Russia announces troop pullback from Ukraine’s Kharkiv area
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia’s Defense Ministry says it’s pulling back forces from two areas in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region where a Ukrainian counteroffensive has made significant advances in the past week. A Defense Ministry spokesman said the troops would be regrouped from the Balakliya and Izyum areas to the eastern Donetsk region. Izyum was a major base for Russian forces in the northeastern Kharkiv region. The spokesman said the move is being made “in order to achieve the stated goals of the special military operation to liberate Donbas.” Western defense officials and analysts say Ukrainian forces have punched through Russian front lines south of the country’s second-largest city, taking thousands of square miles of territory and threatening to cut off Russian supply lines.
Charles III proclaimed king at tradition-steeped ceremony
LONDON (AP) — King Charles III has been officially announced as Britain’s monarch in a ceremony steeped in ancient tradition and political symbolism — and, for the first time, broadcast live. Senior politicians and officials gathered at St. James’s Palace in London for Saturday’s accession ceremony. It’s the first time the ceremony has been held since 1952, when Queen Elizabeth II took the throne. Charles automatically became king when the queen died on Thursday. The king vowed to follow his mother’s “inspiring example” as he took on the duties of monarch, before a royal official proclaimed him king from a palace balcony. Later, new Prime Minister Liz Truss and other lawmakers lined up in the House of Commons to take an oath of loyalty to the new king.
‘Thank you, ma’am’: A singular queen, mourned by her people
LONDON (AP) — Mourners streamed to the gates of Buckingham Palace in London to mourn a queen they lost this week after she spent 70 years on the throne. But beyond its size, the pilgrimage was remarkable for what it underscored — the many roles that visitors said the monarch occupied in the lives of those she could never know. Flowers, notes and tributes dotted the landscape around the palace on the day that Queen Elizabeth’s son, Charles, first addressed the nation as king. And those who brought the memorials in miniature each told a different story about their relationship with their queen. They called her a role model, a dutiful leader and — in recent years — a national grandmother.
Debating over debates: Campaign tradition faces skepticism
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — With the fall campaign rapidly approaching, the time-honored tradition of debates as a forum for voters to evaluate candidates may be the latest casualty of the nation’s polarized political climate. For some Republicans, eschewing debates is a chance to sidestep a media structure some in the party deride as biased and align with Donald Trump, who has blasted presidential debates. Some Democrats have pointed to raucous GOP debates from the primary season as a reason to avoid tangling with their opponents. Veteran political consultant Terry Sullivan defends debates as “the one forum where candidates are forced into answering questions that they don’t want to answer.”
Not Mar-a-Lago: Congress’ secrets in sealed rooms, lock bags
WASHINGTON (AP) — Security-sealed rooms and lock bags are some of the ways Capitol Hill keeps classified documents secured. It’s an elaborate system of government protocols and high-level security clearances. And it stands in stark contrast to the storage room stash of secrets at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. As the Justice Department’s probe into the Republican former president’s handling of White House materials deepens, lawmakers of both parties have more questions than answers. The search of Trump’s private club is unprecedented for a former president. Intelligence officials have offered to brief congressional leaders possibly as soon as next week. But that could be delayed.
Manchin’s big energy deal draws pushback from many Dems
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Joe Manchin made a deal with Democratic leaders as part of his vote pushing the party’s highest legislative priority across the finish line last month. Now, Manchin is ready to collect. But many environmental advocacy groups and lawmakers are balking. The groups are asking party leaders to keep legislation to expedite environmental reviews for energy projects out of a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running at the end of September. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he will combine the two efforts anyway. The divide could test the ability of party leaders to keep enough Democrats in line to avoid a partial government shutdown before the midterms.
Day of terror in Memphis leaves family and friends bereft
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A day of terror that left four dead and three wounded in a Tennessee city this week tore a hole in the hearts of those left behind. They include the grandmother of three children who were left without parents, a man who lay down beside his fallen best friend and refused to leave, and a daughter whose wounded father is her “whole world.” Police have so far released few details of the rampage that sent Memphis into lockdown as a shooter drove around town for hours, opening fire on people and streaming some of the attacks on social media. Police arrested 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly on Wednesday night when he surrendered after a car chase and charged him with first-degree murder.
In Indiana, a shifting abortion landscape without clinics
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Hospitals and abortion clinics in Indiana are preparing for the state’s abortion ban to go into effect on Sept. 15. Indiana’s Legislature became the first in the nation to approve new abortion restrictions after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb quickly signed the ban into law Aug. 5. Starting Sept. 15, abortion clinics will be prohibited from providing any abortion care, leaving such services solely to hospitals or outpatient surgical centers owned by hospitals.
Queen Elizabeth is featured on several currencies. Now what?
LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has been depicted on British banknotes and coins for decades. Her portrait also has been featured on currencies in dozens of other places around the world, in a reminder of the vast extent of the British empire’s colonial reach. So what happens next after her death this week? It will take time for the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and other countries to swap out the monarchs on their money. Experts say that after King Charles III takes the crown at his coronation, a new portrait will need to be taken to use on redesigned notes and coins.
The Tiafoe Effect: US tennis star has big impact in Africa
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sam Jalloh zig-zagged across West Africa last year coaching tennis to kids. He took with him rackets, balls and a cellphone loaded with photos and videos of a pro player to inspire the youngsters. That player was U.S. Open tennis star Frances Tiafoe. The move was to encourage more young Africans to get involved in the sport by showing them images of Tiafoe. He’s an American with Sierra Leone heritage. Jalloh’s phone has pinged and pinged this week with text messages from many of the kids. They are delighted and inspired by the 24-year-old Tiafoe’s stirring run to the U.S. Open semifinals.
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