5 things to know for April 18: Ukraine, gun violence, taxes, North Korea, hate crimes

Here’s what you need to know to Level up and get on with your day.

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1.Ukraine

After a weekend of heavy shelling and a series of new missile strikes across the country, Ukrainian forces are rejecting Russian requests to surrender Mariupol. The beleaguered southeastern port city has been surrounded by Russian forces since March 1, but Ukrainian troops trapped in the city are resisting Russia’s relentless onslaught despite overwhelming odds. “There are still our military forces, our soldiers, so they will fight until the end and for now they are still in Mariupol,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said yesterday on ABC News’ This Week. . Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also told CNN that Ukraine is does not want to cede territory in the east of the country to end the war with Russia. This comes as Ukraine continues to suffer horrific civilian casualties. At least 191 children have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion, according to Ukrainian prosecutors, and hundreds more have been injured.

2. Armed Violence

An upsurge in gun violence has plagued the United States in recent weeks, with more than 140 mass shootings this year alone. Yesterday in Pittsburgh, two 17-year-olds were killed and several other people were injured after around 90 shots were fired at a large party. Investigators are looking for several suspects in the shooting, which happened at a property rented through short-term rental company Airbnb. This weekend also saw two mass shootings in South Carolina, with no deaths yesterday afternoon. In one of the incidents, nine people were shot dead at an Easter party at a Furman living room. In the other incident, 14 people were injured in a shooting at the Columbiana Center mall in Columbia on Saturday.

3. Taxes

Today is tax day and the IRS expects you to file your 2021 return by the end of the day or request an automatic six-month extension. If you are one of those who have postponed the tax return until the last possible moment, don’t worry, we can help you through the process here. A few important things to remember: If you worked remotely from a state other than where your employer is based, you may be subject to the income tax rules of two or more states. If you have one or more children, you should also see if you can claim the enhanced child tax credit, which could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. And finally, be patient. The IRS is processing millions of returns from last year that have yet to be processed, in addition to staffing issues due to Covid-19 and a lack of necessary funding for the agency. If you find you need last-minute help, use the online tools provided at IRS.gov.

4. North Korea

Footage released by North Korean state media yesterday showed the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, smiling and cheering as he watched his country fire projectiles into the waters off the eastern Korean peninsula. The weapons test was the country’s 12th such test this year – and a move both South Korea and Japan view as extremely threatening. Immediately after the launch, the South Korean military, intelligence agencies and the National Security Bureau held an emergency meeting to assess the situation and discuss countermeasures, according to a statement from the heads of state- joint major. North Korea has increased its missile tests this year, including launching its first intercontinental ballistic missile in more than four years on March 24, in defiance of international law.

5. Hates crimes

Hate crimes in New York are up 76% so far this year compared to the same time last year, according to data from the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force. With a total of 194 hate crimes reported so far this year, New York City is experiencing a surge in incidents of violent crime and homelessness, Mayor Eric Adams said, particularly on the subway. Criminal incidents targeting Jews have risen from 28 crimes last year to 86 so far in 2022, the data shows. Crimes against black people also doubled, with the number of targeted incidents this year rising to 26 from 13 in the same period last year. Hate crimes against Asians, however, have declined – with 47 last year and 32 in the same period this year, the data shows.

BROWSE

The White House Easter Egg Roll is today

Party at the White House! Thousands of guests, who have won tickets via a public lottery, will come through the South Gates today for an epic Easter egg hunt.

Florida man watches ‘Spider-Man’ movie 292 times, setting world record

With great power comes great responsibility. Let’s see how many lines from the movie he can recite!

Billie Eilish on the cover of Coachella

Once you listen to Billie Eilish’s “Ocean Eyes,” you’ll understand why she was named the headliner. Three words: Pure. Raw. Talent.

Let’s talk about Coachella fashion

The festival is back with stellar performances… but not-so-stellar outfits. Let’s leave the boho-chic outfits and flower crowns at home next year, please.

World’s oldest known gorilla just turned 65

Check out this gorilla celebrating his golden years. Live more life!

NUMBER OF THE DAY

54

That’s the number of new math textbooks Florida State has rejected from next year’s school curriculum, citing references to critical race theory among the reasons for the rejections. The Florida Department of Education said the list of rejected books represents about 41% of submissions, which is the highest in state history.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Tunisia will determine the losses and demand compensation.”

— Laila Chikaoui, Tunisian Minister of the Environment, on the possible environmental damage caused by a merchant ship carrying up to 1,000 tons of oil that sank in Tunisian waters over the weekend. On Saturday, Tunisian authorities opened an investigation into the sinking, which the environment ministry said was caused by bad weather. The ministry said barriers would be put in place to limit the spread of the fuel.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Start your day with fresh fruit

This farm hand-picks 2,000 pounds of blueberries a day – and the picking process is oddly satisfying! (Click here to see)

About Alma Ackerman

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