Pressure on Russian forces mounts after Ukraine’s advances
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Western defense officials and analysts say said they believe Russian forces are setting up a new defensive line in Ukraine’s northeast after Kyiv’s troops broke through the previous one and tried to press their advances further into the east. The British defense ministry said that the line likely was between the Oskil River and Svatove, southeast of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. The new line comes after a Ukrainian counteroffensive punched a hole through the previous front line and recaptured large swaths of land in the northeastern Kharkiv region. Ukrainian forces are continuing to cross a key river as they try to press on in a counteroffensive targeting Russian-occupied territory in the country’s northeast, according to a Washington-based think tank.
Thousands wait in cold to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II
LONDON (AP) — Thousands of people have spent London’s coldest night in months huddled in line to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II. Authorities warn that arriving mourners face a 16-hour wait. Honoring their patience, King Charles III and Prince William made an unannounced visit to greet the waiting crowds. William and the queen’s seven other grandchildren are due to stand vigil beside her coffin on Saturday at Parliament’s Westminster Hall. Police arrested a man on Friday night after what the force described as a “disturbance” there. Parliamentary authorities said someone tried to approach the coffin on the platform where it is lying in state.
Royal fans give London tourism a bump amid UK economic woes
LONDON (AP) — Hotels, restaurants and shops are packed as royal fans pour into the heart of London to experience the flag-lined roads, pomp-filled processions and brave a mileslong line for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to bid adieu to Queen Elizabeth II. Visitors crowding into central London from as far away as the U.S. and India for the historic moment are giving a boost to businesses at a time when the British economy is facing a cost-of-living crisis fueled by the highest inflation in four decades and predictions of a looming recession. The overall economic boost might be limited because Monday has been declared a public holiday for the queen’s funeral. But experts said renewed interest in the royal family could sustain tourism demand.
In Yemen, Queen’s death recalls memories of colonial past
ADEN, Yemen (AP) — There are few remaining reminders that the Yemeni port city of Aden was once a British colony. But the death of Queen Elizabeth II has prompted some Yemenis to remember a colonial rule that oppressed many and deepened divisions inside the country. Elizabeth passed by the city, on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, in 1954 in a visit current generations remember their grandfathers talking about. Some credit the British era with bringing order and organization to Aden. But many say that the chaos of Yemen’s civil war today is no reason to feel nostalgia for a colonial occupation.
Voter challenges, records requests swamp election offices
Election conspiracy theorists are flooding local election offices with voter challenges and public records requests. The wave of inquiries is adding to the already heavy workload those offices face as they scramble to prepare for November’s elections. Election officials say many of the challenges they’re receiving contest the presence on voter rolls of people who already are being removed or have the right to be registered. At a minimum, it takes time for election offices to record all the challenges. And if some of the targeted voters cast ballots in November, there could be a fight over whether to count their votes.
Abrams’ strategy to boost turnout: Early voting commitments
DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is launching an intensive effort to get out the vote by urging potential supporters to cast in-person ballots the first week of early voting as she tries to navigate the state’s new election laws. The strategy, outlined to The Associated Press by Abrams’ top aides, is a shift from 2018, when she spent generously in her first gubernatorial bid to encourage voters to use mail ballots. It also moves away from Democrats’ pandemic-era emphasis on mail voting, a push that delivered Georgia’s electoral votes to President Joe Biden and helped Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff win concurrent U.S. Senate runoffs.
Hungary faces reckoning with EU that could cost it billions
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s nationalist-populist government is facing a reckoning with the European Union after nearly a decade of accusations that it has failed to uphold the EU’s democratic values. The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, appears set to impose financial penalties against Hungary on Sunday over corruption concerns and alleged rule-of-law violations. Hungary is one of the largest net beneficiaries of EU funds in the 27-nation bloc, and the sanctions could cost Budapest billions and cripple its already ailing economy. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has denied the commission’s accusations. A lawmaker who is a former member of Orban’s party alleges the government has channeled large sums of EU money into the businesses of politically connected insiders.
US asks appeals court to lift judge’s Mar-a-Lago probe hold
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to lift a judge’s order that temporarily barred it from reviewing a batch of classified documents seized during an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home last month. The department made the request Friday with the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta. It says the judge’s hold is impeding the “government’s efforts to protect the nation’s security” and interfering with its investigation into the presence of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago. It says the hold needs to be lifted immediately so work can resume.
Cheetahs make a comeback in India after 70 years
NEW DELHI (AP) — Seven decades after cheetahs died out in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released eight cats that were transported from Namibia to their new home: a national park in the heart of India. The big cats will be quarantined and closely watched for around two months before being released into the wild. Cheetahs were once widespread in India and became extinct in 1952 from hunting and loss of habitat. A dozen cheetahs from South Africa are currently in quarantine and are expected to arrive at the Kuno National Park soon. The continent-to-continent relocation has been decades in the making. There are less than 7,000 adult cheetahs left in the wild globally, and they now inhabit less than 9% of their original range.
It’s tapped: Germany’s Oktoberfest opens after 2-year hiatus
MUNICH (AP) — The beer is flowing at Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest for the first time since 2019. With three knocks of a hammer and the traditional cry of “O’zapft is” — “It’s tapped” — the city’s mayor inserted the tap in the first keg at noon on Saturday to open the festivities. Oktoberfest has typically drawn about 6 million visitors every year to packed festival grounds in Bavaria’s capital. But the event didn’t take place in 2020 and 2021 as authorities grappled with the unpredictable development of COVID-19 infections and restrictions. The mayor says he thinks the city made the right decision to allow the festival to take place this year. It runs through Oct. 3.
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