AP News Summary at 3:25 a.m. EDT

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The US is making its biggest push yet to get Israel and Hamas to halt fighting. Is it succeeding?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is keeping up its biggest push of the eight-month-old war in Gaza to get Israel and Hamas into a cease-fire. But the world is still waiting for signs that the cease-fire appeal that President Joe Biden began a week ago is working. Biden spoke from the White House on May 31 to publicly outline terms of a deal that would halt fighting in Gaza and release hostages. Nimrod Novik, a former adviser to the late Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, says Biden’s outlining of the proposal has served to ‘out’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, by revealing the seriousness of the effort to free hostages held by Hamas.

Slovaks and others go to the polls in EU elections under the shadow of an assassination attempt

PRAGUE (AP) — Voters in Slovakia are casting the ballots in European Parliamentary elections just weeks after an attempt to assassinate populist Prime Minister Robert Fico. Analysts say the attack that sent the shockwaves through the nation of 5.4 million could boost the chances of Fico’s leftist Smer party to win the vote. Smer is in a close race against the main opposition Progressive Slovakia, a pro-Western liberal party. Citizens in Italy, Malta, Latvia and the Czech Republic are also voting Saturday. The elections for the parliament of the 27-nation bloc conclude Sunday, and initial results will only be known after the final polls close in all member nations.

Rishi Sunak’s D-Day departure is just the latest in a long line of gaffes in UK election campaigns

LONDON (AP) — The decision by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to leave D-Day commemorations in northern France early has caused a political storm that threatens to derail his Conservative Party’s general election campaign. Though Sunak apologized for not attending Thursday’s final commemoration on Omaha Beach in Normandy, his critics said the decision showed disrespect to the veterans and diminished the U.K.’s international standing. Campaign gaffes are regular features of British elections. Some have more impact than others.

Macron is hosting Biden for a state visit as the two leaders try to move past trade tensions

PARIS (AP) — President Joe Biden is being feted by French President Emmanuel Macron with a state visit this weekend in Paris. The two allies aim to show off their partnership on global security issues and move past trade tensions. The state visit Saturday will begin with a welcome ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe and a military parade leading to the Élysée Palace, where the two will hold official meetings and deliver public statements. Later, Macron will host a dinner at the palace for Biden and his wife, Jill. Both leaders this week have used D-Day 80th anniversary events in France to underscore the urgent need to support Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion.

Biden apologizes to Zelenskyy for monthslong congressional holdup to weapons that let Russia advance

PARIS (AP) — President Joe Biden has for the first time publicly apologized to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for a monthslong congressional holdup in American military assistance that let Russia make battlefield gains. Biden and Zelenskyy met Friday in France, where they attended ceremonies marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Biden told Zelenskyy he apologized to the Ukrainian people for the weeks of not knowing if more assistance would come while Congress waited six months before sending him a $61 billion military aid package. The Democrat insists Americans stand by Ukraine. Biden says: “We’re still in. Completely. Thoroughly.” Zelenskyy has appealed for bipartisan U.S. support “like it was during World War II.”

US-built pier in Gaza is reconnected after repairs, and aid will flow soon, US Central Command says

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. military-built pier designed to carry aid into Gaza by boat has been reconnected to the beach in the besieged territory after it broke apart in storms and rough seas. U.S. Central Command said Friday food and other supplies will begin flowing in the coming days. The pier section that connects to the beach in Gaza was rebuilt two weeks after heavy storms damaged it and abruptly halted what had already been a troubled delivery route. Central Command says operations at the reconnected pier will be ramped up soon with a goal to get 1 million pounds of food and other supplies moving through the pier into Gaza every two days.

Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi testifies about her father in his federal gun trial, ending 1st week

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi testified in his federal gun trial about visiting her father while he was at a California rehab center. She told jurors Friday that he seemed to be improving in the weeks before he bought the revolver in 2018. As she was dismissed from the stand, she paused to hug her dad before leaving the courtroom. The defense began calling witnesses shortly after federal prosecutors wrapped up their case. Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell started by calling another gun store clerk who was there when the gun was purchased. Lowell raised questions about what he saw as inconsistencies on the form.

Former astronaut William Anders, who took iconic Earthrise photo, killed in Washington plane crash

SEATTLE (AP) — William Anders, the former Apollo 8 astronaut who took the iconic “Earthrise” photo showing the planet as a shadowed blue marble from space in 1968, has been killed when the plane he was piloting alone plummeted into the waters off the San Juan Islands in Washington state. He was 90. His son confirmed the death Friday to The Associated Press. The San Juan County Sheriff says a report came in shortly before noon Friday that an older model plane crashed into the water and sank near the north end of Jones Island.

Iran helicopter crash shows Tehran’s reliance on an aging fleet as well as its challenges at home

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — While the cause of the May 19 helicopter crash that killed Iran’s president and others remains unknown, the sudden death of the hard-line protégé of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has exposed the contradictions and challenges facing the country’s Shiite theocracy. Iranian military investigators have released two statements on the crash, largely ruling out possibilities rather than offering a suspected cause. But some officials still pursue conspiracy theories. The country’s use of the Bell 212 helicopter links back to decisions by the shah of Iran to buy hundreds of the helicopters before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Sanctions have seen Iran rely on black market networks to secure parts, sparking U.S. prosecutions of those allegedly involved.

Demand for food delivery has skyrocketed. So have complaints about some drivers

BOSTON (AP) — Since the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for food delivered fast has skyrocketed. But not everyone is happy about it. Big cities in the U.S. are getting fed up with food delivery drivers on scooters, motorcycles and mopeds who work for such services as DoorDash and Grubhub. There have been complaints about deliverers running red lights and driving on sidewalks, posing a danger to pedestrians. This week, Boston sent a letter to several food delivery companies warning of a crackdown. In New York City, officials have confiscated about 13,000 unregistered delivery bikes. In Washington, D.C., officials launched a program to enforce speed limits for motorized two-wheeled delivery vehicles.…Read more by AP

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