4 Ukrainian regions schedule votes this week to join Russia
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The separatist leaders of four Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine say they are planning to hold referendums this week for the territories to become part of Russia as Moscow loses ground in the war it launched. The votes will be held in the Luhansk, Kherson and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions. The announcement of the balloting starting Friday came after a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that they were needed. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also said that folding Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine into Russia itself would make their redrawn frontiers “irreversible” and enable Moscow to use “any means” to defend them.
UN chief: World is ‘paralyzed’ and equity is slipping away
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — In an alarming assessment, the head of the United Nations is telling world leaders that nations are “gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction” and aren’t ready or willing to tackle major challenges. Speaking at the opening of the General Assembly’s annual high-level meeting, Antonio Guterres pointed to the war in Ukraine and multiplying conflicts around the world, the climate emergency and “suicidal war against nature,” the dire financial situation of developing countries, and many reversals in U.N. goals for 2030 including to end extreme poverty and provide quality education for all children.
Fiona wallops Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico still stunned
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona is blasting the Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 3 storm after devastating Puerto Rico, where most people remain without electricity or running water. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm’s eye passed close to Grand Turk, the British territory’s capital island. The government had imposed a curfew and urged people to flee flood-prone areas. The storm could raise seas by 5 to 8 feet above normal. Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and was moving north-northwest at 9 mph early Tuesday. The Hurricane Center says the storm is likely to strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane as it approaches Bermuda on Friday.
Trump legal team balks at judge’s declassification questions
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s legal team has told a judge it does not want to answer his questions about the declassification status of the documents seized last month from the former president’s Florida home. It says that issue could be part of Trump’s defense if he’s indicted. Lawyers for Trump and for the Justice Department are to appear in federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday before the veteran judge who has been appointed as independent arbiter to review the roughly 11,000 documents — including about 100 marked as classified — taken during the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago.
‘Serial’ host: Evidence that freed Syed was long available
BALTIMORE (AP) — The creator of a true-crime podcast that helped free a Maryland man imprisoned for murder said that she feels a mix of emotions over how long it took authorities to act on evidence that’s long been available. Podcast host Sarah Koenig released a new episode of “Serial” on Tuesday, a day after a judge vacated Adnan Syed’s 2000 conviction and allowed him to walk out of court. Koenig noted that all of the evidence cited in prosecutors’ motion to overturn the conviction was available since 1999. She argued that the case against Syed involved “just about every chronic problem” in the system.
Ad spending shows Dems hinging midterm hopes on abortion
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are pumping an unprecedented amount of money into advertising related to abortion rights. The spending underscores how central the message is to the party in the final weeks before midterm elections. The most intense period of campaigning is only just beginning, and Democrats have already invested more than an estimated $124 million this year in television advertising referencing abortion. That’s twice as much money as the Democrats’ next top issue and almost 20 times more than Democrats spent on abortion-related ads in the 2018 midterms. The spending figures are based on an Associated Press analysis of data provided by the nonpartisan research firm AdImpact.
Texas sheriff investigating flights to Martha’s Vineyard
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas sheriff has opened a criminal investigation into two flights of migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. But Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar on Monday did not say what laws may have been broken in putting 48 Venezuelans on private planes last week from San Antonio. The elected Democratic sheriff says investigators had so far only spoken to attorneys representing some of the migrants and did not name any potential suspects who might face charges. DeSantis’ office responded with a statement that said the migrants had been given more options to succeed in Massachusetts.
With Griner in jail, WNBA players skip Russia in offseason
SYDNEY (AP) — Top WNBA players are finding other places to compete this winter, not wanting to go back to Russia after the arrest and conviction of Brittney Griner on drug possession charges and the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones are going to Turkey. Courtney Vandersloot is headed to Hungary. All three were part of the same Russian super team as Griner. That club won five EuroLeague titles in the past eight seasons and has been dominant for nearly two decades with former greats DeLisha Milton Jones and Diana Taurasi playing there. Nearly a dozen WNBA players competed in Russia last winter and none are heading back in the upcoming WNBA offseason.
With ceremonies over, King Charles III faces biggest task
LONDON (AP) — The cannons have sounded; the bells have rung; the mourners have paid their respects. Now King Charles III faces the task of preserving a 1,000-year-old monarchy that his mother nurtured for seven decades but that faces an uncertain future. The challenge is immense. Personal affection for the queen meant that the monarchy’s role in British society was rarely debated in recent years. But now that she’s gone, the royal family faces questions about whether it is still relevant in a modern, multi-cultural nation that looks very different than it did when Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952.
US adults should get routine anxiety screening, panel says
An influential health guidelines group says U.S. doctors should regularly screen adults for anxiety. It’s the first time the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended anxiety screening in primary care for adults without symptoms. The report released Tuesday is open for public comment until Oct. 17. The group usually affirms its draft guidance. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health complaints, affecting about 40% of U.S. women at some point in their lives and more than 1 in 4 men. The panel’s guidance often determines insurance decisions.
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