Heavy fighting rages near main Gaza hospital and people trapped inside say they cannot flee
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Health officials and people trapped inside Gaza's largest hospital rejected Israel's claims that it was helping babies and others evacuate Sunday, saying fighting continued just outside the facility where incubators lay idle with no electricity and critical supplies were running out.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed urgent calls for a cease-fire unless it includes the release of all the nearly 240 hostages captured by Hamas in the Oct. 7 rampage that triggered the war.
A day after Netanyahu said Israel was bringing its “full force” with the aim of ending Hamas’ 16-year rule in Gaza, residents reported heavy airstrikes and shelling, including around Shifa Hospital. Israel, without providing evidence, has accused Hamas of concealing a command post inside and under the compound, allegations denied by Hamas and hospital staff.
“They are outside, not far from the gates," said Ahmed al-Boursh, a resident sheltering there.
The hospital's last generator ran out of fuel Saturday, leading to the deaths of three premature babies and four other patients, according to the Health Ministry. It said another 36 babies are at risk of dying.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina says he is dropping out of the 2024 GOP presidential race
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott announced late Sunday that he was dropping out of the 2024 race, about two months before the start of voting in Iowa's leadoff caucuses.
The South Carolina senator, who entered the race in May with high hopes, made the surprise announcement on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Night in America” with Trey Gowdy. The news was so abrupt that one campaign worker told The Associated Press that campaign staff found out Scott was dropping out by watching the show. The worker was not authorized to discuss the internal deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
“I love America more today than I did on May 22,” Scott said Sunday. “But when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign. I think the voters who are the most remarkable people on the planet have been really clear that they’re telling me, ‘Not now, Tim.’”
Scott’s impending departure comes as he and the rest of the GOP field have struggled in a race that has been dominated by former President Donald Trump. Despite four criminal indictments and a slew of other legal challenges, Trump continues to poll far ahead of his rivals, leading many in the party to conclude the race is effectively over, barring some stunning change of fortune.
Scott, in particular, has had trouble gaining traction in the polls, despite millions spent on his behalf by high-profile donors. In his efforts to run a positive campaign, he was often overshadowed by other candidates — particularly on the debate stage, where he seemed to disappear as others sparred. It was unclear whether Scott would qualify for the fourth debate, which will require higher polling numbers and more unique donors.
Military training efforts for Ukraine hit major milestones even as attention shifts to Gaza
A FRENCH ARMY BASE, France (AP) — Battle cries pierce the smoke and rat-a-tat-tat of gunfire as Ukrainian soldiers fight through and take enemy trenches and dugouts that hide gruesome, bloody remains.
“Grenade!” one screams in Ukrainian. Another yells: “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!"
This time, no lives or limbs were lost. Because this time, the rounds fired were blanks and the “enemy" troops were, in fact, French soldiers whose intention was not to kill the Ukrainians but instead to help shape them into better, more lethal warriors.
But soon, the war games these troops played in the mud in France will become all too real, when the Ukrainians return home and are sent to the front lines against Russia's forces.
As the Russian invasion grinds into a second winter and casualties — already estimated in the hundreds of thousands — continue to mount on both sides, combat training programs provided by Ukraine's allies are helping it hold out and its odds of eventual victory. By continuing to prepare Ukrainian troops for battle even as the Israel-Hamas war diverts global attention, Ukraine's backers also are making concrete their promises to stick with it for the long haul.
A fragile global economy is at stake as US and China seek to cool tensions at APEC summit
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China are the two global economic heavyweights. Combined, they produce more than 40% of the world's goods and services.
So when Washington and Beijing do economic battle, as they have for five years running, the rest of the world suffers, too. And when they hold a rare high-level summit, as Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will this week, it can have global consequences.
The world's economy could surely benefit from a U.S.-China détente. Since 2020, it has suffered one crisis after another — the COVID-19 pandemic, soaring inflation, surging interest rates, violent conflicts in Ukraine and now Gaza. The global economy is expected to grow a lackluster 3% this year and 2.9% in 2024, according to the International Monetary Fund.
“Having the world’s two largest economies at loggerheads at such a fraught moment," said Eswar Prasad, senior professor of trade policy at Cornell University, “exacerbates the negative impact of various geopolitical shocks that have hit the world economy.”
Hopes have risen that Washington and Beijing can at least cool some of their economic tensions at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which starts Sunday in San Francisco. The meeting will bring together 21 Pacific Rim countries, which collectively represent 40% of the world’s people and nearly half of global trade.
Joe Biden wants to complete his goals on civil rights, taxes, and social services if he's reelected
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has a simple reelection pitch to voters — let him “finish the job.”
So what does that mean? What's left for him to get done?
Unlike Donald Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination who has been releasing videos and statements detailing his agenda, Biden hasn't formally released his plans as part of his campaign.
But his ambitions are no secret, and his goals for child care, community college and prescription drugs have been laid out in detail during the Democrat's first term. He also has unfulfilled promises on civil rights, such as protecting access to the ballot box, preventing police misconduct and restoring the nationwide right to abortion. Banning firearms known as assault rifles remains a priority as well.
The result is a second-term agenda that could look a lot like Biden’s first-term agenda, with some of the same political challenges. Almost none of this can get done without cooperation from Congress, and many of these goals already have been blocked or pared down because of opposition on Capitol Hill.
Trump's plans if he returns to the White House include deportation raids, tariffs and mass firings
NEW YORK (AP) — A mass deportation operation. A new Muslim ban. Tariffs on all imported goods and "freedom cities" built on federal land.
Much of the 2024 presidential campaign has been dominated by the myriad investigations into former President Donald Trump and the subsequent charges against him. But with less than a year until Election Day, Trump is dominating the race for the Republican nomination and has already laid out a sweeping set of policy goals should he win a second term.
His ideas, and even the issues he focuses on most, are wildly different from President Joe Biden's proposals. If implemented, Trump's plans would represent a dramatic government overhaul arguably more consequential than that of his first term. His presidency, especially the early days, was marked by chaos, infighting and a wave of hastily written executive orders that were quickly overturned by the courts.
Some of his current ideas would probably end up in court or impeded by Congress. But Trump's campaign and allied groups are assembling policy books with detailed plans.
A look at his agenda:
There's another wildfire burning in Hawaii. This one is destroying irreplaceable rainforest on Oahu
HONOLULU (AP) — A wildfire burning in a remote Hawaii rainforest is underscoring a new reality for the normally lush island state just a few months after a devastating blaze on a neighboring island leveled an entire town and killed at least 99 people.
No one was injured and no homes burned in the latest fire, which scorched mountain ridges on Oahu, but the flames wiped out irreplaceable native forestland that's home to nearly two dozen fragile species. And overall, the ingredients are the same as they were in Maui's historic town of Lahaina: severe drought fueled by climate change is creating fire in Hawaii where it has almost never been before.
“It was really beautiful native forest,” said JC Watson, the manager of the Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership, which helps take care of the land. He recalled it had uluhe fern, which often dominate Hawaii rainforests, and koa trees whose wood has traditionally been used to make canoes, surfboards and ukuleles.
“It’s not a full-on clean burn, but it is pretty moonscape-looking out there,” Watson said.
The fact that this fire was on Oahu’s wetter, windward side is a “red flag to all of us that there is change afoot,” said Sam ’Ohu Gon III, senior scientist and cultural adviser at The Nature Conservancy in Hawaii.
Protesters demonstrate against world leaders, Israel-Hamas war as APEC comes to San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Activists protesting corporate profits, environmental abuses, poor working conditions and the Israel-Hamas war marched in downtown San Francisco on Sunday, united in their opposition to a global trade summit that will draw President Joe Biden and leaders from nearly two dozen countries.
Protests are expected throughout this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ conference, which could draw more than 20,000 attendees, including hundreds of international journalists. The No to APEC coalition, made up of more than 100 grassroots groups, says trade deals struck at summits such as APEC exploit workers and their families.
It's unlikely world leaders will even glimpse the protests given the strict security zones accessible only to attendees at the Moscone Center conference hall and other summit sites. But Suzanne Ali, an organizer for the Palestinian Youth Movement, says the U.S. government needs to be held to account for supplying weapons to Israel in its war against Hamas.
“Even if they cannot see us, as we’re mobilizing and marching together, they will know that we’re out there,” she said.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered Sunday to hear speeches from activists supporting various causes, followed by a march through downtown. Among the voices were environmentalists chanting “Rise up” and carrying banners that read “People and planet over profit and plunder!”
More than 180,000 people across France march against soaring antisemitism amid the Israel-Hamas war
PARIS (AP) — More than 180,000 people across France, including 100,000 in Paris, marched peacefully on Sunday to protest against rising antisemitism in the wake of Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, representatives of several parties on the left, conservatives and centrists of President Emmanuel Macron's party as well as far-right leader Marine Le Pen attended Sunday’s march in the French capital amid tight security. Macron did not attend, but expressed his support for the protest and called on citizens to rise up against “the unbearable resurgence of unbridled antisemitism.”
However, the leader of the far-left France Unbowed party, Jean-Luc Melenchon, stayed away from the march, saying last week on X, formerly Twitter, that the march would be a meeting of “friends of unconditional support for the massacre” in Gaza.
The interior ministry said at least 182,000 people marched in several in French cities in response to the call launched by the leaders of the parliament's upper and lower houses. No major incident has been reported, it said.
Paris authorities deployed 3,000 police troops along the route of the protest called by the leaders of the Senate and parliament’s lower house, the National Assembly, amid an alarming increase in anti-Jewish acts in France since the start of Israel’s war against Hamas after its Oct. 7 surprise attack on Israel.
AP Top 25: Georgia's No. 1 streak hits 22, second-best ever. Louisville, Oregon State enter top 10
Georgia extended its streak of weeks being top-ranked in the AP Top 25 to 22 on Sunday, giving the Bulldogs the second-longest run of being No. 1 in the 87-year history of the college football poll.
The Bulldogs received 54 first-place votes after they routed Mississippi in what was a top-10 matchup on Saturday night. Georgia broke a tie with Miami, which made 21 straight appearances at No. 1 from 2001-02.
The longest No. 1 streak belongs to Southern California. The Trojans spent 33 straight polls at No. 1 from 2003-2005.
The entire top eight of this week's Top 25 remained unchanged, with No. 2 Michigan receiving seven first-place votes and No. 3 Ohio State getting one.
Florida State was No. 4, followed by No. 5 Washington. The top five in the rankings are all 10-0, marking the first time in the BCS/CFP era that five teams from so-called power conferences have been perfect after 10 games.
The Associated Press