7 things to know on May 3: Constitution Day, train derailment in Russia, tough laws in Uganda

A freight train derailed in the Russian region near the Ukrainian border due to an explosion. Israel and Palestinian armed groups have agreed to a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. In turn, the head of the Pentagon is sending troops to the border with Mexico. Here are six things you need to know today.

1. May 3 is Constitution Day

Across the country, celebrations are being announced to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution on May 3. In the morning – at 8.30 – a ceremony will be held at the Presidential Palace where eight officers of the Polish Army will be appointed generals and admirals by President Andrzej Duda.

Celebrations will be held at the Royal Fort with the participation of m.in. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, when President Duda issues the White Eagle orders. An hour later – at noon – ceremonies are planned at Block Jamkovi, with the participation of the presidential couple and the prime minister. The Head of State’s speech is scheduled.

In Katowice, the feast day will begin with the laying of a wreath at the monument to the Silesian rebels, a holy mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral of Christ the King, followed by a solemn roll call with a parade of units.

In Krakow, the anniversary will be celebrated with the laying of flowers and a Holy Mass. At Vaval Cathedral, a patriotic procession will take off. The event will conclude with the handing over of royal decorations and certificates of Polish citizenship by the MaƂopolskie Voivode.

2. A freight train derailed in Russia

A cargo train derailed in the Russian region of Bryansk, on the border of Ukraine and Belarus, on Tuesday as a result of an explosion, the Medusa portal reported. Earlier in the day, an explosion derailed a Belarusian train carrying fuel in the region.

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Medusa writes that Russian State Railways reported that the freight train derailed due to “illegal interference by outsiders in the operation of rail transport.” The locomotive and about 20 wagons were derailed. According to initial reports, no one was injured.

3. Police Arrest Murder Convict in Texas

Law enforcement arrested 38-year-old Francisco Oropeza after a manhunt involving more than 250 officers that began Friday. A man has been charged with killing five neighbors, including an 8-year-old boy.

The perpetrator used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and his action was in response to a neighbor’s plea to stop shooting in their yard because he could not get the children to sleep. He replied that he was on his property and “can do whatever he wants”.

4. Cease fire after the attack on the Gaza Strip

Reuters reported that the Israeli Air Force struck targets in the Palestinian territories on Tuesday evening, following rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces attack targets in the Gaza StripAbir Sultan/PAP/EPA

A total of 37 rockets were fired at southern Israel on Tuesday, the Times of Israel reported. 12 civilians were injured in shelling from the Gaza Strip. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Wednesday morning, Israel and Palestinian armed groups agreed to a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, Reuters reported.

5. The Pentagon sends troops to the Mexican border

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has approved sending 1,500 troops to the Mexican border to assist border officials, the ministry said. This is related to the upcoming relaxation of border restrictions introduced during the pandemic.

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Pentagon spokesman Gen. Pat Ryder said the troops would be deployed for 90 days to “fill critical gaps.” They monitor the border, enter data and support warehouse workers.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said they would not participate in border services operations or interact with migrants. The border already has 2,500 troops and the Texas National Guard.

6. Cruel laws in Uganda

Uganda’s parliament has passed some of the harshest anti-LGBTQ laws in the world. Among others, there is a long term of imprisonment or the death penalty.

Police break up an LGBT rally in Kampala, Uganda. Entries from September 2016Reuters Archive

President Yoweri Museveni has called for some of the laws passed in March to be relaxed, but the new law is much stricter. These provisions have been condemned by the United States, the European Union, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the United Nations.

7. UN chief appeals against attacks on media

On World Press Freedom Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the media is under attack in every corner of the world and urged all countries to stop attacking “the truth and those who fight for it”.

Guterres on Tuesday called a 50 percent increase in killings of media representatives by 2022 “unbelievable” and insisted press freedom was “the foundation of democracy and justice,” noting that it was under threat.

Main photo source: Abir Sultan/PAP/EPA

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