US and Arab partners disagree on the need for a cease-fire as Israeli airstrikes kill more civilians
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The United States and Arab partners disagreed Saturday on the need for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip as Israeli military strikes killed civilians at a U.N. shelter and a hospital, and Israel said the besieged enclave’s Hamas rulers were “encountering the full force” of its troops.
Large columns of smoke rose as Israel’s military said it had encircled Gaza City, the initial target of its offensive to crush Hamas. Gaza's Health Ministry has said more than 9,400 Palestinians have been killed in the territory in nearly a month of war, and that number is likely to rise as the assault continues.
“Anyone in Gaza City is risking their life," Israel’s Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Arab foreign ministers in Jordan a day after talks in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who insisted there could be no temporary cease-fire until all hostages held by Hamas are released.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Arab countries want an immediate cease-fire, saying “the whole region is sinking in a sea of hatred that will define generations to come.”
Protest marches from US to Berlin call for immediate halt to Israeli bombing of Gaza
WASHINGTON (AP) — From Washington to Milan to Paris, tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched Saturday, calling for a halt to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
The marches reflected growing disquiet about the mounting civilian casualty toll and suffering from the Israel-Hamas war. Protesters, particularly in countries with large Muslim populations, including the U.S., U.K. and France, expressed disillusionment with their governments for supporting Israel while its bombardments of hospitals and residential areas in the Gaza strip intensify.
The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 9,448, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In Israel, more than 1,400 people have been killed, most of them in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that started the war.
In the U.S., thousands converged on the nation's capital to protest the Biden administration’s support of Israel and its continued military campaign in Gaza. “Palestine will be free,” demonstrators donning black and white keffiyehs chanted as an enormous Palestinian flag was unfurled by a crowd that filled Pennsylvania Avenue — the street leading up to the White House.
Leveling direct criticism of President Joe Biden, Renad Dayem of Cleveland said she made the trip with her family so her children would know "the Palestinian people are resilient — and we want a leader who won't be a puppet to the Israeli government.”
Right turn on red? With pedestrian deaths rising, US cities are considering bans
CHICAGO (AP) — Sophee Langerman was on her way to a bicycle safety rally in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood in June when a car turning right rolled through a red light and slammed into her bike, which she was walking off the curb and into the crosswalk.
The car was moving slowly enough that Langerman escaped serious injury, but the bicycle required extensive repairs. To Langerman, it's another argument for ending a practice that almost all U.S. cities have embraced for decades: the legal prerogative for a driver to turn right after stopping at a red light.
A dramatic rise in accidents killing or injuring pedestrians and bicyclists has led to a myriad of policy and infrastructure changes, but moves to ban right on red have drawn some of the most intense sentiments on both sides.
Washington, D.C.’s City Council last year approved a right-on-red ban that takes effect in 2025. New Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s transition plan called for “restricting right turns on red,” but his administration hasn’t provided specifics. The college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, now prohibits right turns at red lights in the downtown area.
San Francisco leaders recently voted to urge their transportation agency to ban right on red across the city, and other major cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle and Denver have looked into bans as well.
War in the Middle East upends the dynamics of 2024 House Democratic primaries
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Most members of Congress have stood firmly behind Israel since the Hamas attack last month, but not Cori Bush. The Missouri Democrat called Israel’s response a “war crime” and an “ethnic cleansing campaign,” and was among the few House members who opposed a resolution supporting Israel.
Her unwavering stance has angered some in her district. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell on Monday dropped a U.S. Senate bid to challenge Bush in next year’s 1st District Democratic primary, and moderate Democrats believe he could win.
Bush isn’t alone. She’s among a small group of Democrats viewed by critics as insufficiently supportive of Israel — both long before and now after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel — or insufficiently critical of Hamas. Across those districts, moderates like Bell are being encouraged to run. In particular, Summer Lee in Pennsylvania, Jamaal Bowman in New York, Ilhan Omar in Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib in Michigan probably will face challengers.
All five have condemned Hamas’ attack and antisemitism, but they've all made statements seen as inflammatory by Israel's staunchest supporters and been critical of U.S. military aid to Israel.
Bush and Omar accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing.” Summer Lee said it had committed “human rights violations.” And at a recent cease-fire rally, Bowman said: “We cannot allow the lives of anyone to be erased. This erasure of Palestinian lives and experience has been happening for decades.”
Donald Trump's strength is clear in Florida as Gov. Ron DeSantis tries to move past 'nonsense'
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — A booth at the Florida Republican Party’s Freedom Summit made swift business of Donald Trump merchandise on Saturday, selling everything from socks to bathtub rubber ducks that paid tribute to the former president.
Vendor Peter Crotty also had Ron DeSantis T-shirts. But he reduced those items from their original $25 down to $5, an 80% discount on the Florida governor’s name. The excess inventory needed to go, Crotty said.
It was just one sign of DeSantis' challenges in the 2024 Republican primary fight. Barely two months from the first nominating ballots being cast, Trump is flaunting his advantages by trying to embarrass the governor in the two rivals’ shared home state, where party activists on Saturday cheered any mention of the former president and booed at any criticisms of the GOP 2024 front-runner.
“We're going to win the Florida primary for the third straight time, and we're going to win the state by a landslide next November,” Trump told a boisterous crowd Saturday evening, before calling to the stage several Florida lawmakers who switched their endorsements from DeSantis ahead of Saturday's Florida Freedom Summit.
Trump and his newest backers stood beneath graphics that read: “Florida is Trump Country.”
Quake shakes northwest Nepal, killing at least 128 and injuring dozens. Officials fear toll to rise
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Helicopters and ground troops rushed to help people hurt in a strong earthquake that shook districts in northwestern Nepal just before midnight Friday, killing at least 128 people and injuring dozens more, officials said Saturday.
Authorities said the death toll was expected to rise, noting that communications were cut off with many places.
At the regional hospital in the city of Nepalgunj, more than 100 beds were made available and teams of doctors stood by to help the injured.
“I was fast asleep when all of a sudden it started shaking violently. I tried to run but the whole house collapsed. I tried escaping but half my body got buried in the debris,” said Bimal Kumar Karki, one of the first two people to be brought to the regional hospital.
“I screamed, but every one of my neighbors were in the same situation and screaming for help. It took nearly a half-hour to an hour before rescuers found me,” he said.
During strike talks, Biden worked to build ties to the UAW's leader. They have yet to fully pay off
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden called the head of the United Auto Workers union to congratulate him this past week on getting a new contract with General Motors and to wish him a happy 55th birthday — a sign of how the relationship had evolved since their first get-to-know-you meeting in the Oval Office on July 19.
UAW President Shawn Fain launched the strike against GM, Ford and Chrysler-owner Stellantis with a willingness to force political leaders to choose between backing unions or corporations. Biden had long straddled this line. He proclaimed in speeches that unions built the middle class, but he also heralded his credentials as a former senator from the "corporate capital of the world," also known as Delaware.
The White House was determined to build trust with Fain and look past his occasional slights of Biden. That approach, which included Biden meeting with workers on the picket line in Michigan, helped to resolve the nearly 45-day set of strikes and produced significant pay raises for workers.
But even as Biden's sympathies publicly shifted toward union workers during the standoff, there are few signs that the UAW fully warmed to the Democratic president. Biden has yet to receive the union's endorsement as he seeks reelection with the message that he has delivered for blue-collar workers.
The UAW declined to talk about its relationship with the White House. No final decision on the endorsement is expected to come until after contracts with the automakers are finalized, which probably will happen later this month.
Zelenskyy hosts EU official von der Leyen as Russian attacks wound at least 14 people in Ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian attacks in Ukraine wounded at least 14 civilians over the past day, officials said Saturday, as the president of the European Union's executive arm returned to the Ukrainian capital to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The governor of the Zaporizhzhia region, Yurii Malashko, said that nine people were wounded in a Russian rocket strike on the village of Zarichne. Overall, 26 cities and settlements in the region came under attack over the past day, he said.
In the Kherson region, five people were wounded, said Gov. Oleksandr Prokudin. He said that attacks in the region came from artillery, mortars, drones, warplanes and tanks.
Nikopol, a city of the opposite bank of the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe's largest, came under fire, but no injuries were immediately reported, according to Dnipropetrovsk regional Gov. Serhii Lysak.
On Saturday evening, the Russia-appointed governor of the annexed Crimean Peninsula said that air defense missiles were fired in the city of Kerch and that fragments fell on a shipyard. He didn't give further details.
Chelsea's Emma Hayes expected to become US women's soccer coach, AP source says
U.S. Soccer is closing in on naming Chelsea’s Emma Hayes as the new coach of the women’s national team, a source familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Saturday.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details had not been made public. The person confirmed reports in the Washington Post and the women’s soccer website, The Equalizer.
The hiring of Hayes required approval by U.S. Soccer’s board of directors.
Earlier Saturday, Chelsea announced that Hayes will leave the defending Women’s Super League champion at the end of the season. Chelsea said she was leaving to “pursue a new opportunity outside of the WSL and club football.”
Hayes has won 14 major trophies at Chelsea, including six WSL titles.
Her daughter was killed in the Robb Elementary shooting. Now she's running for mayor of Uvalde
UVALDE, Texas (AP) — On a sticky Texas morning, Kimberly Mata-Rubio is lacing up her running shoes ahead of two races she is running in Uvalde in tribute to her daughter Lexi, who was killed in the 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting.
First up is a charity run honoring Lexi's life. Then it's back to a tougher contest: Campaigning to become mayor of Uvalde, a town still divided after one of America's deadliest mass shootings and a botched police response that is still under investigation.
“One thing I hear with all of my children, and it echoes my own belief, is that right now Lexi’s legacy is our priority and we just want to honor her with action,” Mata-Rubio said.
On Tuesday, Uvalde voters will pick a new mayor for the first time since the May 2022 attack that killed 19 students and two teachers. The election is a test of how the town chooses to move forward from a tragedy that some residents are ready to put in the past while others are still demanding answers.
Across the U.S. survivors of gun violence and families have run for office, with mixed results. In 2016, the father of a man killed in a Colorado movie theater shooting lost his first bid for state senate but won two years later. Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, the mother of a 17-year-old slain in a Florida gas station shooting, also won a seat for Congress in 2018.
The Associated Press