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Russia Shells Ukrainian Cities Amid Kremlin-Staged Votes

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By KARL RITTER and HANNA ARHIROVA, Associated Press

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces launched new strikes on Ukrainian cities as Kremlin-orchestrated votes came about in occupied areas of Ukraine to create a pretext for his or her annexation by Moscow.

Ukraine’s presidential workplace mentioned the latest Russian shelling killed at the very least three folks and wounded 19. Oleksandr Starukh, the Ukrainian governor of Zaporizhzhia, one of many areas the place Moscow-installed officers organized referendums on becoming a member of Russia, mentioned a Russian missile hit an condominium constructing within the metropolis of Zaporizhzhia, killing one particular person and injuring seven others.

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Ukraine and its Western allies say the referendums underway in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia within the south and the jap Luhansk and Donetsk areas don’t have any legal drive. They alleged the votes had been an illegitimate try by Moscow to grab Ukrainian territory stretching from the Russian border to the Crimean Peninsula.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai mentioned the voting “regarded extra like an opinion survey below the gun barrels,” including that Moscow-backed native authorities despatched armed escorts to accompany election officers and to take down the names of people who voted in opposition to becoming a member of Russia.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Ukrainians in occupied areas to undermine the referendums and to share data about the folks conducting “this farce.” He additionally known as on Russian recruits to sabotage and desert the navy if they’re known as up below the partial troop mobilization President Vladimir Putin introduced Wednesday.

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“If you get into the Russian military, sabotage any exercise of the enemy, hinder any Russian operations, present us with any necessary data about the occupiers – their bases, headquarters, warehouses with ammunition,” Zelenskyy mentioned.

Putin on Saturday signed a rapidly authorised invoice that toughens the punishment for troopers who disobey officers’ orders, desert or give up to the enemy.

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To perform the referendums that started Friday, election officers accompanied by law enforcement officials carried ballots to houses and arrange cell polling stations, citing security causes. The votes are set to wrap up Tuesday. Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko mentioned

“Half of the inhabitants fled the Donetsk area due to Russian terror and fixed shelling, voting in opposition to Russia with their toes, and the second half has been cheated and scared,” .

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In the Ukrainian capital, about 100 folks from the Russia-occupied metropolis of Mariupol, which is a part of the Donetsk area, gathered to protest the referendum, protecting themselves in Ukrainian flags and carrying posters “Mariupol is Ukraine.”

“They ruined the town, killed 1000’s of individuals, and now they’re doing a little sort of profanation over there,” mentioned Vladyslav Kildishov who helped arrange the rally.

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Elina Sytkova, 21, a demonstrator who has many relations left in Mariupol though the town spent months below bombardment, mentioned the vote was “an phantasm of alternative when there isn’t any.”

It’s “like a joke, as a result of it’s the identical because it was in Crimea, that means it’s faux and never actual,” she mentioned, referring to a 2014 referendum that came about in Crimea earlier than Moscow annexed the peninsula in a transfer that a lot of the world thought-about unlawful.

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The mobilization ordered by Putin marked a pointy shift from his effort to forged the seven-month conflict as a “particular navy operation” that doesn’t intrude with the lives of most Russians.

The Russian chief and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu mentioned the order utilized to reservists who had lately served or had particular abilities, however nearly each man is taken into account a reservist till age 65 and Putin’s decree stored the door open for a broader call-up.

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The Russian Ministry mentioned that the partial mobilization initially aimed so as to add about 300,000 troops to beef up its outnumbered volunteer forces in Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities stopped permitting most males ages 18-60 to go away the nation instantly after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion below a basic mobilization order supposed to construct a 1 million-strong navy.

Across Russia’s 11 time zones, males hugged their weeping members of the family earlier than being rounded up for service amid fears {that a} wider call-up would possibly observe. Some media stories claimed Russian authorities deliberate to mobilize greater than 1 million recruits, which the Kremlin denied.

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Moving to assuage public fears over the call-up that might erode Putin’s grip on energy, authorities introduced that many Russians working in excessive tech, communications or finance could be exempt.

Police moved rapidly to disperse extra demonstrations in opposition to the mobilization that had been held in a number of cities throughout Russia on Saturday and detained greater than 100 individuals. Over 1,300 protesters had been arrested throughout antiwar demonstrations on Wednesday, and lots of of them instantly acquired call-up summons.

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Many Russian males purchased up scarce and exorbitantly priced airline tickets overseas as as rumors swirled about a pending border closure. Thousands others fled by automobile, creating strains of visitors hours and even days lengthy at some borders. The huge exodus underlined the unpopularity of the conflict and fueled public outrage.

In an indication the Kremlin was beginning to fear about a backlash, the top of a high state-controlled TV station harshly criticized navy authorities for rapidly sweeping up random folks to satisfy mobilization targets as an alternative of calling up folks with particular abilities and up to date navy service, as Putin promised.

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RT chief Margarita Simonyan lashed out at navy conscription workplaces for “driving folks mad” by rounding up those that weren’t imagined to be drafted. “It’s as in the event that they had been tasked by Kyiv to do this,” she mentioned.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed regional chief of Chechnya who despatched his forces to battle in Ukraine and repeatedly known as for harder motion, instructed that Moscow ought to extra broadly have interaction personnel from law-enforcement companies within the preventing.

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He denounced these fleeing the mobilization as cowards and argued that police and varied paramilitary companies that quantity a complete of 5 million personnel along with the navy would make a a lot better-trained and motivated preventing drive.

“If we depart 50 p.c of the personnel to fulfil their duties, 2.5 million others will blow any Western military away and we gained’t want any reservists,” Kadyrov mentioned.

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Putin’s mobilization order adopted a swift Ukrainian counteroffensive that pressured Moscow’s retreat from broad swaths of the northeastern Kharkiv area, a humiliating defeat that highlighted blunders in Moscow’s navy planning.

The Defense Ministry on Saturday introduced the dismissal of Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov from the post of deputy protection minister answerable for logistics. It did not point out the trigger for his ouster, however the transfer was broadly seen as a punishment for the issues in supporting operations in Ukraine.

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

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be printed, 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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