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Top News Stories – April 3 2023

Article Contents
The top news stories this week reported by PBS Newshour.

Monday (April 3, 2023)

Monday on the NewsHour, former President Trump travels to New York ahead of his arraignment in a hush-money case as other legal troubles simmer. A pro-Russian blogger outspoken in his hostility towards Ukraine is assassinated in a St. Petersburg Cafe. Plus, Wisconsin voters prepare to decide the balance of power of the state Supreme Court in a sharply divided election with national implications.

Trump arrives in New York ahead of historic arraignment in hush-money case

Former President Donald Trump traveled to New York City Monday where he’s been indicted on multiple charges connected to hush-money payments he made to conceal an alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. He will stay the night in Trump Tower before he makes his first appearance in a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday afternoon. White House Correspondent Laura Barrón-López reports.

News Wrap: At least 32 killed in Tornado outbreak

In our news wrap Monday, the death toll has reached 32 from the onslaught of tornadoes that struck the South, Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic over the weekend, Pentagon officials say they’re still analyzing whether a Chinese spy balloon sent intelligence back to Beijing, NASA named the four astronauts slated to fly around the moon and oil prices spiked after OPEC announced plans to scale back output.

Prominent Russian blogger assassinated in St. Petersburg bombing

It’s the highest-profile killing of a supporter of Russia’s war in Ukraine. This weekend, a pro-war blogger died in an explosion at a cafe in Saint Petersburg. Russian authorities blamed Ukraine and have arrested an anti-war activist, but as Nick Schifrin reports, the cafe’s owner, a well-known Putin ally, says the plot is thicker.

How Wisconsin's sharp political divides shaped state Supreme Court election

Tuesday, voters in Wisconsin will decide the balance of the state’s Supreme Court in the most expensive judicial election in history. Judy Woodruff traveled to Wisconsin to see how the state’s sharp political divides are shaping what could be the most important election of 2023. It’s part of her series “America at a Crossroads.”

Chicago sees record early voter turnout in runoff election to pick next mayor

Chicago voters head to the polls Tuesday for a final chance to cast ballots in the mayor’s race. County Commissioner Brandon Johnson is facing off against former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas. Both of them beat a crowded field of nine candidates, including incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot. WTTW Chicago PBS reporter Heather Cherone joined Geoff Bennett to discuss the candidates.

Former president of Iraq reflects on U.S. invasion 20 years later

Sunday will mark 20 years since American troops captured Baghdad after a swift and seemingly conclusive victory over Iraqi forces. But that victory was a mirage and years of terror remained for both Iraq and the U.S. before the establishment of a fragile democracy. Special correspondent Simona Foltyn spoke with former President Barham Saleh about his views 20 years later.

Kehinde Wiley exhibit uses historic icons to expose systemic violence against Black people

Kehinde Wiley is best known for his distinctive presidential portrait of Barack Obama. But Wiley has spent most of his career painting vibrant portrayals of everyday Black men and women. A new exhibition of his work focuses on grief and mourning and also asks whose lives have value. Jeffrey Brown sat down with Wiley for our arts and culture series, CANVAS.

Tuesday (April 4, 2023)

Tuesday on the NewsHour, former President Trump appears in court on 34 felony counts for falsification of business records as part of a scheme to influence the 2016 election. Finland formally joins NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, striking the latest blow against Putin. Plus, as climate change continues to alter the world, the Global Seed Vault becomes more important than ever.

Trump pleads not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsification of business records

Former President Donald Trump was arrested and arraigned in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday, becoming the first U.S. president to face criminal charges. He pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records relating to hush money payments during the 2016 campaign. With the indictment unsealed Tuesday, we learned new details about the case and the former president’s defense.

Former prosecutors outline lengthy legal battle ahead for Trump

Former President Trump’s not-guilty plea has set off what is expected to be a lengthy legal battle in Manhattan. Former federal prosecutor Chuck Rosenberg and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Marc Agnifilo joined Amna Nawaz to discuss the legal issues connected to the arraignment.

Trump arrest and call for protests spark concerns about potential political violence

Former President Donald Trump’s calls for protests regarding his arrest have sparked concerns about the possibility of fresh political violence. Laura Barrón-López reports on how security officials are monitoring and preparing for a host of threats.

Presidential historian says Trump arrest 'a painful day' for America

The arrest and arraignment of a former president mark a turning point in American history. To put the charges against Donald Trump into a historical context, Geoff Bennett spoke with presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

News Wrap: Midwest and South brace for more storms days after tornadoes killed 32

In our news wrap Tuesday, parts of the Midwest and South braced for a new wave of severe weather days after tornadoes killed 32 people, Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter being held in Russia, met with his lawyers and appeared to be in good health and the U.S. military announced a drone strike killed a senior member of the Islamic State in Syria.

Finland formally joins NATO in wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Finland became the 31st member of the NATO alliance on Tuesday, less than one year after it petitioned to join. Finland’s accession doubles NATO’s border with Russia and concludes a historic shift following 75 years of non-alignment. Nick Schifrin discussed the move with Heather Conley of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Tennessee Republicans move to expel Democratic lawmakers who joined gun protest in Capitol

Protests are ongoing in Tennessee after six people were killed in a school shooting in Nashville last week. More than a thousand students in the area walked out of their schools Monday and marched to the state Capitol to call for stronger gun laws. Now, Republicans are moving to expel three Democratic lawmakers who joined protests. Stephanie Sy spoke with one of them, State Rep. Gloria Johnson.

Global Seed Vault becomes more important than ever as climate change threatens crops

When you think of fresh produce and fields of grain, the Arctic may not spring to mind. But just 800 miles from the North Pole, the Global Seed Vault holds emergency stockpiles of most of the world’s crops. It provides scientists with the tools they need to breed plants able to cope with a changing world. Special correspondent John Bevir visited the vault to learn more about the future of food.

Wednesday (April 5, 2023)

Wednesday on the NewsHour, the president of Taiwan meets House Speaker Kevin McCarthy amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China. Former President Trump remains defiant after being charged with multiple felonies as the political reaction to the case risks further dividing the country. Plus, how rural communities are using a fast-acting overdose treatment in the fight against opioid addiction.

News Wrap: Tornado in southeastern Missouri kills at least 5 people

In our news wrap Wednesday, a tornado killed at least five people in southeastern Missouri in the second round of severe weather to strike the region in less than a week, former Vice President Pence will testify in the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 investigation and a state report in Maryland concludes more than 150 Catholic priests and others sexually abused some 600 children over 80 years.

How McCarthy's meeting with president of Taiwan could impact U.S.-China relations

For the first time, a Taiwanese president met a Speaker of the House on U.S. soil. Wednesday’s meeting between President Tsai Ing-wen, Speaker Kevin McCarthy and more than a dozen lawmakers took place despite Beijing’s threats of a serious response. Nick Schifrin discussed the visit with Bonnie Glaser of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

The political fallout from the felony charges against Trump

Following his arrest and arraignment, former President Donald Trump returned to his Florida estate where he delivered a defiant and embittered address. While his indictment has been written into the history books, the political impact is an account still being written. Geoff Bennett discussed that with two GOP analysts, Whit Ayres and Doug Heye.

Wider access to Narcan helps rural communities fight overdose deaths

The FDA recently made it easier for people to obtain a powerful overdose-reversing medicine. Narcan previously required a prescription, but soon will be sold over the counter. Communities are already using it to fight overdose deaths. With support from the Pulitzer Center and in collaboration with the Global Health Reporting Center, William Brangham reports from New York for our series, Rural RX.

The potential dangers as artificial intelligence grows more sophisticated and popular

Over the past few months, artificial intelligence has managed to create award-winning art, pass the bar exam and even diagnose illnesses better than some doctors. But as AI grows more sophisticated and popular, the voices warning against the potential dangers are growing louder. Geoff Bennett discussed the concerns with Seth Dorbin of the Responsible AI Institute.

Reporters who covered U.S. invasion of Iraq reflect on impact of war

Twenty years ago, U.S. forces invaded Iraq. With them, and waiting for them in Baghdad, were hundreds of journalists who would go on to document a war that took a brutal toll on Iraq, on many soldiers and marines and sometimes, the journalists themselves. Nick Schifrin discussed the impact of the war with three reporters who covered the invasion.

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