Russia has turned food, energy and even children into weapons against Ukraine, Zelenskyy says at UN
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday that Russia is “weaponizing” everything from food and energy to abducted children in its war against Ukraine — and he warned world leaders that the same could happen to them.
“When hatred is weaponized against one nation, it never stops there," he said at the U.N. General Assembly’s annual top-level meeting. “The goal of the present war against Ukraine is to turn our land, our people, our lives, our resources into weapons against you — against the international rules-based order.”
The war in Ukraine has deepened major global supply disruptions caused by the pandemic, driving a huge spike in food and energy prices, jolting the global economy and increasing hardship in many developing countries.
Decades-old energy supply channels to Europe from Russia, a major oil and gas producer, were halted or severely disrupted by the war due to sanctions, trade disputes, pipeline shutoffs and a major push by Western countries to find alternative sources. Both Russia and Ukraine also are major grain exporters, and Russia withdrew this past summer from a deal that allowed shipments of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.
Zelenskyy pointed to the food and fuel crunches, and he highlighted what Ukraine says were kidnappings of at least tens of thousands of children taken from Ukraine after Moscow's invasion: “What will happen to them?”
Speaker McCarthy faces an almost impossible task trying to unite House GOP and fund the government
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing fresh challenges to his leadership, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is trying to accomplish what at times seems impossible — working furiously to convince House Republicans to come together and pass a conservative bill to keep the federal government open.
It’s a nearly futile exercise that could help McCarthy keep his job, but has little chance of actually preventing a federal shutdown. Whatever House Republicans come up with is nearly certain to be rejected by the Senate, where Democrats and most Republicans want to fund the government.
In one dramatic sign of defeat Tuesday, House Republicans were even voting against their own defense bill. During a rowdy afternoon vote, the usually popular bill was turned back from consideration, 212-214, after five hard-right conservatives helped sink it. They want to see an overall plan from McCarthy.
McCarthy simply walked off the House floor. “Look, the one thing you’re going to learn about me: I like a challenge — I don’t like this big a challenge — but we’re just gonna keep doing it until we can make it,” McCarthy told reporters.
With time dwindling, Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass the broader government funding legislation and get a bill to President Joe Biden's desk to become law. Otherwise, the U.S. faces massive federal government closures and disruptions. Plans for another vote Tuesday to advance the overall spending bill were shelved.
India expels Canadian diplomat, escalating tensions after Trudeau accuses India in Sikh's killing
NEW DELHI (AP) — India expelled one of Canada’s top diplomats Tuesday, ramping up a confrontation between the two countries over Canadian accusations that India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in suburban Vancouver.
India, which has dismissed the accusations as absurd, said the expulsion came amid “growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities," according to a statement from its Ministry of External Affairs.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to try to calm the diplomatic clash Tuesday, telling reporters that Canada is “not looking to provoke or escalate."
“We are simply laying out the facts as we understand them and we want to work with the government of India to lay everything clear and to ensure there are proper processes,” he said. "India and the government of India needs to take this matter with the utmost seriousness.”
On Monday, Trudeau said there were “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the slaying of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh leader who was killed by masked gunmen in June in Surrey, outside Vancouver. For years, India has said Nijjar, a Canadian citizen born in India, has links to terrorism, an allegation Nijjar denied.
United Auto Workers threaten to expand targeted strike if there is no substantive progress by Friday
The United Auto Workers union is stepping up pressure on Detroit’s Big Three by threatening to expand its strike unless it sees major progress in contract negotiations by Friday.
In a video statement late Monday, UAW President Shawn Fain said workers at more factories will join those who are now in the fifth day of a strike at three plants.
“We're not going to keep waiting around forever while they drag this out ... and we’re not messing around," Fain said in announcing the noon Eastern time Friday deadline for escalating the strike unless there is “serious progress” in the talks. The union plans to disclose the locations of new strikes during an online presentation to members that morning.
Ford, General Motors and Stellantis said they want to settle the strike, and they held back from directly criticizing the escalation threat.
Mark Stewart, the North American chief operating officer of Stellantis, the successor to Fiat Chrysler, said the company is still looking for common ground with the UAW.
Democrats retain narrow control of Pennsylvania House after special election
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democrats will retain their one-vote majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives after voters in Pittsburgh on Tuesday elected former congressional aide Lindsay Powell.
Powell’s victory gives Democrats a 102-101 majority in the House. Republicans have a 28-22 majority in the Senate, creating a divided Legislature that has kept Democrats from passing priorities such as broadened protections for LGBTQ+ people and gun control measures and Republicans from wins on issues including school vouchers.
The divided Legislature has also meant Republican senators have been unable to take to voters proposed constitutional amendments limiting the governor’s power and implementing voter ID.
Most recently the division has mired the state in a two-month budget stalemate after negotiations soured over education funding, in part because of the voucher debate.
Powell identified affordable and dignified housing, a strong local economy and community assets such as robust recreation centers, libraries and strong infrastructure as top issues. Housing, she said, was a particular concern. People feel displaced by rising costs and seniors want to stay in their homes.
Prince William, billionaires Gates and Bloomberg say innovation provides climate hope
NEW YORK (AP) — With deadly extreme weather hitting all over the globe, rising temperatures peaking during the hottest summer on record and carbon pollution levels that keep climbing, Britain’s Prince William and wealthy entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg promised a warming world a degree of hope.
That comes in the form of innovation, creativity and technology, the trio and others said at a summit Tuesday in the posh Plaza Hotel. They announced finalists for William’s third annual Earthshot Prize that offers five awards of 1 million pounds ($1.2 million) to companies and groups that come up with new ways to save the planet.
“We’ve got to hang onto optimism and hope because it is the biggest driver of change, the biggest driver of innovation,” William told the crowd of movers and shakers, after mentioning that he'd slipped away for a morning jog in New York’s Central Park.
While a healthy dose of realistic pessimism about Earth’s climate is important, the heir to the British throne said he wants people to believe “there is hope; there are people out there doing incredible things that will have massive impacts on our futures.”
William’s summit highlighted 15 different finalists from around the world, including efforts to reduce London air pollution from vehicle tires, reduce livestock methane emissions by new types of seaweed feedstock and use DNA technology to make more sustainable textile dyes.
House Republicans set first Biden impeachment inquiry hearing for Sept. 28
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans plan to hold their first hearing next week in their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
The hearing — scheduled for Sept. 28 — is expected to focus on “constitutional and legal questions” that surround the allegations of Biden's involvement in his son Hunter's overseas businesses, according to a spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee.
Republicans — led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — have contended in recent weeks that Biden's actions from his time as vice president show a “culture of corruption," and that his son used the “Biden brand” to advance his business with foreign clients.
The spokesperson also said Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of Oversight, plans to issue subpoenas for the personal and business bank records of Hunter Biden and the president's brother James Biden “as early as this week.” McCarthy appointed Comer to lead the inquiry in coordination with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Ways & Means Chairman Jason Smith.
The White House has called the effort by House Republicans in the midst of the presidential campaign “extreme politics at its worst.”
Americans released by Iran arrive home, tearfully embrace their loved ones and declare: 'Freedom!'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans detained for years in Iran arrived home Tuesday, tearfully hugged their loved ones and declared “Freedom!” after being let go as part of a politically risky deal that saw President Joe Biden agree to the release of nearly $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets.
The prisoners landed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with clapping and cheers heard in the predawn hours. Siamak Namazi, the first off the jet, paused for a moment, closed his eyes and took a deep breath before leaving the plane. Loved ones, some holding small American flags, enveloped them in hugs and exchanged greetings in English and Farsi, the main language of Iran.
“The nightmare is finally over,” Namazi’s brother, Babak, said at the airport.
“We haven’t had this moment in over eight years,” he added, his arm around his brother and his formerly detained father, Baquer, who had been earlier released by Iran. “It’s unbelievable.”
One of the other freed Americans, Emad Sharghi, received from his sister, Neda, a U.S. flag and a stuffed animal that she had given to their father 30 years ago when he had bypass surgery, a family representative said.
Florida jury pool could give Trump an advantage in classified documents case
MIAMI (AP) — The classified documents indictment of Donald Trump would seem, on paper at least, to be the most straightforward of the four criminal cases the former president is facing.
Reams of classified files were stashed in Trump's office and storage room and he boastfully showed off to guests one such document he acknowledged was “secret,” federal prosecutors have alleged. His own lawyer is quoted in the indictment as saying Trump encouraged him to mislead investigators who demanded the documents back, and prosecutors have since secured the cooperation of a Mar-a-Lago staffer who says the ex-president asked about deleting surveillance footage at the Palm Beach property.
But that doesn't make the path to conviction easy, particularly with the case set for trial in a Florida courthouse expected to draw its jury pool from a conservative-leaning region of the state that supported Trump in the 2020 election. Those built-in demographics may be a challenge for prosecutors despite the evidence at their disposal, underscoring the impossibility of untangling the law from politics in an election-year trial involving a former president who is seeking to return to the White House.
“The more conservative the counties, the highest chance he has to find jurors that would be sympathetic with him,” said Richard Kibbey, a criminal defense attorney in Stuart, Florida, part of the Fort Pierce district where the jury pool is expected to be taken from.
When it comes to finding truly impartial jurors, he added, “It’s going to be very difficult given the political climate across the country. Jurors will bring their own biases into the court room.”
Deion Sanders condemns death threats against player whose late hit left Hunter with lacerated liver
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Deion Sanders stood up for Henry Blackburn on Tuesday after the Colorado State safety received death threats for a late hit that sent Colorado's two-way star Travis Hunter to the hospital with a lacerated liver.
“That's absurd for people to be threatened,” the Colorado coach said at his weekly news conference. “I don’t mind getting death threats. I get them every week. But a kid, it’s not good. ... He does not deserve a death threat over a game. At the end of the day, this is a game — someone must win, someone must lose. Everybody continues their life the next day. Very unfortunate.”
Blackburn delivered a late blow to Hunter’s midsection on an incomplete pass in the first quarter of the Rocky Mountain Showdown last weekend. The Rams' senior drew a flag for unnecessary roughness, one of 17 penalties the Rams committed in the 43-35 double-overtime loss to the Buffaloes. Hunter went to the hospital for further evaluation.
Sanders said he has forgiven Blackburn and so has Hunter, who doesn’t have a definitive timeline for a return. Sanders said there is no place for the threats directed toward Blackburn and his family.
“Henry Blackburn is a good player who played a phenomenal game,” said Sanders, whose 19th-ranked Buffaloes (3-0) travel to No. 10 Oregon on Saturday before hosting No. 5 Southern Cal next week. “He made a tremendous hit on Travis on the sideline. You could call it dirty, you could call it he was just playing the game of football. But whatever it was, it does not constitute that he should be receiving death threats."
The Associated Press