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McConnell, GOP Senators Meet Zelenskyy in Surprise Kyiv Stop | Political News

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell and a delegation of GOP senators met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv throughout an unannounced go to Saturday, delivering the latest present of American solidarity with the nation at battle with Russia.

“Our delegation reaffirmed to President Zelenskyy that the United States stands squarely behind Ukraine and can maintain our help till Ukraine wins this battle,” McConnell mentioned in a press release launched after the delegation had left Ukraine.

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A video posted on Zelenskyy’s Telegram account confirmed McConnell, R-Ky., and Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas greeting him in the capital. Zelensky, in an Instagram post, referred to as the go to “a powerful sign of bipartisan help for Ukraine from the United States Congress and the American folks.”

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Later, in his nightly video deal with. Zelenskyy mentioned he believed that the senators’ journey confirmed “the sturdy connection between the Ukrainian and American folks. We mentioned numerous areas of help for our nation, together with protection and finance, in addition to strengthening sanctions in opposition to Russia.”

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The journey got here at a time when the Senate is working to approve a virtually $40 billion package deal for Ukraine, a considerable infusion of help that can push American support to the area effectively above $50 billion. The measure consists of $6 billion for Ukraine for intelligence, tools and coaching for its forces, plus $4 billion in financing to assist Ukraine and NATO allies construct up their militaries.

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Passage was delayed Thursday by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who demanded the inclusion of a proposal to have an inspector normal scrutinize the brand new spending. But closing approval isn’t in doubt and will come in the week forward, reflecting overwhelming help in Congress for replenishing the Ukrainian battle effort.

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“They’re solely asking for the assets they should defend themselves in opposition to this deranged invasion,” McConnell mentioned this previous week of the Ukrainians. “And they want this assist proper now.”

In his assertion after the go to, McConnell referred to as the go to “inspiring” and mentioned he and his colleagues had seen firsthand “the braveness, unity, and resolve of the Ukrainian folks.”

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It was the second high-profile congressional delegation to cease in Ukraine in as many weeks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., visited on May 1 with a gaggle of House Democrats and promised Zelenskyy that the United States will “be there for you till the struggle is completed.”

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First girl Jill Biden visited western Ukraine final weekend for a Mother’s Day assembly with Zelenskyy’s spouse, Olena Zelenska.

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

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Padres Manager Bob Melvin Expected Back in Dugout Friday | Sports News

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Manager Bob Melvin plans to return to the dugout Friday evening when the San Diego Padres open a three-game sequence at San Francisco, the group mentioned Thursday.

Melvin has been away since having prostate surgical procedure on May 11. The Padres mentioned no most cancers was discovered. Melvin will journey to San Francisco on Friday morning and rejoin the Padres for the ultimate three video games of a nine-game, three-city journey. That matches the timetable Melvin hoped for when he introduced on May 10 that he was having surgical procedure.

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Bench coach Ryan Christenson managed the group in Melvin’s absence. The Padres went 4-2 on a swing by Atlanta and Philadelphia. Christenson additionally managed three video games on their final homestand, going 2-1.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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

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Hawaii Bill Promotes Zero-Emission Travel Between Islands | Hawaii News

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By AUDREY McAVOY, Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii lawmakers this yr handed laws making a working group to develop methods to eradicate greenhouse fuel emissions on transportation between the islands.

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Sen. Chris Lee stated at a news convention on Thursday that Hawaii has among the highest transportation prices within the nation due to its dependence on imported fossil fuels. Shifting to cleaner power sources might assist decrease these prices, he stated.

The invoice, SB 3311, establishes a zero emissions objective for all Hawaii transportation basically. It would not set a deadline, however Lee stated the measure would assist Hawaii attain a pre-existing goal to grow to be carbon impartial by 2045.

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The interisland transportation working group would come with representatives of the airline and cruise ship industries and Honolulu harbor customers. Each county would have a seat, together with the state director of transportation and the state’s chief power officer.

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The measure creates one other working group to make certain Hawaii has sufficient electrical car chargers.

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Jodi Leong, a spokesperson for Gov. David Ige, stated he helps the intent of the invoice however is ready for a legal, coverage and departmental evaluation to be completed earlier than signing the measure.

Hawaii is already requiring electrical utilities to make use of renewable power for 100% of their electrical energy by 2045.

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Oklahoma Passes Strictest Abortion Ban; Services to Stop | Oklahoma News

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By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma lawmakers on Thursday accepted a invoice prohibiting all abortions with few exceptions, and suppliers mentioned they might cease performing the process as quickly because the governor indicators it within the latest instance of the GOP’s nationwide push to limit entry to what has been a constitutional proper for practically a half century.

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Oklahoma lawmakers this yr already handed a half-dozen anti-abortion measures, and whereas abortion suppliers throughout the nation have been bracing for the likelihood that the U.S. Supreme Court’s new conservative majority would possibly additional limit the observe, that has particularly been the case in Oklahoma and Texas.

Two of Oklahoma’s 4 abortion clinics already stopped offering abortions after the governor signed a six-week ban earlier this month, and an legal professional for the 2 different impartial clinics mentioned Thursday they are going to now not provide companies as soon as the invoice is signed. The invoice is probably going to attain Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk early subsequent week, and the first-term Republican running for reelection has already mentioned he would signal any anti-abortion invoice the Legislature sends to him. It would take impact instantly after he indicators it.

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“This invoice might go into impact at any time, and as soon as it does, any individual can sue the clinic, the medical doctors, anybody else who’s concerned in offering an abortion in Oklahoma,” mentioned Rabia Muqaddam, an legal professional for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Oklahoma clinics in legal challenges towards a number of proposed new anti-abortion legal guidelines.

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The payments are a part of an aggressive push in Republican-led states throughout the nation to scale again abortion rights. It comes on the heels of a leaked draft opinion from the nation’s excessive court docket that means justices are contemplating weakening or overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade choice that legalized abortion practically 50 years in the past.

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The invoice by Collinsville Republican Rep. Wendi Stearman would prohibit all abortions, besides to save the lifetime of a pregnant lady or if the being pregnant is the results of rape or incest that has been reported to regulation enforcement.

“Is our purpose to defend the proper to life or is not it?” Stearman requested her colleagues earlier than the invoice handed on a 73-16 vote, largely alongside occasion strains.

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The invoice particularly authorizes medical doctors to take away a “lifeless unborn little one attributable to spontaneous abortion,” or miscarriage, or to take away an ectopic being pregnant, a doubtlessly life-threatening emergency that happens when a fertilized egg implants exterior the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube and early in being pregnant.

With the entire state’s abortion clinics anticipated to cease providing companies, it is not clear the place a lady who certified beneath considered one of these exemptions would go to get an abortion as a result of suppliers say many medical doctors can be afraid of running afoul of the regulation.

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The invoice additionally doesn’t apply to using Plan B, different morning-after tablets or any sort of contraception.

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Because the invoice defines an “unborn little one” as a human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization till delivery, it’s not anticipated to apply to in vitro fertilization, which is when eggs are fertilized in a lab earlier than being transferred into a lady’s uterus, mentioned Dr. Eli Reshef, an Oklahoma City fertility specialist.

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“(The invoice) doesn’t criminalize what we do,” Reshef mentioned. “No matter one’s place on abortion, we aren’t involved about the invoice harming our specific occupation.”

The invoice is considered one of not less than three anti-abortion payments despatched this yr to Stitt. Another abortion invoice related to a Texas invoice handed final yr that prohibits the process after cardiac exercise may be detected within the embryo, which specialists say is about six weeks, already has taken impact and has already dramatically curtailed the observe in Oklahoma. Another invoice set to take impact this summer season would make it a felony to carry out an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in jail. That invoice accommodates no exceptions for rape or incest.

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“At this level, we’re making ready for essentially the most restrictive setting politicians can create: an entire ban on abortion with doubtless no exceptions,” mentioned Emily Wales, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which stopped offering abortions at two of its Oklahoma clinics after the six-week ban took impact earlier this month. “It’s the worst-case situation for abortion care within the state of Oklahoma.”

Like the Texas regulation, the Oklahoma invoice would permit personal residents to sue abortion suppliers or anybody who helps a lady receive an abortion. After the U.S. Supreme Court allowed that mechanism to stay in place, different Republican-led states sought to copy Texas’ ban. Idaho’s governor signed the primary copycat measure in March, though it has been briefly blocked by the state’s Supreme Court.

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There are legal challenges pending in Oklahoma to each the invoice to criminalize abortion and the six-week Texas ban, each of which might nonetheless be halted, however the courts have to this point failed to achieve this.

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The variety of abortions carried out every year in Oklahoma has declined steadily over the past twenty years, from greater than 6,200 in 2002 to 3,737 in 2020, the fewest in additional than 20 years, in accordance to information from the Oklahoma State Department of Health. In 2020, earlier than the Texas regulation was handed, about 9% of the abortions carried out in Oklahoma have been girls from Texas.

In the primary 4 months after Texas’ regulation took impact final September, abortions at clinics within the state dropped a median of 46% in contrast to the identical span the yr prior. But research additionally discovered a pointy enhance within the variety of Texas girls who have been ordering abortion tablets by mail and touring out of state for abortions.

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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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