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AP Top News at 8:54 p.m. EDT

Updated 43 minutes ago

Haitians return to a homeland that is anything but inviting

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Deported from the United States, Pierre Charles landed a week ago in Port-au-Prince, a more dangerous and dystopian capital than the one he had left four years earlier. Unable to reach his family, he walked out of the airport alone. Charles wasn’t sure how to get to the Carrefour neighborhood through a city shrouded in smoke and dust, often shot at by gangs and police. The 39-year-old worker tried unsuccessfully to stop overcrowded buses on Flughafenstrasse. He asked motorcyclists to take him with them, but was repeatedly told that the ride was too risky.

The UN and the Afghan Taliban are figuring out how to deal with each other

It has been little more than a month since Taliban fighters wearing Kalashnikovs in their characteristic heavy beards, high-top sneakers and shalwar kameezes invaded the Afghan capital and consolidated their takeover. Now they are vying for a seat in the Club of Nations and are looking for what no country gave them on their second attempt at government: international recognition of their rule. The Taliban wrote to the United Nations asking to speak at the UN General Assembly of Heads of State and Government in New York. They argue that they have all the requirements for government recognition. The UN responded effectively to the Taliban’s request by signaling: Not so quickly.

At least 3 dead in Amtrak train derailment in Montana

JOPLIN, Montana – At least three people were killed on Saturday afternoon when an Amtrak train running between Seattle and Chicago derailed in northern Montana and overturned several cars, authorities said. The westbound Empire Builder train derailed around 4 p.m. near Joplin, a town of about 200 people, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said in a statement. The scene of the accident is about 150 miles northeast of Helena and about 30 miles from the Canadian border. Liberty County Sheriff’s dispatcher Starr Tyler told the Associated Press that three people died in the derailment. She did not have any further details.

Britain relies on vaccines, “common sense”, to keep viruses at bay

LONDON (AP) – Britons these days are encouraged – although in most cases not required – to wear face covering in crowded indoor spaces. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson regularly appears alongside other maskless Conservative lawmakers in the crowded, poorly ventilated House of Commons. For critics, this image embodies the flaw in the government’s strategy, which has abandoned most of the pandemic restrictions and relies on voluntary restraint and a high vaccination rate to contain the spread of the coronavirus. As winter approaches and threatens another COVID-19 surge, the UK’s light touch sets it apart from more cautious nations.

What does Biden’s plan cost? Democrats drive for zero

WASHINGTON (AP) – What will it cost to push through President Joe Biden’s massive expansion of social programs? Congress has approved spending up to $ 3.5 trillion over a decade, but Biden is calling on Democrats to fully recover the cost of legislation – by raising taxes for the business and rich, negotiating the price of prescription drugs and other federal sources of income such as increased IRS funding. The idea is that the entire package should pay for itself. The Democrats are defending an as-yet-fully-drafted bill and are determined to avoid a deficit-funded shopping spree. They are increasingly frustrated with the focus on the planned $ 3.5 trillion total spending, arguing that far too little attention is being paid to the work they are doing to balance the books.

Fiercely contested German elections herald the post-Merkel era

BERLIN (AP) – German voters elected a new parliament on Sunday in an election that will decide who will succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel after 16 years at the helm of Europe’s largest economy. Polls indicate a very close race on Sunday between Merkel’s center-right Union bloc, for which Governor Armin Laschet is running for Chancellor, and the center-left Social Democrats, for whom the outgoing Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz is looking for a top job. Current polls show the Social Democrats just ahead. The environmentalists of the Greens with candidate Annalena Baerbock are doing their first run for Chancellor and are several points behind in third place.

Israeli forces kill 5 Palestinian armed men in clashes

JERUSALEM (AP) – Five Palestinian gunmen were killed in shootings with Israeli security forces during a large-scale arrest operation in the West Bank that cracked down on militant Islamic group Hamas on Sunday. It was the deadliest violence between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks and came amid heightened tensions following this year’s 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said two Palestinians had been shot near the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank and three others in Biddu, north of Jerusalem. According to the Israeli military, an officer and a soldier were seriously injured during the arrest in Burqin, near Jenin, and flown to a hospital for medical treatment.

Charitable grants advance public prosecution against racial injustice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – When Deborah Gonzalez took office as District Attorney for the Western Georgia District Attorney in January, she found that too few defendants, especially black defendants, qualified for an addiction or mental health treatment program and none Promised prison sentence. As with many other court diversion programs, potential participants in the Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties programs have been disqualified for certain previous charges or police contact. People living in poverty also had a hard time qualifying because of weekly program fees. “My philosophy is that there is racial injustice and inequalities in how people are treated in this system.

Concerned United Nations can only avoid the Myanmar crisis

BANGKOK (AP) – In his opening speech last week at the UN General Assembly, General Secretary Antonio Guterres summed up Myanmar with Afghanistan and Ethiopia as nations where “peace and stability remain a distant dream”. He declared his unreserved support for the people of the turbulent, militarily ruled Southeast Asian state “in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law”. But the situation in Myanmar after the army seized power eight months ago has turned into an extended bloody conflict with ever escalating violence, but the UN is unlikely to take action against the new rulers, as they are supported by China and Russia.

Large cities have a say in the redistribution of the direct current supply

NEW YORK (AP) – From a political perspective, bigger doesn’t always mean better. Just ask about New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago every four years when those cities tend to get irrelevant on the Electoral College map. But as the redistribution of Congress gets underway, some of the country’s most populous cities are playing a prominent role in reshaping the balance of power in Washington. And that’s good news for the Democrats. Robust growth in the liberal strongholds of New York and metropolitan Chicago will give Democrats an edge as their political maps are redrawn to adapt to population changes over the past decade.

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