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The Independent UK

BC-AP News Digest 3 a.m.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.




RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR — The United Nations raced to rescue more civilians from the tunnels under a besieged steel plant in Mariupol and the city at large, even as fighters holed up at the sprawling complex made their last stand to prevent Moscow’s complete takeover of the strategic port. By Elena Becatoros and Jon Gambrell. SENT: 1,160 words, photos, videos. WITH: RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-THE LATEST, RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-A WEEK-PHOTO GALLERY.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-STEEL-PLANT-SURVIVORS — More than 100 civilians have finally emerged from the bombarded Azovstal steel plant, the last Ukrainian holdout in the ruined city of Mariupol. Interviewed by The Associated Press, they offered the clearest picture yet of their two months living in the center of hell. It is a story of deprivation and fear deep under the earth; in the dank darkness, they felt themselves rot and watched others die. But it is also a tale of quiet heroism. By Cara Anna. SENT: 1,760 words, photos.

SUPREME COURT-ABORTION-BIDEN — President Joe Biden is under pressure to preserve access to abortion, but he has few good options to do it. The White House is exploring administrative steps that could make abortion more accessible, such as sending pills through the mail. Biden has struggled to enact other parts of his ambitious agenda because of congressional gridlock. By Chris Megerian. SENT: 1,070 words, photos, video.

SUPREME COURT-ABORTION-NO EXCEPTIONS — Rape, incest and the health of the fetus or mother were once accepted reasons to obtain an abortion in even the most conservative Republican-led states. But now at least 14 states have near-total abortion bans in the works without some of those exceptions. The shift comes as the Supreme Court is expected to overturn the nationwide right to abortion this summer. By Rebecca Boone and John Hanna. SENT: 1,650 words, photos.

CUBA-HOTEL-EXPLOSION — A powerful explosion apparently caused by a natural gas leak has killed at least 22 people and injured 60 when it blew away outer walls from a luxury hotel in the heart of Cuba’s capital. No tourists were staying at Havana’s 96-room Hotel Saratoga because it was undergoing renovations, Havana Gov. Reinaldo García Zapata told the Communist Party newspaper Granma. Cuban state TV reported that the blast was caused by a truck that had been supplying natural gas to the hotel. By Andrea Rodriguez. SENT: 700 words, photos.

OLDER-MOTHERHOOD — Over the past three decades, birthrates have declined for women in their 20s and jumped for women in their late 30s and early 40s. That’s according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau released this spring ahead of Mother’s Day. Experts say decisions by women to invest in their education and careers so they can better support their children have contributed to the age shift. By Mike Schneider. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.

ECONOMY-JOBS-REPORT -- America’s employers added 428,000 jobs in April, extending a streak of solid hiring that has defied punishing inflation, chronic supply shortages, the Russian war against Ukraine and much higher borrowing costs. The jobs report from the Labor Department showed that last month’s hiring kept the unemployment rate at 3.6%, just above the lowest level in a half-century. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 1,155 words, photos. WITH: EXPLAINING-APRIL-JOBS REPORT (sent).




SUPREME-COURT-ABORTION-CALIFORNIA-REFUGE — California Democrats have accelerated their plan to make the nation’s most populous state a sanctuary for women seeking abortions, propelled by the release this week of an early draft of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that has ignited a surge of activism among the state’s vast network of providers and advocacy groups. SENT: 980 words, photos.

TESLA-ABORTIONS-EMPLOYEE-TRAVEL — Tesla is covering travel costs for employees seeking out-of-state abortions, joining the ranks of major companies who’ve introduced a similar policy to benefit workers affected by new restrictions in the past few months. SENT: 260 words, photo.

ABORTION-TENNESSEE — Republican Gov. Bill Lee has signed legislation that will strictly regulate the dispensing of abortion pills, including imposing harsh penalties on doctors who violate them. SENT: 380 words.




RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-HOPE-IN-THE-RUBBLE — There are no walls any longer. The broad wooden roof beams lie splintered and scattered, and random pieces of clothing dangle from damaged water pipes. But among the rubble of what used to be her home, the house that her grandparents built, Anna Shevchenko sees a glimmer of hope. SENT: 580 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-INTELLIGENCE — The Biden administration downplays the role of American intelligence in the high-profile sinking of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, distancing itself from any direct role in one of the greatest embarrassments for Russia since it attacked Ukraine. SENT: 670 words, photos.

FRANCE-BIOGAS — In lush fields southwest of Paris, farmers are joining Europe’s fight to free itself from Russian gas. They’ll soon turn on a new facility where crops and waste are fermented to produce “biogas.” It’s among energy solutions being explored as the continent works to choke off funding for Russian gas amid the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. SENT: 910 words, photos.

ITALY-EUROVISION-UKRAINE-BAND — Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra’s upbeat, melodic entry for this month’s Eurovision Song Contest was written as a tribute to the frontman’s mother. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has become an anthem to the nation’s war-ravaged motherland. SENT: 700 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL — Amnesty International says it has documented extensive war crimes by Russian forces in communities around the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, including arbitrary executions, bombardments of residences and torture. SENT: 470 words.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-GRAIN SHIPMENTS — A train carrying 2,000 metric tons of Ukrainian corn arrived in Austria, part of European efforts to elude a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s ports that has prevented critical supplies of wheat, corn and other grains from getting to countries in Africa, Middle East and parts of Asia. SENT: 495 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-JILL BIDEN — First lady Jill Biden thanks U.S. troops deployed to Romania, where they are serving as a check against Russian aggression. Biden began a four-day trip to Europe to see firsthand the refugee crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. SENT: 890 words, photos, video.




VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BY-THE-NUMBERS — The count of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 is nearing 1 million, and there’s a wealth of data making clear which groups have been hit the hardest. More than 700,000 people 65 and older died. Men died at higher rates than women. White people made up most of the deaths overall. Yet an unequal burden fell on Black, Hispanic and Native American people considering the younger average age of minority communities. By Carla K. Johnson and Nicky Forster. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-CHINA-EXAMS — Thousands of high school students in China learned that COVID restrictions will prevent them from taking final exams for Advanced Placement courses many took to strengthen their chances of attending college in the West. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.




JEOPARDY-ROACH — The latest contestant to have a long winning streak on the game show ‘Jeopardy!’ has seen her run snapped at 23. Mattea Roach, a 23-year-old tutor from Canada, lost the game televised Friday by only one dollar. SENT: 250 words, photo.

ALABAMA-MISSING JAIL OFFICIAL — The getaway vehicle used by a man wanted for murder in Alabama and the jail official suspected of helping him escape after a “jailhouse romance” was found in an impound lot in Tennessee, where it sat for nearly a week before authorities realized they had it, officials said. SENT: 780 words, photos.

DAVE CHAPELLE ATTACKED — A man charged in an attack on comedian Dave Chappelle during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl pleaded not guilty Friday to four misdemeanors. SENT: 200 words, photo.

BEAR-DUMPER-REWARD — Authorities in Maine say someone illegally killed a bear and dumped it off a bridge, and they’re working with a nonprofit group to offer a reward to help find out who did it. SENT: 160 words.

ODD--GERMANY-EXAMS IN SAFE — Firefighters in a German town received an unusual distress call Friday from a local high school. The teachers there were unable to open a safe containing a final-year exam that students were due to take. SENT: 110 words.

SWITZERLAND-COCAINE-SEIZED — Morning jolt? Swiss find cocaine stash amid coffee bean bags. SENT: 300 words.

GOODWILL-FIND-ROMAN-BUST — A marble bust that a Texas woman bought for about $35 from a Goodwill store is temporarily on display at a San Antonio museum after experts determined it was a centuries-old sculpture missing from Germany since World War II. SENT: 250 words.

NOT-REAL-NEWS — A look at what didn’t happen this week. SENT: 1,750 words, photos.




ELECTION 2022-GEORGIA-GREENE — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has accepted a judge’s findings and says U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is qualified to run for reelection. Earlier Friday, a judge concluded that a group of voters who had challenged her eligibility failed to prove she had engaged in insurrection after taking office. SENT: 960 words, photos.

ELECTION 2022-SENATE-PENNSYLVANIA-REPUBLICANS — Rivals are pushing harder on connections between Mehmet Oz and his parents’ native country of Turkey, as the celebrity heart surgeon boasts Donald Trump’s endorsement in a competitive Republican primary for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat. The campaign is hitting its final stretch, as Oz prepared to join the former president at a rally in western Pennsylvania on Friday evening. SENT: 920 words, photos.

ELECTION 2022-REPUBLICAN PRIMARIES-MISINFORMATION — Republicans who embraced discredited conspiracy theories about Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat and preached skepticism about elections now need their supporters to trust the system enough to vote for them. It’s a tricky calculus. SENT: 1,230 words, photos.

ORRIN HATCH FUNERAL — Politicians, friends and colleagues paid tribute to the late U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch at a memorial service in Salt Lake City. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday called Hatch an ‘old friend’ and described him as a principled conservative, committed public servant and man of faith. SENT: 600 words, photos.

CONGRESS-UNIONS — Speaker Nancy Pelosi is addressing concerns about the working conditions for some Capitol Hill aides. She’s announced a $45,000 minimum yearly salary for House staffers. She also has teed up for a vote next week a resolution that would pave the way for staffers to join a union. SENT: 470 words, photos.

BIDEN — President Biden pledges that 3D printing technology will help return factory jobs to the U.S. and reduce inflationary pressures as he travels to an industrial Midwestern state to make his case for the future of manufacturing. SENT: 660 words, photos.

CAPITOL RIOT-CAVEMAN COSTUME — A New York City judge’s son who stormed the U.S. Capitol wearing a furry “caveman” costume is sentenced to eight months in prison. SENT: 900 words, photo.

TRUMP-LEGAL CHALLENGES-BAR COMPLAINT — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says that the state bar plans to sue him over his failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election based on bogus claims of fraud. SENT: 480 words.

UNITED-STATES-NORTH-KOREA-CRYPTO — The U.S. has sanctioned North Korean digital currency mixing firm, which allegedly uses its service to launder stolen virtual currency and support malicious cyber activities. Mixing services combine various assets, including potentially illegally obtained funds with legitimately obtained funds, and spit them out to a destination address. SENT: 345 words, photos.

IMMIGRATION-SCHOOLS-EXPLAINER - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says requiring public schools to teach migrant children is another precedent the U.S. Supreme Court should reconsider. It shows how Republicans are no longer taking laws as settled after a draft opinion this week revealed that the court’s conservative majority may soon overturn the constitutional right to an abortion. By Paul J. Weber. SENT: 600 words, photos.




MIGRANTS-SEMITRAILER-TEXAS — Deputies found about 100 migrants in the back of a semitrailer that had broken down on a South Texas highway, but many of them fled, authorities said. SENT: 180 words, photos.

REL--SEX ABUSE-AMISH EXHIBIT — A small exhibit delivered a big message in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, home to the nation’s largest Amish community. Thirteen simple outfits from victims of sexual assault hung from a clothesline, attesting to the reality that child sexual abuse is a serious problem among the Amish, Mennonites and similar groups known for their plain dress. The moving display challenged the myth that sexual assault can be blamed on what a victim was wearing. SENT: 945 words, photos.

RACIAL-INJUSTICE-REPARATIONS-PROVIDENCE — City officials in Providence weighing reparations for Black residents are looking beyond the Rhode Island capital’s leading role in slavery. Raymond Watson is among the members of Providence’s newly formed reparations commission that wants the city to atone for urban renewal efforts of the late 20th century. Watson says communities of color were razed to make way for new developments with little to no compensation to residents. SENT: 860 words, photos.

SEVERE WEATHER — Damage but no injuries are being reported on the Gulf Coast after at least one possible tornado struck Mobile, Alabama. Violent winds ripped open a Family Dollar store in a heavily populated neighborhood in Mobile. SENT: 410 words, photos.

MISSING WOMAN-COLORADO — The two adult daughters of a Colorado man who had been charged in the presumed death of their missing mother said in an interview that aired Friday that they are standing behind him and do not believe he had anything to do with her disappearance. SENT: 440 words, photo.




ISRAEL-SETTLEMENTS — Israel’s interior minister says plans will be advanced for the construction of 4,000 settler homes in the occupied West Bank. If approved, it would be the biggest advancement of settlement plans since the Biden administration took office. SENT: 530 words, photo. WITH: PALESTINIANS-FACING-EXPULSION — Residents of a cluster of Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank have vowed to stick to their land and resist an order by Israel’s top court to evict them. SENT: 730 words, photos.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS — Israeli security forces are waging a massive manhunt for two Palestinians suspected of carrying out a stabbing rampage near Tel Aviv that left three Israelis dead. SENT: 780 words, photos.

BRITAIN-ELECTION — Britain’s governing Conservatives suffered losses in their few London strongholds in local elections, according to results announced Friday that will pile more pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson amid ethics scandals and a worsening economic picture. SENT: 690 words, photos.

HONG KONG-NEW-LEADER — China is installing a career security official as the new leader of Hong Kong in the culmination of a sweeping political transformation that has gutted any opposition in the Asian financial center and placed it ever more firmly under Beijing’s control. SENT: 780 words, photos.

MEXICO-PRESIDENTIAL-TRIP — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador started a five-day tour to four Central American countries and Cuba by lashing out at the U.S. government. SENT: 740 words, photos.

JAPAN-OKINAWA — Japan should do more for peaceful diplomacy with China and not just focus on arms deterrence as tensions rise around Taiwan to the west of Okinawa, said the southern island prefecture’s governor Friday, demanding further reduction of its security burden and its risk hosting U.S. military there. SENT: 710 words, photos.

SRI LANKA-ECONOMIC-CRISIS — Shops, offices and schools closed and transport came to a near standstill in Sri Lanka amid nationwide demonstrations against the government over its alleged inability to resolve the worst economic crisis in decades. SENT: 430 words, photos.




SPACE STATION-CREW RETURN — SpaceX brought four astronauts home with a midnight splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, capping the busiest month yet for Elon Musk’s taxi service. SENT: 645 words, photos.

CLIMATE-AFRICA-MANGROVE-RESTORATION — In a bid to protect coastal communities from climate change and encourage investment, African nations are increasingly turning to mangrove restoration projects, with Mozambique becoming the latest addition to the growing list of countries with large scale mangrove initiatives. SENT: 720 words, photos.

CLIMATE CHANGE--PUERTO RICO-ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION — Puerto Rico’s Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into destruction in an ecological reserve that protects one of the island’s most extensive mangrove forests. Mangrove helps protect the island from surging seas during hurricanes that have become more frequent and intense with a changed climate. SENT: 1,450 words, photos.




FINANCIAL MARKETS — A turbulent week on Wall Street ended with more losses and the stock market’s fifth straight weekly decline. The latest pullback came as investors balanced a strong U.S. jobs report against worries the Federal Reserve may cause a recession in its drive to halt inflation. SENT: 900 words, photos.




BKN-SUNS-MAVERICKS — Luka Doncic had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks turned up the defensive pressure to get back in their Western Conference semifinal series with Phoenix, beating the Suns 103-94. SENT: 500 words, photos.

MERCURY-MISSING-GRINER — Missing star center Brittney Griner, the Phoenix Mercury open the season at home against the Las Vegas Aces. As the Mercury and the rest of WNBA move forward in the 2022 season, Griner is nearing the three-month mark of her detention in Russia, with no timetable for her release. SENT: 360 words, photos.




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