Putin sets partial mobilization in Russia, threatens enemies
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a partial mobilization in Russia as the fighting reaches nearly seven months. Putin’s address to the nation on Wednesday comes a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold votes on becoming integral parts of Russia. The Kremlin-backed efforts to swallow up four regions could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war following Ukrainian successes on the battlefield. The referendums, which have been expected to take since the first months of the war, will start Friday in the Luhansk, Kherson and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.
Biden at UN to call Russian war an affront to body’s charter
NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden is ready to make the case at the U.N. General Assembly that Russia’s “naked aggression” in Ukraine is an affront to the heart of what the international body stands. In his address Wednesday morning, the American president is looking to rally allies to continue to back the Ukrainian resistance. Biden also plans to meet on the sidelines of the General Assembly with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss and announce a global food security initiative. But White House officials say the crux of Biden’s visit to the U.N. this year will be a full-throated condemnation of Russia as its brutal war nears the seven-month mark.
US, Iran to speak at UN; Zelenskyy to appear from Ukraine
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and Iran President Ebrahim Raisi are among those taking the spotlight on the second day of the world body’s first fully in-person meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began. But perhaps one of the biggest draws on Wednesday will be Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskky, who will be heard but not seen in the flesh. The 193-member assembly voted last week to allow Zelenskky to deliver a pre-recorded address because of his need to deal with Russia’s invasion, making an exception to its requirement that all leaders speak in person. Unsurprisingly, Ukraine has been the center of attention at the U.N. assembly, with world leader after world leader condemning Russia for attacking a sovereign nation.
Man sets himself on fire in apparent protest of Abe funeral
TOKYO (AP) — A man has set himself on fire near the Japanese prime minister’s office in Tokyo in apparent protest of the state funeral for former leader Shinzo Abe. Kyodo News agency reported the man sustained burns but told police he set himself on fire with oil and a note found with him proclaimed his opposition to the Abe state funeral. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly meeting. The planned state funeral for Abe has become increasingly unpopular among Japanese as more details emerge about the ruling party’s and Abe’s links to the Unification Church, which built close ties with ruling party lawmakers over their shared interests in conservative causes.
EXPLAINER: What kept Iran protests going after first spark?
Protests have erupted across Iran in recent days after a 22-year-old woman died while being held by the morality police for violating the country’s strictly enforced Islamic dress code. The young woman had been picked up by Iran’s morality police for her allegedly loose headscarf, or hijab. Many Iranians, particularly the young, have come to see her death as part of the Islamic Republic’s heavy-handed policing of dissent and the morality police’s increasingly violent treatment of young women. This has led to daring displays of defiance, in the face of beatings and possible arrest. In street protests, some women tore off their mandatory headscarves, demonstratively twirling them in the air, or burned them.
Fiona threatens to become Category 4 storm headed to Bermuda
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona is threatening to strengthen into a Category 4 storm as it lashes the Turks and Caicos Islands and was forecast to squeeze past Bermuda later this week. The storm was blamed for causing at least four direct deaths in its march through the Caribbean, where it unleashed torrential rain in Puerto Rico, leaving a majority without power or water as hundreds of thousands of people scraped mud out of their homes following what authorities described as “historic” flooding. Power company officials initially said it would take a couple of days for electricity to be fully restored but then appeared to backtrack late Tuesday night.
House to vote on election law overhaul in response to Jan. 6
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is preparing to vote on an overhaul of a centuries-old election law in an effort to prevent future presidential candidates from trying to subvert the popular will. The legislation under consideration Wednesday is a direct response to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and former President Donald Trump’s efforts to find a way around the Electoral Count Act. That arcane 19th century law governs, along with the U.S. Constitution, how states and Congress certify electors and declare presidential election winners. Trump and a group of his aides and lawyers tried to exploit loopholes in the law to overturn his defeat.
At UN, hope peeks through the gloom despite a global morass
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Hope can be hard to find anywhere these days. That goes double for the people who walk the floors of the United Nations, where shouldering the weight of the world is a core part of the job description. And when world leaders are trying to solve some of humanity’s thorniest problems, it’s easy to lose sight of hope. And yet at the U.N. General Assembly this year, while there is lots of misery and pessimism, there are also signs of brightness poking through like clovers in the sidewalk cracks. The U.N. secretary-general says hope is an increasingly rare commodity, but he also says it persists.
Some 230 whales beached in Tasmania; rescue efforts underway
HOBART, Australia (AP) — About 230 whales are stranded on Tasmania’s west coast, just two days after 14 sperm whales were found beached on an island nearby. The pod stranded on Ocean Beach appears to be pilot whales. The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said Wednesday that at least half of them are presumed to still be alive. The department says a team was assembling whale rescue gear and heading to the area. Two years ago, about 470 long-finned pilot whales were found beached on Tasmania’s west coast in the largest mass-stranding on record in Australia. The pilot whale is notorious for stranding in mass numbers, for reasons that are not entirely understood.
The Muscogee get their say in national park plan for Georgia
MACON, Ga. (AP) — Hundreds of Native Americans returned to their historic capital in Macon, Georgia, this weekend for the 30th annual Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration. Nearly 200 years after the last Creek Indians were forcibly removed to Oklahoma to make way for slave labor in the Deep South, citizens of the Muscogee Creek Nation are celebrating their survival. They’re also supporting an initiative to put the National Park Service in charge of protecting the heart of the Creek Confederacy. A federal review is nearly complete, meaning Interior Secretary Deb Haaland could soon ask Congress to create the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve.
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