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AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

Original Publication Date June 25, 2024 - 9:11 PM

Bolivian general arrested after apparent failed coup attempt as government faces new crisis

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Led by a top general vowing to “restore democracy,” armored vehicles rammed the doors of Bolivia's government palace Wednesday in what the president called a coup attempt, then quickly retreated — the latest crisis in the South American country facing a political battle and an economic crisis.

Within hours, the nation of 12 million people saw a rapidly moving scenario in which the troops seemed to take control of the government of President Luis Arce. He vowed to stand firm and named a new army commander, who immediately ordered the troops to stand down.

Soon the soldiers pulled back, along with a line of military vehicles, ending the rebellion after just three hours. Hundreds of Arce’s supporters then rushed the square outside the palace, waving Bolivian flags, singing the national anthem and cheering.

The soldiers' retreat was followed by the arrest of army chief Gen. Juan José Zúñiga, after the attorney general opened an investigation.

Government Minister Eduardo del Castillo said that in addition to Zúñiga, former navy Vice Adm. Juan Arnez Salvador was taken into custody.

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The Latest | Bolivian official says general wanted to take power, navy vice admiral also arrested

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — An apparent failed coup attempt erupted Wednesday in Bolivia, where armored vehicles rammed into the doors of the government palace and President Luis Arce said the country stood firm against attacks on democracy.

Arce confronted the general commander of the army — Juan José Zúñiga, who appeared to be leading the rebellion — in the palace hallway, saying, “I am your captain, and I order you to withdraw your soldiers, and I will not allow this insubordination.”

Bolivian television showed two tanks and a number of men in military uniform outside the building, but troops and armored vehicles later began to pull back. Supporters of Arce flooded into the plaza outside soon afterward, waving Bolivian flags.

Arce said the day has been “atypical in the life of country that wants democracy.” He decried what he called “an attempted coup by troops who are staining the uniform, who are attacking our constitution.”

Arce also replaced the heads of the armed forces, with Zúñiga and navy Vice Adm. Juan Arnez Salvador being arrested later.

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What is the federal law at the center of the Supreme Court's latest abortion case?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appears ready to rule that hospitals in Idaho may provide medically necessary abortions to stabilize patients at least for now, despite the state's strict abortion law, according to a copy of the opinion that was briefly posted on Wednesday to the court's website and obtained by Bloomberg News.

The document suggests that a 6-3 ruling from the court will reinstate a lower court's order to allow Idaho emergency rooms to provide abortions that save a woman's health as the broader legal case plays out.

The Justice Department had sued Idaho over its abortion law, which allows a woman to get an abortion only when her life — not her health — is at risk. Idaho doctors say they were unable to provide the stabilizing treatment the federal law requires and that is typically standard of care, prompting them to airlift at least a half-dozen pregnant patients to other states since Idaho's law took effect in January.

But attorneys for Idaho have said their state law allows for women in dire circumstances to get an abortion and is not in conflict with the federal law.

The federal law, called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, or EMTALA, requires doctors to stabilize or treat any patient who shows up at an emergency room.

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Few have flood insurance to help recover from devastating Midwest storms

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (AP) — Rick Satterwhite’s house backs up to the Missouri River, but flood insurance hadn’t really seemed necessary – until this week, when he had to pump water out of his basement after a round of destructive storms.

It’s not the first time he’s had to dry out his basement from floodwater, but bad storms are getting more frequent, he said. Satterwhite watched with dread Monday as the river came within 2 feet (61 centimeters) of his backdoor in Dakota City, Nebraska, after torrential rain produced record-setting Midwestern floods, destroying hundreds of properties.

“I talked to our agent today," Satterwhite said. "We’re going to get flood insurance now."

Satterwhite is hardly alone. As the Midwest begins to recover, many won’t have flood insurance, which must be purchased separately from homeowners insurance. Federal data shows that across the flooded states of Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, the government has only issued about 26,500 flood insurance policies combined.

Lack of insurance can burden homeowners with out-of-pocket repair costs and place more need on nonprofits and the government, said Emily Rogan, senior program officer at United Policyholders, an insurance consumers group.

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The Vatican stands trial in London as a British financier seeks to clear his name in a property deal

ROME (AP) — The Vatican went on trial in a London court Wednesday, as a British financier sought to recover from the harm he said he suffered to his reputation as a result of a Vatican investigation into its 350 million euro (around $375 million) investment in a London property.

It is believed to be the first time the Holy See has been forced to stand trial in a foreign court.

A Vatican tribunal has already convicted Raffaele Mincione of an embezzlement-related charge, and sentenced him to more than five years in prison, for his role in the London deal. But Mincione, who remains free pending an appeal, lodged a counter civil claim against the Holy See’s secretariat of state at London’s High Court, insisting he acted in good faith.

On Wednesday, he asked the court to approve a series of declarations asserting that he indeed acted in good faith in his dealings with the secretariat of state, that the Holy See knowingly and lawfully entered into the transactions in question and have no grounds to make any claims against Mincione as a result.

“I am delighted that these proceedings in England are finally underway," Mincione said in a statement. "I look forward to these issues being examined by an independent and internationally-respected judicial system.”

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Nevada judge denies release of ex-gang leader ahead of trial in 1996 killing of Tupac Shakur

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An ailing former Los Angeles-area gang leader has been denied release from a Las Vegas jail ahead of his trial in the 1996 killing of music legend Tupac Shakur, despite a bid by a hip-hop music figure to underwrite his $750,000 bond.

A Nevada judge rejected house arrest with electronic monitoring for Duane “Keffe D” Davis, 61, saying she wasn't satisfied with assurances that Davis and his would-be benefactor — Cash “Wack 100” Jones — weren't planning to reap profits from the sale of Davis' life story.

A Nevada law prohibits convicted killers from profiting from their crime.

Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny said in her ruling issued Wednesday that a review of Jones' financial records also did little to address her concerns that Jones might be a “'front' or ‘middleman’ for the true bond poster.”

Davis has sought to be released since shortly after his arrest last September made him the only person ever charged with a crime in the killing, which has drawn intense interest and speculation for 27 years.

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Gunfire, lawlessness and gang-like looters are preventing aid distribution in Gaza, an official says

LARNACA, Cyprus (AP) — Thousands of tons of food, medicines and other aid piled up on a beach in war-torn Gaza is not reaching those in need because of a dire security situation and lawlessness on the ground, a U.S. aid official said Wednesday.

Truck drivers are getting caught in the crossfire or have their cargo seized by marauding “gang-like” groups, said Doug Strope, with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The sense of desperation gripping ordinary Palestinians is only compounded by the combination of Gaza being an active combat zone and a prevailing “general sense of lawlessness,” Stropes told The Associated Press.

The security “that’s needed for the humanitarians to work is what’s really lacking right now,” the USAID official added.

The remarks are the latest amid international criticism over Israel’s campaign against Hamas as Gaza faces severe and widespread hunger. The eight-month war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and basic goods to Gaza, and people there are now totally dependent on aid.

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Biden and Trump are set to debate. Here's what their past performances looked like

WASHINGTON (AP) — What people remember from Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s first debate four years ago are likely the interruptions, the shouting and the “will you shut up, man?”

Then-President Trump arrived at that first matchup in Cleveland seemingly determined to steamroll Biden at every turn, leaving the Democratic candidate exasperated and moderator Chris Wallace scrambling to regain control.

Now, in 2024, many of the rules insisted on this time by Biden’s team — and agreed to by the Trump campaign — are designed to minimize the potential of a chaotic rerun. Each candidate’s microphone will be muted, except when it’s his turn to speak. There will be no studio audience to chime in with hoots and jeers.

The second and final presidential debate of 2020, held in Nashville, Tennessee, was a far more subdued event than the first, aided by a mute button and participants who were perhaps chastened by terrible reviews from the first matchup, particularly for Trump.

But if the Biden-Trump debate this Thursday in Atlanta spirals into pandemonium, consider that past was prologue.

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The Supreme Court rules for Biden administration in a social media dispute with conservative states

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with the Biden administration in a dispute with Republican-led states over how far the federal government can go to combat controversial social media posts on topics including COVID-19 and election security.

By a 6-3 vote, the justices threw out lower-court rulings that favored Louisiana, Missouri and other parties in their claims that federal officials leaned on the social media platforms to unconstitutionally squelch conservative points of view.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote for the court that the states and other parties did not have the legal right, or standing, to sue. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas dissented.

The decision should not affect typical social media users or their posts.

The case is among several before the court this term that affect social media companies in the context of free speech. In February, the court heard arguments over Republican-passed laws in Florida and Texas that prohibit large social media companies from taking down posts because of the views they express. In March, the court laid out standards for when public officials can block their social media followers.

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Vive la France! Hawks make Zaccharie Risacher second straight Frenchman taken No. 1 in NBA draft

NEW YORK (AP) — First, Victor Wembanyama, now Zaccharie Risacher.

These days, American college players have to wait their turn in the NBA draft. It's someone else's time at the top.

Vive la France!

The Atlanta Hawks took Risacher with the No. 1 pick Wednesday night and France landed three players in the top six in a historic night for the country.

“That’s amazing," Risacher said. “We try to represent our country and so, glad to be a part of it. You know there is more players coming in.”

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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