Intense smoke blanketed the northeastern United States for a second day Wednesday, turning the air a yellowish gray and prompting warnings for people to stay inside and keep windows closed. The smoke is flowing from dozens of wildfires burning in several Canadian provinces. The effects reach as far south as North Carolina and west to Ohio, blotting out skylines and irritating throats. Conditions were especially bad in parts of central New York, where the airborne soot was at hazardous levels.
Ukrainian authorities are rushing supplies of drinking water to areas affected by flooding from a collapsed dam in southern Ukraine. They also are weighing where they might resettle residents who relied on the breached reservoir on the Dnieper River, which forms part of the front line of the 15-month war. More than 2,700 people have fled flooded areas on both the Russian and Ukrainian-controlled sides of the river, but it was not clear whether the true scale of the disaster had yet emerged in an area that was home to more than 60,000 people. The hydroelectric dam and reservoir is essential for the supply of drinking water and irrigation to a huge area of southern Ukraine.
Lionel Messi picks MLS's Inter Miami in a move that stuns soccer after exit from Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi says he is coming to Inter Miami and joining Major League Soccer. After months of speculation, Messi announced his decision to join a Miami franchise that has been led by another global soccer icon in David Beckham since its inception but has yet to make any real splashes on the field. That will likely soon change. One of Inter Miami’s owners, Jorge Mas, tweeted out a photo of a darkly silhouetted Messi jersey shortly before the Argentinian great revealed his decision in interviews with Spanish news outlets Mundo Deportivo and Sport. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner makes his move after two years with Paris Saint-Germain.
Mike Pence has opened his presidential bid with an unusually forceful denunciation of former President Donald Trump over Jan. 6, Trump's temperament and abortion. Pence told an audience in a Des Moines, Iowa, suburb on Wednesday, “Anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States, and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president again.” And he accused Trump of abandoning conservative principles, particularly on abortion. Pence is the first vice president in modern history to challenge his former running mate. Trump leads the GOP 2024 presidential field in early polls.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says a white Florida woman accused of fatally shooting her Black neighbor last week has been arrested. It was a violent culmination of what the sheriff described as a 2½-year feud. Fifty-eight-year-old Susan Louise Lorincz was arrested Tuesday on charges of manslaughter, assault and more in the death of Ajike Owens. Authorities came under pressure Tuesday to arrest and charge the white woman who fired through her front door and killed a Black neighbor in a case that has put Florida’s divisive stand your ground law back into the spotlight. Jail records did not list a lawyer who could speak on Lorincz's behalf.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum touted his small-town roots and business experience as he announced his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. The former software entrepreneur adds his name to a long list of contenders hoping to dent former President Donald Trump’s early lead. Burgum kicked off his campaign Wednesday in Fargo, near the tiny town where he grew up. Burgum said big cities can use more ideas and values from small towns. He's known to few outside North Dakota, and faces enormous odds. He isn’t even the most notable candidate to announce a presidential campaign Wednesday. Former Vice President Mike Pence launched his White House bid in Iowa.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is wasting no time going after Donald Trump while launching his presidential campaign. Christie is calling the former president and current Republican primary front-runner a “lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog” and arguing that he’s the only one who can stop him. Christie began his run with a town hall in New Hampshire Tuesday night. He ran for president and lost to Trump in 2016. The former governor and federal prosecutor went on to become a close off-and-on adviser before breaking with Trump over his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election.
Pope Francis is going the hospital for surgery on his intestine, two years after he had 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his colon removed because of an inflammation and narrowing of the large intestine. He left the Vatican shortly after 11 a.m. The Vatican said Francis, 86, would be put under general anesthesia and would be hospitalized for several days. Earlier Wednesday, the pontiff presided over his weekly general audience. The 86-year-old pope spent three days at the hospital in late March. Initially, the Vatican said he had gone in for scheduled tests, but the pontiff later revealed he had felt pain in his chest and was rushed to the hospital, where bronchitis was diagnosed. He was put on intravenous antibiotics and was released April 1, quipping that he was “still alive.”
Police say two people have been killed and five more wounded in a shooting after a high school graduation ceremony in Virginia’s capital. Police also said Tuesday night that a 19-year-old is in custody and will be charged with two counts of second-degree murder. The city’s interim police chief said the two who died were an 18-year-old male student who had just graduated, and a 36-year-old man. The names of the dead and the suspect were not immediately released. But police said they believe the suspect knew at least one of the victims.
The global economy is bouncing back from an an energy price spike fed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But growth will stay below average this year and next. And trouble could emerge as central banks trying to fight inflation push interest rates higher and make borrowing for house purchases and business expansion more costly. That is the outlook Wednesday from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The OECD foresees growth of 2.7% this year and 2.9% next year — below the average pace before the pandemic.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid strained relations between Riyadh and Washington. Blinken’s trip to Saudi Arabia that began Tuesday is his second since becoming America’s top diplomat. It also comes after Saudi Arabia under Prince Mohammed has become more willing to disregard the U.S. in striking its own decisions. However, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab nations still rely on the U.S. to be the security guarantor for the region as tensions over Iran’s nuclear program spill over. Blinken will also meet with other Saudi officials, attend an anti-Islamic State meeting in Riyadh and meet with foreign ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Federal prosecutors are using a grand jury in Florida as part of their investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach property. That's according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press. The grand jury is in addition to a separate panel that has been meeting in Washington for months to consider charges against Trump over the retention of hundreds of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and potential obstruction of government efforts to reclaim the records. A spokesman for special counsel Jack Smith declined to comment.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration says three dozen migrants whom the state flew from the southern border to California on private planes went willingly. The Tuesday comments by a spokeswoman from the Florida Division of Emergency Management dispute allegations by California officials that the individuals were coerced to travel under false pretenses. Two planes have arrived in Sacramento carrying asylum-seekers mostly from Colombia and Venezuela. California Attorney General Rob Bonta says he's investigating whether any violations of criminal or civil law occurred. DeSantis has previously paid to relocate migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard.
Eleven House conservatives have staged a mini-revolt as part of the fallout from last week’s vote to lift the debt ceiling. They tanked GOP leadership’s efforts to proceed Tuesday on a mix of legislative priorities. The passage of the debt ceiling bill was hailed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other members of GOP leadership, but dozens of GOP lawmakers voted against the measure, saying it didn’t do enough to restrict spending. Their dissatisfaction about the process spilled over into votes Tuesday on a measure establishing the rules for debate on various GOP priorities, which are now stuck until the impasse is resolved.
The PGA Tour abruptly dropped its expensive fight with Saudi Arabia’s LIV Golf venture on Tuesday and instead announced a stunning merger that creates a global operation featuring the world’s top players backed by the Saudis’ massive wealth. As part of the deal merging the PGA Tour and European tour with Saudi Arabia’s golf interests, the sides immediately are dropping all lawsuits involving LIV Golf. From the golf side, still to be determined is how players like Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson can rejoin the PGA Tour after defecting last year for signing bonuses reported to be in the $150 million range.
White House website highlights infrastructure, manufacturing investments as Biden pushes policy wins
The White House on Tuesday is starting a website to map and track tens of thousands of infrastructure projects and private manufacturing investments, an effort by the administration to show the impact of its policies on the U.S. economy. The site documents roughly 32,000 infrastructure projects and more than $470 billion worth of investments in the production of electric vehicles, batteries, computer chips, biotech, clean energy and other sectors. President Joe Biden is seeking reelection in 2024 by trying to show how his policies are reshaping the U.S. economy to address climate change and compete with rivals such as China. But high inflation has voters giving him low marks on economic leadership.
Prince Harry has entered a courtroom witness box and sworn to tell the truth in testimony against a tabloid publisher he accuses of phone hacking and other unlawful snooping. Harry alleges that journalists at the Daily Mirror and its sister papers used unlawful techniques on an “industrial scale” to get scoops. Publisher Mirror Group Newspapers is contesting the claims. Harry faced cross-examination by the company’s lawyer Tuesday. The 38-year-old son of King Charles III is the first senior British royal since the 19th century to face questioning in a court. Harry has made a mission of holding the U.K. press to account for what he sees as its hounding of him and his family.
The collapse of a major dam in southern Ukraine sent global prices of wheat and corn higher. Wheat prices gained 2.4% in early trading Tuesday at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, to $6.39 a bushel. The cost of corn rose more than 1% (to $6.04 a bushel) and oats gained 0.73% ($3.46 per unit). Prices were higher earlier in the day, but appeared to decline in the hours following. The destruction of Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric power station, which sits on the Dnieper River in an area that Moscow controls, raised anxiety about a potential disruption to global supplies. There are massive agricultural fields in Southern Ukraine where the dam burst.
Apple has unveiled a long-rumored headset that will place its users between the virtual and real world, while also testing the technology trendsetter’s ability to popularize new-fangled devices after others failed to capture the public’s imagination. After years of speculation, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday hailed the arrival of the sleek goggles — dubbed "Vision Pro” — at the the company’s annual developers conference held on a park-like campus in Cupertino, California, that Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs helped design. The Vision Pro will sell for $3,500 when it comes out early next year, a price likely to limit its appeal.
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. has settled with a woman who claims he raped her, averting a trial that was about to begin in New York City. The trial was scheduled to start with jury selection Tuesday morning. The woman says Gooding lured her into a hotel room by saying he had to change his clothing and then attacked her. Gooding maintained through his lawyers that it was consensual sex. The accuser was seeking $6 million in damages. Her attorney declined comment. Authorities have said at least 30 women have made sexual misconduct allegations against Gooding, accusing him of groping, unwanted kissing and other inappropriate behavior.
Lawyers for Ukraine have told the United Nations’ top court that Russia bankrolled a “campaign of intimidation and terror” by rebels in eastern Ukraine starting in 2014 and sought to replace Crimea’s multiethnic community with “discriminatory Russian nationalism” after its occupation and annexation of the region. Kyiv is bringing a case against Russia linked to Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and arming of rebels in eastern Ukraine in the years before Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Ukraine wants the world court to order Moscow to pay reparations for attacks in the regions, including for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down by Russia-backed rebels on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew.
Police in South Florida have arrested three suspects in a Memorial Day shooting along a busy beachside promenade that injured nine people. Hollywood police said in a news release that detectives took Ariel Cardahn Paul into custody on Sunday night and Lionel JeanCharles Jr. on Monday afternoon. On Saturday, authorities arrested Jordan Burton. All three have been identified by police as the shooters. They are facing charges of attempted first-degree murder, eight counts of attempted murder in the second degree and one count of carrying a concealed firearm. Police say two of the nine people injured remain in the hospital.
Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and started an early blitz that chased the NHL’s hottest postseason goalie, and the Vegas Golden Knights seized control of the Stanley Cup Final with a 7-2 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 2. Adin Hill continued his stellar play in net with 29 saves for the Golden Knights, who grabbed a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Marchessault also had an assist to finish with three points. Brett Howden scored twice for the Knights, who also got goals from Alec Martinez, Nicolas Roy and Michael Amadio. Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled 7:10 into the second period down 4-0. Matthew Tkachuk and Anton Lundell scored for the Panthers. The series shifts to Florida for Game 3 on Thursday.
Asian stock markets are higher after Wall Street fell on concern the U.S. economy may be weakening following a report that showed growth in service industries slowing. Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong rose. Sydney retreated. Oil prices declined. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.2% after an industry group’s index of activity in construction, hospitality and other services fell to a three-year low in May. That conflicted with hopes data last week that showed unexpectedly strong hiring in May meant a potential U.S. recession brought on by interest rate hikes might be farther away.
Aviation experts are citing a loss of oxygen as a possible theory for why an unresponsive business jet flew over the nation’s capital Sunday before crashing in rural Virginia. Investigators are just beginning to look for answers. The Cessna Citation took off from Elizabethton, Tennessee, and headed for Long Island’s MacArthur Airport. Once over Long Island, it turned around and flew a straight path over Washington, D.C. before crashing in a mountainous part of Virginia. Federal investigators said Monday that the pilot and three passengers were killed.