Severe weather slammed Southern states, leaving at least two dead. No charges for Minneapolis police officer who killed Amir Locke in a no-knock raid. And Ed Sheeran won a copyright lawsuit over his lyrics by him.
👋 Hey! Laura here with all the news you need to know Wednesday.
But first, lucky kitty! 🐈 “Freddie Mercury,” the kitten, went missing last month. After days of searching, his owner got a call saying he was found – 250 miles from home.
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Thousands of civilians killed in Mariupol
The largest of the encircled Ukrainian city of Mariupol said more than 5,000 civilians, including 210 children, have been killed during the month-long Russian siege. Vadym Boichenko said Wednesday that Russian forces bombed hospitals, including one where 50 people burned to death and have destroyed more than 90% of the southern port city’s infrastructure. “The world has not seen the scale of the tragedy in Mariupol since the existence of the Nazi concentration camps. Russia-occupation forces turned our entire city into a death camp,” Boichenko said. “This is the new Auschwitz and Majdanek.”
New sanctions target Putin’s daughters
President Joe Biden said new economic sanctions imposed Wednesday against Russia, including two adult daughters of President Vladimir Putin, “ratchet up the pain” further on Russia following the discovery of atrocities committed by its troops. “There’s nothing less happening than major war crimes,” Biden said, describing scenes of bodies left in the streets of the Ukrainian town of Bucha including civilians executed with their hands tied behind their backs. The Biden administration sanctions announced on 21 Kremlin officials and Russian elites in addition to two adult Putin daughters, Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, and the wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Other measures include full blocking sanctions on Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, and Russia’s largest private bank, Alfa Bank, as well as a ban on US investment in Russia. European allies took similar actions.
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No charges for officer who killed Amir Locke in no-knock raid
Prosecutors announced Wednesday they will not file charges against the Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Amir Locke during a no-knock raid in February, but Locke’s mother vowed the case “is not over.” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman said in a joint statement there was not enough evidence to file criminal charges in the case. Officer Mark Hanneman shot Locke three times less than 10 seconds after a SWAT team entered the apartment where Locke was sleeping early in the day. Officers from the Minneapolis Police Department were carrying out a search warrant as part of a St. Paul homicide investigation, but Locke, 22, was not listed on the warrant and did not live in the apartment where he was killed. Locke’s cousin and another teenager have been charged in the homicide investigation that led to the fatal raid.
2 dead after severe weather ravages the South
Parts of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee braced for another day of severe weather Wednesday after storms ravaged the region the day before. Tuesday’s tornado killed at least one person in Georgia, and strong winds were blamed for another death in Texas, authorities said. Thousands of residents in Texas and Georgia were without power Wednesday, as the risk of severe storms capable of producing destructive gusts, hail and tornadoes was expected through the afternoon and evening. The threat of damaging weather will move further north Wednesday, forecasters said, with severe storms possible across an area stretching from western Alabama to the western tip of the Carolinas. More than 10 million people in metro areas including Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; and Chattanooga, Tennessee, will be at risk, the Storm Prediction Center said.
Ed Sheeran wins copyright case
Grammy Award-winning songwriter Ed Sheeran won a UK copyright battle over his 2017 hit “Shape of You” on Wednesday, then slammed what he described as a “culture” of baseless lawsuits intended to squeeze money out of artists eager to avoid the expense of a trial. The British pop star and his co-writers, Snow Patrol’s John McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon, had denied allegations that the song copied part of 2015’s “Oh Why” by Sami Chokri, who performs under the name Sami Switch. “I feel like claims like this are way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there is no basis for the claim,” Sheeran said in a video posted on Twitter. “It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry.” In Wednesday’s ruling, High Court Judge Antony Zacaroli concluded that Sheeran “neither deliberately nor subconsciously” copied a phrase from “Oh Why” when writing his smash hit.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism