No let-up in hostilities in Ukraine despite prisoner swap
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian and Ukrainian forces have exchanged missile and artillery barrages that killed at least six people. The fighting on Thursday indicated that neither side is ready to concede any ground despite recent military setbacks for Moscow and the toll on the invaded country after almost seven months of war. The exchange of fire came hours after the two sides made a major prisoner swap and the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin called up reserve troops to supplement his forces. The Kremlin’s spokesman says the mobilization is needed because Russia is “de facto facing all of NATO” in Ukraine. Another senior Kremlin official repeated Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons if Russian territory is attacked.
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.
Puerto Rico struggles to reach areas cut off by Fiona
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona left hundreds of people stranded across Puerto Rico after smashing roads and bridges, with authorities still struggling to reach them four days after the storm smacked the U.S. territory, causing historic flooding. For now, government officials are working with religious groups, nonprofits and others braving landslides, thick mud and broken asphalt by foot to provide food, water and medicine for people in need, but they are under pressure to clear a path so vehicles can enter isolated areas soon. At least six municipalities have areas cut off by the storm.
More consumers buying organic, but US farmers still wary
CHURDAN, Iowa (AP) — It used to be that organic crops were an oddity, destined for health food stores or maybe a few farmers markets. But over the decades, something unexpected happened — demand for organics started increasing so fast that it began outstripping the supply produced in the U.S. Now a new challenge has emerged: It’s not getting consumers to pay the higher prices, it’s convincing enough farmers to get past their organic reluctance and start taking advantage of the good money pouring in. Instead of growing to meet the demand, the number of farmers making the switch is actually dropping. Last month, U.S. Department of Agriculture committed up to $300 million to recruit and help more farmers to make the switch.
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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