April 12, 2023
Adrift in the Atlantic, a boat of death and lost dreams
BELLE GARDEN, Tobago (AP) — In 2021, at least seven boats appearing to be from Northwest Africa washed up in the Caribbean and in Brazil. All carried dead bodies. For nearly two years, The Associated Press assembled puzzle pieces from across three continents to uncover the story of one of those doomed boats. In doing so, it revealed the people that the boat carried from hope to death. The AP investigation found that 43 young men from Mauritania, Mali, Senegal and possibly other West African nations boarded the boat. AP has identified 33 of them by name. The “ghost boat” was in part an unintended result of years of efforts by Europe to stop crossings on the Mediterranean Sea.
Ukraine probes video purported to show soldier’s beheading
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine is investigating a gruesome video circulating on social media that purportedly shows the beheading of a Ukrainian soldier. The video spread quickly online and sparked outrage from Ukrainian officials. The Kremlin called the footage “horrible” but said it needed to be verified. The Associated Press was not able to verify the authenticity of the video or the circumstances of where and when it was shot. The video appears to show a man in green fatigues wearing a yellow armband, typically donned by Ukrainian fighters. He is heard screeching before another man in camouflage uses a knife to decapitate him.
US names veterinary drug, fentanyl mixture ’emerging threat’
The U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy is designating the tranquilizer xylazine when mixed with fentanyl as an emerging threat. The drug was approved for veterinary uses more than 50 years ago. But recently, it’s been showing up in the supply of illicit drugs across the U.S., where it’s sometimes known as “tranq.” It’s a depressant that can slow down users’ heart rates and breathing and cause skin ulcers and abscesses. No antidote has been identified. President Joe Biden’s top drug-control official says the designation clears the way to spend taxpayer money to develop strategies to deal with xylazine.
Cheaper gas and food provide some relief from US inflation
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer inflation eased in March, with less expensive gas and food providing some relief to households that have struggled under the weight of surging prices but likely still keeping the Federal Reserve on track to further raise interest rates. Consumer prices rose just 0.1% from February to March, down from 0.4% from January to February and the smallest increase since December. Measured from a year earlier, prices were up just 5% in March, down sharply from February’s 6% year-over-year increase and the smallest rise in nearly two years. Much of the drop resulted from price declines for such goods as gas, used cars and furniture, which had soared a year ago after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
What we know so far on the leaked Pentagon documents
WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s been less than a week since news of highly classified military documents on the Ukraine war surfaced, sending the Pentagon into full-speed damage control to assure allies and assess the scope of the leak. The information on scores of slides has publicized potential vulnerabilities in Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and exposed private assessments by allies on an array of intelligence matters. Among the questions raised by the leak are whether it will erode allies’ trust in sharing information with the U.S. or impact Ukraine’s plans to intensify the fight against Russia this spring.
Video shows Louisville police under fire from bank shooter
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Body camera video shows Louisville police officers being fired upon as they arrive at the bank where five people were killed and the harrowing minutes while officers confront the shooter and work to rescue a wounded colleague. Louisville Metro Police Department Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey walked reporters through edited footage at a news conference Tuesday. Two patrol officers who responded to the shooting were wounded, one of them struck in the head by a bullet Monday morning. Four of the people shot died at the scene, and a fifth died Monday night in a hospital. The gunman, an employee of the bank, was shot and killed by police.
Musk says owning Twitter ‘painful’ but needed to be done
LONDON (AP) — Billionaire Elon Musk has told the BBC that running Twitter has been “quite painful” but that the social media company is now roughly breaking even after he acquired it late last year. In an interview also streamed live late Tuesday on Twitter Spaces, Musk discussed his ownership of the online platform, including layoffs, misinformation and his work style. He told the U.K. broadcaster at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters that owning Twitter “has not been boring” and has been “quite a rollercoaster.” It was a rare chance for a mainstream news outlet to interview Musk, who also owns Tesla and SpaceX.
Florida set to execute ‘ninja killer’ in couple’s 1989 death
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is ramping up executions under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, with a man known as the “ninja killer” set to die. Louis Bernard Gaskin is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the 1989 slayings of New Jersey couple Robert and Georgette Sturmfels in their Flagler County winter home on Florida’s northeastern coast. Gaskin was dubbed the “ninja killer” because he wore all-black ninja clothing during the crimes. This will be the second execution under DeSantis this year as he prepares his widely expected presidential campaign. He oversaw two executions in his first four years in office.
Palace: Prince Harry to attend his father’s May 6 coronation
LONDON (AP) — Buckingham Palace says Prince Harry will attend the Coronation service of his father, King Charles III, at Westminster Abbey on May 6, ending months of speculation about his presence. Harry’s wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will remain in California with the couple’s two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, the palace said Wednesday. The palace confirmation came after weeks of reports noting that Charles’ office has been in touch with Harry about the event. Harry’s attendance comes despite the rift within the House of Windsor prompted by Harry’s decision to reveal family secrets in his bestselling book, “Spare.”
Bottoms up! Some MLB teams extend beer sales to 8th inning
PHOENIX (AP) — Thanks to the pitch clock, the action is moving much faster at Major League Baseball games. It also means a little less time for fans to enjoy a frosty adult beverage. To combat that time crunch, at least four teams — the Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers — have extended alcohol sales through the eighth inning this season. Teams historically have stopped selling alcohol after the seventh. MLB games have been considerably shorter this season, largely thanks to a series of rule changes. Through the first 1 1/2 weeks of the season, the average game time was down 31 minutes, on track to be the sport’s lowest since 1984.