WASHINGTON (AP) — Even with their threadbare House majority, Republicans doubled down this week on using their new power next year to investigate the Biden administration and, in particular, the president’s son. But the midterm results have emboldened a White House that has long prepared for this moment. Republicans secured much smaller margins than anticipated, and aides to President Joe Biden and other Democrats believe voters punished the GOP for its reliance on conspiracy theories and Donald Trump-fueled lies over the 2020 election. They see it as validation for the administration's playbook for the midterms and going forward to focus on legislative achievements and continue them, in contrast to Trump-aligned candidates whose complaints about the president's son played to their most loyal supporters and were too far in the weeds for the average American.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland named a special counsel on Friday to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into the presence of classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate as well as key aspects of a separate probe involving the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and efforts to undo the 2020 election. The appointment of veteran prosecutor Jack Smith, announced just three days after Trump formally launched his 2024 candidacy, is a recognition of the unmistakable political implications of two investigations that involve not only a former president but also a current White House hopeful. It installs a new chain of command over sensitive probes seen as likely to accelerate now that the midterm elections have concluded, with Garland citing Trump's entry into the race and President Joe Biden's stated intention to run again as reasons for Smith's sudden appointment.
BANGKOK (AP) — Leaders from around the Asia-Pacific called for an end to Russia’s war on Ukraine and pledged to steer the region’s economies toward sustainable growth as they wrapped up summit meetings Saturday. Host Thailand garnered a diplomatic coup in managing to bridge divisions among the 21 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum by saying that most members had condemned the war. Russia is an APEC member, as is China, which generally has refrained from criticizing Moscow. The declaration issued by APEC leaders acknowledged differing views on the war and said the forum, which is devoted largely to promoting trade and closer economic ties, was not a venue for resolving such conflicts.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has unveiled the little-known daughter of its leader Kim Jong Un at a missile launch site, attracting keen attention on a fourth-generation member of the dynastic family that has ruled North Korea for more than seven decades. The North’s state media said Saturday that Kim had observed the launch of its new type of intercontinental ballistic missile with his wife Ri Sol Ju, their “beloved daughter” and other officials the previous day. Kim said the launch of the Hwasong-17 missile — the North’s longest-range, nuclear-capable missile — proved he has a reliable weapon to contain U.S.-led military threats.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — As they watched House Speaker Nancy Pelosi step forward to wrangle an unruly Congress over the years or stare down a bombastic president, many women across the country saw a version of the calm, confident leader they hoped to be themselves. Pelosi, in rooms full of powerful men, was tenacious, tactical, tough. All while being a devoted mother and grandmother at home. And rarely finding the need to raise her voice. “The image of her coming out in the red coat was just always amusing to me because it just kind of personified how badass she is,” said Gina Lind, 61, of Phoenix, a marketing director for an airline.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced Friday to more than 11 years in prison for duping investors in the failed startup that promised to revolutionize blood testing but instead made her a symbol of Silicon Valley ambition that veered into deceit. The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila was shorter than the 15-year penalty requested by federal prosecutors but far tougher than the leniency her legal team sought for the mother of a year-old son with another child on the way. Holmes, 38, faced a maximum of 20 years in prison. Her legal team requested no more than 18 months, preferably served in home confinement.
Elon Musk’s managerial bomb-throwing at Twitter has so thinned the ranks of software engineers who keep the world’s de-facto public square up and running that industry insiders and programmers who were fired or resigned this week agree: Twitter may soon fray so badly it could actually crash. Musk ended a very public argument with nearly two dozen coders over his retooling of the microblogging platform earlier this week by ordering them fired. Hundreds of engineers and other workers then quit after he demanded they pledge to “extremely hardcore” work by Thursday evening or resign with severance pay. The newest departures mean the platform is losing workers just at it gears up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which opens Sunday.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's string of troubled lethal injections, which worsened late Thursday as prison workers aborted another execution because of a problem with intravenous lines, is unprecedented nationally, a group that tracks capital punishment said Friday. The uncompleted execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith was the state's second such instance of being unable to kill an inmate in the past two months and its third since 2018. The state completed an execution in July, but only after a three-hour delay caused at least partly by the same problem with starting an IV line. A leader at the Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-death penalty group with a large database on executions, said no state other than Alabama has had to halt an execution in progress since 2017, when Ohio halted Alva Campbell's lethal injection because workers couldn't find a vein.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Four University of Idaho students who were found dead in a rental house near campus were stabbed to death in their beds and likely were asleep when they were attacked, a county coroner told a cable news channel. Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt also told NewsNation on Thursday that each victim suffered multiple stab wounds from a “pretty large knife.” “It has to be somebody pretty angry in order to stab four people to death,” Mabbutt told NewsNation. The victims were stabbed in the chest and upper body, the coroner said. Efforts by The Associated Press to reach Mabbutt by telephone Friday were diverted to an Idaho State Police spokesperson, who did not immediately return messages.
TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — When Russia's top military brass announced in a televised appearance that they were pulling troops out of the key city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, one man missing from the room was President Vladimir Putin. As Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Gen. Sergei Surovikin, Russia’s chief commander in Ukraine, stiffly recited the reasons for the retreat in front of the cameras on Nov. 9, Putin was touring a neurological hospital in Moscow, watching a doctor perform brain surgery. Later that day, Putin spoke at another event but made no mention of the pullout from Kherson -– arguably Russia’s most humiliating withdrawal in Ukraine.