AP Top News at 5:56 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 5:56 p.m. EST

Updated: 7 days, 16 hours, 48 minutes, 56 seconds ago

New year brings a grim wave of mass killings across America

A year ago, the U.S. marked its first deadly gun rampage of the year on Jan. 23. By the same date this year, there have been six mass killings that have claimed 39 lives, leaving communities nationwide reeling from the onslaught of violence. Eleven people killed as they welcomed the Lunar New Year at a dance hall popular with older Asian Americans. Seven Chinese and Latino farmworkers killed amid the serene beauty of California’s Half Moon Bay. A teen mother and her baby shot dead in an attack that killed six people across five generations of her family. “In the end, there are simply too many guns in this country.

In reversal, US poised to approve Abrams tanks for Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — In what would be a reversal, the Biden administration is poised to approve sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, U.S. officials said Tuesday, as international reluctance to send tanks to the battlefront against the Russians begins to erode. The decision could be announced as soon as Wednesday, though it could take months or years for the tanks to be delivered. U.S. officials said details are still being worked out. One official said the tanks would be bought under an upcoming Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package, which provides longer-range funding for weapons and equipment to be purchased from commercial vendors.

Classified documents at Pence's home, too, his lawyer says

NEW YORK (AP) — Documents with classified markings were discovered in former Vice President Mike Pence 's Indiana residence last week, his lawyer says, the latest in a string of recoveries of papers meant to be treated with utmost sensitivity from the homes of current and former top U.S. officials. “A small number of documents,” taken into FBI custody last Thursday, “were inadvertently boxed and transported" to the former vice president's home at the end of the last administration, Pence's lawyer, Greg Jacob, wrote in a letter to the National Archives shared with The Associated Press. He said that Pence had been “unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence” until a search last week and that he “understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information” and stands ready to cooperate with "any appropriate inquiry.” The revelation came as the Department of Justice was already investigating the discovery of documents with classification markings in President Joe Biden's home in Delaware and his former Washington office, as well as former President Donald Trump's Florida estate.

Justice Dept. sues Google over digital advertising dominance

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department and eight states filed an antitrust suit against Google on Tuesday, seeking to shatter its alleged monopoly on the entire ecosystem of online advertising as a hurtful burden to advertisers, consumers and even the U.S. government. The government alleges that Google’s plan to assert dominance in online ads has been to “neutralize or eliminate” rivals through acquisitions and to force advertisers to use its products by making it difficult to use competitors’ offerings. It's part of a new, if slow and halting, push by the U.S. to rein in big tech companies that have enjoyed largely unbridled growth in the past decade and a half.

Extreme Israeli group takes root in US with fundraising bid

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli group raising funds for Jewish extremists convicted in some of the country’s most notorious hate crimes is collecting tax-exempt donations from Americans, according to findings by The Associated Press and the Israeli investigative platform Shomrim. The records in the case suggest that Israel’s far right is gaining a new foothold in the United States. The amount of money raised through a U.S. nonprofit is not known. But the AP and Shomrim have documented the money trail from New Jersey to imprisoned Israeli radicals who include Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassin and people convicted in deadly attacks on Palestinians.

Senators grill Ticketmaster after Taylor Swift fiasco

Senators grilled Ticketmaster Tuesday, questioning whether the company’s dominance in the ticketing industry led to its spectacular breakdown last year during a sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets. Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee also debated possible action, including making tickets non-transferable to cut down on scalping and requiring more transparency in ticket fees. Some suggested it may also be necessary to split Ticketmaster and Beverly Hills, California-based concert promoter Live Nation, which merged in 2010. “The fact of the matter is, Live Nation/Ticketmaster is the 800-pound gorilla here," said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. “This whole concert ticket system is a mess, a monopolistic mess.” Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticket seller, processing 500 million tickets each year in more than 30 countries.

Elon Musk defiantly defends himself in Tesla tweet trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk returned to federal court to defend himself against a class-action lawsuit that alleges he misled Tesla shareholders with a tweet about an aborted buyout that the billionaire defiantly insisted Tuesday he could have pulled off, had he wanted. Musk spent roughly three more hours on the stand during his third day of testimony before being excused by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen. It’s unlikely Musk, 51, will be summoned back to the witness stand during a civil trial expected to be turned over to a nine-person jury in early February. Musk, who also owns Twitter while continuing to run Tesla, spent much of Tuesday depicting himself, while being questioned by his own attorney, Alex Spiro, as an impeccably trustworthy business leader capable of raising as much money as he needs to pursue his visions.

Indigenous hockey cards shed light on First Nations players

Ted Nolan finally has his rookie card more than 40 years after making his NHL debut. Better late than never, particularly because it includes a nod to his First Nations heritage. Upper Deck this month unveiled a “First Peoples Rookie Cards" set featuring eight Indigenous hockey players who did not get this opportunity the first time around. It comes at a time when appreciation for Native American and First Nations influences in the sport is on the rise. “It’s kind of like somebody calling you 40 years after your 18th birthday and saying, ‘Hey, you’re turning 18,'” Nolan said. “It wasn’t as exciting as it would have been if I was actually getting it when I was a rookie, but just the same I’m so honored to receive it, especially with the Indigenous component to it because (for) a lot of our kids, representation really does matter, and the more the kids get to see these type of things happening, they can dream, also.” That was the hope of Indigenous card collector Naim Cardinal, who first suggested the idea at a trade show a few years ago.

'Everything Everywhere' tops Oscar nominations with 11

NEW YORK (AP) — The multiverse-skipping sci-fi indie hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once” led nominations to the 95th Academy Awards as Hollywood heaped honors on big-screen spectacles like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” a year after a streaming service won best picture for the first time. Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” landed a leading 11 nominations on Tuesday, including nods for Michelle Yeoh and comeback kid Ke Huy Quan, the former child star of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Released back in March, the A24 film has proven an unlikely Oscar heavyweight against the expectations of even its makers.

Promising gene therapy delivers treatment directly to brain

When Rylae-Ann Poulin was a year old, she didn’t crawl or babble like other kids her age. A rare genetic disorder kept her from even lifting her head. Her parents took turns holding her upright at night just so she could breathe comfortably and sleep. Then, months later, doctors delivered gene therapy directly to her brain. Now the 4-year-old is walking, running, swimming, reading and riding horses — “just doing so many amazing things that doctors once said were impossible,” said her mother, Judy Wei. Rylae-Ann, who lives with her family in Bangkok, was among the first to benefit from a new way of delivering gene therapy — attacking diseases inside the brain — that experts believe holds great promise for treating a host of brain disorders.

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