AP News Summary at 8:26 am EDT

Ukraine says Russians shell evacuation convoy, killing 20

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A regional official in Ukraine says Russian forces have shelled a civilian evacuation convoy in the country’s northeast, killing 20 people. Kharkiv region Gov. Oleh Syniehubov called Saturday’s attack on people who were trying to flee the area to avoid being shelled “сruelty that can’t be justified.” He said the convoy was struck in the Kupiansky district. Russian forces have retreated from much of the Kharkiv region after a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive last month but continued to shell the area. The bombardment intensified drastically this week, as Moscow moved to annex four Ukrainian regions in the east and the south under its full or partial control.

Dozens dead from Ian, one of strongest, costliest US storms

CHARLESTON, SC (AP) — Rescuers continue to search for survivors in flooded homes in Florida after Hurricane Ian’s passage earlier this week. Meanwhile, authorities in South Carolina are awaiting daylight Saturday to assess the damage from the storm’s strike there. Ian made another landfall Friday on South Carolina’s coast and is now a post-tropical cyclone moving across parts of North Carolina and Virginia. The powerful storm terrorized millions of people for most of the week and officials say it’s blamed for at least 27 deaths in Florida and three deaths in Cuba. But authorities say they expect the death toll to rise further.

After Ian, river flooding menaces Florida inland towns

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Ian ravaged coastal towns in southwest Florida. But the impact has not been confined to the beaches and tourist towns. The rains from the storm’s deluge are flowing into inland towns not usually part of the hurricane warnings. In the Sarasota suburb of North Port, water levels have gone up significantly, turning roads into canals, reaching mailboxes, flooding SUVs and trucks, blocking the main access to the interstate and leaving families trapped. Now, as days go by, they are starting to run out of food and water. It’s the rising rivers that cause the flooding, and authorities say that flooding now poses a danger to those nearby.

Supreme Court poised to keep marching to the right in new term

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court begins a new term on Monday at a time of diminished public confidence and justices sparring openly over the institution’s legitimacy. The court seems poised to push American law to the right on issues of race, voting and the environment. Back in June, the conservative majority overturned nearly 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion rights. Now, the court is diving back in with an aggressive agenda that appears likely to split the six conservative justices from the three liberals. Joining the nine-member court is new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the court’s first Black woman.

Michigan women fight to preserve abortion, 1 chat at a time

UTICA, Mich. (AP) — Women are gathering across Michigan to strategize how to preserve abortion rights in their state. The small, personal conversations are playing out alongside more traditional get-out-the-vote efforts, with major stakes for both abortion rights and the mostly Democratic candidates who support them. Michigan is one of a handful of places where abortion rights will be on the ballot in November, after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June and left the issue to states to decide. A 1931 ban has been on hold since a state court judge’s ruling, but it is no guarantee that the procedure won’t be outlawed one day unless voters approve a state constitutional amendment.

Jimmy Carter to celebrate 98 with family, friends, baseball

ATLANTA (AP) — Jimmy Carter, already the longest-living US president in history, will celebrate his 98th birthday Saturday with family and friends in Plains, the tiny Georgia town where he and his wife, 95-year-old Rosalynn, were born . The 39th president’s latest milestone comes as The Carter Center, which the Carters established together in 1982, marks 40 years of promoting democracy and advancing public health internationally. Jason Carter, the former president’s grandson, described his grandfather as content with his life and legacy. The younger Carter said the former president plans a relatively quiet day and will make sure to watch his favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, in a key matchup against the New York Mets.

NIH to fund unproven ALS drugs under patient-backed law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The US government will soon donate $25 million to help patients access experimental drugs for the incurable illness known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The new strategy blurs the line between research and treatment. And it breaks decades of precedent in which responsibility for funding so-called compassionate use fell to drugmakers. But after years of being rebuffed by drugmakers, ALS patients lobbied Congress to help fund access to not-yet-approved drugs. While it offers a critical new treatment option for ALS patients, it also raises the possibility that federal dollars could be tapped for unproven treatments of other diseases in the future.

Untested rape kits plagued Memphis long before jogger case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis’ long-held problems with testing rape kits quickly have come under renewed scrutiny with Cleotha Henderson’s arrest last month in the killing of Eliza Fletcher, a mother and kindergarten teacher who was abducted while jogging. Authorities say a rape kit submitted in September 2021 for the sexual assault of a different woman sat untested for nearly a year. It wasn’t until Sept. 5 — three days after Fletcher’s abduction — that DNA from the 2021 assault matched Henderson’s in a national database. That revelation has sparked outrage and left many wondering whether Fletcher’s killing could have been prevented. It has also shown a spotlight on continued delays even after Memphis worked through a large backlog of untested rape kits.

Ole Miss honors James Meredith 60 years after integration

JACKSON, Ms. (AP) — The University of Mississippi is paying tribute to James Meredith 60 years after integration. White protesters erupted into violence in 1962 as he became the first Black student to enroll in what was then a bastion of Deep South segregation. A resident and a French journalist were killed in the violence. The 89-year-old Meredith is being honored Saturday at an Ole Miss football game. The university is having several events on the Oxford campus. Meredith spoke at a celebration Wednesday, saying it was the best day he ever lived. But he also said problems remain.

Western push on China, Russia at UN rights body faces test

GENEVA (AP) — Western countries are leading a simultaneous push at the UN’s top human rights body to scrutinize human rights in two of the world’s most influential countries: China and Russia. The West wants to increase the attention given to allegations of abuses in China’s western Xinjiang region and the Russian government’s crackdown on dissent and protest against its war in Ukraine. Diplomats and rights advocates acknowledge that going after the two powers at the same Human Rights Council meeting carries risks and challenges, and say the outcome of votes on the issues by the end of the council’s session on Oct. 7 is likely to resonate widely.

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