Pressure on Russian forces mounts after Ukraine’s advances
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Western defense officials and analysts say said they believe Russian forces are setting up a new defensive line in Ukraine’s northeast after Kyiv’s troops broke through the previous one and tried to press their advances further into the east. The British defense ministry said that the line likely was between the Oskil River and Svatove, southeast of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. The new line comes after a Ukrainian counteroffensive punched a hole through the previous front line and recaptured large swaths of land in the northeastern Kharkiv region. Ukrainian forces are continuing to cross a key river as they try to press on in a counteroffensive targeting Russian-occupied territory in the country’s northeast, according to a Washington-based think tank.
Thousands wait in cold to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II
LONDON (AP) — Thousands of people have spent London’s coldest night in months huddled in line to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II. Authorities warn that arriving mourners face a 16-hour wait. Honoring their patience, King Charles III and Prince William made an unannounced visit to greet the waiting crowds. William and the queen’s seven other grandchildren are due to stand vigil beside her coffin on Saturday at Parliament’s Westminster Hall. Police arrested a man on Friday night after what the force described as a “disturbance” there. Parliamentary authorities said someone tried to approach the coffin on the platform where it is lying in state.
Voter challenges, records requests swamp election offices
Election conspiracy theorists are flooding local election offices with voter challenges and public records requests. The wave of inquiries is adding to the already heavy workload those offices face as they scramble to prepare for November’s elections. Election officials say many of the challenges they’re receiving contest the presence on voter rolls of people who already are being removed or have the right to be registered. At a minimum, it takes time for election offices to record all the challenges. And if some of the targeted voters cast ballots in November, there could be a fight over whether to count their votes.
Hungary faces reckoning with EU that could cost it billions
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s nationalist-populist government is facing a reckoning with the European Union after nearly a decade of accusations that it has failed to uphold the EU’s democratic values. The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, appears set to impose financial penalties against Hungary on Sunday over corruption concerns and alleged rule-of-law violations. Hungary is one of the largest net beneficiaries of EU funds in the 27-nation bloc, and the sanctions could cost Budapest billions and cripple its already ailing economy. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has denied the commission’s accusations. A lawmaker who is a former member of Orban’s party alleges the government has channeled large sums of EU money into the businesses of politically connected insiders.
Alaska braces for floods, power outages as huge storm nears
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Residents on Alaska’s vast and sparsely populated western coast braced for what forecasters said could be one of the worst in recent history, accompanied by strong winds and high surf that could knock out power and cause flooding. The storm is the remnants of Typhoon Merbok. Warnings anticipate winds reaching hurricane-force speeds in places, water levels reaching up to 18 feet above normal high tide in some communities and widespread power outages and areas of flooding and erosion. The storm also is influencing weather patterns far from Alaska — a rare late-summer storm is expected to bring rain this weekend to drought-stricken parts of California.
US asks appeals court to lift judge’s Mar-a-Lago probe hold
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to lift a judge’s order that temporarily barred it from reviewing a batch of classified documents seized during an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home last month. The department made the request Friday with the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta. It says the judge’s hold is impeding the “government’s efforts to protect the nation’s security” and interfering with its investigation into the presence of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago. It says the hold needs to be lifted immediately so work can resume.
Cheetahs make a comeback in India after 70 years
NEW DELHI (AP) — Seven decades after cheetahs died out in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released eight cats that were transported from Namibia to their new home: a national park in the heart of India. The big cats will be quarantined and closely watched for around two months before being released into the wild. Cheetahs were once widespread in India and became extinct in 1952 from hunting and loss of habitat. A dozen cheetahs from South Africa are currently in quarantine and are expected to arrive at the Kuno National Park soon. The continent-to-continent relocation has been decades in the making. There are less than 7,000 adult cheetahs left in the wild globally, and they now inhabit less than 9% of their original range.
Puerto Rico under hurricane watch as TS Fiona approaches
HAVANA (AP) — Tropical Storm Fiona is threatening to dump up to 16 inches (41 centimeters) of rain in parts of Puerto Rico as forecasters have placed the U.S. territory under a hurricane watch and people are bracing for potential landslides, severe flooding and power outages. The storm was located 135 miles (215 kilometers) southeast of St. Croix early Saturday, moving west at 13 miles (20 kilometers) on a path forecast to pass near Puerto Rico. Forecasters warned Fiona could be near hurricane strength when it passes through Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
It’s tapped: Germany’s Oktoberfest opens after 2-year hiatus
MUNICH (AP) — The beer is flowing at Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest for the first time since 2019. With three knocks of a hammer and the traditional cry of “O’zapft is” — “It’s tapped” — the city’s mayor inserted the tap in the first keg at noon on Saturday to open the festivities. Oktoberfest has typically drawn about 6 million visitors every year to packed festival grounds in Bavaria’s capital. But the event didn’t take place in 2020 and 2021 as authorities grappled with the unpredictable development of COVID-19 infections and restrictions. The mayor says he thinks the city made the right decision to allow the festival to take place this year. It runs through Oct. 3.
Queen’s death triggers media bonanza in works for decades
NEW YORK (AP) — Plans by news organizations that have been in place for years — even decades — to cover the death of Queen Elizabeth II were triggered and tested when the event took place. London has been inundated with journalists, with more headed to the city for the funeral services on Monday. A giant audience is expected for the culmination of all the ceremonies, which one expert called “catnip” for television networks. For many journalists, plans have gone smoothly. There were some issues on Thursday with restrictions placed by the palace on use of video from inside Westminster Hall, where the queen’s body was lying in state.
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