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AP Top News at 11:47 p.m. EDT

October 5, 2022 GMT

South Korean reprisal launch blows up after North’s success

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A malfunctioning South Korean ballistic missile blew up as it plowed into the ground Wednesday during a live-fire drill with the United States that was a reprisal for North Korea’s successful launch a day earlier of a weapon that flew over Japan and has the range to strike the U.S. territory of Guam. The explosion and subsequent fire panicked and confused residents of the coastal city of Gangneung, who were already uneasy over the increasingly provocative weapons tests by rival North Korea. Their concern that it could be a North Korean attack only grew as the military and government officials provided no explanation about the explosion for hours.

Retreating Russians leave their comrades’ bodies behind

LYMAN, Ukraine (AP) — Russian troops abandoned a key Ukrainian city so rapidly that they left the bodies of their comrades in the streets, offering more evidence Tuesday of Moscow’s latest military defeat as it struggles to hang on to four regions of Ukraine that it illegally annexed last week. Meanwhile, Russia’s upper house of parliament rubber-stamped the annexations following “referendums” that Ukraine and its Western allies have dismissed as fraudulent. Responding to the move, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy formally ruled out talks with Russia, declaring that negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin are impossible after his decision to take over the regions.

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Deal back on? Elon Musk gets closer to buying Twitter

The tumultuous saga of Elon Musk’s on-again off-again purchase of Twitter took a turn toward a conclusion Tuesday after the mercurial Tesla CEO proposed to buy the company at the originally agreed-on price of $44 billion. Musk made the surprising turnaround not on Twitter, as has been his custom, but in a letter to Twitter that the company disclosed in a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It came less than two weeks before a trial between the two parties is scheduled to start in Delaware. In response, Twitter said it intends to close the transaction at $54.20 per share after receiving the letter from Musk.

You’re a winner: Listening in on ‘the call’ for Nobel Prize

This is what it’s like to get “the call” — the Swedish Academy of Sciences ringing you up to say you won the Nobel Prize. It’s usually a dream-of-a-lifetime call that only the special few get in private. But for American physicist John Clauser, who was awarded the Nobel for his work on quantum mechanics, it rang a little different. Thanks to a three-hour delay from a phone busy with congratulations and reporters’ queries, the call finally got through to him while he was on a live Zoom interview with The Associated Press. And he shared his side of the notification and celebration.

Haiti at breaking point as economy tanks and violence soars

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Daily life in Haiti began to spin out of control last month just hours after Prime Minister Ariel Henry said fuel subsidies would be eliminated, causing prices to double. Gunshots rang out as protesters blocked roads with iron gates and mango trees. Then Haiti’s most powerful gang took a drastic step: It dug trenches to block access to the Caribbean country’s largest fuel terminal, vowing not to budge until Henry resigns and prices for fuel and basic goods go down. The poorest country in the Western hemisphere is in the grips of an inflationary vise that is squeezing its citizenry and exacerbating protests that have brought society to the breaking point.

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US starts fiscal year with record $31 trillion in debt

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s gross national debt has surpassed $31 trillion, according to a U.S. Treasury report released Tuesday that logs America’s daily finances. Edging closer to the statutory ceiling of roughly $31.4 trillion — an artificial cap Congress placed on the U.S. government’s ability to borrow — the debt numbers hit an already tenuous economy facing high inflation, rising interest rates and a strong U.S. dollar. And while President Joe Biden has touted his administration’s deficit reduction efforts this year and recently signed the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which attempts to tame 40-year high price increases caused by a variety of economic factors, economists say the latest debt numbers are a cause for concern.

Trump asks Supreme Court to intervene in Mar-a-Lago dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for former President Donald Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to step into the legal fight over the classified documents seized during an FBI search of his Florida estate, escalating a dispute over the powers of an independent arbiter appointed to inspect the records. The Trump team asked the justices to overturn a lower court ruling and allow the arbiter, called a special master, to review the roughly 100 documents with classification markings that were taken in the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago. A three-judge panel from the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit last month limited the special master’s review to the much larger tranche of non-classified documents.

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Son’s images show him rescuing Mom from Ian’s floodwaters

In one photo, Johnny Lauder’s 86-year-old mother is in her Florida home, submerged nearly to her shoulders in black murky water, staring straight at the camera, mouth open. In another, she lies just above the waterline on a table, wrapped in sheets to keep warm. In yet another, she’s being pushed through the water in a wheelchair, her rescue nearly complete. The photos were taken after Hurricane Ian made landfall last Wednesday, bringing a powerful storm surge and 150 mph (241 kph) winds. They tell the story of Lauder’s journey to save his mother, Karen Lauder, from the home she refused to leave, despite the family’s pleading .

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Yankees star Judge hits 62nd homer to break Maris’ AL record

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Aaron Judge took a smooth, mighty swing, then broke into a big smile as he trotted around the bases. Heading home, his teammates backed away, letting him touch the plate alone. At last, the New York Yankees slugger had the American League home run record all to himself. Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night, breaking Roger Maris’ American League record and setting what some fans consider baseball’s “clean” standard. “In my book, it’s just another day,” the stoic Judge said. Judge said he felt “quite a few emotions” after connecting, thinking about his family and fans and supporters.

Jolie details Brad Pitt abuse allegations in court filing

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A court filing Tuesday from Angelina Jolie alleges that on a 2016 flight, Brad Pitt grabbed her by the head and shook her then choked one of their children and struck another when they tried to defend her. The descriptions of abuse on the private flight came in a cross-complaint Jolie filed in the couple’s dispute over a French home and winery they co-owned that is separate from their ongoing divorce, which she sought soon after. A representative for Pitt, who was not authorized to speak publicly, strongly denied Jolie’s allegations and called them “another rehash that only harms the family.” The allegations of abuse on the plane first became public shortly after the flight, but reports were initially vague and details were kept sealed in divorce documents and investigations by the FBI and Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, both of which found that no action against Pitt was necessary.