Senate bid to save Roe v. Wade falls to GOP-led filibuster

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has fallen far short in a vote toward enshrining Roe v. Wade abortion access into federal law. Wednesday's 51-49 negative vote almost along party lines provided a stark display of the nation’s partisan divide over the landmark court decision and the limits of legislative action. The afternoon roll call promised to be the first of several efforts in Congress to preserve the nearly 50-year-old court ruling. President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass legislation that would guarantee the constitutional right to abortion services after the disclosure of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. But Democrats in the split Senate lacked the votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster.

Ukraine to hold first war crimes trial of captured Russian

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's top prosecutor says the country plans to hold its first war crimes trial of a captured Russian soldier. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said Wednesday that her office charged 21-year-old Sgt. Vadin Shyshimarin in the Feb. 28 killing of an unarmed 62-year-old civilian in northeastern Ukraine. She didn't say when the trial will start, but her office has said it has been investigating more than 10,700 alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces and has identified over 600 suspects. Meanwhile, Ukraine shut down one of the pipelines that carry Russian gas across the country to Western Europe. And a Kremlin-installed official in the captured Kherson region says he wants Moscow to annex the region.

Judge: Trump must pay $110K, meet conditions to end contempt

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge says he will lift his contempt of court order issued against Donald Trump if the former president meets certain conditions. Those include paying $110,000 in fines racked up for being slow to respond to a subpoena in a civil investigation into his business practices. Judge Arthur Engoron said he will conditionally lift Trump’s contempt finding if, by May 20, Trump submits additional paperwork detailing efforts to search for the subpoenaed records. Trump must also explain his and his company’s document retention policies, among other conditions. Engoron found Trump in contempt on April 25 and fined him $10,000 per day for not complying with New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation.

Slain Al Jazeera journalist was icon of Palestinian coverage

A veteran Al Jazeera correspondent who was shot dead while reporting on an Israeli raid in the West Bank was a highly respected and familiar face in the Middle East. Shireen Abu Akleh’s death reverberated across the region and set social media alight. Her unflinching coverage of the harsh realities of Israel’s military occupation was inextricably linked with her own identity as a Palestinian journalist on the front lines. Since 1997, the 51-year-old journalist had reported on forced home evictions, the killings of unarmed Palestinian youth, hundreds of Palestinians held without charge in Israeli prisons and expansion of Jewish settlements. Her death Wednesday underscores the heavy price the conflict continues to exact on Palestinians.

North Korea confirms 1st COVID outbreak, Kim orders lockdown

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea imposed a nationwide lockdown Thursday to control its first acknowledged COVID-19 outbreak of the pandemic. It has held for more than two years to a widely doubted claim of a perfect record keeping out the virus that has spread to nearly every place in the world. The size of the outbreak wasn’t immediately known, but it could have serious consequences because the country has a poor health care system and its 26 million people are believed to be mostly unvaccinated. Some experts say the North, by its rare admission of an outbreak, may be seeking outside aid.

Creeping COVID-19 cases result in few schools mask mandates

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — U.S. coronavirus cases are up, leading a smattering of school districts, especially in the Northeast, to bring back mask recommendations and requirements. Their return comes for the first time since the omicron winter surge ebbed and as the United States approaches 1 million deaths from the virus. Districts in Maine, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have brought masks back in schools, with a few in Massachusetts also recommending them. The uptick in cases is a vast undercount because testing has dropped considerably and most tests are being taken at home and are not reported to health departments.

Biden calls to congratulate presumptive Philippine president

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — President Joe Biden has called Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to congratulate him on his apparent landslide victory in the Philippine presidential election. Biden is among the first world leaders to recognize the electoral triumph of the namesake son of an ousted dictator whose candidacy worried human rights and pro-democracy activists. Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Manuel Romualdez said by telephone on Thursday that Biden and Marcos Jr. spoke for more than 10 minutes on the call. The ambassador said Biden told Marcos Jr. that Washington is looking forward to working with him and cited the shared history of the longtime treaty allies.

Justices to meet for 1st time since leak of draft Roe ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court’s nine justices will gather in private Thursday for their first scheduled meeting since the leak of a draft opinion that would overrule Roe v. Wade and sharply curtail abortion rights in roughly half the states. The meeting in the justices’ private, wood-paneled conference room could be a tense affair in a setting noted for its decorum. No one aside from the justices attends and the most junior among them, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, is responsible for taking notes. Thursday’s conference comes at an especially fraught moment, with the future of abortion rights at stake and an investigation underway to try to find the source of the leak. 

Lawyers: Nearly $1B tentative settlement in condo collapse

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Lawyers representing families of victims and survivors of the condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, last June have told a judge that they've reached a nearly $1 billion tentative settlement. Harley S. Tropin is a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. He announced the settlement during a hearing Wednesday before Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman. Still pending final approval, the settlement involves developers of an adjacent building, insurance companies and other defendants. The 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium partially collapsed in the early-morning hours of June 24, almost instantly destroying dozens of individual condo units and burying victims under tons of rubble. A total of 98 people were killed. 

Holiday stops Celtics' last 2 plays, Bucks take 3-2 lead

BOSTON (AP) — Bobby Portis made a putback off Giannis Antetokounmpo’s missed free throw with 15 seconds left, Jrue Holiday snuffed Marcus Smart on Boston’s final two possessions and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Celtics 110-107 on Wednesday night to take a 3-2 series lead. Antetokounmpo had 40 points and 11 rebounds, Holiday finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and Portis added 14 points and 15 rebounds for the defending NBA champion Bucks. Milwaukee has a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference semifinal in Game 6 at home Friday night. Jaylen Brown scored 26 points for Boston.

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