AP News Digest at 12:24 a.m. ET

Hurricane Ian approaches Cuba, hits Florida as Cat 4

Havana (AP) — Hurricane Ian is approaching Cuba, hitting Florida as a Category 4 as early as Wednesday. “It’s not a drill,” an emergency management director said. Tampa and St. St. Petersburg is one of the most likely targets to be directly hit by a major hurricane for the first time in a century. Ian has gone from strength to strength and is expected to swiftly cross the western end of Cuba on Monday. It will then turn north and slow down in warm Gulf waters, where conditions are ripe for the strongest hurricane to brew. Forecasters said the storm surge could reach 10 feet. Hundreds of thousands of people could face mandatory evacuation orders.

boom!NASA spacecraft crashes into asteroid in defense test

Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft slammed into an asteroid in an unprecedented test to see if a potentially menacing space rock could veer off orbit . On Monday, the galactic grand slam occurred on a harmless asteroid 7 million miles away. The Dart spacecraft crashed into the small space rock at 14,000 mph. Scientists say the impact should have created a crater and thrown a stream of rock and mud into space. Most importantly, though, scientists hope the collision changed the asteroid’s orbit. NASA didn’t know for months how much the spacecraft had pushed the asteroid.

UN meeting feels like ‘new era’ is coming

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Ukrainian war and its global fallout stunned this year’s meeting of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly. When it’s not in front, it lurks in the background of almost every speech. There is an almost unanimous call for an end to the seven-month war, with both rich and poor countries condemning the consequences of the conflict. They cited widespread shortages and rising prices of not only food but also energy, inflation hitting the cost of living around the world, and growing global inequality. The speeches and side events didn’t make for a breakthrough in peace, but they did put top Russian and Ukrainian diplomats in the same room for the first time in months.

Putin’s call sparks anger, protests and violence in Russians

Tallinn, Estonia (AP) — Five days after President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization to call up hundreds of thousands of reservists to fight in Ukraine, the move sparked angry protests across Russia in a frightening move incidents of the evacuation of men of fighting age from the country, as well as acts of violence. There were demonstrations – not just in the usual places like Moscow and St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg – but also in the remote northern province of Yakutia and poor southern Dagestan. A gunman opened fire at a recruitment office in a Siberian city, seriously wounding a military commander. One analyst said Putin had taken a big risk and was losing some support because of the mobilization.

Nervous Japan holds funeral for assassinated ex-leader Abe

TOKYO (AP) — Nervous Japan is holding a rare and controversial state funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving modern leader and one of its most divisive . Tokyo was at maximum security level, with angry protests against the planned funeral. World leaders including US Vice President Kamala Harris will be in attendance. Opponents of state-sponsored funerals that originated in prewar imperial ceremonies say taxpayer dollars should be spent on more meaningful causes. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been criticized for being forced to go through a costly affair to honor his mentor Abe, who was assassinated in July. There has also been growing controversy over Abe and the ruling party’s decades-long close relationship with the ultra-conservative Unification Church.

As Cantonese declines, efforts to preserve it grow

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Thirty years ago, it wasn’t hard to find opportunities to learn Cantonese in San Francisco. But today, in a Cantonese-speaking city that has attracted southern China for more than 150 years, there are fears that political and social unrest is weakening the language. The Chinese government’s push for wider use of Mandarin, already the national language, and the country’s changing immigration patterns have undeniably contributed to the Cantonese shift. This is a change from east to west. From the US to the UK and beyond, there are fears that Cantonese will not last a generation in some households.

Russia grants citizenship to ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. He has lived in Russia since 2013 to evade prosecution in the United States after leaking classified documents detailing the government’s surveillance program. He obtained permanent residency in 2020. Snowden said he disclosed the information because he believed the U.S. intelligence community had gone too far and wrongly violated civil liberties. Snowden, 39, who is considered by his supporters to be a whistleblower who wants to protect American civil liberties, is now facing charges of unauthorized disclosure of U.S. national security and intelligence information that could lead to decades in prison.

Arizona abortion clinic sends women to other states

PHOENIX (AP) — A court ruling last week cleared the way for prosecutors to charge doctors and others who helped a woman end her pregnancy unless her life was in danger, so women seeking abortions in Arizona were forced to Look beyond state lines for alternatives. The state’s leading abortion provider immediately halted procedures and cancelled appointments. Providers in neighboring states, already seeing increased traffic from other conservative states that have banned abortion, are gearing up to treat some of the 13,000 Arizona patients who receive abortions each year.

17 dead, 24 injured in Russian school shooting

MOSCOW (AP) — A gunman killed 17 and wounded 24 at a school in central Russia, authorities said. Eleven children were killed in Monday morning’s shooting at School No. 1, according to officials. 88 is located in the city of Izhevsk, 960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow. The governor of the region said the gunman committed suicide after the attack. The Russian Investigative Committee identified the shooter as 34-year-old Artyom Kazantsev, a graduate of the school who the governor said was a patient in a mental hospital. He used two non-lethal pistols suitable for firing real bullets. Investigations have been launched into multiple murder charges.

Fragile Tampa Bay braces for storm not seen in a century

stone. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — More than a century has passed since major storms like Hurricane Ian hit the Tampa Bay area, whose population has grown from a few hundred thousand in 1921 to More than 3 million people today. Many of these people live in low-lying communities that are highly vulnerable to storm surges and flooding they have rarely experienced before, and some experts say the effects of climate change could exacerbate that. The problem for the region is that the storm is approaching from the south, as Hurricane Ian is approaching, pushing massive amounts of water into the shallows of Tampa Bay and potentially flooding homes and businesses with storm surges as high as 10 feet.

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