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News briefs: Bernie Sanders draws large UB crowd

What to know locally, nationally and globally

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Locally

Buffalo supporters wait in rain for hours to see Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders visited UB on Monday for his “A Future to Believe In” rally. Students lined up in the Student Union as early as 7 a.m. to get one of 500 priority tickets that would allow rally-goers to skip the general admission line. Supporters began lining up outside Alumni Arena for general admission seating as early as 8 a.m. and more than 3,000 were turned away once Alumni Arena reached capacity. Sanders spoke to the crowd outside before heading inside for his speech.

Sanders spoke on a number of issues including the rising cost of student debt and fracking. His speech comes just a week ahead of New York’s Democratic and Republican Presidential Primaries.

Verizon workers threaten to go on strike

Five hundred Western New York Verizon employees will go on strike if a deal between the company and the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is not met by 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

The two unions represent over 40,000 Verizon employees across the country. According to The Buffalo News, Verizon wants to “send more work to contractors elsewhere in the country [and] outsource jobs offshore to places like Mexico and the Philippines.” The strike will also affect over 89,000 retirees.

Nationally

Former New Orleans Saints player, Will Smith, killed at scene of car accident

Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith and wife Racquel were shot Saturday after getting into an accident Saturday night. The couple was out to dinner with friends before leaving in their Mercedes G63, according to CNN.

A Hummer rear-ended the couple and Smith and the driver who hit them, later identified as Cardell Hayes, exchanged words before Hayes pulled out a handgun and shot Smith multiple times and Racquel twice in the leg. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. Hayes was charged with second-degree murder and is awaiting trial.

New York court denies Kesha’s claims

A New York judge threw out singer Kesha’s appeal last Wednesday in her case against Sony Music and producer Dr. Luke. The pop singer appealed a decision that she could not be released from her contract with the producer she claims sexually, emotionally and physically abused her, according to CNN.

Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich noted that Kesha had “failed to plead that any of the alleged discrimination occurred in New York State or City,” and that the court had no jurisdiction over the claims.

Globally

Senior North Korean military official defects to South Korea

A North Korean senior intelligence officer has become the highest-ranking military official to defect to South Korea, a government source confirmed to CNN. The defector was a senior colonel with the North Korean Reconnaissance General Bureau, which carries out espionage operations against South Korea.

According to South Korea’s semiofficial Yonhap News Agency, the official defected over a year ago, yet this information is unconfirmed. This follows news that 13 North Korean nationals who had been working at a Pyongyang-owned restaurant had defected to South Korea, officials in Seoul announced.

Paris terror suspect arrested in Belgium

Belgian prosecutors say that Mohamed Abrini has admitted to being the “man in the hat” seen in multiple pictures from Zaventem Airport that have circulated since the March 22suicide bombings in Brussels. According to BBC, Abrini said he threw away his jacket and sold the hat before fleeing the scene of the crime.

Abrini was also wanted in connection with the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people in November. Officials believe those who carried out the Brussels and Paris attacks were part of the same network backed by the Islamic State. He is one of six men arrested on terror charges in Belgium on Friday.

The news desk can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com


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