCIDENT THAT LEFT TWO DEPUTIES DEAD WERE SAME FAMILY: A North Carolina sheriff’s office said Thursday (April 29th) that a married couple who were found dead inside their home with a suspected gunman after a 13-hour standoff Wednesday that also left two deputies dead were members of the same family. The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said that 32-year-old suspect Isaac Barnes was the son of 61-year-old Michelle Ligon and stepson of 58-year-old George Ligon. The Ligons were killed in their home in Boone, and Barnes, who appeared to have killed himself, is also suspected in the fatal shootings of the two deputies who’d been sent to the home, Sergeant Chris Ward and K-9 Officer Logan Fox. Sheriff Len Hagaman said family members had been concerned about the large number of weapons Barnes had, and Hagaman said he thinks Barnes may have been considering a public shooting. He stated, “There was familial concern that he might try to do something and he had evidently a fairly large cache of weapons and he was at the house, which we didn’t think he would be.”