KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Fighting is grinding on in Ukraine after the country marked the anniversary of Russia's invasion, with Ukrainian authorities on Saturday reporting dozens of new Russian strikes and attacks on cities in the east and south. After a somber and defiant day of commemorations on Friday and a marathon news conference, Ukraine's seemingly indefatigable president followed up with new video posts a day later in which he declared that “Russia must lose in Ukraine" and argued that its forces can be defeated this year. In a separate tweet, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also pushed for more sanctions pressure on Russia after the U.K., U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't have far to look if it wants a personal take on the “crushing weight” of student debt that underlies the Biden administration’s college loan forgiveness plan. Justice Clarence Thomas was in his mid-40s and in his third year on the nation's highest court when he paid off the last of his debt from his time at Yale Law School. Thomas, the court's longest-serving justice and staunchest conservative, has been skeptical of other Biden administration initiatives. And when the Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday involving President Joe Biden's debt relief plan that would wipe away up to $20,000 in outstanding student loans, Thomas is not likely to be a vote in the administration's favor.
Since its debut in 1971, an anti-pollution ad showing a man in Native American attire shed a single tear at the sight of smokestacks and litter taking over a once unblemished landscape has become an indelible piece of TV pop culture. It's been referenced over the decades since on shows like “The Simpsons” and “South Park” and in internet memes. But now a Native American advocacy group that was given the rights to the long-parodied public service announcement is retiring it, saying it has always been inappropriate. The so-called “Crying Indian” with his buckskins and long braids made the late actor Iron Eyes Cody a recognizable face in households nationwide.
EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — Federal environmental authorities have ordered a temporary halt in the shipment of contaminated waste from the site of a fiery train derailment earlier this month in eastern Ohio near the Pennsylvania state line. Region 5 administrator Debra Shore of the Environmental Protection Agency said Saturday the agency ordered Norfolk Southern to “pause” shipments from the site of the Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine but vowed that removal of the material would resume “very soon.” “Everyone wants this contamination gone from the community. They don’t want the worry, and they don’t want the smell, and we owe it to the people of East Palestine to move it out of the community as quickly as possible,” Shore said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A powerful winter storm that swept down the West Coast with flooding and frigid temperatures shifted its focus to southern California on Saturday, swelling rivers to dangerous levels and dropping snow in even low-lying areas around Los Angeles. The National Weather Service said it was one of the strongest storms to ever hit southwest California and even as the volume of wind and rain dropped, it continued to have significant impact including snowfall down to elevations as low as 1,000 feet (305 meters). Hills around suburban Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, were blanketed in white, and snow also surprised inland suburbs to the east.
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Angela Bassett won entertainer of the year at Saturday's NAACP Image Awards on a night that also saw her take home an acting trophy for the television series “9-1-1.” The Bassett-led Marvel superhero sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” won best motion picture at the ceremony, which was broadcast live on BET from Pasadena, California. Viola Davis won outstanding actress for the action epic “The Woman King,” a project she championed and starred in. Will Smith won for the slavery drama “Emancipation,” his first release since last year's Academy Awards, where he slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage before winning his first best actor trophy.
SEATTLE (AP) — You can change your name, but in many states you can’t completely shed your old one — something that’s of particular concern to transgender people and that legislators in at least two states are trying to change. A bill in Washington would allow gender expression and identity as reasons to seal, or keep out of the public record, a future petition for a name change. And a California bill would require the sealing of petitions by minors to change their name and gender on identity documents. In states where such petitions aren’t sealed, transgender people can be susceptible to cyberbullying or even physical violence because their previous names, and by extension their lives, are an open book in the public record, advocates warn.
STAGECOACH, Nev. (AP) — All five people aboard a medical transport flight, including a patient, were killed in a plane crash Friday night in a mountainous area in northern Nevada. The Lyon County Sheriff’s office said authorities began receiving calls about the crash near Stagecoach, Nevada, around 9:15 p.m. and found the wreckage two hours later. Stagecoach, a rural community home to around 2,500 residents, is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Reno. Care Flight, which provides ambulance service by plane and helicopter, said the dead included the pilot, a flight nurse, a flight paramedic, a patient and a patient’s family member.
Investigators like to say the crime scene at a killing tells the story even if no one else does. In the double murder trial of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, his defense lawyers want jurors to believe the crime scene can't tell them much about the deaths of his wife and son because state agents did a poor job investigating. Murdaugh, 54, is accused of killing his wife, Maggie, 52, and their 22-year-old son, Paul, at kennels near their home on June 7, 2021, as the once-prominent attorney's career and finances were crumbling. Murdaugh has denied any role in the fatal shootings.
Cal Conley of the Atlanta Braves thought he had just won the game with a two-out, full-count, bases-loaded walk-off walk on Saturday. He took a few steps toward first base, bat still in hand, when umpire John Libka jumped out from behind the plate and indicated strike three. Game over. Conley, apparently thinking he had been awarded an automatic ball four, couldn't believe it. He pointed to himself and said, “Me?” His teammates couldn't believe it, either. Fans booed. Welcome to 2023, where baseball’s new rules designed to improve pace of play are coming fast at everyone, particularly the players. The most dramatic moment of the new pitch clock era arrived on the first full day of spring games, and in the most dramatic scenario possible.