Officials: 9 dead after Halloween crowd surge in Seoul
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — At least nine people were killed and dozens more were injured after being crushed by a large crowd pushing forward on a narrow street during Halloween festivities in the capital Seoul. Choi Cheon-sik, an official from the National Fire Agency, said at least 60 more people were being treated for injuries and that the death toll could grow. Officials say it was believed that people were crushed to death after a large crowd began pushing forward in a narrow alley near Hamilton Hotel, a major party spot in Seoul.
Russia says it will suspend UN-brokered Ukraine export deal
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Russian Defense Ministry says Moscow has moved to suspend its implementation of a UN-brokered grain export deal which has seen more than 9 million tons of grain exported from Ukraine and brought down global food prices. The ministry cited an alleged Ukrainian drone attack against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ships moored off the coast of occupied Crimea, which Russia says took place in early Saturday, as the reason for the move. Ukraine has denied the attack. The Russian declaration came one day after UN chief Antonio Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine to renew the deal. Guterres also urged other countries, mainly in the West, to expedite the removal of obstacles blocking Russian grain and fertilizer exports.
Pelosi attack shocks country on edge about democracy threats
WASHINGTON (AP) — At times these days, it can feel like the United States is on edge about threats to American democracy. And now there’s been a new jolt, less than two weeks before Election Day. The violent attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in their San Francisco home was a particularly savage reminder of the extremism that has coursed through American politics in recent years. And it’s adding to a sense of foreboding with the Nov. 8 election nearly at hand. A new domestic intelligence assessment from the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies says extremists, fueled by election falsehoods, “pose a heightened threat” to the upcoming midterms.
Oz-Mastriano: An awkward pair atop Pennsylvania’s GOP ticket
MALVERN, Pa. (AP) — Republicans have political winds at their back, but the party’s nominees in Pennsylvania for governor and Senate are running dramatically different campaigns and targeting two very different types of voters. Campaign strategists say that dynamic is complicating a path to victory for Mehmet Oz, the heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity, in the Senate race and Doug Mastriano in the governor’s contest. Strategists say it makes sense for Oz to avoid Mastriano because Mastriano’s running a far-right campaign and trailing Democrat Josh Shapiro in polls. Strategists also say Mastriano is driving away the moderate voters that Oz will need to beat Democrat John Fetterman in the closely contested Senate race.
Looming elections in US, Brazil pose test for Musk’s Twitter
Pivotal elections in Brazil and the United States are likely to pose the first big challenges to Elon Musk and his promise to relax content moderation on Twitter. The platform’s new owner has said he wants to relax rules created by Twitter to stop the flow of misinformation. Disinformation experts say a torrent of misinformation is already hitting voters in both Brazil and the US If Musk makes good on his promise quickly, they say that torrent could become a flood. One of Musk’s first moves was to fire the executive in charge of content moderation. He says a new committee will review the platform’s policies before any changes are made.
Two explosions rock Somalia’s capital, leaving “scores” dead
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Police say two car bombs have exploded at a busy junction in Somalia’s capital near key government offices and there are “scores” of civilian casualties including children. Saturday’s attack comes five years after a massive blast at the same location. A witness tells the AP he couldn’t count the many bodies in the chaos. The attack in Mogadishu occurred on a day when Somalia’s president, prime minister and other senior officials were meeting to discuss combating violent extremism, especially by the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab group that often targets the capital. There has been no claim of responsibility.
Affirmative action under threat as high court hears UNC case
CHAPEL HILL, NC (AP) — The University of North Carolina was once a bastion of segregation. Today, the school takes account of race to make up for that history and to increase the number of Black students and other underrepresented minorities on campus. Its affirmative action program, using race among many factors to build a diverse student body, is similar to plans in place at other selective public and private institutions. But a Supreme Court that twice blessed race-conscious college admissions programs in the past 19 years now seems poised to restrict their use or outlaw them altogether. The court is hearing two such cases on Monday, involving UNC and Harvard. They’re the nation’s oldest public and private universities, respectively.
Permitless carry laws raise new dilemmas for police officers
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Permitless carry laws in states including Kentucky, Idaho and Texas are creating a dilemma for police officers working the streets: They now have to decide, sometimes in seconds, if someone with the right to carry a gun is a danger. Advocates of the laws say they make people safer, because the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun. Opponents say that allowing anyone to carry a gun anywhere makes it more dangerous for ordinary people, and for police officers. The debate is unfolding as gun violence is on the rise nationwide.
Swiss claim record for world’s longest passenger train
GENEVA (AP) — A Swiss railway company claimed the record for the world’s longest passenger train with a trip on one of the most spectacular tracks through the Alps. The Rhaetian Railway company ran the 1.2-mile-long train composed of 100 coaches along the Albula/Bernina route from Preda to Berguen on Saturday. The route was designated a UNESCO World Heritage in 2008. The entire journey took over an hour, with rail enthusiasts lining the valley to watch the train’s 25 sections wind their way about 15.5 miles through the Alps. Rhaetian Railway director Renato Fasciati said the record attempt was intended to highlight some of Switzerland’s engineering achievements and to celebrate 175 years of Swiss railways.
Iran’s Guard warns protesters as more unrest rolls country
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Tehran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard has issued a new warning to Iranians joining the protests roiling the country. But despite the harsh warning, anti-government demonstrations continued in cities and university campuses across Iran for the sixth straight week on Saturday. Meanwhile, Iranian media say the gunman who killed 15 people at a major Shiite holy site in southern Iran earlier this week has died. The attack on the shrine in Shiraz was claimed by the Islamic State group. The unrest — sparked by the Sept. 16 death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police — has rocked the Islamic Republic for over a month.