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Search resuls for: "The Associated Press"

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BEIJING — China is easing some of the world’s most stringent anti-virus controls and authorities say new variants are weaker. That spurred hopes for a quick end to “zero Covid.” But health experts and economists warn it will be mid-2023 and possibly 2024 before vaccination rates are high enough and hospitals are prepared to handle a possible rash of infections. Ahead of the protests, the Communist Party promised to make “zero Covid” less costly and disruptive but said it was sticking to the overall containment strategy. Travelers at the Chinese capital’s train stations and three airports are required to show a negative virus test within the previous 48 hours. Xi’s government has held up “zero Covid” as proof of the superiority of China’s system compared with the United States and Western countries.
Mount Semeru in Lumajang district in East Java province spewed thick columns of ash nearly 5,000 feet into the sky Sunday. Villages and nearby towns were blanketed with falling ash, blocking out the sun, but no casualties have been reported. Hundreds of rescuers were deployed Monday in the worst-hit villages of Sumberwuluh and Supiturang, where houses and mosques were buried to their rooftops by tons of volcanic debris. The government moved about 2,970 houses out of the danger zone, including from Sumberwuluh village. People were advised to keep off the southeastern sector along the Besuk Kobokan River, which is in the path of the lava flow.
WASHINGTON — A heartfelt Patti LaBelle praised her lifelong friend Gladys Knight. Matt Damon playfully teased his friend George Clooney — a lot — while Sheryl Crow gave thanks and a heartfelt rendition of “Baby Baby” to her fellow singer Amy Grant during Sunday’s Kennedy Center Honors. Every year the Kennedy Center honors a select group of people for their artistic influences on American culture. 2022 Kennedy Center Honorees, front row from left, Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, George Clooney, Tania León, join, back row from left, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., The Edge, and Bono for a group photo at the State Department following the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Washington. León said during an interview when the honorees were announced that she wasn’t expecting “anything spectacular” when the Kennedy Center initially reached out to her.
Russian officials announced that thousands of dead Caspian seals washed up on their shores. There have been a handful of events in the past decade where Caspian seals have died en masse. The Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Dagestan wrote in a Telegram post that environmental specialists were still counting the number of dead seals but that the current count stood at 2,500. The Caspian Seals Conservation Agency has reported multiple occurrences of large numbers of dead Caspian seals washing up on the shores of Dagestan over the past decade, including as recently as May. Caspian Seals, the only marine mammal found in the Caspian Sea, is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday the U.S. will not shrink from its unwavering support for Israel despite stark differences with Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and concerns the Biden administration may have about potential members of his incoming right-wing government. Blinken said the Biden administration would engage with Netanyahu’s government based on its policies and not on personalities, including potential senior Cabinet ministers who have expressed vehement anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab views in the past. He said those would be detrimental to Israel’s long-term security or future as a Jewish democratic state. We will hold it to the mutual standards we have established in our relationship over the past seven decades,” Blinken said. He lauded the recent completion of a maritime border accord between Israel and Lebanon.
George Clooney, Gladys Knight among Kennedy Center honorees
  + stars: | 2022-12-04 | by ( )   time to read: +5 min
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from left, and his wife, Evan Ryan, left, join 2022 Kennedy Center Honorees, front row from left, Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, George Clooney, Tania León, and Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter, back row from left, Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein, along with fellow 2022 Honorees Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., The Edge, and Bono for a group photo at the State Department following the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Washington. Sometimes the Kennedy Center honors not just individuals but groups; "Sesame Street" once got the nod. Composer and conductor León said during an interview when the honorees were announced that she wasn't expecting "anything spectacular" when the Kennedy Center initially reached out to her. After all, she's worked with the Kennedy Center numerous times over the years going back to 1980, when she was commissioned to compose music for a play. León left Cuba as a refugee in 1967 and eventually settled in New York City.
SAO PAULO — Brazilian soccer great Pelé is responding well to treatment for a respiratory infection and his health condition has not worsened over the latest 24 hours, the Albert Einstein hospital said Saturday. The 82-year-old Pelé has been at the hospital since Tuesday. Get well messages have poured in from around the world for the three-time World Cup winner, who is also undergoing cancer treatment. Kely Nascimento, Pelé’s daughter, posted several pictures on Instagram from Brazil fans in Qatar wishing her father well with flags and banners. Nelson Almeida / AFP via Getty ImagesThe Albert Einstein hospital said Friday that Pelé is getting antibiotics to treat an infection at the same time he undergoes chemotherapy against cancer.
— A former employee at the Oriental Trading Co. has been sentenced to prison for leaving a noose on a floor scrubber that a Black colleague was set to use. The Nebraska U.S. Attorney’s office said Bruce Quinn, 66, was sentenced Friday to four months in prison and one year of supervised release for leaving the noose for his coworker to find. He pleaded guilty in September to a federal civil rights violation. Prosecutors said a 63-year-old Black man who worked for Oriental Trading found the noose made out of orange twine sitting on the seat of the equipment in June 2020. “Federal courts have long recognized the noose as one of the most vile symbols in American history,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Bloody parcels containing the eyes of animals and explosives have been sent to several Ukrainian embassies and consuls across Europe, officials said late Friday. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said in a statement on Facebook that embassies in Spain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia and Italy had received packages containing the disembodied eyes of animals. Consulates in Naples, Italy, Krakow, Poland, and the Czech city of Brno had also been targeted, he said. Letter bombs were mailed to six addresses in Spain earlier this week, including the Ukrainian Embassy and the U.S. Embassy, as well as to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, causing security to be tightened. Farther south, the Ukrainian consul in Naples, Maksym Kovalenko, told the AP that his office received two letters containing fish eyes at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
CNN —If you’ve seen the astonishing trailer for “Cocaine Bear” making the rounds on Twitter, you might have questions about the film’s claim that it is “inspired by true events.” But the story is indeed based on the true story of a bear who overdosed on cocaine in the 1980s. In the film, the bear goes on a cocaine-fueled killing spree after its drug binge. The black bear was found dead near a duffel bag and 40 packages of cocaine, ripped open and scattered over the hillside. It’s unclear from the AP report exactly how much cocaine the bear consumed – but the duffel bag would have originally contained around 88 pounds of the powerful drug. The Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington claims to have the stuffed remains of the "Cocaine Bear" on display.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida has formally dismissed quarterback Jalen Kitna from the team following his arrest on charges that police said included an image of a man having sex with a young girl. Kitna was released from jail on an $80,000 bond and ordered to have no unsupervised contact with minors and no internet access. Kitna, 19, returned with his parents, retired NFL quarterback Jon Kitna and wife Jennifer, to Burleson, Texas. The Gainesville Police Department released Kitna’s arrest report Thursday, providing graphic details about the complaints filed against him. The Gators suspended Kitna following his arrest on Wednesday and took the step of dismissing him a day later.
One person died and four others were injured after a "rogue wave" hit the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, on Tuesday night, officials said. “It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident,” Viking said in a statement Thursday. Rogue waves, or extreme storm waves, are uncommon, unpredictable and "greater than twice the size of surrounding waves," according to the National Ocean Service. “Everything was fine until the rogue wave hit, and it was just sudden. The Viking Polaris’ next departure, the Antarctic Explorer cruise scheduled for Dec. 5-17, was canceled due to the incident.
BRUSSELS — The European Union tentatively agreed to a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil, a key step as Western sanctions aim to reorder the global oil market to prevent price spikes and starve President Vladimir Putin of funding for his war in Ukraine. The $60 figure sets the cap near the current price of Russia’s crude, which recently fell below $60 a barrel. There is a big risk to the global oil market of losing large amounts of crude from the world’s No. Putin has said he would not sell oil under a price cap and would retaliate against nations that implement the measure. “The reality is that it is unlikely to be binding given where oil prices are now.”Others have criticized the measure, a brainchild of U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin.
Police fanned out across Shanghai, Beijing and other cities to try to prevent additional protests. A representative of Vision China Entertainment, which says on its website it represents Lin, didn’t respond to a request for comment. Jinzhou in the northeast lifted curbs on movement and allowed businesses to reopen. On Thursday, the metropolis of Guangzhou in the south, the biggest hotspot in the latest infection spike, allowed supermarkets and restaurants to reopen. Other major cities including Shijiazhuang in the north and Chengdu in the southwest restarted bus and subway service and allowed businesses to reopen.
An ex-convict who led police on a chase around Las Vegas before officers found the severed head and dismembered body of his friend in a stolen vehicle he was driving was sentenced Thursday to at least 18 years in prison. Eric Holland, following his arrest on Dec. 23, 2021, in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Police Department / AP“I don’t know how to make sense of it,” sobbed Amanda Dawn Potter, who traveled from Portland, Oregon, for Holland’s sentencing. Holland was friends with Miller, 65, who lived on a houseboat at Lake Mead, the Colorado River reservoir about a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas. Las Vegas police said Thursday they had no missing person investigation related to Zhu.
A former San Antonio police officer who shot a teenager in a McDonald’s parking lot in October was indicted on assault and attempted murder charges, prosecutors said Thursday. Of the charges, the aggravated assault counts are the most serious and carry up to life in prison if convicted. Brennand allegedly shot Cantu, 17, after he ordered the teenager, who was eating a hamburger, out of a vehicle. Brennand was arrested in October on two counts of aggravated assault by public servant. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Cantu family, said Thursday’s indictment was a significant step toward justice.
The Associated Press does not usually identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Higgins has chosen to identify herself in the media. Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold said he dropped the case based on medical evidence that a trial could cost Higgins’ life. While the decision to drop the case was disappointing, Higgins’ health came first, the statement said. Speak up against rape, speak up against injustice, to speak up and share my experiences with others. I told the truth no matter how uncomfortable or unflattering to the court,” a tearful Higgins told reporters outside court.
Trump campaign officials are considering ramping up security at Mar-a-Lago, AP reported Wednesday. Security at Mar-a-Lago is under scrutiny after Ye was not vetted before his meeting with Trump. But Trump dismissed the report on Thursday, saying security at the resort is "strong." Despite being the only one on the guest list, Ye arrived at Mar-a-Lago with several guests including Fuentes and far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos. The dinner prompted stinging criticism from fellow Republicans, given some of Fuentes' previous comments, and also led to Trump campaign staff discussing introducing new security measures, the Associated Press reported.
Barack Obama called out GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker for lying about meeting him. Walker claimed on multiple occasions to have let Obama win at basketball games. "Now, listen, this would be funny if he weren't running for Senate," Obama said Thursday. "Now, listen, this would be funny if he weren't running for Senate," Obama continued on Thursday. The US Senate runoff in Georgia between GOP candidate Walker and the Democratic incumbent Warnock is set for Tuesday, December 6.
People look out from aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, operated by Princess Cruises, as it maintains a holding pattern about 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco, California on March 8, 2020. Princess Cruises, a Carnival Corporation brand, is resuming trips in its homeport of Japan early next year, the company said in a press release on Friday. Japan initiated the cruise ban in March 2020 after a fatal coronavirus outbreak took place in February on the Diamond Princess, a Princess cruise ship. Since Japan reopened to international cruises, other vacation ships are gearing up to return to the country. Japan joins a growing pool of countries warming back up to cruise tourism after hitting pause for Covid.
Officials in Cochise County, Arizona, voted 2-0 to accept the results of the midterms on Thursday. Their vote came shortly after a judge ordered them to certify the vote. Two officials on the three-member board signed off on the vote, while the third was not present. McGinley then ordered the board to sign off on the vote by that afternoon. It was suggested that Cochise County's refusal to certify its results could cost Republicans a seat in the US House of Representatives.
SEOUL, South Korea — Award-winning “Squid Game” actor Oh Young-soo will stand trial on charges of indecent assault after a woman accused him of inappropriately touching her in 2017, a South Korean court said. The district court in Seongnam city said Thursday that prosecutors indicted the 78-year-old Emmy nominee last week over the allegations and that his trial will begin in February. South Korean cable channel JTBC said Oh denied wrongdoing when reached by a reporter, saying that he had only held the woman’s hands to “show her the way” as they walked around a lake. Oh became the first South Korean actor to win a Golden Globe in January after he was named the top supporting actor for his role in “Squid Game,” a brutal Netflix drama about a desperate group of adults competing in deadly children’s games for a chance to escape severe debt. Oh was also nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Oh Il-nam, a mysterious elderly contestant who joined the games after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
GAFFNEY, S.C. — Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young Award winner Gaylord Perry, a master of the spitball who wrote a book about using pitch, died Thursday. Gaylord Perry of the Atlanta Braves signing autographs prior to a season game at Fulton County Stadium in August 1981 in Atlanta. Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry greets fans at the All-Star FanFest in Washington on July 14, 2018. Perry was ejected from a game just once for doctoring a baseball — when he was with Seattle in August 1982. After his career, Perry founded the baseball program at Limestone College in Gaffney and was its coach for the first three years.
MINNEAPOLIS — The city of Minneapolis has reached a $600,000 settlement with 12 protesters who were injured during demonstrations after the May 2020 police killing of George Floyd, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday. The agreement, which also includes numerous reforms, was accepted the same day by a federal judge, making it official after the city approved it in October. And it requires that officers have their body cameras recording and unobstructed while at protests, according to the ACLU. Two lawsuits filed in 2020 and later consolidated accused Minneapolis police of using unnecessary and excessive force against protesters. Anderson said her office filed necessary documents and an order reflecting portions of the settlement was made public Wednesday.
[1/2] People take part in a protest against the electoral reform proposed by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and in support of the National Electoral Institute (INE) in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, November 13, 2022. Without opposition support, Lopez Obrador cannot pass his planned electoral overhaul, a constitutional reform which requires a two-thirds majority in Congress. Critics view that as a presidential power grab, something Lopez Obrador denies. If the bill founders, Lopez Obrador has mooted lesser changes that only require a simple majority. Lopez Obrador may have a last chance to reshape the INE when four of its 11 commissioners step down next April.
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