News Wrap: Russia withdraws from Kharkiv region as Senate Republicans visit Ukraine

In our news wrap Saturday, Ukrainians say Russia is withdrawing from Kharkiv as a Senate Republican delegation led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell visited Ukraine, authorities say at least 10 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Buffalo, N.Y. supermarket, abortions rigths demonstrations take place acros the U.S., and an all-Black climbing group reached the summit of Mount Everest.

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  • Geoff Bennett:

    We begin today's headlines with breaking developments of a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. At least 10 people have been killed according to law enforcement. It's still unclear at this early stage how many other people may have been shot. Buffalo Police say the suspected shooter is in custody.

    And turning to the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian forces say they forced the Russian withdrawal from the country's second largest city, Kharkiv, in the Northeast. Fighting rages on in the eastern Donbass Region and to the south.

    Meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin took punitive action today against Finland suspending its electricity exports two days after Finland declared its intention to join NATO. Putin told the Finnish President by phone today that abandoning its policy of neutrality would be a mistake.

    And in the Ukrainian Capital, Kyiv, a Senate Republican delegation led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who praised the visit as a show of strong bipartisan support for his country.

    And Justice Clarence Thomas weighed in on the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe vs. Wade. At an event last night in Dallas, Thomas said the leak has dramatically affected trust within the High Court.

  • Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court:

    Now that trust or that belief is gone forever, the — and when you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I'm in, it changes the institution fundamentally. You begin to look over your shoulder, it's like kind of an infidelity.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    Thomas's critics note the damage to the court done by his own refusal to recuse himself from Capitol riot cases. In light of the fact that his wife, right wing activist Ginni Thomas reportedly pressed then President Trump's chief of staff on overturning the 2020 election.

    Meantime, 1000s of people across the country gathered today in support of abortion rights. Hundreds of events and dozens of cities brought massive crowds to protest the Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion. Protesters in the nation's capital marched to the Supreme Court after activists spoke about defending abortion rights at the ballot box.

    Janeese Lewis George, Councilmember, DC Ward 4: We need you to vote because reproductive justice rights are on the ballot in 2022. Have make no qualms about it. We need you to vote. We need you to run. We need you to organize, we need you to donate. They are counting on our voter apathy.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    The leaked draft opinion is not final but the decision in the abortion case will come down by the end of the courts term in late June or early July. A federal judge has blocked part of an Alabama law that made it a felony to prescribe gender affirming medical care and hormones to transgender minors. The law makes prescribing the treatments punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Alabama was the third state to pass restrictions on transgender health care, following Arkansas and Tennessee, but the first to add felony penalties.

    And South Africa is seeing a rapid uptick in COVID cases. Health experts there say the increase is driven by two additional Omicron subvariants which can still infect people who are vaccinated or have some level of immunity. The country is reporting more hospitalizations, but severe cases and deaths remain stagnant.

    And North Korea is scrambling to contain an outbreak among its largely unvaccinated population of 26 million people. Today, 21 new deaths were reported. And leader Kim Jong-un called it a "great disaster and upheaval." Due to North Korea's poor health care system, the country's response will likely rely on isolation and quarantine measures.

    And they made it to the top of the world while also making history. The first ever expedition comprised of all black climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest. The group called Full Circle Everest marked the moment as especially important as a means of boosting black representation in the climbing community. And also this week, Nepali Sherpa set the women's climbing record for Mount Everest. Lhakpa Sherpa scaled the peak for a 10th time beating her own record, which she set in 2018.

    And still to come on "PBS News Weekend," the Twitter feed that has memorialize those who lost their lives to COVID-19. And with the Premier League title still up for grabs, look at some of the biggest headlines from this season of soccer.

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