AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

Key players: Who's who at Donald Trump’s hush money criminal trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s hush money criminal trial shifts to opening statements Monday, followed by the start of witness testimony. A jury of seven men and five women, plus six alternates, was picked last week.

The trial centers on allegations the former president falsified his company’s internal records to obscure the true nature of reimbursement payments to his former fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen, who arranged hush money payments to bury negative stories about him during his 2016 presidential race.

The witnesses include a porn actor, a former tabloid publisher and Cohen, who went to federal prison for his role in the hush money matter and for other crimes, including lying to Congress. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass forewarned prospective jurors that they have "what you might consider to be some baggage."

Here's a look at the key players in the historic first criminal trial of a former U.S. president:

DONALD TRUMP — The former president of the United States and the presumptive Republican nominee, who parlayed his success as reality television star and celebrity businessman and won the presidential election in 2016, becoming America’s 45th president. The trial involves allegations that he falsified his company’s records to hide the true nature of payments to Cohen, who helped bury negative stories about him during the 2016 presidential campaign. He’s pleaded not guilty.


Israeli leaders criticize expected US sanctions against military unit that could further strain ties

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli leaders on Sunday harshly criticized an expected decision by the U.S. to impose sanctions on a unit of ultra-Orthodox soldiers in the Israeli military.

The decision, expected as soon as Monday, would mark the first time the U.S. has imposed sanctions on a unit inside the Israeli military and would further strain relations between the two allies, which have grown increasingly tense during Israel’s war in Gaza.

While U.S. officials declined to identify the unit expected to be sanctioned, Israeli leaders and local media identified it as Netzah Yehuda — an infantry battalion founded roughly a quarter of a century ago to incorporate ultra-Orthodox men into the military. Many religious men receive exemptions from what is supposed to be compulsory service.

Israeli leaders condemned the anticipated decision as unfair, especially at a time when Israel is at war, and vowed to oppose it.

“If anyone thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit in the IDF, I will fight it with all my might,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.


A Palestinian baby in Gaza is born an orphan in an urgent cesarean section after an Israeli strike

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Sabreen Jouda came into the world seconds after her mother left it.

Their home was hit by an Israeli airstrike shortly before midnight Saturday. Until that moment, the family was like so many other Palestinians trying to shelter from the war in Gaza's southernmost city of Rafah.

Sabreen's father was killed. Her 4-year-old sister was killed. Her mother was killed.

But emergency responders learned that her mother, Sabreen al-Sakani, was 30 weeks pregnant. In a rush at the Kuwaiti hospital where the bodies were taken, medical workers performed an emergency cesarean section.

Little Sabreen was near death herself, fighting to breathe. Her tiny body lay in the recovery position on a small piece of carpet as medical workers gently pumped air into her open mouth. A gloved hand tapped at her chest.


Terry Anderson, AP reporter abducted in Lebanon and held captive for years, has died at 76

NEW YORK (AP) — Terry Anderson, the globe-trotting Associated Press correspondent who became one of America’s longest-held hostages after he was snatched from a street in war-torn Lebanon in 1985 and held for nearly seven years, has died at 76.

Anderson, who chronicled his abduction and torturous imprisonment by Islamic militants in his best-selling 1993 memoir “Den of Lions,” died on Sunday at his home in Greenwood Lake, New York, said his daughter, Sulome Anderson.

Anderson died of complications from recent heart surgery, his daughter said.

“Terry was deeply committed to on-the-ground eyewitness reporting and demonstrated great bravery and resolve, both in his journalism and during his years held hostage. We are so appreciative of the sacrifices he and his family made as the result of his work,” said Julie Pace, senior vice president and executive editor of the AP.

“He never liked to be called a hero, but that’s what everyone persisted in calling him,” said Sulome Anderson. “I saw him a week ago and my partner asked him if he had anything on his bucket list, anything that he wanted to do. He said, ‘I’ve lived so much and I’ve done so much. I’m content.’”


'Great bravery and resolve.' Reaction to the death of Terry Anderson, AP reporter held hostage

A courageous correspondent who reported from the world's trouble spots. A supporter of humanitarian causes. A good friend.

Those were among the reactions to the death of Terry Anderson, the former chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press. Anderson was one of America’s longest-held hostages after he was abducted from Lebanon in 1985 and held for almost seven years. Anderson, 76, died Sunday in Greenwood Lake, New York, of complications from recent heart surgery.


“Terry was deeply committed to on-the-ground eyewitness reporting and demonstrated great bravery and resolve, both in his journalism and during his years held hostage. We are so appreciative of the sacrifices he and his family made as the result of his work.” - Julie Pace, senior vice president and executive editor of the AP.

“The word ‘hero’ gets tossed around a lot but applying it to Terry Anderson just enhances it. His six-and-a-half-year ordeal as a hostage of terrorists was as unimaginable as it was real — chains, being transported from hiding place to hiding place strapped to the chassis of a truck, given often inedible food, cut off from the world he reported on with such skill and caring.” - Louis D. Boccardi, the president and chief executive officer of the AP at the time of Anderson's captivity.


Europe is the fastest-warming continent, at nearly twice the average global rate, report says

NAPLES, Italy (AP) — Europe is the fastest-warming continent and its temperatures are rising at roughly twice the global average, two top climate monitoring organizations reported Monday, warning of the consequences for human health, glacier melt and economic activity.

The U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization and the European Union's climate agency, Copernicus, said in a joint report that the continent has the opportunity to develop targeted strategies to speed up the transition to renewable resources like wind, solar and hydroelectric power in response to the effects of climate change.

The continent generated 43% of its electricity from renewable resources last year, up from 36% the year before, the agencies say in their European State of the Climate report for last year. More energy in Europe was generated from renewables than from fossil fuels for the second year running.

The latest five-year averages show that temperatures in Europe are now running 2.3 degrees Celsius (4.1 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, compared to 1.3 degrees Celsius higher globally, the report says — just shy of the targets under the 2015 Paris climate accord to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Europe saw yet another year of increasing temperatures and intensifying climate extremes — including heat stress with record temperatures, wildfires, heat waves, glacier ice loss and lack of snowfall,” said Elisabeth Hamdouch, the deputy head of unit for Copernicus at the EU’s executive commission.


Kennedy says he loves his family 'either way' after relatives endorse Biden's campaign over his

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Sunday acknowledged endorsements from more than a dozen of his relatives who are backing Democratic President Joe Biden, noting that he feels no ill will over the family political divide.

“Some of them don’t like the fact that I’m running,” Kennedy said of his relatives, after a comedy showcase in suburban Detroit to benefit his campaign.

Kennedy — who last year launched an independent presidential bid after first challenging Biden for the Democratic nomination — was reacting to the endorsements from his sister and other relatives last week, a move by the Biden campaign that signals how seriously the president’s team is taking a long-shot candidate using his last name’s lingering Democratic magic to siphon support from the incumbent.

In Philadelphia, Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, niece of former President John F. Kennedy and sister of the current presidential candidate, called Biden “my hero," saying — without mention of her brother — that the family wanted to “make crystal clear” their support for reelecting Biden.

Biden, who keeps a bust of Robert F. Kennedy in the Oval Office, said the endorsements were “an incredible honor.”


Ukrainian and Western leaders laud US aid package while the Kremlin warns of 'further ruin'

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian and Western leaders on Sunday welcomed a desperately needed aid package passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, as the Kremlin warned that passage of the bill would “further ruin” Ukraine and cause more deaths.

Ukrainian commanders and analysts say the long-awaited $61 billion military aid package — including $13.8 billion for Ukraine to buy weapons — will help slow Russia’s incremental advances in the war's third year — but that more will likely be needed for Kyiv to regain the offensive.

The House swiftly approved $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies in a rare Saturday session as Democrats and Republicans banded together after months of hard-right resistance over renewed American support for repelling Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who had warned that his country would lose the war without U.S. funding, said that he was grateful for U.S. lawmaker' decision.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Zelenskyy said that the aid package would “send the Kremlin a powerful signal that (Ukraine) will not be the second Afghanistan.”


Race car in Sri Lanka veers off track killing 7 people and injuring 20, officials say

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A race car veered off the track during a competition in Sri Lanka on Sunday and rammed into a crowd of spectators and race officials, killing seven people and injuring 20 others, officials said.

Thousands of spectators looked on as the mishap took place during a race in the town of Diyatalawa in the tea-growing central hills, about 180 kilometers (110 miles) east of the capital Colombo.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the mishap.

Police spokesman Nihal Thalduwa said one of the cars veered off the track and crashed into spectators and officials of the event. Seven people, including four officials, were killed and another 20 were being treated at a hospital, said Thalduwa. He said three of the injured were in critical condition.

Thalduwa said police have launched an investigation into the accident, which was the 17th out of 24 events scheduled. The race was suspended after the accident.


Mary J. Blige, Cher, Ozzy Osbourne, A Tribe Called Quest and Foreigner get into Rock Hall

NEW YORK (AP) — Mary J. Blige,Cher, Foreigner, A Tribe Called Quest, Kool & The Gang and Ozzy Osbourne have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a class that also includes folk-rockers Dave Matthews Band and singer-guitarist Peter Frampton.

Alexis Korner, John Mayall and Big Mama Thornton earned the Musical Influence Award, while the late Jimmy Buffett, MC5, Dionne Warwick and Norman Whitfield will get the Musical Excellence Award. Pioneering music executive Suzanne de Passe won the Ahmet Ertegun Award.

“Rock ‘n’ roll is an ever-evolving amalgam of sounds that impacts culture and moves generations,” John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said in a statement. “This diverse group of inductees each broke down musical barriers and influenced countless artists that followed in their footsteps.”

The induction ceremony will be held Oct. 19 at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. It will stream live on Disney+ with an airing on ABC at a later date and available on Hulu the next day.

Those music acts nominated this year but didn't make the cut included Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, the late Sinéad O’Connor, soul-pop singer Sade, Britpoppers Oasis, hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim and alt-rockers Jane’s Addiction.

The Associated Press