News Headlines 4/15/22

RUSSIAN WARSHIP THAT WAS FLEET FLAGSHIP SINKS: The  warship Moskva, which was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, sank yesterday (April 14th) as it was being towed to port, a day after suffering heavy damage under circumstances disputed by Moscow and Ukraine. Russia claims that ammunition on board the guided-missile cruiser detonated due to a fire, the cause of which it didn’t name, while Ukraine says it hit the ship with missiles. Western officials couldn’t confirm the cause of the fire. Russia says the crew abandoned the vessel, but it wasn’t clear if there were any casualties. The ship’s loss is a symbolic defeat for Russia, and the Moskva was also reportedly the ship that in the inital days of the war called on Ukrainian soldiers stationed on Snake Island to surrender, and a soldier answered, “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.” 

Meanwhile, Russian authorities accused Ukraine yesterday of sending two military helicopters some seven miles across the border into Russia and firing on residential buildings in the village of Klimovo, saying that seven people, including a toddler were wounded. It was the latest Russian allegation of cross-border attacks by Ukraine. Earlier in the day, Russia’s state security service claimed that Ukrainian forces fired mortar rounds at a border post in Bryansk as refugees were crossing, forcing them to flee. AP said the reports couldn’t be independently verified. 

Zelenskyy Praises Ukrainian People: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised his nation’s people for their resolve since Russia’s invasion in his nightly video address yesterday, and for making, quote, “the most important decision of their life — to fight.” He said Ukrainians should be proud of having survived 50 days since the late February attack when the invaders, quote, “gave us a maximum of five.”

SUBWAY ATTACK SUSPECT JAILED WITHOUT BAIL: Frank James, the 62-year-old suspect in Tuesday’s shooting attack in a Brooklyn subway car in which 10 people were wounded, was jailed without bail Thursday (April 14th) after a federal court apperance. James is facing a federal terrorism charge that applies to mass transit systems. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara K. Winik told the judge, “The defendant’s attack was premeditated, was carefully planned and it caused terror among the victims and our entire city.” James’ attorney later cautioned outside court against a, quote, “rush to judgment.” Authorities say there’s currently no evidence linked James to any terrorist organizations, and that they’re still trying to determine a motive. Investigators are examining ranting videos on his YouTube channel in which he railed about topics including racism, violence in the U.S., his complaints about mental health care he received in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams, and conditions on the subway, including homeless people on trains.

117 PALESTINIANS, 3 ISRAELI POLICE WOUNDED IN CLASH AT HOLY SITE: At least 117 Palestinians and three Israeli police officers were wounded in a clash at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, a site in Jerusalem that’s sacred to Jews and Muslims, early Friday (April 15th). Israeli security forces entered the compound before dawn as thousands of Palestinians were gathered for prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, setting off clashes, with Israel saying they went in to remove rocks that had been gathered in anticipation of violence. The police said they waited until prayers were over, and that crowds starting throwing rocks toward the Western Wall, a Jewish holy site, forcing them to act, and also said they didn’t enter the mosque itself. AP said videos online showed Palestinians throwing rocks and fireworks and police firing tear gas and stun grenades. Tensions are already high after a series of attacks by Palestinians in Israel in recent weeks that left 14 people dead, and Israel carrying out a wave of arrests and military operations across the West Bank in response.

OHIO MAN WHO CLAIMED ACTING ON TRUMP’S ORDER FOUND GUILTY IN JAN. 6TH TRIAL: A 38-year-old Ohio man who claimed he was following Donald Trump‘s “presidential orders” when he took part in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol was found guilty of six charges by a federal jury Thursday (April 14th). The charges against Dustin Byrton Thompson included obstructing Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory, the only felony of the six, with a potential sentence of 20 years. Jurors rejected Thompson’s defense that blamed Trump and members of the then-president’s inner circle for his actions. Thompson has testifed that he believed Trump’s false claim that the election was stolen and he was trying to stand up for him, stating, “If the president is giving you almost an order to do something, I felt obligated to do that.” Thompson’s case was the third related to January 6th to go to trial. In the first two cases, jurors also convicted the defendants of all charges.