AP News Summary at 1:46 a.m. EDT | Nation and World

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Red flag laws see little use as shootings and gun deaths soar

An Associated Press analysis found that many U.S. states barely used “red flag” laws that allow police to take guns away from people threatening to kill, a trend attributed to lack of knowledge of the laws and a reluctance to enforce them even as gun deaths soar. The AP found that the 19 states and the District of Columbia that have such laws have used them 15,049 times since 2020, less than 10 per 100,000 adult residents. Experts called that woefully low and not enough to curb gun violence, given the millions of guns in circulation across the country.

Biden Sounds Loud New Alarm: Trumpism Threatens Democracy

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Holding little back, President Joe Biden is sounding the alarm over what he sees as extremist threats to the country’s democracy from what he sees as the evil force of Trumpism. In a divisive new speech on Thursday night, he framed the November election as part of an ongoing battle for the “soul of the nation”. In the speech from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, Biden said Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans are “fanning the flames of political violence” and subverting American democracy. Biden pointed to the large number of Trump supporters who are still denying the 2020 national election results and casting doubt on future contests.

UN inspectors arrive at Ukrainian nuclear power plant amid fighting

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — A UN inspection team has arrived at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on a mission to protect it from disaster. He reached the site on Thursday amid fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces that shut down a reactor and underscored the urgency and danger of the task. The 14-member International Atomic Energy Agency team reached Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in a convoy of SUVs and pickup trucks, after months of negotiations to get inside the complex and take measures to avoid a disaster on the continent.

Argentina: Attempt to kill VP fails when handgun misfires

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s president says a man tried to kill politically powerful Vice President Cristina Fernández outside his home but failed because the handgun misfired. The man was quickly subdued during Thursday night’s incident and the vice president emerged unharmed. President Alberto Fernández said the gun was loaded but did not discharge when the man pulled the trigger. Vice President Fernández is herself a former president. The attack came as she faces trial for alleged acts of corruption during her 2007-2015 presidency – charges she vehemently denies and which led her supporters to surround her home in the neighborhood crested Recoleta of the Argentine capital.

Alaska Natives Celebrate Historic Peltola Election

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Natives celebrate Democrat Mary Peltola’s historic victory in the United States House special election in Alaska. Peltola will become the first Alaskan native elected to Congress and the first woman to hold Alaska’s only House seat. She is set to serve the remainder of the late Republican Rep. Don Young’s term, which ends in January. But even as Peltola celebrated her victory Wednesday in the special ranked pick election, she looked to November. She and Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich, who also ran in the special election, are running in November’s general election which will decide who wins a two-year term.

Trump documents investigation: Judge seems open to special master

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge appears to have boosted former President Donald Trump’s hopes of appointing an outside legal expert to review government records seized by the FBI. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon questioned Justice Department arguments that Trump could not make the request and that it would unnecessarily delay his investigation. But she did not comment on the request on Thursday, saying she would do so later. Trump’s attorneys say the appointment of a special master is necessary to ensure an independent inspection of documents seized by the FBI in the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago. The Justice Department said an appointment was not warranted because investigators have completed their review of potentially privileged records.

A yoga cult allegedly exploited women to attract men like Domingo

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Former members of an Argentinian cult-like group say the women in the group were called “geishas” and “slaves.” The group’s leaders are accused of sexually exploiting women to attract wealthy and powerful men who could provide money and other benefits. One of the men is said to have been opera star Placido Domingo. The sprawling investigation led to the arrest of more than 20 members of the group and others wanted, including six in the United States. While investigators in Argentina say Domingo was a “consumer of prostitution”, he is not charged with a crime. Prostitution is legal in Argentina.

Mississippi’s capital water disaster has grown over the decades

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — For at least the third time in a dozen years, portable toilets are parked outside the ornate Mississippi Capitol because Jackson’s water system is in crisis. The big “Gotta Go” trailer is just one example of the city’s desperation. Many homes, businesses and government offices have had little or no running water this week, forcing people to queue for bottled water or to flush toilets. The scenes bear witness to the near collapse of a water system that residents could not trust even at the best of times. The failure to provide such an essential service reflects decades of government dysfunction, population shifts and decaying infrastructure.

Covering Gorbachev: AP remembers his wit, his wisdom, his warmth

When Mikhail Gorbachev died at the age of 91, Associated Press reporters began sharing their “Gorby” stories of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its aftermath. There was his temper: AP correspondent Brian Friedman recalled Gorbachev knocking a tape recorder out of his hands, remarking “We don’t need that” when asked a question he didn’t. didn’t want to answer. But there was also plenty of warmth, especially in his later years, combined with freely held opinions about Russia’s fate after he left power as the last Soviet leader. Gorbachev was a man who changed the world, and the PA was there.

Big reveal: Biden will help unveil Obama’s White House portrait

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s been more than a decade since President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, welcomed back George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, to unveil their White House portraits. The ritual was part of a beloved Washington tradition that for decades managed to transcend partisan politics. President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, are set to revive tradition – after an awkward hiatus in the Trump years – when they host the Obamas for their big portrait reveal on Wednesday. Obama’s paintings will be unlike any in the White House portrait collection. They were the first black president and first lady of the United States.

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