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Uvalde school police chief on leave after mass shooting
The Uvalde school district’s police chief has been put on leave following allegations that he erred in his response to a mass shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Superintendent Hal Harrell said Wednesday that he put schools police Chief Pete Arredondo on administrative leave. Arredondo has faced criticism for his role as commander in charge of the response to the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Officers armed with rifles waited in a school hallway for more than an hour while the gunman carried out the massacre. Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t consider himself the commander and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the police response.
Russia gains in Ukraine, threatening to overrun Luhansk
Ukrainian forces dug in for a last-ditch defense against Russian advances Wednesday in Luhansk province, where the invaders threaten to overrun two cities that had resisted their halting progress. The prospect of a Russian takeover of the cities, Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, left Ukrainian commanders with the choice to stay and fight, risking severed supply lines and the encirclement of thousands of defenders, or withdraw and forfeit the last major urban centers in Luhansk, part of the Donbas region. Still, military analysts suggested it was premature to say Russia was on the cusp of a decisive turn in its 4-month-old invasion.
Justice Dept. issues more subpoenas in Trump electors investigation
The Justice Department stepped up its criminal investigation of a plan by President Donald Trump and his allies to create slates of so-called fake electors in a bid to keep Trump in power during the 2020 election, as federal agents delivered grand jury subpoenas on Wednesday to at least four people connected to the plan. The issuance of new subpoenas comes less than a month after an earlier round of grand jury subpoenas revealed that prosecutors were seeking information on any role that a group of pro-Trump lawyers might have played in the fake elector effort.
DeSantis’ rival in 2018 race is charged with conspiracy and fraud
Andrew Gillum, the Democrat who lost the 2018 Florida governor’s race to Ron DeSantis, surrendered to federal authorities in Tallahassee on Wednesday after he and a close associate were charged with conspiracy and 19 counts of fraud over how they raised and used funds when he was mayor of Tallahassee and a candidate for governor. Gillum, 42, was also charged with making false statements to the FBI. He pleaded not guilty in a court appearance Wednesday afternoon. The once-ascendant Democrat came within 32,000 votes of the governorship in 2018.
Saudi leader visits Turkey, moving to mend rift
The crown prince of Saudi Arabia visited Turkey on Wednesday for the first time since Saudi agents murdered dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018, driving a deep rift between the two regional powers. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in the Turkish capital, Ankara, in another step toward mending fences between two Middle Eastern heavyweights. In a joint statement, the two countries said they were determined to start a “new period of cooperation,” adding that the talks reflected “the depth of the perfect relations” between them.
Britain declares national incident after poliovirus found in London
Health authorities in Britain have declared a national incident after finding evidence suggesting local spread of poliovirus in London. Although health authorities indicated that the term “national incident” was used to outline the scope of the issue, no cases of polio have been identified so far, and the risk to the public is low. But health authorities urged anyone who is not fully immunized against poliovirus, particularly young children, to immediately seek vaccines. The last case of polio in Britain was in 1984, and the country was declared polio-free in 2003.
By wire sources
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