Burning Man flooding strands tens of thousands at Nevada site; authorities are investigating 1 death
BLACK ROCK DESERT, Nev. (AP) — An unusual late-summer storm turned a week-long counterculture fest into a sloppy mess with tens of thousands of partygoers stuck in foot-deep mud and with no working toilets in the northern Nevada desert. But some Burning Man revelers said Sunday that their spirits remained unbroken.
Organizers closed the festival to vehicles after one death was reported. Officials provided no details of the fatality.
The annual gathering in the Black Rock Desert about 110 miles (177 kilometers) north of Reno attracts nearly 80,000 artists, musicians and activists for a mix of wilderness camping and avant-garde performances. Disruptions are part of the event's recent history: Organizers had to temporarily close entrances to the festival in 2018 due to dust storms, and the event was twice canceled altogether during the pandemic.
More than a half an inch (1.3 centimeters) of rain fell at the festival site on Friday, disrupting this year's festival.
“We are a little bit dirty and muddy but spirits are high. The party still going,” said Scott London, a Southern California photographer, adding that the travel limitations offered “a view of Burning Man that a lot of us don’t get to see.”
Ukraine President Zelenskyy says defense minister Oleksii Reznikov will be replaced this week
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that defense minister Oleksii Reznikov will be replaced this week with Rustem Umerov, a Crimean Tatar lawmaker.
Zelenskyy made the announcement on his official Telegram account, writing that new leadership was needed after Reznikov went through "more than 550 days of full-scale war.”
Later in his nightly address, Zelenskyy said he believes “that the Ministry needs new approaches and different formats of interaction both with the military and with society."
“The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine is well acquainted with this person, and Umerov does not require additional introductions. I expect support for this candidacy from parliament,” the president told the nation.
Umerov, 41, a politician with the opposition Holos party, has served as head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine since September 2022. He was involved in the exchange of prisoners of war, political prisoners, children and civilians, as well as the evacuation of civilians from occupied territories. Umerov was also part of the Ukrainian delegation in negotiations with Russia over the U.N.-backed grain deal.
What's at stake when Turkey's leader meets Putin in a bid to reestablish the Black Sea grain deal
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with Vladimir Putin on Monday, hoping to persuade the Russian leader to rejoin the Black Sea grain deal that Moscow broke off from in July.
Here are some key things to know and what's at stake:
The meeting in Sochi on Russia’s southern coast comes after weeks of speculation about when and where the two leaders might meet.
Erdogan previously said that Putin would travel to Turkey in August.
The Kremlin refused to renew the grain agreement six weeks ago. The deal — brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July 2022 — had allowed nearly 33 million metric tons (36 million tons) of grain and other commodities to leave three Ukrainian ports safely despite Russia's war.
South Korea's Yoon to call for strong international response to North's nukes at ASEAN, G20 summits
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s president says he’ll tell world leaders about the need to faithfully enforce U.N. sanctions on North Korea and block the country’s illicit activities to fund its weapons programs when they converge in Indonesia and India for annual summits this week.
President Yoon Suk Yeol is to visit Jakarta for four days starting Tuesday to attend a series of summits scheduled on the margins of a meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders. On Friday, he’ll travel on to New Delhi for a summit of the leading rich and developing nations.
“At the upcoming ASEAN-related Summits and the G20 Summit, I intend to urge the international community to resolutely respond to North Korea’s ever-escalating missile provocations and nuclear threats and to work closely together on its denuclearization,” Yoon said in written responses to questions from The Associated Press.
“As long as the U.N. Security Council sanctions currently in place are faithfully implemented, North Korea’s financial means for developing (weapons of mass destruction) can be blocked to a significant extent,” Yoon said.
Despite the economic troubles deepened mainly by its draconian pandemic curbs, North Korea has been performing a record number of missile tests since last year. South Korean officials believe the North’s weapons programs are increasingly financed by illicit activities like cyber hacking and the export of banned items. A large number of North Korean workers has also reportedly remained in China and Russia despite a U.N. order for member states to repatriate all North Korean guest workers — a key source of foreign currency for the North — by December 2019.
Southeast Asian leaders are besieged by thorny issues as they hold an ASEAN summit without Biden
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Southeast Asian leaders led by Indonesian host President Joko Widodo are gathering in their final summit this year, besieged by divisive issues with no solutions in sight: Myanmar’s deadly civil strife, new flare-ups in the disputed South China Sea, and the longstanding United States-China rivalry.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings will open Tuesday in the Indonesian capital Jakarta under tight security. The absence of U.S. President Joe Biden, who typically attends, adds to the already somber backdrop of the 10-state bloc’s traditional show of unity and group handshakes.
ASEAN foreign ministers gathered Monday to finalize the agenda for the leaders. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi acknowledged the “many difficult circumstances in the region” that the bloc was facing and should overcome, including the Myanmar crisis. A five-point plan crafted by the leaders in 2021 to help bring Myanmar back to normalcy will be reviewed, she said.
“The eyes of our peoples are on us to prove ASEAN still matters,” Marsudi told fellow ministers.
After discussions Tuesday, the ASEAN heads of state would meet Asian and Western counterparts from Wednesday to Thursday, providing a wider venue that the U.S. and China, and their allies, have used for wide-ranging talks on free trade, climate change and global security. It has also become a battleground for their rivalries.
Biden and Trump are keeping relatively light campaign schedules as their rivals rack up the stops
WASHINGTON (AP) — Their rivals are busy answering voters' questions at town halls across South Carolina, glad-handing with business owners in New Hampshire and grinding to hit every one of Iowa's 99 counties.
But the front-runners for their party's nomination, former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, are barely campaigning in crucial early-voting states as the primary season enters the fall rush.
Biden is attending a union parade in Philadelphia on Monday. But he has held just one campaign rally in the four-plus months since he formally launched his 2024 reelection bid. Trump, who complained of his Biden's “basement strategy” in 2020, has not campaigned for three weeks now, last appearing at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 12.
The schedules underscore the reality that Democrat Biden and Republican Trump, despite underwater approval ratings nationally, are the dominant front-runners. Biden faces only token opposition in anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is viewed more favorably by Republicans than Democrats, while Trump is currently beating his closest rival by large margins, according to recent polls.
“When you have a massive lead over your primary opponents, it doesn’t seem like a lot of point,” said veteran Republican pollster Whit Ayres, speaking about the early-state campaigning typical at this stage of a race.
Francis opens clinic on 1st papal visit to Mongolia. He says it's about charity not conversion
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (AP) — Pope Francis wrapped up the first-ever papal visit to Mongolia on Monday by inaugurating a church-run homeless clinic and shelter, insisting that such initiatives aren’t aimed at winning converts but are simply exercises in Christian charity.
Francis toured the House of Mercy, a three-story structure housed in an old school, which the local church has opened as an expression of the roots that it has taken in the three decades that the Catholic Church has had an official presence in Mongolia. It was the final event of an historic four-day visit to a region where the Holy See has long sought to make inroads.
Several of the foreign-staffed Catholic religious orders in Mongolia run shelters, orphanages and nursing homes to care for a population of 3.3 million where one in three people lives in poverty. But the new clinic for homeless people, people with disabilities and victims of domestic violence is aimed at showing the outreach of the Mongolian Catholic Church as a whole to its local community.
“The true progress of a nation is not gauged by economic wealth, much less by investment in the illusory power of armaments, but by its ability to provide for the health, education and integral development of its people,” Francis said at the shelter, urging Mongolians rich and poor to volunteer to help their fellow citizens.
Currently, some 77 missionaries minister to Mongolia's Catholics, who with around 1,450 people constitute one of the tiniest Catholic flocks in the world. But only two Mongolian men have been ordained priests, and no Mongolian women have decided to join religious congregations as nuns.
Florida fishing village Horseshoe Beach hopes to maintain its charm after being walloped by Idalia
HORSESHOE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — This remote seaside enclave known as “Florida's Last Frontier” took much of the pounding from Hurricane Idalia when it struck the state's west coast as a Category 3 storm last week.
The damage left behind in the fishing village of Horseshoe Beach is exposing a gulf between haves and have-nots as cash-strapped residents could be forced to leave the quaint, remote community rivaled by few others along the Florida shoreline.
With emergency crews still working to restore electricity and provide temporary housing, locals worry that those unable to afford insurance will struggle to reconstruct homes that must comply with modern, more expensive building codes. Longtime residents share varying degrees of bullishness that the charm — and business — will return to the quiet town of less than 200 people.
“We have all of old Florida here,” said Tammy Bryan, the song director of First Baptist Church, “and today we feel like it’s been taken away.”
Horseshoe Beach largely escaped the worst of previous storms that battered the state, but Idalia roared ashore with winds of 125 mph (200 kph) and a storm surge that flattened some houses and knocked others off their foundations and into canals.
As G20 leaders prepare to meet in recently flooded New Delhi, climate policy issues are unresolved
NEW DELHI (AP) — Rekha Devi, a 30-year-old farm worker, is dreading the moment when her family will be ordered to leave their makeshift tent atop a half-built overpass and return to the Yamuna River floodplains below, where their hut and small field of vegetables is still under water from July's devastating rains.
Devi, her husband and their six children fled as the record monsoon rains triggered flooding that killed more than 100 people in northern India, displaced thousands and inundated large parts of the capital, New Delhi. The waters took her husband's work tools, the children’s school uniforms and books and everything else the family had accumulated over 20 years, forcing them and thousands of others into makeshift relief camps.
Their temporary perch is less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the site of this weekend's Group of 20 summit at which leaders will have a final chance to decide how to better protect people like Devi when the next extreme weather event batters the city. But she expects little — except eviction as part of security measures for the meetings.
“If the leaders lived here, would they have taken their kids into the deep waters to live? Right now, no one is doing anything for us. We will see when they do something,” she said.
Despite cyclones, extreme rains, landslides and extreme heat affecting India and the rest of the world in the last few months, climate ministers of the G20 nations — the world’s largest economies and producers of most of its greenhouse gases —ended their last meeting for the year in July without resolving major disagreements on climate policies.
Coco Gauff is the 1st US teen since Serena Williams to reach consecutive US Open quarterfinals
NEW YORK (AP) — Coco Gauff is the first American teen since Serena Williams more than two decades ago to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals two years in a row, so the 19-year-old from Florida knows her way out of trouble on a tennis court.
As the second set slipped away against Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round Sunday at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Gauff needed a chance to think things through after handing over a break with a pair of double-faults and a stumble that left her doing the splits.
So Gauff turned in the direction of the near-constant chatter coming from Brad Gilbert, one of her two coaches sitting in a front-row seat, and said, “Please stop.” A couple of minutes later, Gauff said, “Stop talking.”
That was while Wozniacki was grabbing four consecutive games to go up a break in the third set. And then, just as the match seemed to be slipping away thanks in part to a slew of unforced errors, Gauff straightened out her strokes and pulled way. She collected the last six games for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Wozniacki, the 33-year-old mother of two who recently came out of retirement.
“I was getting frustrated. It wasn’t really directed at him. It was just that I needed to reset,” the sixth-seeded Gauff said. “In that moment, I just didn’t want to hear anything. I just wanted to think about what I was doing.”
The Associated Press