Biden criticizes ‘MAGA king’
President Joe Biden on Wednesday labeled former president Donald Trump “the great MAGA king” and criticized Republicans ahead of midterm elections this year. “I think it’s important that, as we go forward, you’re gonna hear me talking more about not only what we’ve done, but what they’re trying to do,” Biden told a fundraiser at a Chicago hotel. Biden has begun decrying “ultra-MAGA” Republicans — a reference to Trump’s “make America great again” campaign slogan. When an attendee’s cellphone rang, the president joked: “I know that’s Trump calling. He always does that.” Earlier in the day, Biden offered a new nickname for Trump. “Under my predecessor — the great MAGA king — the deficit increased every single year he was president,” he told the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers conference. “The first year of my presidency, the first year, I reduced the deficit.”
Trooper meets ex-president
A Connecticut state trooper who is a native of Poland on Wednesday got a surprise while responding to an SUV with a flat tire: A passenger in the vehicle was former Polish president Lech Walesa. State police said Trooper Lukasz Lipert arrived to the call in Tolland and was greeted by Walesa, who had spoken in Hartford on Tuesday as part of a tour advocating for aid for refugees who have fled Ukraine during the war with Russia. Lipert, 35, who moved to the US when he was 18, told the Hartford Courant that he spoke with Walesa in Polish about their homeland and the anti-communist movement Walesa helped lead. “It was definitely a great opportunity to meet the man who had a voice during those times,” Lipert said.
Ukrainian circus stuck
A Ukrainian circus troupe is performing a never-ending “Alice in Wonderland” tour of Italy, caught in the real-world rabbit hole of having to create joyful performances on stage while their families at home are living through war. The acrobats and dancers of the Theater Circus Elysium of Kyiv were opening a limited engagement in Italy when the invasion began on Feb. 24. The tour, originally scheduled to end in the middle of March, has now been extended at least through next month as the performers seek to keep working to send money to relatives back home. On a recent weekend, the circus arrived in Pistoia. There was the Mad Hatter, sporting a green top hat and a purple beard; the White Rabbit with a red nose covered in silver glitter and Alice, with a little blue dress and long ringlets. However, behind their colorful costumes, cheerful smiles and fantastical story line of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, troupe members are struggling. “It is very hard to work and dance on the Italy stage because we know in our country now [there] is war, said Oleksandr Bandaliuk, who plays the Mad Hatter. “We can’t go to Ukraine because in my house now [there are] Russian soldiers.”
Judge says threats rising
A judge who last week ordered nine former police and military officers to stand trial for alleged crimes during the country’s civil war, on Wednesday said that death threats against him had increased since announcing his decision. “They send me messages, they call me on the phone, there’s vehicles following; all of that is happening,” Magistrate Miguel Angel Galvez said. Galvez once ordered former leader Efrain Rios Montt to be tried. “Before they had threatened me, but now they even come to hearings to photograph me,” he said.
‘EATING UP SPRING’: Temperatures are 10oC to 15oC above the seasonal average and a city northwest of Madrid experienced its first ‘tropical’ May night on Friday Parts of Spain are experiencing their hottest May since records began, as a mass of hot, dry air blows in from Africa, bringing with it dusty skies and temperatures of more than 40°C. Spain’s state meteorological agency, Aemet, has warned of a weekend heat wave of an “extraordinary intensity,” with temperatures between 10°C and 15°C above the seasonal average and more akin to high summer than mid-May. “The early hours of 21 May have been extraordinarily hot for the time of year across a good part of the center and south of the peninsula,” Aemet said on Saturday. “In many places the
BUSINESS AS USUAL: Thousands of people were forcibly removed from their homes in the dead of night and all mentions of the incident were scrubbed from the Internet Thousands of COVID-19-negative Beijing residents were forcibly relocated to quarantine hotels overnight due to a handful of infections, as the Chinese capital begins to take more extreme control measures resembling virus-hit Shanghai. Beijing has been battling its worst outbreak since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 1,300 since late last month, leading city restaurants, schools and tourist attractions to be closed indefinitely. China’s strategy to achieve zero COVID-19 cases includes strict border closures, lengthy quarantines, mass testing and rapid, targeted lockdowns. More than 13,000 residents of the locked-down Nanxinyuan residential compound in southeast Beijing were
INTERVENTION: A source said that a border patrol agent had rushed into the school without waiting for backup and killed the teen gunman, who was behind a barricade An 18-year-old man on Tuesday opened fire at a Texas elementary school, killing at least 19 children as he went from classroom to classroom, officials said. The attacker was killed by law enforcement. The death toll also included two adults, authorities said. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that one of the two was a teacher. The assault at Robb Elementary School in the town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a US school since a man killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012. Outside the town civic center, where families were told to await news
‘I’M STUNNED’: The disease is not known to be sexually transmitted, but a large outbreak might reveal previously unknown transmission routes, a virologist said Scientists who have monitored numerous outbreaks of monkeypox in Africa say they are baffled by the disease’s recent spread in Europe and North America. Cases of the smallpox-related disease have previously been seen only among people with links to central and West Africa. However, in the past week, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the US, Sweden, Canada all reported infections, mostly in young men who had not previously traveled to Africa. There are about 80 confirmed cases worldwide and 50 more suspected ones, the WHO said. France, Germany, Belgium and Australia reported their first cases on Friday. “I’m stunned by this. Every day I