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Putin meets with Xi in China as leaders look to strengthen ties

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Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to China as he looks to strengthen ties between the two countries, and Slovakia’s prime minister is seriously wounded during an assassination attempt. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Thursday, May 16, 2024.

Putin meets with Xi in China as two countries look to strengthen ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid his country’s war with Ukraine, traveled to China, seeking sought support from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Putin arrived in Beijing for a two-day state visit as both countries navigate escalating tensions with Western nations.

The leaders are slated to discuss various issues including Ukraine, regional matters in Asia, energy and trade. They will also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s recognition of the People’s Republic of China.

Xi and Putin have signed a declaration reinforcing their strategic partnership, with Xi affirming that China will remain a “good partner” to Russia.

During Putin’s visit in February 2022, just before the onset of the war with Ukraine, China and Russia announced a “no limits” partnership.

While China claims neutrality regarding the conflict, the U.S. has expressed concerns that Chinese exports to Russia may be supporting the Kremlin’s war efforts. In response, China has accused the U.S. of making baseless allegations.

Putin’s trip to China marks his first international journey since his recent electoral victory, which extends his tenure as president until at least 2030.

Slovakia’s prime minister in serious condition after assassination attempt

Slovakia’s prime minister is in serious but stable condition following an assassination attempt that was recorded on camera. Police subdued a 71-year-old suspect immediately after he shot Prime Minister Robert Fico five times in what officials describe as a “politically motivated” attack.

The assailant has been charged and faces a potential sentence ranging from 25 years to life imprisonment. The deputy prime minister, Tomas Taraba, reported that doctors have stabilized Fico’s condition. According to a hospital spokesperson, the prime minister underwent five hours of surgery and will remain in the intensive care unit.

This incident marks the first significant assassination attempt on a European political leader in over two decades.

Gaza Strip Pier complete, aid poised to flow into war-torn area

The U.S. military has finished setting up a floating pier for Gaza to help bring humanitarian aid into the area.

The Pentagon reported that as part of this initiative, a ship has been anchored in the Mediterranean Sea to start offloading supplies, noting that no military personnel are expected to enter Gaza.

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, the deputy commander for U.S. Central Command, has indicated that hundreds of tons of aid are ready for delivery, with thousands more being prepared.

Additionally, the United Kingdom has announced its initial shipment of 8,400 temporary shelters, aiming for quick distribution to the people of Gaza.

The pier is designed to handle the transfer of 90 truckloads of aid per day, with plans to increase this number to 150 truckloads once it is fully operational.

Barge collides with Pelican Island Causeway in Texas

A barge collision with the Pelican Island Causeway Bridge in Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday, May 15, resulted in an oil spill and considerable damage. Authorities have reported no injuries, but the bridge remains shut down to all traffic.

Footage revealed a section of the rail line next to the bridge collapsed after the barge came loose and struck the structure.

The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed that the barge is no longer leaking oil, although the full scope of the spill has not been determined.

Texas A&M University at Galveston has suspended campus activities through the weekend.

The bridge serves as a crucial link for Pelican Island’s approximately 9,000 residents to Galveston. Engineers are currently evaluating the damage to establish a timeline for reopening the bridge.

Trump in court as Biden hosts Brown v. Board families; both agree to debate

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate, are set to participate in two presidential debates. Their schedules diverge significantly for Thursday, May 16.

Trump is due in a New York courtroom as his criminal trial continues after a recess. His ex-attorney Michael Cohen is expected to undergo further cross-examination by Trump’s defense team. Trump maintains his innocence in the case.

Meanwhile, at the White House, Biden is hosting plaintiffs and their families from the Brown v. Board of Education case, the historic 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared school segregation by race unconstitutional.

The narrative changes on June 27 and Sept. 10, when Biden and Trump are scheduled to engage in two presidential debates. These debates are organized by news outlets rather than the Bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which typically arranges fall debates.

CNN will broadcast the first debate, while ABC will air the second.

Netflix to stream NFL’s Christmas Day games

In March, SAN reported that the NFL would feature two games on Christmas Day. We now know where viewers will able to watch them: Netflix.

The streaming service will broadcast both games on Wednesday, Dec. 25, as Netflix continues its venture into live sports programming.

Netflix is said to be paying $75 million per game as part of a three-year agreement with the NFL. Under this deal, Netflix will broadcast at least one game on Christmas Day in 2025 and 2026.

The upcoming doubleheader will showcase the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by a matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN TRAVELS TO CHINA AS HE LOOKS TO STRENGTHEN TIES BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES

AND — SLOVAKIA’S PRIME MINISTER IS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED DURING AN ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT

THE MORNING RUNDOWN STARTS NOW.

TODAY IS THURSDAY, MAY 16TH.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

AMID HIS COUNTRY’S WAR WITH UKRAINE, RUSSIA PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN HAS TURNED TO ONE OF HIS CLOSEST ALLIES FOR SUPPORT – CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JIN pinG.

PUTIN ARRIVING IN BEIJING TODAY FOR A TWO-DAY STATE VISIT WITH THE CHINESE LEADER AS BOTH NATIONS FACE GROWING TENSIONS WITH THE WEST.

THE TWO LEADERS ARE EXPECTED TO SPEAK ON TOPICS INLCUDING UKRAINE, ASIA, ENERGY AND TRADE – AND CELEBRATE 75 YEARS SINCE THE SOVIET UNION RECOGNIZED THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA.

XI AND PUTIN SIGNED A JOINT STATEMENT DEEPENING THEIR STRATEGIC TIES – WITH XI SAYING CHINA WILL ALWAYS BE “A GOOD PARTNER” TO RUSSIA.

WHEN PUTIN VISITED IN FEBRUARY 2022 – JUST BEFORE THE START OF THE WAR WITH UKRAINE — CHINA AND RUSSIA DECLARED A “NO LIMITS” PARTNERSHIP.

THOUGH CHINA HAS CONTENDED IT IS NEUTRAL AS IT PERTAINS TO THE WAR, THE U.S. HAS RAISED CONCERNS THAT CHINA’S EXPORTS TO RUSSIA ARE AIDING THE KREMLIN IN THE CONFLICT.

CHINA HAS FIRED BACK – SAYING THE U.S. IS MAKING “GROUNDLESS ACCUSATIONS.”

PUTIN’S VISIT TO CHINA IS HIS FIRST FOREIGN TRIP SINCE HE WAS DECLARED THE WINNER OF RUSSIA’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION EARLIER THIS MONTH – A VICTORY THAT KEEPS HIM IN POWER UNTIL AT LEAST 2030.

THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE EUROPEAN NATION OF SLOVAKIA IS IN “VERY SERIOUS” BUT STABLE CONDITION THIS MORNING – AFTER AN ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT THAT WAS CAUGHT ON CAMERA.

POLICE TOOK DOWN THE 71-YEAR-OLD GUNMAN MOMENTS AFTER HE SHOT PRIME MINISTER ROBERT FICO (FEET-ZO) FIVE TIMES IN AN ATTACK GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SAY WAS “POLITICALLY MOTIVATED”.

THE SUSPECT HAS REPORTEDLY BEEN CHARGED AND faces up  to LIFE IN PRISON.

THE COUNTRY’S DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER SAYING DOCTORS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO STABILIZE FICO’S (FEET-ZO’S) CONDITION.

A HOSPITAL OFFICIAL SAYING THE PRIME MINISTER HAS UNDERGONE FIVE HOURS OF SURGERY AND WILL REMAIN IN THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT.

THE SHOOTING WAS THE FIRST MAJOR ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON A POLITICAL LEADER IN EUROPE IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS.

THE U.S. MILITARY SAYS IT HAS ANCHORED THE TEMPORARY FLOATING PIER TO A BEACH IN GAZA THIS MORNING – WHICH WILL ALLOW MORE HUMANITARIAN AID TO ENTER THE WAR-TORN REGION.

US CENTRAL COMMAND SAYS TRUCKS WILL BEGIN TO MOVE AID — IN THE COMING DAYS.

ADDING u.s. TROOPS HAD ENTERED THE GAZA STRIP DURING THE INSTALLATION OF THE PIER.

ACCORDING TO U.S. OFFICIALS, HUNDREDS OF TONS OF AID ARE ALREADY PRIMED FOR DELIVERY AND THOUSANDS MORE are IN THE PIPELINE – WITH SOME ALREADY LOADED ONTO A SHIP WAITING AT a NEARBY PORT.

THE UNITED KINGDOM says ITS FIRST SHIPMENT OF AID TO BE DELIVERED BY THE PIER — INCLUDes thousands of TEMPORARY SHELTERS.

INITIALLY THE PIER IS EXPECTED TO ALLOW 90 TRUCKLOADS OF AID DAILY — WITH THAT NUMBER INCREASING TO 150  WHEN THE PIER IS FULLY OPERATIONAL.

A BARGE COLLIDED WITH A BRIDGE IN GALVESTON, TEXAS ON WEDNESDAY, LEADING TO AN OIL SPILL AND CAUSING SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE.

OFFICIALS REPORTING NO INJURIES — BUT THE “PELICAN ISLAND CAUSEWAY BRIDGE” REMAINS CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC.

VIDEO SHOWS PART OF A RAIL LINE ALONGSIDE THE BRIDGE COLLAPSED AFTER THE BARGE BROKE LOOSE AND DRIFTED — SLAMMING INTO THE BRIDGE.

THE U.S. COAST GUARD SAYS THE BARGE HAS STOPPED LEAKING, BUT THE EXTENT OF THE SPILL IS UNKNOWN.

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY AT GALVESTON HAS CLOSED IT CAMPUS THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

THE bridge CONNECTS PELICAN ISLAND, A POPULATION OF ROUGHLY 9-THOUSAND PEOPLE, TO GALVESTON.

ENGINEERS ARE ASSESSING THE DAMAGE TO DETERMINE WHEN THE BRIDGE CAN REOPEN.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, THE PRESUMPTIVE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE, HAVE AGREED TO PARTICIPATE IN TWO PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES. TODAY, HOWEVER, THEY WILL BE PART OF TWO VERY DIFFERENT EVENTS.

TRUMP WILL BE BACK IN A NEW YORK COURTROOM AS HIS CRIMINAL TRIAL RESUMES FOLLOWING A DAY OFF. TRUMP’S FORMER LAWYER MICHAEL COHEN WILL RETURN TO the STAND TO FACE MORE CROSS-EXAMINATION FROM HIS LEGAL TEAM. TRUMP HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY IN THE CASE.

AT THE WHITE HOUSE — PRESIDENT BIDEN WILL MEET PLAINTIFFS FROM THE BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION CASE AND THEIR FAMILIES — THE LANDMARK 1954 SUPREME COURT RULING FOUND SEGREGATING CHILDREN IN SCHOOL BY RACE WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

IT WILL BE A DIFFERENT STORY FOR TRUMP AND BIDEN ON JUNE 27TH AND SEPTEMBER 10TH – AS BOTH HAVE AGREED TO FACE OFF IN TWO PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES ORGANIZED BY NEWS ORGANIZATIONS – NOT BY THE BIPARTISAN COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES WHICH HAS TRADITIONALLY SCHEDULED DEBATES IN THE FALL.

THE FIRST DEBATE WILL AIR ON CNN. THE SECOND ON ABC.

for more election-related coverage — you can download the straight arrow news app and enable notifications so you don’t miss the stories that matter to you.

FINALLY THIS MORNING – BACK IN MARCH, WE REPORTED HERE ON THE RUNDOWN THAT THE NFL WILL PLAY TWO GAMES ON CHRISTMAS DAY THIS YEAR. AND NOW WE KNOW WHERE YOU’LL BE ABLE TO WATCH THEM.

ON NETFLIX.

THE STREAMING SERVICE ANNOUNCING IT WILL CARRY BOTH GAMES ON WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 25TH.

A FIRST FOR NETFLIX – AS THE COMPANY VENTURES MORE INTO LIVE SPORTS PROGRAMMING.

NETFLIX REPORTEDLY PAYING 75 MILLION DOLLARS PER GAME.

AS PART OF A THREE-YEAR DEAL WITH THE NFL, NETFLIX WILL AIR AT LEAST ONE CHRISTMAS DAY GAME IN 20-25 AND 20-26.

THIS YEAR’S DOUBLE-HEADER WILL SEE THE DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPION KANSAS CITY CHIEFS MEET THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS – FOLLOWED BY THE BALTIMORE RAVENS FACING THE HOUSTON TEXANS.

THESE ARE YOUR TOP STORIES FOR THIS THURSDAY.

WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE TOMORROW.

UNTIL THEN I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT DAY!