AP News Summary at 5:30 p.m. EST | National


March for Life eyes Congress for post-Roe abortion limits

WASHINGTON (AP) — A half century after Roe v. Wade, March for Life supporters are celebrating the dismantling of that constitutional right to abortion and heralding the political struggle set loose by the Supreme Court’s decision. Meantime President Joe Biden has pledged to do all in his power to restore that right. The first March for Life since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June came with a new focus. Instead of concentrating their attention on the court, the marchers vowed to push for action from the building directly across the street: the U.S. Capitol.

Defense chiefs fail to resolve dispute on tanks for Ukraine

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AP) — Western defense leaders meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany have failed to resolve divisions over possibly providing battle tanks and other military aid to Ukraine. The tank debate roiling the coalition was not resolved in a long meeting Friday, but Germany’s new defense minister suggested the issue was inching forward. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the group that this is a crucial moment in the war as Russia regroups and re-equips. The fighting  is expected to intensify in the spring.

Elon Musk takes witness stand to defend Tesla buyout tweets

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk has taken the witness stand to defend a 2018 tweet claiming he had lined up the financing to take Tesla private in a deal that never came close to happening. That tweet resulted in a $40 million settlement with securities regulators and a class-action lawsuit alleging he misled investors. The mercurial billionaire took the witness stand Friday on the third day of a civil trial in San Francisco that his lawyer unsuccessfully tried to move to Texas, where Tesla is now headquartered, on the premise that media coverage of his tumultuous takeover of Twitter had tainted the jury pool.

Colorado officials plead not guilty in Elijah McClain case

DENVER (AP) — A group of police officers and paramedics have pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the role they are accused of playing in the death of a 23-year-old Black man who was forcibly restrained and injected with a powerful sedative called ketamine. The five entered their pleas Friday. They were indicted by a state grand jury on manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and other charges in 2021. Two years earlier, Elijah McClain died after being stopped while walking in the Denver suburb of Aurora because a 911 caller reported a man who seemed “sketchy.”

Chris Hipkins to be New Zealand’s next prime minister

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s Education Minister is set to become the island nation’s next prime minister after the surprise resignation of Jacinda Ardern. Chris Hipkins was the only candidate to enter the race Saturday. The 44-year-old education minister must still get an endorsement Sunday from his Labour Party colleagues in Parliament, but that is just a formality now. Ardern shocked the nation of 5 million people Thursday when she announced she was resigning after five-and-a-half years in the top role. Hipkins will have less than eight months before the next general election. Opinion polls suggest Labour is trailing its main opponent, the conservative National Party.

Rare attack in Alaska renews interest in polar bear patrols

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A polar bear attack that killed a mother and her 1-year-old son in far western Alaska this week underscores the risks of living alongside the world’s largest land carnivores and has renewed interest in prevention programs known as bear patrols. Several other communities above or near the Arctic Circle rely on patrols where people use vehicles, lights, beanbag shotguns or other nonlethal measures to scare bears out of town. The bear patrol program in the village where Tuesday’s attack occurred had lapsed, though it’s unclear that it could have prevented the mauling even if it had been active. Officials say they are examining how to prevent such fatal encounters in the future.

3 active-duty Marines charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Three active-duty Marines have been charged in the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Court records show that Micah Coomer, Joshua Abate and Dodge Dale Hellonen were arrested this week on misdemeanor charges after fellow Marines helped investigators identify them in footage among the pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6, 2021. No defense lawyers for the men were listed in the court docket, so it was not immediately clear whether they have attorneys to comment on their behalf. A Marine Corps spokesman said it is aware the allegations and “is fully cooperating with appropriate authorities.” Dozens of people charged in the riot have military backgrounds, but these three are among only a handful on active duty.

Google axes 12,000 jobs as layoffs spread across tech sector

LONDON (AP) — Google is laying off 12,000 workers, becoming the latest tech company to trim staff as the economic boom that the industry rode during the COVID-19 pandemic ebbs. The Silicon Valley giant’s CEO Sundar Pichai shared the news Friday in an email to staff that was also posted on the company’s news blog. He said that the company has hired for “periods of dramatic growth” over the past two years but that was a “different economic reality than the one we face today.” He said the layoffs reflect a “rigorous review” that Google carried out of product areas and functions.

Rally for tech stocks helps soften Wall Street’s rough week

A rally for tech stocks applied some salve on Wall Street’s rough week, one dominated by worries about a weakening economy. The S&P 500 rose 1.9% Friday, but still ended with its first weekly loss in the last three. The Nasdaq added 2.7% and the Dow rose 1%. Google’s parent company rose after saying it was slashing expenses by laying off workers. It’s the latest Big Tech company to acknowledge expanding too quickly in recent years. Netflix surged after reporting a jump in subscribers. Markets mostly fell this week on worries the economy may not be able to avoid a painful recession.

Prosecutors seek justice in Baldwin case, regardless of fame

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Prosecutors vow to file two manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons supervisor in the fatal 2021 shooting of a cinematographer on the set of a Western movie. The looming charges have set in motion evidentiary proceedings and a reckoning for film set safety and the handling of firearms. One charge is for negligence. Another is for reckless disregard “without due caution and circumspection” and carries a five-year minimum sentence. Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe. Authorities say Baldwin was pointing a pistol at her when he cocked the hammer and fired.

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