Latest News Headlines for Tuesday January 16, 2024 – Since 2020, the world’s five wealthiest individuals have seen their combined fortunes soar from $405 billion to $869 billion. Meanwhile, nearly 5 billion people globally have experienced a decline in wealth, as highlighted in a recent report urging public intervention against rising inequality.

Oxfam’s Inequality Inc., released in conjunction with the World Economic Forum’s commencement, notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated wealth disparities, with extreme wealth surging as global poverty persists. The report warns that if this trend continues, the world may see its first trillionaire in a decade.

The Ukrainian military has claimed a significant achievement by shooting down two Russian aircraft over the Sea of Azov, including an A-50 early warning and control aircraft.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi announced via Telegram that, alongside the A-50, an Il-22M airborne command post and electronic intelligence aircraft were downed. Ukrainian media reports corroborated Zaluzhnyi’s claim, emphasizing the strategic significance of these Russian aircraft.

The Biden administration has formally requested Texas authorities to permit federal Border Patrol agents access to a section of the U.S. southern border currently controlled by state National Guard soldiers. The administration has labeled these restrictions as “clearly unconstitutional,” as per a recent letter.

Should Texas’s National Guard disregard the Biden administration’s directive and continue hindering Border Patrol access to a public park in Eagle Pass, the Department of Homeland Security intends to involve the Justice Department and examine alternative measures.

Ecuador’s security forces have successfully regained control of several prisons previously overrun by gang members, following the release of over 200 officials held captive inside.

The country’s ongoing security crisis escalated last week as the government and major narcotic gangs entered open conflict, spurred by the jailbreak of a notorious drug lord. Gang-controlled riots erupted in prisons, resulting in hostage-taking of guards and staff. Concurrently, a surge of street violence has claimed 19 lives.

Residents and activists in Rankin County, Mississippi, are demanding the removal of the county sheriff following repeated sentencing delays for deputies convicted of torturing and sexually abusing two Black individuals.

Tasha Parker, co-chair of the Local Organizing Committee, emphasized the need for orderly leadership for a just system. The Rankin NAACP, Local Organizing Committee, and local residents held a press conference on January 15 to address the second postponement of sentencing for the six former officers convicted in August 2023.

The trial of Victoria Jacobs, an Uzbekistan native accused of financing Syrian-based terrorist groups with cryptocurrency, commenced with opening statements on Tuesday.

Jacobs is charged with laundering $10,661 for Malhama Tactical through cryptocurrency, Western Union, and MoneyGram transfers from global supporters, and directing the funds to Bitcoin wallets controlled by the group. The indictment also alleges she bought Google Play gift cards for the organization.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was discharged from the hospital on Monday after a two-week stay for an infection following prostate cancer surgery.

Austin’s hospitalization, initially undisclosed to officials, sparked controversy and calls for investigation among lawmakers. The Department of Defense stated, “The Secretary is recuperating well and will, as per doctors’ advice, continue his duties remotely before returning full-time to the Pentagon.”

In response to a measles outbreak in Philadelphia, a group of doctors is providing free measles vaccines to the community.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has confirmed eight cases of measles since late December, all in unvaccinated individuals. The outbreak began with a child admitted to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in December, where at least three other unvaccinated children were subsequently exposed and infected.