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AP News Summary at 11:58 p.m. EDT | Nation and World

Biden makes abortion legislation his top priority next year

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden promises that the first bill he sends to Capitol Hill next year will be one that codifies Roe v. Wade — if Democrats control enough congressional seats for Biden to sign the abortion protections into law. In a speech meant to energize his party’s voters just three weeks before November’s midterm elections, Biden said, “If you care about the right to choose, then you have to vote.” Democrats have repeatedly tried in Congress to enshrine abortion rights into law, only to be thwarted by the GOP’s filibuster and their own members’ reluctance to change Senate rules. This dynamic is likely to persist no matter what in the November elections.

Ukraine’s electricity and water supply under attack again from Russia

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Airstrikes have cut off electricity and water supplies to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians. It’s part of what the country’s president has called an expanding Russian campaign to lead the nation into cold and dark and make peace talks impossible. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said nearly a third of Ukraine’s power plants were destroyed in the past week, causing massive blackouts. The mayor of Zhytomyr said the entire city was without electricity and water after a double missile strike on an energy facility on Tuesday. Authorities said missile strikes also hit an energy facility in Kyiv and severely damaged another in the south-central city of Dnipro.

Biden to release 15 million barrels of oil reserve, more possible

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will announce the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the U.S. strategic reserve on Wednesday as part of a response to recent production cuts announced by OPEC+ nations. That’s according to senior administration officials who spoke on Tuesday on condition of anonymity to outline Biden’s plans. He will also say that more oil sales are possible this winter, as his administration races to be seen as pulling out all the stops ahead of next month’s midterm elections. The strategic reserve now contains about 400 million barrels of oil, its lowest level since 1984.

Iranian Elnaz Rekabi, who competed without a hijab, in Tehran

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranian competitive climber Elnaz Rekabi has been greeted as a hero upon her return to Tehran. Her arrival on Tuesday comes after competing in an event in South Korea without wearing the mandatory headscarf required of female athletes from the Islamic Republic. Rekabi’s decision not to wear the hijab during competition on Sunday comes as protests sparked by the September 16 death in custody of a 22-year-old woman have entered their fifth week. Mahsa Amini was arrested by the country’s vice squad for her clothes and her death prompted women to remove their compulsory hijab in public. An Instagram post on an account attributed to Rekabi called her “unintentional” for not wearing the hijab, but fears for her safety have grown.

Parents of accused North Carolina shooter express grief

The parents of a 15-year-old boy charged with killing five people in a shooting in North Carolina released a statement saying they were “overwhelmed with grief” by the deaths. Alan and Elise Thompson released the statement on Tuesday through a lawyer who acknowledged the pain caused by their son, Austin. They say they mourn the five dead, including another son, James, who was among those killed. Witnesses described in 911 calls that the shooter opened fire with a shotgun in a neighborhood northeast of downtown Raleigh and also shot at least two people on a popular walking trail. They say they feel immeasurable pain and grief because of what happened.

Missouri school to close after radioactive waste report

FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri school board has decided to close an elementary school located near a contaminated creek after a study funded by law firms involved in a class action lawsuit found high levels of radioactive materials inside the school. The contamination was found in classrooms, the playground and elsewhere at Jana Elementary School in Florissant, Missouri, according to a report released last week by Boston Chemical Data Corp. It follows another US Army Corps of Engineers study, made public this summer, that found contamination from World War II nuclear weapons production in a wooded area near Coldwater Creek.

Analyst acquitted at trial over discredited Trump case

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A jury has acquitted on all counts a think tank analyst accused of lying to the FBI about his role in creating a discredited dossier on former President Donald Trump. The case decided on Tuesday involving Igor Danchenko was the third and possibly the last case brought by Special Counsel John Durham as part of his investigation into how the FBI conducted its own investigation into allegations of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The first two cases ended in an acquittal and a guilty plea with a sentence of probation. It was the first of three cases to delve deep into the origins of the “Steele dossier”.

Minnesota gubernatorial candidates tackle debate

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Republican challenger Scott Jensen has launched a strong attack on Gov. Tim Walz for his handling of the violent unrest following the police killing of George Floyd. And he expressed disbelief when the Democratic incumbent said he was proud of his administration’s response. The two gubernatorial candidates also clashed over violent crime and the Feeding our Future scandal on Tuesday night in their only televised debate of the campaign. And Walz said there was a clear difference between them on abortion rights. The debate took place on KTTC-TV in Rochester. They will meet for their final debate scheduled for Oct. 28 on Minnesota Public Radio.

Rape allegations aired against ’70s Show’ actor Masterson

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles prosecutor says three women’s rape allegations against “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson contain some of the same troubling elements. An assistant district attorney said in opening statements Tuesday that the women were either dizzy or unconscious after a few drinks or woke up to Masterson having sex with them. A defense attorney says the allegations appear similar because the alleged victims tainted the case by talking to each other. The prosecutor said the women initially did not report the two-decade-old crimes because they feared being ostracized by the Church of Scientology of which they and Masterson were members.

Harper, Schwarber HR as Wheeler, Phils top Pads to open NLCS

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Bryce Harper homered again, Kyle Schwarber hit a jaw-dropping 488-foot drive and Zack Wheeler was brilliant throwing a hit for seven innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies on the San Diego Padres 2-0 in the all-wild NL Championship Series opener. Wheeler and two relievers combined on a hit for the Phillies, who will look to take a 2-0 lead when they send Aaron Nola to the mound to oppose Blake Snell on Wednesday afternoon. Schwarber’s incredible shot on Yu Darvish’s first pitch from the sixth had an exit speed of 119.7 mph. Harper had his third straight playoff game.

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