AP News Summary at 6:12 p.m. EDT | National

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The AP Interview: Zelenskyy seeks peace despite atrocities

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was determined to push for peace despite Russian attacks on civilians that have stunned the world. He also told The Associated Press in an interview on Saturday that he had renewed his call for more weapons ahead of an expected increase in fighting in the east of the country. Zelenskyy looked visibly exhausted but driven by a will to persevere a day after at least 52 people were killed during a strike at a train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk. The attack came after evidence of civilian killings emerged as Russian troops retreated from the outskirts of the capital, kyiv.

War Crimes Watch: A Devastating Walk in Bucha’s Horror

BUCHA, Ukraine (AP) — Traveling through Bucha, The Associated Press spoke to two dozen witnesses to the Russian occupation. Almost all of them said they had seen a body, sometimes several. Civilians were killed, mostly men, sometimes chosen at random. Several survivors were adamant about this. Many, including elderly people, said they had been threatened themselves. The question that survivors, investigators, and the world would like to answer is why. Some believe that the Russians were not ready for a prolonged fight or had some particularly unruly fighters among them. The deterioration was rapid and horrific. “They needed to kill someone,” said one survivor. “And killing civilians is very easy.”

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Others flee as Ukraine warns of escalating Russian attacks

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Civilian evacuations are progressing in battle-scarred areas of eastern Ukraine a day after a missile strike killed at least 52 people at a train station where thousands were waiting to leave before an expected Russian attack. In the aftermath of the Kramatorsk attack, several European leaders made efforts to show their solidarity with Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted the support in an interview Saturday with The Associated Press, but said “Of course, it’s not enough” to change the tide of the war. Zelenskyy calls the train station attack the latest sign of Russian war crimes. Russia has denied responsibility.

Pakistani prime minister ousted in no-confidence vote

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s political opposition ousted the country’s beleaguered prime minister in a no-confidence vote it won after several Imran Khan allies and a key coalition party deserted him. The combined opposition that spans the political spectrum from leftist to radically religious will form the new government, with the leader of one of the largest parties, the Pakistan Muslim League, taking over as prime minister. Anticipating his loss, Khan, who has accused his opposition of colluding with the United States to overthrow him, on Friday called on his supporters to hold nationwide rallies on Sunday.

Jackson, COVID and a retreat show the partisan path of Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — A landmark confirmation from the Supreme Court that suffered a flawed process. The collapse of a bipartisan compromise for more pandemic funding. The departure of a stalwart of the fading gang of House Moderate Republicans. These three events on Capitol Hill last week illustrated how the short- and long-term paths of Congress point in one direction — escalating partisanship. Partisan fights in Congress are as old as the republic, and they steadily escalate as elections approach. But the bar for when to discount party differences has dropped in recent years.

Shanghai hospital pays the price for China’s COVID response

BEIJING (AP) — A series of deaths at a hospital for elderly patients in Shanghai underscores the dangerous consequences of China’s stubborn pursuit of a zero-COVID approach amid a growing epidemic in the city of 26 million. inhabitants. Relatives say several patients died at Shanghai Donghai Elderly Care Hospital. They say their loved ones were not properly cared for after caregivers infected with the virus were taken away for quarantine amid strict pandemic regulations, exhausting hospital staff. Family members have taken to social media for help and answers and are demanding to see surveillance video after getting little to no information about their loved ones from the hospital.

In France, a scathing election as Macron’s rival surges

POISSY, France (AP) — For months, French President Emmanuel Macron seemed certain to become the country’s first leader in 20 years to win a second term. But this scenario faded before the vote on Sunday in the first round of the presidential election. Concerns over the cost of living have become a dominant campaign theme and could push many voters into the arms of far-right leader Marine Le Pen. In 2017, Macron beat Le Pen by a landslide to become France’s youngest president. Their expected rematch this time seems much closer. In a town west of Paris where Macron campaigned, market goers see Le Pen as having a real chance, and some were preparing to wave their support for him.

S&P downgrade signals Russia heading for historic default

BOSTON (AP) — Rating agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded its assessment of Russia’s ability to repay its foreign debt. This indicates that Moscow may soon default on its external borrowings for the first time in more than a century. S&P Global Ratings issued the downgrade to “selective default” on Friday night after Russia arranged to make foreign bond payments in rubles on Monday when they were due in dollars. He said he did not expect Russia to be able to convert rubles to dollars within a 30-day grace period. Tougher sanctions imposed on Russia this week prevent it from using foreign exchange reserves held in US banks for debt payment.

Steelers QB Dwayne Haskins killed in car crash

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed in a car crash near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Authorities say Haskins was hit by a dump truck while walking on a highway. The Steelers and Washington Commanders, his former team, released statements expressing their condolences. Haskins, 24, was Washington’s 2019 first-round pick and started seven games, going 2-5 as a rookie. He was 1-5 in six starts the following season for the team, then was released on Dec. 29, 2020. Weeks later, he was signed by Pittsburgh, but did not play in the 2021 season.

At the end of the Whitmer affair, some see freedom, others danger

The fact that a jury did not convict any of the four men accused of planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is further evidence of political polarization in the United States. A defense lawyer for one of the men says it shows freedom still exists and that the men’s actions were nothing more than “swear words”. But for others, Friday’s outcome after a week-long trial was a chilling example of the kind of political violence raging across the country, too often going unpunished. They say people are getting angrier and they feel encouraged to act on it. Two men were acquitted for their roles in the alleged 2020 conspiracy, while the jury could not agree on charges against two other men. They can be retried.

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