Putin sets partial military call-up, won’t ‘bluff’ on nukes
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists in Russia, in a measure that appeared to be an admission that Moscow’s war against Ukraine isn’t going according to plan after nearly seven months of fighting and amid recent battlefield losses for the Kremlin’s forces. The Russian leader, in a televised address to the nation aired on Wednesday morning, also warned the West that he isn’t bluffing over using all the means at his disposal to protect Russia’s territory, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to Russia’s nuclear capability. Putin has previously warned the West not to back Russia against the wall and has rebuked NATO countries for supplying weapons to help Ukraine.
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 to world leaders 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 for as he looks to rally allies to stand firm in backing the Ukrainian resistance. Biden, during his time at the U.N. General Assembly, also planned to meet Wednesday with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, announce a global food security initiative and press allies to meet an $18 billion target to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
US, Iran to speak at UN; Zelenskyy to appear from Ukraine
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Leaders of two of the world’s most-watched nations — U.S. President Joe Biden and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi — will be among those who have their say on the second day of the U.N. General Assembly’s first fully in-person meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began. But the biggest draw Wednesday will likely be the only leader to be seen and heard but not actually there in the flesh: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskky, whose nation is at war with Russia. The 193-member assembly voted last week to allow Zelenskyy to deliver a pre-recorded address because of his continuing need to deal with Russia’s invasion, making an exception to its requirement that all leaders speak in person.
Man sets himself on fire in apparent protest of Abe funeral
TOKYO (AP) — A man set himself on fire near the Japanese prime minister’s office in Tokyo early Wednesday in apparent protest against the state funeral planned next week for former leader Shinzo Abe, officials and media reports said. The man, believed to be in his 70s, sustained burns on large parts of his body but was conscious and told police that he set himself on fire after pouring oil over himself, Kyodo News agency reported. A note apparently written by the man was found with him that said, “Personally, I am absolutely against” Abe’s funeral, Kyodo reported. A Tokyo Fire Department official confirmed a man set himself afire on the street in Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki government district and that he was alive when he was taken to a hospital by ambulance, but declined to give further details, including the man’s identity, motive or condition, citing the sensitivity of what was a police matter.
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 death of Mahsa Amini, who had been picked up by Iran’s morality police for her allegedly loose headscarf, or hijab, has triggered 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. Videos online showed two women throwing their hijabs into a bonfire. Another woman is seen cutting off her hair in a show of protest.
Fiona threatens to become Category 4 storm headed to Bermuda
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona threatened to strengthen into a Category 4 storm Wednesday as it lashed 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 will vote on an overhaul of a centuries-old election law, 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, an arcane 1800s-era law that governs, along with the U.S. Constitution, how states and Congress certify electors and declare presidential election winners. While that process has long been routine and ceremonial, Trump and a group of his aides and lawyers tried to exploit loopholes in the law in an attempt to overturn his defeat.
At UN, hope peeks through the gloom despite a global morass
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the United Nations had just warned of a world gone badly wrong — a place where inequity was on the rise, war was back in Europe, fragmentation was everywhere, the pandemic was pushing onward and technology was tearing things apart as much as it was uniting them. “Our world is in big trouble. Divides are growing deeper. Inequalities are growing wider. Challenges are spreading farther,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday morning as he opened the general debate at the 77th U.N. General Assembly. And he was, on all counts, incontrovertibly correct. Yet barely an hour later, here were two U.N.
Some 230 whales beached in Tasmania; rescue efforts underway
HOBART, Australia (AP) — About 230 whales have been stranded on Tasmania’s west coast, just days after 14 sperm whales were found beached on an island off the southeastern coast. The pod stranded on Ocean Beach appears to be pilot whales and at least half are presumed to still be alive, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said Wednesday. A team from the Marine Conservation Program was assembling whale rescue gear and heading to the area, the department said. A resident told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the whales were visible near the entrance to Macquarie Harbour and described the stranding as a “massive event.” David Midson, general manager of the West Coast Council, urged people to stay clear.
The Muscogee get their say in national park plan for Georgia
MACON, Ga. (AP) — When Tracie Revis climbs the Great Temple Mound, rising nine stories above the Ocmulgee River in the center of present-day Georgia, she walks in the steps of her Muscogean ancestors who were forcibly removed to Oklahoma 200 years ago. “This is lush, gorgeous land. The rivers are gorgeous here,” Revis said recently as she gazed over the forest canopy to a distant green horizon, broken only by Macon’s skyline, just across the water. “We believe that those ancestors are still here, their songs are still here, their words are still here, their tears are still here. And so we speak to them.