AP Top News at 6:36 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 6:36 a.m. EDT

Updated: 1 month, 6 days, 4 hours, 51 minutes, 37 seconds ago

AP sources: Musk in control of Twitter, ousts top executives

Elon Musk has taken control of Twitter and ousted the CEO, chief financial officer and the company’s top lawyer, two people familiar with the deal said Thursday night. The people wouldn’t say if all the paperwork for the deal, originally valued at $44 billion, had been signed or if the deal has closed. But they said Musk is in charge of the social media platform and has fired CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and Chief Legal Counsel Vijaya Gadde. Neither person wanted to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the deal. A few hours later, Musk tweeted, “the bird has been freed,” a reference to Twitter's logo.

Russia's hope for Ukraine win revealed in battle for Bakhmut

BAKHMUT, Ukraine (AP) — Russian soldiers pummeling a city in eastern Ukraine with artillery are slowly edging closer in their attempt to seize Bakhmut, which has remained in Ukrainian hands during the eight-month war despite Moscow's goal of capturing the entire Donbas region bordering Russia. While much of the fighting in the last month has unfolded in southern Ukraine's Kherson region, the battle heating up around Bakhmut demonstrates Russian President Vladimir Putin's desire for visible gains following weeks of clear setbacks in Ukraine. Taking Bakhmut would rupture Ukraine's supply lines and open a route for Russian forces to press on toward Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, key Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk province.

Democrats cautiously campaign on Jan. 6, democracy threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaking last year on the House floor, Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan angrily bemoaned the lack of bipartisanship after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and said Republican opposition to an investigative commission was a “slap in the face” to the law enforcement officers assaulted by then-President Donald Trump's supporters that day. Ryan has trodden more carefully this year as he runs for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, a onetime battleground state that has trended rightward in the Trump era. At a recent debate, his Republican opponent, JD Vance, charged that Ryan has an “obsession” with the insurrection and called the Jan.

N Korea fires missiles toward sea as US warns over nukes

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward the sea on Friday in its first ballistic weapons launches in two weeks, as the U.S. military warned the North that the use of nuclear weapons “will result in the end of that regime.” South Korea’s military detected the two launches from the North’s eastern coastal Tongchon area around midday on Friday, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It said both missiles flew about 230 kilometers (140 miles) at a maximum altitude of 24 kilometers (15 miles). The statement said South Korea strongly condemns the launches, calling them “a grave provocation” that undermines regional peace and violates U.N.

Japan Cabinet OKs $200B spending plan to counter inflation

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government approved Friday a hefty economic package that will include government funding of about 29 trillion yen ($200 billion) to soften the burden of costs from rising utility rates and food prices. Kishida was set to give a news conference in the evening. Inflation has been rising in Japan along with globally surging prices. A weakening of the yen against the dollar has amplified costs for imports. The stimulus package includes subsidies for households that are largely seen as an attempt by Kishida to lift his plunging popularity. His government has been rocked by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s close ties to the South Korean-based Unification church, which surfaced after the assassination of former leader Shinzo Abe in July.

Hand vote count on hold after Nevada high court says illegal

PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) — An unprecedented hand-count of mail-in ballots in a rural Nevada county is on hold and may not resume after the Nevada Supreme Court said in an after-hours ruling the current process is illegal and the Republican secretary of state directed the county clerk to “cease immediately.” Volunteers in rural Nye County had wrapped up a second day of hand-counting the ballots on Thursday by the time the Supreme Court issued a three-page opinion siding with objections raised by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada. Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, who is in charge of elections and has been been one of the GOP's most vocal critics of the sort of voter-fraud conspiracy theories that fueled the hand tallying of ballots, said the “hand-counting process must cease immediately.” She requested in a letter to Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf that he confirm to her office Thursday night that the hand count process “had been stopped.” Cegavske's office didn’t immediately respond to requests from The Associated Press for an update.

Massive learning setbacks show COVID's sweeping toll on kids

The COVID-19 pandemic devastated poor children’s well-being, not just by closing their schools, but also by taking away their parents’ jobs, sickening their families and teachers, and adding chaos and fear to their daily lives. The scale of the disruption to American kids’ education is evident in a district-by-district analysis of test scores shared exclusively with The Associated Press. The data provide the most comprehensive look yet at how much schoolchildren have fallen behind academically. The analysis found the average student lost more than half a school year of learning in math and nearly a quarter of a school year in reading – with some district averages slipping by more than double those amounts, or worse.

Hawaii's Big Island gets warning as huge volcano rumbles

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii officials are warning residents of the Big Island that the world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, is sending signals that it may erupt. Scientists say an eruption isn’t imminent, but they are on alert because of a recent spike in earthquakes at the volcano’s summit. Experts say it would take just a few hours for lava to reach homes closest to vents on the volcano, which last erupted in 1984. Hawaii’s civil defense agency is holding meetings across the island to educate residents about how to prepare for a possible emergency. They recommend having a ″go″ bag with food, identifying a place to stay once they leave home and making a plan for reuniting with family members.

Baker's storytelling a hit with Astros as Series begins

HOUSTON (AP) — Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. was asked for a simple description of Houston manager Dusty Baker. His answer? “Story time.” Baker has spent a lifetime in baseball and loves to regale his team with tales of his experiences and exploits in the game. This week as the Astros prepared to meet the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series beginning Friday night, his players shared some of their favorite stories. Baker is famous for spinning yarns, and during his time with the Astros the 73-year-old skipper has mentioned everyone from John F. Kennedy Jr. to NBA great Bill Russell to reggae icon Bob Marley.

Dig finds evidence of Revolutionary War prison camp location

Researchers say they solved a decades-old riddle this week by finding remnants of the stockade and therefore the site of a prison camp in York, Pennsylvania, that housed British soldiers for nearly two years during the American Revolutionary War. The location of Camp Security was thought to have been on land acquired by the local government nearly a decade ago. On Monday, an archaeological team working there located what they believe to be the prison camp's exterior security fence. The camp housed more than 1,000 English, Scottish and Canadian privates and noncommissioned officers for 22 months during war, starting with a group of prisoners who arrived in 1781, four years after their surrender at Saratoga, New York.

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