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AP POLL-RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR — Many Americans continue to question whether President Joe Biden is showing enough strength in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, even as most approve of steps the U.S. is already taking and few want U.S. troops to get involved. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows 54% of Americans think Biden has been “not tough enough.” By Nomaan Merchant and Hannah Fingerhut. SENT: 910 words, photos.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR — Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the battle for Mariupol, even as he ordered his troops not to take the risk of storming the giant steel plant where the last Ukrainian defenders in the city were holed up. Instead, he directed his forces to seal off the Azovstal plant “so that not even a fly comes through.” By Adam Schreck. SENT: 960 words, photos, video. WITH: RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-MARIUPOL-EXPLAINER — Why the battle for Mariupol’s steel mill matters. SENT: 1,120 words, photos; RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-THE LATEST.
RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR-BIDEN — President Joe Biden has approved an additional $800 million in military aid to help Ukraine fight back in its increasingly difficult battle against the Russian invasion. But he’s also warning that Congress will need to approve additional assistance if the U.S. is to keep up its crucial support. By Aamer Madhani, Robert Burns and Darlene Superville. SENT: 1,245 words, photos.
BRITAIN-POLITICS — British lawmakers have ordered a parliamentary investigation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson for allegedly lying about whether he broke coronavirus restrictions by attending illegal gatherings during the pandemic. That means Parliament’s Committee of Privileges will investigate whether Johnson knowingly misled Parliament. Historically that is a resigning offense if proven. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 695 words, photos.
FRANCE-ELECTION-RACISM — France’s presidential campaign has been difficult for voters of immigrant heritage and religious minorities. French voters head to polls on Sunday in a runoff vote between centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron and nationalist rival Marine Le Pen. Experts say the campaign has been unusually dominated by racist discourse and proposals targeting immigration and Islam. By Arno Pedram. SENT: 1,035 words, photos. WITH: FRANCE-ELECTION — Just days before France’s crucial presidential runoff vote, the center-left leaders of Germany, Spain and Portugal urged French voters to choose centrist President Emmanuel Macron over far-right nationalist rival Marine Le Pen. SENT: 505 words, photos.
FLORIDA-DISNEY-FEUD — The Florida House of Representatives gave final passage to a bill that would dissolve Walt Disney World’s private government, handing Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the entertainment giant over its opposition to a measure that critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law. By Anthony Izaguirre. SENT: 465 words, photos, developing.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHINA — In a city of 25 million people with hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases, Chinese health authorities have reported only 25 coronavirus deaths. An Associated Press examination of the death toll sheds light on how the figures have been obscured by the way Chinese health authorities tally virus statistics, applying a much narrower, less transparent, and at times inconsistent standard than the rest of the world. By Huizhong Wu and Dake Kang. SENT: 1,320 words, photos.
SCI--ENVIRONMENTAL SUCCESS STORIES — As bad as the environment seems with climate change and other pollution, scientists say humanity has also done a pretty good job of cleaning up past messes. More than 25 experts shared their favorite ecological success stories for Earth Day. The overwhelming No. 1 success story is the healing of Earth’s ozone hole. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein. SENT: 1,330 words, photos.
DEPP-HEARD-LAWSUIT — Attorneys for actor Amber Heard resumed their cross-examination of her ex-husband Johnny Depp, taking aim at his alcohol and drug use as well as texts he sent to a friend about wanting to kill and defile his then-wife. SENT: 650 words, photos.
CNN-STREAMING-SHUTDOWN — CNN’s brand-new streaming service, CNN+, is shutting down only a month after launch. SENT: 215 words, photo.
BRITAIN-QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY — Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 96th birthday privately, retreating to the Sandringham estate in eastern England. SENT: 580 words, photo.
DARK WEB-HITMAN SCHEME — A Florida woman has been sentenced to 6½ years in prison for attempting to hire a hitman on the dark web to kill her ex-boyfriend’s wife. SENT: 455 words.
ART-IN-DUMPSTER — Dumpster find leads to rediscovery of artist Francis Hines. SENT: 850 words, photos.
EGYPT-ANTIQUITIES -- An Egyptian court has sentenced a former member of parliament and others to ten years in prison for smuggling antiquities out of the country. SENT: 260 words.
BBC-BASEBALL-TACKLE — A Texas junior college pitcher is facing possible expulsion from school for tackling an opposing baserunner after a giving up a home run. SENT: 185 words.
FORD-RECALL -- Ford is recalling more than 650,000 pickup trucks and big SUVs in the U.S. because the windshield wipers can break and fail. SENT: 155 words, photo.
BOOKS-OLIVIA HARRISON — Olivia Harrison, widow of Beatle George Harrison and a philanthropist and film producer, has a few words of her own to share. She has written 20 original poems about her late husband for the book “Came the Lightening,” which comes out June 21. SENT: 160 words, photos.
MORE ON RUSSIA-UKRAINE
RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-REFUGEES —The Biden administration is making it easier for refugees fleeing Russia’s war on Ukraine to come to the United States from Europe while trying to shut down an informal route through northern Mexico that’s emerged in recent weeks. SENT: 755 words, photo.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-YELLEN — The United States will provide $500 million more in financial assistance for Ukraine to sustain critical government operations as it fends off the Russia invasion. SENT: 480 words, photo.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-OIL-EXPLAINER — Europe is discussing a boycott of Russian oil over the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. But Europe would face higher prices and such a move could send an oil shock through a global economy that’s still rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.
PROFILE IN COURAGE-ZELENSKYY — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney are among five people being named as recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for acting to protect democracy. SENT: 570 words, photos.
CHINA-UKRAINE — Chinese leader Xi Jinping said his government supports talks to resolve international disputes, but opposes the use of sanctions. SENT: 390 words, photo.
CHINA-RUSSIA-CREDIT-CARDS — China’s credit card processor has refused to work with banks in Russia for fear of being targeted by sanctions over its war on Ukraine, cutting off a possible alternative after Visa and Mastercard stopped serving them, according to the Russian news outlet RBC. SENT: 200 words, photo.
MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CAMBODIA — Cambodia has reduced the required quarantine period from two weeks to one for arriving travelers who are not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, acting after recording consistently low numbers of new infections in recent days. SENT: 270 words, photo.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-WHO — The World Health Organization says that the number of reported new COVID-19 cases worldwide decreased by nearly a quarter last week, continuing a decline since the end of March. SENT: 200 words, photo.
BIDEN-CLIMATE — President Biden plans to mark Earth Day in Seattle on Friday, but he’s struggled to make progress on a sweeping environmental agenda. Some of his plans for fighting climate change remain stalled on Capitol Hill, even as scientists have escalated their warnings about the potential effects of global warming. SENT: 1,240 words, photo.
WHITE HOUSE-DRUG STRATEGY — President Biden is sending his administration’s first national drug control strategy to Congress. White House drug czar Dr. Rahul Gupta says the strategy is the first to prioritize what’s known as harm reduction. That means it will focus on preventing death and illness in drug users while trying to engage them in care and treatment. SENT: 305 words, photos.
CAPITOL-EVACUATION — The Federal Aviation Administration’s failure to notify Capitol Police about a parachute stunt at a nearby baseball stadium led to an alert and urgent evacuation of the U.S. Capitol, a law enforcement official says. The FAA is reviewing the communications breakdown, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is promising a congressional review. SENT: 755 words, photo.
SUPREME-COURT-PUERTO-RICO — The Supreme Court has upheld the differential treatment of residents of Puerto Rico, ruling that Congress was within its power to exclude them from a benefits program that’s available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. SENT: 575 words, photos.
SUPREME COURT-STOLEN PAINTING — The Supreme Court kept alive a California man’s hope of reclaiming a valuable impressionist masterpiece taken from his family by the Nazis and now on display in a Spanish museum. UPCOMING: 635 words, photos by 3 p.m.
SUPREME COURT-SHACKLING CASE — The Supreme Court said that a federal appeals court was wrong when it ordered Michigan to retry or release a man convicted of murder because his rights were violated when he was shackled at trial. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m.
BIDEN — President Biden visits Portland, Oregon’s airport to showcase how his infrastructure law has led to runway improvements that will help it withstand earthquakes and keep down costs for delivery of goods. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.
ELECTION-2022-SENATE-OHIO-VANCE — Before Republican JD Vance began targeting universities as the enemy of the conservative movement, the Donald Trump-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate in Ohio leveraged a network of higher education institutions across the country to promote his book. And he made $70,000 doing it. SENT: 890 words, photos.
XGR-REDISTRICTING-CONGRESS-FLORIDA — The Florida Legislature gave final approval to a congressional map pushed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis during a raucous session as Black lawmakers chanted in protest over what they say will diminish the state’s Black representation in the U.S. House. SENT: 260 words, photos.
MICHIGAN-REPUBLICANS-CONVENTION — Former President Donald Trump’s extraordinary effort to mold Republicans’ 2022 tickets will be put to the test this weekend in Michigan, where thousands of party activists will endorse candidates including for attorney general and secretary of state. SENT: 710 words, photos.
MIDEAST-ISLAMIC-STATE-CRIMES — Thousands of people taken captive by the Islamic State group remain missing years after the extremists’ territorial defeat. Accountability for their captors remains elusive. Families of the missing feel abandoned by a world that has largely moved on, while they struggle to uncover the fate of their loved ones. SENT: 900 words, photo.
KOREAS-TRASH OR TREASURES? — A South Korean scholar has turned to a different way of collecting information about secretive North Korea. Professor Kang Dong Wan from Dong-A University has been combing the beaches of South Korean border islands for North Korean trash. SENT: 1,070 words, photos, video.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS -- Israel’s air force and Palestinian militants traded fire across the Gaza frontier as clashes erupted again at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, worsening an escalation that has been eerily similar to the lead-up to last year’s Israel-Gaza war. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.
VATICAN-TWO-POPES — Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI turned 95 this past weekend. And to mark the occasion, a new book sets out to examine the current state of the Catholic Church not so much through the lens of Pope Francis’ nine-year papacy, but via Benedict’s nine-year retirement. And it isn’t pretty. SENT: 880 words, photos.
SRI LANKA-ECONOMIC CRISIS — A leading human rights group is demanding the Sri Lankan authorities conduct a prompt and impartial probe into a police shooting that left one person dead and 13 others injured during protests over fuel price hike amid the country’s worst economic crisis in decades. SENT: 600 words, photo.
AFGHANISTAN — A series of explosions across Afghanistan killed at least 10 people and wounded scores more, according to police and hospital officials. SENT: 465 words.
REL-PASSOVER FOOD-INFLATION — Some U.S. Jewish families observing Passover are struggling to pay for matzo, eggs and gefilte fish as soaring inflation drives up prices during one of the most important Jewish holidays. Food prices rose 10% in March on a year-on-year basis driven by higher costs for poultry, fish, eggs, beef and other meats. SENT: 795 words, photos.
BOY SCOUTS BANKRUPTCY-EXPLAINER — A Delaware judge is facing a host of controversial and complex issues as she weighs whether to approve the Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy reorganization plan. SENT: 995 words, photos.
GYM--DOCTOR-SEXUAL ABUSE — Thirteen sexual assault victims of Larry Nassar are seeking $10 million each from the FBI, claiming a bungled investigation by agents led to more abuse by the sports doctor, lawyers said. SENT: 440 words, photos.
WESTERN WILDFIRES — Winds that are expected to intensify through the end of the week have been a major obstacle for firefighters battling blazes across the Southwest. Resources are tight, and fire managers are scrambling to get crews on board. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated because of multiple wildfires. One of the largest outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, more than tripled in size. SENT: 960 words, photos.
EXECUTION-TENNESSEE — Tennessee is set to execute its first inmate since the start of the pandemic, planning a lethal injection procedure that has become less common in the state than the electric chair in recent years. SENT: 530 words, photos.
NYC RESERVOIR CLASH — New York City is under fire for sometimes releasing massive amounts of water a day from a key reservoir in the Catskill Mountains. The releases help manage water levels in the Ashokan Reservoir, often around big storms. But residents downstream say the periodic surges cause ecological harm along the lower Esopus Creek. SENT: 965 words, photos.
BIRD-FLU-FREE-RANGE — Some farmers are wondering if it’s OK that eggs sold as free-range come from chickens being kept inside. It’s a question that arises lately as farmers try to be open about their product while also protecting hens from a highly infectious bird flu that has killed roughly 28 million poultry across the country. SENT: 855 words, photos.
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA-NEW JERSEY — New Jersey’s recreational marijuana marketplace is open for business. SENT: 860 words, photos.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
MED-CANCER-GENOME — Scientists have analyzed the full genetic blueprints of more than 18,000 cancer samples, finding new patterns of mutations that could help doctors provide better, more personalized treatment. Their study, published Thursday in the journal Science, isn’t the first to do such comprehensive “whole genome” analyses of cancer samples. But no one has ever done so many. UPCOMING: 475 words, photo by 3 p.m.
MED--VIRUS OUTBREAK-ROUTINE VACCINATIONS — A smaller portion of U.S. children got routine vaccinations required for kindergarten during the pandemic, government researchers said, raising concerns that measles and other preventable diseases could increase. SENT: 335 words, photos.
MED--EXPLAINER-TRANSGENDER TREATMENT — Transgender medical treatment for children and teens is under attack in many states, but it has been available for more than a decade and is endorsed by major medical associations. It typically involves treatment with drugs that put a pause on puberty, followed by sex hormones, often not before age 16. SENT: 805 words, photos.
STINKY-PEAR-INVASION — A stinky but handsome and widely popular landscape tree has become an aggressive invader. Callery pears create dense thickets that overwhelm native plants and bear four-inch spikes that can flatten tractor tires. SENT: 940 words, photos.
APOLLO 16-ASTRONAUT — Charlie Duke is part of a tiny fraternity that’s getting even smaller: People who walked on the moon. Duke visited his Apollo 16 spaceship at a space museum in Huntsville, Alabama, to mark the 50th anniversary of his one and only trip to the moon. SENT: 300 words, photo.
UNEMPLOYMENT-BENEFITS — Applications for unemployment benefits inched down last week as the total number of Americans collecting aid fell to its lowest level in more than 50 years. Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 184,000 last week, the Labor Department said. SENT: 210 words, photo.
MUSK-TWITTER — Elon Musk says he has lined up $46.5 billion in financing to buy Twitter, putting pressure on the social media platform’s board to negotiate a sale deal. SENT: 745 words, photo.
AIRLINES-MASKS-BANNED-PASSENGERS — Remember all those thousands of passengers that airlines banned for not wearing face masks? Now the airlines want them back — or at least, most of them. SENT: 640 words. WITH: EARNS-AIRLINES — American Airlines says the first quarter was difficult, with another large loss, but it expects to turn a profit in the second quarter as more people return to travel. That’s similar to what other airlines are saying, as they plan for a booming summer travel season. SENT: 610 words, photos.
CRYPTOCURRENCY-MINING-ENERGY-USE — Economists and environmentalists warn that as bitcoin grows in price and popularity, the process of mining that is central to its existence and value is becoming increasingly energy intensive and potentially unsustainable. SENT: 1,280 words, photos. WITH: EXPLAINER-CRYPTOCURRENCY — How cryptocurrencies work (and how they don’t). SENT: 1,380 words, photos.
FINANCIAL-MARKETS — Stocks were mostly lower on Wall Street as traders reviewed the latest round of earnings reports from several big U.S. companies. SENT: 495 words, photos.
OBIT-ROBERT-MORSE — Actor Robert Morse, who won a Tony Award as a hilariously brash corporate climber in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and a second one a generation later as the brilliant, troubled Truman Capote in “Tru,” has died. He was 90. SENT: 980 words, photos.
TV-GASLIT-JULIA ROBERTS — Nearly four years after she starred in the Amazon series “Homecoming,” Julia Roberts is back on television with “Gaslit,” following lesser-known stories from the Watergate scandal. SENT: 655 words, photos.
BKN-GRIZZLIES-TIMBERWOLVES — The confident Minnesota Timberwolves return home to host the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m.
FBN--DRAFT-TRADING FIRST-ROUNDERS — The Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams should have plenty of company sitting out the first round of the NFL draft next week. The franchise that hasn’t made a selection in Round 1 since taking Jared Goff in 2016 and doesn’t currently have another first-round pick until 2024 is set to be joined by a record seven other teams that have traded their first-round picks in what has become a growing trend. SENT: 865 words, photos.
BRITTNEY GRINER — WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is easily the most prominent American citizen known to be jailed by a foreign government. Yet as a crucial hearing approaches next month in Russia, the case against Griner remains shrouded in mystery. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.
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