Ukraine: The Russians withdraw from around Kharkiv, to the east
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukraine says Russian forces are withdrawing from Ukraine’s second largest city after bombing it for several weeks. Officials say Moscow troops are withdrawing from Kharkiv in the northeast as they launch grenade launchers, artillery and airstrikes in the eastern province of Donetsk. According to Ukraine’s defense minister, “the country is entering a new, long-term phase of the war” after more than 11 weeks of fighting. Kyiv and Moscow are in a fierce battle for Ukraine’s eastern industrial heart. President Volodymyr Zelensky says that the Ukrainians are doing their “maximum” to drive out the invaders. Also on Saturday, a US Senate delegation led by Republican leader Mitch McConnell met Zelenskyy in the Ukrainian capital.
Abortion rights supporters gather in anger over the future after Roe
WASHINGTON (AP) – Abortion advocates are demonstrating at hundreds of marches and demonstrations expressing their outrage that the Supreme Court will soon scrap the constitutional right to abortion that has lasted for nearly half a century. And they express their fear of what it might mean for women’s reproductive choices. Outraged after a leaked draft opinion suggested the court’s conservative majority repeal the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, activists spoke of the need to mobilize quickly as Republican-clad states are ready to impose stricter restrictions. In the country’s capital, thousands gathered at the Washington Monument before marching to the Supreme Court, which is now surrounded by two layers of security fencing.
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EXPLANATORY: Why it is highly used in the trial linked to the Russia investigation
WASHINGTON (AP) – The first trial, which is the result of Special Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the first days of the Trump-Russia investigation, does not appear to be an explosive affair. The trial, which begins on Monday in Washington federal court, is about a single false statement that a cybersecurity lawyer with links to the Hillary Clinton campaign is alleged to have made to the FBI in 2016. Still, the stakes are high. An acquittal would speed up questions about the purpose of Durham’s lengthy investigation and the cost to taxpayers. A guilty verdict would give energy to supporters of Donald Trump who have long looked to Durham to reveal what they see as a biased assault of the former president.
McConnell, GOP senators meet Zelenskyy in surprise Kyiv stop
WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and a delegation of GOP senators met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv during an unannounced visit to the capital on Saturday. It is the latest demonstration of American solidarity with the country at war with Russia. A video posted on Zelensky’s Telegram account shows McConnell and Sens. Susan Collins from Maine, John Barrasso from Wyoming and John Cornyn from Texas visit him. Zelensky says in an Instagram post that the visit is “a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the US Congress and the American people.”
Putin warns Finland’s NATO membership would damage relations
HELSINKI (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned his Finnish counterpart that relations between the two neighbors could be “negatively” affected if Finland pursues its plans to apply for membership in NATO. The Kremlin’s press service said in a statement on Saturday that Putin had told Sauli Niinisto that Finland’s abandonment of its traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake as there were no threats to Finland’s security. The answer came after Niinisto told Putin in a telephone conversation that the military-free Nordic country “will decide to apply for NATO membership in the coming days.” Niinisto told Putin that Finland’s security environment had changed dramatically following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Shooting near the Milwaukee Bucks playoffs leads to a curfew
Downtown Milwaukee will be under a curfew for the rest of the weekend and a massive security party scheduled for Sunday has been canceled after 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near an entertainment district where thousands gathered for an NBA playoff game. Three people were injured in the first shooting, one in the second and 17 in what police described as a shootout between two groups of people, all just blocks from the arena where the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA semifinals in Eastern Conference. All the victims are expected to survive.
When Musk buys up, Twitter searches for its soul
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A toxic drain. A lifeline. A finger on the pulse of the world. Twitter is all of these things and more for its over 229 million users around the world. For Elon Musk, its ultimate troll and perhaps the most productive user whose purchase of the company takes place on increasingly shaky grounds, Twitter is a “de facto city square” in great need of a libertarian makeover. If and how this will happen, at this stage of the game, is anyone’s guess. But if Twitter’s story is any indication, the process will be messy – inside and outside the company.
“Several people” shot at Buffalo, New York, supermarket
BUFFALO, NY (AP) – Several people have been shot at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. Police there said in a tweet on Saturday afternoon that the alleged shooter was in custody. Details of the number of people shot at Tops Friendly Market and their terms were not immediately available. Police officers and a spokesperson for the supermarket chain did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted that she “closely monitored the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo,” her hometown. The supermarket is located in a predominantly residential neighborhood in a predominantly black neighborhood, about 3 miles north of downtown Buffalo.
Clarence Thomas says that the abortion leak has changed the Supreme Court
WASHINGTON (AP) – Judge Clarence Thomas says the Supreme Court has been changed by the shocking leak of a draft opinion earlier this month. That view suggests that the Court is ready to set aside the right to an abortion recognized in Roe v. Wade. The conservative Thomas joined the court in 1991 and has long demanded that Roe v. Wade be revoked. He described the leak as an unthinkable breach of trust. Thomas said at a conference in Dallas that “When you lose that trust, especially in the institution I’m in, it fundamentally changes the institution. You start to look over your shoulder.”
“Chrisley Knows Best” stars are on trial in Atlanta
ATLANTA (AP) – A federal trial against reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley accused of, among other things, bank fraud and tax evasion will begin on Monday in Atlanta. The Chrisley family was originally charged in August 2019 and a new charge was brought in February this year. Prosecutors say the stars of “Chrisley Knows Best” submitted false documents to banks to obtain loans and that they did not pay federal income tax for several years. An accountant who worked for them is also charged. All three have pleaded guilty. The jury election is set for Monday with initial statements expected on Tuesday.
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