Anti-abortion activists will have multiple reasons to celebrate — and some reasons for unease — when they gather Friday in Washington for the annual March for Life. The march, which includes a rally drawing abortion opponents from across the nation, has been held annually since January 1974 — a year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision established a nationwide right to abortion. This year’s gathering — 50 years after that decision — will be the first since the high court struck down Roe in a momentous ruling last June. Since then, 12 Republican-governed states have implemented sweeping bans on abortion, and several others seek to do the same.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday she is stepping down as New Zealand's leader and will not contest general elections set for October. Fighting back tears, Ardern told reporters in Napier that Feb. 7 will be her last day in office. She will hold her seat as a lawmaker until the general election, which she said would be held on Oct. 14. “I am not leaving because it was hard. Had that been the case I probably would have departed two months into the job. I am leaving because with such a privileged role, comes responsibility, the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead, and also, when you are not.
BROVARY, Ukraine (AP) — A helicopter carrying Ukraine's interior minister crashed into a kindergarten in a foggy residential suburb of Kyiv on Wednesday, killing him and about a dozen other people, including a child on the ground, authorities said. Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, who oversaw the country's police and emergency services, is the most senior official killed since Russia invaded nearly 11 months ago. His death, along with the rest of his ministry's leadership and the entire helicopter crew, was the second major calamity in four days to befall Ukraine, after a Russian missile struck an apartment building in the southeastern city of Dnipro, killing dozens of civilians.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A shooter stood over a 16-year-old mother clutching her 10-month-old baby and shot and killed them in a brazen attack in a central California farming community that left six dead, a sheriff said Tuesday. Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said the teenager was fleeing the violence early Monday when the killers caught up to her outside the home in Goshen, a central California community of about 3,000 residents in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, and shot the young mother and her child “assassination-style.” The other four victims ranged from 19 to 72 years old, including a grandmother who was shot as she slept.
NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, said he met for 2½ hours Tuesday with Manhattan prosecutors who have revived a years-old investigation into payments made to a porn star to keep her quiet about an alleged extramarital tryst. Cohen said he had been “ordered not to disclose” any of the people present at the meeting or to discuss prosecutors’ area of interest in any detail. “I have tremendous confidence in the team that I met with yesterday, as well as their depth and knowledge regarding this and other matters,” Cohen said. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal charges that he violated campaign finance law by arranging payouts to porn actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal to keep them from going public with claims of extramarital affairs with Trump.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A polar bear chased several residents around a tiny, isolated Alaska Native whaling village, killing a mother and her 1-year-old son in an extremely rare attack before another community member shot and killed the bear, authorities said. The fatal mauling, the first in more than 30 years in Alaska, happened Tuesday near the school in Wales, an isolated Bering Strait coastal community located on the westernmost tip of the North American mainland — about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Russia — that is no stranger to coexisting with polar bears. Summer Myomick of Saint Michael and her son, Clyde Ongtowasruk, were killed in the attack, Alaska State Troopers said in a statement.
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. government’s star witness in a corruption trial over the broadcasting rights to some of soccer's biggest events testified Wednesday how he and two former Fox executives paid millions of dollars in bribes to undermine competing bids. The trial in New York City is the latest development in a tangled corruption scandal that dates back nearly a decade and has ensnared more than three dozen executives and associates in the world’s most popular sport. The witness, Alejandro Burzaco, alleges that he and former Fox executives Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez conspired to bribe South American soccer officials for the TV rights to the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest annual tournament, the Copa Libertadores, and help land broadcasting rights to the sport’s most lucrative competition, the World Cup.
Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, joining other tech companies that have scaled back their pandemic-era expansions. The company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the layoffs were a response to “macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities.” The Redmond, Washington-based software giant said it will also be making changes to its hardware portfolio and consolidating its leased office locations. Microsoft is cutting far fewer jobs than it had added during the COVID-19 pandemic as it responded to a boom in demand for its workplace software and cloud computing services with so many people working and studying from home.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was depicted Wednesday as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular people" or a well-intentioned visionary as attorneys delivered opening statements at a trial focused on a Tesla buyout that never happened. Lawyers on opposing sides drew the starkly different portraits of Musk for a nine-person jury that will hear the three-week trial. The case is focused on two August 2018 tweets that the billionaire posted on Twitter, which he now owns. The tweets indicated that Musk had lined up the financing to take Tesla private at a time when the automaker's stock was slumping amid production problems.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Wes Moore was sworn in as the state’s first Black governor on Wednesday, pledging to work for greater inclusion and economic equity while also focusing on improving education, fighting crime and climate change. Moore, after being introduced by Oprah Winfrey in front of the Maryland State House, noted that the state is one of the wealthiest in the nation, but he also described it as “asset-rich and strategy poor.” “It is time for our policies to be as bold as our aspirations — and to confront the fact that we have been offered false choices,” Moore said.