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5 things to know for April 17: Dominion trial, mass shooting, Starship, SCOTUS, Sudan


By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Whenever you fill out a survey, chances are you’re asked two questions about your race and ethnicity: Whether you are of Hispanic or Latino descent, and then separately, if your race is White, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American or another race. The government now wants to change those questions to include more racial and ethnic groups to reduce the share of Americans choosing a nebulous “some other race” category.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

(You can get “CNN’s 5 Things” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Dominion v. Fox News

A historic trial in the defamation suit brought against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems that was set to begin today was abruptly delayed until Tuesday, the Delaware Superior Court said in a statement Sunday night. Dominion, which is seeking $1.6 billion in damages, says it was defamed by Fox News when the network’s hosts and guests claimed that its voting systems illegally rigged the 2020 election against then-President Donald Trump. While the judge’s statement did not provide an explanation for the delay, some analysts say the move throws into question whether a settlement is in the works.

2. Alabama shooting

A shooting at a Sweet 16 birthday party in Dadeville, Alabama, over the weekend left four people dead and at least 28 others injured. Officials say they are working to uncover details about what led up to the shooting and have yet to release information on a suspect. Among those killed was the birthday girl’s brother, two sources told CNN. The shooting left dozens of partygoers with “a wide variety of injuries” and some were still in critical condition as of Sunday afternoon, officials said. After this weekend’s violence, there have been more than 160 mass shootings so far in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, marking more mass shootings than there have been days in the year.

3. Starship launch

SpaceX is targeting a 9 a.m. ET liftoff for its Starship vehicle, the most powerful rocket ever built. However, CEO Elon Musk is setting low expectations for the launch as it sits on the pad at the company’s facilities on the southern Texas coastline. “If we get far enough away from (the) launch pad before something goes wrong, then I think I would consider that to be a success. Just don’t blow up the pad,” Musk said on Sunday, adding there’s a “good chance” the unmanned launch could be postponed. If the plan moves forward, it will be SpaceX’s first attempt to launch a fully assembled Starship vehicle, building on a yearslong testing campaign. Musk has even said that his sole purpose for founding SpaceX was to develop a vehicle like Starship that could eventually establish a human settlement on Mars.

4. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas intends to amend his financial disclosure forms to reflect a 2014 real estate deal he made with a Republican megadonor — an acknowledgment that the transaction should have been disclosed, a source close to Thomas tells CNN. Thomas believed he didn’t have to disclose the deal with GOP donor Harlan Crow because he lost money in the transaction, according to the source. Thomas also has come under fire for not reporting luxury travel that he and his wife, Ginni Thomas, took with Crow, including trips on his yacht and private jet. The latest revelations about Thomas’ ties with Crow come as critics say Supreme Court justices should be more transparent about their lives off the bench. Additionally, critics and some members of Congress have repeatedly asked the court to adopt a formal ethics code, something it has declined to do.

5. Sudan

Fierce fighting across Sudan entered a third day today as months of tensions between a paramilitary group and the country’s army erupted in violence. Nearly 100 have been killed, with hundreds more injured, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors. Clashes first broke out Saturday between the country’s military and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces, led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, who told CNN on Sunday the army had broken a UN-brokered temporary humanitarian ceasefire. Verified video footage shows military jets and helicopters hitting the airport and buildings that had been destroyed. The World Health Organization has also warned that medical teams are struggling to reach people in need of urgent care, and are lacking essential supplies.


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That’s nearly how many migrants last year made the grueling trek across the Darién Gap, one of the most popular and perilous walks on earth connecting South and Central America. They all attempt to cross the dangerous stretch of jungle with the same goal: to make it to the US.


“I just cannot believe that they would let such a major, major disaster happen.”

— Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, telling CBS on Sunday she has “huge confidence” the US will not allow the country to default on its own debt. If Congress doesn’t address the debt ceiling, analysts say the US could potentially face its first-ever default as early as this summer — which would have drastic economic ramifications. Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy plans to set the tone over the GOP’s demands in a speech later today in New York.


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The moment a cheetah joined a safari

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