AP Top News at 10:25 p.m. EST
NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of flights across the U.S. were canceled or delayed Wednesday after a system that offers safety information to pilots failed, and the government launched an investigation into the breakdown, which grounded some planes for hours. The Federal Aviation Administration said preliminary indications “traced the outage to a damaged database file.” The agency said it would take steps to avoid another similar disruption. The breakdown showed how much American air travel depends on the computer system that generates alerts called NOTAMs — or Notice to Air Missions. Before a plane takes off, pilots and airline dispatchers must review the notices, which include details about bad weather, runway closures or other temporary factors that could affect the flight.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s legal team has discovered additional documents containing classification markings in a second location, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The revelation comes days after an attorney for the president said Biden’s lawyers had discovered a “small number” of classified documents at his former office space in Washington. Earlier this week, the White House confirmed that the Department of Justice was reviewing “a small number of documents with classified markings” found at the office. Biden’s attorneys had discovered the documents at the offices of the Penn Biden Center and then immediately called the National Archives about the discovery, the White House said.
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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The fate of a devastated salt-mining town in eastern Ukraine hung in the balance Wednesday in one of the bloodiest battles of Russia’s invasion, while Ukraine’s unflagging resistance and other challenges prompted Moscow to shake up its military leadership again. Russian forces used jets, mortars and rockets to bombard Soledar in an unrelenting assault. Soledar’s fall, while unlikely a turning point in the nearly 11-month war, would be a prize for a Kremlin starved of good battlefield news in recent months. It would also offer Russian troops a springboard to conquer other areas of Donetsk province that remain under Ukrainian control, such as the nearby strategic city of Bakhmut.
NEW YORK (AP) — Jeff Beck, a guitar virtuoso who pushed the boundaries of blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, influencing generations of shredders along the way and becoming known as the guitar player’s guitar player, has died. He was 78. Beck died Tuesday after “suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis,” his representatives said in a statement released Wednesday. The location was not immediately known. “Jeff was such a nice person and an outstanding iconic, genius guitar player — there will never be another Jeff Beck,” Tony Iommi, guitarist for Black Sabbath wrote on Twitter among the many tributes. Beck first came to prominence as a member of the Yardbirds and then went out on his own in a solo career that incorporated hard rock, jazz, funky blues and even opera.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Widespread opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine demonstrates the strength of a unified response against human rights abuses, and there are signs that power is shifting as people take to the streets to demonstrate their dissatisfaction in Iran, China and elsewhere, a leading rights group said Thursday. A “litany of human rights crises” emerged in 2022, but the year also presented new opportunities to strengthen protections against violations, Human Rights Watch said in its annual world report on human rights conditions in more than 100 countries and territories. “After years of piecemeal and often half-hearted efforts on behalf of civilians under threat in places including Yemen, Afghanistan, and South Sudan, the world’s mobilization around Ukraine reminds us of the extraordinary potential when governments realize their human rights responsibilities on a global scale,” the group’s acting executive director, Tirana Hassan, said in the preface to the 712-page report.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The “Prayers for Damar 3” have been answered. Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is finally home. Nine days after he stunned and saddened his teammates by going into cardiac arrest and being resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati, and placed the NFL on hold, Hamlin was released from a Buffalo hospital on Wednesday, the Bills announced. “We have completed a series of tests and evaluation and in consultation with the team physicians, we are confident that Damar can be safely discharged,” Dr. Jamie Nadler said in a news release issued by the team. This marks the next major step in what doctors have called Hamlin’s remarkable recovery, which came two days after he was deemed healthy enough to be transferred from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to the Buffalo General Medical Center.
MIAMI (AP) — The map was called “Beach Trip” and was blasted out to more than 18,000 members of a public Telegram channel called, in Portuguese, “Hunting and Fishing.” But instead of outdoor recreation tips, the 43 pins spread across the map of Brazil pointed to cities where bus transportation to the capital could be found for what promoters promised would a huge “party” on Jan. 8. “Children and the elderly aren’t invited,” according to the post circulated on the Telegram channel, which has since been removed. “Only adults willing to participate in all the games, including target shooting of police and robbers, musical chairs, indigenous dancing, tag, and others.” The post was one of several thinly coded messages circulating on social media ahead of Sunday’s violent attack on the capital by supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro looking to restore the far-right leader to power.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Surgeons removed a cancerous lesion above first lady Jill Biden ’s right eye and one on her chest, the White House said Wednesday, while a third lesion on her left eyelid was being examined. Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the physician to President Joe Biden, said examinations showed that the lesion over Jill Biden’s right eye and one newly discovered on her chest were both confirmed to be basal cell carcinoma. The lesion on her left eyelid was “fully excised, with margins, and was sent for standard microscopic examination,” according to O’Connor’s report. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, but also the most curable form.
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Protests against Peruvian President Dina Boluarte’s government that have left 47 people dead since they began a month ago spread through the south of the Andean country on Wednesday with new clashes reported in the tourist city of Cusco. Health officials in Cusco said 16 civilians and six police officers were injured after protesters tried to take over the city’s airport, where many foreign tourists arrive to see sites including the nearby Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. Protests and road blockades against Boluarte and in support of ousted President Pedro Castillo were also seen in 41 provinces, mainly in Peru’s south.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans on Wednesday opened their long-promised investigation into President Joe Biden and his family, wielding the power of their new majority to demand information from the Treasury Department and former Twitter executives as they laid the groundwork for public hearings. “Now that Democrats no longer have one-party rule in Washington, oversight and accountability are coming,” Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement. The Republican-led committee sent a series of letters requesting financial information from the Treasury Department about financial transactions by members of the Biden family that were flagged as suspicious activity.