'When does this stop?' For 2023, an alarmingly bloody start
America has more guns than people — and it's starting 2023 with a steady barrage of violence after three years of isolation, stress and infighting during the pandemic. In California alone, mass killings have claimed the lives of two dozen people over just eight days. The victims include 11 people killed celebrating the Lunar New Year at a dance hall, seven farmworkers killed in Half Moon Bay and a 17-year-old mother and her baby shot dead in an attack that killed five generations. San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Dave Pine says “this is not an acceptable way for a modern society to live."
Suspect in shootings at Half Moon Bay farms was employee
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — Officials say an agricultural worker killed seven people in back-to-back shootings at two mushroom farms that employed him in Northern California, and the massacre is believed to be a “workplace violence incident.” The state is mourning its third mass killing in eight days. Officers arrested a suspect in the latest shootings on Monday, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, after they found him in his car in the parking lot of a sheriff’s substation. The Sheriff's Office says seven people were found dead, and an eighth was wounded, at the farms on the outskirts of the coastal community of Half Moon Bay.
Classified records pose conundrum stretching back to Carter
WASHINGTON (AP) — The mishandling of classified documents is not a problem unique to President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. At least three presidents, a vice president, a secretary of state and an attorney general have all been tripped up. The issue of classified records and who, exactly, has hung onto them has gotten more complicated as news surfaced Tuesday that former Vice President Mike Pence also had such records in his possession after he left office. As in Biden's case, lawyers for Pence say he willingly turned the documents over to authorities. The latest discoveries lay bare an uncomfortable truth about the nation’s secrets: Policies meant to control the handling of sensitive information are haphazardly enforced among top officials.
In reversal, US poised to approve Abrams tanks for Ukraine
WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say the U.S. is poised to approve sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, as international reluctance to send tanks to the battlefront against the Russians appeared to begin eroding. According to one official, the U.S. announcement to send a bit more than 30 tanks is expected to come Wednesday in coordination with an announcement by Germany that it will approve Poland’s request to transfer German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Officials say the Abrams tanks could be bought under an upcoming Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package, which provides longer-range funding for weapons and equipment to be purchased from commercial vendors. Weapons provided through the assistance initiative can take months to reach the battlefield.
Ship sinks between S. Korea and Japan; 11 found unconscious
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Ships searching in wind-whipped waters between South Korea and Japan have picked up at least 12 of the 22 crew members from a cargo ship that sank early Wednesday. Officials said only one of them remained conscious, but they did not immediately confirm any deaths. South Korean and Japanese coast guard vessels and aircraft as well as two commercial cargo ships were continuing to search for the 10 missing crew members in the rough waters. The location is about 93 miles south of South Korea's Jeju island and 100 miles south of Nagasaki, Japan. The Hong Kong-registered ship was carrying lumber. The crew members are from China and Myanmar.
Investigation faults Liberian agency protecting rainforest
An independent investigation into logging in the Liberian rainforest found illegal operations “on a significant scale,” with multiple missteps or breaches of law by the government agency charged with protecting those forests. That's according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press. The report was finished in 2020 but has never been made public despite activists' calls to publish its findings. Those findings included a recommendation that President George Weah order a special inquiry into what went wrong. Four sources familiar with the report told AP that Weah has ignored repeated calls from the European Union, United States and United Kingdom to act in response to the report. Weah denied to AP that he's repeatedly been made aware of problems with rainforest oversight.
Proud Boys expecting 'civil war' before Jan. 6, witness says
WASHINGTON (AP) — A witness at the Capitol riot trial of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio says that the month before the riot, members of the far-right extremist group were growing increasingly angry about the outcome of the 2020 election and were expecting a “civil war." Matthew Greene testified on Tuesday in the case against former Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio and four lieutenants under a cooperation deal with the government after pleading guilty to storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, with fellow extremists. Prosecutors allege that members of the Proud Boys carried out a coordinated attack on the Capitol in a desperate attempt to keep President Donald Trump in power.
Hawaii man imprisoned for 1991 murder, rape released
HONOLULU (AP) — A judge has ordered a man released immediately after his attorneys presented new evidence and argued that he didn’t commit the crimes he was convicted of and spent more than 20 years in prison for: the 1991 murder, kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman visiting Hawaii. The judge ruled Tuesday that Albert “Ian” Schweitzer be “released from his shackles immediately." A petition filed late Monday outlined additional evidence in one of Hawaii’s biggest murders, which unfolded on Christmas Eve in 1991 on Hawaii Island, commonly known as the Big Island.
Senators grill Ticketmaster after Taylor Swift fiasco
Senators grilled Ticketmaster Tuesday about its spectacular breakdown last year during a sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets. Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee debated possible action, including making tickets non-transferable to cut down on scalping and requiring more transparency in ticket fees. Some suggested it may also be necessary to split Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation, which merged in 2010. Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticket seller, processing 500 million tickets each year. In mid-November, Ticketmaster’s site crashed during a presale event for Swift’s upcoming stadium tour. The Justice Department has also opened an investigation into the breakdown.
Scott Rolen elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
NEW YORK (AP) — Slick-fielding third baseman Scott Rolen has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with five votes to spare above the 75% needed. The seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner appeared on 297 of 389 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for 76.3%. He becomes the 18th third baseman elected to the Hall, the fewest of any position. First baseman Todd Helton was second with 281 votes for 72.2%, falling 11 votes short, and reliever Billy Wagner third with 265 for 68.1%. Rolen had a .281 batting average with 316 homers and 1,287 RBIs with the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Reds from 1996-2012.