US calls on world to tell Russia to stop its nuclear threats
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States is calling on other nations in the U.N. Security Council to tell Russia to stop making nuclear threats and end “the horror” of its war in Ukraine. All three countries’ top diplomats spoke — but didn’t meet — at a high-profile council meeting Thursday. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his nuclear-armed country will “use all means available to us” to defend itself if its territory is threatened. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says council members “should send a clear message” that such nuclear threats must stop immediately. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov didn’t mention Russia’s nuclear capacity or the new troop mobilization.
EXPLAINER: What’s behind referendums in occupied Ukraine?
Four occupied regions in eastern and southern Ukraine are set to start voting Friday in Kremlin-engineered referendums on whether to become part of Russia, setting the stage for Moscow to annex the areas in a sharp escalation of the nearly seven-month war. Ukraine and its Western allies have rejected the votes as illegitimate and neither free nor fair, saying they will have no binding force. The votes come as Russian President Vladimir Putin dramatically upped the ante by declaring a partial mobilization and declaring his readiness to use nuclear weapons. In 2014, Russia held a referendum in Ukraine’s Crimean region that also was denounced by the West as illegal and illegitimate. It later annexed the peninsula.
Trump docs probe: Court lifts hold on Mar-a-Lago records
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court is allowing the Justice Department to resume its use of classified records seized from Donald Trump’s Florida estate in its ongoing criminal investigation. The ruling Wednesday clears the way for investigators to continue scrutinizing the documents as they evaluate whether to bring criminal charges over the storage of top-secret government records at Mar-a-Lago. The appeals court note that Trump presented no evidence that he had declassified the records. Trump claimed in a Fox News Interview Wednesday that “If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify” material just by saying “It’s declassified” and “even by thinking about it.”
At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread