AP Top News at 10:38 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s warning that the world is at risk of a nuclear “Armageddon” was designed to send an unvarnished message that no one should underestimate the extraordinary danger if Russia deploys tactical nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine, administration officials said Friday. The president’s grim assessment, delivered during a Democratic fundraiser on Thursday night, rippled around the globe and appeared to edge beyond the boundaries of current U.S. intelligence assessments. U.S. security officials continue to say they have no evidence that Vladimir Putin has imminent plans for a nuclear strike. Biden veered into talk about Ukraine at the end of his standard fundraising remarks, saying that Putin was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.” “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” he added.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A series of explosions rocked the eastern Ukraine city of Kharkiv early Saturday, sending towering plumes of illuminated smoke into the sky and triggering a series of secondary explosions. There were no immediate reports of casualties The blasts came hours after Russia concentrated attacks in its increasingly troubled invasion of Ukraine on areas it illegally annexed, while the death toll from earlier missile strikes on apartment buildings in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia rose to 14. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram that the early-morning explosions were the result of missile strikes in the center of the city.
BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — By the time the red, white and blue-colored microphone had been switched off, the crowd of 3,000 had listened to hours of invective and grievance. “We’re under warfare,” one speaker told them. Another said she would “take a bullet for my nation,” while a third insisted, “They hate you because they hate Jesus.” Attendees were told now is the time to “put on the whole armor of God.” Then retired three-star Army general Michael Flynn, the tour’s biggest draw, invited people to be baptized. Scores of people walked out of the speakers’ tent to three large metal tubs filled with water.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Uvalde’s school district suspended its entire police force Friday amid fresh outrage over the hesitant law enforcement response to the gunman who massacred 21 people at Robb Elementary School. The extraordinary move follows the revelation that the district hired a former state trooper who was among hundreds of officers who rushed to the scene of the May 24 shooting. School leaders also put two members of the district police department on administrative leave, one of whom chose to retire instead, according to a statement released by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. Remaining officers will be reassigned to other jobs in the district.
PHOENIX (AP) — Abortions can take place again in Arizona, at least for now, after an appeals court on Friday blocked enforcement of a pre-statehood law that almost entirely criminalized the procedure. The three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals agreed with Planned Parenthood that a judge should not have lifted the decades-old order that prevented the older law from being imposed. The brief order written by Presiding Judge Peter J. Eckerstrom said Planned Parenthood and its Arizona affiliate had shown they are likely to prevail on an appeal of a decision by the judge in Tucson to allow enforcement of the old law.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s government has agreed to request the help of international troops as gangs and protesters paralyze the country and supplies of water, fuel and basic goods dwindle, according to a document published Friday. The document, signed by Prime Minister Ariel Henry and 18 top-ranking officials, states that they are alarmed by “the risk of a major humanitarian crisis” that is threatening the life of many people. It authorizes Henry to request from international partners “the immediate deployment of a specialized armed force, in sufficient quantity,” to stop the crisis across the country caused partly by the “criminal actions of armed gangs.” “It is imperative to restart activities to avoid a complete asphyxiation of the national economy,” the document states.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia prosecutor investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to interfere in the 2020 election filed paperwork Friday seeking to compel testimony from a new batch of Trump allies, including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis filed petitions in court seeking to have Gingrich and Flynn, as well as former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann and others, testify next month before a special grand jury that’s been seated to aid her investigation. They join a string of other high-profile Trump allies and advisers who have been called to testify in the probe.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Human rights activists from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, a strong rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine ruptured decades of nearly uninterrupted peace in Europe, and to the Belarusian president, his authoritarian ally. The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2022 prize to imprisoned Belarus activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian group Memorial and the Ukrainian organization Center for Civil Liberties. Bialiatski is the fourth laureate to be honored while in detention. Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said the panel was honoring “three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence.” “We are in the midst of a war and we are talking about two authoritarian regimes and one nation fighting a war and we would like to highlight the importance of civil society,” she said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — For most Americans, Friday’s September jobs report was welcome news: Businesses kept hiring at a brisk pace, unemployment fell back to a half-century low and average pay rose. Yet for the Federal Reserve, the jobs figures highlight how little progress they’re making in their fight against inflation. With the Fed more likely to keep raising borrowing costs rapidly, the risk of recession will also rise. Employers did pull back slightly on hiring last month, and average wage gains slowed. But economists say neither is falling fast enough for the Fed to slow its inflation-fighting efforts. As a result, another hefty rate hike of three-quarters of a point — a fourth consecutive one — is likely at the Fed’s next meeting in November.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Craig Steven Markgraff Jr., a construction worker and the “best big brother ever,” was last seen clinging to a tree as rising waters from Hurricane Ian lashed areas dozens of miles inland from Florida’s Gulf Coast. One of the storm’s first publicly identified victims in Florida, the 35-year-old man’s body was found this week by rescue crews near his home in Zolfo Springs in central Florida, the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office said. Markgraff was known as “CJ” to many of his friends. But to his sister April Rudolph, he was just Craig, “the best big brother ever.” “If you ever needed anything, he was right there.