‘We have nothing’: Izium’s trauma after Russian occupation
IZIUM, Ukraine (AP) — Izium, in far eastern Ukraine, was among the first cities taken by Russian forces after the war started on Feb. 24 and became a command center for the occupying forces. By early March, the city was almost completely isolated — no cell phones, no heat, no power. Residents didn’t know what was going on in the war, whether their relatives were alive, whether there was still a Ukraine. They were liberated Sept. 10 in a Ukrainian counteroffensive that swept through the Kharkiv region, but more than a week later residents are still emerging from the confusion and trauma of six months of occupation. The city gained attention last week after the discovery of one of the war’s largest mass grave sites.
UN chief warns global leaders: The world is in ‘great peril’
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning that the world is in “great peril.” And he says world leaders meeting in-person for the first time in three years at the U.N. General Assembly must tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes, increasing poverty and inequality, and divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia invaded Ukraine. The U.N. chief also cited the “immense” task not only of saving the planet but of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric says Guterres’ “state of the world” speech will be “a sober, substantive and solutions-focused report card.”
Strengthening Fiona barrels toward Turks and Caicos Islands
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona is barreling toward the Turks and Caicos Islands as it threatens to strengthen into a Category 3 storm, prompting the government to impose a curfew. Forecasters say Fiona could become a major hurricane late Monday or on Tuesday, when it was expected to pass near the British territory. Premier Washington Misick, who was in London attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, urged people to take every needed precaution. The intensifying storm also kept dropping copious rain over the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Ad spending shows Dems hinging midterm hopes on abortion
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are pumping an unprecedented amount of money into advertising related to abortion rights. The spending underscores how central the message is to the party in the final weeks before midterm elections. The most intense period of campaigning is only just beginning, and Democrats have already invested more than an estimated $124 million this year in television advertising referencing abortion. That’s twice as much money as the Democrats’ next top issue and almost 20 times more than Democrats spent on abortion-related ads in the 2018 midterms. The spending figures are based on an Associated Press analysis of data provided by the nonpartisan research firm AdImpact.
Congress eyes strongest response yet to Jan. 6 attack
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are voting this week on changes to a 19th century law for certifying presidential elections. The measure is their strongest legislative response yet to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat. A vote to overhaul the Electoral Count Act is expected Wednesday. A bipartisan group of senators is moving forward with a similar bill. The Senate Rules Committee will vote on its version of the legislation next week. Lawmakers in both parties have said they want to change the arcane law before it is challenged again.
Britain’s Truss doesn’t expect UK-US trade deal anytime soon
NEW YORK (AP) — Prime Minister Liz Truss has kicked off her first visit to the United States as Britain’s leader with an admission that a U.K-U.S. free trade deal is not going to happen for years. On her way to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Truss said “there (aren’t) currently any negotiations taking place with the U.S., and I don’t have an expectation that those are going to start in the short to medium term.” That’s a sharp contrast with the stance of her immediate predecessors, Boris Johnson and Theresa May. Both dangled the promise of a deal with the world’s biggest economy as one of the main prizes of Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Witnesses: Myanmar air attack kills 13, including 7 children
BANGKOK (AP) — A school administrator says government helicopters have attacked a school and village in Myanmar, killing at least 13 people including seven children. The number of children killed in the government attack last Friday in Sagaing region appears to be the highest since the army seized power in February 2021. The army’s takeover triggered mass nonviolent protests nationwide. The military and police responded with deadly force, resulting in the spread of armed resistance in the cities and countryside. The fighting has been especially fierce in Sagaing, where several military offensives have displaced more than half a million people, according to UNICEF.
‘Serial’ case: Adnan Syed released, conviction tossed
BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore judge has ordered the release of Adnan Syed after overturning Syed’s conviction for a 1999 murder that was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial.” Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn on Monday ordered that Syed’s conviction be vacated and she approved the release of the now-41-year-old who has spent more than two decades behind bars. Syed has always maintained that he never killed his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. The case received widespread attention in 2014 when “Serial” focused on Lee’s killing and raised doubts about some of the evidence prosecutors had used. Last week, prosecutors filed a motion saying a lengthy investigation had uncovered new evidence that could undermine Syed’s conviction.
Energy crisis key to Italy’s election — but not conservation
MILAN (AP) — The energy crisis facing Italian industry and households is a top voter concern going into Sunday’s parliamentary elections as fears grow that astronomically high bills will shutter some businesses and force household rationing by winter. Never in an Italian election campaign has energy been such a central talking point. Candidates have sparred over whether debt-laden Italy, which has already spent more than 60 billion euros to help families, businesses and local governments, should incur yet more debt to finance new relief. They also disagree on whether Italy should consider reinvesting in new nuclear technologies. But no party is discussing whether to implement conservation measures, like many of Italy’s European neighbors.
WNBA players skipping Russia, choosing other places to play
SYDNEY (AP) — Top WNBA players are finding other places to compete this winter, not wanting to go back to Russia after the arrest and conviction of Brittney Griner on drug possession charges and the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones are going to Turkey. Courtney Vandersloot is headed to Hungary. All three were part of the same Russian super team as Griner. That club won five EuroLeague titles in the past eight seasons and has been dominant for nearly two decades with former greats DeLisha Milton Jones and Diana Taurasi playing there. Nearly a dozen WNBA players competed in Russia last winter and none of them are heading back this year.
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