- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which in March issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. “We all want to see a different Vladimir here in the Hague, the one who deserves to be sanctioned for his criminal actions here, in the capital of international law,” Zelenskiy said in a speech.
- Meanwhile, Moscow has stepped up attacks as Ukraine prepares for a counteroffensive to try to retake occupied land. Russia fired two dozen combat drones at Ukraine early today, striking a university campus in the Black Sea city of Odesa and attacking the capital Kyiv for the third time in four days. Follow the latest developments here.
- Russia accused the US of being behind what it says was a drone attack on the Kremlin intended to kill Putin. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Washington should be aware that Russia knew it was selecting the targets and Ukraine was merely implementing US plans. Today’s Reuters World News podcast explains what we know and don’t know about the incident.
- A panel of global health experts will meet to decide if COVID-19 is still an emergency under the World Health Organization’s rules, a status that helps maintain international focus on the pandemic. There is no consensus yet on which way the panel may rule, advisors to the WHO and external experts told Reuters.
- Fierce fighting could be heard in central Khartoum this morning as the Sudanese army tried to push back the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces from areas around the presidential palace and army headquarters, with a lasting ceasefire appearing elusive. The United Nations is pressing the warring factions to guarantee safe passage of humanitarian aid.
- Police have arrested a former US Coast Guardsman suspected of killing one person and wounding four in a shooting at a medical building in Atlanta, then carjacking a vehicle to flee the scene. The motive for the shooting, and whether the suspect knew or targeted any of his victims, had yet to be determined, police said.
- The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a widely expected 25 basis points and dropped from its policy statement language saying that it “anticipates” further rate increases would be needed. The end of a market-punishing rate hiking cycle may be in sight, but uncertainty over stock valuations and the economic outlook is keeping investors on alert for more turbulence ahead.
- Now, eyes turn to the European Central Bank’s rate decision later in the day. The ECB will raise interest rates for the seventh meeting in a row as its long fight against inflation continues, with only the size of the move still open to debate. The central bank for the 20-country euro zone has already lifted rates by a record 350 basis points since July.
- PacWest said it was in talks with potential partners and investors about strategic options after shares of the Los Angeles-based lender and several other US regional banks tumbled amid fears of a worsening banking crisis. It also said it had not experienced unusual deposit outflows since the sale of First Republic Bank to JPMorgan was announced on Monday.
- Energy giants Shell and Equinor reported higher-than-expected first-quarter profits, using the heft of their trading desks to offset lower oil and gas prices. The profits from the two companies follow forecast beating results from rivals Exxon Mobil, Chevron and BP over the past week.
- China’s tourism rebounded to pre-COVID levels in the May Day holiday as the number of domestic trips rose by more than two-thirds from a year earlier. Travel-hungry Chinese made 274 million domestic trips during the five-day break that began on Saturday, a rise of 70.8% from a year earlier.
Inside the Kenyan Starvation Cult
Paul Mackenzie, a cult leader accused of ordering his followers to starve themselves to death, appears at Malindi Law Courts, May 2, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo
Paul Mackenzie lived with hundreds of followers in makeshift homes of polythene sheeting and thatch in a remote forest camp. He told them the world as they knew it was going to end on April 15 and Satan would rule for 1,000 years, according to their relatives and a senior police investigator. He ordered them to starve themselves and their children to death so they could meet Jesus in heaven, they said.