AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EDT
Florida Gov. Ron Desantis booed at vigil as hundreds mourn more racist killings
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered Sunday at prayer vigils and in church, in frustration and exhaustion, to mourn yet another racist attack in America: this one the killing of three Black people in Florida at the hands of a white, 21-year-old man who authorities say left behind white supremacist ramblings that read like “the diary of a madman.”
Following services earlier in the day, about 200 people showed up at a Sunday evening vigil a block from the Dollar General store in Jacksonville where officials said Ryan Palmeter opened fire Saturday using guns he bought legally despite a past involuntary commitment for a mental health exam.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis — who is running for the GOP nomination for president, who has loosened gun laws in Florida and who has antagonized civil rights leaders by deriding “wokeness " — was loudly booed as he addressed the vigil.
Ju’Coby Pittman, a Jacksonville city councilwoman who represents the neighborhood where the shooting happened, stepped in to ask the crowd to listen.
“It ain’t about parties today,” she said. “A bullet don’t know a party.”
Tropical Storm Idalia takes aim at Gulf of Mexico on a possible track toward the US, forecasters say
MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Idalia was near the coast of Cuba Sunday on a potential track to come ashore as a hurricane in the southern U.S., the National Hurricane Center said.
At 10 p.m. CDT Sunday, the storm was about 145 miles (235 kilometers) off the western tip of Cuba with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kmh). The storm was stationary at the time, the hurricane center said.
The center's update also included a hurricane advisory for the Cuban province of Pinar Del Rio.
Forecasters said they expected Idalia to become a hurricane on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico and then curve northeast toward the west coast of Florida.
Idalia could approach Florida on Wednesday with winds of up to 100 mph (160 kph), according to the latest forecasts from the Hurricane Center. That would make it a Category 2 hurricane.
Trump's drumbeat of lies about the 2020 election keeps getting louder. Here are the facts
WASHINGTON (AP) — With Donald Trump facing felony charges over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, the former president is flooding the airwaves and his social media platform with distortions, misinformation and unfounded conspiracy theories about his defeat.
It's part of a multiyear effort to undermine public confidence in the American electoral process as he seeks to chart a return to the White House in 2024. There is evidence that his lies are resonating: New polling from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that 57% of Republicans believe Democrat Joe Biden was not legitimately elected as president.
Here are the facts about Trump's loss in the last presidential election:
Biden’s victory over Trump in 2020 was not particularly close. He won the Electoral College with 306 votes to Trump's 232, and the popular vote by more than 7 million ballots.
Because the Electoral College ultimately determines the presidency, the race was decided by a few battleground states. Many of those states conducted recounts or thorough reviews of the results, all of which confirmed Biden’s victory.
Simone Biles wins a record 8th US Gymnastics title a full decade after her first
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Simone Biles is not going to explain herself. Part of this is by design. Part of this is because she simply can't.
When the gymnastics star is at her best, as she was on Sunday night while winning her record eighth U.S. championship, she feels like she's in a “fever dream.” It's not autopilot exactly. It's more of a vibe. A flow.
It's in those moments that the doubts that still plague her almost daily even now, a decade into a run of unprecedented excellence, fade away.
There is no thinking. No overanalyzing. No “ twisties.” All of it recedes into the background. Her coach Laurent Landi calls it a skill. Biles, even at 26, won't go that far. Maybe because she simply doesn't want to.
She spent a long time, far too long, getting caught up in her head. She's intent on not doing it this around.
A US Marine Osprey crashes during drills in Australia, killing 3 and injuring 20, some critically
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A United States Marine Corps aircraft with 23 Marines aboard crashed on a north Australian island Sunday, killing at least three and critically injuring at least five during a multinational training exercise, officials said.
Three had been confirmed dead on Melville Island and five were flown in serious condition 80 kilometers (50 miles) to the mainland city of Darwin for hospital treatment after the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft crashed around 9:30 a.m., a statement from the Marines said.
“Recovery efforts are ongoing,” the statement said, adding the cause of the crash was under investigation.
Aircraft had been sent from Darwin to retrieve more survivors from the remote location but no further details on the fate of the other 15 Marines on board had been released hours later.
A U.S. military official reported to Australian air traffic controllers a “significant fire in the vicinity of the crash site,” according to an audio recording of the conversation broadcast by Nine News television.
Environmental groups recruit people of color into overwhelmingly white conservation world
BARABOO, Wis. (AP) — Arianna Barajas never thought of herself as the outdoors type. The daughter of Mexican immigrants who grew up in Chicago's suburbs, her forays into nature usually amounted to a bike ride to a community park.
She was interested in wild animals but had no idea she could make a living working with them until her older brother enrolled in veterinarian school. She took a leap of faith and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and became a wildlife ecology major.
This summer Barajas landed an internship designed for people of color at the International Crane Foundation's headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and stepped into a new world.
“I always knew growing up I had an interest in wildlife and animals but didn't know the options I had," Barajas, 21, said. “I really just have a passion for the outdoors. I can't just be in an office all day. I need to be outside and doing things I think are valuable.”
Environmental groups across the country have worked for the last two decades to introduce members of underrepresented populations like Barajas to the overwhelmingly white conservation world. The effort has gained momentum since George Floyd's death forced a national reckoning on race relations and challenged a variety of industries to focus on diversity and inclusion efforts.
Women working in Antarctica say they were left to fend for themselves against sexual harassers
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The howling winds and perpetual darkness of the Antarctic winter were easing to a frozen spring when mechanic Liz Monahon at McMurdo Station grabbed a hammer.
If those in charge weren’t going to protect her from the man she feared would kill her, she figured, she needed to protect herself. It wasn’t like she could escape. They were all stuck there together on the ice.
So she kept the hammer with her at all times, either looped into her Carhartt overalls or tucked into her sports bra.
“If he came anywhere near me, I was going to start swinging at him,” Monahon says. “I decided that I was going to survive.”
Top US and Chinese commerce officials express support for better trade conditions
BEIJING (AP) — Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and her Chinese counterpart expressed support for improving trade conditions as Raimondo on Monday began a visit to Beijing aimed at improving chilly relations.
Raimondo joined American officials including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in July who have visited China in the past three months. They expressed optimism about improving communication but have announced no progress on technology, security, human rights and other disputes that have plunged relations to their lowest level in decades.
For its part, Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government wants to revive foreign investor interest in China as it tries to reverse a deepening economic slump.
Beijing is ready to work together to “foster a more favorable policy environment for stronger cooperation” and “bolster bilateral trade and investment,” Commerce Minister Wang Wentao told Raimondo. Wang gave no details of possible initiatives.
Raimondo said the two sides are working on establishing “new information exchanges” for “more consistent engagement.”
Removing Fukushima's melted nuclear fuel will be harder than the release of plant's wastewater
OKUMA, Japan (AP) — At a small section of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s central control room, the treated water transfer switch is on. A graph on a computer monitor nearby shows a steady decrease of water levels as treated radioactive wastewater is diluted and released into the Pacific Ocean.
In the coastal area of the plant, two seawater pumps are in action, gushing torrents of seawater through sky blue pipes into the big header where the treated water, which comes down through a much thinner black pipe from the hilltop tanks, is diluted hundreds of times before the release.
The sound of the treated and diluted radioactive water flowing into an underground secondary pool was heard from beneath the ground as media, including The Associated Press, toured the plant in northeastern Japan for the first time since the water release began.
“The best way to eliminate the contaminated water is to remove the melted fuel debris,” said Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings spokesperson Kenichi Takahara, who escorted Sunday’s media tour for foreign media.
But Takahara said the scarcity of information from inside the nuclear reactors makes planning and development of the necessary robotic technology and a facility for the melted fuel removal extremely difficult.
Workers exposed to extreme heat have no consistent protection in the US
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Santos Brizuela spent more than two decades laboring outdoors, persisting despite a bout of heatstroke while cutting sugarcane in Mexico and chronic laryngitis from repeated exposure to the hot sun while on various other jobs.
But last summer, while on a construction crew in Las Vegas, he reached his breaking point. Exposure to the sun made his head ache immediately. He lost much of his appetite.
Now at a maintenance job, Brizuela, 47, is able to take breaks. There are flyers on the walls with best practices for staying healthy — protections he had not been afforded before.
“Sometimes as a worker you ask your employer for protection or for health and safety related needs, and they don’t listen or follow,” he said in Spanish through an interpreter.
A historic heat wave that began blasting the Southwest and other parts of the country this summer is shining a spotlight on one of the harshest, yet least-addressed effects of U.S. climate change: the rising deaths and injuries of people who work in extreme heat, whether inside warehouses and kitchens or outside under the blazing sun. Many of them are migrants in low-wage jobs.
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