AP News Summary at 5:33 a.m. EDT

2 weeks ago

Israel moves deeper into Rafah and fights Hamas militants regrouping in northern Gaza

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli forces are battling Palestinian militants across Gaza, including in parts of the devastated north that the military said it cleared months ago. Neighboring Egypt has issued its strongest objection yet to Israel’s growing offensive on the southern city of Rafah, saying it intends to formally join South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice. Rafah is considered the last refuge in Gaza for more than a million civilians as well as Hamas’ last stronghold. Israel says it must invade to dismantle Hamas and return scores of hostages taken in the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the war.

Blinken delivers some of the strongest US public criticism of Israel’s conduct of the war in Gaza

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken has delivered some of the Biden administration’s strongest public criticism yet of Israel’s conduct of the war in Gaza. America’s top diplomat said in two television interviews that Israeli tactics have meant “a horrible loss of life of innocent civilians” but have failed to neutralize Hamas leaders and fighters and could drive a lasting insurgency. He underscored that the United States believes Israeli forces should “get out of Gaza,” but also is waiting to see credible plans from Israel for security and governance in the territory after the war.

Trump trial arrives at a pivotal moment: Star witness Michael Cohen is poised to take the stand

NEW YORK (AP) — The star prosecution witness in Donald Trump’s hush money trial is set to take the stand with testimony that could help shape the outcome of the first criminal case against an American president. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and personal fixer, is by far the most important witness in the case. And his expected appearance in court on Monday signals that the trial is entering its final stretch. Prosecutors say they may wrap up their presentation of evidence by the end of the week. Defense lawyers have teed up a bruising cross-examination of Cohen, telling jurors during opening statements that he is an “admitted liar” with an “obsession to get President Trump.”

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says his army is locked in ‘fierce’ border battles amid a Russian assault

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his troops are locked in intense battles with the advancing Russian army in two border areas. He said “fierce battles” are taking place near the border in eastern and northeastern Ukraine as outgunned and outnumbered Ukrainian soldiers try to push back a significant Russian ground offensive. Analysts say the Kremlin’s forces are aiming to exploit Ukrainian weaknesses before a big batch of new military aid for Kyiv from the U.S. and European partners arrives on the battlefield in the coming weeks and months. Meanwhile, the death toll from a Russian apartment building collapse blamed on Ukrainian shelling rose to 15.

Violence is traumatizing Haitian kids. Now the country’s breaking a taboo on mental health services

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Violence is traumatizing Haitian children. Now the country’s breaking its taboo on mental health services. Young Haitians are increasingly exposed to relentless sounds of violence and sidestep bodies in the streets. In the community of Bon Repos in northern Port-au-Prince, young students routinely throw up or wet themselves in class when gunfire erupts outside. The gang violence in Haiti’s capital has left more than 2,500 people dead or wounded in the first three months of the year. Some 900 schools have closed across Port-au-Prince as shootings and kidnappings continue. That has an estimated 200,000 children with a limited education.

India’s mammoth election is more than halfway done as millions begin voting in fourth round

SAMASTIPUR, India (AP) — Millions of Indians across 96 constituencies are casting their ballots as the country’s gigantic, six-week-long election edges past its halfway mark. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third term with an eye on winning a supermajority in Parliament. Monday’s polling in the fourth round of the multi-phase national elections offers crucial seats for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra and Bihar states. Most polls predict a win for Modi’s BJP, which is up against a broad opposition alliance. The staggered election will run until June 1 before votes are counted on June 4. Almost 970 million voters will cast their ballots in this election, more than 10% of the world’s population.

Pro-Palestinian protests dwindle on campuses as some US college graduations marked by defiant acts

Despite pro-Palestinian protests roiling some U.S. college campuses this spring, graduation ceremonies are going off largely peacefully so far. Only about 30 students at Duke University stood up against comedian and pro-Israel entertainer Jerry Seinfeld, who received an honorary doctorate Sunday. The vast majority of the 7,000 students there took no overt action as the crowd let out a mix of cheers and boos. At Emerson College in Boston, some students took off their graduation robes and left them on stage. A few dozen pro-Palestinian protesters tried to block access to Sunday evening’s commencement for Southern California’s Pomona College.

Trump suggests Chinese migrants are in the US to build an ‘army.’ The migrants tell another story

NEW YORK (AP) — The daily struggle to find work for Chinese immigrants living illegally in a borough of New York is a far cry from the picture Donald Trump and other Republicans have sought to paint. The former president has repeatedly suggested that Chinese migrants are a coordinated group of “military-age” men who have come to the United States to build an “army.” Immigrants who talked to The Associated Press said they came to the U.S. to escape poverty in China or the threat of persecution in their repressive home country. Asian advocacy organizations say they’re concerned the exaggerated rhetoric could fuel further harassment against Asians in the U.S.

Illness took away her voice. AI created a replica she carries in her phone

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Artificial intelligence voice-cloning technology carries so many risks of harmful impersonation that major technology companies are wary of letting people use it. But a team of Rhode Island doctors and their 21-year-old patient found that it can also hold tremendous benefits. Alexis Bogan felt she lost a part of her identity last year when she emerged from brain surgery unable to speak fluently. So doctors working with ChatGPT-maker OpenAI created a synthetic version of her old voice based on a 15-second video clip she recorded in high school. She can make it say whatever she wants in a voice that sounds like her own.

A combustible Cannes is set to unfurl with ‘Furiosa,’ ‘Megalopolis’ and a #MeToo reckoning

The Cannes Film Festival rarely passes without cacophony but this year’s edition may be more raucous and uneasy than any edition in recent memory. When the red carpet is rolled out Tuesday, the 77th Cannes will unfurl against a backdrop of war, protest, potential strikes and quickening #MeToo upheaval in France. Festival workers are threatening to strike. The Israel-Gaza war is sure to spark protests. Russia’s war in Ukraine remains on the minds of many. Being prepared for anything has long been a useful attitude in Cannes, but that may go doubly so this year. Befitting such tumultuous times, the film lineup is full of intrigue and question marks.…Read more by AP


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