How Libya’s chaos left its people vulnerable to deadly flooding
LONDON (AP) — A storm that has killed thousands of people and left thousands more missing in Libya is the latest blow to a country that has been gutted by years of chaos and division.
The floods are the most fatal environmental disaster in the country’s modern history. Years of war and lack of a central government have left it with crumbling infrastructure that was vulnerable to the intense rains. Libya is currently the only country yet to develop a climate strategy, according to the United Nations.
The north African country has been divided between rival administrations and beset by militia conflict since NATO-backed Arab Spring uprising toppled autocratic ruler Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
The city of Derna in the country’s east saw the most destruction, as large swaths of riverside buildings vanished, washed away after two dams burst.
Videos of the aftermath show water gushing through the port city’s remaining tower blocks and overturned cars, and later, bodies lined up on sidewalks covered with blankets, collected for burial. Residents say the only indication of danger was the loud sound of the dams cracking, with no warning system or evacuation plan.
Speaker McCarthy directs the House to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden
WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced Tuesday he is directing the U.S. House to open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over his family's business dealings, launching historic proceedings ahead of the 2024 election.
McCarthy said that House investigations so far "paint a picture of a culture of corruption” around the Biden family as Republicans probe the business dealings of the president's son, Hunter Biden, from before the Democratic president took office.
“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption, and they warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said at the Capitol, announcing he was directing the House led by the Oversight Committee "to open a formal impeachment inquiry.”
The White House shot back, calling the action in the midst of the presidential campaign “extreme politics at its worst.”
“House Republicans have been investigating the president for nine months, and they’ve turned up no evidence of wrongdoing,” said spokesman Ian Sams.
Americans can now get an updated COVID-19 vaccine
Most Americans should get an updated COVID-19 vaccine, health officials said Tuesday.
Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the new shots for everyone 6 months and older and the agency's director quickly signed off Tuesday on the panel's recommendation. That means doses should be available this week, some as early as Wednesday.
The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has faded, but there are still thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths in the U.S. each week. Hospitalizations have been increasing since late summer, though the latest data indicate infections may be starting to level off, particularly in the South.
Still, experts worry that immunity from previous vaccinations and infections is fading in many people, and a new shot would save many lives.
According to a survey last month that CDC cited, about 42% said they would definitely or probably get the new vaccine. Yet only about 20% of adults got an updated booster when it was offered a year ago.
Google exploited exclusive search engine deals to maintain its advantage over rivals, DOJ argues
WASHINGTON (AP) — Google has exploited its dominance of the internet search market to lock out competitors and smother innovation, the Department of Justice said Tuesday at the opening of the biggest U.S. antitrust trial in a quarter century.
“This case is about the future of the internet and whether Google's search engine will ever face meaningful competition,” said Kenneth Dintzer, the Justice Department's lead litigator.
Over the next 10 weeks, federal lawyers and state attorneys general will try to prove Google rigged the market in its favor by locking in its search engine as the default choice in a plethora of places and devices. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta likely won't issue a ruling until early next year. If he decides Google broke the law, another trial will decide what steps should be taken to rein in the Mountain View, California-based company.
Top executives at Google and its corporate parent Alphabet Inc., as well as those from other powerful technology companies are expected to testify. Among them is likely to be Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who succeeded Google co-founder Larry Page four years ago. Court documents also suggest that Eddy Cue, a high ranking Apple executive, might be called to the stand.
The Justice Department filed its antitrust lawsuit against Google nearly three years ago during the Trump administration, alleging that the company has used its internet search dominance to gain an unfair advantage against competitors. Government lawyers say Google protects its franchise through a form of payola, shelling out billions of dollars annually to be the default search engine on the iPhone and on web browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox.
North Korea's leader is in Russia to meet Putin, with both locked in standoffs with the West
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s Kim Jong Un rolled through Russia on an armored train Tuesday toward a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, a rare encounter between isolated leaders driven together by their need for support in escalating standoffs with the West.
Kim is expected to seek economic aid and military technology for his impoverished country, and, in a twist, appears to have something Putin desperately needs: munitions for Russia’s war in Ukraine.
It’s a chance for the North Korean leader to get around crippling U.N. sanctions and years of diplomatic isolation. For Putin, it’s an opportunity to refill ammunition stores that the war has drained.
Any arms deal with North Korea would violate the sanctions, which Russia supported in the past.
Kim’s personal train stopped in Khasan, a station on the Russia-North Korea border, early Tuesday where it was met by a military honor guard and a brass band. He was met on a red carpet by regional Gov. Oleg Kozhemyako and Natural Resources Minister Alexander Kozlov, according to North Korean state media and video posted on social media.
What to know about the Morocco earthquake and the efforts to help
An earthquake has sown destruction and devastation in Morocco, where death and injury counts continue to rise after rescue crews dug out people both alive and dead in villages that were reduced to rubble.
Law enforcement and aid workers — both Moroccan and international — have arrived in the region south of the city of Marrakech that was hardest hit by the magnitude 6.8 tremor Friday night, along with several aftershocks. Residents in most places have been provided food and water, and most of the giant boulders blocking steep mountain roads have been cleared. But worries remain about shelter, particularly with forecasts predicting rain early this week.
Here’s what you need to know:
The epicenter was high in the Atlas Mountains about 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of Marrakech in Al Haouz province. The region is largely rural, made up of red-rock mountains, picturesque gorges and glistening streams and lakes. The earthquake shook most of Morocco and caused injury and death in other provinces, including Marrakech, Taroudant and Chichaoua.
Of the 2,901 deaths reported as of Tuesday, 1,643 were in Al Haouz, a region with a population of around 570,000, according to Morocco’s 2014 census. In certain villages such as Tafeghaghte, residents say more than half the population died.
Iran identifies 5 prisoners it wants from US in swap for Iranian-Americans and billions in assets
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran on Tuesday identified the five prisoners it hopes to see freed in the United States in exchange for five Iranian-Americans now held in Tehran and billions in assets once held by South Korea.
The acknowledgment by the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York comes as the Biden administration has issued a blanket waiver for international banks to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian money from South Korea to Qatar without fear of U.S. sanctions.
The moves by both Tehran and Washington appear to signal the prisoner swap is progressing as the money once held in South Korean won is converted into euros and moved to Qatar, where Iran will be able to use it for humanitarian purposes.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Ali Karimi Magham, a spokesman for the Iranian mission, confirmed the list of prisoners that Tehran wants released.
The five sought by the Iranians are:
Apple’s new iPhones get faster chips, better cameras and new charging ports
CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple on Tuesday unveiled its next generation of iPhones — a lineup that will boast better cameras, faster processors, a new charging system and a price hike for the fanciest model.
The showcase at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, comes as the company tries to reverse a mild slump that has seen its sales drop from last year in three consecutive quarters. The malaise is a key reason Apple's stock price has dipped by about 10% since mid-July, dropping the company's market value below the $3 trillion threshold it reached for the first time earlier this summer.
Investors apparently weren't impressed with what Apple rolled out Tuesday. The company's shares fell nearly 2% Tuesday, a steeper decline than the major market indexes.
As has been case with Apple and other smartphone makers, the four types of iPhone 15 models aren't making any major leaps in technology. But Apple added enough new bells and whistles to the top-of-the line model — the iPhone 15 Pro Max — to boost its starting price by $100, or 9%, from last year's version to $1,200. As part of the higher base price, the cheapest iPhone 15 Pro Max will provide 256 megabytes of storage, up from 128 megabytes for the least expensive version of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Apple is holding the line on prices for rest of the lineup, with the basic iPhone 15 selling for $800, the iPhone 15 Plus for $900 and the iPhone 15 Pro for $1,000.
Nicki Minaj debuts new 'Pink Friday 2' song at MTV VMAs as NSYNC reunites and Shakira performs
At the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, surprises were many — emcee Nicki Minaj performed her latest single, the dreamy “Last Time I Saw You” before jumping into a brand-new tease of a fiery new trap cut from her highly-anticipated “Pink Friday 2” album.
“I ain’t nothing like you,” she raps, “I’m on a whole other level.”
That wasn't the only unexpected news: Within the first half-hour, the boy band NSYNC reunited on stage to present the first award for best pop video, which went to Taylor Swift.
In coordinating suits, Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and JC Chasez shared the stage with Swift. Bass handed Swift a friendship bracelet just as fans do at the superstar’s shows. “You’re pop personified,” she told the group.
She later returned to the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, to pick up the song of the year trophy for “Anti-Hero.”
Jets QB Aaron Rodgers has a torn left Achilles tendon and will miss the rest of the season
Aaron Rodgers’ debut season with the New York Jets is already over. It didn't even last one quarter.
The 39-year-old quarterback has a torn left Achilles tendon that will require season-ending surgery, coach Robert Saleh announced Tuesday. The Jets placed Rodgers on the injured reserve list.
An MRI revealed the severity of the four-time NFL MVP's injury, confirming what the Jets feared after their 22-16 overtime win over Buffalo on Monday night. Saleh said during a video call he was not immediately certain when the quarterback would have surgery.
Torn Achilles tendons typically take several months of recovery due to the extensive rehabilitation needed.
“I feel more for Aaron than anyone,” Saleh said. “He’s invested so much into this organization, so much into this journey that he’s embarked on and wanting to be a part of what we’ve got going here. And how much he’s invested in not only this organization, but his teammates, himself, this fan base, the city, so I have a lot of emotions for him.”
The Associated Press