Taliban Take Down ISIS Leader Behind Attack On US Troops: April 26 Rundown

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The Taliban has killed the ISIS leader responsible for leading an attack that killed 13 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. And the U.S. House is taking action to address the U.S. debt limit. These stories and more highlight the daily rundown for Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

ISIS leader responsible for Kabul attack killed

Almost two years since the deadly blast that killed 13 Americans and more than 100 civilians at Kabul’s International Airport, the ISIS leader who orchestrated the suicide bombing during the chaotic final days of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has been killed by the Taliban. It’s something the Department of Defense has now confirmed.

American forces were not involved in the Taliban’s operation that took the ISIS leader out. U.S. officials learned of the ISIS leader’s death weeks ago, though not from the Taliban. Instead, officials made the determination from their own intelligence gathering.

The Pentagon is not releasing the name of the ISIS leader.

Chief justice declines to testify on ethics

Chief Justice John Roberts told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter that he is declining an invitation to appear at a hearing on Supreme Court ethics.

Roberts said testimony by the chief justice of the United States is exceedingly rare due to concerns over the separation of powers and the importance of preserving judicial independence.

All nine justices signed off on the letter in which Roberts declined to testify. The Supreme Court ethics hearing is set for May 2.

The request came in the wake of a Propublica report that found Justice Clarence Thomas went on luxury trips at the invitation of a GOP mega donor. The trips were not disclosed on Thomas’ public financial filings.

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House debt ceiling package

The House is expected to vote, as soon as Wednesday, April 26, on its debt ceiling package. But with Democrats and Republicans not agreeing, there’s a risk the country could default on its debt as early as June.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters he believes the Republican-controlled House will pass a bill to raise the nation’s debt limit by $1.5 trillion for one year.

McCarthy’s legislation also calls for $4.5 trillion in federal spending cuts. The White House has threatened a veto, should the bill make it that far.

GM cuts Chevy Bolt, shifts focus to EV trucks

Those looking to buy an electric vehicle are about to lose one of its most popular and affordable models. General Motors announced they are ending production of its best-selling EV, the Chevrolet Bolt, by the end of this year.

GM says it needs the capacity at its Michigan facility to build electric trucks starting in 2024. The trucks are likely to be a more expensive EV model. The bolt is one of the cheapest electric vehicles currently on the market with a starting price of around $24,000.

Japanese moon lander attempts landing, loses connection

A Japanese moon lander attempted to find its footing on the moon’s surface on April 25, but lost connection just about 33 feet from hailing success. It would have marked the world’s first lunar landing for a commercially developed spacecraft.

The lander, created by Japanese firm ispace, had been on a three-month trek to the moon’s orbit. The spacecraft had traveled 870,000 miles through space. All it needed to do was stick the landing.

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First Barbie with Down syndrome unveiled

Toy company Mattel has released its first-ever Barbie doll to represent people with Down syndrome. The company collaborated with the National Down Syndrome Society to ensure the doll is accurate in its design features.

The barbie comes with an ankle-foot orthotic, which many children with down syndrome use for support.

The blue and yellow on the doll’s dress, accompanied by butterflies, represent symbols and colors associated with down syndrome awareness. And the three chevrons on the Barbie’s necklace represent how people with down syndrome have three copies of their 21st chromosome.

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