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AP Top News at 8:47 a.m. EDT

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Published Thursday, July 21, 2022 | 9 p.m.

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Updated 31 minutes ago

Jan. 6: Trump spurned aides’ pleas to call off Capitol mob

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite desperate pleas from aides, allies, a Republican congressional leader and even his family, Donald Trump refused to call off the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol, instead “pouring gasoline on the fire” by aggressively tweeting his false claims of a stolen election and celebrating his crowd of supporters as “very special,” the House investigating committee showed Thursday night. The next day, he declared anew, “I don’t want to say the election is over.” That was in a previously unaired outtake of an address to the nation he was to give, shown at the prime-time hearing of the committee.

Jan. 6 takeaways: White House in chaos, unmovable Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan. 6 committee closed out its set of summer hearings with its most detailed focus yet on the investigation’s main target: former President Donald Trump. The panel on Thursday examined Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, as hundreds of his supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol, guiding viewers minute-by-minute through the deadly afternoon to show how long it took for the former president to call off the rioters. The panel focused on 187 minutes that day, between the end of Trump’s speech calling for supporters to march to the Capitol at 1:10 p.m. and a video he released at 4:17 p.m.

White House tries to make Biden’s COVID a ‘teachable moment’

WASHINGTON (AP) — For more than a year, President Joe Biden’s ability to avoid the coronavirus seemed to defy the odds. When he finally did test positive, the White House was ready. It set out to turn the diagnosis into a “teachable moment” and dispel any notion of a crisis. “The president does what every other person in America does every day, which is he takes reasonable precautions against COVID but does his job,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told MSNBC late in the afternoon on Thursday. It was a day that began with Biden’s COVID-19 results and included repeated assurances over the coming hours that the president was hard at work while isolating in the residential areas of the White House with “very mild symptoms” including a runny nose, dry cough and fatigue.

Ukraine, Russia set to sign deal on resuming grain exports

ISTANBUL (AP) — Russia and Ukraine were expected to sign separate agreements with Turkey and the United Nations on Friday that would allow Ukraine to resume grain shipments to world markets and Russia to export grain and fertilizers, ending a standoff that threatened world food security amid the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian and Russian military delegations reached a tentative agreement last week on a U.N. plan that would enable Ukraine to export 22 million tons of desperately needed grain and other agricultural products that have been stuck in Black Sea ports due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan planned to take part in the grain export signing ceremony in Istanbul.

School in east Ukraine hit by Russian strike, bodies found

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian emergency workers recovered three bodies from a school hit by a Russian strike in the east of the country, officials said Friday, as attacks continued in several parts of the nation. The reported casualties follow a barrage Thursday on a densely populated area of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, that killed at least three people and wounded 23 others. In a rare sign of light, the signing was expected Friday of an accord that would allow Ukraine to resume its shipments of grain across the Black Sea and Russia to export grain and fertilizers. Beyond that, however, there was no indication of relief from the grinding war.

Sri Lanka president gets long-sought win, steep challenges

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Six-times Sri Lanka’s prime minister, President Ranil Wickremesinghe had long aspired to the pinnacle of power, enduring setback after setback but always managing to recover from seemingly impossible defeats. He has moved quickly to consolidate his position since lawmakers elected him this week to finish the term of his predecessor, ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In the wee hours Friday, army troops and police forcefully cleared the capital’s main protest site of demonstrators who had occupied it for months, angry over the country’s economic collapse. On Friday, he appointed a classmate and ally of Rajapaksa, Dinesh Gunawardena, to be his prime minister and partner in rescuing the country from its predicament.

Lee Zeldin, GOP nominee for NY governor, attacked at rally

NEW YORK (AP) — A man accused of attacking U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for New York governor, at an upstate event by apparently trying to stab the congressman was arrested and charged with attempted assault. “I’m OK,” Zeldin said in a statement after the assault Thursday. “Fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him.” A Monroe County sheriff’s spokesperson said David Jakubonis, 43, was arrested after trying to attack Zeldin and was later arraigned on a charge of attempted assault in the second degree. He has been released without bail.

SKorea to lift ban on NKorea TV, newspapers despite tensions

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea plans to lift its decadeslong ban on public access to North Korean television, newspapers and other media as part of its efforts to promote mutual understanding between the rivals, officials said Friday, despite animosities over the North’s recent missile tests. Divided along the world’s most heavily fortified border since 1948, the two Koreas prohibit their citizens from visiting each other’s territory and exchanging phone calls, emails and letters, and they block access to each other’s websites and TV stations. In a policy report to new President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said it will gradually open the door for North Korean broadcasts, media and publications to try to boost mutual understanding, restore the Korean national identity and prepare for a future unification.

Monkeypox virus could become entrenched as new STD in the US

NEW YORK (AP) — The spread of monkeypox in the U.S. could represent the dawn of a new sexually transmitted disease, though some health officials say the virus that causes pimple-like bumps might yet be contained before it gets firmly established. Experts don’t agree on the likely path of the disease, with some fearing that it is becoming so widespread that it is on the verge of becoming an entrenched STD — like gonorrhea, herpes and HIV. But no one’s really sure, and some say testing and vaccines can still stop the outbreak from taking root. So far, more than 2,400 U.S.

Tomorrow’s ‘Top Gun’ might have drone wingman, use AI

FARNBOROUGH, England (AP) — Maverick’s next wingman could be a drone. In the movies, fighter pilots are depicted as highly trained military aviators with the skills and experience to defeat adversaries in thrilling aerial dogfights. New technologies, though, are set to redefine what it means to be a “Top Gun,” as algorithms, data and machines take on a bigger role in the cockpit — changes hinted at in “Top Gun: Maverick.” “A lot of people talk about, you know, the way of the future, possibly taking the pilot out of the aircraft,” said 1st Lt. Walker Gall, an F-35 pilot with the U.S.

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