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Fiona dumps more rain on Puerto Rico; troops rescue hundreds
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Fiona is dumping more rain on Puerto Rico. The deluge comes a day after the storm knocked out power and water to most of the island. National Guard troops have rescued hundreds of people who got stranded. The governor warned that it could take days to get the lights back on. The blow from Fiona was made more devastating because Puerto Rico has yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 homes on the island are still covered by blue tarps.
Queen Elizabeth II mourned by Britain and world at funeral
LONDON (AP) — Britain and the world said farewell to Queen Elizabeth II with pomp and pageantry. Crowds massed in the streets of London and at Windsor Castle to honor a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an era. The first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s drew world leaders and other royalty. Before the service, a bell tolled 96 times for each year of Elizabeth’s life. Royal Navy sailors pulled a gun carriage carrying her flag-draped coffin to Westminster Abbey before pallbearers carried it inside. Atop the coffin was a handwritten note from King Charles III. After a committal service at a chapel in Windsor Castle, the coffin was lowered into the royal vault.
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‘Serial’ case: Adnan Syed released, conviction tossed
BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore judge has ordered the release of Adnan Syed after overturning Syed’s conviction for a 1999 murder that was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial.” Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn on Monday ordered that Syed’s conviction be vacated and she approved the release of the now-41-year-old who has spent more than two decades behind bars. Syed has always maintained that he never killed his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. The case received widespread attention in 2014 when “Serial” focused on Lee’s killing and raised doubts about some of the evidence prosecutors had used. Last week, prosecutors filed a motion saying a lengthy investigation had uncovered new evidence that could undermine Syed’s conviction.
Ukraine warns of ‘nuclear terrorism’ after strike near plant
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Russian missile has blasted a crater close to a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, damaging nearby industrial equipment but not hitting its three reactors. Ukrainian authorities denounced Monday’s attack as an act of “nuclear terrorism.” Ukraine’s nuclear operator said the missile struck within 300 meters (328 yards) of reactors at South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant. The strike followed warnings from Russian President Vladimir Putin of possible stepped-up attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure after his forces suffered humiliating battlefield setbacks. It also renewed fears of a possible radioactive disaster in the near seven-month war. One Western analyst said the Russian military was apparently trying to knock Ukrainian nuclear plants offline before winter sets in.
On sidelines of UN, a push for China’s abuses to be punished
NEW YORK (AP) — Diplomats and human rights advocates speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly are calling for forceful action on China’s alleged persecution of ethnic minorities. Abuses in the far western region of Xinjiang have been exposed for years by watchdogs and journalists, but were given a new imprimatur with a report released by the U.N.’s human rights office last month detailing a ruthless campaign of torture and ethnic cleansing. Fernand de Varennes, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on minority rights, said Monday that “inaction is no longer possible” and “if we allow this to go unpunished what kind of message is being propagated?” China has called the report “a patchwork of false information.”
Strong earthquake shakes Mexico´s Pacific coast; 1 killed
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A magnitude 7.6 earthquake has shaken Mexico’s central Pacific coast, killing at least one person and setting off an earthquake alarm in the capital. The quake hit at 1:05 p.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey. And it caused at least some damage near the epicenter Alarms for the new quake came less than an hour after a quake alarms warbled in a nationwide earthquake simulation marking major quakes that struck on the same date in 1985 and 2017. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the secretary of the navy told him one person was killed in the port city of Manzanillo, Colima.
EXPLAINER: Bused, flown migrants can live in US — for now
Republican governors have been sending more migrants released at the U.S. border with Mexico to Democratic strongholds, raising questions about their legal status, how they are lured on board buses and planes, and the cost to taxpayers. The immigrants are at least temporarily allowed to be in the U.S. to pursue asylum or while on humanitarian parole. The Florida Legislature allocated $12 million for its program. Texas has committed billions of dollars to the governor’s unprecedented move into border security that includes the bus trips. The city of El Paso last week contracted a private bus company at a cost of up to $2 million. It plans to seek reimbursement from the federal government.
US contractor freed by Taliban in swap for drug trafficker
WASHINGTON (AP) — An American contractor held hostage in Afghanistan for more than two years by the Taliban has been released. The White House and family members said Monday his release came in an exchange for a convicted Taliban drug lord jailed in the United States. Mark Frerichs, a Navy veteran who spent more than a decade in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor, was abducted in January 2020 and is believed to have been held since then by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network. Negotiations for his release centered on a deal that also included the release of Bashir Noorzai, a notorious drug lord and member of the Taliban.
‘Out of control’ STD situation prompts call for changes
NEW YORK (AP) — Sharply rising cases of some sexually transmitted diseases are prompting U.S. health officials to call for new prevention and treatment efforts. Infections rates for some STDs, including gonorrhea and syphilis, have been rising for years. But recently released statistics show that that last year the rate of infectious syphilis cases reached its highest since 1991 and the total number of cases rose 26% to hit its highest since 1948. Experts are calling for reducing stigma, broadening screening and treatment services, and supporting the development and accessibility of at-home testing
Damage assessments begin in flooded remote Alaska villages
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Authorities are making contact with some of the most remote villages in the United States to determine the need for food and water and assess damage from a massive weekend storm that flooded communities dotting Alaska’s vast western coast. No one has been reported injured or killed during the massive storm — the remnants of a typhoon that traveled north through the Bering Strait over the weekend. However, damage to homes, roads and other infrastructure was only starting to be revealed as floodwaters recede. About 21,000 residents living in the small communities dotting a 1,000-mile stretch of Alaska’s western coastline were impacted by the storm.
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