Putin declares martial law in the annexed regions of Ukraine
MOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has imposed martial law in Ukraine’s four regions annexed by Moscow. Putin did not immediately set out the steps to be taken under martial law, but said his order went into effect Thursday. His decree gives law enforcement agencies three days to make concrete proposals and orders the deployment of Territorial Defense Forces in the annexed regions. Legislation, which Russia’s upper house of parliament will consider later on Wednesday, suggests martial law could include restrictions on travel and public gatherings, tighter censorship and broader powers for law enforcement agencies. Putin also gave additional emergency powers to the heads of all regions of Russia.
Many remain critical of state of US democracy: AP-NORC poll
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new poll shows many adults remain pessimistic about the state of U.S. democracy and the way elected officials are selected. The results of the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll come nearly two years after a controversial presidential election led to false claims of widespread fraud and a violent attack on the US Capitol. The poll found that only 9% of US adults think democracy works “extremely” or “very well.” Unlike two years ago, Republicans are now more likely than Democrats to say democracy isn’t working well.
Embattled British leader Liz Truss says she is ‘not a slacker’
LONDON (AP) – Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss has insisted she is “a fighter and not a slacker” as she faced hostile opposition and anger from her own Conservative Party over her botched economic plan. Truss issued a public apology to Parliament during a session of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. Her appearance came two days after newly appointed Treasury chief Jeremy Hunt tore up the tax cut package unveiled by the Truss government less than a month ago. Some lawmakers shouted “Resign!” as she spoke. A package of unfunded tax cuts announced by the Truss government on September 23 caused turmoil in financial markets, depressing the value of the pound and raising the UK government’s borrowing costs.
Iran’s Elnaz Rekabi, who competed without a headscarf, in Tehran
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Iranian mountaineer Elnaz Rekabi has returned to Tehran without a headscarf after competing in South Korea. Her move was picked up by protesters as the Islamic Republic faced weeks of protests against its mandatory hijab. Rekabi gave a cautious, emotionless airport interview to Iranian state television early Wednesday and again insisted that shedding the hijab was an “unintentional” action on her part. However, the hundreds gathered outside Imam Khomeini International Airport cheered on a woman they dubbed “Elnaz the Champion” and saw as a poster child for their ongoing protests. Among them were women who did not wear a hijab. This split-screen reception shows the growing rifts in Iranian society amid nationwide protests.
Biden wants to release 15 million barrels from oil reserves, more possible
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will announce the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the US strategic reserve as part of a response to recent production cuts announced by the OPEC+ nations. So say senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to outline Biden’s plans. The Democratic president will say on Wednesday that more oil sales are possible this winter as his administration rushes to pull out all the stops ahead of next month’s midterm elections. Biden approved the release of 180 million barrels over a six-month period in March. The strategic reserve now contains around 400 million barrels of oil, the lowest level since 1984.
The parents of the accused North Carolina shooter express their sadness
The parents of a 15-year-old boy accused of killing five people in a North Carolina shooting spree released a statement saying they were “overwhelmed with grief” at the deaths. Alan and Elise Thompson made the statement Tuesday through a lawyer acknowledging the pain caused by their son Austin. They say they mourn the five killed, including another son, James, who was among those killed. Witnesses described in 911 calls that the gunman opened fire with a shotgun in a neighborhood northeast of downtown Raleigh and also shot at least two people on a popular hiking trail. They say they feel immeasurable pain and sadness over what happened.
Registration error affects up to 6,000 voters in Arizona
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs says a voter registration error resulted in up to 6,000 voters receiving a federal-race-only absentee ballot. Hobbs said in a statement Tuesday affected voters will receive the correct ballot shortly. Hobbs is the Democratic nominee for governor and has largely staked her campaign on her staunch defense of the 2020 election in the face of criticism from former President Donald Trump and his allies. Her Republican rival Kari Lake two years ago peddled Trump’s unproven cheating allegations and urged Hobbs to step down from overseeing the Midterms while she voted.
Access to abortion trumps applications for medical residency
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — Obstetrics, gynecology and family medicine students face difficult decisions about where to further their education in a landscape where legal access to abortion varies from state to state. Abortion training generally involves observing and assisting with the procedure. Many doctors and students now worry about the lack of or substandard education in states that have tightened abortion laws after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade had picked up. In some cases, applicants who want to have abortions as part of their careers seek residency in states with more liberal reproductive laws. Meanwhile, anti-abortion students may find more housing in less permissive states.
Climate issues: Why are small degrees of warming important?
Nations around the world are trying to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, and the world has already warmed by at least 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since then. These small degrees and fractions of a degree represent a global average of warming that obscures the extremes occurring in some parts of the world they also represent. As the planet warms, scientists say climate-related disasters are becoming more common. The world has already experienced devastating heat waves, floods and storms that have been exacerbated by climate change.
Sparkling Fish, Cloudy Methods: The Global Aquarium Trade
LES, Indonesia (AP) — Millions of saltwater fish are caught each year in Indonesia and other countries to fill aquariums around the world, contributing to the degradation of vulnerable coral ecosystems. While efforts are being made to curb some of the destructive and illegal practices such as cyanide trapping, the trade is difficult to regulate and track as it stretches from small fishermen in coastal villages to middlemen, export warehouses, international hubs and pet shops in the USA, China, Europe and elsewhere. A US law bans the import and sale of fish caught using illegal methods, but experts say it’s rarely used.