AP News Summary at 7:08 am EST

Biden, Xi seek to ‘manage our differences’ in meeting

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are holding their first in-person meeting since the US president took office nearly two years ago. The leaders are meeting Monday on the Indonesian island of Bali amid increasing tensions between the superpowers. Each one is competing for global influence. Both men entered the highly anticipated meeting with bolstered political standing at home. White House aides have repeatedly sought to play down any notion of conflict with China. But US-China relations have become increasingly strained throughout Biden’s presidency.

Zelenskyy calls liberation of Kherson ‘beginning of the end’

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made a triumphant visit to the newly liberated city of Kherson. He hailed the Russian withdrawal as the “beginning of the end of the war” but also acknowledged the heavy price Ukrainian soldiers are paying in their grinding effort to push back the invading force. The retaking of Kherson was one of Ukraine’s biggest successes in nearly nine months since the invasion. It served another stinging blow to the Kremlin and could become a springboard for further advances into occupied territory. Zelenskyy walked the streets of the city Monday, just hours after warning in his nightly video address of booby traps and mines left behind by the Russians before their retreat.

Across the US, a return to democratic order. Will it last?

WASHINGTON (AP) — There was no violence in the midterm elections last week, and many election deniers lost and quietly conceded. Few listened when former President Donald Trump tried to stoke baseless allegations of electoral fraud. For a moment, at least, a familiar sense of normalcy fell over a nation on edge as the extremism that consumed US politics for much of the last two years was replaced by democratic order. The post-election narrative has instead been focused on each party’s electoral fate. Republicans are disappointed that a red wave did not materialize, while Democrats are bracing for the likelihood of a House Republican takeover. At least for now, the serious threats that loomed over democracy heading into Election Day have not materialized.

Congress faces leaders in flux, big to-do list post-election

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is returning to an extremely volatile post-election landscape. Newly elected members of Congress are arriving for Monday’s orientation week and leadership elections. But control of the House is still undecided and leadership is in flux. Amid jarring election disappointments, Republicans are meeting behind closed doors for leadership elections. The path ahead is rocky for House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. The coming week also begins a potentially consequential year-end session with bills on gay marriage, Ukraine and government funding. All this as former President Donald Trump is set to announce his own 2024 presidential bid, potentially dividing the GOP.

Shooting at University of Virginia leaves 3 dead, 2 wounded

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Authorities say three people have been killed and two others were wounded in a shooting at the University of Virginia and a student is being sought as a suspect. President Jim Ryan says in a letter to the university community posted on social media that the shooting at around 10:30 pm Sunday resulted in three fatalities. The university’s emergency management issued an alert Sunday night notifying the campus community of an “active attacker firearm” and warning students to shelter in place following a report of shots fired on the northern outskirts of campus. The UVA Police Department says multiple police agencies including the state police were searching for a suspect who was considered “armed and dangerous.” Ryan says classes have been canceled Monday.

Flying home for the holidays will cost you more this year

If you’re looking for airline tickets or a hotel room around the holidays, you’ll probably pay more than you did the last time you traveled over Thanksgiving or Christmas. Part of the reason is that airlines are still operating fewer flights than in 2019 even though passenger numbers are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. That’s squeezing the supply of seats. Hotels are charging more to cover high labor costs. Rates for car rentals aren’t as crazy as they were during much of 2021, although supplies could be tight in some cities. US consumers are facing the highest inflation in 40 years, but that’s not preventing them from traveling.

Turkey detains Syrian suspect in bombing that killed 6

ISTANBUL (AP) — Police have carried out a pre-dawn raid in Istanbul and detained a Syrian woman suspected of links to Kurdish militants who allegedly carried out bomb attack on a bustling pedestrian avenue in Istanbul. Six people were killed and dozens wounded in Sunday’s explosion on Istiklal Avenue, a popular thoroughfare lined with shops and restaurants that led to the iconic Taksim Square. Police said the woman had confessed to planting the bomb and that she had been trained by Kurdish militant groups. Turkey’s interior minister renewed his criticism of the United States for its support of Syrian Kurdish groups.

G-20 summit casts spotlight on Bali’s tourism revival

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — The dozens of world leaders and other dignitaries traveling to Bali for the G-20 summit will be drawing a welcome spotlight on the revival of the tropical island’s ailing tourism sector. Bali’s economy is on the mend but it’s still drawing only a third of the travelers who used to arrive here before the pandemic. It got through a two-year closure to foreign travelers by wooing domestic tourists happy to take advantage of pandemic discounts. But many working in the tourism sector still lost their livelihoods. Now that quarantines and other restrictions have ended, the island is trying to draw more digital nomads and other well-heeled travelers, hoping to build a stronger foundation for Bali’s economy.

Musk touches on Twitter criticism, workload at G-20 forum

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — It’s not easy being Elon Musk. That was the message the new Twitter owner and billionaire head of Tesla and SpaceX had for younger people who might seek to emulate his entrepreneurial success. “Be careful what you wish for,” Musk told a business forum in Bali on Monday when asked what an up-and-coming “Elon Musk of the East” should focus on. He also touched briefly on criticism of his stewardship of Twitter since he took it over for $44 billion last month. Musk was speaking at the B-20 business forum ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 leading economies taking place on the Indonesian resort island. He joined the conference by video link.

Israel rushes to protect marine life as Mediterranean warms

ROSH HANIKRA MARINE RESERVE, Israel (AP) — Israel is blazing forward with a plan to protect sections of its 118-mile Mediterranean coastline, a measure experts say is crucial to maintain biodiversity and shield ecosystems from humanity. Rosh Hanikra Marine Reserve is the centerpiece of this effort, providing what scientists believe can be a blueprint for rescuing seas ravaged by pollution, overfishing and climate change. Since 2019, Israel has increased the marine protected areas where commercial fishing, drilling and sewage runoff are prohibited from roughly 0.3% of its Mediterranean coastal waters to around 4%. Another roughly 4.5% are earmarked for protection. While those measures fall short of the international target of 10% by 2020, it shows Israel has started taking the issue more seriously.

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