Nation and world news in brief for Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an expanded meeting of the Prosecutor General's Office board in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (Valeriy Sharifulin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Humanitarian aid is airdropped to Palestinians on Monday over Gaza City, Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Essa)

FILE - Nathan Chasing Horse sits in court, Feb. 8, 2023, in North Las Vegas. The full seven-member Nevada Supreme Court will reconsider Chasing Horse's request to dismiss a sprawling indictment accusing him of leading a cult, taking underage wives and sexually abusing Indigenous women and girls. (AP Photo/Ty O'Neil, File)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. picks Nicole Shanahan as his running mate

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has chosen Nicole Shanahan to be his vice presidential pick. Kennedy is mounting an independent White House bid that has spooked national Democrats. Shanahan is a California lawyer and philanthropist who’s never held elected office. Kennedy, a former Democrat, made the announcement in Oakland, California. Without the backing of a party, Kennedy faces an arduous task to get on the ballot, with varying rules across the 50 states. He’s picking a running mate now because about half of the states require him to designate one before he can apply for ballot access.


Russia persists in blaming Ukraine for concert attack

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian officials persist in saying Ukraine and the West had a role in last week’s deadly Moscow concert hall attack despite vehement denials of involvement by Kyiv and a claim of responsibility by an affiliate of the Islamic State group. Without offering any evidence, Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service, followed similar allegations by President Vladimir Putin, who linked the attack to Ukraine even as he acknowledged the suspects who were arrested were “radical Islamists.” The IS affiliate claimed it carried out the attack, and U.S. intelligence said it had information confirming the group was responsible. French President Emmanuel Macron said France also has intelligence pointing to “an IS entity” as responsible for the attack.

Israel and Hamas dig in as international pressure builds for a cease-fire

JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with Israel’s offensive. He blasted a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a pause to the fighting, saying Tuesday that it had emboldened Hamas to reject a separate cease-fire proposal. As the war in Gaza grinds through a sixth month, each side has publicly insisted that its own idea of victory is in reach and rejected international efforts to stem the bloodshed. Israel says it can achieve its aims of dismantling Hamas and returning scores of hostages if it expands its ground offensive to the crowded city of Rafah. Hamas has said it will hold on to the hostages until Israel agrees to end the war.

Judge issues gag order barring Donald Trump in hush money case

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge has issued a gag order barring Donald Trump from commenting publicly about witnesses, prosecutors, court staff and jurors in his upcoming hush-money criminal trial. The order cites the former president’s history of “threatening, inflammatory, denigrating” remarks about people involved in his legal cases. Judge Juan M. Merchan’s decision echoes a gag order in Trump’s Washington, D.C., election interference criminal case. It comes a day after he rejected the defense’s push to delay the Manhattan trial until summer and ordered it to begin April 15. If the date holds, it will be the first criminal trial of a former president.

Ukrainian navy says a third of Russian warships in the Black Sea have been destroyed, disabled

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s navy spokesman says that Ukrainian forces have sunk or disabled a third of all Russian warships in the Black Sea, a major blow to Moscow’s military capability as the war has dragged into a third year. Ukraine’s Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk told The Associated Press Tuesday that the latest strike on Saturday night hit the Russian amphibious landing ship Kostiantyn Olshansky that was resting in dock in Sevastopol in Russia-occupied Crimea. The ship was part of Ukraine’s navy before Russia captured it after annexing the Black Sea peninsula in 2014. Pletenchuk has previously announced that two other landing ships of the same type, Azov and Yamal, were also damaged in Saturday’s strike along with the Ivan Khurs intelligence ship.

Court to reconsider Chasing Horse’s request to dismiss charges

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The full seven-member Nevada Supreme Court will reconsider Nathan Chasing Horse’s request to dismiss a sprawling indictment against him. He is accused of leading a cult, taking underage wives and sexually abusing Indigenous women and girls. It’s the latest development in a lengthy series of legal challenges by the former “Dances With Wolves” actor that has stalled proceedings for nearly a year. The high court’s 4-3 decision to take another look at Chasing Horse’s request comes after a three-member panel of justices upheld the charges and denied him another hearing. The court didn’t say when it will issue a decision. Chasing Horse has pleaded not guilty in the Nevada case.

Trump is selling ‘God Bless the USA’ Bibles for $59.99

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is hawking Bibles as he runs to return to the White House. The presumptive Republican nominee Tuesday released a video on his Truth Social platform urging supporters to buy the “God Bless the USA Bible.” The book is inspired by country singer Lee Greenwood’s patriotic ballad “God Bless the USA,” which Trump takes the stage to at his rallies.

The Bible is the latest commercial venture Trump has pursued during his 2024 campaign. Last month, he debuted a line of Trump-branded sneakers, including $399 gold “Never Surrender High-Tops.” Trump also sold digital trading cards and books. The effort comes as Trump faces mounting legal bills while fighting four criminal indictments and civil charges.

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