AP News Summary at 12:59 p.m. EDT

Jun 4, 2022

Teachers after Texas attack: ‘None of us are built for this'

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — When graduation balloons popped inside a West Virginia high school, a teacher had to reassure students who ducked for cover that the noise did not come from gunfire. Their reaction showed how the world has changed in recent years — even for teachers who never experienced school shootings firsthand. The teacher was Jessica Salfia, whose mother is also a West Virginia teacher and found herself staring down a student with a gun in her own classroom seven years ago. She was hailed for her role in helping bring the incident to a peaceful end. Already asked to be guidance counselors, social workers and surrogate parents, teachers are sometimes called on to be protectors, too.

American spy agencies review their misses on Ukraine, Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence agencies have begun a review of how they judge the will and ability of foreign governments to fight. American spy services underestimated Ukraine's will to fight while overestimating Russia's ability to overrun its neighbor, even as those agencies accurately predicted Russian President Vladimir Putin would order an invasion. The agencies now face bipartisan pressure to review what they got wrong beforehand, especially after their mistakes in judging Afghanistan last year. U.S. intelligence continues to have a critical role in Ukraine, and as the White House ramps up weapons deliveries to Ukraine, officials are trying to predict what Putin might see as escalatory and the U.S. is seeking to avoid a direct war with Russia.

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR, Ukraine (AP) — President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine is losing 60 to 100 soldiers each day in combat. Just short of 50 American soldiers died per day on average in 1968, during the Vietnam War’s deadliest year for U.S. forces. Concentrations of Russian artillery are causing many of the casualties in the eastern regions that Moscow has focused on since its invading troops failed to take Kyiv early in the war. Retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges described the Russian strategy as a “medieval attrition approach” and said “these kinds of casualties are going to continue" until Ukraine gets promised deliveries of U.S., British and other weapons to destroy and disrupt Russian batteries.

Rock band Queen, Paddington Bear kick off Jubilee concert

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II may have to miss a star-studded concert in her honor, but she brought the house down when she appeared in a surprise video recorded with another British national treasure: Paddington Bear. The 96-year-old monarch revealed she shared Paddington’s love of marmalade sandwiches in a comedy skit shown Saturday to open a Platinum Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace. That delighted the thousands who gathered for the third day of festivites marking the queen's 70 years on the throne. Rock band Queen and Adam Lambert kicked off the open-air show outside the palace. Prince Charles and Prince William, the queen’s son and grandson, will pay tribute to the queen at the concert.

Shootings expose divisions on gun issue in faith communities

The recent surge of mass shootings in America has led to debates in faith communities over what is “pro-life.” Those advocating for more gun regulation are challenging conservative Christians pushing to abolish abortion and grant unlimited access to guns. Those who disagree insist the nation doesn’t have a “gun problem” but a “sin problem.” The partisan divides on abortion and gun rights are even starker after the recent mass shootings in New York, California and Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court is also expected to issue a ruling that could overturn legal abortion at the federal level.

Online pro-gun extremism: 'Cool for active shooter stuff'

As Americans reel from mass shootings, law enforcement officials and experts on extremism are taking increasing notice of the sprawling online space devoted to guns and gun rights. That includes gun forums, tactical training videos, websites that sell unregistered gun kits and social media platforms where far-right gun owners swap practical tips and talk of dark plots to take their weapons. It’s an ecosystem rich with potential recruits for extremist groups exploiting the often blurry line separating traditional support for a Constitutional right from militant anti-government movements that embrace racism and violence.

Tulsa shooting puts focus on waiting periods for gun buyers

SEATTLE (AP) — The mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, are again putting the focus on gun control measures such as waiting periods to buy firearms. Advocates say such measures can provide authorities with time to complete background checks and create a “cooling off” period for people who might pose an imminent danger. The gunman who killed his surgeon, another doctor and two others this week in Tulsa bought an AR-style rifle hours beforehand. Just nine states and Washington, D.C., have explicit waiting periods before people can purchase at least some types of firearms. Gun-rights advocates say such laws hinder people who seek guns to protect themselves.

Woman buoyed by support after viral pastor confrontation

An Indiana woman says she has felt "overwhelming support" from people all over the world after she confronted her pastor. She says he started a years-long sexual relationship with her when she was 16 and he was in his late 30s. The video of her May 22 confrontation has been viewed on Facebook nearly a million times. Pastor John B. Lowe II resigned from New Life Christian Church World Outreach in Warsaw, Indiana. He had confessed to “adultery” at the May 22 service. She then took the microphone and said it began when she was a teen and that she carried the secret shame for years until now.

High-profile candidates try to break Dem, GOP control

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A former lawmaker in Oregon is aiming to shake up state politics by running as an unaffiliated candidate for governor. Betsy Johnson's campaign war chest already tops $8.6 million, including $1.75 million from Nike co-founder Phil Knight. That's more than the Democratic and Republican candidates combined. She sees a path to victory with the increasing polarization of the two major parties. If she gets enough signatures to find a place on the ballot, the 71-year-old will be running against Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, a former Oregon House speaker, and Republican nominee Christine Drazan, a former House minority leader.

Russian agent Kovtun, accused in spy poisoning, dead at 57

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian agent Dmitry Kovtun, who was accused by the U.K. authorities in the poisoning death of former spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, has died at 57. Russian lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi, who also was accused by the U.K. in the spy’s killing, announced Kovtun’s death on his messaging app channel. Lugovoi said Kovtun died Saturday of a COVID-19-induced illness. Russian news reports said he died at a hospital in Moscow. A British inquiry concluded that Kovtun and Lugovoi had killed Litvinenko and that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “probably approved” the operation. The European Court of Human Rights backed the British conclusion. The Kremlin and the two men have denied any involvement in the poisoning.

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