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CBS Weekend News April 29, 2023



CBS Weekend News, April 29, 2023 – CBS News

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Hundreds of American civilians evacuated from Sudan as militants break fragile truce



Hundreds of American citizens have left Sudan by land, sea and air, the State Department said late Friday as fighting continues despite the extension of a fragile truce between the country’s two top generals.

The convoy carrying Americans, local personnel and “citizens of allied and partner countries” arrived in Port Sudan on Saturday, where the US government will help citizens and anyone eligible to travel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the statement said. US State Department.

At the moment, it is not known how many Americans are in the convoy.

“This builds on the work the US government has done this week to facilitate the departure of our diplomats with military assistance and hundreds of other US citizens by ground escort, partner aircraft flights and sea,” said Matthew Miller, department spokesman.

Miller added that “intense negotiations” by the US, with the support of “regional and international partners,” created the conditions for the evacuation of both citizens and non-citizens, including Saturday’s operation.

“We continue to call on the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to stop fighting that endangers civilians,” Miller said, adding that Americans are advised not to travel to Sudan.

Pentagon Deputy Spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said the Secretary of Defense had granted the State Department’s request for assistance in securing the safe departure of US citizens and their immediate families by land.

“The US Department of Defense has deployed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to support the air and land escape routes that the Americans use, and we are moving naval forces within the region to provide any necessary support along the coast,” Singh said. “Our goal was, and remains, to help as many U.S. citizens leave the country as safely as possible.”

A US official confirmed to NBC News on Saturday that the US government-sponsored convoy that evacuated US citizens from Khartoum to Port Sudan was protected by armed US drones that flew over it.

The US government is likely to release more accurate data on the number of evacuees in the convoy once the Americans make it safely to Jeddah, the official said.

One Friday, State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said that fewer than 5,000 citizens had asked the US for more information, and only a fraction of them were actively seeking help to leave Sudan. “Several hundred US citizens “have already left Sudan by land, sea or aircraft,” he added.

A Saudi foreign ministry statement on Saturday said U.S. citizens were among nearly 1,900 evacuated foreign nationals who arrived in the port of Jeddah by ship on Saturday. The number of Americans on board is not specified.

A ferry carrying evacuees from Port Sudan arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.Fayez Nureldin/AFP via Getty Images

While several countries evacuated their citizens by air, some of them traveled via Port Sudan on the Red Sea, about 500 miles by road from Khartoum.

Some 16,000 American citizens were in the country before the violence broke out just over two weeks ago.

Although US personnel were evacuated from the US Embassy last week, some have criticized how long it took for civilians to be evacuated.

Denise Bowers and her husband Chris told NBC News Thursday that they made it to Egypt’s capital Cairo after a difficult journey that included a bus and ferry ride.

Chris, 53, said they watched the US embassy evacuate from their apartment in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, but they had to make their own way out of the large African country.

Denise, 52, who worked as a teacher, added that the US government “had absolutely nothing to do with us getting out safely,” even though the embassy knew they were in Sudan. She said they were advised to join the convoy from the Turkish embassy.

Chris added that he’s glad they got away, but he “feels sorry” for those left behind. “The fact that we got on the bus and half of our friends couldn’t come with us made us feel terrible,” he said.

The couple returned from Egypt to Bluffton, South Carolina late Friday night.

They were forced to withdraw, along with thousands of others, after the military and its partner-turned-rival, the Operational Security Forces, began battling for control of the major institutions of the large African nation earlier this month.

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Russian official: Ukrainian drones attacked oil depot in Crimea



KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A massive fire has broken out at an oil depot in Crimea after it was shot down by two Ukrainian drones, a Russian-appointed official said Saturday, the latest in a series of attacks on the annexed peninsula as Russia prepares for an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Mikhail Razvozhaev, the Moscow-appointed governor of Sevastopol, a port city in Crimea, posted videos and photos of the fire on his Telegram channel.

According to Razvozhaev, the fire on the coast of the city has been given the highest rating in terms of the difficulty of extinguishing it. However, he said that the open fire was localized.

Razvozhaev said the oil depot was attacked by “two enemy drones” and four oil tanks burned down. According to Moscow-appointed Crimean Governor Sergei Aksyonov, a third drone was shot down from the sky and another was electronically deactivated.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, which most of the world considers illegal. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview this week that his country would seek to retake the peninsula in an upcoming counteroffensive.

Smoke and flames rise from a burning fuel tank in Sevastopol, Crimea, in this publicity photo, taken from a video posted by Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhaev on his Telegram channel on Saturday, April 29, 2023.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea last month to mark the ninth anniversary of Ukraine’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula. Putin’s visit comes a day after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader, accusing him of war crimes.

The attack, reported in Sevastopol, comes a day after Russia fired more than 20 cruise missiles and two drones into Ukraine, killing at least 23 people. Almost all of the victims died when two rockets hit a residential building in the city of Uman, located in central Ukraine.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko said on Saturday that six children were among the dead, adding that 22 of the 23 bodies found have been identified. According to Klymenko, two women are missing.

Russian forces launched new drones into Ukraine overnight. The Ukrainian Air Force command said two Iranian-made self-exploding Shahed drones were intercepted on Saturday morning and a reconnaissance drone was shot down.

According to Razvozhaev, the fire at the oil depot did not lead to human casualties and will not interfere with the supply of fuel to Sevastopol. The city has been subject to regular drone attacks, especially in recent weeks.

Earlier this week, Razvozhaev reported that the Russian military had destroyed a Ukrainian maritime drone that was trying to attack the harbor and another exploded, shattering the windows of several residences but causing no other damage.

Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told the news site RBC-Ukraine on Saturday that the fire at the oil depot was “God’s punishment” for the “killed civilians in Uman, including five children.”

He said that more than 10 tanks with oil products for the Russian Black Sea Fleet were destroyed in Sevastopol, but did not acknowledge Ukraine’s responsibility for the drone attack. The difference in the number of tanks given by Yusov and Razvozhaev could not be immediately reconciled.

After previous attacks on Crimea, Kyiv also did not openly take responsibility, but emphasized that the country has the right to strike at any target in response to Russian aggression.

Elsewhere, Ukrainian forces shelled the city of Novaya Kakhovka, according to Moscow-installed authorities in the Russian-occupied part of Kherson region in southern Ukraine. “Heavy artillery fire” cut off electricity in the city, officials said.

The Ukrainian-controlled part of the province also came under fire on Saturday. As a result of Russian shelling in the area of ​​the village of Belozerka, one person was killed, another was wounded, the Kherson prosecutor’s office reports.

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10 thirtieth members of Congress



Introducing the first ever Thirsties for those who excel in Washington’s signature art form: trying to get on your TV screen tonight.

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