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AP Top News at 11:39 p.m. EDT

September 25, 2022 GMT

Kremlin stages votes in Ukraine, sees protests in Russia

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces launched new strikes on Ukrainian cities Saturday as Kremlin-orchestrated votes took place in four occupied regions to create a pretext for their annexation by Moscow. In cities across Russia, police arrested hundreds of people who tried to protest a mobilization order aimed at beefing up the country’s troops in Ukraine. Other Russians reported for duty, while the foreign minister told the U.N. General Assembly his country had “no choice” but to take military action against its neighbor. Ukraine’s presidential office said the latest Russian shelling killed at least three people and wounded 19. Oleksandr Starukh, the Ukrainian governor of Zaporizhzhia, one of the regions where Moscow-installed officials organized referendums on joining Russia, said a Russian missile hit an apartment building in the regional capital, killing one person and injuring seven others.

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Fiona sweeps away houses, knocks out power in eastern Canada

TORONTO (AP) — Fiona washed houses into the sea, tore the roofs off others and knocked out power to the vast majority of two Canadian provinces as it made landfall before dawn Saturday as a big, powerful post-tropical cyclone. Fiona transformed from a hurricane into a post-tropical storm late Friday, but it still had hurricane-strength winds and brought drenching rains and huge waves. There was no confirmation of fatalities or injuries. Ocean waves pounded the town of Channel-Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland, where entire structures were washed into the sea. Mayor Brian Button said Saturday over social media that people were being evacuated to high ground as winds knocked down power lines.

Florida emergency declared as Tropical Storm Ian strengthens

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all of Florida on Saturday as Tropical Storm Ian gained strength over the Caribbean and was forecast to become a major hurricane soon days as it tracked toward the state. DeSantis had initially issued the emergency order for two dozen counties on Friday. But he expanded the warning to the entire state, urging residents to prepare for a storm that could lash large swaths of Florida. “This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,” DeSantis said in a statement.

‘Fighting fit’: Trial to show Oath Keepers’ road to Jan. 6

The voting was over and almost all ballots were counted. News outlets on Nov. 7, 2020, had called the presidential race for Democrat Joe Biden. But the leader of the Oath Keepers extremist group was just beginning to fight. Convinced the White House had been stolen from Republican Donald Trump, Stewart Rhodes exhorted his followers to action, suggesting they emulate a popular uprising that brought down Yugoslavia’s president two decades earlier. He published a version of his appeal online, headlined, “What We The People Must Do.” “We must now ... refuse to accept it and march en-mass on the nation’s Capitol,” Rhodes declared to fellow Oath Keepers.

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West works to deepen sanctions after Putin heightens threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — How do American leaders and their allies intend to respond if President Vladimir Putin seeks to escalate his way out of a bad situation on Ukraine’s battlefields, and makes good on renewed threats of annexing territory or even using nuclear weapons? At least to start with, by trying to double down on the same tactics that have helped put Russia in a corner in Ukraine, U.S. and European leaders have made clear: more financial penalties and international isolation for Russia, more arms and other backing for Ukraine. That won’t necessarily be easy. It’s been tough enough staying the current course of persuading all of dozens of allies to stick with sanctions and isolation for Putin, and persuading more ambivalent countries to join in.

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Dissident: ‘Iranian women are furious’ over headscarf death

NEW YORK (AP) — The tears come quickly to Masih Alinejad when she talks about the messages she’s received in recent days from women in Iran protesting against their government after a young woman died in police custody over a violation of the country’s strict religious dress code. They talk about the risks, possibly fatal ones, in facing off against government forces that have a long history of cracking down on dissent. They share stories of saying goodbye to their parents, possibly for the last time. They send videos of confrontations with police, of women removing their state-mandated head coverings and cutting their hair.

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GOP quiet as Arizona Democrats condemn abortion ruling

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Democrats vowed Saturday to fight for women’s rights after a court reinstated a law first enacted during the Civil War that bans abortion in nearly all circumstances, looking to capitalize on an issue they hope will have a major impact on the midterm elections. Republican candidates were silent a day after the ruling, which said the state can prosecute doctors and others who assist with an abortion unless it’s necessary to save the mother’s life. Kari Lake, the GOP candidate for governor, and Blake Masters, the Senate candidate, did not comment. Katie Hobbs and Kris Mayes, the Democratic nominees for governor and attorney general, implored women not to sit on the sidelines this year, saying the ruling sets them back more than a century to an era when only men had the right to vote.

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Saudi Arabia’s triumphant week reclaims the West’s embrace

NEW YORK (AP) — Saudi Arabia appears to be leaving behind the stream of negative coverage that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi elicited since 2018. The kingdom is once again being enthusiastically welcomed back into polite and powerful society, and it is no longer as frowned upon to seek Saudi investments or accept their favor. Saudi Arabia’s busy week of triumphs included brokering a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, holding a highbrow summit on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, marking the country’s national day with pomp and pageantry, hosting the German chancellor and discussing energy supply with top White House officials.

CIA unveils model of al-Qaida leader al-Zawahri’s hideout

McLEAN, Virginia (AP) — The CIA has revealed a model of Ayman al-Zawahri’s safe house, used to brief President Joe Biden about the al-Qaida leader’s whereabouts before the agency killed him in a drone strike in Afghanistan. Shortly after al-Zawahri’s death, White House officials released a photo showing Biden talking to CIA Director William Burns with a closed wooden box on the table in front of them. Now, the contents of the box — a model depicting a white-walled home with at least five stories and three partially obscured balconies — are on display at the CIA Museum inside the agency’s Virginia headquarters.

Kim Kardashian culls Dolce&Gabbana archives for Milan show

MILAN (AP) — Kim Kardashian took Milan by storm on Saturday, curating a new collection for Dolce&Gabbana that took inspiration from 20 years of archival looks. It was a day of debuts in Milan, including Maximilian Davis, a 27-yeaer-old British designer with Afro-Caribbean roots, at the creative helm of Salvatore Ferragamo and Filipino American designer Rhuigi Villasenor at Bally, as the brand returns to the runway for the first time in 20 years. Some highlights from the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week previews of mostly womenswear for next spring and summer: KIM KARDASHIAN AND DOLCE & GABBANA: THE BACKSTORY Kim Kardashian’s love of Dolce & Gabbana goes way back, and the affection showed in her curation of their latest collection, drawing on archival looks from 1987-2007.