No let-up in hostilities in Ukraine despite prisoner swap
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Officials say Russian missile strikes in the southern city of Zaporizhzha left one person dead and five others wounded as Ukrainian shelling in Russian-controlled Donetsk city killed at least five people. Zaporizhzia Gov. Oleksandr Starukh said Thursday Russian forces targeted infrastructure facilities and also damaged nearby apartment buildings, Donetsk city mayor Alexei Kulemzin said at least five people where killed when Ukrainian shelling Thursday hit a covered market and a passenger minibus. The exchange of fire came just a few hours after a high-profile prisoner swap that saw 215 Ukrainian and foreign fighters exchanged primarily for an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine’s Zelenskyy lays out his case against Russia to UN
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ukraine’s president has laid out his case against Russia’s invasion at the United Nations and demanded punishment from world leaders. Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech was delivered just hours after Moscow made an extraordinary announcement that it would mobilize some reservists for the war effort. Buoyed by a counteroffensive that has retaken swaths of territory that the Russians had seized, Zelenskyy vowed in a video address that his forces would not stop until they had reclaimed all of Ukraine. Video addresses by Zelenskyy in an olive green T-shirt have become almost commonplace. But this speech was one of the most keenly anticipated at the U.N. General Assembly, where the war has dominated.
Trump docs probe: Court lifts hold on Mar-a-Lago records
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has lifted a judge’s hold on the Justice Department’s ability to use classified records seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate in its ongoing criminal investigation. The ruling Wednesday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta clears the way for investigators to continue scrutinizing the documents as they evaluate whether to bring criminal charges over the storage of top-secret government records at Mar-a-Lago. The court notes that Trump presented no evidence that he had declassified the sensitive records. And it is rejecting the possibility that Trump could have an “individual interest in or need for” the roughly 100 documents marked as classified.
Powell’s stark message: Inflation fight may cause recession
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve delivered its bluntest reckoning Wednesday of what it will take to finally tame painfully high inflation: Slower growth, higher unemployment and potentially a recession. Speaking at a news conference, Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged what many economists have been saying for months: That the Fed’s goal of engineering a “soft landing” — in which it would manage to slow growth enough to curb inflation but not so much as to trigger a recession — looks increasingly unlikely. “The chances of a soft landing,” Powell said, “are likely to diminish” as the Fed steadily raises borrowing costs to slow the worst inflation in four decades.
AP PHOTOS: Backbreaking work for kids in Afghan brick kilns
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Aid agencies say the number of children working in Afghanistan is growing ever since the economy collapsed following the Taliban takeover more than a year ago. Nowhere is it clearer than in the brick factories outside of the capital, Kabul. Children as young as four or five labor alongside their parents from early in the morning until late at night, doing backbreaking tasks like hauling wheelbarrows full of bricks. Their families say they have no choice, the work is needed to put food on the table. A recent survey by Save The Children estimated that half of Afghanistan’s families have had to put their children to work.
In Ukraine’s retaken battlefields, soldiers recover bodies
PRUDYANKA, Ukraine (AP) — Only now are Ukrainian soldiers able to retrieve the bodies of dead soldiers from a region near the Russian border that was the scene of fierce fighting for months over the summer. Ukrainian forces retook the area and have pushed Russian troops back across the border in a blistering counteroffensive, making the recovery of the battlefield dead, both Ukrainian and Russian, possible. The area was of strategic importance as its high ground is one of the positions where Russian artillery could easily strike Ukraine’s hard-hit second-largest city of Kharkiv. On Monday, the bodies of seven Ukrainian soldiers were recovered, along with the severed hand of a Russian found among discarded Russian body armor and backpacks.
At least 9 killed as Iran protests spread over woman’s death
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend. That’s according to a tally on Thursday by The Associated Press, based on statements from Iran’s state-run and semiofficial media. An anchor on state television suggested the death toll from the mass protests could be as high as 17, but did not provide details or attribution. Widespread outages of Instagram and WhatsApp have continued. The demonstrations in Iran began as an outpouring over the death last week of Mahsa Amini, a young woman held by the country’s morality police for allegedly violating its strictly enforced dress code.
Alex Jones set to testify in trial over Sandy Hook hoax lies
WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is set to make his first courtroom appearance and begin testifying in a trial in Connecticut over how much in damages he must pay for calling the Sandy Hook school shooting a hoax. Jones is expected to take the stand in Waterbury on Thursday, as part of a lawsuit by an FBI agent who responded to the school and the families of eight children and adults who died. A total of 20 first graders and six educators were killed at the Newtown school in 2012. Victims’ relatives have given emotional testimony during the trial’s first six days about being traumatized by people calling the shooting fake.
Fugitive in massive Navy bribery case caught in Venezuela
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who orchestrated one of the largest bribery scandals in U.S. military history has been arrested in Venezuela. The U.S. Marshals Service says Leonard Glenn Francis was arrested Tuesday as he was about to board a plane in Caracas. Francis was under home arrest in San Diego when he cut off his GPS ankle bracelet and escaped on Sept. 4, prompting an international manhunt. Francis was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in 2015 to bribing Navy officers to help his ship servicing company, then overcharging the military at least $35 million. Dozens of Navy officers were convicted for the scheme.
Constitution stops Charles becoming Britain’s ‘green’ king
LONDON (AP) — Now that he’s monarch, King Charles III — one of Britain’s most prominent environmental voices — will have to be more careful with his words. In line with his role as Britain’s new head of state, he’ll have to remain apolitical. That may be particularly difficult as his accession to the throne coincides with the formation of a new U.K. government that has already pressed ahead with fossil fuel-friendly policies. Many think the king is unlikely to stop talking about the climate completely, although it’s believed the next in line Prince William, who is also an impassioned supporter of the environment, will take up much of his father’s advocacy work.
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