AP Top News at 11:33 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy told cheering U.S. legislators during a defiant wartime visit to the nation’s capital on Wednesday that against all odds his country still stands, thanking Americans for helping to fund the war effort with money that is “not charity,” but an “investment” in global security and democracy. The whirlwind stop in Washington — his first known trip outside his country since Russia invaded in February — was aimed at reinvigorating support for his country in the U.S. and around the world at a time when there is concern that allies are growing weary of the costly war and its disruption to global food and energy supplies.
NEW YORK (AP) — Two of Sam Bankman-Fried’s top associates secretly pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and are cooperating with investigators, a federal prosecutor announced Wednesday as the digital coin entrepreneur was being flown in FBI custody to the U.S. from the Bahamas. Carolyn Ellison, the 28-year-old former CEO of Alameda Research, a trading firm started by Bankman-Fried, and Gary Wang, the 29-year-old who co-founded FTX, pleaded guilty to charges including wire fraud, securities fraud and commodities fraud. “They are both cooperating with the Southern District of New York,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Wednesday night in a video statement released on social media.
WASHINGTON (AP) — An 800-page report set to be released Thursday by House investigators will conclude that then-President Donald Trump criminally plotted to overturn his 2020 election defeat and “provoked his supporters to violence” at the Capitol with false claims of widespread voter fraud. The resulting Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection of Trump’s followers threatened democracy with “horrific” brutality toward law enforcement and “put the lives of American lawmakers at risk,” according to the report’s executive summary. “The central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed,” reads the report from the House Jan. 6 committee, which is expected to be released in full on Thursday.
Concerns about illness or inflation aren’t stopping Americans from hitting the roads and airports this holiday season. But a massive winter storm might. Forecasters predict an onslaught of heavy snow, ice, flooding and powerful winds from Thursday to Saturday in a broad swath of the country, from the Plains and Midwest to the East Coast. A surge of Arctic air will follow. The Christmas weekend could be the coldest in decades. The National Weather Service said Wednesday the storm was so large and encompassing that around 190 million people are currently under some type of winter weather advisory. Southwest Airlines said it has canceled 500 of its 4,000 scheduled flights on Thursday and Friday.
A new federal law requiring that sesame be listed as an allergen on food labels is having unintended consequences — increasing the number of products with the ingredient. Food industry experts said the requirements are so stringent that many manufacturers, especially bakers, find it simpler and less expensive to add sesame to a product — and to label it — than to try to keep it away from other foods or equipment with sesame. As a result, several companies — including national restaurant chains like Olive Garden, Wendy’s and Chick-fil-A and bread makers that stock grocery shelves and serve schools — are adding sesame to products that didn’t have it before.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The ball fluttered in the air and all but one of the 22 players on the Three Rivers Stadium turf on that cold December day 50 years ago essentially stopped. Franco Harris never did. The Pittsburgh Steelers running back kept right on going, the instincts that carried him through his life both on and off the field during his Hall of Fame career taking over, shifting the perception of a moribund franchise and a reeling region in the process. The Steelers rarely won before his arrival in 1972. The moment his shoe-top grab eternally known as the “Immaculate Reception” entered the lexicon, they rarely lost.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration said Wednesday it will release doses of prescription flu medicine from the Strategic National Stockpile to states as flu-sickened patients continue to flock to hospitals and doctors’ offices around the country. This year’s flu season has hit hard and early. Some people are even noticing bare shelves at pharmacies and grocery stores when they make a run for over-the-counter medicines as cases have spiked. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the flu has resulted in 150,000 hospitalizations and 9,300 deaths so far this season. “Jurisdictions will be able to get the support they need to keep Americans healthy as flu cases rise this winter,” Dawn O’Connell, an assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Health and Human Services Department, which oversees the CDC, said in a statement.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk is defending his massive cost-cutting at Twitter as necessary for the social media platform to survive next year, due in part to debt payments tied to his $44 billion takeover of the company. “This company is like, basically, you’re in a plane that is headed towards the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work,” Musk told a late-night audience on a Twitter Spaces call Tuesday. That’s after Elon Musk said earlier on Tuesday that he plans on remaining as Twitter’s CEO until he can find someone willing to replace him in the job.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Chance the Rapper visited West Africa earlier this year, he initially thought his trip with fellow Chicago hip-hop artist Vic Mensa would be just another vacation getaway. Instead, the Grammy winner connected with Mensa’s father’s family in Ghana and other natives from the Motherland on a deeper level. He saw Ghana’s beautiful ocean coastline and waterfalls, engulfed himself in the musical culture and art scene and learned more about the country’s rich history of being the first sub-Saharan African country to free itself from colonialism. After a couple more trips to Ghana, Chance decided to create a free concert series and visual arts show so others could experience the country’s vibrant culture just like he did.
Taken together, they can convey the feeling of a world convulsing — 150 Associated Press images from across 2022, showing the fragments that make up our lives and freezing in time the moments that somehow, these days, seem to pass faster than ever. Here: a man recovering items from a burning shop in Ukraine after a Russia attack. Here: people thronging the residence of the Sri Lankan president after protesters stormed it demanding his resignation. Here: medical workers trying to identify victims of a bridge collapse in India. And here: flames engulfing a chair inside a burning home as wildfires sweep across Mariposa County, Calif.