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AP News in Brief at 6:04 p.m. EDT

Oct 1, 2022

Russia hits Kyiv with missiles; Putin warns West on arms

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia took aim Sunday at Western military supplies for Ukraine, launching airstrikes on Kyiv that it claimed destroyed tanks donated from abroad, as Vladimir Putin warned that any Western deliveries of longer-range rocket systems would prompt Moscow to hit “objects that we haven't yet struck.”

The Russian leader's cryptic threat of military escalation did not specify what the new targets might be. It came days after the United States announced plans to deliver $700 million of security assistance for Ukraine that includes four precision-guided, medium-range rocket systems, as well as helicopters, Javelin anti-tank systems, radars, tactical vehicles and more.

Military analysts say Russia hopes to overrun Ukraine's embattled eastern industrial Donbas region, where Russia-backed separatists have fought the Ukrainian government since 2014, before the arrival of any U.S. weapons that might turn the tide. The Pentagon said last week that it will take at least three weeks to get the U.S. weapons onto the battlefield.

Ukraine said the missiles aimed at the capital hit a train repair shop. Elsewhere, Russian airstrikes in the eastern city of Druzhkivka destroyed buildings and left at least one person dead, a Ukrainian official said. Residents described waking to the sound of missile strikes, with rubble and glass falling down around them.

“It was like in a horror movie,” Svitlana Romashkina said.

Pope Francis fuels new speculation on future of pontificate

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis added fuel to rumors about the future of his pontificate by announcing he would visit the central Italian city of L'Aquila in August for a feast initiated by Pope Celestine V, one of the few pontiffs who resigned before Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013.

Italian and Catholic media have been rife with unsourced speculation that the 85-year-old Francis might be planning to follow in Benedict’s footsteps, given his increased mobility problems that have forced him to use a wheelchair for the last month.

Those rumors gained steam last week when Francis announced a consistory to create 21 new cardinals scheduled for Aug. 27. Sixteen of those cardinals are under age 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to elect Francis’ successor.

Once they are added to the ranks of princes of the church, Francis will have stacked the College of Cardinals with 83 of the 132 voting-age cardinals. While there is no guarantee how the cardinals might vote, the chances that they will tap a successor who shares Francis’ pastoral priorities become ever greater.

In announcing the Aug. 27 consistory, Francis also announced he would host two days of talks the following week to brief the cardinals about his recent apostolic constitution reforming the Vatican bureaucracy. That document, which goes into effect Sunday, allows women to head Vatican offices, imposes term limits on priestly Vatican employees and positions the Holy See as an institution at the service of local churches, rather than vice versa.

Pastor shot at by Uvalde gunman recounts terror in sermon

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Gilbert Limones and a coworker at a funeral home were among the first people shot at by the gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school. He’s spent most of his days since helping prepare for the young victims’ burials and consoling shattered families.

On Sunday, Limones swapped his role of funeral attendant for that of a preacher trying to comfort a community and explain horror that defies easy answers. He's also the pastor at Casa El Shaddai, a small church located less than a mile from where the carnage occurred.

“When tragedies happen, all the enemy needs is a willing vessel,” Limones told his congregation of about 35, meeting for the first time in an old restaurant converted into a worship space.

While Limones didn’t suffer any physical injuries, he said he is exhausted and wracked with guilt that he couldn't do something to stop the bloodshed. He has spent hours in tears or prayer, sometimes both at the same time.

Still, Limones tried to find the words to assuage his part of a heavily Hispanic town of 16,000 that's sad, confused and raw with emotion nearly two weeks after the slaughter. Satan brought confusion and hurt, he said, but the faithful have a defense.

Students of color push back on calls for police in schools

After the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, schools around the country pledged to boost security measures and increased the presence of law enforcement on campus — partly to reassure parents and students.

But police inside schools can make some students more uneasy, not less. Especially for Black students and other students of color, their personal experiences with policing can leave them feeling unsafe and alienated from school when they see officers on campus.

High school senior Malika Mobley has seen three different school resource officers patrolling the campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. Once on the way home from school, Mobley saw officers detain a visibly distraught classmate and push the student into the back of a police vehicle.

“They were crying, ‘Why are you doing this to me? I didn’t do anything,'” said Mobley, co-president of Wake County Black Student Coalition. “I was just forced to stand there and couldn't do anything.”

Since 2020, the student group has advocated for eliminating police officers from school buildings in favor of investing in counselors and support staff for students.

US, S. Korea fire missiles to sea, matching North's launches

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. and South Korean militaries launched eight ballistic missiles into the sea Monday in a show of force matching a North Korean missile display a day earlier that extended a provocative streak in weapons demonstrations.

The allies’ live-fire exercise involved eight Army Tactical Missile System missiles – one American and seven South Korean – that were fired into South Korea’s eastern waters across 10 minutes following notifications for air and maritime safety, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Forces Korea.

The tit-for-tat missile launches were aimed at demonstrating the ability to respond swiftly and accurately to North Korean attacks, the South Korean military said.

The South’s military on Sunday detected North Korea firing eight short-range missiles over 35 minutes from at least four different locations, including from western and eastern coastal areas and two inland areas north of and near the capital, Pyongyang, in what appeared to be a single-day record for the country’s ballistic launches.

It was North Korea’s 18th round of missile tests in 2022 alone — a streak that included the country’s first launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles in nearly five years. South Korean and U.S. officials also say North Korea is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since September 2017 as leader Kim Jong Un pushes a brinkmanship aimed at cementing the North’s status as a nuclear power and negotiating economic and security concessions from a position of strength.

And she waved: Festive pageant caps queen's Platinum Jubilee

LONDON (AP) — In a crowning moment for her Platinum Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II waved at tens of thousands of adoring crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Sunday, delighting fans who had hoped to catch a glimpse of her during the final day of festivities marking the monarch’s 70 years on the throne.

The 96-year-old monarch has curtailed her schedule in recent months due to difficulties in moving around. Prior to Sunday, the queen had only appeared in public twice — both on Thursday — during the four-day holiday weekend's celebrations. Officials said she experienced “discomfort” during those events.

Huge crowds that lined the Mall outside the palace for the climax of a boisterous, colorful pageant cheered as the monarch emerged on the balcony with Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, and Prince William and his family.

It was an image for the history books and a glimpse into the monarchy's future, with the queen's three heirs — her 73-year-old son Charles, eldest grandson William and eldest great-grandson Prince George — by her side.

The queen, dressed in bright green, waved and smiled after the crowds belted out “God Save The Queen.” Her appearance, which only lasted a few minutes, was followed by a crowd-pleasing performance of ABBA's “Dancing Queen.”

Trump's Ukraine impeachment shadows war, risks GOP response

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Donald Trump was impeached in late 2019 after pressuring Ukraine's leader for “a favor,” all while withholding $400 million in military aid to help confront Russian-backed separatists, even the staunchest defense hawks in the Republican Party stood virtually united by Trump's side.

But as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military marched toward Kyiv this February, threatening not only Ukraine but the rest of Europe, Republicans and Democrats in Congress cast aside impeachment politics, rallied to Ukraine's side and swiftly shipped billions to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's defense.

The question ahead, as Ukrainians battle Russia’s grinding invasion now past its 100th day, is whether the rare bipartisanship on Capitol Hill is resilient enough to withstand Trump’s isolationist influences on his party or whether Republicans who yielded to Trump's “America First” approach will do so again, putting military and humanitarian support for Ukraine at risk.

“Maybe there is a recognition on both Republican side and Democratic side that this security assistance is very important,” said Bill Taylor, a former ambassador to Ukraine, in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

"And maybe neither side is eager to crack that coalition."

Over 50 feared dead in Nigeria church attack, officials say

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen opened fire on worshippers and detonated explosives at a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria on Sunday, leaving dozens feared dead, state lawmakers said.

The attackers targeted the St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo state just as the worshippers gathered on Pentecost Sunday, legislator Ogunmolasuyi Oluwole said. Among the dead were many children, he said.

The presiding priest was abducted as well, said Adelegbe Timileyin, who represents the Owo area in Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber.

“Our hearts are heavy," Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu tweeted Sunday. “Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people.”

Authorities did not immediately release an official death toll. Timileyin said at least 50 people had been killed, though others put the figure higher. Videos appearing to be from the scene of the attack showed church worshippers lying in pools of blood while people around them wailed.

Olivia Rodrigo early winner at MTV Movie TV Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Olivia Rodrigo was one of the first winners at the MTV Movie TV Awards on a night that could see “Spider-Man: No Way Home” snag some trophies, while also honoring the careers of Jennifer Lopez and Jack Black.

Rodrigo won best music documentary Sunday for her project “Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2 u.” The 19-year-old Grammy winner spoke about the importance of creating the film, which involves a road trip, live performances and reflections on her debut album “Sour.”

“I made ‘driving home 2 u’ for the fans, especially those who couldn’t come to see me on tour,” said Rodrigo.

Billed as an “epic, global one-night event,” this year's ceremony was held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.

The awards kicked off with “Loki” star Sophia Di Martino winning breakthrough performance for her role as Sylvie on the Disney Plus television series. After the actor claimed her trophy, she talked about being 9 months pregnant when she was offered the role, and her baby being just 3 months old when she started filming.

Warriors answer in Game 2, top Celtics 107-88 to even Finals

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Jordan Poole connected from just inside of midcourt to cap a huge third-quarter run and the Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics 107-88 on Sunday night in Game 2 to even the NBA Finals.

Poole finished with 17 points for the Warriors, who outscored Boston 35-14 in the third quarter to turn a two-point halftime lead into a 23-point edge. And when the Warriors then scored the first six points of the fourth, the Celtics waved the surrender flag and emptied their bench.

Golden State also got 12 from Kevon Looney on 6-for-6 shooting, and 11 apiece from Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson.

Jayson Tatum scored 21 of his 28 points in the first half for Boston. Jaylen Brown added 17 for the Celtics, but fought through a 5-for-17 shooting night, and Derrick White scored 12.

Just like in Game 1, a huge run decided everything. The Celtics went on a 48-18 run in the second half to decide the opener; the Warriors didn’t wait that long in Game 2, going on a 43-14 burst from late in the first half until early in the fourth quarter to turn a tie game into an absolute runaway.

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