Drone attack hits Ukraine; US vows ‘consequences’ over nukes
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — An overnight drone strike near the Ukrainian port of Odesa has sparked a massive fire and explosion, hours after the United States vowed to take decisive action and promised “catastrophic consequences” if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The airstrike was the latest in a series of drone attacks on the key southern city in recent days. This one hit a military installation and detonated ammunition when it struck. Firefighters were struggling to contain the blaze, the Ukrainian military’s southern command said Monday.
EXPLAINER: How a party of neo-fascist roots won big in Italy
ROME (AP) — The Brothers of Italy party has won the most votes in Italy’s national election. The party has its roots in the post-World War II neo-fascist Italian Social Movement. Giorgia Meloni has taken Brothers of Italy from a fringe far-right group to Italy’s biggest party. Meloni is poised to lead Italy’s first far-right-led government since World War II and become its first female premier.
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13 dead, 23 wounded in school shooting in Russia
MOSCOW (AP) — Authorities say a gunman has killed 13 people and wounded 23 others in a school in central Russia. According to officials, multiple children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting in School No. 88 in Izhevsk, a city 960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow. The regional governor said the gunman killed himself after the attack. It was not clear how many children were among the dead and wounded. Russia’s Investigative Committee identified the gunman as 34-year-old Artyom Kazantsev, a graduate of the school, and the governor said he was a patient at a psychiatric facility. The gunman used two non-lethal handguns adapted to fire real bullets. An investigation has been launched on multiple murder charges.
Hurricane Ian nears Cuba on path to strike Florida as Cat 4
HAVANA (AP) — Forecasters say Hurricane Ian is nearing Cuba on a track to strike Florida in as a Category 4 as early as Wednesday. Ian is already getting stronger and is forecast to move quickly over Cuba’s western Pinar del Rio province on Monday. Then it will turn northward and slow down over warm Gulf of Mexico waters, conditions ripe for brewing the strongest hurricanes. A hurricane warning is in effect for Grand Cayman and the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio, and Artemisa. Forecasters have issued a hurricane watch for the Tampa Bay area, predicting a storm surge of up to 8 feet and 15 inches of rain in places.
British pound plunges to new low as tax cuts spark concern
LONDON (AP) — The British pound has fallen to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar after the government pledged a sweeping package of tax cuts that have fueled concerns about its economic policy. The pound fell as low as $1.0373 Monday, before rallying to above $1.07 in early London trading. The British currency has lost more than 5% against the dollar since Friday, when Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng announced the biggest tax cuts in 50 years. It comes as the government plans to spend billions of pounds to help consumers and businesses struggling with high energy bills that are driving a cost-of-living crisis. The combination sparked investor concern about spiraling government debt.
From Yale to jail: Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes’ path
PHOENIX (AP) — Oath Keepers militia group founder Stewart Rhodes was once a promising Yale Law School graduate. Rhodes was born in California and spent time in Nevada and once secured an Arizona Supreme Court clerkship. But Rhodes’ deep distrust of government and thirst for greatness led him down a different path. Rhodes built one of the country’s largest anti-government militia groups with members who’d eventually storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The 57-year-old Rhodes and four others tied to the group head to trial this week on charges of seditious conspiracy. It’s the most serious charge leveled by the Justice Department in its far-reaching prosecution of Capitol rioters.
Civil rights law targets ‘cancer alley’ discrimination
RESERVE, La. (AP) — The Biden administration is using Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to investigate environmental discrimination by state agencies and others that receive federal funds. Experts say it is a seismic shift to use the civil rights law to go after environmental discrimination. In one example, the EPA has agreed to investigate allegations that Louisiana officials discriminated against Black residents by failing to control air pollution in parishes packed with refineries and petrochemical plants, a region some call cancer alley. The effort is part of the Biden administration’s promise to prioritize environmental justice enforcement in communities overburdened by pollution. On Saturday, the agency announced a new office at EPA focused on environmental justice.
Lights out, ovens off: Europe preps for winter energy crisis
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe is staring down a winter energy crisis. Russia has reduced natural gas supplies as Europe supports Ukraine, and the continent’s ability to get through the winter may depend on how cold it is and competition from Asia. The lights of the Eiffel Tower are turning off earlier than normal and shop windows across Europe are going dark to save energy. High prices mean households and businesses are trying to use less heat and electricity, but they’re running into the hard truth that cutting back only shaves a little off their bills. Governments are rolling out relief and have been able to bolster natural gas storage. But analysts say Russia still has leverage with energy prices high and supplies tight.
NFL ends Pro Bowl; skills competitions, flag game instead
The NFL is replacing the Pro Bowl with weeklong skills competitions and a flag football game. The new event will be renamed “The Pro Bowl Games” and will feature AFC and NFC players showcasing their football and non-football skills in challenges over several days. The 2023 Games will be held in Las Vegas, and the flag football game at Allegiant Stadium is Sunday, Feb. 5. Peyton Manning and his Omaha Productions company will help shape programming and promote the event’s content throughout the week. Manning, a 14-time Pro Bowl pick during his Hall of Fame career, will provide his perspective, and will also be a part of the coaching staff for flag game.
For chewy Japanese noodles, borrow an Italian technique
Japanese udon noodles are all about the chew, but it’s hard to replicate the texture with the dry udon available in American markets. So the cooks at Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street found a solution in the Italian technique of cooking pasta only until al dente — or still quite firm. Chilling the noodles by rinsing them with ice in the strainer under cold water further firms up the texture. Even after you reheat the udon in the cooked sauce, they retain that pleasant toothsome quality. For the sauce, it’s a simple mixture of soy sauce, dried shiitake mushrooms and mirin, balanced by a little sugar. Fresh shiitake and mild-tasting baby bok choy keep the stir-fry light, and pickled ginger balances the savoriness.
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