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Ukrainian Forces Retake Areas Near Kyiv Amid Fear of Traps | World News

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By NEBI QENA and YURAS KARMANAU, Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops moved cautiously to retake territory north of the nation’s capital on Saturday, utilizing cables to drag the our bodies of civilians off streets of one city out of worry that Russian forces could have left them booby-trapped.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that departing Russian troops have been making a “catastrophic” state of affairs for civilians by leaving mines round properties, deserted tools and “even the our bodies of these killed.” His claims couldn’t be independently verified.

Associated Press journalists in Bucha, a suburb northwest of Kyiv, watched as Ukrainian troopers backed by a column of tanks and different armored automobiles used cables to tug our bodies off of a road from a distance. Locals mentioned the useless — the AP counted no less than six — have been civilians killed without provocation by departing Russian troopers.

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“Those folks have been simply strolling and so they shot them without any cause. Bang,” mentioned a Bucha resident who declined to provide his title citing security causes. “In the following neighborhood, Stekolka, it was even worse. They would shoot without asking any query.”

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Ukraine and its Western allies reported mounting proof of Russia withdrawing its forces from round Kyiv and constructing its troop power in jap Ukraine.

The seen shift didn’t imply the nation confronted a reprieve from greater than 5 weeks of warfare or that the greater than 4 million refugees who’ve fled Ukraine will return quickly. Zelenskyy mentioned he expects departed cities to endure missile and rocket strikes from afar and for the battle within the east to be intense.

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In his nightly video deal with Saturday, the Ukrainian chief mentioned the nation’s troops weren’t permitting the Russians to retreat without a combat: “They are shelling them. They are destroying everybody they will.”

Russia, Zelenskyy mentioned, has ample forces to place extra stress on Ukraine’s east and south.

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Moscow’s give attention to jap Ukraine additionally saved the besieged southeastern metropolis of Mariupol within the crosshairs. The port metropolis on the Sea of Azov is situated within the largely Russian-speaking Donbas area, the place Moscow-backed separatists have fought Ukrainian troops for eight years. Military analysts suppose Russian President Vladimir Putin is decided to seize the area after his forces did not safe Kyiv and different main cities.

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The International Committee of the Red Cross had hoped to evacuate Mariupol residents Saturday however had not but reached town. A day earlier, native authorities mentioned the Red Cross was blocked by Russian forces.

An adviser to Zelenskyy, Oleksiy Arestovych, mentioned in an interview with Russian lawyer and activist Mark Feygin that Russia and Ukraine had reached an settlement to permit 45 buses to drive to Mariupol to evacuate residents “in coming days.”

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The Mariupol metropolis council mentioned earlier Saturday that 10 empty buses have been headed to Berdyansk, a metropolis 84 kilometers (52.2 miles) west of Mariupol, to choose up individuals who managed to get there on their very own. About 2,000 made it out of Mariupol on Friday, some on buses and a few in their very own automobiles, metropolis officers mentioned.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, mentioned 765 Mariupol residents on Saturday used personal automobiles to succeed in Zaporizhzhia, a metropolis nonetheless below Ukrainian management that has served because the vacation spot for different deliberate evacuations.

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Among these escaping was Tamila Mazurenko, who mentioned she fled Mariupol on Monday, made it to Berdyansk that evening after which took a bus to Zaporizhzhia. Mazurenko mentioned she waited for a bus till Friday, spending one evening sleeping in a subject.

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“I’ve just one query: Why?” she mentioned of her metropolis’s ordeal. “We solely lived as regular folks. And our regular life was destroyed. And we misplaced every thing. I don’t have any job, I can’t discover my son.”

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Mariupol has been surrounded by Russian forces for greater than a month and suffered some of the warfare’s worst assaults, together with on a maternity hospital and a theater that was sheltering civilians. Around 100,000 persons are believed to stay within the metropolis, down from a prewar inhabitants of 430,000, and so they face dire shortages of water, meals, gasoline and medication.

Zelenskyy mentioned a big quantity of Russian troops have been tied up in Mariupol, giving Ukraine “invaluable time … that’s permitting us to foil the enemy’s ways and weaken its capabilities.”

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The metropolis’s seize would give Moscow an unbroken land bridge from Russia to Crimea, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014. But its resistance additionally has taken on symbolic significance throughout Russia’s invasion, mentioned Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Ukrainian suppose tank Penta.

“Mariupol has develop into a logo of Ukrainian resistance, and without its conquest, Putin can’t sit down on the negotiating desk,” Fesenko mentioned.

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About 500 refugees from jap Ukraine, together with 99 youngsters and 12 folks with disabilities, arrived within the Russian metropolis of Kazan by prepare in a single day. Asked if he noticed an opportunity to return house, Mariupol resident Artur Kirillov answered, “That’s unlikely, there isn’t a metropolis anymore.”

In cities and cities surrounding Kyiv, indicators of fierce combating have been in all places within the wake of the Russian redeployment. Destroyed armored automobiles from each armies lay in streets and fields together with scattered navy gear.

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Ukrainian troops have been stationed on the entrance to Antonov Airport in suburb of Hostomel, demonstrating management of the runway that Russia tried to storm within the first days of the warfare.

Inside the compound, the Mriya, one of the most important planes ever constructed, lay wrecked beneath a hangar pockmarked with holes from the February assault.

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Irpin has seen some of the fiercest battles, and Merkushev mentioned Russian troops “left behind them many our bodies, many destroyed buildings, and so they mined many locations.”

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A distinguished Ukrainian photojournalist who went lacking final month in a fight zone close to the capital was discovered useless Friday within the Huta Mezhyhirska village north of Kyiv, the nation’s prosecutor normal’s workplace introduced. The prosecutor normal’s workplace attributed Maks Levin’s loss of life to 2 gunshots allegedly fired by the Russian navy and mentioned an investigation was underway.

Elsewhere, no less than three Russian ballistic missiles have been fired late Friday on the Odesa area on the Black Sea, regional chief Maksim Marchenko mentioned. The Ukrainian navy mentioned the Iskander missiles didn’t hit the important infrastructure they focused in Odesa, Ukraine’s largest port and the headquarters of its navy.

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Ukraine’s state nuclear company reported a sequence of blasts Saturday that injured 4 folks in Enerhodar, a southeastern metropolis that has been below Russian management since early March together with the close by Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman mentioned through Telegram that the 4 have been badly burned when Russian troops fired gentle and noise grenades and mortars at a pro-Ukraine demonstration.

The head of Ukraine’s delegation in talks with Russia mentioned Moscow’s negotiators informally agreed to most of a draft proposal mentioned throughout face-to-face talks in Istanbul this week, however no written affirmation has been offered. However, Davyd Arakhamia mentioned on Ukrainian TV that he hopes that draft is developed sufficient in order that the 2 nations’ presidents can meet to debate it.

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Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Andrea Rosa in Irpin, Ukraine, and Associated Press journalists all over the world contributed to this report.

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

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

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Migrant Flights’ Mysterious Recruiter Identified

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The mysterious lady who allegedly lured dozens of migrants on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ flights to Martha’s Vineyard from San Antonio has been recognized by a number of media retailers as Perla H. Huerta, a former fight medic and U.S. Army counterintelligence agent residing in Tampa.

The New York Times reported late Sunday {that a} Venezuelan migrant who was working with Huerta to recruit migrants confirmed her id, and a migrant in San Antonio whom Huerta had unsuccessfully sought to enroll recognized a photograph of her.

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CNN reported {that a} pal of Huerta confirmed her id in a photograph offered by a migrant. Pictures have been circulating of the girl — till now identified merely as “Perla” — after she allegedly recruited lots of the 48 Venezuelan migrants outdoors a city-operated shelter in downtown San Antonio and moved them at a La Quinta Inn, earlier than they have been flown to the upscale Massachusetts island on the expense of Florida taxpayers.

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The San Antonio Express-News, citing unnamed sources, reported Monday that the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, which incorporates San Antonio, considers Huerta, 43, a “individual of curiosity” in its felony investigation into the incident.

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The sheriff’s workplace stated Monday it has not confirmed or recognized any individuals of curiosity within the ongoing investigation, in response to Johnny Garcia, a spokesperson. Asked about Huerta, Garcia had instructed the Express-News, “We are usually not publicly figuring out anyone.”

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The Associated Press tried quite a few telephone numbers and emails for potential matches for Perla H. Huerta or potential family members, and obtained no reply or the traces have been disconnected.

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Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar has stated he’s trying into whether or not the migrants have been lied to or if the 2 flights final month broke any legal guidelines. Some migrants have stated they have been enticed with McDonald’s reward playing cards and guarantees of jobs and housing that by no means materialized.

U.S. Army spokesperson Madison Bonzo confirmed to the AP {that a} Perla H. Huerta left the navy in August and served as a fight medic and labored in counterintelligence. She held the rank of grasp sergeant when she left the service and had deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti.

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

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Former Kentucky Lawmaker Sentenced to Prison in Fraud Case

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LONDON, Ky. (AP) — Former Kentucky lawmaker Robert Goforth was sentenced Monday to two years and one month in federal jail for well being care fraud and money laundering.

Goforth, who resigned from the Kentucky House in 2021, additionally faces two years of supervised launch, media shops reported.

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Goforth ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for governor in 2019.

Goforth pleaded responsible in May 2022, admitting {that a} pharmacy he owned in Clay County billed insurance coverage applications, together with Medicare and Medicaid, for prescriptions that prospects didn’t choose up, in accordance to courtroom information. The pharmacy multiplied income by shopping for a dose of drugs as soon as after which “successfully promoting it a number of instances,” in accordance to Goforth’s plea settlement.

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U.S. District Judge Robert Wier imposed the sentence at a federal courthouse in Laurel County. Wier stated the sentence ought to function a deterrent to others in the well being care system who try to abuse the belief of others.

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In a tearful assertion, Goforth informed Wier that he was ashamed of what he had performed and apologized to his victims and his household.

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Fraud, Scam Cases Increasing on Zelle, Senate Report Finds

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By KEN SWEET, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Incidents of fraud and scams are occurring extra usually on the favored peer-to-peer cost service Zelle, in accordance with a report issued Monday by the workplace of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, giving the general public its first glimpse into the rising issues at Zelle.

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The report additionally discovered that the massive banks that partly personal Zelle have been reluctant to compensate clients who’ve been victims of fraud or scams. For occasion, lower than half of the money clients reported being despatched by way of Zelle without authorization was being reimbursed.

Warren, D-Massachusetts, a long-time critic of the massive banks, requested information on fraud and scams on Zelle from seven banks beginning in April. The report cites information from 4 banks that tallied 192,878 instances price collectively $213.8 million in 2021 and the primary half of 2022 the place a buyer claimed they’d been fraudulently tricked into making a cost. In solely roughly 3,500 instances did these banks reimburse the shopper, the report discovered.

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Further, within the instances the place it is clear funds had been taken out of shoppers’ accounts without authorization, solely 47% of these {dollars} had been ever reimbursed.

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Since being launched in June 2017, Zelle has develop into a well-liked method for financial institution clients to ship money to family and friends. Almost $500 billion in funds had been despatched by way of Zelle in 2021, in accordance with Early Warning Services, the corporate that operates Zelle.

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Zelle is the banking trade’s reply to the rising reputation of peer-to-peer cost providers like PayPal, Venmo and the Cash App. The service permits a financial institution buyer to instantaneously ship money to an individual by way of their e-mail or telephone quantity, and it’ll go from one checking account to a different. More than 1,700 banks and credit score unions provide the service. But the service has additionally grown extra fashionable with scammers and criminals. Once money is distributed by way of Zelle, it requires a financial institution’s intervention to aim to get that money again.

The instances of rising fraud and scams at Zelle have been highlighted in earlier news stories, together with two by The New York Times. But these tales cited principally anecdotal proof. Early Warning Services has beforehand mentioned that 99.9% of all transactions occur without complaints of fraud or scams. A bunch of Democratic senators requested for utilization information on Zelle after the report in The New York Times.

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Banks are required underneath the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to repay clients when funds are illegally taken out of their account without authorization. Banks have argued that in instances of fraud — which means a buyer’s account turns into compromised in some way they usually ship an unauthorized cost — they do reimburse clients. Banks are extra reluctant to reimburse clients who declare to have been scammed, arguing that clients would make such claims extra usually and it could be arduous to inform whether or not the shopper is telling the reality.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has additionally been wanting into Zelle and different cost platforms, and is anticipated to situation rules that might require banks to reimburse clients for a wider array of scams and fraud.

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The banking trade, conscious of Washington’s elevated scrutiny of Zelle, has been on a marketing campaign to point out Zelle is a secure solution to ship money. The trade sometimes likes to level out that fraud and rip-off claims happen extra usually on the non-bank cost platforms like Venmo or the Cash App.

The information for particular person banks reveals the rise in fraud and scams. PNC Bank had 8,848 instances on Zelle in 2020, and is on tempo to have roughly 12,300 instances this 12 months. US Bank had 14,886 instances in 2020 and had 27,702 instances in 2021. Truist had 9,455 instances of fraud and scams on Zelle in 2020, which ballooned to 22,045 final 12 months.

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In response to Warren’s report, Zelle’s proprietor mentioned the elevated instances mirrored the actual fact the service has develop into extra fashionable.

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“Zelle utilization has grown considerably since its launch, from 247 million transactions in 2017 to 1.8 billion in 2021, whereas the proportion of fraud and scams has steadily decreased,” Early Warning Services mentioned in an announcement.

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Warren made fireworks at a congressional listening to final month involving many of the CEOs of the massive Wall Street banks that use and partly personal Zelle, the place she pushed every of the CEOs to launch fraud and rip-off incident information at their banks. The seven are: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, PNC Financial, Truist, Bank of America, Capital One and U.S. Bank.

The listening to featured an change the place Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, apologized to Warren for not getting her the info she requested and promised she would have it on the finish of that day.

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Warren’s workplace says in the end JPMorgan’s information on Zelle didn’t present the data they had been in search of, so information from JPMorgan isn’t included within the report. The different banks that didn’t present information to Warren’s workplace had been Wells Fargo and Capital One. JPMorgan didn’t return a request for remark.

This story has been up to date to appropriate the identify of the corporate working Zelle. It is Early Warning Services, not Early Warning Systems.

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

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