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WASHINGTON (AP) — Instagram is blocking posts that mention abortion from public view, in some cases requiring its users to confirm their age before letting them view posts that offer up information about the procedure.

Over the last day, several Instagram accounts run by abortion rights advocacy groups have found their posts or stories hidden with a warning that described the posts as “sensitive content.”

In one example, Instagram covered a post on one page with more than 25,000 followers that shared text reading: “Abortion in America How You Can Help.” The post went on to encourage followers to donate money to abortion organizations and to protest the Supreme Court’s decision to strip constitutional protections for abortion in the U.S.

The post was slapped with a warning from Instagram that covered the post, reading “This photo may contain graphic or violent content.”

Berlin photographer Zoe Noble has run the Instagram page, which celebrates women who decide not to have children, for more than a year. Monday was the first time a post mentioning abortion was restricted by Instagram.

“I was really confused because we’ve never had this happen before, and we’ve talked about abortion before,” Noble said. “I was really shocked that the word abortion seemed to be flagged.”

The platform offers no way for users to dispute the restriction.

The Associated Press identified nearly a dozen other posts that mentioned the word “abortion” and were subsequently covered up by Instagram. All of the posts were informational in nature, and none of the posts featured photos of abortions. An Instagram post by an AP reporter that asked people if they were experiencing the problem was also covered by the company on Tuesday, and required users to enter their age in order to view it.

The AP inquired about the problem on Tuesday morning. Hours later, Instagram’s communication department acknowledged the problem on Twitter, describing it as a glitch.

“We’re hearing that people around the world are seeing our ‘sensitivity screens,’ on many different types of content when they shouldn’t be. We’re looking into this bug and working on a fix now," the company tweeted.

A spokesman for Instagram-owner Meta Platforms Inc. said in an email that the company does not place age restrictions around its abortion content.

Instagram's latest issue follows a Monday AP report that Facebook and Instagram were promptly deleting posts that offered to mail out abortion pills in states that restrict their use. The tech platforms said they were deleting the posts because they violated policies against selling or gifting certain products, including pharmaceuticals, drugs and firearms.

The AP’s review found that similar posts offering to mail a gun or marijuana were not removed by Facebook. The company did not respond to questions about the discrepancy.

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has appointed the lead prosecutor in the Senate impeachment trial of former Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg to fill the remainder of Ravnsborg's term.

Noem's interim appointment of Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo was effective Tuesday.

She pushed for Ravnsborg, a first-term fellow Republican, to step down days after he struck and killed a pedestrian with his car in 2020, and later pushed for his impeachment. Ravnsborg was ultimately convicted last week of two impeachment counts and was removed from office.

“Mark Vargo returns integrity, experience and stability to the Attorney General’s Office,” Noem said in a statement.

Vargo will serve until January, when the winner of the November election is sworng in. Marty Jackley, the Republican nominee and Ravnsborg's predecessor, has Noem's endorsement. Jackley served as the state’s attorney general for about a decade and the state’s U.S. attorney for three years.

Ravnsborg was removed from office last week after the Senate heard testimony about his conduct in the September 2020 crash that killed Joseph Boever, who was struck as he walked along a rural highway. Ravnsborg had announced shortly before his impeachment trial that he would not seek a second term. The Senate also voted to prohibit him from holding public office again.

Ravnsborg appeared before a state ethics board Monday to press for an investigation of Noem, the person he blames for his impeachment.

As attorney general, Ravnsborg last year filed a pair of complaints against Noem to the state’s Government Accountability Board alleging she abused the powers of her office by interfering in a state agency as it evaluated her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license and by misusing state airplanes.

The board, which is comprised of retired judges, has not decided whether to investigate Noem, who is running for reelection after a first term in which she has gained national prominence in her party and is widely considered to be a White House aspirant in 2024.

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MADRID (AP) — The Latest on the G-7 summit, the annual meeting of the leading democratic economies, which this year is being held in the Bavarian Alps in Germany; and on the NATO summit in Madrid, where leaders begin gathering later Tuesday:

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A senior U.S. administration official says Washington did not offer any concessions to Turkey to coax it to accept the deal to drop its opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

The official said Tuesday that President Joe Biden made a deliberate choice to keep the U.S. from being a party to the negotiations or being in a position where Turkey could ask for inducements from the U.S. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the issue, said Turkey never asked the U.S. for anything as part of the talks.

But the official said the U.S. played a crucial role in helping bring the two parties closer together.

Biden spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Tuesday morning at the behest of Sweden and Finland to help encourage the talks. The leaders of Sweden and Finland reached out to Biden late Tuesday just before accepting the agreement.

By Zeke Miller in Madrid

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS:

— How a G-7 ban on Russian gold would work

— Zelenskyy tells G-7 summit Ukraine forces face urgent moment

The AP Interview: Spanish PM says NATO summit to show unity

NATO holds summit with gaze on Russia — and China

Tale of 2 summits: ‘America’s back’ to America’s backsliding

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

Turkey has agreed to lift its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, a breakthrough in an impasse clouding a leaders’ summit in Madrid amid Europe’s worst security crisis in decades triggered by the war in Ukraine.

After urgent top-level talks, alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had blocked the move, insisting the Nordic pair change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said the three countries’ leaders signed a joint agreement after talks on Tuesday.

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Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko has made a powerful plea for Western allies meeting in Madrid to provide his country with “whatever it takes” to stop the war in Ukraine.

“Wake up, guys. This is happening now. You are going to be next, this is going to be knocking on your door just in the blink of an eye,” Klitschko said Tuesday, addressing reporters at the venue in Madrid where NATO leaders are meeting.

Klitschko and his brother, Wladimir, were in Madrid on Tuesday to attend a defense think tank forum ahead of the 2-day summit.

Klitschko, who said he had no plans to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden at the NATO meeting, rejected the idea that Ukraine should make any territorial sacrifices to end the war.

“Bully the bully, it’s the only way how to stop it,” he said. “And in this case, Russia is the bully.”

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U.S. first Lady Jill Biden, accompanied by Spain’s Queen Letizia, has visited a welcome center for Ukrainian refugees in Madrid and talked with several young people staying there.

Speaking to CBS News, Biden said she had told Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska when she met her recently “that I would carry forth her message, that we supported her. And so, I’m continuing to meet with refugees no matter where I go.”

At the center, Biden and the queen looked at drawings by the refugees and talked with several of them.

Jill Biden flew to the Spanish capital late on Sunday while US President Joe Biden arrived on Tuesday to attend a NATO summit that starts Wednesday.

Biden said the first ladies of many countries were committed to helping Ukraine.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is urging other NATO allies to increase their military spending -- but is being accused by his own defense minister of underfunding the U.K.’s armed forces.

Britain is among nine of the 30 NATO countries that meets the alliance’s target of spending at least 2% of Gross Domestic Product on defense. Johnson said Tuesday that the current figure is 2.3%, adding that he would be “having a conversation” about spending at this week’s NATO summit in Madrid.

But Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the military had been underfunded for years by successive governments and had been fed “a diet of smoke and mirrors, hollowed-out formations and fantasy savings, when in the last few years threats from states have started to increase.”

Despite the increased spending, the size of Britain’s military is shrinking. The British Army is set to be cut from 82,000 troops to 72,500.

Wallace told a think tank conference in London that there is a risk Russia “will lash out against wider Europe” and “it is time to mobilize, be ready and be relevant.”

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The United States and Spain have issued a joint declaration condemning Russia for invading Ukraine, emphasizing their defense partnership through NATO and pledging to promote safe and orderly migration.

U.S. President Joe Biden is in Spain for the NATO summit. He met Tuesday with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

The four-page declaration says Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine “fundamentally altered the global strategic environment.” It adds that the “aggression constitutes the most direct threat to transatlantic security and global stability since the end of the Cold War.”

It says both countries will work to strengthen legal migration pathways, especially for people from the Caribbean and Latin America. The U.S. and Spain also recognize the importance of cooperating to address what the declaration calls “irregular” migration from North Africa -- a pressing problem for Spain.

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military alliance will commit to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for its forces at this week’s summit in Madrid.

“NATO is determined to set the gold standard on discussing the security challenges of climate change,” Stoltenberg said Tuesday in Spain’s capital as world leaders arrived for two days of talks.

Stoltenberg says that NATO’s immediate goal will be reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of its military forces by 45% by 2030.

He said climate change is “a crisis multiplier,” so it matters for security.

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WASHINGTON — The United States has announced new sanctions on 29 people and 70 Russian firms related to the Kremlin’s defense industry, as punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The targeted companies include state-owned Rostec, a state-owned defense conglomerate, and its affiliated companies.

The move came in combination Tuesday with the Group of Seven announcement to ban imports of Russian gold, and price caps on Russian oil.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the sanctions will degrade Putin’s capabilities and further impede his war against Ukraine, which has already been plagued by poor morale, broken supply chains, and logistical failures.”

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The mayor of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko and his brother, Wladimir, are in Madrid and have met Spain’s King Felipe VI at a NATO Public Forum debate on the eve of the NATO summit in the Spanish capital.

The two brothers were in the audience when the king made his address to the forum Tuesday and met the monarch as he left.

The king said their presence was “a very pleasant surprise” and that he had conveyed to them Spain’s “support and our deep thoughts and friendship with your nation, with your people.”

The brothers, both former heavyweight boxing champions, work together to keep Kyiv running during the ongoing war with Russia.

NATO has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the summit, but it is expected that he will appear only by video conference.

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Italian Premier Mario Draghi says a U.N. plan to bring grain out of Ukraine via safe sea corridors could save as much as a month in emptying silos in time for the autumn harvest, since it doesn’t require demining ports.

Draghi said a briefing that G-7 leaders received from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the plan was “one of the most important” of the summit and was, “all in all, good news.” But he said it requires Russia’s swift approval.

Draghi said Tuesday the key elements of the plan involve using existing safe corridors in and out of ports, ensuring cargo ships are protected by the U.N. from possible Russian attacks, and that the ships are then inspected to prevent weapons from arriving. Draghi said Putin had insisted on this.

He said Russia had in principle accepted the three-part involvement in the project of Ukraine, Turkey and the U.N..

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Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos marked the gathering of leaders for the NATO summit by publishing satellite images and the precise coordinates of a conference hall in Madrid where it’s being held.

It also published on its messaging app channel Tuesday the coordinates of the White House, the Pentagon and of government headquarters in London, Paris and Berlin.

It described them as the “decision-making centers supporting the Ukrainian nationalists” - a reference to Western nations’ support for Kyiv in the face of Russia’s invasion.

The corporation noted that NATO allies were set to declare Russia an enemy at their summit in Madrid, adding that it was publishing precise coordinates “just in case.”

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Italian Premier Mario Draghi says G-7 leaders were concerned about Russian advances in eastern Ukraine but that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was optimistic about Ukraine’s ability to mount a successful counterattack.

Zelenskyy addressed the Group of Seven meeting via video link.

“One of the things that President Zelenskyy told us was that a counter-offensive would be starting, which he was confident would succeed,” Draghi said.

Asked about reported doubts from the White House, Draghi said: “It’s not so much doubts expressed by President (Joe) Biden as concern for the Russian progress that has taken place. I can’t say anything more on this.”

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Italian Premier Mario Draghi says the Indonesian presidency of the Group of 20 nations has ruled out in-person participation by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the November meeting of the group in Bali.

The Nov. 15-16 summit risked awkward diplomatic encounters if Putin were to have come. The Kremlin had said earlier that Putin intended to go.

But Draghi, whose country held the G-20 presidency before handing it off to Indonesia, said Tuesday the G-7 had rallied to support Indonesian President Joko Widodo to organize a successful summit.

Asked about the Kremlin’s announcement that Putin would participate, Draghi said: “President Widodo excludes it. He was categorical: (Putin) is not coming. What might happen — I don’t know what will happen but what might happen is perhaps a remote intervention.”

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French President Emmanuel Macron is calling on oil-producing countries to boost output and thereby lower world prices pushed up by the war in Ukraine.

He said Tuesday the prices are putting European economies in an “untenable” situation.

Speaking at the end of a G-7 summit in Germany on Tuesday, Macron welcomed the group’s discussions on a price cap for oil as “a very good idea,” but added: “The difficulty is technical.”

He said it’s crucial to include all major oil-buying countries in any cap agreement for it to be effective.

Macron said he discussed boosting oil production with the president of the United Arab Emirates, and expressed hope that U.S. President Joe Biden gets a “positive response” in talks about oil in an upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia.

Macron said oil producers have an “immense responsibility given our collective dependence on them.”

He called for expanding Europe’s liquefied natural gas processing capacity and lashed out at speculation by energy traders he called “war profiteers.”

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called NATO plans to boost its rapid reaction force “measured and proportional” and not meant to provoke Russia.

Speaking Tuesday at the end of a G-7 summit in Germany and before traveling to Spain for a NATO summit, Trudeau said Canada, is “committed to making sure we continue to stand up against Russian threats and Russian posturing.”

According to the government, about 1,400 Canadian troops are currently deployed in central and eastern Europe as part of NATO assurance and deterrence measures.

“The response that we are taking to Russia’s illegal actions is measured and proportional,” he said, adding it should not be considered a “provocative” move.

“We are looking at ensuring that Russia knows we will be there to defend democracies,” Trudeau said.

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French President Emmanuel Macron says Russia “cannot and should not” win the war in Ukraine, a day after a Russian missile strike killed 18 people at a Ukrainian shopping mall.

Speaking at the end of the Group of Seven summit in Germany on Tuesday, Macron said the seven developed economies have devised a plan to support Ukraine and maintain sanctions against Russia “as long as necessary, and with the necessary intensity.”

As fighting in Ukraine rages into the fifth month, Macron said it’s not clear when the war will end but the goal of Western democracies is, “Russia must not win.”

His comments came as rescuers searched through the charred rubble of the shopping mall. Macron called the attack a war crime.

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MADRID — NATO’s chief says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a “fundamental shift” in the alliance’s defense policy, and NATO members will have to invest more in military spending in what is now a more unstable world.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke as the alliance’s leaders began gathering Tuesday in Madrid for a summit that will set the course of the alliance for the coming years.

Stoltenberg said the meeting would chart a blueprint for the alliance “in a more dangerous and unpredictable word.”

Top of the agenda is strengthening defenses against Russia and supporting Ukraine in its fight against Moscow’s invasion.

Stoltenberg said “we hope to make progress” at the gathering in breaking a logjam over applications by Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. Turkey is blocking the move and says the Nordic pair must change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.

The three countries’ leaders are due to meet in Madrid, alongside Stoltenberg, later Tuesday.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is defending the decision by Group of Seven leaders to soften their commitments on ending public support for fossil fuel investments.

The leaders say the war in Ukraine means time-limited support for new natural gas extraction projects may be necessary.

The G-7 nations said in a statement Tuesday at the end of their three-day summit that “in these exceptional circumstances, publicly supported investment in the gas sector can be appropriate as a temporary response.”

That contrasts in part with a previous pledge made last month by G-7 climate ministers, who said that the seven major economies would “align official international financing with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Environmental campaigners, scientists and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have spoken out against any additional fossil fuel investments by rich, developed nations.

But Scholz told reporters that “gas will be needed temporarily and that is why there may be investments that make sense, in this transitional phase, and that therefore may need to be supported.”

One of the arguments made by German officials in favor of supporting new natural gas development projects is that it could spare them having to burn more polluting coal to meet their energy needs.

Environmental groups argue that building additional pipelines and other infrastructure for surging U.S. LNG exports to Europe and for other fossil fuels will lock in increased carbon use for years to come.

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Members of the Group of Seven major democratic economies have vowed to create a new ‘climate club’ for nations wanting to take more ambitious steps on global warming.

The move, championed by G-7 summit host German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, will see countries that join the club agree on tougher measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the aim of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) this century compared to pre-industrial times.

Countries that are part of the club will seek to harmonize their measures so that they are comparable and avoid members imposing climate-related tariffs on each others’ imports.

Speaking at the end of a three-day G-7 summit, Scholz said the aim was to “ensure that protecting the climate is a competitive advantage, not a disadvantage.”

He said details of the planned climate club would be finalized this year.

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Leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies have taken a united stance to support Ukraine for “as long as necessary,” as Russia’s invasion of its neighbor grinds on for a fifth month.

The final statement from the Group of Seven summit in Germany said Tuesday the countries would “explore” far-reaching steps to cap Kremlin income from oil sales that are financing the war in Ukraine.

The statement left out key details on how the fossil fuel prices caps would work in practice, setting up more discussion in the weeks ahead to assess measures on barring the import of Russian oil above a certain amount.

That would hit a key Russian source of income and, in theory, ease the energy price spikes afflicting the global economy as a result of the war.

Leaders also agreed to a ban on imports of Russian gold and to step up aid to countries hard hit with food shortages by the blockage on Ukraine grain shipments through the Black Sea.

Unity in the seven democracies’ confrontation with Putin was a key theme of the summit at a luxury resort in the Bavarian Alps.

The G-7 countries have set aside $29.5 in Ukraine assistance this year, on top of $60 billion since Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Just two years out of college, Cassidy Hutchinson said she watched as a valet mopped up the president's lunch after he had smashed his plate against a wall. Donald Trump was in a rage because his attorney general had refuted his claims that the election he lost had been stolen.

Weeks later, as she watched Trump resist entreaties to try to stop the rioters, the young aide who once said she went into public service to “maintain American prosperity and excellence” described her own disgust at the president.

“We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie,” Hutchinson said

After months of testimony from a former attorney general and other powerful officials including Trump's daughter and son-in-law, it was a 25-year-old staffer who perhaps put Trump's conduct into its sharpest relief. Speaking in an even, measured tone, Hutchinson made several shocking revelations about Trump and Meadows in nationally televised testimony before a House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

An obscure aide prior to Tuesday's hearing, Hutchinson showed detailed knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump White House, including in the critical days that Trump and his advisers plotted to reverse President Joe Biden’s election victory.

There was no widespread election fraud. Trump lost more than 60 court cases attempting to prove wrongdoing, and even his own attorney general, William Barr, said his claims were meritless. Barr's statements made to The Associated Press prompted Trump smashing his lunch against the wall, Hutchinson testified.

She showed her familiarity with key Trump figures, referring at times to Meadows, security official Tony Ornato, and national security adviser Robert O’Brien by their first names. Meadows, in turn, called her “Cass,” in her retelling of one story.

Although the White House is perhaps the world’s most prestigious office building, much of the staff is young, sometimes even fresh out of college like Hutchinson. They often previously worked on the president’s campaign or the national party, and they’re distinguished by their ambition and willingness to work long hours for little pay.

They’re also critical to any administration’s machinery. They help with the logistics of media coverage, prepare for public events and answer the phones. Because they’re often within earshot as the country’s most powerful people gossip and plan, discretion is expected.

Young aides often go on to bigger government roles or prestigious positions in business or the media. Some run for office themselves. But Trump's White House turned many aides into government witnesses.

The Justice Department and Congress probed allegations of Russian influence on his first presidential campaign, his efforts to pressure Ukraine's president to produce derogatory information about Biden and his son Hunter, and the insurrection.

Meadows has refused to testify as have some others close to Trump. Hutchinson described Meadows as detached and frequently scrolling his cellphone at key moments. Meadows didn't immediately look up from his phone when Ornato, a Secret Service official detailed to the White House, warned him about weapons in the crowd outside the White House on the morning of Jan. 6, where Trump's supporters were waiting to hear from him. Many in the crowd had guns and other weapons, including spears attached to the end of flagpoles, Hutchinson recalled.

She said she was close enough to Trump at one point to hear him demand that attendees not be screened so that they could fill the crowd, saying, “I don’t effing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me.”

And she alleged Trump became so irate at being driven back to the White House after his speech — when he exhorted rallygoers to “fight like hell” — rather than the Capitol that he tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limousine away from a Secret Service agent who was driving.

“I’m the effing president,” Hutchinson said she was told Trump had said.

Trump, writing on his personal social media network, dismissed Hutchinson as “a total phony and ‘leaker.'"

“Never complained about the crowd, it was massive,” he said. “I didn't want or request that we make room for people with guns to watch my speech. Who would ever want that? Not me!”

The events in her testimony — explained in new and vivid detail for the first time publicly — are of potentially vital interest to both the committee and the Justice Department. Federal agents have seized the phones of Jeffrey Clark and John Eastman, two lawyers who pushed false claims of election fraud and the discredited theory that Biden's electors could be replaced. Republicans in at least five states have also been served with subpoenas or warrants.

There was relatively little known about Hutchinson prior to her public testimony. In a 2018 profile published by her undergraduate alma mater, Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, Hutchinson recalled being “brought to tears” when she received an email telling her she’d been accepted to a White House internship program.

“As a first-generation college student, being selected to serve as an intern alongside some of the most intelligent and driven students from across the nation – many of whom attend top universities – was an honor and a tremendous growing experience,” she is quoted as saying.

She says in the article that she attended numerous events hosted by Trump and often watched out her window as Marine One would depart the White House’s South Lawn.

“My small contribution to the quest to maintain American prosperity and excellence is a memory I will hold as one of the honors of my life,” she said in the piece.

One sign of Hutchinson’s possible willingness to cooperate with investigations is her choice of lawyers. She recently switched from a former Trump White House official to a veteran former Justice Department official who served as chief of staff to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and who emerged as a key witness for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

Jody Hunt, the new lawyer, recounted for Mueller’s team the extent to which Trump berated Sessions over his recusal from the Russia investigation and the pressure he sought to exert on the department over the probe.

Several high-profile Republicans said Tuesday that Hutchinson was known to be close to Meadows and often accompanied him in meetings. The committee early in her testimony showed photos of her with Trump and other top officials.

Mick Mulvaney, who preceded Meadows as Trump's chief of staff, tweeted during the hearing that “things just got a lot more interesting.” He added that “if the President knew the protesters had weapons, and still encouraged them to go to the Capitol, that is a serious problem.”

Former White House communications official Alyssa Farah Griffin said she was friends with Hutchinson.

“I knew her testimony would be damning,” she tweeted. “I had no idea it’d be THIS damning. I am so grateful for her courage & integrity.”

The official account for Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, dismissed her testimony as a distraction from high gas prices, adding, "no one is watching this.”

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Associated Press writer Chris Megerian contributed to this report.

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Desperate families of migrants from Mexico and Central America frantically sought word of their loved ones as authorities began the grim task Tuesday of identifying 50 people who died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer without air conditioning in the sweltering Texas heat.

It was the worst tragedy to claim the lives of migrants smuggled across the border from Mexico.

The driver of the truck and two other people were arrested, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas told The Associated Press.

He said the truck had passed through a Border Patrol checkpoint northeast of Laredo, Texas, on Interstate 35. He didn’t know if migrants were inside the truck when it cleared the checkpoint.

The bodies were discovered Monday afternoon on the outskirts of San Antonio when a city worker heard a cry for help from the truck parked on a lonely back road and found the gruesome scene inside, Police Chief William McManus said. Hours later, body bags lay spread on the ground.

More than a dozen people — their bodies hot to the touch — were taken to hospitals, including four children.

Forty-six people were found dead at the scene, authorities said. Four more later died after being taken to hospitals, said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, the county’s top elected official. Among the dead were 39 males and 11 females, he said.

The death count was the highest ever from a smuggling incident in the United States, according to Craig Larrabee, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio.

“This is a horror that surpasses anything we’ve experienced before,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “And it’s sadly a preventable tragedy.”

President Joe Biden called the deaths “horrifying and heartbreaking.”

“Exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful, as is political grandstanding around tragedy, and my administration will continue to do everything possible to stop human smugglers and traffickers from taking advantage of people who are seeking to enter the United States between ports of entry,” Biden said in a statement.

The home countries of all of the migrants and how long they were abandoned on the side of the road were not immediately known.

At least 22 were from Mexico, seven from Guatemala and two from Honduras, Roberto Velasco Álvarez, head of the North America department in Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department, said on Twitter. Families were reaching out to the Mexican Consulate in San Antonio throughout the morning looking for their loved ones, an employee there said.

Attempts to cross the U.S. border from Mexico have claimed thousands of lives in both countries in recent decades.

U.S. border authorities are stopping migrants more often on the southern border than at any time in at least two decades. Migrants were stopped nearly 240,000 times in May, up by one-third from a year ago.

Comparisons to pre-pandemic levels are complicated because migrants expelled under a public health authority known as Title 42 face no legal consequences, encouraging repeat attempts. Authorities say 25% of encounters in May were with people who had been stopped at least once in the previous year.

South Texas has long been the busiest area for illegal border crossings. Migrants ride in vehicles through Border Patrol checkpoints to San Antonio, the closest major city, where they disperse across the United States.

Wolff said Tuesday that authorities believe the truck had mechanical problems and was abandoned. “They had just parked it on the side of the road,” he said.

Officials were asking neighboring counties to help with the number of bodies, he said.

San Antonio has been a recurring scene of tragedy and desperation in recent years involving migrants in semitrailers.

Ten migrants died in 2017 after being trapped inside a truck parked at a San Antonio Walmart. In 2003, the bodies of 19 migrants were found in a sweltering truck southeast of the city. More than 50 migrants were found alive in a trailer in 2018, driven by a man who said he was to be paid $3,000 and was sentenced to more than five years in prison.

“These drivers, they take money from the cartels,” said state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat from San Antonio. “I’m sure many times these trucks end up at their destination successfully. Unfortunately, this has now happened all too often.”

Other incidents have occurred long before migrants reached the U.S. border. In December, more than 50 died when a semitrailer filled with migrants rolled over on a highway in southern Mexico. In October, Mexican authorities reported finding 652 migrants packed into six trailers near the U.S. border. They were stopped at a military checkpoint.

The truck discovered Monday was next to a railroad track in an area of San Antonio surrounded by auto scrapyards that brush up against a busy freeway.

Of the sixteen people taken to hospitals with heat-related illnesses, four later died. At least four were in critical condition, according to the hospitals.

Those taken to the hospital were hot to the touch and dehydrated, and no water was found in the trailer, said Fire Chief Charles Hood.

“They were suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion," Hood said. "It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, but there was no visible working AC unit on that rig.”

Temperatures in San Antonio on Monday approached 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). Heat poses a serious danger, particularly when temperatures rise severely inside vehicles.

Big rigs emerged as a popular smuggling method in the early 1990s amid a surge in U.S. border enforcement in San Diego and El Paso, Texas.

Before that, people paid small fees to mom-and-pop operators to get them across a largely unguarded border. As crossing became exponentially more difficult after the 2001 terror attacks in the U.S., migrants were led through more perilous terrain and had to pay thousands of dollars more.

Some advocates drew a link to the Biden administration’s border policies. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council, wrote that he had been dreading such a tragedy for months.

“With the border shut as tightly as it is today for migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, people have been pushed into more and more dangerous routes,” he wrote on Twitter.

Migrants — largely from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — have been expelled more than 2 million times under the pandemic-era rule in effect since March 2020 that denies a chance to seek asylum. The Biden administration planned to end the policy but a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the move in May.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 557 deaths on the southwest border in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, more than double the 247 deaths reported in the previous year and the highest since it began keeping track in 1998. Most were related to heat exposure.

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Spagat reported from San Diego. Associated Press reporters Ken Miller in Oklahoma City and Terry Wallace in Dallas contributed.

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DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder and others in the Flint water scandal, saying a judge sitting as a one-person grand jury had no power to issue indictments under rarely used state laws.

It’s an astonishing defeat for Attorney General Dana Nessel, who took office in 2019, got rid of a special prosecutor and put together a new team to investigate whether crimes were committed when lead contaminated Flint’s water system in 2014-15.

State laws “authorize a judge to investigate, subpoena witnesses, and issue arrest warrants” as a grand juror, the Supreme Court said.

“But they do not authorize the judge to issue indictments,” the court said in a 6-0 opinion written by Chief Justice Bridget McCormack.

She called it a “Star Chamber comeback,” a pejorative reference to an oppressive, closed-door style of justice in England in the 17th century.

The challenge was filed by lawyers for former health director Nick Lyon, but the decision also applies to Snyder and others who were indicted. The cases now will return to Genesee County court for dismissal.

“This wasn't even a close case — it was six-zip. ... They couldn’t do what they tried to do," said Lyon attorney Chip Chamberlain.

The attorney general’s office had no immediate comment on the decision. Snyder's legal team described the court's opinion as “unequivocal and scathing.”

“These prosecutions of Governor Snyder and the other defendants were never about seeking justice for the citizens of Flint,” Snyder's lawyers said. “Rather, Attorney General Nessel and her political appointee Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud staged a self-interested, vindictive, wasteful and politically motivated prosecution.”

The saga began in 2014 when Flint managers appointed by Snyder dropped out of a regional water system and began using the Flint River to save money while a new pipeline to Lake Huron was under construction. State regulators insisted the river water didn’t need to be treated to reduce its corrosive qualities. But that was a ruinous decision: Lead released from old pipes flowed for 18 months in the majority-Black city.

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission said it was the result of systemic racism, doubting that the water switch and the brush-off of complaints would have occurred in a white, prosperous community.

Snyder, a Republican, has long acknowledged that his administration failed in Flint, calling it a crisis born from a “breakdown in state government.”

He was out of office in 2021 when he was charged with two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty. Lyon and Michigan’s former chief medical executive, Dr. Eden Wells, were charged with involuntary manslaughter for nine deaths related to Legionnaires’ disease when Flint’s water might have lacked enough chlorine to combat bacteria.

Six others were also indicted on various charges: Snyder’s longtime fixer, Rich Baird; former senior aide Jarrod Agen; former Flint managers Gerald Ambrose and Darnell Earley; former Flint public works chief Howard Croft; and Nancy Peeler, a state health department manager.

Nessel assigned Hammoud to lead the criminal investigation, along with Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy, while the attorney general focused on settling lawsuits against the state.

Hammoud and Worthy turned to a one-judge grand jury in Genesee County to hear evidence in secret and get indictments against Snyder and others.

Prosecutors in Michigan typically file charges after a police investigation. A one-judge grand jury is extremely rare and is mostly used to protect witnesses, especially in violent crimes, who can testify in private.

“It seems that the power of a judge conducting an inquiry to issue an indictment was simply an unchallenged assumption, until now,” the Supreme Court said Tuesday.

Lyon, the former state health director, was accused of contributing to Legionnaires’ deaths by failing to timely warn the public about an outbreak. His lawyers, however, said he had ordered experts to investigate the illnesses and notify Flint-area health officials. He had no role in Flint's water switch.

“State employees should not be prosecuted or demonized for just doing their job,” Lyon said after the court's decision.

Residents were disappointed.

“So everyone who was involved in this manmade disaster by the government is walking away scot-free?” said Leon El-Alamin, a community activist. "We lock people up every day for petty crimes. Something like this has killed people. People died from the Flint water crisis.”

Former Mayor Karen Weaver said the result was unfair.

“One of the things we had been told over and over was justice delayed has not been justice denied. But that’s not true for the people of Flint," said Weaver, referring to the years that have passed.

The water switch and its consequences have been investigated since 2016 when then-Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, appointed Todd Flood as special prosecutor. Schuette pledged to put people in prison, but the results were different: Seven people pleaded no contest to misdemeanors that were eventually scrubbed from their records.

Flood insisted he was winning cooperation from key witnesses and moving higher toward bigger names. Nonetheless, Nessel, a Democrat, fired him and pledged to start over following her election as attorney general.

Separately, the state agreed to pay $600 million as part of a $626 million settlement with Flint residents and property owners who were harmed by lead-tainted water. Most of the money is going to children.

There is no dispute that lead affects the brain and nervous system, especially in children. Experts have not identified a safe lead level in kids.

Flint in 2015 returned to a water system based in southeastern Michigan. Meanwhile, roughly 10,100 lead or steel water lines had been replaced at homes by last December.

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Associated Press writer Corey Williams in Detroit contributed to this story.

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Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwritez

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An Amtrak passenger train struck a dump truck at an uncontrolled crossing in a rural area of Missouri killing three people on the train and one in the truck. At least 150 others were injured. The crash happened Monday near Mendon, Missouri. Several cars derailed. The train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago. The crash came a day after three people were killed when an Amtrak train smashed into a car in California killing three people in the vehicle.

Other recent Amtrak accidents:

— June 26, 2022: Three people in a car were killed when an Amtrak commuter train smashed into their vehicle in Northern California. No one in the train was injured.

— Sept. 26, 2021: Three people died and others were injured when an Amtrak derailed in north-central Montana as it traveled from Chicago to Seattle.

— Dec. 18, 2017: Three people were killed and 10 seriously injured in a derailment near Olympia, Washington, in which part of the train landed on Interstate 5. The train was traveling more than 80 mph during its inaugural run of a newly opened, faster rail line when it left the tracks.

— April 3, 2016: Two maintenance workers were struck and killed by train going more than 100 mph in Chester, Pennsylvania. The lead engine of the train derailed.

— March 14, 2016: A train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed in southwest Kansas, injuring at least 32 people. Investigators concluded a cattle feed delivery truck hit the track and shifted it at least a foot before the derailment.

— Oct. 5, 2015: A train headed from Vermont to Washington, D.C., derailed when it hit rocks that had fallen onto the track from a ledge. Seven people were injured.

— May 12, 2015: A train traveling at twice the 50 mph speed limit derailed as it entered a sharp curve in Philadelphia. Eight people were killed and more than 200 were injured.

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A new judge must be assigned to oversee the murder case against a former Texas police officer after defense attorneys successfully argued that the initial judge must recuse himself.

Retired Second Court of Appeals Justice Lee Gabriel issued the decision Tuesday after hearing arguments last week. Attorneys for the former Fort Worth officer, Aaron Dean, argued that Judge David Hagerman's pre-trial decisions raised questions about his objectivity.

Dean is accused of shooting Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old Black woman, through a window of her home while responding to a call reporting the front door was open. The 2019 killing heightened mistrust between the city's Black community and the police department.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Dean’s attorneys argued that Hagerman improperly rushed them to move toward trial.

Gabriel did not specify a reason for ordering Hagerman's recusal in a written order, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Hagerman did not immediately reply to the newspaper's request for comment on Tuesday.

Dean's trial has been delayed several times. It was scheduled to begin this month before Dean's attorneys sought the judge's recusal.

Dean resigned from the police department after he was charged with Jefferson's murder.

Bodycam video showed Dean approaching the door of the home where Jefferson was watching her nephew. He walked around the side of the house, pushed through a gate into the fenced-off backyard and fired through the glass window after shouting for Jefferson to show her hands, according to the video.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — The first American to be convicted in a U.S. jury trial of joining the Islamic State had his prison term reduced Tuesday from 20 years to 14 years after an appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing.

Mohamad Khweis was convicted back in 2017 of providing material support to terrorists, as well as a weapons charge. He traveled to Islamic State-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria in December 2015, even obtaining an official IS membership card. But he left after a few months and surrendered in northern Iraq to Kurdish forces.

In 2020, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out the weapons charge — many defendants had similar charges tossed out in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling — and ordered a new sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors urged Judge Liam O'Grady at Tuesday's hearing to again sentence Khweis to 20 years. They cited the need for deterrence in a high-profile terrorism case and reminded O'Grady of the significance of Khweis' conduct.

While there is no evidence that he fought for the Islamic State, there was evidence at his trial that he volunteered to be a suicide bomber and that he cared for injured fighters at safe houses.

He also admitted at trial that he burned his laptop and multiple phones, and deleted contact info from another, before he fled the Islamic State. He testified at trial that he was worried the laptop contained financial data like his credit score, which the judge said was implausible.

Khweis, 32, has been in custody in one form or another since March 2016, and on Tuesday again renounced his allegiance to the Islamic State and apologized for his conduct.

“It's still mid-boggling to me that I made this terrible decision,” said Khweis, who grew up in northern Virginia and had worked as a Metro Access bus driver for disabled passengers before departing to the Islamic State.

Khweis' attorney, Jessica Carmichael, highlighted his exemplary behavior in the Bureau of Prisons after his conviction and said he's done all he can to show he's matured.

“We do want to send a message” with this sentence, she told the judge. And she said the audience paying the most attention is “the people he left behind in prison. We want to encourage others to engage in this type of rehabilitation, to not wallow in self-pity.”

In a statement after Tuesday's hearing, Carmichael said, “Mohamad worked exceptionally hard for years while incarcerated to show that he was taking this seriously ... and was more than the poor decisions he made six-and-a-half years ago. I am proud of him for that, and hope that others in custody can receive an opportunity to show the same.”

Still, while the reduction to 14 years is significant, it is far less than Khweis' request that he be released with time served.

O'Grady said Tuesday that Khweis deserved credit for his good conduct in custody, but that he struggled with how to evaluate Khweis, given how quickly he became radicalized and how easily he lied about his actions on the witness stand at his 2017 trial.

“I don't know what your inner thoughts are,” O'Grady said.

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MADRID (AP) — Spain's prime minister has defended the way Moroccan and Spanish police repelled migrants last week as they tried to cross the shared border into the north African enclave of Melilla, depicting the attempt in which at least 23 people died as “an attack on Spain's borders.”

“We must remember that many of these migrants attacked Spain’s borders with axes and hooks,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said during an interview Monday with The Associated Press. “We are talking about an attempt to assault the fence that was evidently carried out in an aggressive way, and therefore what Spain’s state security forces and Moroccan guards did was defend Spain’s borders.”

Authorities in Morocco have blamed the deaths on a “stampede” of people that formed early Friday as hundreds attempted to scale or break through the 12-meter (29-feet) iron double fence.

The barrier surrounds Melilla, a town of 85,000 separated from the Spanish mainland by the Strait of Gibraltar.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “shocked” at the images of violence, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Dujarric said the use of “excessive force” by authorities on both sides of the border “needs to be investigated because it is unacceptable.”

“States have obligations under international law, and international human rights law and refugee law” which “must be upheld,” he said.

Nonprofits working in northern Africa and human rights organizations have deplored the treatment the migrants received from police on both sides. But they have also directed their blame at Spanish and European Union officials who they say have essentially outsourced border controls to Morocco and other states.

Sánchez, whose left-to-center government is trying to improve ties with Morocco following an acrimonious diplomatic dispute over Western Sahara, has refused to criticize the crackdown.

Speaking at the palace on the outskirts of Madrid that hosts his office and residence, Sánchez told AP that his thoughts were with the families of those who died. But he blamed the tragedy on “international human trafficking rings who are profiting from the suffering of human beings who only want to seek a better life.”

“I insist, these are international mafia groups that are not only damaging the territorial integrity of Spain but also that of Morocco, which is a country suffering that irregular migration.”

Sánchez spoke to AP on the eve of hosting NATO leaders in a summit that aims to redraw the defense alliance’s strategy for the next decade. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will take center stage at the Wednesday and Thursday meeting, the group will also debate its posture on Africa, where Russian mercenaries are adding to concerns about migration, extremism and the impacts of poverty and climate change.

Footage uploaded to social media shows how a large number of migrants approached a section of the fence and began scaling it. Some of the migrants hurled rocks at Moroccan anti-riot police trying to stop them. At one point, the fence collapses, sending many of the migrants to the ground from a height of several meters.

In at least one video released by Spanish online news website eldiario.es, Spanish guards can also be seen escorting migrants back to the Moroccan side, a practice that human rights activists say denies the right of refugees to apply for asylum on European soil.

More gruesome videos and photos posted online appear to show the aftermath of the crossing attempt, with scores of young men, some of them motionless and others barely moving and bleeding as Moroccan security forces stood over them.

At least 76 civilians and 140 security officers on the Moroccan side, and 60 National Police and Civil Guard officers on the Spanish side, were injured, according to their respective governments. A small group of African men who did make it across the fence were taken to a migrant holding center in Melilla.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the continent’s largest grouping of countries, the African Union, has called for an investigation into the deaths. In a tweet, Mahamat said he wanted to “express my deep shock and concern at the violent and degrading treatment of African migrants,” adding that all countries have “obligations under international law to treat all migrants with dignity and to prioritize their safety and human rights while refraining from the use of excessive force.”

While Moroccan authorities say 23 people died in addition to scores of injuries both among the migrants and border guards, activists claim that the death toll is higher and denounce the EU's policy of striking deals with Morocco and other states like Turkey to control migration flows.

A group of 51 human rights groups said Monday in a joint statement distributed by Spanish NGO Walking Borders that the deaths “are the tragic example of the European Union's policies of externalizing its borders, with the complicity of a southern country, Morocco.”

“The death of these young Africans at the borders of ‘Fortress Europe’ is a warning of the deadly nature of the security cooperation on immigration between Morocco and Spain,” the statement added.

Spanish authorities in Melilla, meanwhile, are using the most recent attempt by migrants to cross over in mass numbers to make an appeal for even greater guarantees on their territorial security. Last year, when relations between Spain and Morocco were frayed, Moroccan border guard let thousands of people cross in a few hours in Ceuta, Spain’s other enclave city in Africa.

Since then, the Spanish media has been rife with debate about whether NATO would help Spain out if its hold of Melilla and Ceuta was ever in jeopardy.

“Melilla is Europe’s southern frontier, and that is why Europe must look to the south,” Melilla chief Eduardo de Castro said Monday.

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Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed.

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Follow more AP migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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Stocks fell in afternoon trading on Wall Street Tuesday as the broader market remains gripped by uncertainty over pervasive inflation, rising interest rates and the potential for a recession.

The S&P 500 fell 2% as of 3:07 p.m. Eastern, with roughly 85% of the stocks in the benchmark index in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 484 points, or 1.5%, to 30,957 and the Nasdaq fell 2.9%.

The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence fell in June to its lowest level in more than a year, driven largely by concerns over inflation including rising prices for gas and food. The results were also much weaker than economists expected.

“Confidence is going to continue to shrink as long as inflation remains high,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance. “It all comes back to inflation, it's ultimately driving reaction from the Fed and impacting the market and consumer confidence.”

Investors face a pervasive list of concerns centering around rising inflation squeezing businesses and consumers. Supply chain problems that have been at the root of rising inflation were made worse over the last several months by increased restrictions in China related to COVID-19.

Businesses have been raising prices on everything from food to clothing. Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February put even more pressure on consumers by raising energy prices and pumping gasoline prices to record highs.

Consumers were already shifting spending from goods to services as the economy recovered from the pandemic's impact, but the intensified pressure from inflation has prompted a sharper shift from discretionary items like electronics to necessities.

Stubborn inflation pressures have driven a stark shift in policy from central banks, which are raising rates to try and temper inflation after years of holding rates down to help economic growth.

Now, they are trying to slow economic growth, but investors are worried that they could go too far and actually push the economy into a recession as key economic indicators are already showing a slowdown in things like retail sales.

Investors are awaiting remarks expected for midweek by central bank leaders including Fed Chair Jerome Powell and European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde. They will also get another update on U.S. economic growth on Wednesday when the Commerce Department releases a report on first-quarter gross domestic product.

Wall Street is also preparing for the latest round of corporate earnings in the next few weeks, which will help paint a clearer picture of how companies are dealing with the squeeze from rising costs and consumers curtailing some spending.

Athletic footwear and apparel giant Nike fell 6.7% after giving investors a cautious update on the potential hit to revenue because of lockdowns in China. The company relies on China for roughly 17% of its revenue, according to FactSet.

Wynn Resorts rose 3.3% and Las Vegas Sands added 4.2%. The companies, which have major gambling businesses in China, got a boost after China eased a quarantine requirement for people arriving from abroad.

Energy stocks also made solid gains as U.S. crude oil prices rose 2%. Hess rose 4.1%. Those gains were checked by losses for big technology companies. Microsoft fell 3.1% and Apple slipped 2.9%.

Treasury yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which helps set mortgage rates, rose to 3.20% from 3.19% late Monday. Overseas markets rose.

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PARIS (AP) — France’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday elected Yaël Braun-Pivet of President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance as its new speaker. She is the first woman to hold the post.

Braun-Pivet's election came in parliament's first session since Macron’s party lost its majority and prepared to tackle proposals on fighting inflation and protecting abortion rights.

Macron’s centrist alliance Ensemble (Together) still has the most seats in the National Assembly — France’s most powerful house of parliament -- but no longer enough to comfortably adopt laws.

Braun-Pivet is a former Socialist who joined Macron’s party in 2016 and a relative newcomer to law-making. She was chosen by secret ballot over candidates from rival parties.

The leftist Nupes coalition is the biggest opposition force in the Assembly, and its legislators made a grand joint entrance Tuesday with a diverse cross-section of lawmakers including many young people in office for the first time. Nupes hopes to challenge Macron’s plans to cut taxes and raise the retirement age from 62 to 65.

The far-right party of three-time presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, the National Rally, won a record number of seats, and is expected to press anti-immigration policies.

All three top parties plan competing measures aimed at helping working-class households cope with high inflation, fueled by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Among the first issues the new National Assembly is expected to face is a proposal by Macron’s party to inscribe the right to abortion in the French Constitution. The measure was prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court decision last week to strip women’s constitutional protections for abortion.

“I think what happened in the United States is a warning to our democracies, and the French should be at the forefront of the rights and liberties for women,” said Benjamin Haddad, legislator from Macron’s party.

Women remain in the minority in the Assembly, and Braun-Pivet’s appointment was seen as sending an important message about women in politics. A lawyer who spent several years living in Asia, Braun-Pivet was elected first in 2017 and reelected this month in her district west of Paris, and chaired the Assembly’s Law Committee for the past five years.

The National Assembly is taking on a more important role now than it has had in 20 years.

Macron’s supporters worry that the new legislature will cause political gridlock and block his efforts to make France’s economy more business-friendly and pass climate legislation. His critics say it is more representative of France.

National Rally legislator Sebastien Chenu said his far right party would push for debate on “Islamism” and immigration.

“We will oppose without any concessions Emmanuel Macron’s reforms, like the pension reform in particular,” he said.

Amid high inflation, Nupes legislator Louis Boyard said, “We must revive the economy through consumption. By raising the minimum wage to 1,500 euros. By freezing prices. We have plenty of proposals.”

Haddad struck a conciliatory tone. “We are going to work with other parties. The French have decided, they ... want us to work with other groups, other MPs, build coalitions project by project, text by text, find compromise and negotiate.”

As lawmakers paraded through the garden toward the columned assembly, two deputies from French Polynesia arrived wearing traditional attire. The assembly, however, remains largely a place of suits and ties.

The National Assembly will choose committee leaders in the coming days, and either Nupes or the National Rally may win control of the important finance commission, which is in charge of controlling the state’s budget.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne – only the second woman to hold that post – will lay out the government’s overall goals in a broad speech next week, and may face a confidence vote soon afterward.

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Masha Macpherson in Paris contributed.

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Recent Oscar winners Ariana DeBose, Troy Kotsur and Billie Eilish are among the 397 individuals who have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The organization that puts on the Oscars said Tuesday that 44 percent of the 2022 class identifies as women, 50 percent come from outside of the U.S. and 37 percent are from underrepresented ethnic and racial communities. If the invitees accept, which most do, they will have voting privileges at the 95th Academy Awards.

Actors invited this year include Anya Taylor-Joy, Jessie Buckley, Gaby Hoffman, “Belfast” co-stars Jamie Dornan and Caitríona Balfe, as well as Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee, both of “The Power of the Dog.” There is also a significant international presence as well, with invites going to Iran’s Amir Jadidi (“A Hero”), Norway’s Renate Reinsve (“The Worst Person in the World”), France’s Vincent London (“Titane”), Nigeria’s Funke Akindele (“Jenifa”) and Japan’s Hidetoshi Nishijima (“Drive My Car”).

Directors on the list include Andrew Ahn (“Fire Island”), Reinaldo Marcus Green (“King Richard”), Mary Lambert (“Pet Sematary II”), Amy Seimetz (“She Dies Tomorrow”) and Isabel Sandoval (“Lingua Franca”).

Several people, including “Flee” director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, “Drive My Car” writer-director Ryusuke Hamaguchi and “CODA” writer-director Sian Heder, were invited in multiple branches, but they must choose one when accepting.

In the music branch, Eilish’s brother Finneas O’Connell was also invited, alongside Dan Romer (“Luca”) and Nathan Johnson (“Knives Out”). And writing branch invitees include Jeremy O. Harris (“Zola”), Adele Lim (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Alex Ross Perry (“Listen Up Philip”), Jon Spaihts (“Dune”) and Craig Mazin (“The Hangover Part II”).

Every year the academy invites a new batch of entertainment professionals to join the organization. Though an Oscar nomination is not a requirement, it is often a starting point. The 2022 class of invitees, for instance, includes 71 Oscar nominees and 15 winners.

The academy has for years put a special emphasis on diversifying their ranks. If all accept from this year's class, 34 percent of the academy would be women, 19 percent from an underrepresented community and 23 percent from outside of the United States.

The 95th Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on March 12, 2023.

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NEW YORK (AP) — From the moment he first faced criminal charges, in 2006, Jeffrey Epstein has been the object of public fascination, conspiracy theories and outrage — especially after his lawyers got prosecutors to agree to a lenient plea deal that spared him from serious prison time.

Epstein was eventually arrested again, but died by suicide while awaiting trial in 2019. Here is a timeline of the case against him and his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for helping him abuse teenage girls.

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March 2005: Police in Palm Beach, Florida, begin investigating Epstein after the family of a 14-year-old girl reports she was molested at his mansion. Multiple underage girls, many of them high school students, would later tell police that Epstein hired them to give sexual massages.

May 2006: Palm Beach police officials sign paperwork to charge Epstein with multiple counts of unlawful sex with a minor, but the county's top prosecutor, State Attorney Barry Krischer, takes the unusual step of sending the case to a grand jury.

July 2006: Epstein is arrested after a grand jury indicts him on a single count of soliciting prostitution. The relatively minor charge draws almost immediate attention from critics, including Palm Beach police leaders, who assail Krischer publicly and accuse him of giving Epstein special treatment. The FBI begins an investigation.

2007: Federal prosecutors prepare an indictment against Epstein. But for a year, the money manager's lawyers engage in talks with the U.S. attorney in Miami, Alexander Acosta, about a plea bargain that would allow Epstein to avoid a federal prosecution. Epstein's lawyers decry his accusers as unreliable witnesses.

June 2008: Epstein pleads guilty to state charges: one count of solicitating prostitution and one count of soliciting prostitution from someone under the age of 18. He is sentenced to 18 months in jail. Under a secret arrangement, the U.S. attorney's office agrees not to prosecute Epstein for federal crimes. Epstein serves most of his sentence in a work-release program that allows him to leave jail during the day to go to his office, then return at night.

July 2009: Epstein is released from jail. For the next decade, multiple women who say they are Epstein’s victims wage a legal fight to get his federal non-prosecution agreement voided, and hold him and others liable for the abuse. One of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Giuffre, says in her lawsuits that, starting when she was 17, Epstein and his girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, set up sexual encounters with royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and other rich and powerful men, including Britain's Prince Andrew. All of those men deny the allegations.

November 2018: The Miami Herald revisits the handling of Epstein's case in a series of stories focusing partly on the role of Acosta — who by this point is President Donald Trump's labor secretary — in arranging his unusual plea deal. The coverage renews public interest in the case.

July 6, 2019: Epstein is arrested on federal sex trafficking charges after federal prosecutors in New York conclude that they weren't bound by the terms of the earlier non-prosecution deal. Days later, Acosta resigns as labor secretary amid public outrage over his role in the initial investigation.

Aug. 10, 2019: Guards find Epstein dead in his cell at a federal jail in New York City. Investigators conclude he killed himself.

July 2, 2020: Federal prosecutors in New York charge Ghislaine Maxwell with sex crimes, saying she helped recruit the underage girls that Epstein sexually abused and sometimes participated in the abuse herself.

Dec. 30, 2021: After a monthlong trial, a jury convicts Maxwell of multiple charges, including sex trafficking, conspiracy and transportation of a minor for illegal sexual activity.

June 28, 2022: Maxwell is sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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Two employees with a North Carolina company say they were fired after refusing to participate in the firm’s daily Christian prayer meetings, which they said went against their respective religious beliefs, according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial, was filed in U.S. District Court in Greensboro on Monday on behalf of John McGaha, a construction manager at Aurora Pro Services, and Mackenzie Saunders, a customer service representatives at the Greensboro residential services company. The EEOC announced the lawsuit Tuesday in a news release.

It comes on the heels of a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which said a high school football coach in Washington state who knelt and prayed on the field after games was protected by the Constitution.

Mary Kate Littlejohn, a Greenville, South Carolina, attorney representing McGaha and Saunders, declined comment Tuesday. No one from Aurora Pro Services was immediately available for comment Tuesday and questions on the lawsuit were referred to an email address from which there was no immediate answer.

In the complaint, the EEOC says daily prayer meetings are part of Aurora's business model, though there is no reference to it on its web page. Attendance at the prayer meetings was mandatory for employees and was a condition of employment regardless of a worker's religious beliefs or affiliation, the complaint said.

On occasion, prayers were requested and offered “for poor performing employees who were identified by name,” according to the complaint. Also, the complaint noted, the company owner took attendance and would reprimand employees who did not attend.

McGaha, who identifies himself as an atheist, was hired by the company on June 8, 2020. He said the prayer meetings, which initially lasted around 15 minutes, stretched in length to around 45 minutes and even longer. Saunders, who worked at Aurora from November 2020 until Jan. 21, 2021, describes herself as an agnostic. She also acknowledged that the prayer meetings became longer over time.

According to the complaint, McGaha said the longer the prayer meetings went, the less tolerable they became. He said he was asked on one occasion to lead the Christian prayer, which he refused. In late August 2020, he asked the owner of the company to be excused from those parts of the meeting that pertained to religion because of his conflict with it, but the owner refused and told him “it would be in his best interest to do so.”

McGaha asked again in September to be excused. The complaint said the owner told him that he did not have to believe in God nor did he have to like the meetings but he had to participate. McGaha refused and he was fired, the complaint said. Before he was fired, the owner reduced his base pay from $800 to $400 and his commissions were withheld after his dismissal, the EEOC said.

In January 2021, Saunders stopped going to the prayer meetings because they conflicted with her religion. She was fired, the complaint said, adding that the owner told her she “was not a good fit” for the company.

The complaint also seeks a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in employment practices that discriminate on the basis of religion and subject workers to a hostile work environment “by coercing participating in daily prayer.”

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MADRID (AP) — Turkey agreed Tuesday to lift its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, a breakthrough in an impasse clouding a leaders’ summit in Madrid amid Europe’s worst security crisis in decades triggered by the war in Ukraine.

After urgent top-level talks, alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status and apply to join NATO. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had blocked the move, insisting the Nordic pair change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said the three countries’ leaders signed a joint agreement after talks on Tuesday.

Turkey said it had “got what it wanted” including “full cooperation ... in the fight against” the rebel groups.

The agreement comes at the opening of a crucial summit dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders arrived in Madrid for a summit that will set the course of the alliance for the coming years. The summit was kicking off with a leaders' dinner hosted by Spain's King Felipe VI at the 18th-century Royal Palace of Madrid.

Stoltenberg said the meeting would chart a blueprint for the alliance “in a more dangerous and unpredictable world.”

“To be able to defend in a more dangerous world we have to invest more in our defense,” Stoltenberg said. Just nine of NATO's 30 members meet the organization’s target of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense. Spain, which is hosting the summit, spends just half that.

Top of the agenda for leaders in meetings Wednesday and Thursday is strengthening defenses against Russia and supporting Ukraine.

Biden, who arrived with the aim of stiffening the resolve of any wavering allies, said NATO was “as united and galvanized as I think we have ever been.”

Moscow's invasion on Feb. 24 shattered European security and brought shelling of cities and bloody ground battles back to the continent. NATO, which had begun to turn its focus to terrorism and other non-state threats, has had to confront an adversarial Russia once again.

“Ukraine now faces a brutality which we haven’t seen in Europe since the Second World War,” Stoltenberg said.

Diplomats and leaders from Tuekey, Sweden and Finland earlier held a flurry of talks in an attempt to break the impasse over Turkey's opposition to expansion. The three countries’ leaders met for more than two hours alongside Stoltenberg on Tuesday before the agreement was announced.

Erdogan is critical of what he considers the lax approach of Sweden and Finland toward groups that Ankara deems national security threats, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and its Syrian extension. American support for Syrian Kurdish fighters in combatting the Islamic State group has also enraged Turkey for years.

Turkey has demanded that Finland and Sweden extradite wanted individuals and lift arms restrictions imposed after Turkey’s 2019 military incursion into northeast Syria.

Ending the deadlock will allow NATO leaders to focus on their key issue: an increasingly unpredictable and aggressive Russia.

A Russian missile strike Monday on a shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk was a grim reminder of the war’s horrors. Some saw the timing, as Group of Seven leaders met in Germany and just ahead of NATO, as a message from Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is due to address NATO leaders by video on Wednesday, called the strike on the mall a “terrorist” act.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko traveled to Madrid to urge the alliance to provide his country with “whatever it takes” to stop the war.

“Wake up, guys. This is happening now. You are going to be next, this is going to be knocking on your door just in the blink of an eye,” Klitschko told reporters at the summit venue.

Stoltenberg said Monday that NATO allies will agree at the summit to increase the strength of the alliance’s rapid reaction force nearly eightfold, from 40,000 to 300,000 troops. The troops will be based in their home nations, but dedicated to specific countries on NATO’s eastern flank, where the alliance plans to build up stocks of equipment and ammunition.

Beneath the surface, there are tensions within NATO over how the war will end and what, if any, concessions Ukraine should make to end the fighting.

There are also differences on how hard a line to take on China in NATO’s new Strategic Concept — its once-a-decade set of priorities and goals. The last document, published in 2010, didn't mention China at all.

The new concept is expected to set out NATO’s approach on issues from cybersecurity to climate change — and the growing economic and military reach of China, and the rising importance and power of the Indo-Pacific region. For the first time, the leaders of Japan, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand are attending the summit as guests.

Some European members are wary of the tough U.S. line on Beijing and don’t want China cast as an opponent.

In the Strategic Concept, NATO is set to declare Russia its number one threat.

Russia’s state space agency, Roscosmos marked the summit’s opening by releasing satellite images and coordinates of the Madrid conference hall where it is being held, along with those of the White House, the Pentagon and the government headquarters in London, Paris and Berlin.

The agency said NATO was set to declare Russia an enemy at the summit, adding that it was publishing precise coordinates “just in case.”

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Associated Press Writers Aritz Parra, Ciaran Giles and Sylvie Corbet contributed from Madrid.

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President Joe Biden plans to meet on July 12 at the White House with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who skipped the recent Summit of the Americas in protest of the U.S. not inviting Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the event.

The White House said Tuesday that Biden and Obrador will discuss issues such as food security, immigration, climate and security and shared economic interests.

Relations between the U.S. and Mexico were strained by the June summit that was supposed to be about unity among western hemisphere nations. Obrador said that the legitimacy of the gathering depended on all of the countries in North America, South America and the Caribbean being in attendance.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had previously defended the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela by saying, “We do not believe that dictators should be invited."

The announcement of a bilateral meeting also comes as migration along the border between the U.S. and Mexico has been a persistent challenge for the Biden administration. On Monday, 50 migrants being smuggled into the U.S. died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, without air conditioning in the sweltering heat.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman and ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to an advocacy group for minor leaguers asking questions about baseball's antitrust exemption.

Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who chairs the committee, and Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, sent the letter Tuesday to Harry Marino, executive director of Advocates for Minor Leaguers. The letter, first reported by The Washington Post, also was signed by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

The senators asked for information on “the impact of the antitrust exemption on the negotiation of minor league players' length of contract, wages, housing or other working conditions.”

Baseball's antitrust exemption was created by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1922 case involving the Federal League, when Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in a decision that baseball was not interstate commerce but exhibitions exempt from antitrust laws. The Supreme Court reaffirmed the decision in a 1953 case involving New York Yankees farmhand George Toolson and in the 1972 Curt Flood decision, saying any changes should come from Congress.

The Curt Flood Act of 1998, which President Bill Clinton signed, applies antitrust laws to MLB affecting the employment of major league players at the major league level.

Perhaps the biggest impact of the exemption is that it allows MLB to prevent a franchise from moving to a different city without MLB permission.

The U.S. Justice Department filed a statement of interest this month in a lawsuit filed by four minor league teams urging that “lower courts should limit the `baseball exemption' to conduct that is central to the business of offering professional baseball games to the public.” The lawsuit, by teams that lost their big league affiliations when MLB cut the minors before the 2021 season, is pending in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Congress exempted minor league players from federal minimum wage and overtime laws when the Save America's Pastime Act was enacted in 2018.

The senators' letter asked what the impact of repealing that act would be.

MLB and minor leaguers reached a settlement in April in a long-running lawsuit alleging teams violated minimum wage laws. Two people familiar with the negotiations, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the release of details was not authorized, said the possible settlement was in the $200 million range. The two sides asked a federal court in California for permission to file by July 11 for approval of the settlement.

MLB declined comment.

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on Pakistani police escorting a team of polio workers Tuesday during a door-to-door inoculation campaign in a former Pakistani Taliban stronghold, killing two policemen and a polio worker, police said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in North Waziristan, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The attack came a day after the government launched another nationwide anti-polio campaign amid a spike in attacks.

A passerby was also wounded, said Aziz Ullah, a local police official. The attackers fled the scene.

Since April, Pakistan has registered 11 new polio cases — all in North Waziristan, where parents often refuse to inoculate children. The outbreak has been a blow to the Islamic nation’s efforts to eradicate the disease, which can cause severe paralysis in children.

Pakistan’s anti-polio campaigns are regularly marked by violence. Islamic militants often target polio teams and police assigned to protect them, falsely claiming the vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic. In 2021, Pakistan reported only one case, raising hopes it was close to eradicating polio.

North Waziristan was a base for myriad militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, until a massive military offensive in recent years claimed to have cleared the region, forcing many militants to flee to Afghanistan. But attacks have been increasing lately, adding to concerns the assaults could further jeopardize anti-polio campaigns.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the attack and ordered an investigation.

The U.N. children's agency took to Twitter to condemn the attack, saying “@UNICEF joins @GovtofPakistan in condemning the attack which reportedly killed a polio worker & security personnel & injured a child in North Waziristan. Those killed were among hundreds of thousands of heroes who work selflessly to #EndPolio. We express our sympathy to families".

Earlier, UNICEF posted an appeal on Twitter, urging parents to inoculate their children. The goal of the latest campaign was to vaccinate 12.6 million children under the age of 5 across Pakistan.

“Together, we can #EndPolio! Please make sure that every child is immunized against this deadly virus," UNICEF said.

Shahzad Baig, a coordinator for Pakistan's polio program, also urged “all parents and caregivers to get their children vaccinated instead of hiding them or refusing to (let them) take the necessary drops."

“It is important to realize that the polio virus still exists in our surroundings and no child is safe until all children are truly vaccinated," Baig added.

Shuja Khan, a Pakistani father whose son was stricken by polio in North Waziristan, posted a video message on Twitter. Holding his boy in his lap, he appealed on parents to inoculate their children and avoid his family's ordeal.

Until this week, Pakistan's health authorities had carried out three nationwide anti-polio drives this year — in January, March and in May. During the March campaign, gunmen in northwestern Pakistan shot and killed a female polio worker as she was returning home after a day of vaccinations.

And in January, gunmen shot and killed a police officer providing security for polio vaccination workers, also in the country’s northwest.

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Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this story.

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MADRID (AP) — President Joe Biden opened his three-day visit to a NATO summit Tuesday by pledging to beef up the American military presence in Europe as he denounced Russia’s Vladimir Putin for trying to “wipe out” Ukrainian culture in the ongoing war in eastern Europe.

Biden, in talks with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, detailed plans to increase the number of Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, from four to six. Biden said the move was one of multiple announcements that he and NATO allies would make during the summit to help bolster the alliance in the region.

Biden arrived in Spain for the NATO summit amid an intense barrage of Russian fire across Ukraine— including a horrific missile attack on a shopping mall in Kyiv on Monday — and growing weariness over the grinding war that is battering the global economy.

“Sometimes I think Putin’s objective is just to literally change the entire culture -- wipe out the culture of Ukraine (with) the kinds of actions he’s taking,” Biden said after meeting with Sánchez.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the destroyers move “will help increase the United States' and NATO’s maritime presence." He said that Biden would announce additional moves on Wednesday.

“The president said before the war started that if Putin invaded Ukraine, the United States and NATO would enhance the force posture on the eastern flank, not just for the duration of the crisis, but to address the long-term change in the strategic reality that that would present,” Sullivan added.

Biden is looking to use this week's NATO summit to shore up allies amid signs of fractures in the western alliance. After heaping an avalanche of sanctions on the Russian economy and funneling billions of dollars of weaponry into Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, NATO partners are showing signs of strain as the cost of energy and other essential goods has skyrocketed.

As the U.S. president departed for the NATO meeting from the German Alps, where he met this week with leaders of the Group of Seven leading economies, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the prices are putting European economies in an “untenable” situation. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who addressed the G-7 on Monday, has openly worried that the West has become fatigued by the cost of the war.

The U.S. has been building up its presence since shortly before the Russian invasion in late February, adding about 20,000 troops to the 80,000 who were previously in Europe. And the U.S. has signaled that the Russian invasion will have reverberations on its and NATO allies' defense posture for years to come.

The U.S. and Spain, in a joint statement following the Biden-Sanchez meeting, said the invasion “fundamentally altered the global strategic environment” and that the “aggression constitutes the most direct threat to transAtlantic security and global stability since the end of the Cold War.”

Sullivan suggested that other moves Biden is set to announce will involve positioning additional forces on NATO's eastern flank “in a steady state." He declined to say if some U.S. forces that serve there on a rotational basis would become permanent.

The U.S. president praised Spain for taking in tens of thousands of Ukrainian migrants who have fled the war.

“Our people have stood together," Biden said during a meeting with Spain's King Felipe VI. “They’ve stood up and they’ve stood strong.”

Biden attended a dinner on Tuesday with other NATO leaders at the 18th Century Royal Palace of Madrid, hosted by Spain's king and queen, Letizia.

Biden is set to meet with Turkish President Erdogan on Wednesday, a day after Turkey was lifting its objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO. The two countries made the historic step of applying for NATO membership in the aftermath of the Russian invasion.

Sullivan said the U.S. did not have a role to play in negotiations between Turkey and the Nordic nations, which were being brokered by NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg.

Biden will also look to highlight progress made by NATO members at meeting the alliance’s goal of spending 2% of gross domestic product on their defense budgets.

Sullivan said a majority of members would report that they have met the benchmark or are on track to by 2024. He described it as a “substantial shift in the intensity and commitment of NATO allies in terms of putting their money where their mouth is.” Biden's predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, fiercely criticized NATO partners who failed to hit the target.

The president will also hold a rare joint meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to discuss North Korea's nuclear program.

U.S. and South Korean officials say that North Korea has all but finished preparations for its first nuclear test since September 2017, when it claimed to have detonated a thermonuclear warhead designed for intercontinental ballistic missiles.

North Korea may use its next nuclear test to claim that it has acquired the ability to build small nuclear warheads that can be placed on short-range missiles or other new weapons systems it has demonstrated in recent months, analysts say.

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Madhani reported from Washington.

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A federal court Tuesday allowed Tennessee to ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, while a Texas judge temporarily blocked enforcement of that state's ban on virtually all abortions, in a flurry of activity set off at courthouses across the U.S. by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Statewide bans or other restrictions that were either left on the books for generations, tied up by legal challenges or specifically designed to take effect if Roe were to fall are now in play as a result of last week's Supreme Court ruling eliminating the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

Roughly half the states are expected to prohibit or severely limit the procedure now that the high court has left it up to them.

Since Friday, judges have agreed to allow bans or other restrictions to take effect in Alabama, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee. But abortion bans remained temporarily blocked in some states, including Louisiana, Texas and Utah. Decisions are pending in other places, including Florida and Indiana. Abortion rights advocates also dropped some of their legal efforts in Indiana, Minnesota and Missouri.

Some clinics initially turned patients away soon after the high court ruling came down, but then reopened as judges ruled in their favor. That happened in Louisiana on Tuesday.

In Houston, a Democratic city in a conservative state, a judge blocked enforcement for now of a statewide ban on virtually all abortions, according to a group representing abortion clinics in Texas.

“It is a relief that this Texas state court acted so quickly to block this deeply harmful abortion ban,” said Marc Hearron, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Abortions in Texas are still prohibited at about six weeks because of a law that took effect last year. But after Tuesday's ruling, Texas clinics, which stopped providing services on Friday, received assurances they can resume operations for at least a few more weeks without risking prosecution. At least one provider reopened to patients.

In Tennessee, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday allowed a six-week ban to take effect at the state's request. An even more restrictive ban, prohibiting nearly all abortions, is set to take effect in a month. Both measures would make performing an abortion a felony and subject doctors to up to 15 years in prison.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision opened the gates on a wave of litigation. One side is seeking to put statewide bans into effect swiftly, while the other is trying to stop or at least delay such measures.

Much of the court activity focused on “trigger laws” adopted in 13 states that were designed to take effect quickly upon last week's ruling. Additional lawsuits could also target old anti-abortion laws that were left on the books in some states and went unenforced under Roe. Newer abortion restrictions that were put on hold pending the Supreme Court ruling are also coming back into play.

Abortion rights supporters gathered at the South Carolina statehouse Tuesday. Merritt Watts, who moved to South Carolina from California last year, said if she still lived in California, she would have “completely different rights.”

“I used to think of red states as someone else’s problem, but it’s not,” the Charleston resident said. “They deserve what Californians have.”

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Forliti reported from Minneapolis and Mulvihill from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Associated Press writers across the U.S. contributed to this report.

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For AP’s full coverage of the Supreme Court ruling on abortion, go to https://apnews.com/hub/abortion.

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Wildlife advocates say there has been a distressing uptick in wolf poaching cases in the Northwest in the past year and a half.

Four dead wolves were discovered in the northeastern corner of Washington state in February. That followed the poisoning of eight wolves in eastern Oregon in 2021, along with the poaching of a total of eight wolves in Idaho last year.

While the numbers are small, they are a big jump over previous years. Oregon had a total of 10 confirmed wolf poachings between 2017-2020. Washington had no confirmed wolf poachings from 2017-2021. Data for 2017-2019 was not available for Idaho, but the state had three confirmed wolf poachings in 2020.

Wolf experts say the actual number of poaching incidents is likely much higher. The cases are difficult to solve because they occur in remote, rural areas where a perpetrator can kill a wolf and bury the body.

“The term ‘shoot, shovel and shut up’ is what gets thrown around a lot and from my conversations it seems to be pretty engrained in these communities,” said Sophia Ressler of the Center for Biological Diversity, which compiled the numbers.

“There is actually science that shows for every confirmed poaching there are likely several additional,” Ressler said.

In the Washington case, deputies from the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office discovered four dead wolves on Feb. 18.

The incident report did not find any evidence of bullet holes or physical trauma to the wolves, which suggested their deaths may have been the result of poisoning.

No arrests have been made in the case, despite conservation groups offering a $30,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

The dead wolves were all in the territory of the Wedge Pack, which has been exterminated twice for preying on cattle. But new packs keep forming in what is prime wolf habitat.

Wolves were exterminated in Washington early in the last century at the behest of the cattle industry. Since wolves returned to the state in 2008, there have been numerous conflicts with ranchers.

There were a minimum of 206 wolves and 33 packs in Washington state in 2021, according to an annual survey conducted by state and tribal biologists. Idaho has about 1,500 wolves, while Oregon has about 173.

The Washington case is "pretty distressing and alarming,” said Julia Smith, wolf policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. But the number of wolf poaching incidents is still small, she said.

The agency knows that there are a number of undetected wolf poachings, but the numbers must be small because the total number of wolves keep increasing, Smith said.

Conservationists are outraged about the poisoning of wolves.

“Putting poison out on the landscape for any unsuspecting creature to feed on is one of the most loathsome things a person can do,” said Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense, a national nonprofit advocacy group. “It’s not just about killing wolves. It’s also about wanting them to suffer.”

Steph Taylor, president of Speak for Wolves, said Washington has a poaching problem and wildlife managers "need to step up their game in holding these disturbed poachers accountable. Otherwise, this shoot, shovel, shut up culture will continue to thrive.”

Meanwhile, Oregon wildlife troopers found eight dead wolves between February and July of 2021 in the northeastern part of the state. The animals were poisoned, but the deaths remain unsolved.

Last December, Oregon State Police announced they had exhausted all leads in the case and pleaded with the public for help. A $36,000 reward has been posted for information that leads to an arrest.

The Oregon deaths last year included all five wolves from the Catherine Pack, found southeast of Mount Harris, plus three wolves from other packs.

In late 2020, the Trump administration removed gray wolves from the endangered list and stripped their legal protections, citing “the successful recovery of the gray wolf.” But in February, the Biden administration restored federal protection for gray wolves in most of the lower 48 states. The decision to re-list gray wolves was hailed as a major conservation victory for the species.

Ressler, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the poaching cases must be solved.

“If poachers are allowed to get off scot-free, it only encourages them to kill again," she said.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hate crimes in California shot up 33% to nearly 1,800 reported incidents in 2021, the sixth highest tally on record and the highest since after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.

Attorney General Rob Bonta said that crimes against Black people were again the most prevalent in 2021, climbing 13% from 2020 to 513 reported incidents. Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias increased nearly 50% to 303 incidents while crimes against Asian Americans were up 178% to 247 incidents.

"One hard truth in our state, just as we see across the nation, is that the epidemic of hate we saw spurred on during the pandemic remains a clear and present threat," said Bonta, a Democrat, at a Tuesday news conference. “Each of these incidents represents an attack on a person, a neighbor, a family member, a fellow Californian.”

Last year's annual report showed a similarly high increase — 31% — with anti-Black bias making up the bulk of incidents in a state where African Americans are 6% of the population. The 2020 report also showed a startling increase in bias crimes against Asian Americans following the emergence of the coronavirus in China.

Video of attacks involving Asian American victims, particularly seniors, went viral last year with San Francisco police in January reporting an astonishing 567% increase in reported crimes from the previous year. The initial count showed 60 victims in 2021, up from nine in 2020. Half of last year’s victims were allegedly targeted by one man. Still not all criminal attacks carry a hate crime charge since prosecutors need to prove the suspect was motivated by bias.

In San Francisco, the 2021 death of an 84-year-old Thai grandfather is headed to trial although the district attorney’s office has not filed hate crime charges in that case.

Officials say reported hate crime statistics may be far lower than actual numbers, but add they've taken steps to encourage reporting by victims. Nationally, hate crimes rose to the highest level in more than a decade in 2019, according to an FBI report.

The 1,763 hate crimes reported in 2021 in California is the highest since 2001, when 2,261 hate crimes were reported.

Community leaders who joined Bonta at Tuesday's press conference urged people to report crimes and to seek resources such as mental health services. Cirian Villavicencio, commissioner with the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs, said hateful attacks against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community are not new.

But the sheer rise in attacks during the pandemic was alarming, he said.

“Our elders were being physically attacked, women and young people were being verbally insulted, AAPI students were being harassed and bullied at school and AAPI-owned small businesses were targeted and discriminated against just because they were AAPI,” Villavicencio said.

In May, a white gunman killed 10 Black shoppers and workers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. A steep rise in anti-Asian bias since 2020 included the March 2021 killing of eight people at Atlanta-area massage businesses, including six women of Asian descent.

A hate crime is motivated by the victim's gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Hate incidents such as name calling are not necessarily criminal. The California Department of Justice has collected and reported statewide data on hate crimes since 1995.

Crimes showing bias against Latinos increased 30% to 197 incidents in 2021 while anti-Jewish bias events increased 32% to 152 in 2021, the most in the religious bias category.

Bonta announced the new position of a statewide hate crime coordinator within the California Department of Justice to assist state and local law enforcement efforts to battle hate crimes.

The report also showed that district attorneys and elected city attorneys filed 30% more cases in 2021 involving hate crime charges.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Ghislaine Maxwell, the jet-setting socialite who once consorted with royals, presidents and billionaires, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday for helping the financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls.

The stiff sentence was the punctuation mark on a trial that explored the sordid rituals of a predator power couple who courted the rich and famous as they lured vulnerable girls as young as 14, and then exploited them.

Prosecutors said Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial, sexually abused children hundreds of times over more than a decade, and couldn’t have done so without the help of Maxwell, his longtime companion and onetime girlfriend who they said also sometimes participated in the abuse. In December, a jury convicted Maxwell of sex trafficking, transporting a minor to participate in illegal sex acts and two conspiracy charges.

U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan, who also imposed a $750,000 fine, said “a very significant sentence is necessary” and that she wanted to send an “unmistakable message” that these kinds of crimes would be punished. Prosecutors had asked the judge to give her 30 to 55 years in prison, while Maxwell's defense sought a lenient sentence of just five years.

Maxwell, wearing a blue prison uniform and a white mask to conform with coronavirus rules, looked to one side as the sentence was announced, but otherwise did not react. She had also sat quietly earlier, as Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe recounted how Maxwell subjected girls to “horrifying nightmares” by taking them to Epstein.

“They were partners in crime together and they molested these kids together,” she said, calling Maxwell “a person who was indifferent to the suffering of other human beings.”

When she had a chance to speak, Maxwell said she empathized with the survivors and that it was her “greatest regret of my life that I ever met Jeffrey Epstein.” Maxwell called him “a manipulative, cunning and controlling man who lived a profoundly compartmentalized life,” echoing her defense attorneys' assertions that Epstein was the true mastermind.

Maxwell, who denies abusing anyone, said she hoped that her conviction and her “unusual incarceration” bring some “measure of peace and finality.”

Nathan refused to let Maxwell escape culpability, making clear that Maxwell was being punished for her own actions, not Epstein's. She called the crimes “heinous and predatory” and said Maxwell as a sophisticated adult woman provided the veneer of safety as she “normalized” sexual abuse through her involvement, encouragement and instruction.

Several survivors described their sexual abuse, including Annie Farmer, whose voice cracked several times as she said “we will continue to live with the harm she caused us.” Farmer said her sister and herself tried to go public with their stories about Epstein and Maxwell two decades ago, only to be shut down by the powerful couple through threats and influence with authorities.

Inside the crowded courtroom, three of Maxwell's siblings sat in a row behind her. Most of the others in attendance were members of the media.

Epstein and Maxwell’s associations with some of the world’s most famous people were not a prominent part of the trial, but mentions of friends like Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Britain's Prince Andrew showed how the pair exploited their connections to impress their prey.

Over the past 17 years, scores of women have accused Epstein of abusing them. Many described Maxwell as acting as a madam who recruited them to give massages to Epstein.

The trial, though, revolved around allegations from only a handful of those women.

Four testified that they were abused as teens in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein’s mansions in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the Virgin Islands.

Three were identified in court only by their first names or pseudonyms to protect their privacy: Jane, a television actress; Kate, an ex-model from the U.K.; and Carolyn, now a mom recovering from drug addiction. The fourth was Farmer, the sole accuser to identify herself in court by her real name, after speaking out publicly.

They described how Maxwell charmed them with conversation and gifts and promises that Epstein could use his wealth and connections to help fulfill their dreams.

Then, they testified, she led them to give massages to Epstein that turned sexual and played it off as normal.

Carolyn testified that she was one of several underprivileged teens who lived near Epstein’s Florida home in the early 2000s and took up an offer to massage him in exchange for $100 bills in what prosecutors described as “a pyramid of abuse.”

Maxwell made all the arrangements, Carolyn told the jury, even though she knew the girl was only 14 at the time.

The allegations against Epstein first surfaced publicly in 2005. He pleaded guilty to sex charges in Florida and served 13 months in jail, much of it in a work-release program as part of a deal criticized as lenient. Afterward, he was required to register as a sex offender.

In the years that followed, many women sued Epstein over alleged abuse. One, Virginia Giuffre, claimed that Epstein and Maxwell had also pressured her into sexual trysts with other powerful men, including Prince Andrew. All of those men denied the allegations and Giuffre ultimately settled a lawsuit against Andrew out of court.

Federal prosecutors in New York revived the case against Epstein after stories by the Miami Herald in 2018 brought new attention to his crimes. He was arrested in 2019, but killed himself a month later.

Eleven months after his death, Maxwell was arrested at a New Hampshire estate. A U.S., British and French citizen, she has remained in a federal jail in New York City since then as her lawyers repeatedly criticize her treatment, saying she was even unjustly placed under suicide watch days before sentencing. Prosecutors say the claims about the jail are exaggerated and that Maxwell has been treated better than other prisoners.

Her lawyers also fought to have her conviction tossed on the grounds of juror misconduct. Days after the verdict, one juror gave media interviews in which he disclosed he had been sexually abused as a child — something he hadn't told the court during jury selection. Maxwell's lawyers said she deserved a new trial. A judge disagreed.

At least eight women submitted letters to the judge, describing the sexual abuse they said they endured for having met Maxwell and Epstein. Six of Maxwell’s seven living siblings wrote to plead for leniency. Maxwell's fellow inmate also submitted a letter describing how Maxwell has helped to educate other inmates over the last two years.

Anne Holve and Philip Maxwell, her eldest siblings, wrote that her relationship with Epstein began soon after the 1991 death of their father, the British newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell.

They said Robert Maxwell had subjected his daughter to “frequent rapid mood swings, huge rages and rejections.”

“This led her to becoming very vulnerable to abusive and powerful men who would be able to take advantage of her innate good nature,” they wrote.

Prosecutors called Maxwell's shifting of blame to Epstein “absurd and offensive.”

Before her fate was announced, Maxwell looked down and scribbled on a notepad as Sarah Ransome — an accuser whose allegations weren’t included in this trial — spoke of the lasting harm to her life, gazing directly at Maxwell several times .

Ransome, who twice tried to die by suicide, finally drew a look from Maxwell when she said: “You broke me in unfathomable ways but you did not break my spirit.”

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Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump said Tuesday he will lead the legal fight on behalf of Randy Cox, a Black man who was seriously injured in the back of a police van in Connecticut when the driver braked suddenly.

Crump also called for a federal civil rights investigation into the treatment of Cox, 36, who was being taken June 19 to a police station in New Haven, Connecticut, for processing on a weapons charge when his head struck the back wall of the van.

Crump said police mocked Cox's cries for help and later dragged him by his feet from the van and placed him in a holding cell before he was taken to a hospital. Cox, whose legal first name is Richard, is in intensive care, paralyzed from the chest down, Crump said.

At a news conference Tuesday in front of New Haven Superior Court, Crump, who has been called Black America’s attorney general for his work on civil rights cases, led a crowd in chants of “Justice for Randy Cox.”

His co-counsel, Jack O'Donnell, said the legal team expects to file a federal lawsuit within 60 days, once it has reviewed all the evidence, including more than two hours of video.

Some of that, including footage from a camera that recorded the moments when Cox was injured, has been released publicly.

“I am here because when I looked at that video, it shocked my conscience,” Crump said. “And I believe when you all see that video, it's going to shock your conscience. The only question is, why, when the police look at Randy Cox saying, ‘I can’t move,' why doesn't it shock their conscience?”

Five members of the New Haven police department who were involved in the transport have been put on leave while the episode is investigated.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and acting Police Chief Regina Rush-Kittle said they are committed to being transparent with the facts. They have released all videos to the public and have given all evidence to state police, who have been called in to conduct an independent investigation, they said.

“I've watched the videos many times,” Elicker said. “I, in my own view, did not see malice on the part of the officers. I saw some bad decisions, an extreme lack of compassion. I think what we focus on, what we can control here in New Haven, that is ensuring that we have accountability in our city.”

Cox was handcuffed when he was in the back of the New Haven police van, which was not equipped with seat belts. He flew headfirst into a wall when Officer Oscar Diaz braked hard; he said it was to avoid a collision, police said.

Diaz resumed driving to the police department, despite Cox calling for help and saying he was injured and couldn’t move, according to the video and officials. A few minutes later, Diaz stopped the van to check on Cox, who was lying motionless on the floor.

Diaz then called paramedics but told them to meet him at the station instead of waiting for them where he was, police said.

At the station, officers dragged Cox out of the van by his feet and put him in a wheelchair, video shows. Police then booked Cox, took him out of the wheelchair and dragged him into a cell, where he was left on the floor, video shows.

Paramedics arrived minutes later and took Cox to a hospital, officials said.

Crump said Cox was accused of lying and told to get up several times by police.

“Where’s the first aid training? Where’s the on the job training? Where’s the accountability?” said Latoya Boomer, Crump’s sister, who attended the news conference with several other family members. “I want to know, where’s the person who sees what’s going on and says, ’Maybe he’s not joking. Maybe he’s not drunk. Maybe he is in distress.”

Scot Esdaile, the president of the Connecticut branch of the NAACP, said he is not convinced the hard braking of the van was an accident.

“People from the community have been coming to us for years talking about how they torture people in the back of paddy wagons,” he said. “They put people in the back of the paddy wagon; they go real fast and then they slam the brakes.”

Elicker said last week that prisoner transport vans not equipped with seatbelts have been taken out of service and that the police department is working to install seatbelts in them. He said Tuesday that department will be also be implementing more training for officers in response to the incident.

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AQABA, Jordan (AP) — Jordan on Tuesday promised an investigation into the deadly explosion of a chlorine tank the previous day at the Red Sea port of Aqaba, which killed at least 13 people.

A crane loading chlorine tanks onto a ship on Monday dropped one of them, releasing a large plume of toxic yellow smoke. Along with those killed, some 250 were sickened, authorities said.

King Abdullah II “stressed the need to provide transparent explanations to the public after investigations conclude, as well as identifying shortcomings and holding those responsible to account by law,” the palace said in a statement. He also offered condolences to victims' families.

Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh visited the site Tuesday and, citing civil defense and environmental authorities, said the gas concentration in the area had returned to normal. He said that most movement at the port has resumed, except for the exact site of the incident which was being cleaned and inspected.

Al-Khasawneh said many of those in hospitals were being discharged.

A government spokesman, Faisal Al-Shboul, told state media that eight of the dead were Jordanian and five were foreigners. Among the injured were Chinese and Vietnamese nationals, hospital officials said.

Video carried on state TV showed the moment the tank exploded, sending dockworkers scrambling to escape the toxic cloud. Some 200 people were hospitalized.

The Public Security Directorate, which initially described it as a gas leak, said authorities sealed off the area after evacuating the injured and sent specialists in to address the situation.

State-run Jordan TV said 13 people were killed. Al-Mamlaka TV, another official outlet, said 199 were still being treated in hospitals. The Public Security Directorate said a total of 251 people were injured.

Aqaba is on the northern tip of the Red Sea, next to the Israeli city of Eilat, which is just across the border. Both are popular beach and diving destinations.

Eilat’s emergency services said in a statement that there was no impact on the city but that they were following the situation closely.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Cassidy Hutchinson, a key aide in Donald Trump’s White House, told the House committee investigating the violent Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection on Tuesday that Trump was informed that the supporters he addressed that morning had weapons but he told officials to “let my people in” and march to the Capitol.

Trump demanded to accompany them, she said, and at one point he aggressively grabbed the steering wheel in the presidential limousine after he was told by security officials that it wasn't safe. Hutchinson, who was an aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said she was told that by Meadows' deputy.

She said she wasn't sure what he would have done at the Capitol as a violent mob of his supporters was breaking in. There were conversations about him “going into the House chamber at one point,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson quoted Trump as directing his staff, in profane terms, to take away the metal-detecting magnetometers that he thought would slow down supporters who’d gathered in Washington. In videotaped testimony played before the committee, she recalled the former president saying words to the effect of: ”“I don’t f-in' care that they have weapons."

“They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-in' mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here,” Hutchinson testified.

As Trump spoke to thousands of supporters on the Ellipse behind the White House — and more gathered on the Washington Monument grounds, Hutchinson said, she received an angry call from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who had just heard the president say he was coming to the Capitol. “Don’t come up here," McCarthy told her, before hanging up.

In the days before the attack, Hutchinson said that she was “scared, and nervous for what could happen” ahead of the riot after conversations with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Meadows and others.

Meadows told Hutchinson that “things might get real real bad," she said. Giuliani told her it was going to be “a great day” and “we're going to the Capitol.” She described Meadows as unconcerned as security officials told him that people at Trump's rally had weapons - including people wearing armor and carrying automatic weapons.

A month earlier, Hutchinson said, she heard noise inside the White House around the time an Associated Press article was published in which then-Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department had not found evidence of voter fraud that could have affected the election outcome.

She said she entered a room and noticed ketchup dripping down a wall and broken porcelain. The president, it turned out, had thrown his lunch across the wall in disgust over the article and she was urged to steer clear of him.

The 25-year-old, who was a special assistant and aide to former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, has already provided a trove of information to congressional investigators and has sat for four interviews behind closed doors. But the committee called the hearing this week to hear her public testimony.

Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairman, said that in recent days, the panel had received information about what Trump and his aides were saying during critical hours of Jan. 6 and that it was critical for the American people to hear that information immediately.

The committee’s vice chairwoman, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, said the hearing would shed light on Trump’s conduct at the time, the “actions and statements” of senior advisers and also what they knew about the prospect of violence in the days before the violent attack. She told the panel in earlier interviews that Meadows was warned about possible unrest.

Her appearance was cloaked in extraordinary secrecy. The committee announced the surprise hearing with only 24 hours’ notice, and Hutchison's appearance was only confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the matter.

While it is unclear what new evidence she might provide Tuesday, Hutchinson’s testimony is likely to tell a first-hand story of Trump’s pressure campaign, and how the former president responded after the violence began, more vividly than any other witness the committee has called in thus far.

In brief excerpts of testimony revealed in court filings, Hutchinson told the committee she was in the room for White House meetings where challenges to the election were debated and discussed, including with several Republican lawmakers. In one instance, Hutchinson described seeing Meadows incinerate documents after a meeting in his office with Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., Politico reported in May.

She also revealed that the White House counsel’s office cautioned against plans to enlist fake electors in swing states, including in meetings involving Meadows and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Attorneys for the president advised that the plan was not “legally sound,” Cassidy said.

During her three separate depositions, Hutchinson also testified about her boss' surprise trip to Georgia weeks after the election to oversee the audit of absentee ballot envelope signatures and ask questions about the process.

She also detailed how Jeffrey Clark — a top Justice Department official who championed Trump’s false claims of election fraud and whom the president contemplated naming as attorney general — was a “frequent presence” at the White House.

The plot to remove the then-acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, unraveled during a Jan. 3, 2021, meeting in the Oval Office when other senior Justice Department officials warned Trump that they would resign if he followed through with his plan to replace Rosen with Clark.

The House panel has not explained why it abruptly scheduled the 1 p.m. hearing as lawmakers are away from Washington on a two-week recess. The committee had said last week that there would be no more hearings until July.

The precise subject of Tuesday's hearing remained unclear, but the panel's announcement Monday said it would be “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.” A spokesman for the panel declined to elaborate and Hutchinson's lawyer did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

The person familiar with the committee's plans to call Hutchinson could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The nine-member committee’s investigation has continued during the hearings, which started three weeks ago into the attack by Trump supporters. Among the evidence, the committee recently obtained footage of Trump and his inner circle taken both before and after Jan. 6 from British filmmaker Alex Holder.

Holder said last week that he had complied with a congressional subpoena to turn over all the footage he shot in the final weeks of Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, including exclusive interviews with Trump, his children and then-Vice President Mike Pence.

Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the panel's Democratic chairman, told reporters last week that the committee was in possession of the footage and needed more time to go through the hours of video.

The panel has held five hearings so far, mostly laying out Trump's pressure campaign on various institutions of power in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, when hundreds of the Republican's supporters violently pushed past police, broke into the building and interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden's presidential election victory.

The committee has used the hearings to detail the pressure from Trump and his allies on Pence, on the states that were certifying Biden's win, and on the Justice Department. The panel has used live interviews, video testimony of its private witness interviews and footage of the attack to detail what it has learned.

Lawmakers said last week that the two July hearings would focus on domestic extremists who breached the Capitol that day and on what Trump was doing as the violence unfolded.

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Associated Press writers Nomaan Merchant and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

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For full coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings, go to https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege.

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MENDON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri Department of Transportation plan released this year cited a need to improve safety at the rail crossing where an Amtrak train and a dump truck collided, resulting in the deaths of three passengers and the truck driver.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol announced the fourth death Tuesday afternoon and provided its first estimate of the injured — about 150 people taken to 10 area hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to serious. The dead have not been identified.

The crossing in a rural area near Mendon in western Missouri, about 84 miles (135 kilometers) northeast of Kansas City, has no lights or other signals to warn of an approaching train.

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago Monday afternoon when it struck the truck and derailed at the crossing. Amtrak officials have said about 275 passengers and 12 crew members were aboard the train.

The collision derailed seven cars, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The truck was broken into pieces. National Transportation Safety Board investigators were at the scene Tuesday, trying to determine how the accident happened and why the truck was on the tracks. The damaged tracks had been repaired and freight trains were operating.

In January, the Missouri Department of Transportation submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration its “State Freight & Rail Plan” plan. It included a list of proposed improvements, including the installation of lights and gates, along with roadway improvements.

The project was estimated at $400,000. Typically, the federal government would pay 80% and the county 20%. MoDOT spokeswoman Linda Horn said in an email that any project must be worked out in coordination with the track owner, BNSF Railway, and the county “based on very limited funding.”

BNSF spokeswoman Lena Kent said that if the state wants an upgrade, the next step is a site review.

“We would work with all of the parties involved to determine if additional warning devices are needed and then work to get those designed, built and installed,” Kent said.

Local residents have complained that the overgrowth of brush and the steep incline from the road to the tracks makes it hard to see oncoming trains from either direction. Mike Spencer, who grows corn and soybeans on land surrounding the intersection, said the crossing is especially dangerous for those driving heavy, slow farm equipment.

Spencer said he had contacted state transportation officials, Chariton County commissioners and BNSF about the potential danger. Spencer, who is on the board of a local levy district, said the dump truck driver was hauling rock for a levy on a local creek, a project that had been ongoing for a couple of days.

Earlier this month, Spencer posted a video on Facebook of the crossing that shows the steep gravel incline leading up to it.

“We have to cross this with farm equipment to get to several of our fields,” Spencer wrote with the posting. “We have been on the RR for several years about fixing the approach by building the road up, putting in signals, signal lights or just cutting the brush back.”

The posting noted that some trains pass by at up to 90 mph (145 kph). “If you cross here with a vehicle stop, approach very slowly, then look both ways there are 2 tracks and around 85 trains go through there everyday,” Spencer wrote.

Passengers recounted the frightening aftermath of the accident.

Rob Nightingale of Taos, New Mexico, said he was dozing off in his sleeper compartment when the lights flickered and the train rocked back and forth and he felt it tip.

"I saw the ground coming toward my window, and all the debris and dust,” Nightingale told The Associated Press. “Then it sat on its side and it was complete silence. I sat there and didn’t hear anything. Then I heard a little girl next door crying.”

Nightingale was unhurt and he and other passengers were able to climb out of the overturned train car through a window.

Passengers included 16 youths and eight adults from two Boy Scout troops who were traveling home to Appleton, Wisconsin, as well as high school students from Pleasant Ridge High School in Easton, Kansas, who were headed to a Future Business Leaders of America conference in Chicago.

It was the second Amtrak collision in as many days. Three people in a car were killed Sunday afternoon when an Amtrak commuter train smashed into it in Northern California, authorities said.

People have been injured or killed in at least six other accidents involving Amtrak trains since 2015. Last year, three people died and others were injured when an Amtrak derailed in north-central Montana as it traveled from Chicago to Seattle.

Amtrak is a federally supported company that operates more than 300 passenger trains daily in nearly every contiguous U.S. state and parts of Canada. The Southwest Chief takes about two days to travel from Los Angeles to Chicago, picking up passengers at stops in between.

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Ballentine reported from Columbia, Missouri. Associated Press reporters Margaret Stafford in Kansas City, Missouri, and Jim Salter in O'Fallon, Missouri, contributed to this report.

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HAVANA (AP) — Cuban authorities say they have intercepted more than a dozen speedboats arriving from the United States this year — clashing with at least two of them and making some arrests. They say U.S. authorities have handed over a suspect in the shooting of a Cuban coast guard officer.

The Interior Ministry statement read over state television Monday night comes amid a sharp increase in migration from Cuba to the United States, both by sea and via Mexico, at a time of economic hardships aggravated by the pandemic and by tightened U.S. sanctions.

The ministry said its coast guard units had intercepted 13 speedboats from the U.S. entering Cuban waters this year, with 23 crew members. It was not clear how many of the boats might have reached shore or how many of those aboard were arrested. It mentioned at least some arrests, but also at least one case in which a boat escaped.

“Recently situations of greater violence and aggression have occurred, with the use of firearms” against Cuban coast guard units, the ministry said.

It cited an incident on June 18 in which people aboard a speedboat near Cayo Fragoso off the central Cuban province of Villa Clara opened fire with an automatic weapon at close range, wounding one Cuban officer, and then raced of northward as Cubans evacuated the wounded man for treatment.

It said Cuban officials notified the U.S. Coast Guard, asking for help to detain the attackers. On Monday, one Cuban citizen “implicated in the aggression” had been returned to the island, it said, under an agreement by which the U.S. returns Cubans attempting to immigrate illegally.

“In parallel,” it said, 30 people who were trying to leave the island were found by Interior Ministry agents and were being investigated.

It said that in another incident, agents intercepted a Dakota speedboat 3 nautical miles north of Bahia Honda, on the coast west of Havana, and were fired upon. The ministry said troops returned fire, killing one of those aboard the speedboat.

That boat was detained, and the ministry said it found drugs and evidence of firearms use aboard. It said U.S. authorities were informed about the identities of those arrested and the man who died.

In a separate statement Monday, the Interior Ministry said its coast guard troops found six of 15 people who had set out in makeshift board that sank last week. It said there was no word on what happened to the other nine.

The 15 apparently had set out from the area of Playa Jibacoa along the coast east of Havana on June 20.

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported finding about 140,000 Cuban migrants between October last year and the end of May — a number that surpassed the so-called Mariel exodus of 1980, when 125,000 Cubans reached the U.S.

The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday week that so far this fiscal year it has intercepted 2,900 Cuban migrants at sea, up from just 838 in the previous fiscal year and 49 in 2020.

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Andrea Rodríguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The final phase in the selection of 12 jurors who will decide whether Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz should receive the death sentence got underway Tuesday, the conclusion of a nearly three-month effort that began with 1,800 candidates.

The dozen jurors and eight alternates will be winnowed down from 53 candidates by prosecutors and defense attorneys. Each side can try to persuade Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that a particular candidate is biased. If she disagrees, each side also will have at least 10 peremptory challenges where they can eliminate candidates for any reason except race or gender.

The jury will decide whether Cruz, 23, receives the death sentence or life in prison without parole for the murders of 14 students and three staff members at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. Cruz pleaded guilty in October to those murders and 17 counts of attempted murder, so the jurors will only decide his punishment. They must be unanimous for Cruz to get the death penalty — if at least one votes for life, that will be Cruz's sentence.

The final pool survived three rounds of questioning that began April 4. Jury selection had been expected to take about a month, but was beset by numerous delays because of sickness and other factors.

The panel will have a task never faced by a U.S. jury — no American mass shooter who killed at least 17 people has ever made it to trial. Nine others died during or immediately after their shooting attacks, killed either by police or themselves. The suspect in the 2019 slaying of 23 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, is awaiting trial.

In the first phase of jury selection, the prospective panelists were simply asked if their employment and life circumstances would allow them to serve the four months the trial is expected to last. About 80% were eliminated because their employers wouldn't pay them, they are self-employed, or they had school obligations or vacations planned.

In the second phase, the 300 remaining panelists were asked their opinions on the death penalty and whether they could be fair to Cruz. Finally, about 85 were asked about their lives and work histories, whether they could stomach seeing gruesome crime scene and autopsy photos and even if they play violent video games and believe white people have advantages in society not available to racial minorities.

The selection process was upended several times. One day, the sheriff’s deputies who guard the courtroom thought some potential jurors were about to attack Cruz and pulled him to safety as they quickly removed the threatening panelists. On another day, Scherer had to dismiss a group of potential jurors because one wore a T-shirt referencing the shooting that supported the victims and survivors. Selection also was delayed for two weeks when lead defense attorney Melisa McNeill contracted COVID-19.

The jurors will be exposed to graphic evidence, including crime scene and autopsy photos and tour the three-story classroom building where Cruz methodically stalked the halls, shooting at anyone in front of him and into classrooms. It has not been cleaned since the shooting and remains bloodstained and bullet-pocked, with Valentine's Day gifts strewn about.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The government of Trinidad & Tobago closed schools on Tuesday as forecasters warned that a tropical disturbance would bring heavy rains and gusty winds to the southeastern Caribbean.

The approaching storm also prompted Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines to cancel at least four flights.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Trinidad & Tobago as well as Grenada and its dependencies, with forecasters warning that up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain could fall there and in northeastern Venezuela. A tropical storm warning was issued for Venezuela's Islas de Margarita, Coche and Cubagua as well as the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the system expected to grow into Tropical Storm Bonnie would pass over or near the southern Windward Islands on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday afternoon, it was centered about 210 miles (340 kilometers) east of Trinidad and was heading west at 23 mph (37 kph) with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph).

Another disturbance further out in the Atlantic had a lower chance of becoming a named storm later in the week.

Far out in the eastern Pacific, meanwhile, forecasters said former Tropical Storm Celia was expected to fall below tropical cyclone force later in the day. The storm had formed off the coast of Central America on June 17.

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President Joe Biden's top health official said Tuesday that “every option is on the table” when it comes to helping women access abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

But the administration's options are limited despite its strong criticism of the Supreme Court's decision Friday. Biden called the ruling “a sad day for the court and the country.” Xavier Becerra, secretary of Health and Human Services. on Tuesday called it “despicable.”

The decision puts abortion rights smack in the middle of the November elections, both for Congress and in the states.

At a news conference Tuesday, Becerra acknowledged that there was “no magic bullet” to ensure abortion access for those who want it. But he pledged that “if there is something we can do, we will find it and we will do it at HHS.”

He said the administration would work to ensure that medication abortions remain available, that patient privacy is preserved and family planning care like emergency contraceptives is protected.

“Medication abortion has been approved by the FDA for years and is safe for patients,” he said. “It is the gold standard for care when someone who’s pregnant experiences a miscarriage, which is all too real for many expectant mothers across the country."

The HHS secretary noted that federal law requires the providing of medication abortion in cases involving rape or incest or to protect the life of the mother. "Now more than ever, it is imperative that all federally supported programs and services are complying with the law,” he said.

Becerra said he also wants his department to examine its authority to ensure that the judgment of doctors and hospitals is supported in treating pregnant patients, “including those experiencing pregnancy loss or complications and reaffirming that abortion care can be appropriate to stabilize patients.”

Despite the ruling, he said, “the rights continue forward, whether it's family planning, whether it is in birth control services, and we want to make sure that there's no misunderstanding and that we will enforce any violations of those rights.”

Asked if the administration was considering setting up abortion clinics on federal land, as some Democrats have suggested, Becerra didn't rule it out, saying no decision had been made yet.

“Every option is on the table," he said. "We will take a look at everything we can, and everything we do will be in compliance with the law.”

But White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that such an option could put women and care providers who are not federal employees at risk for prosecution in states where abortion is now illegal.

Jean-Pierre, speaking aboard Air Force One — where Biden was flying between summits in Germany and Spain — called that proposal “well intentioned” but also noted that “there's actually dangerous ramifications to doing this.”

Becerra on Tuesday also was asked about the prospect of providing transportation to women who travel to another state to get an abortion and how the government would ensure that doesn’t conflict with the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.

“Once we tell you exactly what we believe we are able to do, have the money to do, we will let you know,” he said.

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MILTON KEYNES, England (AP) — Red Bull terminated the contract of Formula One test and reserve driver Jüri Vips on Tuesday for using a racial slur during an online gaming stream.

The 21-year-old Estonian was suspended by Red Bull last week pending an investigation into the language he used. Vips had apologized for his actions.

“Following its investigation into an online incident involving Juri Vips, Oracle Red Bull Racing has terminated Juri's contract as its test and reserve driver,” Red Bull tweeted. “The team does not condone any form of racism.”

Vips stepped in for Red Bull’s F1 driver Sergio Pérez in the first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix last month and finished last.

Vips has three podium finishes this season for the Hitech Grand Prix team in the F2 championship.

The case has similarities to that of Kyle Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion who was suspended in 2020 for using a racial slur while playing a video game. He was dropped by his sponsors and fired by Chip Ganassi Racing, but spent time immersed in diversity programs before returning.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Former Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska was sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation, a $25,000 fine and community service for lying to federal authorities about an illegal campaign contribution, on the same day that voters in his district were deciding on his replacement in a special election.

Fortenberry, 61, sat quietly as a federal judge read the sentence in a Los Angeles courtroom. The former congressman resigned in March shortly after a California jury found him guilty in the corruption case. He has maintained his innocence and said he plans to appeal.

Fortenberry chose not to address the court. Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. said Fortenberry “turned a blind eye and a deaf ear” to indications that the source of his donations was illicit.

“Mr. Fortenberry chose the wrong path,” Blumenfeld said. “He decided to respond with dishonesty rather than honesty, and lying, especially in this context, is certainly a serious matter.”

But the judge said he was convinced that Fortenberry's actions were not representative of how he normally behaves. He said Fortenberry was generally “a man of exceptional character," a view shared even by prosecution witnesses. When Blumenfeld wished him luck, Fortenberry said, “Thank you.”

Fortenberry later said he planned to appeal, arguing that prosecutors never should have brought the case and accusing them of taking advantage of his trust.

“This has been very traumatic and we've got a way to go,” he said outside the courthouse after the sentencing. “But I am grateful that ... the judge recognized that the pattern of what I wanted to do with my life was simply to serve in public office and to try to help people.”

Fortenberry said he had been anxious about the hearing's outcome. Gesturing to his surroundings in downtown Los Angeles, he said, “We're in a very strange place. It's not Nebraska.”

Prosecutors were seeking six months in prison for Fortenberry, while his attorneys had requested probation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mack Jenkins said prosecutors disagreed with the decision not to impose prison time, but noted the judge’s comments endorsing the jury’s decision.

In delivering the sentence, which includes 320 hours community service, Blumenfeld cited cases of more significant public corruption that led to prison sentences of about a year. He said he didn’t think incarceration would serve a purpose in this case.

After the sentencing, Fortenberry approached the judge and spoke with him privately at the bench. Fortenberry said outside court that he thanked Blumenfeld for reading all the letters of support people sent and for noting his ambition in holding office.

The sentence was handed down as a special election was taking place to fill the rest of his term, which ends in January. Republican state Sen. Mike Flood faces a fellow legislator, Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks, in the GOP-leaning eastern Nebraska district.

Prosecutors alleged Fortenberry lied to federal agents multiple times about $30,000 in illegal campaign contributions he received from a Nigerian billionaire at a 2016 fundraiser in Los Angeles. Federal law prohibits donations from foreigners.

At his trial, prosecutors played phone recordings between Fortenberry and a donor-turned-informant, who warned the congressman that the donations had likely been funneled to him from Gilbert Chagoury, the Nigerian billionaire of Lebanese descent. Fortenberry’s attorneys later argued that he didn’t hear the warning due to bad cellphone reception.

In the special election, Flood appears to have a strong edge in the district, which includes Lincoln, parts of suburban Omaha and dozens of smaller, more conservative towns. The district has nearly 68,000 more Republicans than Democrats and hasn't elected a Democrat to Congress since 1964.

Republicans are also outpacing Democrats in early-ballot turnout for the special election, according to the Nebraska secretary of state's office. In most elections, early absentee votes tend to favor Democrats.

For voters, a switch from Fortenberry to Flood wouldn't make much difference in terms of policy. Both have described themselves as strong conservatives who support tax cuts and oppose abortion.

“I think it's fair to say that their votes would line up probably 90% of the time,” said Sam Fischer, a retired Republican campaign consultant.

Fischer said Flood, like Fortenberry, tends to be a behind-the-scenes player who's more interested in policy than seeking attention. Flood has played to this perception in campaign ads, describing himself as a “nerd" who will “get things done.”

“His style is not to be a showhorse, but a workhorse,” Fischer said.

Pansing Brooks has said she would also promote the district's interests in Congress and work across party lines.

“I've said one-party rule isn't working. We have to come together,” she said during a televised debate with Flood.

Flood and Pansing Brooks will face each other again in the November general election to decide who takes the seat for the next congressional term.

Fortenberry's spiral began after he accepted political donations from Chagoury during a 2016 fundraiser in Los Angeles. Chagoury funneled the money to Fortenberry’s campaign through strawmen. Chagoury's contributions to Fortenberry and other politicians triggered a federal investigation.

Fortenberry “did not engage in this wrongdoing out of an urgent financial need or because of an aberrant life circumstance,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo. “Rather, he was motivated by plain, selfish desire to cling to his status as a powerful federal official.”

Fortenberry’s trial was the first of a sitting congressman since Rep. Jim Traficant, D-Ohio, was convicted of bribery and other felony charges in 2002.

Fortenberry’s attorney, John Littrell, argued that the conviction has already devastated his client’s life by forcing him to resign from Congress, stripping away his right to vote and own firearms, and putting his federal pension at risk.

“The painful collateral consequences of this conviction have already achieved any deterrence that this prosecution could achieve,” Littrell wrote in a counter brief. “There is no danger to the public. Mr. Fortenberry has led an extraordinary and rigorously law-abiding life over his sixty-one years. He will continue to do good for others.”

Fortenberry's departure creates an unusual situation in the district, which was redrawn by state lawmakers in September as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process.

The new districts went into effect immediately after lawmakers and Gov. Pete Ricketts approved them, which changed the area and some of the constituents that Fortenberry represented, said Cindi Allen, a spokeswoman for Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale.

Flood and Pansing Brooks are running in the new district, with some new constituents that weren't eligible to vote for Fortenberry during his last election in 2020.

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Follow Grant Schulte on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GrantSchulte

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Melley reported from Los Angeles.

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CONKLIN, N.Y. (AP) — A missing golden retriever named Lilah, discovered deep inside a culvert pipe in upstate New York, could not be lured out by her owner with peanut butter dog treats or cheese.

In the end, State Trooper Jimmy Rasaphone decided to crawl about 15 feet (5 meters) into the pipe under a rural road to rescue Lilah, despite the extremely tight fit.

“He crouched down and literally disappeared into the hole with a lead that had a choker on it," said Lilah's owner, Rudy Fuehrer, who called 911 for help on Sunday morning. “He was able somehow to manipulate his arms and get the choker around the dog’s head."

The trooper and retriever both emerged soaking wet, but safe.

The 13-year-old dog had been missing since Friday afternoon. Fuehrer was walking his two other dogs — both Lilah's offspring — a few hundred feet down the road from his house Sunday when he heard a plaintive yelp.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s Lilah!’” he recalled Tuesday.

Fuehrer, who lives near Binghamton, tried the get the weary and confused dog out but eventually called 911.

Rasaphone and his partner showed up within minutes. Rasaphone said he'd go into the pipe since he was the smallest of the three of them. Fuehrer estimates the pipe's diameter was under 2 feet (60 centimeters). He was able to pull Lilah out after Rasaphone emerged.

Fuehrer said he was grateful Rasaphone had the compassion and initiative to go nose-to-nose with his dog in a drainage pipe.

And he said Lilah is recovering nicely and out walking.

“Needless to say, I took her out on a leash," he said, "because I didn’t want any more escapades.”

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PARIS (AP) — A Paris court ruled on Tuesday that the French government failed to sufficiently stock up on surgical masks at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and prevent the virus from spreading.

The ruling came as the number of registered infections with coronavirus variants rises sharply. It wasn't immediately clear if the decision will lead to any specific sanctions for the government.

Officials across France are contemplating new measures, including an indoor mask mandate in some cities, to curb the spread of the virus but keep the economy open amid the summer tourism season.

“The government is at fault for failing to ensure a sufficient stock of masks to fight against a pandemic linked to a highly pathogenic respiratory agent,” the court's ruling said.

The administrative court in Paris also ruled that the government was wrong by suggesting at the start of the COVID-19 crisis that masks don't protect people from contracting the virus.

But the court said that neither of the government’s wrongs have been the source of specific cases of infection with the virus.

The French government is unlikely to introduce any new regulations until a new governing coalition is formed following France’s parliamentary election earlier this month. The results have shifted the balance of power from President Emmanuel Macron and away from the center as voters opted for parties on the far-right and far-left. A new government is expected at the start of next month.

France lifted most COVID-19 restrictions in March, including abolishing the need to wear face masks in most settings and allowing people who aren't vaccinated back into restaurants, sports arenas and other venues. By the end of May, mask wearing was recommended on public transportation in some cities, but not mandatory.

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FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan Supreme Court order that charges related to the Flint water scandal against former Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and seven other people must be dismissed is the latest development in the crisis that started in 2014. That was when the city began taking water from the Flint River without treating it properly, resulting in lead contamination.

Here’s a look at some key moments since then:

April 2014: To save money, Flint begins drawing water from the Flint River for its 100,000 residents. The move is considered temporary while the city waits to connect to a new regional water system. Residents immediately complain about the water’s smell, taste and appearance, and they raise health concerns, reporting rashes, hair loss and other problems.

Sept. 24, 2015: A group of doctors urges Flint to stop using the Flint River after finding high levels of lead in children's blood. State regulators insist the water is safe.

Sept. 29, 2015: Then-Gov. Rick Snyder pledges to take action in response to the lead levels — the first acknowledgment by the state that lead is a problem.

October 2015: Snyder announces the state will spend $1 million to buy water filters and test water in Flint public schools, and days later calls for Flint to go back to using water from Detroit’s system.

Dec. 29, 2015: Snyder accepts the resignation of Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant and apologizes for what occurred in Flint.

Jan. 5, 2016: Snyder declares a state of emergency in Flint, the same day federal officials confirm they are investigating. A week later, the Michigan National Guard begins helping to distribute bottled water and filters.

Jan. 14, 2016: Snyder, a Republican, asks the Obama administration for a major disaster declaration and more federal aid. The White House provides aid and an emergency declaration on Jan. 16, but not the disaster declaration.

Jan. 15, 2016: Then-Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette begins an “independent review."

March 23, 2016: A governor-appointed panel concludes that Michigan is “fundamentally accountable” for the crisis because of decisions made by environmental regulators.

April 20, 2016: Two state officials and a local official are charged with evidence tampering and other crimes in the state attorney general’s investigation — the first charges to come from the probe.

Aug. 14, 2016: The federal emergency declaration ends, but state officials say work continues to fix the drinking water system.

Dec. 10, 2016: Congress approves a wide-ranging bill to authorize water projects nationwide, including $170 million to address lead in Flint’s drinking water.

Dec. 16, 2016: Congressional Republicans close a yearlong investigation, faulting state officials and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dec. 20, 2016: Schuette charges former emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose with multiple felonies for their failure to protect Flint residents from health hazards caused by contaminated water. He also charges Earley, Ambrose and two city employees with felony counts of false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses in the issuance of bonds to pay for part of the water project that led to the crisis.

Feb. 17, 2017: The Michigan Civil Rights Commission issues a report that finds “systemic racism” is at the core of problems that caused the water crisis in the majority Black city.

March 27, 2017: Water lines in Flint homes will be replaced under a landmark deal approved by a judge.

June 14, 2017: Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon is accused of failing to alert the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that some experts believe resulted from the poorly treated water. He and four others are charged with involuntary manslaughter. The state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Eden Wells, is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to an investigator.

April 2018: Snyder ends Flint water distribution, saying the city’s tap water has improved.

July 19, 2018: A federal watchdog calls on the EPA to strengthen its oversight of drinking water systems nationwide and to respond more quickly to public health emergencies like Flint’s. The EPA says it will adopt the recommendations “expeditiously.”

Jan. 7, 2019: Liane Shekter Smith, Michigan’s former drinking water regulator, pleads no contest to a misdemeanor — disturbance of a lawful meeting — in the Flint water investigation. Smith had been facing felony charges, including involuntary manslaughter.

April 16, 2019: Todd Flood, a special prosecutor who spent three years leading a criminal investigation of the Flint water scandal, is fired after 23 boxes of records were discovered in the basement of a state building.

June 13, 2019: Prosecutors drop all criminal charges against eight people in the Flint water scandal and pledge to start the investigation from scratch. Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud, who took control of the investigation in January 2019 after the election of a new attorney general, says “all available evidence was not pursued” by the previous team of prosecutors.

Aug. 20, 2020: A $600 million deal between the state and residents of Flint harmed by lead-tainted water is announced after more than two years of negotiations.

Jan. 13-14, 2021: Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is charged with misdemeanors, and his health director and other ex-officials are charged with various misdemeanors and felonies after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal.

Nov. 5: Michigan says it will pay $300,000 to the only employee who was fired as a result of the Flint water crisis, Liane Shekter Smith, who was head of the state’s drinking water division. An arbitrator had said Shekter Smith was wrongly fired by officials who were likely looking for a scapegoat.

Nov. 10: A judge approves a $626 million settlement for Flint residents and others who were exposed to lead-contaminated water. $600 million of that is coming from the state.

June 28: The Michigan Supreme Court rules that charges filed in 2021 related to the Flint water scandal against former Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and seven other people must be dismissed.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal court on Tuesday allowed Tennessee's ban on abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy to take effect, citing the Supreme Court's decision last week to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights case.

The action by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes before Tennessee's other abortion ban, known as the so-called trigger ban, is set to restrict abortion almost entirely in less than a month. Both measures would make performing an abortion a felony and subject doctors to a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Republican state Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed an emergency motion on Friday to allow the state to begin implementing the six-week ban. GOP supermajorities in the Legislature passed the law in 2020 with Republican Gov. Bill Lee's backing, and it was almost immediately blocked in federal court.

Experts have noted that at six weeks, most women don’t know they’re pregnant.

“There are a lot of things that I am very passionate about and take very personally in this job that I have, but ... this was the most important thing that I could do as governor,” Lee said while speaking virtually with anti-abortion religious leaders just hours after the Supreme Court announced its momentous ruling Friday.

The law only makes an exception when an abortion is necessary to prevent the woman's death or “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” However, it specifies that a woman's mental health does not qualify for an exemption.

Planned Parenthood was not performing abortions at its facilities in Nashville and Memphis on Monday in anticipation of court action to unblock the six-week ban, said spokesperson Matt Anderson.

An even more restrictive ban is set to take in the coming weeks. Tennessee's trigger law - set to go into place 30 days after the end of Roe — will ban all abortions throughout the state, with essentially the same limited exceptions as the six-week ban. That law requires the attorney general to certify that Roe has been overturned. He hasn't done so yet, but has indicated he plans to do so quickly. The effective date is not tied to the timing of the attorney general's action, however.

Democratic lawmakers at the time attempted to amend the measure to allow exceptions for incest and rape -- including rape of a child -- but Republicans ultimately spiked such suggestions.

Bans pegged to the “fetal heartbeat” concept — such as Tennessee's six-week ban — have been signed into law in more than a dozen states. Supporters commonly argue that abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy “stops a beating heart,” but medical experts say those claims are false.

That's because at the point where advanced technology can detect that first flutter, as early as six weeks, the embryo isn’t yet a fetus and it doesn’t have a heart. An embryo is termed a fetus beginning in the 11th week of pregnancy, medical experts say.

The Supreme Court's ruling last week is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half of the states.

Additionally, in Tennessee, voters approved an amendment in 2014 declaring that the state’s constitution doesn’t protect or secure the right to an abortion or require funding for abortions.

Trigger laws, like Tennessee’s 2019 version, are also being targeted by lawsuits in other states. In Louisiana on Monday, a state district judge in New Orleans, a liberal city in a conservative state, temporarily blocked enforcement of the state’s trigger-law ban on abortion, after abortion rights activists argued that it is unclear. The ruling is in effect pending a July 8 hearing.

The 2020 law includes the six-week ban and bans at even fewer weeks, in the event that the Supreme Court did not fully overturn Roe v. Wade.