Putin sets partial military call-up, won’t ‘bluff’ on nukes
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial mobilization of reservists in Russia, effective immediately. He is risking a deeply unpopular step that follows a string of humiliating setbacks for his troops nearly seven months after invading Ukraine. It’s the first mobilization in Russia since World War II. Western backers of Ukraine derided the move as an act of weakness. The Russian leader also warned the West on Wednesday he isn’t bluffing over using all the means at his disposal to protect Russia’s territory, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to Russia’s nuclear capability. The partial mobilization came a day after Russian-occupied regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold votes on becoming part of Russia.
Zelenskyy to address UN meeting — on video from Ukraine
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With his nation at war, the president of Ukraine turns to the world once again. Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses leaders at the U.N. General Assembly via video link on Wednesday hours after Russia announced a partial mobilization of its military to make more resources available for the conflict. On the same day U.S. President Joe Biden and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also step up to have their say. The 193-member assembly voted last week to allow Zelenskyy to deliver a pre-recorded address because of his need to deal with Russia’s invasion. That was an exception to its requirement that all leaders speak in person.
EXPLAINER: What kept Iran protests going after first spark?
Protests have erupted across Iran in recent days after a 22-year-old woman died while being held by the morality police for violating the country’s strictly enforced Islamic dress code. The young woman had been picked up by Iran’s morality police for her allegedly loose headscarf, or hijab. Many Iranians, particularly the young, have come to see her death as part of the Islamic Republic’s heavy-handed policing of dissent and the morality police’s increasingly violent treatment of young women. This has led to daring displays of defiance, in the face of beatings and possible arrest. In street protests, some women tore off their mandatory headscarves, demonstratively twirling them in the air, or burned them.
Roger Federer’s goodbye will be in doubles, maybe with Nadal
LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer says he now is at peace with his choice to retire from professional tennis and plans to close his career with one doubles match at the Laver Cup perhaps with longtime rival Rafael Nadal by his side. Federer says he knows it is the right decision for him to walk away from the game at age 41. He spoke at a news conference at the arena that will host the team competition founded by his management company. The 20-time Grand Slam champion announced last week that he would be retiring. He says it took him a bit to get used to the idea of stepping away from competition.
Arbiter in Trump docs probe signals intent to move quickly
WASHINGTON (AP) — The independent arbiter tasked with inspecting documents seized in an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home says he intends to push briskly through the review process. Raymond Dearie, the veteran Brooklyn-based judge, also appeared skeptical of the Trump team’s reluctance to say whether it believed the records had been declassified. The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to sort out next steps in a review process expected to slow by weeks, if not months, the criminal investigation into the retention of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House.
Fiona strengthens into Category 4 storm, heads to Bermuda
CAYEY, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona has strengthened into a Category 4 storm after lashing the Turks and Caicos Islands after devastating Puerto Rico. It’s forecast to squeeze past Bermuda later this week. The storm is directly blamed for at least four deaths during its march through the Caribbean, while the winds and rains it unleashed in Puerto Rico left most people without power and half without running water amid what officials called “historic” flooding. Power company officials initially suggested it would take a few days for electricity to be fully restored but then appeared to backtrack late Tuesday night.
How steep Fed rate hikes affect your finances
NEW YORK (AP) — Mortgage rates have jumped, home sales have slumped and credit cards and auto loans have gotten pricier. Savings rates are slightly juicier, though. Many economists say they fear that a recession is inevitable in the coming months. With it could come job losses that could cause hardship for households already hit worst by inflation. Even before the Federal Reserve acts again Wednesday to sharply raise its key short-term rate, its previous rate hikes are being felt by households across the economy.
World Cup captains want to wear rainbow armbands in Qatar
GENEVA (AP) — FIFA has come under pressure from several European soccer federations who want to support a human rights campaign against discrimination at the World Cup. They want their captains to wear an armband with a rainbow heart design during games in Qatar. Homosexual acts are illegal in Qatar and the country’s treatment of migrant workers building projects for the tournament has been a decade-long controversy. FIFA rules prohibit teams bringing from their own armband designs to the World Cup. The eight European teams asking FIFA to relax its rules include France, Germany, England and the Netherlands.
2 claim $1.337B Mega Millions prize; 3rd-largest US jackpot
CHICAGO (AP) — Lottery officials say two people who wish to remain anonymous have claimed a $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot after a single ticket was sold in a Chicago suburb for a late July drawing, opting to take a lump sum payment of $780.5 million. The Illinois Lottery said Wednesday the prize for the July 29 drawing was claimed by two individuals who agreed to split the prize if they won. The lottery says it is unable to share any information about the winners except to say that they must be “over the moon” with their win. The jackpot-winning ticket was bought at a Speedway gas station and convenience store in Des Plaines. The jackpot was the nation’s third-largest lottery prize.
Some 230 whales beached in Tasmania; rescue efforts underway
HOBART, Australia (AP) — About 230 whales are stranded on Tasmania’s west coast, just two days after 14 sperm whales were found beached on a nearby island. The pod stranded on Ocean Beach appears to be pilot whales. The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said Wednesday that at least half of them are presumed to still be alive. It says a team is assembling whale rescue gear and heading to the area. Exactly two years ago, about 470 long-finned pilot whales were found beached on Tasmania’s west coast in the largest mass-stranding on record in Australia. The pilot whale is notorious for stranding in mass numbers, for reasons that are not entirely understood.
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