AP Top News at 11:56 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Kevin McCarthy failed to win the House speakership on a 14th ballot late Friday, falling one vote short as tensions boiled over in a chaotic scene on the House floor. As the clock neared midnight, the lawmakers plunged into a 15th round of voting. In the raucous 14th, even after two key Republican holdouts voted present to lower the tally McCarthy would need, it was not enough. He strode to the back of the chamber to confront Matt Gaetz, sitting with Lauren Boebert and other holdouts. Fingers were pointed, words exchanged and violence apparently just averted. At one point, Republican Mike Rogers of Alabama started to charge toward Gatez before Richard Hudson physically pulled him back.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Whatever happens Sunday, when the Bills close the regular season hosting New England and beyond once the NFL playoffs begin, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane won’t feel disappointed. During a year in which the Bills have endured a snowstorms that disrupted their schedule, mourned the sudden death of tight end Dawson Knox’s younger brother in August, rallied to the community’s support in the aftermath of a mass shooting, and won games with little or no practice, Beane couldn’t be more proud. And he has reason to believe the resilience will show once again following a week in which the Bills went from being emotionally stunned by witnessing Damar Hamlin getting resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati on Monday night, to being joyously uplifted after the safety addressed his teammates by videoconference on Friday.
ROME (AP) — Global prices for food commodities like grain and vegetable oils were the highest on record last year even after falling for nine months in a row, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said, as Russia’s war in Ukraine, drought and other factors drove up inflation and worsened hunger worldwide. The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly traded food commodities, dipped by 1.9% in December from a month earlier, the Rome-based organization said Friday. For the whole year, it averaged 143.7 points, more than 14% above the 2021 average, which also saw large increases.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking ahead to a likely spring offensive, the U.S. and Germany are sending Ukraine an array of armored vehicles, including 50 tank-killing Bradleys, to expand its ability to move troops to the front lines and beef up its forces against Russia as the war nears its first anniversary. The vehicles don’t fulfill Ukraine’s request for combat tanks. But they provide a strategic war-fighting capability as the season change brings muddy terrain and Ukraine launches an aggressive campaign to recoup territory taken by Russia, particularly in the east. A look at the Bradley and other armored carriers, and what they bring to the fight: WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW WILL THEY HELP?
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A 6-year-old student shot and wounded a teacher at his school in Virginia during an altercation inside a first-grade classroom Friday, police and school officials in the city of Newport News said. Experts said a school shooting involving a 6-year-old is extremely rare, although not unheard of, while Virginia law limits the ways in which a child that age can be punished for such a crime. No students were injured in the shooting at Richneck Elementary School, police said. The teacher — a woman in her 30s — suffered life-threatening injuries. Her condition had improved somewhat by late afternoon, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The operation to detain Ovidio Guzman, the son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, unleashed firefights that turned the northern city of Culiacan into a war zone with 30 dead, authorities said Friday. In a blow-by-blow description of the battles Thursday that killed 10 military personnel and 19 suspected members of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said cartel gunmen opened fire on troops with a half-dozen .50-caliber machine guns. The army responded by calling in Blackhawk helicopter gunships to attack a convoy of 25 cartel vehicles, including truck-mounted cartel gun platforms.
HONOLULU (AP) — Lava from Kilauea spurted high into the air and spread out across about 300 acres (120 hectares) of the Hawaii volcano’s summit crater floor, creating a spectacular sight as the mountain began erupting again after a few weeks’ hiatus. Jillian Marohnic said the pool of lava that formed inside Halemaumau Crater was “the most beautiful” she had ever seen in her 25 years of watching the volcano. “The lake was so high. And so full. It’s sparkling,” said Marohnic, who operates the Volcano Hideaways vacation rental business with her husband in the nearby village of Volcano. “The surface of the lake looks like stained glass,” she said.
ENOCH, Utah (AP) — A Utah man who fatally shot his five children, mother-in-law and wife and then killed himself removed guns owned by himself and his wife days before the murder-suicide, leaving the family “vulnerable,” a relative said Friday. The wife, Tausha Haight, told her extended family that her husband, Mike Haight, took the guns from the family’s home this week, just two weeks after she had filed for divorce, sister-in-law Jennie Earl told The Associated Press. She said she did not know how Tausha Haight felt about the removal but said it “left the family vulnerable,” noting that both Tausha and her mother, Gail Earl, were trained in gun safety and personal protection.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A 38-year-old retired NASA satellite is about to fall from the sky. NASA said Friday the chance of wreckage falling on anybody is “very low.” Most of the 5,400-pound (2,450-kilogram) satellite will burn up upon reentry, according to NASA. But some pieces are expected to survive. The space agency put the odds of injury from falling debris at about 1-in-9,400. The science satellite is expected to come down Sunday night, give or take 17 hours, according to the Defense Department. The California-based Aerospace Corp., however is targeting Monday morning, give or take 13 hours, along a track passing over Africa, Asia the Middle East and the westernmost areas of North and South America.
Ask the new artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT to write an essay about the cause of the American Civil War and you can watch it churn out a persuasive term paper in a matter of seconds. That’s one reason why New York City school officials this week started blocking the impressive but controversial writing tool that can generate paragraphs of human-like text. The decision by the largest U.S. school district to restrict the ChatGPT website on school devices and networks could have ripple effects on other schools, and teachers scrambling to figure out how to prevent cheating. The creators of ChatGPT say they’re also looking for ways to detect misuse.