Biden and Lapid agree to halt Iran’s nuclear program, disagree on how
JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid stood side by side and said they would not allow Iran to become a nuclear power. But they differed on how to achieve this result. Biden says he still wants to give diplomacy a chance while Lapid insists harsh words alone won’t thwart Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Even as he hinted at a press conference with Lapid on Thursday that his patience was running out, Biden held out hope that Iran could be persuaded to join the deal. Lapid said the threat of force is the only thing that will stop Iran.
Protesters retreat as Sri Lankan president sends in resignation
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Protesters have withdrawn from government buildings in Sri Lanka, restoring an uneasy calm to the economically crippled country. And the embattled president has finally emailed the resignation that protesters have been demanding for months. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled a day earlier under pressure from protesters exasperated by the island nation’s economic collapse. A manager said he finally emailed his resignation a day later than promised. But the crisis was far from over as he further angered the crowds by making his prime minister the interim leader. Protesters have been pushing for the pair to leave and for a unity government to address the economic calamity that has triggered widespread shortages of food, fuel and other basic necessities.
Russian missiles kill at least 22 people in Ukraine and injure more than 100
VINNYTSIA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian officials say Russian missiles that struck a town in central Ukraine killed at least 22 people and injured more than 100. Ukrainian National Police said three missiles hit an office building and damaged residential buildings in Vinnytsia on Thursday. The city is 268 kilometers (167 miles) southwest of Kyiv. The missile strike started a fire that spread to engulf 50 cars in an adjacent parking lot. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a child was among the dead. He called the attack “an act of open terrorism” against civilians in places of no military value. Government officials from around 40 countries have meanwhile met in The Hague to discuss coordinating their investigations into potential war crimes in Ukraine.
Alex Murdaugh charged with murder in the deaths of his wife and son
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh has been charged with murder in connection with the mysterious deaths of his wife and son in 2021. The charges were announced Thursday. Murdaugh’s 52-year-old wife, Maggie, and 22-year-old son, Paul, were shot outside their home on June 7, 2021. The indictments say Murdaugh killed his wife with a gun and his son with a shotgun. They have released no details of how police linked Murdaugh to the deaths after 13 months of investigation. Murdaugh is already jailed and faces dozens of other criminal charges ranging from money laundering to stealing clients to lying to police who say he tried to stage his own death last September.
Long lines are back at US food banks as inflation soars
PHOENIX (AP) — Long lines are back at outdoor food banks across the United States as American workers overwhelmed by inflation increasingly seek donations to feed their families. Many people are coming for the first time amid soaring grocery and gas prices. Food banks are struggling to help even as federal programs provide less food, grocery store donations are dwindling and cash donations aren’t going as far as US inflation hits a 40-year high. Charitable food distribution remained well above the amounts distributed before the coronavirus pandemic, although demand fell somewhat at the end of last year.
Capitol riot hearings raise questions about presidential power
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House of Representatives committee’s Jan. 6 investigation into the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election and the events that led to the U.S. Capitol uprising raises questions about the role of the former President Donald Trump and whether he committed any crimes. The various schemes and talking points revealed by the witnesses also highlight what a president has the power to do. Government and legal experts say the bigger question is whether new limits can be placed on presidential authority to ensure there are no repeats of 2020.
Italian Prime Minister Draghi says he will resign after losing his ally
ROME (AP) — Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told his cabinet he would offer his resignation to the president over a coalition ally’s refusal to back a government bill helping Italians pay high energy bills . Draghi said on Thursday that “the national unity majority that has backed this government since its inception no longer exists.” It will be up to President Sergio Mattarella to accept or refuse the resignation. The president could also ask Draghi to seek a formal vote of confidence in his government. But if the political crisis cannot be resolved soon, the president could unplug Italy’s parliament, paving the way for a snap election as soon as September.
No deaths in Virginia floods that washed away homes and roads
GRUNDY, Va. (AP) — Authorities in a remote corner of southwest Virginia have located the 44 people missing after devastating flooding washed away roads and damaged more than 100 homes. Buchanan County Sheriff John McClanahan said Thursday that teams from state and local agencies worked through the night to locate and reunite residents with loved ones. Thursday noon, everyone was taken into account. Buchanan County first responders began receiving reports of rising water and damage Tuesday evening. Several small communities in Virginia County that borders West Virginia and Kentucky have been affected.
Congress honors Iwo Jima WWII hero with final salute
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has returned its final salute to Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, the last World War II Medal of Honor recipient, who died at age 98. Williams paid tribute on Thursday at the U.S. Capitol, a tribute reserved for the nation’s most distinguished citizens. As a young Marine corporal fighting in the Battle of Iwo Jima, Williams got ahead of his unit and took out a series of Japanese machine gun positions. He joins civil rights icon Rosa Parks, the Reverend Billy Graham and four United States Capitol police officers who, in the nation’s history, have been honored in the Capitol rotunda.
A self-portrait of Van Gogh found hidden behind another painting
LONDON (AP) — A previously unknown self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh has been discovered behind another of the artist’s paintings. The National Galleries of Scotland said on Thursday it was discovered on the back of Van Gogh’s ‘Peasant’s Head’ when experts took an x-ray of the canvas ahead of an upcoming exhibition. The self-portrait would have been covered with layers of glue and cardboard when it was framed in the early 20th century. Experts said the bearded subject was instantly recognizable as the artist himself and the painting is believed to be from his early work. The left ear is clearly visible and Van Gogh cut off his in 1888.
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