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Associated Press news summary at 9:33 p.m. EDT | National

Associated Press interview: Zelensky seeks peace despite atrocities

Kyiv, Ukraine (AFP) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he is committed to pressing for peace despite Russian attacks on civilians that have stunned the world. He also told the Associated Press in an interview on Saturday that he renewed his appeal for more weapons ahead of an expected escalation of fighting in the east of the country. Visibly exhausted but moved, Zelensky is on a journey of perseverance a day after at least 52 people were killed in a raid on a train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk. That attack came after evidence emerged that civilians had been killed with the withdrawal of Russian forces from the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv.

Watching War Crimes: A Devastating Walk Through the Terror of Bucha

BUCHA, Ukraine (AFP) – While walking through Bucha, The Associated Press spoke with twenty witnesses to the Russian occupation. Almost everyone said they saw corpses, sometimes several. Civilians, mostly men, were killed, sometimes picked at random. Many survivors were adamant about it. Many, including the elderly, said they had been threatened. The question that survivors, investigators, and the world would like answered is why. Some believe that the Russians were not ready for a long fight or that there were particularly undisciplined fighters among them. The decline was rapid and appalling. “They needed to kill someone,” says one survivor. “Killing civilians is very easy.”

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More fled as Ukraine warns of escalation of Russian attacks

Kyiv, Ukraine (AFP) – Evacuations of civilians are progressing in areas of battle-torn eastern Ukraine, a day after a missile attack killed at least 52 people at a train station as thousands waited to leave ahead of an expected Russian attack. In the aftermath of the attack on Kramatorsk, many European leaders made efforts to show solidarity with Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signaled support during Saturday’s interview with The Associated Press, but said “of course it is not enough” to change the course of the war. Zelensky describes the train station attack as the latest sign of Russian war crimes. Russia denied responsibility. Zelensky also repeated his call for a complete ban on Russian oil and gas during his video address Saturday night.

The embattled Pakistani prime minister was ousted in a vote of no-confidence

Islamabad (AFP) – Pakistan’s embattled prime minister has been toppled by Pakistan’s political opposition in a no-confidence vote that they won after being abandoned by several allies of Imran Khan and a major coalition party. A joint opposition that spans the political spectrum from the left to the religious radical will form the new government, headed by one of the largest parties, the Pakistan Muslim League, which holds the position of prime minister. Anticipating his loss, Khan, who accused his opposition of colluding with the United States to oust him, called on his supporters on Friday to hold rallies across the country on Sunday.

Jackson, Covid, and retirement show the partisan path of Congress

Washington (AFP) – Historic Supreme Court confirmation has been flawed. The collapse of a bipartisan compromise of more epidemic financing. Naseer’s departure from the dwindling band of moderate Republicans in the House of Representatives. These three events on Capitol Hill last week illustrated how Congress’s short- and long-term trajectories point in one direction – an intensification of partisanship. Partisan battles in Congress are as old as the Republic, and they routinely escalate as elections approach. But the standard for when to set aside partisan differences has declined in recent years.

Shanghai hospital pays for China’s response to coronavirus

BEIJING (AFP) – A string of deaths at a hospital for elderly patients in Shanghai has highlighted the grave consequences of China’s relentless pursuit of a COVID-free approach amid the spiraling outbreak of the disease in the city of 26 million. Relatives say many patients died in Shanghai Donghai Elderly Care Hospital. They say their loved ones have not received proper care after caregivers with the virus were moved into quarantine, in accordance with strict pandemic regulations, draining hospital staff. Family members have turned to social media for help and answers and are demanding to watch the monitoring video after getting little or no information about their loved ones from the hospital.

In France, a lively election as Macron’s rival erupts

Boissy, France (AFP) – For months, French President Emmanuel Macron seemed certain to become the country’s first leader in 20 years to win a second term. But that scenario was not clear before Sunday’s vote in the first round of the presidential election. Concerns about the cost of living have become a dominant topic of the election campaign and could push many voters into the arms of far-right leader Marine Le Pen. In 2017, Macron defeated Le Pen by a landslide to become France’s youngest president. The expected rematch this time around looks much closer. In the town west of Paris where Macron campaigned, market leaders see Le Pen as having a real opportunity, and some have been preparing to turn their support from him to her.

S&P downgrade indicates that Russia is historically heading for default

Boston (AFP) – Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has lowered its assessment of Russia’s ability to repay foreign debt. This suggests that Moscow may soon default on foreign loans for the first time in more than a century. S&P Global Ratings issued a rating downgrade to “selective default” late Friday after Russia arranged for foreign bond payments in rubles on Monday when they were due in dollars. She said she did not expect Russia to be able to convert rubles into dollars within the 30-day grace period. Tougher sanctions imposed on Russia this week prevented it from using foreign reserves held in US banks to pay off debt.

Steelers QB Dwayne Haskins killed in car crash

FORT Lauderdale, Florida (AP) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed in a car accident near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Authorities say Haskins was hit by a dump truck while traveling on a highway. The Steelers and the leaders of Washington, his former team, released statements offering their condolences. The 24-year-old Haskins was a first-round favorite for Washington in 2019 and started seven games, running 2-5 as a rookie. He was 1-5 in six games the team’s next season, then was released on December 29, 2020. A few weeks later, he signed with Pittsburgh, but did not play in the 2021 season.

Scheffler survives a cold, windy day to drive masters by 3

AUGUSTA, GA (AP) – Scottie Scheffler is one round away from winning his first Masters major. The #1 player in the world boosted his lead to up to six shots in the third round. He then held a score of 71 and three shots over Cameron Smith. Schaeffler ended up with a good bogey from the bush. Smith had 68 and was the only player to break 70. Sungjae Im was the only other player within five of the lead. Tiger Woods took his first four kicks at the Masters and his worst score of 78.

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