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Nation and World News March 23

Russia and Ukraine renew the Black Sea Grain deal last minute

Russia and Ukraine have agreed to renew the crucial Black Sea Grain Deal, which was due to expire within hours, officials from all sides said March 18, following last-minute talks, but there was no confirmation as to how long it would be extended. The Black Sea Grain Initiative frees millions of tons of grain and other foods that would otherwise be stuck in Ukraine because of Russia’s invasion and blockade. It allows for shipments via three Black Sea ports, with Turkey playing a coordinating role. Exiled Chinese tycoon charged with billion-dollar fraud in US Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, the exiled businessman and vocal critic of Beijing with ties to former President Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, was charged with fraud after the U.S. seized $634 million linked to his alleged crimes. Arrested at 6:24 a.m. March 15 by FBI agents at his luxury apartment in Manhattan’s Sherry-Netherland hotel, Guo was later brought before a judge over the alleged billion-dollar fraud.

Pakistan court defers indictment on Imran Khan’s state gifts case

A Pakistan court deferred an indictment on former Prime Minister Imran Khan for not disclosing income from selling state gifts as his supporters and the police clashed in Islamabad. The hearing will now be March 30, Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Harris said. Khan’s supporters pelted police with stones after security officials tried to prevent them from entering the court’s premises along with their leader. Police fi red tear gas shells as their vehicles were set ablaze by protesters. Nine policemen were wounded and more than 25 vehicles were burnt, according to Islamabad police spokesperson Taqi Jawad.

Michigan Senate approves gun control bills after mass shootings

The Michigan Senate responded March 16 to the deadly shooting at Michigan State University that occurred Feb. 13, by approving bills that would expand background check requirements for fi rearm purchases and allow guns to be taken from those deemed a risk to themselves or others. The main proposals in the 11-bill package, which also includes measures to require guns to be secured if they are kept in homes where children are present, passed along party lines in votes of 20–17 with Democrats in support and Republicans in opposition.

Warrant issued for Putin against alleged war crimes in Ukraine

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and one of his government ministers March 17. The warrants, the fi rst issued in connection with the year-old Ukraine confl ict, cites alleged involvement by Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, in the deportations and transfer of thousands of Ukrainian children from Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine in the wake of the February 2022 invasion.