Moscow-held regions of Ukraine in ‘sham’ vote to join Russia
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Voting has started in Russian-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. The Kremlin-orchestrated referendums, which have been widely denounced by Ukraine and the West as shams without any legal force, are seen as a step toward annexing the territories by Russia. The votes are being held in the Luhansk, Kherson and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions. Ukrainian officials reported more evidence of possible war crimes on Friday. The governor of the Kharkiv region, which was mostly held by Russian forces before a Ukrainian counteroffensive this month, said 436 bodies were exhumed from a mass burial site in the eastern city of Izium, 30 of them with visible signs of torture.
World opinion shifts against Russia as Ukraine worries grow
NEW YORK (AP) — The tide of international opinion appears to have decisively shifted against Russia, as a number of non-aligned countries joined the United States and its allies in condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine and its threats to the principles of the international rules-based order. In what many believed earlier this year was Western wishful thinking, much of the international community spoke out against the conflict in rare displays of unity at the often fractured United Nations. The coalescing condemnation picked up steam earlier in the week when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of some additional 300,000 troops to Ukraine, signaling the unlikelihood of a quick end to the war and suggested that nuclear weapons may be an option.
NY probe found potential crimes. Why isn’t Trump in cuffs?
NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s attorney general isn’t arresting former President Donald Trump even though she says her three-year investigation uncovered potential crimes in the way he ran his real estate empire. Instead, Democrat Letitia James announced a civil lawsuit seeking $250 million and a permanent ban on the Republican former president from doing business in the state. So why isn’t Trump being prosecuted? For one, James doesn’t have jurisdiction under state law to bring a criminal case. For another, mounting a criminal fraud case is far more challenging than a civil lawsuit. Trump says he didn’t break any laws and the lawsuit is politically motivated.
After days focused on Ukraine, other concerns emerge at UN
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — After three days in which the war in Ukraine consumed world leaders at the United Nations, other conflicts and concerns are beginning to emerge. Some are long-simmering ones that have receded from the public’s attention recently. Israel’s prime minister called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in a speech that focused on that conflict. The Palestinian president speaks on Friday. Others are regional conflicts that have flared. Armenia’s prime minister warned that “the risk of new aggression by Azerbaijan remains very high.” That’s after the largest outbreak of hostilities between the two adversaries in nearly two years.
Hurricane Fiona roars by Bermuda, on route to Canada
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona is pounding Bermuda with heavy rains and winds as it sweeps by the island and is forecast to approach northeastern Canada as a still-powerful storm late Friday. Authorities in Bermuda opened shelters and closed schools and offices ahead of Fiona. Premier David Burt urged residents to “take care of yourself and your family.” The Canadian Hurricane Centre issued a hurricane watch over extensive coastal expanses of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Fiona should reach Canada as a “large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.”
Protesters fear climate change impacts, demand aid for poor
BERLIN (AP) — Youth activists have staged a coordinated ‘global climate strike’ to highlight their fears about the effects of global warming and demand more aid for poor countries hit by wild weather. Protesters took to the streets in Jakarta, Tokyo and Berlin Friday carrying banners and posters with slogans such as “We are worried about the climate crisis” and “It’s not too late.” The demonstrations were organized by the Fridays for Future youth movement that took its cue from activist Greta Thunberg, who began protesting alone outside the Swedish parliament in 2018. Thousands of people attended the rally in Berlin, which featured calls for the German government to establish a 100-billion-euro (dollar) fund for tackling climate change.
Alabama halts execution because of time, IV access concerns
ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama officials have called off the lethal injection of a man convicted in a 1999 workplace shooting because of time concerns and trouble accessing the inmate’s veins. Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said prison officials called off Thursday’s execution after they determined inmate Alan Miller’s “veins could not be accessed in accordance with our protocol” before a midnight deadline to commence the execution. Miller has been returned to his cell at the south Alabama prison, Hamm said. The halt came three hours after a divided U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution to begin.
Celtics suspend coach Ime Udoka for 2022-23 season
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics have suspended coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season. The move takes effect immediately and with no guarantee he will be back with the franchise. The Celtics said Thursday night that Udoka was suspended for “violations of team policies.” Earlier Thursday, two people with knowledge of the matter said Udoka was being sanctioned because of an improper relationship with a member of the organization. Those people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not reveal that detail publicly.
Global stocks slide for 3rd day on economic growth fears
BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks have fallen for a third day after more rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to control inflation spurred fears of a possible global recession. London and Frankfurt opened lower. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul declined. Oil prices fell by more than $1 per barrel. The Fed and central banks in Europe and Asia raised rates this week and said more hikes might be on the way to cool inflation that is at multi-decade highs. Traders worry that might push the global economy into a painful slump.
Hilary Mantel, author of “Wolf Hall” Tudor saga, dies at 70
LONDON (AP) — The Booker Prize-winning author of the acclaimed “Wolf Hall” trilogy has died. Hilary Mantel was 70. Publisher HarperCollins said Mantel died “suddenly yet peacefully” on Thursday while surrounded by close family and friends. Mantel turned Tudor power politics into page-turning historical novels with her trilogy about the 16th-century English powerbroker Thomas Cromwell, the right-hand man to King Henry VIII. Mantel won the Booker Prize twice, for “Wolf Hall” in 2009 and its sequel “Bring Up the Bodies” in 2012. Both were adapted for the stage and television. The publisher on Friday called Mantel “one of the greatest English novelists of this century.”
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