AP Top News at 12:56 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 12:56 p.m. EST

Updated: 12 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes, 53 seconds ago

US Treasury buys time for Biden and GOP on debt limit deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The countdown toward a possible U.S. government default began Thursday with the Treasury Department implementing accounting measures as a stopgap, while friction between President Joe Biden and House Republicans raised concern about whether the U.S. can sidestep an economic crisis. The Treasury Department said in a letter to congressional leaders it has started taking “extraordinary measures” as the government has run up against its legal borrowing capacity of $31.381 trillion. An artificially imposed cap, the debt ceiling has been increased roughly 80 times since the 1960s. “I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote in the letter.

Alec Baldwin to be charged with manslaughter in set shooting

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Actor Alec Baldwin and a weapons specialist will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer who was killed on a New Mexico movie set, prosecutors announced Thursday, citing a “criminal disregard for safety.” Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies issued a statement announcing the charges against Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who supervised weapons on the set of the Western “Rust.” Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern, an icon to many, to step down

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who became a global icon of the left and exemplified a new style of leadership, said Thursday that she would leave office. Just 37 when she became leader, Ardern was praised around the world for her handling of the nation’s worst-ever mass shooting and the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. But she faced mounting political pressures at home and a level of vitriol from some that hadn’t been experienced by previous New Zealand leaders. Still, her announcement came as a shock throughout the nation of 5 million people. Fighting back tears, Ardern told reporters in Napier that Feb.

Germany pressed on tanks for Ukraine; Kyiv airs frustration

BERLIN (AP) — Germany faced mounting pressure to supply battle tanks to Kyiv and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy aired frustration about not obtaining enough weaponry as Western allies conferred Thursday on how best to support Ukraine nearly 11 months into Russia's invasion. Germany's new defense minister, Boris Pistorius, welcomed U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Berlin. He declared that German weapons systems delivered so far have proven their worth and that “we will continue in the future, together with our partners, to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom, territorial independence and sovereignty.” He didn't, however, mention the Leopard 2 tanks that Ukraine has long sought.

AP Top 25 Movies, ranking 2022's best: What made the cut?

With hundreds of new movies released each year, many of us depend on the expertise of film critics to help curate our own watching — a thoroughly communal yet deeply personal experience. To honor the supporting role that entertainment journalism can play in this beloved pastime, The Associated Press on Thursday unveiled its inaugural AP Top 25 Movies list. The AP Top 25 Movies ranking is a distinctive honor roll of films released in 2022, as determined by a truly representative panel of 26 of the U.S.' smartest movie experts working for AP-affiliated news outlets. Here, we explain what it is and how it works: THE HISTORY The AP Top 25 Movies ranking is a new initiative adapted from a rich legacy.

Religious leaders sue to block Missouri's abortion ban

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A group of religious leaders who support abortion rights filed a lawsuit on Thursday challenging Missouri's law that bans abortions in nearly all cases, saying lawmakers openly invoked their religious beliefs while drafting the measure and thereby imposed those beliefs on others who don't share them. The lawsuit filed in St. Louis is the latest of many to challenge restrictive abortion laws enacted by conservative states after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. That landmark ruling left abortion rights up to each state to decide. Since then, religious abortion rights supporters have increasingly used religious freedom lawsuits in seeking to protect abortion access.

Peru’s Andes ‘descended' on capital to demand leader resign

LIMA, Peru (AP) — People poured into Peru's coastal capital, many from remote Andean regions, for a protest Thursday against President Dina Boluarte and in support of her predecessor, whose ouster last month launched deadly unrest and cast the nation into political chaos. There was a tense calm in the streets of Lima Thursday morning ahead of the protest that supporters of former president Pedro Castillo hope will open a new chapter in the weeks-long movement to demand Boluarte's resignation, the dissolution of Congress, immediate elections and structural change in the country. Castillo, Peru’s first leader from a rural Andean background, was impeached after a failed attempt to dissolve Congress.

Fashion sneakers propel sustainable rubber in Brazil Amazon

XAPURI, Brazil (AP) — Rubber tapper Raimundo Mendes de Barros prepares to leave his home, surrounded by rainforest, for an errand in the Brazilian Amazon city of Xapuri. He slides his long, scarred, 77-year-old feet into a pair of sneakers made by Veja, a French brand. At first sight, the expensive, white-detailed urban tennis shoes seem at odds with the muddy tropical forest. But the distant worlds have converged to produce soles made from native Amazonian rubber. Veja works with a local cooperative called Cooperacre, which has reenergized the production of a sustainable forest product and improved the lives of hundreds of rubber tapper families.

Cowboys-49ers rivalry set for record-tying 9th playoff game

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — For Kyle Shanahan, the chance to coach the San Francisco 49ers against the Dallas Cowboys in a playoff game is a throwback to when that rivalry was the biggest in football. Shanahan's formative years were spent watching his father, Mike, as offensive coordinator in San Francisco battling the Cowboys in three straight NFC title games. After the rivalry went dormant for more than a quarter-century as the proud franchises rarely enjoyed success at the same time, it is having a rebirth with San Francisco set to take on Dallas for the second straight postseason when they meet Sunday in the divisional round.

Say cheese! Galactic photo shoot captures 3 billion stars

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A galactic photo shoot has captured more than 3 billion stars and galaxies in one of the biggest sky surveys ever. A dark-energy camera on a telescope in Chile made the observations over two years, focusing on the Southern Hemisphere sky. The National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab released the survey results this week. Shown in remarkable detail, most of these Milky Way objects are stars. The count also includes small, distant galaxies that may have been mistaken as individual stars. It’s like taking a group shot and being able to distinguish not only each individual, but the color of their shirt, said lead researcher Andrew Saydjari, a doctoral candidate in physics at Harvard University.

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