AP News Summary at 1:48 p.m. EDT | News

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Ukraine braces for attacks, evacuates more from steel plant

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — The war in Ukraine has ravaged the country’s southern coast as Russian forces fire cruise missiles at the city of Odessa and bomb a steel mill in the port of Mariupol housing Ukrainian civilians and fighters . Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said all women, children and the elderly have been evacuated from the factory, a key Russian war objective that has long been under siege. Russia hopes to complete its conquest of Mariupol in time for Victory Day celebrations on Monday. However, the Ukrainian army crushed Russian positions on a Black Sea island that has become a symbol of resistance.

Supreme Court leak shakes faith in another American stalwart

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s been clear in recent years that people in the United States don’t have much faith in their institutions. Polls show that public opinion in Congress is dismal. The opinions of the presidency are not good. Even the question of whether American democracy works receives an ominous answer. The Supreme Court was an exception. It traditionally enjoys higher public esteem than other branches of government. But that position has diminished as the court has become more political. Now the leak of the judges’ interim vote to invalidate the constitutional right to abortion has heightened suspicions that the High Court is becoming politicised.

What GOP-appointed justices said about Roe to Senate panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — In one form or another, every Supreme Court nominee is being asked during Senate hearings about their views on the landmark abortion rights ruling that spans half a century. Now, a draft opinion obtained by Politico suggests a majority of the court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade of 1973, leaving it to the states to determine a woman’s ability to have an abortion. The Republican-appointed justices now hold a 6-3 majority, and they gave senators different answers when asked for their opinion on the abortion case.

Sinn Fein hails ‘new era’; on course to win the vote in Northern Ireland

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein has hailed a “new era” for Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein is heading for a historic election victory that would make it the largest party in the legislature for the first time. This would give the party the premiership in Belfast. On Saturday, with the majority of votes counted, Sinn Fein rivaled the Democratic Unionist Party, which has been the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly for two decades. Victory would be a milestone for Sinn Fein, which has long been linked to the Irish Republican Army. It would also bring its ultimate goal of a united Ireland closer, although the party has been focused on raising the cost of living for this election.

Afghan Taliban orders women to cover themselves from head to toe

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan Taliban leaders have ordered all Afghan women to wear covering clothing in public and have threatened to punish male relatives for non-compliance. Saturday’s decree referred to similar restrictions imposed on women during the Taliban’s previous hardline rule between 1996 and 2001. The Taliban previously decided not to reopen schools to girls above grade 6, reneging on a promise and choosing to appease their hardline base at the cost of further alienating the international community. The move has disrupted Taliban efforts to win recognition from potential international donors at a time when the country is mired in a deepening humanitarian crisis.

Desperate search for survivors in Cuba hotel explosion; 26 dead

HAVANA (AP) — Relatives of the missing in the Cuban capital are desperately searching for victims of an explosion at one of Havana’s most luxurious hotels that killed at least 26 people. They checked the morgue and the hospitals, and if that failed, they went back to the partially collapsed Saratoga Hotel. A natural gas leak was the apparent cause of Friday’s explosion at the 96-room hotel. The 19th-century structure in the city’s Old Havana neighborhood had no guests at the time because it was undergoing renovations ahead of a scheduled reopening on Tuesday. The Cubadebate news site reported that Havana officials reported 26 deaths on Saturday.

For Parkland survivor, a long road to healing from trauma

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Eden Hebron saw a gunman kill a close friend and two other students on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. More than a year later, the trauma still weighed heavily on Eden and the other students. Eden’s parents eventually sent her to a mental health facility in California. There she had little contact with the outside world. She went through therapy and treatment alongside a handful of other teens. She moved back to Florida and is now studying in New Jersey. His long journey of recovery is not unique – others have survived shootings struggling with trauma for years. Eden shares her story to help others and says she feels for those who don’t have the same resources.

Unprecedented gusts expected to fuel New Mexico wildfires

LAS VEGAS, NM (AP) — Weather described as potentially historic is in store for New Mexico Saturday and over the next few days as the largest fire in the United States eats away at drier mountainsides. The fire has already left many families homeless and thousands of residents have evacuated rural areas in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Forecasters warn that weekend gusts could reach 50-60 mph. Prepared firefighters spent days building fire lines and planes dropped fire retardant at strategic locations in a bid to keep flames from reaching the small northeast town of Las Vegas and the villages on the other fronts of the fire.

He said, she said: Depp and Heard’s accounts rarely match

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — There isn’t much room for common ground in the testimony so far of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in Depp’s libel lawsuit against his ex-wife. One of them is lying. Heard isn’t done telling the jury his side of things yet. His testimony will continue on May 16 after the resumption of the trial _ which has already stretched over four weeks _ after a week of interruption. Then she will face what can safely be assumed to be aggressive cross-examination. Depp is suing Heard in Virginia for defamation over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic violence.”

The horse racing spotlight shines on Lukas again at 86

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — D. Wayne Lukas still knows his way to the winner’s circle. A filly named Secret Oath got him there with a two-length win over the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks. It was the 86-year-old Hall of Fame coach’s record fifth win and first since 1990. Even Lukas’ rival coaches were praising him, including Todd Pletcher who apprenticed under Lukas. Lukas has long since set the standard for coaches, becoming the first to earn more than $100 million in scholarships. His 14 Triple Crown race victories are also a record. Several of his former assistants went on to successful careers of their own.

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