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    AP Top News at 11:47 p.m. EST

    December 17, 2022 GMT

    Jan. 6 committee eyes referring criminal charges for Trump

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is considering recommending the Justice Department pursue an unprecedented criminal charge of insurrection and two other counts against former President Donald Trump. Besides insurrection, an uprising aiming to overthrow the government, the panel is also considering recommending prosecutors pursue charges for obstructing an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States, according to a person familiar with the matter who could not publicly discuss the private deliberations and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The committee’s deliberations were continuing late Friday, and no decisions were formalized on which specific charges the committee would refer to the Justice Department.

    US court rejects maintaining COVID-19 asylum restrictions


    REYNOSA, Mexico (AP) — Restrictions that have prevented hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. in recent years remained on track to expire in a matter of days after an appeals court ruling Friday, as thousands more migrants packed shelters on Mexico’s border with the U.S. The ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals means the restrictions known as Title 42 are still set to be lifted Wednesday, unless further appeals are filed. A coalition of 19 Republican-leaning states were pushing to keep the asylum restrictions put in place by former President Donald Trump at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Messi, Mbappe, other leading storylines for World Cup Final

    DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi’s last chance. Kylian Mbappé’s shot at emulating Pelé. A third World Cup title for either Argentina or France. Sunday’s final is rich with storylines as the 22nd edition of the World Cup ends with a title match fit for the occasion. Here are five things to know about the final: MESSI’S MOMENT Is Lionel Messi the greatest soccer player of all time? The debate will rage forever because there can never be a definitive answer. Some — especially younger soccer fans — think so, while others will point to Pelé and Diego Maradona, particularly because they won the World Cup — the sport’s ultimate prize.


    Father of July 4 shooting suspect charged with 7 felonies

    CHICAGO (AP) — The father of an Illinois man charged with killing seven people in a mass shooting at a July 4 parade in a Chicago suburb has been charged with seven felony counts of reckless conduct, prosecutors announced Friday. Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said Robert Crimo Jr. surrendered to police on Friday and will have a bond hearing Saturday. Rinehart said the charges are based on Crimo sponsoring his then 19-year-old son’s application for a gun license in 2019. “Parents and guardians are in the best position to decide whether their teenagers should have a weapon,” Rinehart said.

    Peru’s accidental president fails to quell violent protests


    LIMA, Peru (AP) — It might be the world’s shortest political honeymoon. Almost since the moment last week when Dina Boluarte took over from the ousted leader Pedro Castillo to become Peru’s first female president, she has appealed for calm and a chance to govern, insisting that the caretaker job came to her out of circumstance, not personal ambition. In impoverished rural areas, though, fierce protests are showing no signs of abating amid anger over the removal of Castillo, who was Peru’s first president with Indigenous heritage. Long overlooked peasant farmers and others remain unwilling to give up on their demand that he be released from prison, where he is being held while under investigation for rebellion.

    Judge warned in 2021 of gay bar attacker’s shootout plans

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A judge dismissed the 2021 kidnapping case against the Colorado gay nightclub shooter even though she had previously raised concerns about the defendant stockpiling weapons and explosives and planning a shootout, court transcripts obtained Friday by The Associated Press reveal. Relatives, including the grandparents who claimed to have been kidnapped, had also told Judge Robin Chittum in August last year about Anderson Aldrich’s struggles with mental illness during a hearing at which the judge said Aldrich needed treatment or “it’s going to be so bad,” according to the documents. Yet no mention was made during a hearing this July of the suspect’s violent behavior or the status of any mental health treatment.


    Brittney Griner says she’ll play basketball in Arizona again

    Brittney Griner said she’s “grateful” to be back in the United States and plans on playing basketball again next season for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. Her comments came a week after she was released from a Russian prison, freed in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange. “It feels so good to be home!” Griner posted to Instagram on Friday in her first public statement since her release. “The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help.”


    In 2022, AP photographers captured pain of a changing planet

    In 2022, Associated Press photographers captured signs of a planet in distress as climate change reshaped many lives. That distress was seen in the scarred landscapes in places where the rains failed to come. It was felt in walloping storms, land-engulfing floods, suffocating heat and wildfires no longer confined to a single season. It could be tasted in altered crops or felt as hunger pangs when crops stopped growing. And taken together, millions of people were compelled to pick up and move as many habitats became uninhabitable. 2022 will be a year remembered for destruction brought on by a warming planet and, according to scientists, was a harbinger for even more extreme weather.

    The AP names its nine Breakthrough Entertainers of 2022

    They worked hard, with the rewards coming slowly but surely. Then something came along — often a key role or sometimes a cluster, maybe an album — and it all became next-level, a shift triggering where-did-you-come-from vibes. That describes most of this year’s nine Associated Press’ Breakthrough Entertainers of the Year, a class of talent that flowered in 2022. They are Sadie Sink, Stephanie Hsu, Tenoch Huerta, Joaquina Kalukango, Iman Vellani, Daryl McCormack, Tobe Nwigwe, Simone Ashley and Danielle Deadwyler. Sink had been on Broadway and worked alongside stars such as Naomi Watts and Helen Mirren. But playing Max Mayfield in the fourth season of “Stranger Things,” she broke through as a brave skater girl who never lets go of her Walkman, who hates pink, plays video games and is a “Dragon’s Lair” champion.

    Russia launches another major missile attack on Ukraine

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s capital came under one of the biggest attacks of the war on Friday as Russia’s invading forces fired dozens of missiles across the country, triggering widespread power outages, Ukrainian officials said. Gunfire from air defense systems and thudding explosions combined with the wail of air-raid sirens as the barrage targeted critical infrastructure in cities including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih and Zaporhizhzhia. The head of the Ukrainian armed forces said they intercepted 60 of 76 missiles launched. “My beautiful sunshine. What am I going to do without you?” wailed Svytlana Andreychuk in the arms of Red Cross staffers.