AP Top News at 11:32 p.m. EDT
NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump claimed on Saturday that his arrest is imminent and issued an extraordinary call for his supporters to protest as a New York grand jury investigates hush money payments to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president. Even as Trump’s lawyer and spokesperson said there had been no communication from prosecutors, Trump declared in a post on his social media platform that he expects to be taken into custody on Tuesday. His message seemed designed to preempt a formal announcement from prosecutors and to galvanize outrage from his base of supporters in advance of widely anticipated charges.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Top Republicans, including some of Donald Trump’s potential rivals for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination, rushed to his defense Saturday after Trump said he is bracing for possible arrest. “The idea of indicting a former president of the United States is deeply troubling to me as it is to tens of millions of Americans,” said former Vice President Mike Pence, a likely Trump rival, during a visit to Iowa, an early-voting state. Tech investor Vivek Ramaswamy, campaigning in South Carolina, said he didn’t want to live in a country where “the party in power is able to use police force to arrest its political opposition.”
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Juan Vera lost three relatives when a strong earthquake that shook parts of Ecuador and Peru on Saturday brought down his niece’s home. The government has offered to pay for the woman’s funeral and those of her baby and her partner, but Vera wonders why local authorities allowed his relatives to live in such an old home to begin with. “Because of its age, that building should have been demolished already,” Vera said outside the morgue in Ecuador’s community of Machala, where he was waiting for the three bodies to be released. “... I’m sorry, the mayor’s office is the entity that has to regulate these things through its planning departments so that the buildings are in good condition to be rented out or inhabited.”
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine on Saturday, the day after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader accusing him of war crimes. Putin visited an art school and a children’s center that are part of a project to develop a historical park on the site of an ancient Greek colony, Russian state news agencies said. The ICC accused him Friday of bearing personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine during Russia’s full-scale invasion of the neighboring country that started almost 13 months ago.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Eric Musselman and his players rushed across the floor at the final buzzer to celebrate with their joyfully delirious friends from Arkansas. The 58-year-old coach jumped onto the press table, ripped off his red polo shirt and waved it over his head, shouting all the while to the fans’ delight, as has become his tradition after the biggest of his wins. And this was a really big one. Kansas’ national title defense ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday when Arkansas’ Ricky Council IV made five free throws in the closing seconds and the eighth-seeded Razorbacks beat the No.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — An unprecedented wartime deal that allowed grain to flow from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where hunger is a growing threat and high food prices are pushing more people into poverty was extended just before its expiration date, officials said Saturday. The United Nations and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the extension, but neither confirmed how long it would last. The U.N., Turkey and Ukraine had pushed for 120 days, while Russia said it was willing to agree to 60 days. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov tweeted Saturday that the deal would remain in effect for the longer, four-month period.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bills were filed, hearings were planned and blame was cast as Congress reacted this past week to the abrupt failure of two banks. A look at what lawmakers are saying and planning as the fallout continues from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. QUICK LEGISLATIVE FIXES UNLIKELY While President Joe Biden called Monday on Congress to strengthen the rules for banks to prevent future failures, lawmakers are divided on whether any legislation is needed. Some congressional leaders are skeptical that a closely divided Congress will act at all. “There’s people who are going to choose bills, but I cannot imagine that, with the hold banks have on Republican members of Congress, that we can pass anything significant,” said Sen.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Soon after a train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals in Ohio last month, anonymous pro-Russian accounts started spreading misleading claims and anti-American propaganda about it on Twitter, using Elon Musk’s new verification system to expand their reach while creating the illusion of credibility. The accounts, which parroted Kremlin talking points on myriad topics, claimed without evidence that authorities in Ohio were lying about the true impact of the chemical spill. The accounts spread fearmongering posts that preyed on legitimate concerns about pollution and health effects and compared the response to the derailment with America’s support for Ukraine following its invasion by Russia.
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — One by one, the presenters inside the crowded hotel ballroom shared their computer screens and promised to show how easy it is to hack into voting systems across the U.S. Drawing gasps from the crowd, they highlighted theoretical vulnerabilities and problems from past elections. But instead of tailoring their efforts to improve election security, they argued that all voting machines should be eliminated — a message that was wrapped in conspiracies about elections being rigged to favor certain candidates. “We are at war. The only thing that’s not flying right now is bullets,” said Mark Finchem, a Republican candidate for secretary of state in Arizona last year who continues to contest his loss and was the final speaker of the daylong conference.
DINWIDDIE, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors plan next week to release the video that led authorities in Virginia to charge seven deputies and three state mental hospital employees with second-degree murder in the death of a handcuffed and shackled man. The family of Irvo Otieno saw the video of his death Thursday. With their blessing, the footage will be released to the public in the next several days, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Attorneys for the family described the video to reporters as 12 agonizing minutes of deputies pushing down and smothering Otineo, a Black man whose arms and legs were restrained.