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“Like a movie scene” – Reporter on the ground describes Kentucky tornadoes



A Kentucky-based reporter who’s been covering the devastation caused by recent tornado events has told ticker NEWS the havoc caused is “like a movie scene”

Speaking to ticker NEWS on Monday, Chad Hedrick, a reporter for CBS affiliate WKYT in Kentucky says the recent weather events have left hundreds without a home, multiple dead and described the feeling on the ground as a ‘movie scene.’

Up to 100 people have been killed in a devastating series of tornadoes that ripped through Kentucky and several other US states.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says more than 56,000 Kentuckians have been left without power adding he had declared a state of emergency and was deploying dozens of national guardsmen to communities.

56,000 people have been left without power in Kentucky / Image: CBS

“Most destructive in the state’s history”

The state Governor said the string of tornadoes was the most destructive in the state’s history. 

US National Weather Service said 36 separate tornadoes struck the Midwest of the country.

In Kentucky, they caused damage in more than a dozen counties.

The primary tornado travelled more than 320 kilometres across the state, Mr Beshear told an early morning news conference.

“The reports are really heartbreaking,” Mr Beshear said.

State of disaster declared / Image: NBC

Search underway for survivors

A desperate search for survivors is now under way in parts of six US states devastated by the powerful tornadoes. So far, 94 people have been confirmed dead and dozens more people are missing and entire towns were destroyed by about 30 tornadoes on Friday.

United States President Joe Biden has declared a disaster in Kentucky which is the worst-affected state.

80 people have died in Kentucky alone. / Image: Bay News 9

At least 80 people have died in the state, including dozens in a candle factory, and the death toll is expected to rise above 100.

Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman told the media that the death toll was continuing to rise “with every hour”.

“All of these numbers continue to unfold…,” she said.

“Our emergency response teams are still surveying the damage and knocking on doors and reaching out to folks trying to make contact to see who’s alive.”

Chad Hedrick meanwhile told ticker NEWS that the videos surfacing of the destruction zone ‘don’t do it justice’ when capturing the devastation caused.

Hedrick says homes are not just damaged, instead they “are effectively gone.”

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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TikTok CEO testifies as U.S. considers nationwide ban



FBI says TikTok threatens U.S. national security

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

The hours-long fiery hearing on Capitol Hill was incredibly tense as Chew was grilled by both Republicans and Democrats.

With bipartisan support, both parties are pushing for a nationwide ban on the app which the FBI has said threatens the national security of the United States.

TikTok says it has 150 million America users – almost half the country.

The CEO gave testimony to try and reassure lawmakers and Americans that TikTok is not an agent of the Chinese Communist Party, but critics aren’t convinced.

Chew was bombarded with questions from representatives from both sides of the aisle about the company’s ties to the CCP, security, data storage, well-being, and mental health. 

Many lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of answers from the company.

Congress is now weighing a nationwide ban on the popular social media platform amid concerns that it is used to harvest Americans’ information and harm children online.

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Protests continue across France over pension reforms



Protestors blocked a terminal at an airport and sat on train tracks

The ongoing nationwide protests in France over plans by the government to raise the retirement age by two years saw another day of disruption – events which President Emmanuel Macron has recently compared to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters two years ago.

Protestors blocked a terminal at Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport.

Protesters also sat on train tracks, and reportedly triggered a brief fire in the yard of a police station in once city.

Protests have been mostly peaceful, but tear gas has been used against them on occasions.

The plan is to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

For comparison, the U.S. is slowly raising its retirement age to 67 and the UK plans to go to 68.

Polls have long shown that a majority of voters in France oppose the move.

Macron earlier in the week said he was standing firm on the law and that it would come into effect by the end of the year.

The government says the change is needed to keep pension budgets from running a deficit – failure would create an annual deficit of about $14 billion by 2030.

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Prosecutors allege Donald Trump misled people on potential arrest



The move prompted Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice

Manhattan prosecutors say Donald Trump has misled people to expect he would be arrested, prompting Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice.

A probe is currently under way into his alleged hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

On Saturday, the former President said he would be arrested on Tuesday.

This saw three Republicans launching an offensive against the District Attorney, who is a Democrat.

They accused him of abusing authority, while also seeking communications, documents and testimony.

A grand jury hearing evidence in the Stormy Daniels case is yet to issue an arrest warrant for Trump.

The attorney’s office has since sent the committee chairmen a letter.

It says the lawmakers’ accusations “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation he would be arrested”.

It also confirms the attorney’s office is “investigating allegations that Donald Trump engaged in violations of New York State penal law.”

If indicted, Trump would be the first U.S. President to face criminal charges.

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