AP Top News at 8:57 a.m. EST

AP Top News at 8:57 a.m. EST

Updated: 29 days, 16 hours, 10 minutes, 16 seconds ago

Biden: Putin's suspension of arms treaty with US a 'mistake'

WARSAW (AP) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin made a "mistake” by suspending his country's participation in the the last remaining U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control treaty. In his first comments since Putin's announcement Tuesday, Biden, who is in Poland to meet with NATO's eastern flank allies, condemned the Russian decision to pull back from the treaty, known as New START. In his state-of-the-nation address to the Russian people, Putin said Russia was withdrawing from the treaty because of U.S. support to Ukraine, and he accused the U.S. and its NATO allies of openly working for Russia’s destruction.

Parts of northern US shut down, part of wild day of weather

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — States in the northern plains are largely shutting down ahead of a massive winter storm that could dump up to 2 feet of snow in some areas, accompanied by strong winds and dangerously cold temperatures. The blizzard-like conditions to the north are part of a wild weather day across the U.S. Wind gusts, combined with snow and rain, forced closure of a long stretch of interstate highway in the Southwest. Meanwhile, many places in the mid-Atlantic down to Florida are expected to see record high temperatures — in some cases up to 40 degrees above normal. Many schools throughout the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin were called off for Wednesday, ahead of the storm.

McCarthy gives Carlson access to 1/6 footage, raising alarms

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of hours of surveillance footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol are being made available to Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson, a stunning level of access granted by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy that Democrats swiftly condemned as a “grave” breach of security with potentially far-reaching consequences. The hard-right political commentator said his team is spending the week at the Capitol pouring through the video and preparing to reveal their findings to his viewers. But granting exclusive access to sensitive Jan. 6 security footage to such a deeply partisan figure is a highly unusual move, seen by some critics as essentially outsourcing House oversight to a TV personality who has promoted conspiracy theories about the attack.

10 Palestinians killed, scores hurt in Israel West Bank raid

NABLUS, West Bank (AP) — Israeli troops on Wednesday entered a major Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank in a rare, daytime arrest operation, triggering fighting that killed at least 10 Palestinians and wounded scores of others. The raid, which reduced a building to rubble and left a series of shops riddled with bullets, was one of the bloodiest battles in nearly a year of fighting in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. A 72-year-old man was among the 10 killed and 102 people were wounded, Palestinian officials said. The brazen raid, coupled with the high death toll, raised the prospect of further bloodshed.

'Woke, Inc.' author Vivek Ramaswamy enters White House race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vivek Ramaswamy, a wealthy biotech entrepreneur and investor and the author of “Woke, Inc.,” has entered the Republican race for president. In a video released Tuesday night, Ramaswamy, 37, formally launched his longshot bid by decrying what he called a “national identity crisis” that he claims is driven by a left-wing ideology that has replaced “faith, patriotism and hard work” with “new secular religions like COVID-ism, climate-ism and gender ideology." “We have obsessed so much over our diversity and our difference that we forgot all the ways we’re really just the same as Americans," he says. In a Wall Street Journal editorial published at the same time, he pledged to repeal civil service protections for federal workers if he wins, as well as work to eliminate affirmative action, including directing the Justice Department to prosecute “illegal race-based preferences." Born in Ohio, Ramaswamy, the son of Indian immigrants, founded a biotechnology company before becoming the partner of a hedge fund.

Mormon church fined $5M for obscuring size of portfolio

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its investment arm have been fined $5 million for using shell companies to obscure the size of the portfolio under church control, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday. The faith, widely known as the Mormon church, maintains billions of dollars of investments in stocks, bonds, real estate and agriculture. Much of its portfolio is controlled by Ensign Peak Advisers, a nonprofit investment manager overseen by ecclesiastical leaders known as its presiding bishopric. The church has agreed to pay $1 million and Ensign Peak will pay $4 million in penalties based on the violation.

CNN's Don Lemon tweets another apology, returns to work

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN anchor Don Lemon tweeted an apology to viewers for his remarks about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley shortly before returning to work on Wednesday, then stuck to the news. He made no mention of his comments last week that Haley was not in “her prime,” during the first hour of “CNN This Morning,” sticking to stories like President Joe Biden's trip to Ukraine, the Ohio train derailment and winter weather. Lemon, during the hour before he went on the air, tweeted that he appreciated the opportunity to return to work. He was absent for three days.

Southern Baptists oust Saddleback Church over woman pastor

The Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday ousted its second-largest congregation — Saddleback Church, the renowned California megachurch founded by pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren — for having a woman pastor. The vote by the convention's Executive Committee culminates growing tension between the nation's largest Protestant denomination — which officially opposes women as pastors — and a congregation whose story has been one of the biggest church-growth successes of modern times. The committee cited Saddleback's having “a female teaching pastor functioning in the office of pastor," an allusion to Stacie Wood, wife of the current lead pastor of Saddleback, Andy Wood.

Microsoft brings Bing chatbot to phones after curbing quirks

Microsoft is ready to take its new Bing chatbot mainstream — less than a week after making major fixes to stop the artificially intelligent search engine from going off the rails. The company said Wednesday it is bringing the new AI technology to its Bing smartphone app, as well as the app for its Edge internet browser. Putting the new AI-enhanced search engine into the hands of smartphone users is meant to give Microsoft an advantage over Google, which dominates the internet search business but hasn't yet released such a chatbot to the public. In the two weeks since Microsoft unveiled its revamped Bing, more than a million users around the world have experimented with a public preview of the new product after signing up for a waitlist to try it.

WWE leaning in to social media ahead of possible sale

WWE, an organization that is already king of the ring on social media, will attempt to expand its online presence this year with the $6.5 billion sports entertainment company hinting that it may put itself up for sale. WWE surpassed 20 million followers on its flagship TikTok account during its most recent quarter, the first sports league to do so, and it's launching three international TikTok accounts after the WWE Español TikTok handle reached nearly 2 million followers in its first year, according to the company. WWE's presence online is already broad and it does not appear to be slowing down.