AP News Summary at 12:15 pm EDT

Russia builds defensive lines to stem Ukraine’s advance

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian authorities are building defensive positions in occupied areas of Ukraine and border regions of Russia. The moves reflect fears that Ukrainian forces may attack along new sections of the war’s 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) front line. In recent weeks, Ukraine has focused its counteroffensive mostly on the southern Kherson region. The deputy head of the Russian-installed regional administration said Sunday that defensive lines “have been reinforced and the situation has remained stable” since residents of the region’s capital and nearby areas were advised Saturday to evacuate. But as Ukraine presses south after liberating the Kharkiv region in the north last month, authorities in the western Russian provinces bordering northeastern Ukraine appeared jittery.

Hackers breach Iran’s atomic energy agency, protests persist

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s atomic energy agency has alleged that hackers acting on behalf of an unidentified foreign country broke into a subsidiary’s network and had free access to its email system. An anonymous hacking group claimed responsibility for the attack on Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, demanding Tehran release political prisoners arrested in the recent nationwide protests. Sunday’s hack comes as Iran continues to face nationwide unrest first sparked by the Sept. 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman in police custody. On Sunday, Iran’s leading teachers’ association reported that sit-ins canceled classes at multiple schools across the country in protest over the government’s crackdown on student protesters.

Militants attack hotel in Somali port city of Kismayo

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Police say gunmen have stormed a hotel in the center of the Somali port city of Kismayo, shortly after an explosive-packed car exploded at the hotel’s gates. Officials said the gunmen were still inside the Tawakal Hotel and security forces were on the scene. The attack began when a car driven by a suicide bomber rammed the entrance gate of the hotel and then exploded, police officer Abshir Omar told The Associated Press by phone. A number of small businesses along the street were destroyed. There was no immediate word on casualties. The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Trump company set for criminal trial in off-books pay scheme

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s company is set to face trial on charges that it helped some of its executives cheat on their taxes. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in New York City. The Trump Organization is accused of helping some top executives avoid income taxes on compensation they got in addition to their salaries, like rent-free apartments and luxury cars. Trump signed some of the checks at the center of the case but is not charged with anything. He isn’t expected to testify or attend the trial. The Trump Organization says it did nothing wrong.

Cheney: Jan. 6 panel won’t take live TV testimony from Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack is indicating it won’t consider letting Donald Trump testify live on television about the direct role that congressional investigators say he played in trying to overturn the 2020 election. The committee has taken the extraordinary step of subpoenaing the former president and is demanding his testimony under oath next month. To avoid a protracted legal battle, Trump reportedly had told associates he might consider complying with the subpoena if he could answer questions live. But Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, says the committee won’t allow Trump’s testimony to turn into a “food fight.” She says the committee will take action if he doesn’t comply.

Sheep, goats cross downtown Madrid in echo of past practice

MADRID (AP) — The bleating and bells of some 1,200 sheep and 200 goats took over downtown Madrid on Sunday morning. It was part of a festival that recreates the pastoral practice of moving livestock to new grazing grounds. Shepherds herded the animals through the paved streets of the Spanish capital while reenacting what their ancestors did for centuries: transfer flocks from cool highlands in the summer to lowland winter pastures. Madrid, Spain’s lively capital city, has always been part of the 125,000-kilometer (78,000-mile) grid of farming paths that cover the Iberian Peninsula. As part of the annual Transhumance Festival, organizers make a symbolic payment for the right to use the drovers’ route that crosses the capital.

Report: Salman Rushdie lives, but loses use of eye and hand

NEW YORK (AP) — Salmon Rushdie’s agent says the author has lost sight in one eye and the use of a hand as he recovers from an attack by a man who rushed the stage at an August literary event in western New York. Andrew Wylie told the Spanish language newspaper El Pais in an article published Saturday that Rushdie suffered three serious wounds to his neck and 15 wounds to his chest and torso in the attack that harmed the eye and left a hand incapacitated. A 24-year-old man pleaded not guilty in the Aug. 12 attack as Rushdie was being introduced at the Chautauqua Institution.

Hurricane Roslyn makes landfall in Mexico, avoids resorts

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Roslyn slammed into a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast between the resorts of Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, and quickly moved inland. By Sunday morning, Roslyn had winds of 90 mph, down from its peak of 130 mph. The US National Hurricane Center said Roslyn was about 95 miles (150 kms) east-southeast of the resort of Mazatlan. The hurricane is expected to lose force as it moves further inland. While it missed a direct hit, Roslyn brought heavy rain and high waves to Puerto Vallarta. In Tepic, the Nayarit state capital, Roslyn blew down trees and flooded some streets.

Fears over Russian threat to Norway’s energy infrastructure

STAVANGER, Norway (AP) — Norwegian oil and gas workers normally don’t see anything more threatening than North Sea waves crashing against the steel legs of their offshore platforms. But lately they have noticed a more troublesome sight: unidentified drones buzzing in the skies overhead. With Norway replacing Russia as Europe’s main source of natural gas, military experts suspect the unmanned aircraft are Moscow’s doings. They list espionage, sabotage and intimidation as possible motives for the drone flights. The Norwegian government has sent warships, coastguard vessels and fighter jets to patrol around the offshore facilities. The prime minister invited the navies of NATO allies Britain, France and Germany to help address what could be more than a Norwegian problem.

Companies lure hourly workers with college tuition perks

NEW YORK (AP) — More than a dozen companies have launched free or almost-free college programs for their front-line workers over the last decade. They see the programs as a way to recruit and retain workers in a tight labor market or train them for management positions. For hourly employees, the programs remove the financial barriers of obtaining a degree. Thousands of people are now taking advantage of the benefits and the chance to earn a free degree can be life-changing. But some critics question whether the programs are papering over deeper problems, like pay so low that workers can’t afford college without them or hours so erratic that it’s too hard to go to school in person.

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