North Korea's Kim vows full support for Russia’s 'just fight' after viewing launchpads with Putin
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed support for Russia’s “just fight” during a summit with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that the U.S. warned could lead to a deal to supply ammunition for Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
After touring launch pads with Putin at a remote space base in Russia’s Far East, Kim expressed “full and unconditional support” and said Pyongyang will always stand with Moscow on the “anti-imperialist” front.
The leaders met at the Vostochny Cosmodrome for a summit that underscores how their interests are aligning in the face of their countries' separate, intensifying confrontations with the United States. The talks lasted four to five hours, after which Kim left, Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
North Korea may have tens of millions of aging artillery shells and rockets based on Soviet designs that could give a huge boost to the Russian army in Ukraine, analysts say.
The decision to meet at Cosmodrome, Russia's most important launch center on its own soil, suggests that Kim is seeking Russian help developing military reconnaissance satellites, which he has described as crucial to enhance the threat of his nuclear-capable missiles.
A Crimea shipyard is on fire after a Ukrainian attack that damaged 2 ships and injured 24 people
A Ukrainian attack on a strategic shipyard in Russia-annexed Crimea wounded 24 people, damaged two ships undergoing repairs and caused a fire at the facility Wednesday, Russian authorities reported.
The attack in the port city of Sevastopol, which serves as the main base for Russia's Black Sea Fleet, took place as Moscow launched drones against southern Ukraine's Odesa region. The pre-dawn onslaught there damaged port and civilian infrastructure in the region's Izmail district - not far from the Crimean city — and wounded seven people, three seriously, Gov. Oleh Kiper said.
Ukraine’s air force said it intercepted 32 of 44 Shahed-type drones launched over the country overnight, most of them directed toward the southern parts of the Odesa region.
The Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 in an act that most of the world considered illegal, has been a frequent target since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than 18 months ago.
Wednesday's attack on the Sevastopol Shipyard attack appeared to one of the biggest in recent weeks. Russia's Defense Ministry said Ukraine launched 10 cruise missiles at the shipyard and three sea drones at Russian ships in the Black Sea.
Rescuers recover over 2,000 bodies after floods devastate eastern Libya and displace 30,000 people
DERNA, Libya (AP) — Rescuers have found more than 2,000 bodies as of Wednesday in the wreckage of a Libyan city where floodwaters broke dams and washed away neighborhoods. Officials fear the death toll could exceed 5,000 in the nation made vulnerable by years of turmoil and neglect.
The flooding caused significant infrastructure damage in the coastal city of Derna and displaced at least 30,000 people, the U.N. migration agency said. The damage is so extensive the city is almost inaccessible for humanitarian aid workers, the International Organization for Migration said.
Mediterranean storm Daniel caused deadly flooding in many eastern towns, but the worst-hit was Derna. As the storm pounded the coast Sunday night, Derna residents said they heard loud explosions when the dams outside the city collapsed. Floodwaters washed down Wadi Derna, a river running from the mountains through the city and into the sea.
More than 2,000 corpses were collected as of Wednesday morning and over half of them had been buried in mass graves in Derna, said eastern Libya’s health minister, Othman Abduljaleel. Rescue teams were working day and night to recover many other bodies scattered in the streets and under the rubble in the city. Some bodies were retrieved from the sea.
The startling devastation pointed to the storm’s intensity, but also Libya's vulnerability. The country is divided by rival governments, one in the east, the other in the west, and the result has been neglect of infrastructure in many areas.
Speaker McCarthy directs the House to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden
WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced Tuesday he is directing the U.S. House to open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over his family's business dealings, launching historic proceedings ahead of the 2024 election.
McCarthy said that House investigations so far "paint a picture of a culture of corruption” around the Biden family as Republicans probe the business dealings of the president's son, Hunter Biden, from before the Democratic president took office.
“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption, and they warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said at the Capitol, announcing he was directing the House led by the Oversight Committee "to open a formal impeachment inquiry.”
The White House shot back, calling the action in the midst of the presidential campaign “extreme politics at its worst.”
“House Republicans have been investigating the president for nine months, and they’ve turned up no evidence of wrongdoing,” said spokesman Ian Sams.
Former leaders of Israel's security services are speaking out against Netanyahu's policies
HERZLIYA, Israel (AP) — They contended with bloody uprisings, destabilizing wars and even the assassination of a prime minister during their service. But for dozens of former Israeli security commanders, the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government are the biggest threat yet to the country’s future.
In unprecedented opposition, more than 180 former senior officials from the Mossad, the Shin Bet domestic security agency, the military and the police have united against steps they say will shatter Israel’s resilience in the face of mounting threats from the West Bank, Lebanon and Iran.
“We were used to dealing with external threats,” said Tamir Pardo, a former head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and a leader of the new group. “We’ve been through wars, through military operations and all of a sudden you realize that the greatest threat to the state of Israel is internal.”
Netanyahu's government, made up of ultranationalist and ultra-religious parties, was formed last year and immediately pressed ahead with a contentious plan to reshape the country's judiciary. Senior government ministers have proposed a litany of steps critics view as undemocratic, including increased gender segregation in public spaces and giving an outspoken homophobe control over some educational content.
Critics say the overhaul will change the very foundation of Israel and remove the checks that would prevent the government's more radical policies from becoming law. The government says the overhaul is meant to restore power to elected lawmakers and curb an overly interventionist and liberal-leaning judicial system.
AP Sources: UAW may strike at small number of factories if it can't reach deals with automakers
DETROIT (AP) — Leaders of the United Auto Workers union are considering targeted strikes at a small number of factories run by each of Detroit’s three automakers if they can’t reach contract agreements by a Thursday night deadline.
The union’s leadership discussed smaller-scale strikes at a meeting on Friday, and local union leaders were told about the strategy on Tuesday afternoon, two people with knowledge of the moves said.
The people didn’t want to be identified because they weren’t authorized to disclose details until President Shawn Fain updates workers Wednesday afternoon in a Facebook Live appearance.
At the Tuesday meeting, Fain didn’t say whether the union would target vehicle assembly plants or component factories, one of the people said. Strikes at parts plants could force production halts at multiple assembly factories. He also didn’t say how many workers would walk off their jobs.
The UAW wouldn’t comment Tuesday on its strategy.
Tech titans will give senators advice on artificial intelligence in a closed-door forum
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been talking for months about accomplishing a potentially impossible task: passing bipartisan legislation within the next year that encourages the rapid development of artificial intelligence and mitigates its biggest risks. On Wednesday, he's convening a meeting of some of the country’s most prominent technology executives, among others, to ask them how Congress should do it.
The closed-door forum on Capitol Hill will include almost two dozen tech leaders and advocates, and some of the industry’s biggest names: Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and X and Tesla's Elon Musk as well as former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. All 100 senators are invited, but the public is not.
Schumer, D-N.Y., who's leading the forum with Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, won’t necessarily take the tech executives’ advice as he works with Republicans and fellow Democrats to try and ensure some oversight of the burgeoning sector. But he’s hoping that they will give senators some realistic direction as he tries to do what Congress hasn't done for many years — pass meaningful regulation of the tech industry.
“It’s going to be a fascinating group because they have different points of view,” Schumer said in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of the forum. “Hopefully we can weave it into a little bit of some broad consensus.”
Rounds, who spoke to AP with Schumer on Tuesday, said Congress needs to get ahead of fast-moving AI by making sure it continues to develop “on the positive side” while also taking care of potential issues surrounding data transparency and privacy.
Rescue teams are frustrated that Morocco did not accept more international help after earthquake
PARIS (AP) — The text-message alert came in the middle of the night: A massive earthquake had hit Morocco. French volunteers scrambled to pull together a nine-person search-and-rescue team, listening devices and other gear to look for people buried under rubble.
The only thing the French aid workers didn't have was a green light from Morocco to hop on a flight, which could have landed them in the North African country's disaster zone little more than 24 hours after the Sept. 8 quake that killed more than 2,900 people and injured at least 5,530 others in flattened villages and townhouses.
“The green light never came,” said Arnaud Fraisse, the team's coordinator and founder of aid group Rescuers Without Borders. “All of our team members who train regularly year-round for this type of thing are miserable that they couldn't leave and put their skills to use.”
Aid groups in Europe are frustrated that Morocco did not throw open its doors to outside assistance as Turkey did for a devastating quake in February. Quickly grasping the vast scale of the disaster, Turkey within hours appealed for international help, which enabled rescue crews from 90 countries to pull hundreds of people out alive.
Morocco has taken a more limited approach. It accepted government-offered search-and-rescue crews from Spain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the U.K., but it has not taken up other offers of emergency assistance from the United States, France and elsewhere.
Special mosquitoes are being bred to fight dengue. How the old enemies are now becoming allies
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — For decades, preventing dengue fever in Honduras has meant teaching people to fear mosquitoes and avoid their bites. Now, Hondurans are being educated about a potentially more effective way to control the disease — and it goes against everything they’ve learned.
Which explains why a dozen people cheered last month as Tegucigalpa resident Hector Enriquez held a glass jar filled with mosquitoes above his head, and then freed the buzzing insects into the air. Enriquez, a 52-year-old mason, had volunteered to help publicize a plan to suppress dengue by releasing millions of special mosquitoes in the Honduran capital.
The mosquitoes Enriquez unleashed in his El Manchen neighborhood — an area rife with dengue — were bred by scientists to carry bacteria called Wolbachia that interrupt transmission of the disease. When these mosquitoes reproduce, they pass the bacteria to their offspring, reducing future outbreaks.
This emerging strategy for battling dengue was pioneered over the last decade by the nonprofit World Mosquito Program, and it is being tested in more than a dozen countries. With more than half the world's population at risk of contracting dengue, the World Health Organization is paying close attention to the mosquito releases in Honduras, and elsewhere, and it is poised to promote the strategy globally.
In Honduras, where 10,000 people are known to be sickened by dengue each year, Doctors Without Borders is partnering with the mosquito program over the next six months to release close to 9 million mosquitoes carrying the Wolbachia bacteria.
A French agency says the iPhone 12 phone emits too much radiation and tells Apple to withdraw it
PARIS (AP) — A French government watchdog agency ordered Apple to withdraw the iPhone 12 from the market, saying it emits levels of electromagnetic radiation that are too high.
The National Frequency Agency, which oversees radio-electric frequencies as well as public exposure electromagnetic radiation, called on Apple in a statement Tuesday to “implement all available means to rapidly fix this malfunction.”
Corrective updates to the iPhone 12 will be monitored by the agency, according to the statement and if they don't work, “Apple will have to recall” phones that were already sold, it said.
The agency, which is known by the French acronym ANFR, said it recently checked 141 cellphones, including the Apple iPhone 12, for electromagnetic waves capable of being absorbed by the human body.
It said it found a level of electromagnetic energy absorption of 5.74 watts per kilogram during tests of a phone in a hand or a pocket, higher than the European Union standard of 4.0 watts per kilogram.
The Associated Press