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Rail Accidents

A scooter rider died when she went around lowered crossing gates and struck a passing Brightline train. It's the latest in a long string of deaths involving the Florida-based higher-speed rail service. The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Monday that the woman went around the gates in Pompano Beach and hit the train on Saturday. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name and age were not released. The woman was the 63rd person known to have died in a collision with a Brightline train since it began operations in mid-2017. An Associated Press investigation shows Brightline has the worst per-mile death rate in the country. 

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The commander of the main defending force at the Azovstal steel mill in the strategic Ukrainian port city of Mariupol says Russian troops have broken into the territory of the mill. The Russian government, meanwhile, pledged to facilitate humanitarian corridors from Thursday through Saturday to enable more evacuations. In a video posted Wednesday, Denis Prokopenko, commander of the Ukrainian Azov regiment, said the incursions had continued a second day “and there are heavy, bloody battles.” Azovstal remains one of the biggest hubs of Ukrainian military resistance and has been subjected to massive Russian aerial bombardments and shelling. Russian State TV showed smoke rising over Azovstal.

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Hundreds of Ukrainian refugees are camping out in Mexico City and waiting for the U.S. government to allow them into the country. About 500 evacuees were waiting Tuesday in large tents under a searing sun on a dusty field on the east side of Mexico’s sprawling capital. The camp has been open only a week and from 50 to 100 people are arriving every day. Some refugees have already been to the U.S. border in Tijuana where they were told they would no longer be admitted. Others arrived at airports in Mexico City or Cancun. The U.S. government has said it would accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. 

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A retired New York City police officer charged with assaulting a police officer during the U.S. Capitol riot has testified that he was trying to defend himself after the officer punched him in the face. Thomas Webster began testifying on Thursday, the third day of his federal trial. He said it felt like he was hit with a hammer or a freight train when Metropolitan Police Department officer Noah Rathbun reached out with an open left hand and struck the right side of Webster’s face. Rathbun testified on Wednesday that he didn’t punch or pick a fight with Webster. The trial is scheduled to resume on Friday with more testimony by Webster.

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Russia has unleashed a string of attacks against rail and fuel facilities deep inside Ukraine in an apparent attempt to thwart Ukrainian efforts to marshal supplies. The U.S., meanwhile, is moving to rush more weaponry to Ukraine and says the Western allies’ assistance is making a difference in the 2-month-old war. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia is failing in its war aims, and Ukraine is succeeding. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the U.S. wants to help Ukraine remain independent and also see Russia "weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine.”

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russia’s offensive to take control of eastern Ukraine is in full swing. “Now we can already state that the Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas, for which they have been preparing for a long time,” he announced Monday in a video address. He said a “significant part of the entire Russian army is now concentrated on this offensive.” He vowed: “No matter how many Russian troops are driven there, we will fight. We will defend ourselves. We will do it every day.”

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