AP News Summary at 2:32 p.m. EDT | Nation and World

Judge: Prosecutors can’t enforce Michigan abortion ban

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge blocked county prosecutors from enforcing a pre-Roe abortion ban that would have allowed providers to be charged with a felony. Friday’s preliminary injunction comes after the state Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that a May preliminary injunction applies only to the attorney general’s office, not county prosecutors who deal most crimes. The judge’s decision follows two days of witness testimony. Prosecutors in some of the state’s most populous counties said they would not charge providers regardless of the ruling, but Republican prosecutors in Kent, Jackson and Macomb counties said they should be able to enforce the 1931 law. David Kallman, an attorney representing two Republican county attorneys, said an appeal was planned.

Panel rules Justice Department wrongly withheld Russia investigative memo

Attorney General William Barr’s Department of Justice improperly withheld portions of an internal memorandum cited by Barr to publicly announce that then-President Donald Trump had not committed obstruction of justice in the investigation on Russia. That’s the decision of a federal appeals panel on Friday. The department had argued that the 2019 memo represented the private deliberations of its own lawyers before any decision was formalized, and was therefore exempt from disclosure. A federal judge disagreed, ordering the Justice Department to provide it to a government transparency group that sued it. Last year, the Biden administration appealed that decision. The appeals judges said on Friday that their decision should be interpreted as a “narrow” one.

Islamic State ‘Beatle’ sentenced to life for death of US hostages

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A Briton nicknamed one of the Beatles by his captives because of his English accent has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of four American hostages captured by Islamic State. Prosecutors say El Shafee Elsheikh is the most notorious Islamic State member ever convicted in a trial in a US court. A jury found him guilty of taking hostages that resulted in the deaths of Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. All but Mueller were executed in videotaped beheadings released online. Elsheikh’s attorney said at Friday’s sentencing hearing that he was appealing the conviction.

Witness about R. Kelly: I didn’t want to “carry his lies”

CHICAGO (AP) — A woman who says she was sexually abused hundreds of times by R. Kelly before she turned 18 testified that she worried several years ago about whether to cooperate with the federal investigators who were investigating allegations of child abuse involving the singer. The woman, who is now 37 and goes by the pseudonym ‘Jane’ during Kelly’s trial in Chicago, told the court on Friday that she ultimately cooperated with the investigation because she didn’t want to ‘carry his lies “. During cross-examination, she admitted to lying at one point when she told federal agents she wasn’t sure if Kelly abused minors other than herself. She said she lied because she didn’t want to cause trouble for others.

US announces new military aid and drones for Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States said it will give Ukraine 15 Scan Eagle surveillance drones, 40 mine-resistant vehicles, 2,000 anti-armour shells and howitzers to help Ukrainian forces regain territory and mount a counter-offensive against the Russian invaders. A senior defense official said the new $775 million aid package will help Ukrainian troops advance in the south and east, where Russian forces have placed mines. The official said the United States was seeking to help shape and arm Ukraine’s future force as the war drags on. The latest aid comes as Russia’s war on Ukraine is about to hit the six-month mark.

Nigeria’s Osun River: Sacred, Revered and Increasingly Toxic

OSOGBO, Nigeria (AP) – The Osun River flows through a forest designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He is revered by the Yoruba-speaking people of southwestern Nigeria. But it is constantly threatened by pollution from waste disposal and other human activities. This includes dozens of illegal gold mines whose runoff fills the river with toxic metals. Osun’s servants are mostly women between the ages of 30 and 60. They leave behind all of their secular life to serve both the goddess and the king. They have little interaction with outsiders, allowing them to devote themselves fully to the goddess, whom they worship daily in a shrine nestled deep in the grove.

Utah judge strikes down law banning transgender children from playing sports

SALT LAKE CITY, AP — Transgender girls in Utah will have the opportunity to participate in women’s sports at the start of the school year after a judge overturned a ban pending legal challenges from parents. Utah State Judge Keith Kelly issued his ruling on Friday. Instead of an outright ban, transgender girls will now go before a state political nominating commission that will determine if they are eligible to participate. The Utah ruling marked the court’s latest development in a national debate over how to navigate a flashpoint problem. Similar cases are ongoing in states such as Idaho, West Virginia and Indiana.

China’s response to Pelosi’s visit is a sign of future intentions

BANGKOK (AP) — China’s response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has been anything but subtle — sending warships and military planes to all sides of democracy autonomous island and launching ballistic missiles into nearby waters. The dust still hasn’t settled, with Taiwan now conducting its own drills and Beijing announcing it has more maneuvers planned, but experts say much can already be gleaned from what China has and hasn’t done. done so far. China will also learn from these exercises about its own military capabilities.

Mosquito spray booms in the yard, but maybe too deadly

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — It’s an increasingly familiar sight in American cities and suburbs: workers wearing gloves and masks, spraying construction sites for mosquitoes. As climate change expands the insect’s range and lengthens its peak season, more Americans are turning to the burgeoning industry of professional extermination. But the chemical bombardment has scientists worried that overuse of pesticides will harm pollinators and aggravate a growing threat to insect-eating birds. Federal authorities are reporting a “dramatic” increase in diseases spread by mosquitoes and other blood-sucking animals, including Zika and West Nile viruses. At the same time, many species of beneficial insects are threatened with extinction. Some experts say spraying should be a last resort, after removing breeding sites like standing water.

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