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Several dead after 2 Army Blackhawk helicopters crash: March 30 rundown

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Casualties are being reported after two U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters crashed during a training incident in Kentucky, and a U.S. journalist has been detained in Russia and charged with espionage. These stories and more highlight the daily rundown for Thursday, March 30, 2023. 

Deadly crash involving 2 Army helicopters

Several people have died after two Blackhawk helicopters crashed during a training exercise, according to the 101st Airborne Division, the only air assault division of the U.S. Army. All nine service members aboard the two helicopters have been confirmed dead by ABC News Thursday morning. The accident occurred around 10 p.m. on March 29. 

The division is nicknamed the “Screaming Eagles” and is based near Kentucky’s border with Tennessee. Right now, the division said their focus is on the soldiers and families who were involved. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

(Note: This story has been updated to add a confirmed casualty count.) 

Train derails, Minnesota town evacuates

A Minnesota town outside of Minneapolis has been ordered to evacuate after a train carrying a form of ethanol and a corn syrup liquid derailed and caught on fire, according to local police.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway has reported one of its trains came off the tracks around 1 a.m. on the morning of March 30 and that 22 of its train cars derailed.

No injuries have been reported and residents in Raymond, Minnesota, have evacuated around a half mile radius of the derailment site out of precaution.

U.S. journalist detained in Russia

A U.S. journalist with the Wall Street Journal has been arrested in Russia and charged with espionage. Russian authorities detained Evan Gershkovich, accusing him of spying on behalf of the American government. If he is convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

The journalist has been covering Russia and Ukraine for the Journal. The news organization said Evan Gershkovich is innocent and that they are deeply concerned for his safety. He’s the first American journalist to be arrested for espionage in Russia since the Cold War.

Pope Francis hospitalized in Rome

The Vatican says Pope Francis had a “good first night” in the hospital after being hospitalized with a respiratory infection. The pope will be hospitalized for several days in Rome for treatment.

The pontiff had experienced difficulty breathing in recent days. The Vatican says the 86-year-old Francis does not have COVID-19 but requires several days of therapy.

Pope Francis was set to celebrate the busy Holy Week with events due to begin this weekend with Palm Sunday. It’s unclear how his illness will affect his Holy Week schedule.

Kentucky legislature overrides veto

State legislators in Kentucky have voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill that bans gender-transition services on children.

The bill was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. But with an overwhelming Republican majority in the state House and Senate, lawmakers had enough votes to override the veto.

The bill bans puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-transition surgeries for children under 18 years old. The bill also compels doctors to either stop current treatments on minors or set a time frame to phase out treatments. The new bill also bans schools from teaching students at any grade level about gender identity or sexual orientation.

The law is part of a wave of legislation filed by Republican lawmakers to restrict what doctors call gender-affirming health care for youth.

Ten states have already passed similar bans, with Idaho and Missouri also looking to pass similar bans in their state legislative sessions. 

MLB returns with rule changes

Major League Baseball, America’s pastime, is back in action. Opening day has arrived with all 30 teams set to play ball.

This season, fans will notice some big changes in how the game is played. New rules include a pitch clock, no infield shifts and larger bases. The changes are meant to speed up the pace of the game while adding more action.

There is a schedule change too. Each team will play at least one series against the other 29 teams.

Our Jack Aylmer has reaction from familiar faces in the MLB on how the changes could impact the upcoming season. You can find his full story here.

Pepsi celebrates 125 years with new look

Just ahead of its 125th anniversary, Pepsi is shaking things up. The company is getting a new look after 14 years.

In a press release, the company’s chief design officer said the new logo was created to connect future generations with the brand’s heritage. Products with the new design will hit store shelves in the U.S. and Canada some time this fall.

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KARAH RUCKER: COMING UP – CASUALTIES ARE BEING REPORTED AFTER TWO U.S. ARMY BLACKHAWK HELICOPTERS CRASHED DURING A TRAINING INCIDENT IN KENTUCKY – THE LATEST FROM OFFICIALS ON THE GROUND.

AND A U.S. JOURNALIST HAS BEEN DETAINED IN RUSSIA – CHARGED WITH ESPIONAGE.THE WALL STREET JOURNAL NOW COMING TO THE DEFENSE OF THEIR REPORTER.

THE DAILY RUNDOWN STARTS RIGHT NOW. THIS IS STRAIGHT-ARROW NEWS. BRINGING YOU UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS.

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

WE BEGIN WITH A DEVELOPING STORY OUT OF FORT CAMPBELL KENTUCKY.

DEADLY CRASH INVOLVING 2 ARMY HELICOPTERS

SEVERAL PEOPLE HAVE DIED AFTER TWO BLACKHAWK HELICOPTERS CRASHED DURING A TRAINING EXERCISE.

THIS IS ACCORDING TO THE ONE-HUNDRED-FIRST AIRBORN DIVISION – THE ONLY AIR ASSAULT DIVISION OF THE U.S. ARMY. CASUALTIES ARE CONFIRMED BUT THE NUMBER OF DEATHS OR PEOPLE INVOLVED IS UNKNOWN.

THE ACCIDENT OCCURRING AROUND 10 P-M WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

THE DIVISION IS NICKNAMED THE “SCREAMING EAGLES” AND IS BASED NEAR KENTUCKY’S BORDER WITH TENNESSEE.

RIGHT NOW THE DIVISION SAID THEIR FOCUS IS ON THE SOLDIERS AND FAMILIES WHO WERE INVOLVED.

THE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT IS UNDER INVESTIGATION.

TRAIN DERAILS, MN TOWN EVACUATES

A MINNESOTA TOWN OUTSIDE OF MINNEAPOLIS HAS BEEN ORDERED TO EVACUATE AFTER A TRAIN CARRYING A FORM OF ETHANOL AND A CORN SYRUP LIQUID DERAILED AND CAUGHT ON FIRE ACCORDING TO LOCAL POLICE.

BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE RAILWAY HAS REPORTED ONE OF ITS TRAINS CAME OFF THE TRACKS AROUND 1 AM THURSDAY MORNING…22 OF ITS TRAIN CARS DERAILED.

NO INJURIES HAVE BEEN REPORTED AND RESIDENTS IN RAYMOND MINNESOTA HAVE EVACUATED AROUND A HALF MILE RADIUS OF THE DERAILMENT SITE OUT OF PRECAUTION.

U.S. JOURNALIST DETAINED IN RUSSIA

A U.S. JOURNALIST WITH THE WALL STREET JOURNAL HAS BEEN ARRESTED IN RUSSIA – AND CHARGED WITH ESPIONAGE. RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES DETAINED EVAN GERSHKOVICH – ACCUSING HIM OF SPYING ON BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. IF HE IS CONVICTED – HE COULD FACE UP TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON.

THE JOURNALIST HAS BEEN COVERING RUSSIA AND UKRAINE FOR THE JOURNAL.THE NEWS ORGANISATION SAID EVAN GERSHKOVICH IS INNOCENT AND THAT THEY ARE  “DEEPLY CONCERNED FOR HIS SAFETY.”

HE’S THE FIRST AMERICAN JOURNALIST TO BE ARRESTED ON ESPIONAGE IN RUSSIA SINCE THE COLD WAR.

POPE FRANCIS HOSPITALIZED IN ROME

THE VATICAN SAYS POPE FRANCIS HAD A “GOOD FIRST NIGHT” IN THE HOSPITAL AFTER BEING HOSPITALIZED WITH A RESPIRATORY INFECTION. THE POPE WILL BE HOSPITALIZED FOR SEVERAL DAYS IN ROME FOR TREATMENT.

THE PONTIFF HAD EXPERIENCED DIFFICULTY BREATHING IN RECENT DAYS. THE VATICAN SAYS THE 86-YEAR-OLD FRANCIS DOES NOT HAVE COVID-19 – BUT REQUIRES SEVERAL DAYS OF THERAPY.

POPE FRANCIS WAS SET TO CELEBRATE THE BUSY HOLY WEEK WITH EVENTS DUE TO BEGIN THIS WEEKEND WITH PALM SUNDAY.

IT’S UNCLEAR HOW HIS ILLNESS WILL AFFECT HIS HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE.

Christopher White | National Catholic Reporter correspondent: “I think within the Vatican, and especially the Vatican Secretary of State, there is always a sense of future planning; what happens when this pope dies or resigns? What we have seen and heard from the Vatican to date has not indicated that level of seriousness, but it remains to be seen what the state of the pope’s health actually is.”

KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE OVERRIDES VETO

KARAH RUCKER: IN KENTUCKY – STATE LEGISLATORS HAVE VOTED TO OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR’S VETO ON A BILL THAT BANS GENDER-TRANSITION SERVICES ON CHILDREN.

THE BILL WAS VETOED BY DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR ANDY BESHEAR. BUT WITH AN OVERWHELMING REPUBLICAN MAJORITY IN THE STATE HOUSE AND SENATE – LAWMAKERS HAD ENOUGH VOTES TO OVERRIDE THE VETO.

THE BILL BANS PUBERTY BLOCKERS, HORMONE THERAPY, AND GENDER-TRANSITION SURGERIES FOR CHILDREN UNDER 18 YEARS OLD.

THE BILL ALSO COMPELS DOCTORS TO EITHER STOP CURRENT TREATMENTS ON MINORS OR SET A TIME FRAME TO PHASE OUT TREATMENTS.

THE NEW BILL ALSO BANS SCHOOLS FROM TEACHING STUDENTS AT ANY GRADE LEVEL ABOUT ‘GENDER IDENTITY’ OR ‘SEXUAL ORIENTATION.’

THE LAW IS PART OF A WAVE OF LEGISLATION FILED BY REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS TO RESTRICT WHAT DOCTORS CALL GENDER-AFFIRMING HEALTHCARE FOR YOUTH.

10 STATES HAVE ALREADY PASSED SIMILAR BANS – WITH IDAHO AND MISSOURI ALSO LOOKING TO PASS SIMILAR BANS IN THEIR STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS. 

MLB RETURNS WITH RULE CHANGES

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – AMERICA’S PASTIME – IS BACK IN ACTION – OPENING DAY HAS ARRIVED WITH ALL 30 TEAMS SET TO PLAY BALL.

THIS SEASON – FANS WILL NOTICE SOME BIG CHANGES IN HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED. NEW RULES INCLUDE A PITCH CLOCK, NO INFIELD SHIFTS – AND THERE’S LARGER BASES. THE CHANGES ARE MEANT TO SPEED UP THE PACE OF THE GAME – WHILE ADDING MORE ACTION.

THERE IS A SCHEDULE CHANGE TOO. EACH TEAM WILL PLAY AT LEAST ONE SERIES AGAINST THE OTHER 29 TEAMS.

OUR JACK AYLMER HAS REACTION FROM FAMILIAR FACES IN THE MLB ON HOW THE CHANGES COULD IMPACT THE UPCOMING SEASON.

YOU CAN FIND THE FULL STORY AT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.

PEPSI CELEBRATES 125 YEARS WITH NEW LOOK

JUST AHEAD OF ITS 125TH ANNIVERSARY – PEPSI IS SHAKING THINGS UP. THE COMPANY IS GETTING A NEW LOOK AFTER 14 YEARS.

IN A PRESS RELEASE – THE COMPANY’S CHIEF DESIGN OFFICER SAID THE NEW LOGO WAS CREATED TO “CONNECT FUTURE GENERATIONS” WITH THE “BRAND’S HERITAGE.” PRODUCTS WITH THE NEW DESIGN WILL HIT STORE SHELVES IN THE U.S. AND CANADA SOME TIME THIS FALL. THEN INTERNATIONALLY IN 2024.

THANKS FOR WATCHING THE DAILY RUNDOWN.

WE’RE ON A MISSION TO BRING BACK TRUSTWORTHY JOURNALISM BY SERVING ONLY YOU – NOT AN AGENDA. BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MORE OF OUR WORK AT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.

WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE TOMORROW! UNTIL THEN I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT DAY!