AP News Summary at 5:34 a.m. EST | Nation
Tire Nichols’ family prepare to bury him
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The family of Tire Nichols plans to bury him Wednesday, three weeks after he died following a brutal beating by Memphis police after a traffic stop. During those three weeks, five officers were fired and charged with murder, and their specialist unit was disbanded. Two other officers have been suspended. Two Memphis Fire Department emergency medical workers and a lieutenant were also fired. And more discipline could come. But Wednesday will feature Nichols, a 29-year-old skateboarder, father and hobby photographer who worked at FedEx, made friends during morning stops at Starbucks and always greeted his mother and stepfather with a “Hello, parents!”
The longest battle of the war costs the “heart of Ukraine” dearly
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The longest battle of Ukraine’s war has turned Bakhmut into a ghost town. Despite shelling, shelling and attempts to encircle the city since the summer, Russian forces have not conquered it. But their scorched earth tactics have made it impossible for civilians to have a life there. A Ukrainian soldier who arrived in the area in August saw Bakhmut gradually turn into a wasteland but says the town “has already become a symbol of Ukrainian invincibility”. Military analysts say months of close fighting have resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. For now, Bakhmut remains under Ukrainian control, but more like a fortress than the place where tourists used to enjoy sparkling wine.
Powell should point out that the Fed’s inflation fight is far from over
WASHINGTON (AP) – Inflation is cooling and parts of the economy appear to be weakening. But Chairman Jerome Powell will likely stress on Wednesday that the Federal Reserve’s primary focus remains the need to fight soaring prices with ever-higher interest rates. As markets anticipate the Fed will soon stop raising rates and possibly even cut them later this year, analysts believe Powell will have to backtrack against such optimism. Powell’s tough message will likely emerge at a news conference after the Fed’s policy committee announces its latest action. Policymakers are expected to raise their benchmark rate by a quarter point to its highest level in about 15 years.
Burma’s Steadfast Resistance to Military Rule 2 Years Later
BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s prospects for peace, let alone a return to democracy, look bleaker than ever two years after the military seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. On Wednesday, legions of opponents of the military regime answered a call from protest organizers to stay home in what they call a “silent strike” to show their strength and solidarity. Small peaceful protests occur almost daily across the country. But experts say the violence, especially in the countryside, reached civil war levels on the February 1, 2021 anniversary of the army’s takeover. At the same time, the grassroots movement opposed to military rule defied expectations by largely retaining the generals in power.
Peshawar, the city of flowers, becomes the epicenter of violence
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — The Pakistani city of Peshawar was once known as “the city of flowers,” but has borne the brunt of rising militancy in the region in recent decades. Now he is in shock after one of Pakistan’s most devastating militant attacks in years, in which a suicide bomber hit a mosque, killing at least 101 people and injuring 225, mostly police officers. Analysts say the carnage is the legacy of decades of flawed Pakistani and US policies. In the 1980s, the city became the center of the American and Pakistani program to support the mujahideen fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, creating a legacy of radicalism and violence that continues to this day.
Republicans set to oust Rep. Omar from foreign affairs panel
WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly empowered House Republicans are preparing to oust Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Republicans want to exclude the black African-born lawmaker from the panel because of comments she made criticizing Israel. The move is also seen as a reward after Democrats kicked far-right Republicans off the panels for inflammatory and violent remarks. The vote could take place as early as Wednesday. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy rushed to flex Republican power in the new Congress. He has already blocked two other Democrats, Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, from joining the House Intelligence Committee. Omar apologized for her comments and called the decision against her “politically motivated”.
In front of a crowd of a million people, the pope urges the Congolese to forgive
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Pope Francis urges the Congolese people to find in their hearts the courage to forgive those who have hurt them. Francis made the call during a mass on Wednesday in front of around 1 million people. Many spent the night at the sprawling airstrips of Kinshasa’s Ndolo airport and spent the hours before Francis arrived singing and dancing. They cheered wildly as Francis began a languid loop around airfields in his open-sided Popemobile. Some were running alongside or waving flags. The Mass is Francis’ first major event in the Congo and comes on a day dedicated to his call for peace and forgiveness in a country ravaged by decades of violence.
Griner’s return, free agency raises concerns over charter flights
Brittney Griner’s return to the WNBA collided with free agency which again raised questions about team charter flights. Griner announced in December that she would return to the league after spending last season in a Russian prison before being released in a dramatic prisoner swap. The 6-foot-9 center is a free agent and says she will return to Phoenix. Players can officially sign with teams on Wednesday. Players have been unable to negotiate charter flights and the current collective agreement requires all teams to fly commercially. If Griner needs special travel accommodations due to safety concerns, the league will need to come up with a plan and any changes will need to be approved by both the union and the WNBA.
Baldwin faces manslaughter charge in programmed death
SANTA FE, NM (AP) — Prosecutors have linked Alec Baldwin to a long list of alleged gun safety failures in a manslaughter charge filed against the actor in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a New Mexico movie set. A Santa Fe district attorney announced the charges Tuesday. Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being injured during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin was pointing a gun at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and injuring director, Joel Souza . On-set weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed also faces manslaughter charges.
Connecticut could exonerate accused witches centuries later
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — It has been more than 375 years since Alse Young became the first recorded person to be executed in the American colonies for witchcraft. Now Connecticut lawmakers are considering exonerating him, along with 10 others who were executed and dozens more who were accused of having ties to Satan. Young was killed in 1647, decades before the infamous Salem witch trials in Massachusetts. Although there have been exoneration efforts in the past, lawmakers are optimistic that it will happen this year. Indeed, amateur historians, scholars, and descendants of the accused witches and their accusers from across the United States are urging Connecticut officials to officially recognize this dark period in the state’s colonial history.
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