Pro-Trump wins in blue states threaten GOP November hopes
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Republicans have had success in Democratic strongholds such as Maryland and Massachusetts when fielding moderate candidates who could appeal to voters of both parties. With Democrats facing political headwinds this year, Republicans had hoped that strategy might once again bear fruit. But Republican voters have nominated former President Donald Trump loyalists in several Democratic states, including Maryland and Connecticut, further boosting the GOP’s chances of winning this general election. Massachusetts will face its own test next month as Republicans decide between a Trump-backed conservative and a more moderate Republican for the party’s gubernatorial candidate.
Finland and Sweden offer NATO advantage as rivalry heats up in north
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden calls Finland and Sweden “our allies in the High North.” And their addition to NATO could bring military and territorial advantages to the Western defense alliance. This is all the more true as the rapid melting of the Arctic due to climate change is reawakening strategic rivalries at the top of the world. The two Nordic countries rushed to join NATO after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February. Two-thirds of NATO’s 30 member countries have approved membership to date. NATO would bring two sophisticated armies and, in the case of Finland, a remarkable tradition of national defense and combat skill in the Arctic, even on skis and snowshoes.
Finland asks the question: does a prime minister have the right to party?
HELSINKI (AP) — A leaked video that shows Finland’s 36-year-old prime minister dancing and singing with friends at a private party has sparked a debate among Finns about what level of rejoicing is appropriate for their leader. The video clearly shot by someone at the party has been leaked on social media. Marin had to deal with a deluge of questions about the party: were there drugs? Was she sober enough to handle an emergency if one arose? She took a drug test to quell any rumors. Some citizens said the video was potentially damaging to Finland’s reputation. Others say that Marin has the right to enjoy a party like any other Finnish citizen.
On the rivers of Chile, indigenous spirituality and development collide
MELIPEUCO, Chile (AP) – For the Mapuche, Chile’s largest indigenous group and more than 10% of its population, a pristine river like the Truful Truful, which flows from a lava field beneath an Andean volcano, is the home to a spiritual force to be revered, not a natural resource to be exploited. This has led many Mapuche communities near the Truful Truful, the Pilmaiquen River and across the water-rich south of the country to fight against hydroelectric power stations which they see as desecrating nature and depriving indigenous communities of essential energies that prevent them from getting sick. But as Chile prepares to vote on a new constitution emphasizing indigenous rights, spirituality and ideology become entangled.
For Republican governors, all economic success is local
WASHINGTON (AP) — Texas Governor Greg Abbott often hits out at President Joe Biden for the country’s high inflation rate and fears of an impending recession. The same goes for many other Republicans, including state leaders in Georgia and Florida, as they sharpen their criticism ahead of the November election. But prices are rising more dramatically in most of those three states than they are nationally. Democrats say Republicans take credit for the job growth that has been made possible by Biden’s policies, even as Republicans blame those same policies for inflation. Still, voters appear to be holding Biden accountable for inflation while being more generous in praising the country’s low unemployment rate.
Housing benefits for military families lag as rents soar
Housing has long been a major benefit for service members, a salary subsidy that follows the private sector. But amid record rent spikes, military and housing activists say the Department of Defense has failed to raise housing allowances enough, neglecting its commitment to military families. This forced many to settle for substandard homes, face extremely long commutes, or pay thousands of dollars they hadn’t budgeted for. Military housing campaigner Kate Needham argues the gap between housing allowances and the current market should alarm officials who are already struggling to recruit the next generation. Defense officials say they are committed to helping families obtain “decent, affordable housing, whether on base or off base.”
Gunmen storm hotel in Somalia’s capital, killing 20
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Islamic militants stormed a hotel in the Somali capital, engaging in an hour-long firefight with security forces that left at least 20 people dead. This is according to police and witnesses, who further stated that at least 40 people were injured in the Friday night attack. They said on Saturday that security forces rescued many more people, including children, from the scene of Mogadishu’s notorious Hayat Hotel. The attack began with explosions outside the hotel before gunmen entered the building. Somali forces were still trying to end the siege of the hotel nearly 24 hours after the attack began. The extremist Islamist group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pence says he didn’t leave office with classified material
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence says he took no classified information with him when he left office. The disclosure – which would typically be trivial for a former vice president – is notable given that FBI agents seized classified and top-secret information from his former boss’s estate on August 8 while investigating potential violations of three different federal laws. Former President Donald Trump claimed the documents seized by officers were “all declassified”. Pence also told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday that he didn’t want to “prejudge” government-seized content “until we know all the facts.”
Russians shoot down Ukrainian drones in Crimea as war spreads
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian authorities reported downing Ukrainian drones in Crimea, while Ukrainian officials said Russian forces continued efforts to seize one of the few towns in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine which was not yet under their control. The Russian military also continued its strikes against communities in northern and southern Ukraine. In Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, authorities said local air defenses shot down a drone over the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. It was the second drone incident at headquarters in three weeks and followed explosions at a Russian airfield and munitions depot in Crimea earlier this month.
Hawaii seeks to end disputes over astronomy on sacred mountain
HONOLULU (AP) — For more than 50 years, telescopes have dominated the summit of Mauna Kea, a sacred place for Native Hawaiians and one of the best places in the world to study the night sky. That is changing now with a new state law saying Mauna Kea must be protected for future generations and science must be balanced with culture and the environment. Native Hawaiian cultural experts will have voting seats on a new governing body, instead of being asked to simply advise decision makers. The change comes three years after protesters blocked the construction of another observatory, prompting policymakers and astronomers to recognize the need for change.
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