“Don’t be numb to it”: Fighting despair over gun deaths
BUFFALO, NY (AP) — It seems increasingly as though America is at war with itself. From a triple homicide in New Orleans just days into the new year to the shooting of a Virginia teacher by a 6-year-old boy to a series of mass shootings in California. Simply keeping track of the shootings has become difficult, with locations, details and explanations coming together in a jumble of bloodshed and heartbreak. But if it might make you think America has grown desensitized to gun violence, Zeneta Everhart would like a word. Everhart’s then 19-year-old son survived being shot in the neck in May when a gunman stormed into a Buffalo supermarket. “I don’t think the country is going numb, but I think the country is frustrated,” he said. “I think people are tired.”
Report: Drones attack convoy in eastern Syria from Iraq
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian opposition activists and pro-government media are reporting drones attacked a convoy of trucks in eastern Syria shortly after they passed through Iraq. Sunday night’s strike comes amid rising tensions between Iran and its rivals in the region. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on the convoy in the Syrian border region of Boukamal, a stronghold of Iranian-backed militias. An opposition war monitor and pro-government radio station said the attack targeted six refrigerated trucks. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Erdogan could approve Finland’s NATO offer, ‘shock’ Sweden
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president has suggested his country could approve Finland’s application for NATO membership before taking any action on Sweden. The two Nordic nations have jointly applied to become members of the military alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a pre-recorded video released on Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that Turkey could only sign Finland. Turkey has accused Sweden of being too lenient towards groups it considers terrorist organizations or existential threats. The Turkish government issued a travel warning for European countries on Saturday due to anti-Turkish demonstrations and what it described as Islamophobia. The warning came after pro-Kurdish groups held protests and an anti-Islam activist burned the Koran in Stockholm.
Prayer breakfast concerns lead Congress to take control of it
WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Prayer Breakfast is one of the most visible and longstanding events uniting religion and politics in Washington. But because of concerns the rally had become too divisive, it is now separating itself from the private religious group that had overseen it for decades. The organizer and host of this year’s breakfast, scheduled for Thursday, will be a new foundation led by former Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Sen. Chris Coons, a regular attendee and chairman of the Senate ethics committee, says the move was in part prompted by concerns in recent years that members of Congress did not know important details about the largest multi-day rally that included the Breakfast.
Friends mourn killed volunteer helping civilians in Ukraine
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Friends and volunteers gathered at the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev to say goodbye to a New Zealand scientist killed in Ukraine with another volunteer as they tried to evacuate people from a frontline city. Andrew Bagshaw, a dual New Zealand-British citizen, was 48, and British citizen Briton Parry, who was 28, disappeared earlier this month on their way to the town of Soledar, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region Oriental. Also on Sunday, Russian forces heavily shelled the city of Kherson. Regional officials said three people were killed and nine injured. The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused Ukraine and its allies of war crimes in the bombing of two hospitals in occupied parts of Ukraine.
Trustees chosen by DeSantis can switch progressive colleges
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — “Your education. Your way. Be original. Be you.” That’s how New College of Florida describes its approach to higher education in an admissions brochure. The state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay has long been known for its progressive thinking and creative course offerings that don’t use traditional grades.For some, New College’s reputation as a haven for originality and personalized coursework is now under threat.Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis recently named six new trustees who plan to transform the school into a classic liberal arts school modeled after the conservative-favorite Hillsdale College in Michigan.
Elon Musk’s mysterious ways on display in Tesla’s tweet trial
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk’s enigmatic personality and unconventional tactics are emerging as key exhibits in a process that revolves around one of his most polarizing activities: tweeting. The trial, centered around a pair of tweets announcing that Musk got the money to take Tesla privately in 2018, dragged the 51-year-old billionaire into a courtroom for three days of testimony that opened a peephole into his mind often inscrutable. Evidence presented so far in a trial expected to conclude this week has shown that Musk had made a proposal to lead a buyout, but that he hadn’t locked up the money to pay it off as he tweeted in 2018.
Tunisian voters are avoiding elections seen as a test for democracy
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Voters in Tunisia have shunned parliamentary elections seen as a major test for their president and the country’s troubled democracy. According to preliminary estimates by the national electoral commission, voter turnout in Sunday’s runoff was just 11.3 percent of Tunisia’s 8 million voters. Many disaffected Tunisians stayed away. The influential Islamist party Ennahdha and other opposition movements boycotted. Independent observers have reported scattered violations. The runoff is seen as a step in President Kais Saied’s push to consolidate power, tame Islamist rivals and win back investors to save Tunisia’s shaky economy. But the low turnout casts doubt on the legitimacy of the future parliament and could complicate Saied’s plans. Preliminary results are expected on Wednesday.
Protesters: Killing of ‘Cop City’ activist makes no sense
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta’s self-proclaimed “forest defenders” are calling for a deeper investigation into the death of a protester who was shot dead by authorities after officials said the activist shot a soldier. The activist’s death was met with vigils around the world. Friends say they knew 26-year-old Tortuguita, or “Little Turtle,” as funny, curious and thoughtful, not the kind of person who would shoot a gun at police. But authorities say that’s just what Tortuguita did as they tried to clear an 85-acre forested area that is slated to be developed as a police and firefighters training facility. Protesters dubbed the site “Cop City” and camped there for more than a year.
Kansas City Police find the body in the man’s car after towing it
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Family members wonder why Kansas City police didn’t find a man’s body in the loading area of his SVU until they towed it to a Missouri police station earlier Of this month. The police are defending their handling of the situation. They say they didn’t have a search warrant when the vehicle was towed on Jan. 17 and the dead man, Adam “AJ” Blackstock Jr., hadn’t been reported officially missing at the time. Blackstock’s family say they just want answers about what happened to the 24-year-old. The case is being investigated as a homicide.