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.
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. Ukraine and the West have denounced the Kremlin-orchestrated referendums as an illegitimate attempt by Moscow to annex areas its forces have occupied during nearly seven months of war. The votes are being held in the Luhansk, Kherson and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions. Meanwhile, 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.
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.
Pro-government rallies held in Iran amid mass protests
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranian counterprotesters have gathered across the country in a show of support for authorities after nearly a week of anti-government protests and unrest. A few thousand people attended a rally in the capital, where they waved Iranian flags, and similar demonstrations were held in other cities. Authorities claim the rallies are spontaneous. State TV, meanwhile, suggested on Friday that the death toll from this week’s protests and clashes with security forces, sparked by the death of a young woman being held by the morality police, could be as high as 26. It’s the most severe unrest in years, and internet access has been disrupted for days. Many of the protesters are calling for the fall of the Islamic Republic.
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.”
Oz releases health records to spotlight Fetterman’s stroke
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz, has released his health records as he maneuvers to keep questions about Democratic rival John Fetterman’s recovery from a stroke front and center. Dr. Rebecca Kurth wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that she found the heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity to be in “excellent health” in an annual checkup Thursday. The release of the New York City doctor’s note and health records comes as Oz has increasingly made Fetterman’s fitness to serve a central theme in his campaign and as Oz is trying to close a gap in polls. Fetterman didn’t immediately comment Friday.
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.
Model who criticized Myanmar’s military fears repatriation
BANGKOK (AP) — A model from Myanmar denounced her country’s military rulers last year from the stage of a beauty pageant in Thailand. Now she fears she may be forced back home. Thaw Nandar Aung says she is stuck at Bangkok’s airport. When she arrived Wednesday night by air from a short trip to Vietnam, she was denied reentry into Thailand. A Thai Foreign Ministry spokesperson says the model was denied entry into Thailand due to an issue with her travel document. He said she was not arrested and there are currently no plans to deport her anywhere. Since Myanmar’s military seized power last year it has violently cracked down on opposition and jailed critics.
Vatican cyclist spreading the pope’s message at worlds
VATICAN CITY (AP) — A plain white helmet like the pope’s skullcap. The Holy See’s crossed keys seal stamped on his white and yellow jersey over his heart. Dutch-born cyclist Rien Schuurhuis will carry an enormous sense of duty when he races for the Vatican in Sunday’s road race at the cycling world championships in Wollongong, Australia. It marks a first in the city-state’s increasing use of sports as an instrument of dialogue, peace and solidarity. Schuurhuis previously raced on the UCI’s Continental Circuit. That is one level below the elite World Tour. He qualified for the Vatican team because he is married to Australia’s ambassador to the Holy See.
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