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News Briefs for January 28, 2023

Tyre Nichols’ brutal beating by police shown on video

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities in Memphis have released video showing Black motorist Tyre Nichols being beaten by five police officers who held him down and repeatedly struck him with fists, batons and boots. The footage released Friday also shows the Black officers pummeling the 29-year-old and leaving him propped against a squad car as they fist-bump and celebrate their actions. The officers have been charged with murder in the assault that the Nichols family legal team likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King. The chilling images of another Black man dying at the hands of police provoked tough questions about the nation’s policing culture.

A timeline of events in Tyre Nichols arrest, death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A timeline of events in the Tyre Nichols case, which sparked state and federal investigations into police brutality and led to murder and other charges against the five officers involved in his arrest this month.


Palestinian teen wounds 2, day after 7 killed in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli authorities say a 13-year-old Palestinian has opened fire and wounded at least two people in east Jerusalem. The shooting on Saturday occurred less than a day after another attacker killed seven people outside a synagogue there in the deadliest attack in the city since 2008. The surge in violence marks the latest major escalation in one of the bloodiest months in Israel and the occupied West Bank in years. Earlier this week, the Israeli military killed nine Palestinians in a West Bank raid. The events, just a day before  U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in the region, pose a pivotal test for Israel’s new far-right government.


Trump kicking off 2024 run with stops in early-voting states

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is set to kick off his 2024 White House bid with visits to a pair of early voting states. The appearances Saturday will mark Trump’s first campaign events since announcing his latest run more than two months ago. Trump will be the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire GOP’s annual meeting before traveling to Columbia, South Carolina, where he is set to introduce his state leadership team. Trump and his allies hope the events will offer a show of force behind the former president after a sluggish start to his campaign that left many questioning his commitment to running again.

How to fix a howitzer: US offers help line to Ukraine troops

A MILITARY BASE IN SOUTHEASTERN POLAND (AP) — A rapidly expanding group of U.S. and allied troops and contractors are using phones and tablets to communicate in encrypted chatrooms to provide real-time maintenance advice to Ukrainian troops on the battlefield. As the U.S. and other allies provide a growing number of increasingly complex and high-tech weapons, the maintenance demands are expanding. There were just a bit more than 50 members of what they call the remote maintenance team just a few months ago. That will surge to 150 in the coming weeks, and the number of encrypted chat lines has more than tripled — from about 11 last fall to 38 now.

He’s close to us’: Wheelchair users in Africa await pope

GOMA, Congo (AP) — When Pope Francis arrives in Congo and South Sudan next week, thousands of people will take special note of a gesture more grounded than the sign of the cross. Watching from their wheelchairs, they will relate to the way he uses his. The pope began using a wheelchair last year. He is visiting two countries where years of conflict have disabled many. And yet Congo and South Sudan are among the world’s most difficult places to find accessibility and understanding. Among wheelchair users, his visit is heartening Catholics and non-Catholics alike. “He’s close to us,” one South Sudanese says.


Japan firm opens whale meat vending machines to push sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid protests from conservationists, has found a new way to cultivate clientele: whale meat vending machines. The Kujira (Whale) Store, an unmanned outlet that recently opened in the port town of Yokohama near Tokyo, houses three vending machines for whale sashimi, whale bacon, whale skin and whale steak, as well as canned whale meat. Prices range from $7.70 to $23. Japan resumed commercial whaling in 2019 after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission. Conservationists say whale meat is no longer part of the daily diet in Japan, especially for younger generations.

Tyre Nichols remembered as beautiful soul with creative eye

Tyre Nichols was brutally attacked by police in Memphis after they pulled him over Jan. 7. Video of the deadly beating was released to the public on Friday. Family and friends remember Nichols as a generous, lovable man who worked hard to be a good father to his 4-year-old son. He was passionate about photography. He was an avid skateboarder and hailed from Sacramento, California. He got stuck in Memphis during the coronavirus pandemic, but didn’t mind because he was with his mother. They were close, and she says she’s still in shock he won’t walk through her door anymore.


Online system to seek asylum in US is quickly overwhelmed

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — A mobile app for migrants to seek asylum in the United States has been overwhelmed since it was introduced this month in one of several major changes to the government’s response to unprecedented migration flows. New appointments are made available daily. But migrants are increasingly frustrated by a variety of error messages. Many can’t log in. Others are hopeful when they get a date, only to be deflated when the screen freezes at final confirmation. The daily ritual resembles a race for concert tickets when online sales begin for a major act.


Aryna Sabalenka wins 1st Grand Slam title at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka has won her first Grand Slam title by coming back to beat Elena Rybakina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Australian Open women’s final. Sabalenka used 17 aces to help overcome seven double-faults Saturday in her first championship match at a major tournament. The 24-year-old Sabalenka is from Belarus. She improved to 11-0 in 2023. The only set she has dropped all season was the opener on Saturday against Wimbledon champion Rybakina. But Sabalenka put that behind her quickly and used her aggressive style to turn things around in the last two sets. Sabalenka says, “I’m super happy that I was able to handle all those emotions and win this one.”


Smokey Robinson, ‘King of Motown,’ to release new solo album

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson’s last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson announced Friday that he will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28. “Gasms” features new songs produced and written by Robinson himself. The former vice president of Motown Records released his last collaborative album, “Smokey & Friends,” nine years ago. The upcoming album’s first single “If We Don’t Have Each Other” is already available for streaming. Robinson will soon be honored alongside fellow Motown musician Berry Gordy as the 2023 “Persons Of The Year” at the Recording Academy’s annual MusiCares event.

IMSA takes North American sports cars into hybrid era

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — IMSA is bringing North American sports car racing into the hybrid era starting with Saturday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. The twice-round-the-clock endurance race will be the first to use new hybrid engines in the top class. It makes IMSA the first North American racing series to use hybrid technology. The change lured new manufacturers to the class as automakers craved the pairing of a motorsports program that is in step with its road car program. Most automakers are shifting toward electric technology. But with the change comes concerns on durability for new cars with new engines in the longest and most prestigious race of the year.


Sabato De Sarno named new Gucci creative director

MILAN (AP) — Italian designer Sabato De Sarno has been named the new creative director of Gucci, and will unveil his first collection during Milan Fashion Week next September, Gucci and parent company Kering announced Saturday. De Sarno has previously worked for Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino, where he was most recently fashion director overseeing both men’s and women’s collections.  Speculation has been rife in the fashion world over who would succeed Alessandro Michele after he stepped down from the role unexpectedly last fall, after nearly eight years in which he redefined the brand’s codes with gender fluid, romantic and eclectic looks. Like Michele when he was named in 2015 to the post, De Sarno is relatively unknown in the wider fashion world.


Snow leads to massive pileup in Wisconsin, dozens injured

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Authorities in southern Wisconsin say dozens of people were injured in a massive traffic pileup amid snowy conditions. The crash blocked Interstate 39/90 for hours Friday. WIFR-TV reports that Beloit Memorial Hospital said at least 27 people were treated for injuries sustained in the crash. The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear. The State Patrol said the crash occurred around noon between Janesville and Beloit. The southbound lanes reopened just after 8 p.m. State Patrol officials said snow, ice and whiteout conditions were factors in the crash. Most of southern Wisconsin remained under a winter weather advisory Friday afternoon with more snow expected Saturday.


Police warn that Oregon torture suspect is using dating apps

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police say a man accused of torturing a woman he held captive in Oregon, and who was convicted in Nevada of keeping another woman in captivity, is using dating apps to try to find people to help him avoid the police or find new victims. Benjamin Obadiah Foster is the subject of an intensive search by police after a woman was found unconscious, bound and near death in Grants Pass, Oregon, on Tuesday. On Thursday night, police, sheriff’s deputies, a state patrol SWAT team and federal agents raided a property in the unincorporated community of Wolf Creek, but Foster managed to escape.


Usain Bolt fires business manager over Jamaica fraud case

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt tells reporters he is baffled over how $12.7 million of his money has gone missing from a local private investment firm that authorities are investigating as part of a massive fraud. Bolt also said Friday that he has fired his business manager. The retired star athlete laughed when asked if he was “broke.” He says he isn’t but that the missing money was for his future. He notes he has three children and supports his parents. Bolt’s attorneys have said the athlete’s account with Kingston-based Stocks and Securities Limited dwindled from nearly $12.8 million to some $12,000. They had threatened to take action on Friday.

Amazon axes free grocery delivery on Prime orders under $150

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is axing free grocery delivery for Prime members on orders less than $150. In an email to Prime members Friday, Amazon said customers who get their groceries delivered from Amazon Fresh — and pay less than $150 — will be charged between $3.95 and $9.95 depending on the order size. The new policy starts February 28. Currently, the company offers Prime members free grocery delivery on orders above $35, with the exception of New York, where it’s $50. The decision to impose new fees comes as Amazon attempts to trim costs amid a hazy economic environment.


Video evidence suggests Alex Murdaugh muddled timeline

Alex Murdaugh’s comments to police about his whereabouts around the time his wife and son were fatally shot may not have been accurate. That’s according to video evidence presented by prosecutors Friday at the South Carolina attorney’s murder trial. In cross examining one of the detectives who interviewed Murdaugh, his lawyer underlined that despite the gory scene of two people killed with powerful weapons at close range, Murdaugh didn’t appear to have any blood on him. The 54-year-old attorney is standing trial on two counts of murder in the shootings of his wife and son at their Colleton County home and hunting lodge on June 7, 2021.


Afghan soldier seeking US asylum hopes for ‘American dream’

HOUSTON (AP) — After being held in detention in Texas for months during his legal fight to remain in the U.S., Afghan soldier Abdul Wasi Safi is now a free man as he works to secure asylum in America. Wasi Safi fled Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. forces in August 2021, fearing reprisals from the Taliban. He was arrested in September near Eagle Pass, Texas, after crossing the Mexico border. He was freed earlier this week. On Friday, he told reporters in Houston that he looks forward to one day being able to live the American dream.

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