AP News Summary at 6:18 p.m. EDT | Nation and World

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Queen Elizabeth II mourned by Britain and the world at funeral

LONDON (AP) — Britain and the world bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II with pomp and pageantry. Crowds lined the streets of London and Windsor Castle to honor a monarch whose 70-year reign marked an era. The first state funeral since that of Winston Churchill drew world leaders and other royalty. Prior to the service, a bell rang 96 times for each year of Elizabeth’s life. Royal Navy sailors pulled a gun carriage carrying his flag-draped coffin to Westminster Abbey before pallbearers carried him inside. Atop the coffin was a handwritten note from King Charles III. After a burial service in a chapel at Windsor Castle, the coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault.

“Serial” case: Adnan Syed released, conviction overturned

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore judge has ordered the release of Adnan Syed after overturning Syed’s conviction for a 1999 murder chronicled on the hit “Serial” podcast. Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn on Monday ordered Syed’s conviction quashed and she approved the release of the 41-year-old who has spent more than two decades behind bars. Syed has always maintained that he never killed his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. The case received widespread attention in 2014 when “Serial” focused on Lee’s murder and raised doubts about some of the evidence used by prosecutors. Last week, prosecutors filed a motion saying a lengthy investigation uncovered new evidence that could undermine Syed’s conviction.

A day after the blackout, Fiona dumps more rain on Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Hurricane Fiona dumps more rain on Puerto Rico. The deluge comes a day after the storm knocked out electricity and water to most of the island. National Guard troops rescued hundreds of stranded people. The governor warned it could take days to turn the lights back on. Fiona’s blow was made more devastating as Puerto Rico has yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people and knocked out the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 houses on the island are still covered with blue tarps.

Ukraine warns of ‘nuclear terrorism’ after strike near factory

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Russian missile blasted a crater near a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, damaging nearby industrial equipment but not hitting its three reactors. Ukrainian authorities have denounced Monday’s attack as an act of “nuclear terrorism”. A Western analyst said the Russian military was apparently trying to take Ukraine’s nuclear power plants offline before the onset of winter. .

US contractor freed by Taliban in exchange for drug trafficker

WASHINGTON (AP) — An American contractor held hostage in Afghanistan for more than two years by the Taliban has been released. The White House and his family members said on Monday that his release came in exchange for a convicted Taliban drug lord imprisoned in the United States. Mark Frerichs, a Navy veteran who spent more than a decade in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor, was abducted in January 2020 and has since been believed to be held by the Taliban-linked Haqqani Network. Negotiations for his release have focused on a deal that also included the release of Bashir Noorzai, a notorious drug baron and member of the Taliban.

A strong earthquake shakes the Pacific coast of Mexico; 1 killed

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A 7.6 magnitude earthquake rocked Mexico’s central Pacific coast, killing at least one person and triggering an earthquake alarm in the capital. The quake struck at 1:05 p.m. local time, according to the US Geologic Survey. And it did at least some damage near the epicenter. The new earthquake alarms came less than an hour after an earthquake alarm sounded during a nationwide earthquake simulation marking major earthquakes that struck in the same date in 1985 and 2017. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the secretary of the navy told him that a person had been killed in the port city of Manzanillo, Colima.

The GOP’s election year with independents at risk

COLUMBUS, Wis. (AP) — Some independent voters who started 2022 looking to Republicans for answers have returned to heading to Democrats. It comes as the GOP’s indictment of the handling of the economy by President Joe Biden and the majority of Democrats has been met with mixed Republican messaging. Interviews with independent voters in a competitive variable-vote Wisconsin county reveal how the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling overturned Roe. v. Wade and former President Donald Trump’s protests against the 2020 election and the federal inquiry into records recovered from his Florida home are disrupting Republican leaders’ hopes of making November a direct referendum on Democratic control in Washington .

Blinken hosts AE ministers from Armenia and Azerbaijan in bid to boost peace

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Monday in a bid to ease tensions and maintain a fragile ceasefire between the countries. ex-Soviets and their rivals after the biggest outbreak of hostilities in more than two years. Blinken brought together Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov at a New York hotel on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly. It was the first face-to-face meeting of foreign ministers since two days of shelling last week by both sides, killing more than 200 soldiers.

NASA’s Mars lander captures strikes from 4 incoming space rocks

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA lander on Mars has captured the vibrations and sounds of four meteoroids hitting the planet’s surface. Scientists reported on Monday that Mars InSight had detected seismic and acoustic waves from a series of impacts in 2020 and 2021. A satellite orbiting the Red Planet confirmed the locations of the impacts, up to 180 miles away of the lander. Scientists are delighted with the detections _ a first for Mars _ and the resulting craters. They have been waiting for more than three years for InSight’s seismometer to detect impacts from incoming space rocks. InSight has already detected more than 1,300 Marchquakes.

STD situation “out of control” invites to ask for changes

NEW YORK (AP) — Sharp increases in cases of some sexually transmitted diseases are prompting U.S. health officials to call for new prevention and treatment efforts. Infection rates for some STDs, including gonorrhea and syphilis, have been rising for years. But recently released statistics show that last year the rate of infectious syphilis cases hit its highest since 1991 and the total number of cases rose 26% to its highest since 1948. Experts call for reduce stigma, expand testing and treatment services, and support the development and accessibility of home testing

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