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National and World News February 23

National and World News February 23

Former President Carter enters hospice after being hospitalized

Former President Jimmy Carter, a Georgia native and the longest-living president in U.S. history, has decided not to receive any further treatment and instead enters home hospice, the Carter Center said on Feb. 18. The Carter Center did not elaborate on the former president’s illness, but the 98-year-old has endured a range of ailments as he outlived both of his successors, as well as his own vice president.

US vice president says Russia committed humanitarian crimes

Vice President Kamala Harris said the United States had concluded Russia had committed a “crime against humanity” in its invasion of Ukraine and vowed that Moscow would be held accountable for its actions. “In terms of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, we’ve reviewed the evidence, we know the legal standard, there’s no doubt about it,” Harris said during a Feb. 18 speech at the Munich Security Conference. “The United States officially finds Russia guilty of crimes against humanity. To all those who committed these crimes — and their superiors, who were complicit in these crimes — you will be held accountable.”

Death toll in Turkey tops 40,000 as aftershocks continue

The total death toll in Turkey’s devastating earthquake has reached 40,642, disaster management agency AFAD said on February 18. Thousands more died in neighboring Syria. Later on February 18, a 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Kahramanmaras region of southeastern Turkey, which was affected by the initial quake. More than 5,700 aftershocks have been recorded since the initial 7.8-magnitude quake hit the Turkey-Syria border region on Feb. 6, AFAD Chairman Yunus Sezer told reporters in Ankara earlier on Feb. 18.

Ohio Chemical Train Accident Shows U.S. Agency Vacancy

President Joe Biden has yet to nominate someone to lead the federal agency that oversees the transportation of hazardous materials, including toxic chemicals that leaked after a Norfolk Southern Company train derailed in a fire on Feb. 3 in Ohio. The Transportation Department’s pipeline, the Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, has been left unattended since Biden took office in January 2021.

New California bill bans evictions for arrested tenants, families

Under new legislation introduced Feb. 17, California tenants and their families will no longer face forced eviction or exclusion based on criminal history or conflicts with law enforcement. Assembly Bill 1418 targets a local policy known as “crime-free housing,” which can force landlords to evict tenants accused of breaking the law or refuse to rent to tenants with criminal convictions. These rules make it harder for renters to find and stay in affordable housing.

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