Pelosi says US will not abandon Taiwan as China protests
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she and other members of Congress are visiting Taiwan to show they will not abandon their commitment to the self-governing island. China claims Taiwan as its territory and opposes any engagement by Taiwanese officials with foreign governments. Pelosi’s six-member delegation met Taiwanese leaders on Wednesday despite warnings from China. Beijing had issued threats against her visit and announced military exercises including live-fire exercises in the waters and skies surrounding Taiwan after her arrival. Experts warn that using live fire in a country’s territorial airspace or waters could be seen as an act of war.
Kansas voters resoundingly protect their access to abortion
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas voters have sent a resounding message about their desire to protect abortion rights by rejecting a measure that would have allowed the Republican-controlled Legislature to tighten abortion restrictions or ban the procedure outright. The vote Tuesday in a conservative state with deep ties to the anti-abortion movement was the first test of voters’ feelings about abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June. Voters rejected a change in the Kansas Constitution to ensure that it does not grant a right to an abortion, overturning a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court decision protecting abortion rights. Opponents predicted a ban would be coming if the measure had passed.
Takeaways: Abortion backlash in Kansas, Greitens’ collapse
WASHINGTON (AP) — In one of the biggest days of this year’s primary campaign season, red-state Kansas rejected a measure that would have made it easier to restrict abortion, and voters in Missouri repudiated a scandal-tarred former governor seeking a Senate seat. Meanwhile, a Republican congressman who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection lost to a Trump-backed opponent early Wednesday, while two other impeachment-supporting House Republicans awaited results in their primaries in Washington state. In Michigan, a political newcomer emerged from the state’s messy Republican gubernatorial primary, setting up a rare woman-vs.-woman general election matchup between conservative commentator Tudor Dixon and incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Inflation weighs on back-to-school buying for many families
NEW YORK (AP) — This back-to-school shopping season, parents are focusing on the basics while also trading down to cheaper stores as surging inflation takes a toll on their household budgets. That is particularly true for parents in the low to middle income bracket. Last week, Walmart noted higher prices on gas and food are forcing shoppers to make fewer purchases of discretionary items, particularly clothing. Best Buy, the nation’s largest consumer electronics chain, cited that inflation has dampened consumer spending on gadgets. Such financial struggles amid the industry’s second-most important shopping season behind the winter holidays mark a big difference from a year ago when many low-income shoppers, flush with government stimulus and buoyed by wage increases, spent freely.
First ship with Ukraine grain cleared to sail on to Lebanon
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s defense ministry says the first Ukrainian grain ship traveling under a wartime deal is preparing to cross through Istanbul’s Bosporus Strait and sail on to Lebanon. The ministry said Wednesday an inspection team finished its review aboard the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni. The delegation included officials from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations. The Razoni is carrying tons of Ukrainian corn and the inspection took place off Istanbul’s coast in the Black Sea. The vessel set sail Monday from the Ukrainian port of Odesa.
Cold showers, no lights: Europe saves as Russian gas wanes
PARIS (AP) — Energy saving is all the rage in Europe as the continent rushes to wean itself off natural gas and oil from Russia. Governments are urging Europeans to take shorter showers, switch off power sockets and otherwise do what they can to economize. The stakes are high. If Russia entirely severs the supplies of gas that it has already drastically reduced amid the war in Ukraine, officials fear shortages that could force industries to shut down. They say it is imperative that Europe reduces energy use now, so it can be saved for use later in homes, factories and power plants during winter.
EXPLAINER: A look at the missile that killed al-Qaida leader
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have said taking out a terrorist threat in Afghanistan with no American troops on the ground would be difficult but not impossible. Last weekend, the U.S. did just that, killing al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri with a CIA drone strike. Other high-profile airstrikes in the past have inadvertently killed innocent civilians. To minimize that possibility, officials may have used the highly secretive Hellfire R9X with its half-dozen rotating blades. A former intelligence analyst, American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Klon Kitchen, says if the Hellfire R9X was used, it suggests the U.S. sought to limit the likelihood of collateral death and destruction.
China blocks some Taiwan imports but avoids chip disruptions
BEIJING (AP) — China has blocked imports of citrus, fish and other foods from Taiwan in retaliation for a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi but avoided disrupting one of the world’s most important technology and manufacturing relationships. Sanctions on Taiwanese processor chips for Chinese assemblers of smartphones and other electronics could send shockwaves through the global economy. Beijing has announced military exercises including artillery fire in waters near Taiwan following Pelosi’s arrival in Taipei. That might delay or disrupt shipping. The potential disruption to trade and manufacturing adds to concerns that global economic growth might be weakening. Asian stock markets rose after there was no immediate sign of Chinese military action.
Atlanta’s image challenged by facts of 1906 race massacre
ATLANTA (AP) — Everyone who moves through downtown Atlanta today passes places where in 1906, innocent Black men and women were chased and beaten to death by a mob of 10,000 white men. The massacre claimed more than 25 victims and shaped Atlanta’s geography and politics in ways that continue today. But it’s less widely known than the Tulsa Race Massacre. Activists say that’s because it doesn’t fit with the civil rights story Atlanta likes to tell. They’re hoping to change the narrative with tours, performances and memorials. They’re also looking for 500 hosts to set tables for 5,000 people for dinners where the massacre will be discussed.
Vin Scully, Dodgers broadcaster for 67 years, dies at 94
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, whose dulcet tones provided the soundtrack of summer while entertaining and informing Dodgers fans in Brooklyn and Los Angeles for 67 years, died Tuesday night. He was 94. The Dodgers say family members informed them that Scully died at his home in the Hidden Hills section of Los Angeles. As the longest tenured broadcaster with a single team in pro sports history, Scully saw it all and called it all. He began in the 1950s era of Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson and went through to 2016, when he retired.
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