Russia rains down rockets on recaptured Ukrainian city

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — A barrage of missiles has hit the recently liberated city of Kherson in a marked escalation of attacks since Russia withdrew two weeks ago. At least 11 people were killed in the strikes, which began Thursday and lasted through Friday. Numerous people were also injured. Among those killed were the parents of a 38-year-old woman who watched as emergency services lifted her mother from the door of her apartment building, where she had lain dead overnight. City workers were initially too overwhelmed to salvage them. Authorities in the region had warned that Kherson would face increased attacks if Russian troops dug in across the Dnieper.

Police: Walmart shooter bought gun just hours before murder

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) – Authorities investigating the fatal shooting of six people at a Walmart said the gunman bought the gun just hours earlier and left a note on his phone with complaints against colleagues. Chesapeake, Virginia police issued a news release Friday saying they conducted a forensic analysis of Walmart supervisor Andre Bing’s phone. Police say he is the shooter and was found dead late Tuesday at the scene of the shooting with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. In the note released by police, he said colleagues harassed and mocked him. Police said in their release that he used a 9mm handgun legally purchased Tuesday morning, hours before the shooting. The publication said he had no criminal record.

Colorado Springs comes to terms with the past after a shooting at a gay club

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A mass shooting at a popular Colorado Springs gay club has raised renewed questions among residents about the town’s past and future. Although the suspect, who is charged with possible murder and hate crimes, is not from Colorado Springs, the LGBTQ targeting reminds some of the 1990s, when the city was known as the epicenter of a religious, family conservatism affecting LGBTQ community was unfriendly. Colorado Springs has increasingly become a diverse and vibrant city, and like anywhere else where mass shootings occur, the shocking act of violence in a place considered a haven for LGBTQ people has residents reeling.

Inflation looms over shoppers heading into Black Friday

NEW YORK (AP) – Black Friday marks a return to familiar holiday shopping patterns, but inflation is weighing on consumers. Increased prices for groceries, rent, gas and other household expenses have weighed heavily on shoppers. As a result, many are reluctant to spend unless there’s a big sale and are more selective about what they buy – in many cases swapping out for cheaper stuff and less expensive deals. Shoppers are also digging deeper into their savings and are increasingly turning to “buy now, pay later” services that allow users to pay for items in installments. They are also rolling up their credit cards at a time when the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates to cool the US economy.

Iranian government supporters confront protesters at the World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Iran’s political unrest has cast a shadow over Iran’s second game at the World Cup. Pro-government fans harassed anti-government fans outside the stadium in Qatar on Friday. Iranian players sang along to their national anthem before the game against Wales, unlike in their first game against England. Some Iranian fans confiscated Persian pre-revolutionary Iranian flags from supporters entering the stadium and berated those wearing shirts with the slogan of the country’s protest movement, “Woman, Life, Freedom.” Small groups of men angrily chanted “The Islamic Republic of Iran” at women giving interviews to foreign media about the protests. Many female fans were visibly shaken as Iranian government supporters surrounded them with national flags.

Beijing is nervous as city adds new quarantine centers

BEIJING (AP) — Residents in some parts of the Chinese capital have been overwhelmed by delivery apps as the city government orders the faster construction of quarantine centers and field hospitals. Uncertainty and unconfirmed reports of lockdowns in at least some Beijing counties have fueled unusual demand for supplies. Shoppers were clearing grocery shelves in supermarkets in the northern suburbs, but it wasn’t clear how widespread the phenomenon was. Daily cases of COVID-19 are hitting records across the country, with 32,695 reported on Friday. Of these, 1,860 were in Beijing, most of them asymptomatic. Improvised quarantine centers and field hospitals built in large indoor spaces are notorious for overcrowding, poor sanitation, scarce food supplies and 24-hour light.

A year later, omicron is still fueling COVID flare-ups and concerns

The omicron variant is driving up the number of US COVID-19 cases in many places just in time for the holiday season. The ever-changing mutant began its attack on humanity a year ago. Experts expect a wave to wash over the United States soon. On average, there are now an average of 39,300 cases per day, although this is thought to be a minority. Hospital admissions are around 28,000 a day and deaths are around 340 a day. Yet a fifth of the population is not vaccinated. Most eligible Americans haven’t gotten the latest boosters. And many have stopped wearing masks. Meanwhile, the mutating virus keeps finding ways to avoid defeat.

Midterms free from feared chaos as election experts look ahead to 2024

Fears of aggressive poll watchers wreaking havoc at polling stations or conservative groups trying to intimidate voters did not materialize on Election Day as many election officials and voting rights experts had feared. Voting went smoothly across most of the US, with few exceptions of isolated disruptions. There was no clear evidence that new electoral laws in some Republican-leaning states were disenfranchising voters on a large scale. Overall, election day went better than many expected. But groups focused on threats to American democracy say the biggest challenge is yet to come: the 2024 presidential race.

EXPLAINER: How could allies help Netanyahu beat charges?

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to return to office, from where he could seek to fix his years of legal troubles through new legislation pushed by his far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies. Critics say such a legal crusade is an attack on Israel’s democracy. Netanyahu is on trial for corruption. He is poised to return to power with a comfortable governing majority that could grant him a lifeline out of conviction. Defenders of the justice system say the proposed changes would allow lawmakers to abuse their authority and upset the tenuous balance of power that keeps them in check. Netanyahu, 73, denies wrongdoing and sees the charges as part of a witch hunt against him.

China sentences Chinese-Canadian star Kris Wu to 13 years in prison

BEIJING (AP) — A court in Beijing has sentenced Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu to 13 years in prison on charges including rape. The trial of the former member of the South Korean group EXO was held in camera in June to protect the privacy of the alleged victims. Beijing’s Chaoyang District Court said Friday Wu was convicted of a 2020 rape and the “crime of gathering a crowd to engage in sexual promiscuity” at a 2018 event where he and others allegedly assaulted two women who got drunk. The court said the three victims in the rape case were also drunk and could not consent.

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