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Soccer brawls end in at least 129 dead at Asia match; island living uncertain after Ian; and more evening updates

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Get caught up what's going on around the nation and world today,  Oct. 1 ,2022:

SOCCER DEATHS: Panic at an Indonesian soccer match after police fired tear gas to stop brawls left 129 dead, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday.

Several fights between supporters of the two rival soccer teams were reported inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java province's Malang city after the Indonesian Premier League game ended with Persebaya Surabaya beating Arema Malang 3-2.

The brawls that broke out just after the game ended late night Saturday prompted riot police to fire tear gas, which caused panic among supporters, said East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta.

Hundreds of people ran to an exit gate in an effort to avoid the tear gas. Some suffocated in the chaos and others were trampled, killing 34 almost instantly.

More than 300 were rushed to nearby hospitals to treat injuries but many died on the way and during a treatment, Afinta said. He said the death toll is likely still increasing, since many of about 180 injured victims' conditions were deteriorating.

PRISONER SWAP: In a rare softening of hostile relations, Venezuela freed on Saturday seven imprisoned Americans in exchange for the United States releasing two nephews of President Nicolás Maduro’s wife who had been jailed for years on narcotics convictions.

The swap of the Americans, including five oil executives held for nearly five years, follows months of back channel diplomacy by senior U.S. officials — secretive talks with a major oil producer that took on greater urgency after sanctions on Russia put pressure on global energy prices.

ISLAND LIFE ENDANGERED: Hurricane Ian underscores the vulnerability of the nation's barrier islands and the increasing costs of people living on the thin strips of land that parallel the coast. As hurricanes become more destructive, experts question whether such exposed communities can keep rebuilding in the face of climate change.

The hurricane has left 54 dead throughout the region from Florida to Cuba. “This is a Hurricane Katrina-scale event, where you’re having to rebuild everything, including the infrastructure,” said Jesse M. Keenan, a real estate professor at Tulane University’s School of Architecture. “We can't build back everything to what it was — we can't afford that."

Ian slammed into southwest Florida as a Category 4 hurricane Wednesday with among the highest windspeeds in U.S. history — in nearly the same spot where Hurricane Charley, also a Category 4, caused major damage in 2004.

Of the 50 tropical cyclones that have come within 100 nautical miles of the Fort Myers area since 1873, 23 have been hurricanes that passed within 75 miles of Sanibel Island, according to the city’s website.

The latest storm has initiated a new cycle of damage and repair on Sanibel that's played out on many other barrier islands, from the New Jersey shore and North Carolina's Outer Banks to a ribbon of land along the Louisiana coast.

Barrier islands were never an ideal place for development, experts say. They typically form as waves deposit sediment off the mainland. And they move based on weather patterns and other ocean forces. Some even disappear.

Scroll to the bottom of this news roundup for striking photos from devastated Sanibel island in Florida.

Three things to track this week

The defense team in the Capitol riot trial of the Oath Keepers leader is relying on an unusual strategy with Donald Trump at the center. Lawyers for Stewart Rhodes are poised to argue that jurors cannot find him guilty of seditious conspiracy because all the actions he took before the riot were in preparation for orders he anticipated from the then-president. But those orders that never came. Rhodes and four associates are accused of plotting for weeks to stop the transfer of presidential power, culminating with Oath Keepers in battle gear storming the Capitol alongside hundreds of other Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021. Opening statements in the trial are set to begin Monday.

The Supreme Court begins a new term on Monday at a time of diminished public confidence and justices sparring openly over the institution’s legitimacy. The court seems poised to push American law to the right on issues of race, voting and the environment.

Women are gathering across Michigan to strategize how to preserve abortion rights in their state. The small, personal conversations are playing out alongside more traditional get-out-the-vote efforts, with major stakes for both abortion rights and the mostly Democratic candidates who support them. Michigan is one of a handful of places where abortion rights will be on the ballot in November.

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