Zelenskyy vows Ukraine will win as Russia redoubles effort
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ukraine’s president implored the world Wednesday to punish Russia for its invasion, even as the leader vowed his forces would win back every inch of territory despite Moscow’s decision to redouble its war effort.
In a much-anticipated video address to the U.N. General Assembly hours after Russia announced it would mobilize some reservists, Volodymyr Zelenskyy portrayed the declaration as evidence the Kremlin wasn’t ready to negotiate an end to the war — but insisted his country would prevail anyway.
“We can return the Ukrainian flag to our entire territory. We can do it with the force of arms,” the president said. “But we need time.”
Putin’s decree Wednesday about the mobilization was sparse on details. Officials said as many as 300,000 reservists could be tapped. It was apparently an effort to seize momentum after a Ukrainian counteroffensive this month retook swaths of territory that Russians had held.
But the first such call-up in Russia since World War II also brought the fighting home in a new way for Russians and risked fanning domestic anxiety and antipathy toward the war. Shortly after Putin’s announcement, flights out of the country rapidly filled up, and more than 1,000 people were arrested at rare antiwar demonstrations across the country.
Trump docs probe: Court lifts hold on Mar-a-Lago records
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a stark repudiation of Donald Trump’s legal arguments, a federal appeals court on Wednesday permitted the Justice Department to resume its use of classified records seized from the former president’s Florida estate as part of its ongoing criminal investigation.
The ruling from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit amounts to an overwhelming victory for the Justice Department, clearing the way for investigators to continue scrutinizing the documents as they consider whether to bring criminal charges over the storage of of top-secret records at Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House. In lifting a hold on a core aspect of the department’s probe, the court removed an obstacle that could have delayed the investigation by weeks.
The appeals court also pointedly noted that Trump had presented no evidence that he had declassified the sensitive records, as he maintained as recently as Wednesday, and rejected the possibility that Trump could have an “individual interest in or need for” the roughly 100 documents with classification markings that were seized by the FBI in its Aug. 8 search of the Palm Beach property.
The government had argued that its investigation had been impeded, and national security concerns swept aside, by an order from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon that temporarily barred investigators from continuing to use the documents in its inquiry. Cannon, a Trump appointee, had said the hold would remain in place pending a separate review by an independent arbiter she had appointed at the Trump team’s request to review the records.
The appeals panel agreed with the Justice Department’s concerns.
Biden: Russia’s Ukraine abuses ‘make your blood run cold’
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Joe Biden declared at the United Nations on Wednesday that Russia has “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the international body with its war in Ukraine as he summoned nations around the globe to stand firm in backing the Ukrainian resistance.
Delivering a forceful condemnation of Russia’s seven-month invasion, Biden said reports of Russian abuses against civilians and its efforts to erase Ukraine and its culture “should make your blood run cold.” He referenced President Vladimir Putin’s announcement Wednesday that he had ordered a partial mobilization of reservists, a deeply unpopular step that sparked protests in Russia.
And Putin’s new nuclear threats against Europe showed “reckless disregard” for Russia’s responsibilities as a signer of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Biden said.
He also criticized Russia for scheduling “sham referenda” this week in territory it has forcibly seized in Ukraine.
“A permanent member of the U..N Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the U.N. charter,” he told his U.N. audience.
Putin orders partial military call-up, sparking protests
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday to bolster his forces in Ukraine, a deeply unpopular move that sparked rare protests across the country and led to almost 1,200 arrests.
The risky order follows humiliating setbacks for Putin’s troops nearly seven months after they invaded Ukraine. The first such call-up in Russia since World War II heightened tensions with Ukraine’s Western backers, who derided it as an act of weakness and desperation.
The move also sent some Russians scrambling to buy plane tickets to flee the country.
In his 14-minute nationally televised address, Putin also warned the West that he isn’t bluffing about using everything at his disposal to protect Russia — an apparent reference to his nuclear arsenal. He has previously rebuked NATO countries for supplying weapons to Ukraine.
Confronted with steep battlefield losses, expanding front lines and a conflict that has raged longer than expected, the Kremlin has struggled to replenish its troops in Ukraine, reportedly even resorting to widespread recruitment in prisons.
‘Art of the steal’: Trump accused of vast fraud in NY suit
NEW YORK (AP) — Former president Donald Trump padded his net worth by billions of dollars and habitually misled banks and others about the value of prized assets like golf courses, hotels and his Mar-a-Lago estate, New York’s attorney general said Wednesday in a lawsuit that seeks to permanently disrupt the Republican’s ability to do business in the state.
Attorney General Letitia James dubbed it: “The art of the steal.”
The lawsuit, filed in state court in Manhattan, is the culmination of the Democrat’s three-year civil investigation into Trump and the Trump Organization. Trump’s three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, were also named as defendants, along with two longtime company executives.
In its 222 pages, the suit struck at the core of what made Trump famous, taking a blacklight to the image of wealth and opulence he’s embraced throughout his career — first as a real estate developer, then as a reality TV host on “The Apprentice” and later as president.
It details dozens of instances of alleged fraud, many involving claims made on annual financial statements that Trump would give to banks, business associates and financial magazines as proof of his riches as he sought loans and deals.
How steep Fed rate hikes affect your finances
NEW YORK (AP) — Mortgage rates have jumped, home sales have slumped and credit cards and auto loans have gotten pricier. Savings rates are slightly juicier, though.
As the Federal Reserve has rapidly increased interest rates, many economists say they fear that a recession is inevitable in the coming months — and with it, job losses that could cause hardship for households already hurt worst by inflation.
Wednesday, the Federal Reserve sharply raised its key short-term rate by three-quarters of a point for a third straight time, even as its previous rate increases are being felt by households at all income levels.
The Fed’s latest move has raised its benchmark rate to a range of 3% to 3.25%, the highest level in 14 years. Its steady rate increases have already made it increasingly costly for consumers and businesses to borrow — for homes, autos and other purchases. And more hikes are almost surely coming. Fed officials are expected to signal Wednesday that their benchmark rate could reach as high as 4.5% by early next year.
Here’s what to know:
Virginia Thomas agrees to interview with Jan. 6 panel
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative activist Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to participate in a voluntary interview with the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, her lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Mark Paoletta said Thomas is “eager to answer the committee’s questions to clear up any misconceptions about her work relating to the 2020 election.”
The committee has for months sought an interview with Thomas in an effort to know more about her role in trying to help former President Donald Trump overturn his election defeat. She texted with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and contacted lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin in the weeks after the election.
Thomas’s willingness to testify comes as the committee is preparing to wrap up its work before the end of the year and is writing a final report laying out its findings about the U.S. Capitol insurrection. The panel announced Wednesday that it will reconvene for a hearing on Sept. 28, likely the last in a series of hearings that began this summer.
The testimony from Thomas — known as Ginni — was one of the remaining items for the panel as it eyes the completion of its work. The panel has already interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and shown some of that video testimony in its eight hearings over the summer.
Around 200 stranded whales die in pounding surf in Australia
HOBART, Australia (AP) — A day after 230 whales were found stranded on the wild and remote west coast of Australia’s island state of Tasmania, only 35 were still alive despite rescue efforts that were to continue Thursday.
Half the pod of pilot whales stranded in Macquarie Harbour were presumed to still be alive on Wednesday, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said.
But pounding surf took a toll overnight, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service manager Brendon Clark said.
“We’ve triaged the animals yesterday as part of the preliminary assessment and we’ve identified those animals that had best chance of survival of the approximately 230 that stranded. Today’s focus will be on rescue and release operations,” Clark told reporters at nearby Strahan.
“We’ve got approximately 35 surviving animals out on the beach … and the primary focus this morning will be on the rescue and release of those animals,” Clark added.
Ohio GOP House candidate has misrepresented military service
WASHINGTON (AP) — Campaigning for a northwestern Ohio congressional seat, Republican J.R. Majewski presents himself as an Air Force combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, once describing “tough” conditions including a lack of running water that forced him to go more than 40 days without a shower.
Military documents obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request tell a different story.
They indicate Majewski never deployed to Afghanistan but instead completed a six-month stint helping to load planes at an air base in Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally that is a safe distance from the fighting.
Majewski’s account of his time in the military is just one aspect of his biography that is suspect. His post-military career has been defined by exaggerations, conspiracy theories, talk of violent action against the U.S. government and occasional financial duress.
Still, thanks to an unflinching allegiance to former President Donald Trump — Majewski once painted a massive Trump mural on his lawn — he also stands a chance of defeating longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in a district recently redrawn to favor Republicans.
Renowned author Joan Didion honored by hundreds at memorial
NEW YORK (AP) — Joan Didion’s precision with words extended even to ones she would never live to hear, such as those used during a small, private service this spring at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
“She left very clear directions about what she wanted to happen at that service,” the Very Rev. Patrick Malloy said Wednesday night, at the start of a memorial tribute at the Cathedral. “She wanted it to be very brief and she specified the texts she wanted us to use, all from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, which is what you’d expect from an Episcopalian who wrote a book called ‘A Book of Common Prayer.’”
The texts she chose were “remarkably dour,” Malloy went on to explain, and they were not from the contemporary edition of the Book of Common Prayer, but from an older, more ornate printing. It was Didion’s way of reminding everyone that the sounds of the words, and their rhythm, meant as much as the words themselves.
Didion, a master of rhythm and of the meaning of the unsaid, was remembered Wednesday as an inspiring and fearless writer and valued, exacting and sometimes eccentric friend, the kind who didn’t like to speak on the phone unless asked to or who might serve chocolate soufflés at a child’s birthday party because she didn’t know how to bake a cake.
Hundreds were presented with programs and laminated hand fans as they entered the Cathedral on a summer-ish late afternoon — the first day of autumn — where the scale of the building was too vast for the expense of air conditioning. Carl Bernstein, Donna Tartt and Fran Lebowitz were among those attending, along with relatives, friends and editors and other colleagues from The New Yorker and her last publishing house, Penguin Random House.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.