AP evidence points to 600 dead in Mariupol theater airstrike
LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Amid all the horrors that have unfolded in the war against Ukraine, the Russian airstrike on the theater used as a bomb shelter in Mariupol on March 16 stands out as the most recent attack. deadliest known attack on civilians to date. An Associated Press investigation found evidence that the attack was far deadlier than expected, killing nearly 600 people. This is almost double current estimates. The AP recreated what happened inside the theater that day from the stories of 23 survivors, rescuers and people intimately familiar with the theater’s new life as a bomb shelter. The AP also built a 3D model based on eyewitness accounts, two sets of theater floor plans, photos and videos taken inside before, during and after that day, and expert commentary.
Russia shells Ukraine, targeting Western arms supply
LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces have been pounding targets across Ukraine, targeting foreign arms supply lines in the west and stepping up an offensive in the east. Meanwhile, the European Union moved on Wednesday to further punish Moscow for the war with a proposed ban on oil imports. The Russian military said it used missiles to destroy electrical installations at five railway stations across Ukraine, while artillery and aircraft also hit troop strongholds and fuel and ammunition depots. The defense minister said a steel plant in Mariupol had been cordoned off, a day after Ukrainian fighters said Russian troops had started storming it. Moscow denied having stormed the mill. Ukrainian authorities said attacks in the eastern Donbass region left 21 civilians dead.
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As US Moves to Restrict Abortion, Other Countries Ease Access
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — As women in the United States stand to lose the constitutional right to access abortion services, courts in other parts of the world, including in many historically conservative societies , took the opposite direction. . In February, the Colombian Constitutional Court legalized abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy. It was Latin America’s latest shift toward legalization and the conservative country’s largest opening to abortion access to date. The United States Supreme Court, however, appears set to move the country in the opposite direction by removing a right that has been enshrined in the constitution for nearly 50 years.
Major takeaways: Trump passes test as kingmaker in Ohio
The primary election in Ohio was the first real test of this midterm election season of former President Donald Trump’s status as the Republican Party’s kingmaker — and he succeeded. His chosen GOP nominee in the tight U.S. Senate race, JD Vance, won on Tuesday after trailing in the polls just three weeks ago. Another Trump-backed candidate, Ohio Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, easily survived a primary challenge. In the gubernatorial primary, Republican incumbent Mike DeWine took victory over three far-right challengers. Trump has not endorsed anyone in this race. He had lambasted DeWine for his strict coronavirus policies in 2020.
The pope’s Ukrainian diplomacy, a political and spiritual tightrope
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has done little diplomatically in Russia’s war in Ukraine: His calls for a truce have gone unheeded and his scheduled meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church was canceled. Francis was apparently unable to capitalize on his moral authority, his soft power or his direct line with Moscow to end the bloodshed or at least a ceasefire. Although the long list of diplomatic stalemates seems daunting, it is par for the course for the Vatican’s unique diplomacy. It is a politics that straddles geopolitical realities with spiritual priorities, even when they conflict with each other.
North Korea fires ballistic missile amid growing animosity
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea launched a ballistic missile towards its eastern waters on Wednesday. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the missile was fired from the northern capital region and flew to waters off its eastern coast. The Japanese Coast Guard has urged ships traveling off the Japanese coast to stay clear of any possible fragments. The launch comes days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged to boost his nuclear arsenal and threatened to use them against his rivals. The launch took place six days before a new conservative South Korean president was to take office. North Korea has a history of stirring up animosities with weapons tests when Seoul and Washington inaugurate new governments.
With abortion in jeopardy, minority women have the most to lose
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting that abortion rights will be struck down highlights the risk for black and Hispanic women. Associated Press research shows that if the Court allows states to ban abortion, minority women will bear the brunt. In conservative states that already limit access to abortion, black and Hispanic women are much more likely than white women to have abortions. That’s why advocates say they’ll have the most to lose if abortion is banned in those states. Advocates also say these same women are likely to have the hardest time traveling to terminate a pregnancy or raise any children they may have.
With deficit falling, Biden highlights fiscal responsibility
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to highlight deficit reduction in remarks noting that the government will pay down the national debt this quarter for the first time in six years. In his remarks on Wednesday, Biden will highlight how large job gains have boosted total revenue and led to additional tax revenue that has improved the government’s balance sheet. A White House official watched the speech on condition of anonymity. The Treasury Department estimates that the budget deficit this fiscal year will shrink by $1.5 trillion. This decrease marks an improvement over initial forecasts and would likely put the annual deficit below $1.3 trillion.
Dave Chappelle tackled during Hollywood Bowl comedy show
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Comedian Dave Chappelle was tackled during a performance at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday night. Security officers then subdued the assailant, who was taken by ambulance from the scene. Chappelle was able to continue his performance. NBC News reported that the Los Angeles Police Department said Wednesday morning that the man was carrying a fake gun with a real knife blade inside. LAPD Media Relations made no official arrest announcement immediately following the attack and did not respond to a request for details from The Associated Press. Chappelle was performing with other comedians at the “Netflix Is A Joke” festival.
Wall Street points to gains ahead of Fed rate decision
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street headed for gains ahead of the market open on Wednesday as investors waited for the Federal Reserve to announce another expected interest rate hike. Futures on Dow industrials and the S&P 500 gained 0.4% less than two hours before markets opened. Equities in Asia closed mostly lower and European markets were largely in negative territory by midday. Fed policymakers are expected to raise the U.S. central bank’s benchmark rate by twice the usual amount this week, stepping up their fight against inflation which is at its highest level in four decades. Oil prices rose sharply as the EU prepared new Russian sanctions.
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