Nation and world news at a glance

Nation and world news at a glance

Updated: 3 months, 7 days, 59 minutes, 37 seconds ago

Voters stick to pandemic-era habits, as early turnout surges

Days into early voting in the 2022 midterm elections, states across the country have seen a surge of voters casting ballots at in-person voting sites and by mail, the latest sign that the 2020 election ushered in a transformation in the way Americans vote. Through the first five days of early voting in Georgia, in-person turnout is up 70% percent compared with turnout in the 2018 midterm elections, according to the secretary of state’s office. In North Carolina, absentee ballot requests are up 114% percent compared with requests in 2018, according to the board of elections. Election experts say the signs suggest overall turnout will be strong.

ADVERTISING

Lab manipulations of COVID virus fall under murky government rules

Scientists at Boston University came under fire this past week for an experiment in which they tinkered with the COVID-19 virus. Breathless headlines claimed they had created a deadly new strain, and the National Institutes of Health rebuked the university for not seeking the government’s permission. As it turned out, the experiments, performed on mice, were not what the inflammatory media coverage suggested. The manipulated virus strain was actually less lethal than the original. But the uproar revealed loopholes that allow experiments to go unnoticed, a lack of transparency about how the risk of experiments is judged and a seemingly haphazard pattern in the federal government’s oversight policy.

Iran protests trigger solidarity rallies in US, Europe

Chanting crowds have rallied in Berlin, Washington DC and Los Angeles in solidarity with protesters facing a violent government crackdown in Iran. Saturday’s rallies were a show of international support for weeks of protests in Iran. They were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police. Several hundred protesters wearing the green, white and red colors of the Iranian flag chanted on the National Mall, ahead of a march to the White House. Throngs filled blocks of a downtown street in Los Angeles. And early 40,000 people gathered in Berlin to show solidarity for the women and activists leading the movement in Iran.

Boris Johnson back in Britain, and back in the running for prime minister

Boris Johnson returned to Britain on Saturday, feeding expectations that he would seek to reclaim his old job after the resignation of Prime Minister Liz Truss last week. His former chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, also seemed poised to join the race to replace Truss. Johnson, who had been vacationing in the Dominican Republic, won the backing of his former home secretary, Priti Patel, a significant endorsement from a prominent figure on the right wing of the Conservative Party. Allies of Johnson claimed on Saturday afternoon that he had picked up support from more than 100 lawmakers, substantially larger than the number who have publicly declared for him.

Russia hits Ukraine’s power infrastructure with some of the biggest strikes in recent weeks

Russian forces pounded Ukraine’s power plants and heating systems Saturday with some of the heaviest missile strikes in weeks, Ukrainian officials said, as Moscow pressed ahead with an aerial campaign to bring misery to the country’s civilians even as it loses ground on the battlefield. In a sign that Moscow’s forces in the south were coming under pressure, occupation officials in the southern province of Kherson told residents of the region’s capital city on Saturday to “immediately” leave because of the threat of an attack by Ukrainian forces. Ukrainian officials confirmed missile strikes in at least a half-dozen regions Saturday.

Resisting Israeli efforts to displace them, Palestinians move into caves

Faced with expulsion from their villages and the demolition of their homes by Israeli authorities, hundreds of Palestinians are trying to stay by reverting to an older form of shelter: living in underground caves. The residents of a rural area of the Israeli-occupied West Bank known as Masafer Yatta, whose forbears long lived in the caves that dot the area, have been fighting efforts to displace them from homes where their families have lived for decades. But in May, the Israeli Supreme Court approved the expulsion of some 1,200 Palestinians in the villages so the Israeli army could use the land for a live-fire military training ground.

Hurricane Roslyn to hit Mexico as a major storm

Hurricane Roslyn was expected to bring high winds and heavy rainfall to west-central Mexico as it passes near the Pacific Coast on Saturday, forecasters said. People in the affected areas, which include the popular resort town of Puerto Vallarta and other coastal towns in Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa, were urged to complete hurricane preparations because of strong winds. The hurricane was expected to make landfall to make landfall along the coast of the Mexican state Nayarit on Sunday morning. Roslyn became a Category 4 hurricane on Saturday morning, and is expected to be “at or near major hurricane strength when it makes landfall on Sunday,” the National Hurricane Center said.

By wire sources