Putin declares Ukrainian regions part of Russia, defies West

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties Friday to annex parts of Ukraine in defiance of international law, saying Moscow would protect the newly incorporated regions by “all available means.” He also urged Ukraine to sit down for peace talks but immediately insisted he won’t discuss handing them back, opening a new … Read more

Vatican sanctions Nobel laureate after Timor accusations

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Catholic Church’s decades-long sex abuse scandal caught up with a Nobel Peace Prize winner Thursday, with the Vatican confirming that it had sanctioned the East Timor independence hero, Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, following allegations that he sexually abused boys there during the 1990s. The Vatican admission came a day after … Read more

Russia poised to annex occupied Ukraine after sham vote

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia was poised Wednesday to formally annex parts of Ukraine where occupied areas held a Kremlin-orchestrated “referendum” — denounced by Kyiv and the West as illegal and rigged — on living under Moscow’s rule. Armed troops had gone door-to-door with election officials to collect ballots in five days of voting. The … Read more

Cuba begins to turn on lights after Ian blacks out island

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban officials said they had begun to restore some power Wednesday after Hurricane Ian knocked out electricity to the entire island while devastating some of the country’s most important tobacco farms when it hit the island’s western tip as a major storm. At least two people were reported killed. The Energy and … Read more

Russia prepares to annex occupied Ukraine despite outcry

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia stood poised Wednesday to formally annex parts of Ukraine after claiming that voters in areas where it has military control had overwhelmingly endorsed living under Moscow’s rule. Armed troops went door-to-door to collect ballots during five days of voting in Kremlin-organized referendums that asked if the occupied areas should become … Read more

Hurricane Ian nearly a Category 5 storm, landfall in Florida to be Wednesday

Gov. DeSantis urges Florida residents in Hurricane Ian path to evacuate: ‘This is your last chance’ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis provided an update to residents on Hurricane Ian during a presser with other emergency response officials late Tuesday evening. DeSantis warned residents to exercise caution or to leave their homes if they are expected to … Read more

Cuba without electricity after hurricane hammers power grid

HAVANA (AP) — Hurricane Ian knocked out power across all of Cuba and devastated some of the country’s most important tobacco farms when it slammed into the island’s western tip as a major hurricane Tuesday. Cuba’s Electric Union said in a statement that work was underway to gradually restore service to the country’s 11 million … Read more

Hurricane Ian strikes Cuba, Florida braces for winds, floods

HAVANA (AP) — Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday and left 1 million people without electricity, then churned on a collision course with Florida over warm Gulf waters amid expectations it would strengthen into a catastrophic Category 4 storm. Ian made landfall in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province, where officials … Read more

Over 194,000 Russians flee call-up to neighboring countries

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — It took Vsevolod four days to drive from Moscow to Russia’s southern border with Georgia. He had to abandon his car at one point and continue on foot. On Tuesday, he finally finished his 1,800-kilometer (1,100-mile) journey and crossed the frontier to escape being called up to fight in Russia’s war … Read more

Officials say 98,000 Russians enter Kazakhstan after call-up

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — About 98,000 Russians have crossed into Kazakhstan in the week since President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists to fight in Ukraine, Kazakh officials said Tuesday, as men seeking to avoid the call-up continued to flee by land and air into neighboring countries. Kazakhstan and Georgia, both part of … Read more