AP News Digest at 6:11 p.m. ET

Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida as Category 4 storm

stone. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Ian has made landfall in southwest Florida as one of the most powerful storms on record in the United States. It flooded city streets, smashed trees along the coast while crawling, threatening catastrophic flooding over large areas. Just an hour after the major storm dragged ashore on Wednesday, the coastal sheriff’s office reported that it had received a large number of calls from people trapped in their homes. The center of the hurricane struck near Cayo Costa, a protected barrier island west of densely populated Fort Myers.

Russia ready to annex occupied Ukraine after fake vote

Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) — Russia has positioned itself after a Kremlin-orchestrated “referendum” in the occupied region — condemned by Kyiv and the West as illegal and rigged — to live under Moscow’s rule for the official annexation of parts of Ukraine. During the five days of voting, the armed forces and election officials went door-to-door to collect ballots. The results were widely ridiculed as implausible and described as land-grabbing by an increasingly cornered Russian leadership in the wake of Ukraine’s embarrassing military losses. Russia is calling 300,000 reservists into the war and has warned of a possible resort to nuclear weapons. The European Commission president has urged the EU’s 27 member states to impose more sanctions on Russian officials and deal in what he called a sham referendum.

Explainer: How real is Putin’s nuclear threat in Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that he will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons to stop Ukraine’s attempt to take back control of Moscow’s occupied territories that the Kremlin is about to annex. While the West sees it as an intimidation tactic, one of Putin’s top lieutenants has upped the ante, boldly saying the United States and its NATO allies are afraid to strike Russia, even if it uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Others in the West, such as former German chancellor Angela Merkel, say the Russian threat should be taken seriously, seeing it not as a sign of weakness but of political wisdom.

Recording methane leak flow from damaged Baltic pipeline

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A natural gas leak in the Nord Stream in the Baltic Sea could emit the equivalent of a third of Denmark’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions, a Danish official said. That would also be five times the amount of potent greenhouse gases emitted during the 2015-2016 Aliso Canyon well disaster in California. One chemical engineer estimated that the numbers would be reduced, but still twice as many as the Aliso Canyon escapes. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas, warming the atmosphere 82.5 times more than carbon dioxide.

Records contradict Majewski’s description of military punishment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Ohio Republican congressional candidate is facing criticism for misrepresenting his military service, and he was reprimanded and demoted for drunk driving on a U.S. Air Force base in 2001. That’s according to documents in the JR Majewski personnel file provided to The Associated Press. and independently certified. They undermined the campaign’s previous explanation of his participation in the fight, which led to disciplinary measures that ultimately resulted in the Air Force denying him re-enlistment. Here’s another example where the documented history of Majewski’s service differs from what he told voters. Majewski admitted he was punished for driving under the influence of alcohol. But he did not explain why his campaign had previously given a different account.

Church defends clergy’s loopholes in child sex abuse reporting

Clergy in 33 states are exempt from laws requiring professionals such as teachers, doctors and psychotherapists to report suspected child abuse information to police or child welfare officials. The loophole has resulted in an undisclosed number of predators being allowed to continue abusing children for years, even though they have admitted it to religious officials. An Associated Press review found that over the past two decades, state legislatures have introduced more than 130 bills to create or amend child sexual abuse reporting laws. Privileges of the clergy have not changed following a backlash from religious groups. Often, legislative efforts to close loopholes encounter lawmakers who are also church members.

Explainer: Rare sedition charges in mid-January. 6 trials

WASHINGTON (AP) — The founder of the Oath Keepers and four associates are on trial in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on charges including inciting conspiracy — a rare Civil War-era charge that touches on prosecutors that day. the heart of the matter. Stuart Rhodes and his followers are the first January. Six defendants stand trial on such charges over what prosecutors say is a violent conspiracy to prevent the transfer of presidential power. Jury selection begins Tuesday and is expected to last several weeks.

Vaccine appears to protect against monkeypox, CDC says

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. public health officials say high-risk people who have received just one dose of the monkeypox vaccine appear to be significantly less likely to contract the virus. Still, on Wednesday they urged a second dose for full protection. This is the first time public health officials have shown how the Jynneos vaccine works against a monkeypox outbreak. The virus spreads primarily among men who have sex with infected men.

Stocks rebound, bonds soar after UK calms markets

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks on Wall Street surged to their first gain in more than a week as calm returned to global financial markets. The S&P 500 rose 2% on Wednesday, its best day in seven weeks. That ended Wall Street’s longest losing streak since the coronavirus crash in February 2020. Global bond markets also eased after the Bank of England took forceful action to rein in the budding financial crisis there. U.S. Treasury yields have fallen sharply, easing some of the pressure that has sent stocks on Wall Street down more than 20% this year.

Oregon town has first wind-solar cell ‘hybrid’ plant

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon renewable energy facility, which combines solar, wind and large batteries to store the energy generated there, will be the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America. Clean energy experts say the project, which could power 100,000 homes, addresses some of the key challenges facing the industry as the U.S. shifts away from fossil fuels. Interest in on-site battery storage to balance solar or wind power generation has soared, but the combination of wind, solar and storage batteries in one location promises to make the Wheatridge renewable energy facility particularly efficient.

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