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2 Russian Villages Evacuated After Fire at Munitions Depot

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By PAUL BYRNE, Associated Press

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A fireplace at a munitions depot close to the Russian village of Timonovo has led to the evacuation of two villages in Russia’s Belgorod area on Ukraine’s northeastern border, an official stated Friday. The blaze was the latest in a sequence of damaging incidents on Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine or inside Russia itself.

Roughly 1,100 individuals reside within the villages of Timonovo and Soloti, round 15 miles (25 kilometers) from the Ukrainian border. There have been no casualties within the blaze late Thursday, Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov stated.

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The hearth got here days after one other ammunition depot exploded on the Crimean Peninsula, a Russian-occupied territory on the Black Sea that was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Last week, 9 Russian warplanes have been reported destroyed at an airbase on Crimea, demonstrating each the Russians’ vulnerability and the Ukrainians’ capability to strike deep behind enemy strains. Ukrainian authorities have stopped wanting publicly claiming duty.

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But President Volodymyr Zelenskyy alluded to Ukrainian assaults behind enemy strains after the blasts in Crimea, which Russia has blamed on “sabotage.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated in televised remarks Friday that statements from Ukrainian officers about hanging services in Crimea mark “an escalation of the battle overtly inspired by the United States and its NATO allies.”

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Ryabkov stated Russian officers had warned the U.S. towards such actions in cellphone calls with high-level members of the Biden administration, including that “deep and open U.S. involvement” within the conflict in Ukraine “successfully places the U.S. on the point of turning into a celebration to the battle.“

“We don’t need an escalation,” Ryabkov stated. “We wish to keep away from a scenario the place the U.S. turns into a celebration to the battle, however up to now we haven’t seen their readiness to deeply and critically contemplate these warnings.”

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In spite of the latest incidents, a Western official stated the conflict is at a “close to operational standstill,” with neither aspect in a position to launch main offensives.

“The complete tempo of the marketing campaign has slowed down, partly as a result of either side have turn into extra aware that it is a marathon not a dash and that expenditure charges and conserving their munitions is essential,” stated official stated who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he isn’t approved to debate intelligence issues publicly.

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Meanwhile, Kyiv and Moscow continued to accuse one another of shelling Europe’s largest nuclear energy plant, stoking worldwide fears of a disaster on the continent.

The Kremlin stated Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed French counterpart Emmanuel Macron of their first cellphone dialog since May 28 that Ukrainian shelling across the Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant “raised the specter of a large-scale disaster that might result in radioactive contamination of huge territories.”

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The Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility in Ukraine’s south has been managed by Russian forces since shortly after the invasion started on Feb. 24. Ukraine has accused Russia of storing troops and weapons at the plant and utilizing its grounds to launch strikes towards Ukrainian-controlled territory. Ukrainian officers and army analysts say Moscow’s forces have cynically employed the plant as a defend, understanding that the Ukrainians can be hesitant to fireside again.

Russia has denied the accusations and, in flip, accused Ukrainian forces of repeatedly shelling the plant.

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The French presidency stated in a press release that Macron “underlined his issues” concerning the scenario at the Zaporizhzhia plant and expressed his help for the deployment of a International Atomic Energy Agency mission to the positioning “as quickly as potential.”

Putin agreed to the mission’s deployment below the mentioned phrases, in line with the French assertion. The Kremlin stated that “the Russian aspect reaffirmed its readiness to supply the required help to the company’s specialists.”

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Yevgeny Balitsky, the Moscow-backed chief of non permanent administration for the Russia-controlled a part of the Zaporizhzhia area, stated Friday that an IAEA mission might method the plant from Ukrainian-held territory, a shift in Moscow’s place which beforehand had recommended that the mission ought to journey to the plant from Crimea.

“I imagine they might additionally come from the aspect of Ukraine,” Balitsky stated in televised remarks. “We can safely convey them to the plant and present the place the fireplace is coming from and who’s capturing.”

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Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian envoy to worldwide organizations in Vienna the place the IAEA relies, stated he believes a go to by the company might realistically happen in early September.

Following a Thursday go to to Ukraine, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Zelenskyy had requested him to make sure that Russia take away weapons saved at the plant as an “essential step for world peace.”

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“Zelenskyy requested this of us particularly: that Russia take away all mines and comparable (weapons) there and for the problem to quickly stop to be scary. Because it’s a menace,” Erdogan stated.

Erdogan, whose nation has maintained shut relations with each Ukraine and Russia, stated he would talk about the problem with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that “Russia should do its half on this regard.”

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The Turkish president made the feedback to a gaggle of Turkish journalists on his return from a go to with Zelenskyy and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres in Ukraine late on Thursday. His feedback have been reported by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency and different media on Friday.

At that assembly within the western metropolis of Lviv, far from the entrance strains, the leaders mentioned increasing exchanges of prisoners of conflict and arranging for U.N. atomic power specialists to go to and assist safe the nuclear energy plant.

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— U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres visited a port within the coastal Ukrainian metropolis of Odesa, the place he praised ongoing efforts to keep up a delivery hall on the Black Sea permitting for the export of significant Ukrainian grain shipments. Guterres stated that 25 ships have departed from Odesa and different Ukrainian ports since Russia and Ukraine signed a four-month grain export deal in July. Those ships have carried over 600,000 tons of grain and different meals provides like wheat, corn, sunflower oil and soy beans, Guterres stated, including that getting extra meals and fertilizer out of Ukraine and Russia is essential to additional calm international commodity markets and decrease prices. Gutteres additionally urged unimpeded entry to international markets of Russian meals and fertilizer, which are not topic to sanctions. “Without fertilizer in 2022, there is probably not sufficient meals in 2023,” he stated.

— At least 5 individuals have been killed and 10 others wounded by the Russian shelling of cities and villages in Ukraine’s japanese Donetsk area, in line with regional authorities. Russian shelling of the town of Kharkiv additionally killed at least one civilian early Friday. Russian missiles once more struck port services and a college constructing within the southern port metropolis of Mykolaiv.

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Jill Lawless in London contributed.

Follow the AP’s protection of the conflict at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Warriors 0-6 on Road, Fall to Pelicans With 4 Starters Out

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By BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The defending champion Golden State Warriors fell to 0-6 on the street, shedding 114-105 to Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night time with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins sidelined.

Ingram scored 26 factors in his return from a four-game absence due to a concussion and reserve Larry Nance Jr. scored 20 factors for the Pelicans, together with a number of fourth-quarter dunks that saved Golden State at bay. CJ McCollum scored 20 factors and Zion Williamson added 16 for New Orleans.

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Jordan Poole had 20 factors and 9 assists for the Warriors. Kevon Looney was the one common starter in uniform for Golden State’s second sport in two nights on the finish of a winless five-game journey.

The Warriors are 3-7 total. Among Western Conference groups, solely Houston (1-8) has extra losses.

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Curry, Thompson, Green and Wiggins all had been scratched after taking part in the earlier night time in a loss at Orlando.

The Warriors will not be taking part in Thompson on back-to-back nights due to his anterior cruciate ligament and Achilles tendon accidents in 2019 and 2020. Green is beneath related limitations due to a again damage final season. Curry was being rested due to elbow soreness and Wiggins due to a sore left foot.

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A beginning lineup that as an alternative included Poole and fellow guard Moses Moody, together with forwards Anthony Lamb and Jonathan Kuminga, made the sport aggressive into the fourth quarter.

Ty Jerome, who scored 18 factors, hit a 3 to pull the Warriors inside 99-96 earlier than the Pelicans steadily pulled away through the closing six minutes.

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Trey Murphy III’s 3-pointer capped a 7-0 Pelicans spurt that started with Nance’s dunk and layup and made it 111-101 with two minutes to go. Ingram, who additionally had 5 rebounds, 5 assists and two blocks, obtained a standing ovation when he checked out of the sport within the closing minute.

New Orleans led by as many as 11 within the second quarter when Jose Alvarado intercepted Poole’s go and located Williamson for a breakaway, windmill dunk.

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But the Warriors chipped away and trailed 50-49 on James Wiseman’s putback dunk.

Nance scored the ultimate 4 factors of the quarter on a finger roll and dunk, placing the Pelicans up 61-54 at halftime.

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Warriors: Kuminga completed with 18 factors, whereas Lamb scored 16 and Moody had 14. … Went 12 of 32 from 3-point vary. … In addition to the 4 starters who sat, G/F Andre Iguodala (hip) and G Donte DiVincenzo (hamstring) remained inactive. Iguodala has but to play this season, whereas DiVicenzo hasn’t performed since Oct. 23.

Pelicans: Alvarado and Murphy every scored 10 factors and every hit three 3s to assist New Orleans go 12 of 29 from lengthy vary … Shot 50.6% total (41 of 81) and outrebounded Golden State 51-36.

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated he appreciates that followers paid “good money” to see gamers on his staff who sat out with the objective of preserving their long-term well being.

“Ultimately the gamers’ well being is the No. 1 consider our staff’s success and even our followers’ satisfaction in the long term,” Kerr stated.

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He added that whereas some absences are unpredictable, “it will be smart” for followers to research schedules of groups they need to see and handle expectations when these groups are taking part in on consecutive nights on the finish of a visit, because the Warriors had been.

“Especially once you get a staff with gamers who’ve previous accidents like we do, or guys who’re superior age-wise,” Kerr stated. “I apologize to any followers on the market who had been hoping to see these guys.”

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Warriors: Host Sacramento on Monday.

Pelicans: Visit Atlanta on Saturday.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Twitter Slashes Its Staff as Musk Era Takes Hold on Platform

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By BARBARA ORTUTAY and MATT O’BRIEN, AP Technology Writers

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Twitter started widespread layoffs Friday as new proprietor Elon Musk overhauls the corporate, elevating grave issues about chaos enveloping the social media platform and its capacity to struggle disinformation simply days forward of the U.S. midterm elections.

The pace and size of the cuts additionally opened Musk and Twitter to lawsuits. At least one was filed alleging Twitter violated federal regulation by not offering fired workers the required discover.

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The San Francisco-based firm informed staff by e mail Thursday that they’d study Friday if they’d been laid off. About half of the corporate’s employees of seven,500 was let go, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security & integrity, confirmed in a tweet.

Musk tweeted late Friday that there was no alternative however to chop the jobs “when the corporate is dropping over $4M/day.” He didn’t present particulars on the each day losses on the firm and mentioned workers who misplaced their jobs have been supplied three months’ pay as a severance.

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No different social media platform comes near Twitter as a spot the place public businesses and different important service suppliers — election boards, police departments, utilities, faculties and news retailers — preserve individuals reliably knowledgeable. Many worry Musk’s layoffs will intestine it and render it lawless.

Roth mentioned the corporate’s front-line moderation employees was the group the least impacted by the job cuts.

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He added that Twitter’s “efforts on election integrity — together with dangerous misinformation that may suppress the vote and combatting state-backed info operations — stay a prime precedence.”

Musk, in the meantime, tweeted that “Twitter’s sturdy dedication to content material moderation stays completely unchanged.”

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But a Twitter worker who spoke with The Associated Press Friday mentioned it is going to be so much more durable to get that work executed beginning subsequent week after dropping so many colleagues.

“This will influence our capacity to offer help for elections, positively,” mentioned the worker who spoke on the situation of anonymity out of issues for job safety.

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The worker mentioned there’s no “concrete sense of route” aside from what Musk says publicly on Twitter.

“I comply with his tweets they usually have an effect on how we prioritize our work,” mentioned the worker. “It’s a really wholesome indicator of what to prioritize.”

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Several workers who tweeted about dropping their jobs mentioned Twitter eradicated their complete groups, together with one centered on human rights and world conflicts, one other checking Twitter’s algorithms for bias in how tweets get amplified, and an engineering crew devoted to creating the social platform extra accessible for individuals with disabilities.

Eddie Perez, a Twitter civic integrity crew supervisor who give up in September, mentioned he fears the layoffs so near the midterms may permit disinformation to “unfold like wildfire” in the course of the post-election vote-counting interval specifically.

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“I’ve a tough time believing that it doesn’t have a cloth influence on their capacity to handle the quantity of disinformation on the market,” he mentioned, including that there merely might not be sufficient workers to beat it again.

President Joe Biden, at a marketing campaign occasion in Illinois Friday night time, mentioned: “Now what are all of us anxious about? Elon Musk, who goes out and buys an outfit that sends and spews lies all the world over. … How can we count on children to have the ability to perceive what’s at stake?”

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Twitter’s workers have been anticipating layoffs since Musk took the helm. He fired prime executives, together with CEO Parag Agrawal, and eliminated the corporate’s board of administrators on his first day as proprietor.

As the emailed notices went out, many Twitter workers took to the platform to specific help for one another — typically merely tweeting blue coronary heart emojis to indicate its blue chicken brand — and salute emojis in replies to one another.

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A Twitter supervisor mentioned many workers discovered they’d been laid off after they may now not log into the corporate’s methods. The supervisor mentioned the way in which the layoffs have been carried out confirmed a “lack of care and thoughtfulness.” The supervisor, who spoke to the AP on the situation of anonymity out of issues for job safety, mentioned managers weren’t given any discover about who can be getting laid off.

“For me as a supervisor, it’s been excruciating as a result of I needed to discover out about what my crew was going to seem like by tweets and thru texting and calling individuals,” the worker mentioned. “That’s a very arduous approach to care in your individuals. And managers at Twitter care so much about their individuals.”

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A coalition of civil rights teams escalated their calls Friday for manufacturers to pause promoting buys on the platform. The layoffs are significantly harmful forward of the elections, the teams warned, and for transgender customers and different teams dealing with violence impressed by hate speech that proliferates online.

In a tweet Friday, Musk blamed activists for what he described as a “huge drop in income” since he took over Twitter late final week.

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Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg mentioned there may be “little Musk can say to appease advertisers when he’s maintaining the corporate in a continuing state of uncertainty and turmoil, and seems detached to Twitter workers and the regulation.”

“Musk wants advertisers greater than they want him,” she mentioned. “Pulling advertisements from Twitter is a fast and painless resolution for many manufacturers.”

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A lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court docket in San Francisco on behalf of 1 worker who was laid off and three others who have been locked out of their work accounts. It alleges Twitter violated the regulation by not offering the required discover.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification statute requires employers with not less than 100 staff to reveal layoffs involving 500 or extra workers, no matter whether or not an organization is publicly traded or privately held, as Twitter is now.

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The layoffs affected Twitter’s workplaces all over the world. In the United Kingdom, it could be required by regulation to offer workers discover, mentioned Emma Bartlett, a accomplice specializing in employment and partnership regulation at CM Murray LLP.

The pace of the layoffs may additionally open Musk and Twitter as much as discrimination claims if it seems, for example, that they disproportionally affected ladies, individuals of shade or older staff.

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AP Business Writers Mae Anderson, Alexandra Olson and Ken Sweet in New York, James Pollard in Columbia, S.C., Frank Bajak in Boston and Danica Kirka in London contributed to this story.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Settlement Reached in Suits Over FBI Posing as AP Reporter

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By LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press will get a $145,000 settlement following a pair of lawsuits filed after an FBI agent posed as a reporter for The Associated Press and created a faux story.

The long-running Freedom of Information Act instances led to appeals court docket selections that may assist bolster entry to public information, stated Adam Marshall, an lawyer for the group. The instances additionally make clear FBI brokers posing as members of the media, a tactic that free press advocates say undermines media credibility and blurs strains between legislation enforcement and the press.

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The company did not comply with its personal guidelines over such undercover operations when an agent posed as an AP reporter and despatched a link to a faux story in an investigation in Washington state in 2007, in keeping with paperwork uncovered in the lawsuit filed together with The Associated Press.

Then-FBI Director James Comey known as the approach “correct and acceptable” below FBI pointers on the time, although he stated it might require higher-level approvals when the incident got here to gentle seven years later, in 2014. No precise story was revealed and it led to an arrest, he maintained.

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The agent posing as an AP reporter despatched a link to the faux article to a 15-year-old suspected of creating bomb threats at a highschool. When the teenager clicked the link, a monitoring instrument revealed his pc’s location and helped brokers affirm his id.

The FBI declined to remark Friday.

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Kathleen Carroll, then government editor of the AP, stated in 2014 that the FBI’s “unacceptable techniques undermine AP and the important distinction between the federal government and the press.” A letter signed by two dozen news organizations known as the revelations “inexcusable” and the Reporter’s Committee particularly known as out using the AP’s title as “cowl for delivery of digital surveillance software program.”

Lauren Easton, an Associated Press spokeswoman, declined extra remark Friday.

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The lawsuits had been filed as a part of an effort to get information about FBI news-media impersonations, and finally resulted in vital court docket selections about how far businesses should go in looking for requested paperwork and the requirements they need to meet in order to withhold paperwork, Marshall stated. The settlement will cowl lawyer’s charges and prices.

“This has proven that there are important, regarding and ongoing points with respect to federal legislation enforcement impersonation of the press in the United States,” Marshall stated. The instances have additionally “proven that the Reporters Committee and The Associated Press had been dedicated to discovering out as a lot as we might about what occurred right here for the general public to know.”

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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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