AP News Summary at 4:14 a.m. EST |
Kyiv helicopter crash kills 18, top Ukraine officials dead
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The chief of Ukraine’s National Police says a helicopter crash in a Kyiv suburb has killed 18 people, including Ukraine’s interior minister and three children. Ihor Klymenko says Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy Yevhen Yenin and Yurii Lubkovych, State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, were among those killed Wednesday. There was no immediate word on whether the crash was an accident or due to the almost 11-month war with Russia. Nine of those killed were reportedly aboard the emergency services helicopter that crashed in Brovary, an eastern suburb of the Ukrainian capital. A total of 29 people were injured, including 15 children.
White House defends its delayed, limited document disclosure
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is brushing aside criticism of its fragmented disclosures about the discovery of classified documents and official records at President Joe Biden’s home and former office. Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House counsel’s office, told reporters Tuesday the White House may withhold information to protect the Justice Department’s investigation and was releasing information as it deemed it “appropriate.” Responding to questions about the piecemeal disclosures, Sams said the White House has been trying to be mindful of the “risk” in sharing information “that’s not complete.”
US-China officials meet on economy, aim to ease tension
ZURICH (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sat down with her Chinese counterpart in Switzerland on Wednesday. It’s the highest-ranking contact between the two countries since their presidents agreed to look for ways to ease strained relations. Yellen’s first face-to-face meeting with Vice Premier Liu He comes as the U.S. and Chinese economies grapple with differing but intertwined challenges on trade, technology and more. The Chinese economy is reopening after a COVID-19 resurgence killed tens of thousands of people and shuttered countless businesses. The U.S. is slowly recovering from 40-year-high inflation and is on track to hit its statutory debt ceiling.
Nobel winner Maria Ressa, news outlet cleared of tax evasion
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa and her news company have been cleared of tax evasion charges she said were among legal cases used by former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to try to muzzle critical reporting. The Court of Tax Appeals ruled Wednesday that prosecutors failed to prove Ressa and Rappler Holdings Corp. evaded tax payments after raising capital through partnerships with two foreign investors. Rappler quoted Ressa as saying, “Today, facts win, truth wins, justice wins.” She won the Nobel with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov in 2021 for defying government efforts to shut their news organizations. Ressa and Rappler face three more legal cases, including an appeal on a libel conviction that could send her to prison.
Qantas plane lands safely after mayday call over Pacific
SYDNEY (AP) — A Qantas flight traveling from New Zealand to Sydney has landed safely on a single engine after it issued a mayday call over the Pacific Ocean. Flight 144 with 145 passengers aboard landed at Sydney Airport on Wednesday after a 3.5-hour flight from Auckland. Qantas says the Boeing 737 experienced an issue with one of its two engines about an hour from Sydney. Qantas said the pilot shut down the engine, but did not specify the problem. The mayday was downgraded to a PAN-PAN, meaning possible assistance was needed, before the flight landed. Sydney Airport says emergency crews were put on standby as a precaution, including firefighters, ambulances, and police. Some passengers told reporters they heard a bang and a slight shudder.
Shooter stood over California mom holding baby, killed both
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A shooter stood over a 16-year-old mother clutching her 10-month-old baby and pumped bullets into their heads in a brazen attack in a central California farming community that left six dead at a home linked to drugs and guns. That’s according to the Tulare County sheriff during a news conference Tuesday. Law enforcement is seeking at least two suspects and there is a $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrests. Deputies responded around 3:30 a.m. Monday to reports of multiple shots fired at the residence in unincorporated Goshen, just east of Visalia. Goshen is a rural community in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley.
Utah man who killed family faced 2020 abuse investigation
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man who killed seven family members before taking his own life earlier this month had been investigated for child abuse years prior. Police records obtained by The Associated Press shed light on Michael Haight’s violent tendencies and the warning signs that authorities were aware of years before the tragic murder-suicide. Haight’s eldest daughter told investigators that her father had assaulted her multiple times, shaking her, choking her and banging her into the wooden part of a couch. The records show local police and prosecutors decided not to criminally charge Haight despite the allegations. His family’s attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Saved from death at sea, Syrian refugees face deportation
TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) — A boat carrying more than 200 would-be migrants, most of them Syrians, sank off the coast of Lebanon on New Year’s Eve. All but two of the passengers were rescued, but what came next was a shock for many: They were loaded onto trucks and driven to the Syrian border, where they were handed over to the Syrian army. Among them were Syrians who were registered as refugees and had legal residency in Lebanon. Rights monitors see the case as a troubling development in Lebanon’s handling of refugees. Lebanese authorities have threatened mass evictions of refugees in the past but actual deportations have until now been only sporadic.
Lunar New Year rush starts in China after virus rules lifted
BEIJING (AP) — Millions of Chinese are taking advantage of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions to make an emotional journey back to their families for Lunar New Year holidays. Some are traveling for the first time in three years. Referred to in China as the Spring Festival, it may be the only time of the year when urban workers return to their hometowns. The Chinese government expects over 2.1 billion journeys to be made during a 40-day travel period around New Year’s Day, which falls on Sunday. In December, China abruptly dropped near-daily coronavirus testing and QR code monitoring of residents after public frustration boiled over into protests. This month, it dropped most remaining restrictions, including the demand that overseas travelers must go into lengthy and expensive quarantine.
Hampered by bad hip, Nadal out in 2nd Rd of Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal says his hip was injured during a second-round loss at the Australian Open to Mackenzie McDonald. The 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 defeat abruptly ended Nadal’s title defense and bid for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam trophy. Nadal pulled up awkwardly at the end of a point late in the second set against the 65th-ranked McDonald on Wednesday. The No. 1-seeded Nadal was visited by a trainer on the sideline, then left the court for a medical timeout. Up in the stands, his wife wiped away tears. Nadal returned to play, but was physically compromised and not his usual chase-every-ball self.
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