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September 19, 2023
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September 19, 2023

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September 19, 2023

India expels Canadian diplomat, escalating tensions after Trudeau accuses India in Sikh’s killing

NEW DELHI (AP) — India has expelled a senior Canadian diplomat and is accusing Canada of interfering in its internal affairs. The expulsion Tuesday came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was investigating allegations India was connected to the assassination of Sikh independence advocate Hardeep Singh Niijar in Canada in June, and expelled an Indian diplomat. India rejected the allegations as “absurd.” The dueling expulsions escalate tensions between Canada and India. Nijjar was wanted by Indian authorities, who accused him of ties to terrorism and offered a cash reward for information leading to his arrest. Nijjar denied the allegation and was working to organize an unofficial Sikh diaspora referendum on independence from India at the time of his killing.

Americans released by Iran arrive home, tearfully embrace their loved ones and declare: ‘Freedom!’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Americans released by Iran after being detained for years have arrived back home and declared, “Freedom!” The former prisoners posed for a group photograph with their families at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, early Tuesday. The brother of one of the five freed Americans says “The nightmare is finally over.” The Americans were freed as part of a politically risky deal that saw President Joe Biden agree to the release of $5.9 billion in frozen Iranian assets. The successful negotiations for the Americans’ freedom brought Biden profuse thanks from their families but heat from Republicans for the monetary arrangement with one of America’s top adversaries.

Biden exhorts world leaders at the UN to stand up to Russia, warns not to let Ukraine ‘be carved up’

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Joe Biden is making a robust case before the U.N. General Assembly that the world must remain united in defending Ukraine against Russian aggression. In an address in New York on Tuesday, Biden warned that no nation can be secure if “we allow Ukraine to be carved up” as he tries to rally support for Kyiv’s effort to repel a nearly 19-month-old Russian invasion that has no end in sight. The U.S. president called on world leaders not to let support for Ukraine diminish and he argued that Russia is counting on countries to grow tired of prolonged conflict in Kyiv which would “allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence.”

Hunter Biden has gone on the offensive against Republicans. That could be tricky for the president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunter Biden has gone on the offensive against his Republican critics. Biden is arguing in a lawsuit against the IRS that although he is the son of the president of the United States, he shouldn’t be treated differently than any other American. The lawsuit is only the latest in a series of counterpunches by President Joe Biden’s son. But while Hunter Biden’s lawyers might think that an aggressive approach is the best legal strategy for him, that might not be what’s best for his father as he seeks reelection and tries to keep the public focused on his policy achievements.

Political divide emerges on Ukraine aid package as Zelenskyy heads to Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington this week comes at a critical time as Republican leadership in the House and Senate diverge on the best way to get more military and humanitarian aid over the finish line. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has told reporters that more Ukrainian aid would have to be considered on its own merits as a stand-alone bill. But the Senate is on a path of combining Ukraine aid with other priorities, possibly as part of the short-term spending bill to keep the government running. The lack of consensus reflects a growing wariness by voters and some lawmakers about the return on investment for the U.S.

Most Americans view Israel as a partner, but fewer see it as sharing US values, AP-NORC poll shows

NEW YORK (AP) — A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that while Americans generally view Israel as a partner or ally, many question whether its far-right government shares American values. These results come as President Joe Biden prepares to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week in New York. The poll results and the meeting come during a new period of tension between the Biden administration and Israel over Netanyahu’s proposed judicial overhaul, which has sparked mass protests in major Israeli cities. The tensions also stem from ongoing disagreements over how to deal with Iran and how to approach the Palestinians.

A Moscow court declines to hear an appeal by jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich

MOSCOW (AP) — Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich appeared in a Moscow court, seeking release from jail on espionage charges, but it declined to hear his appeal and returned the case to a lower court due to unspecified procedural violations. Before the closed session, he appeared in the glass defendants’ cage, smiling at fellow journalists. Gershkovich was detained in March in Yekaterinburg, east of Moscow. There was initial confusion when the state news agency Tass reported the court had rejected his appeal, but it later said the case was sent to the lower court. The decision means Gershkovich will remain jailed until Nov. 30, unless his appeal is heard in the meantime and he is released — an unlikely outcome.

Man accused in deaths of nearly two dozen elderly women in Texas killed by his prison cellmate

DALLAS (AP) — Official says a man accused of killing nearly two dozen elderly women who was convicted last year of in the slayings of two was killed by his cellmate early Tuesday morning in a Texas prison. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Hannah Haney says 50-year-old Billy Chemirmir was found dead in his cell. She said that Chemirmir’s cellmate, who is serving a sentence for murder, was identified as the assailant. The first capital murder trial of Chemirmir for the slaying of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris ended in mistrial. He was later convicted in a second trial for Harris’ death and convicted of a second killing in the death of 87-year-old Mary Brooks.

Families upended by school shootings share trauma in push for gun law changes, but get mixed results

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Throughout the corridors of many state Capitols, families are sharing emotionally gutting stories of tragedy caused by mass school shootings with the hope that revealing their trauma will convince lawmakers on either side of the political aisle to reconsider firearm policies. Yet states have for years differed widely on how to respond to the spate of mass shootings that plague the U.S. Democratic-led states have largely tightened firearm restrictions, while Republican-led ones have loosened them. That has left families being forced to wade into the legislative process, uncovering and reliving personally painful details before lawmakers with mixed results.

For filmmakers, ‘Oppenheimer’s’ $900M-plus haul is an important moment for Hollywood and theaters

Hopes were always high for Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” The studio knew the film was great, and commercial, but no one in the industry expected that a long, talky, R-rated drama would earn over $900 million. As of Monday, “Oppenheimer’s” was nearing $913 million, making it Nolan’s third highest grossing film, trailing only the “Dark Knight” sequels. It’s also the third biggest movie of the year behind “Barbie” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and the most successful biopic ever. It’s a staggering sum that has been driven by audiences of all ages and an enthusiasm for film and large format screenings.