AP News in Brief at 6:04 p.m. EDT | National
Trump accused of vast fraud in suit by NY attorney general
NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s attorney general sued former President Donald Trump and his company for fraud on Wednesday, alleging they padded his net worth by billions of dollars by lying about the value of prized assets including golf courses, hotels and his homes at Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago.
Attorney General Letitia James dubbed it: “The art of the steal.”
James’ lawsuit, filed in state court in New York, is the culmination of a three-year civil investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization. Trump’s three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, were also named as defendants, along with two longtime company executives, Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney.
The lawsuit strikes at the core of what made Trump famous, taking a blacklight to the image of wealth and opulence he’s embraced throughout his career — first as a real estate developer, then as a reality TV host on “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” and later as president.
James wants Trump and the other defendants to pay at least $250 million, which she said was the approximate worth of the benefits it got through fraudulent practices.
Biden: Russia’s Ukraine abuses ‘make your blood run cold’
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Joe Biden declared at the United Nations on Wednesday that Russia has “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the international body with its war in Ukraine as he summoned nations around the globe to stand firm in backing the Ukrainian resistance.
Delivering a forceful condemnation of Russia’s seven-month invasion, Biden said reports of Russian abuses against civilians and its efforts to erase Ukraine and its culture “should make your blood run cold.” He referenced President Vladimir Putin’s announcement Wednesday that he had ordered a partial mobilization of reservists, a deeply unpopular step that sparked protests in Russia.
And Putin’s new nuclear threats against Europe showed “reckless disregard” for Russia’s responsibilities as a signer of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Biden said.
He also criticized Russia for scheduling “sham referenda” this week in territory it has forcibly seized in Ukraine.
“A permanent member of the U..N Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the U.N. charter,” he told his U.N. audience.
Putin orders partial military call-up, sparking protests
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists Wednesday, taking a risky and deeply unpopular step that follows humiliating setbacks for his troops nearly seven months after invading Ukraine.
The first such call-up in Russia since World War II heightened tensions with Ukraine’s Western backers, who derided it as an act of weakness and desperation.
The move also sent some Russians scrambling to buy plane tickets to flee the country, and others into the streets to stage anti-war demonstrations.
In his 14-minute nationally televised address, Putin also warned the West that he isn’t bluffing about using everything at his disposal to protect Russia — an apparent reference to his nuclear arsenal. He has previously told the West not to back Russia against the wall and has rebuked NATO countries for supplying weapons to Ukraine.
Confronted with steep battlefield losses, expanding front lines and a conflict that has raged longer than expected, the Kremlin has struggled to replenish its troops in Ukraine, reportedly even resorting to widespread recruitment in prisons.
Fed attacks inflation with another big hike and expects more
WASHINGTON (AP) — Intensifying its fight against high inflation, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate Wednesday by a substantial three-quarters of a point for a third straight time and signaled more large rate hikes to come — an aggressive pace that will heighten the risk of an eventual recession.
The Fed’s move boosted its benchmark short-term rate, which affects many consumer and business loans, to a range of 3% to 3.25%, the highest level since early 2008.
The officials also forecast that they will further raise their benchmark rate to roughly 4.4% by year’s end, a full point higher than they had envisioned as recently as June. And they expect to raise the rate again next year, to about 4.6%. That would be the highest level since 2007.
By raising borrowing rates, the Fed makes it costlier to take out a mortgage or an auto or business loan. Consumers and businesses then presumably borrow and spend less, cooling the economy and slowing inflation.
Falling gas prices have slightly lowered headline inflation, which was a still-painful 8.3% in August compared with a year earlier. Those declining prices at the gas pump might have contributed to a recent rise in President Joe Biden’s public approval ratings, which Democrats hope will boost their prospects in the November midterm elections.
How steep Fed rate hikes affect your finances
NEW YORK (AP) — Mortgage rates have jumped, home sales have slumped and credit cards and auto loans have gotten pricier. Savings rates are slightly juicier, though.
As the Federal Reserve has rapidly increased interest rates, many economists say they fear that a recession is inevitable in the coming months — and with it, job losses that could cause hardship for households already hurt worst by inflation.
Wednesday, the Federal Reserve sharply raised its key short-term rate by three-quarters of a point for a third straight time, even as its previous rate increases are being felt by households at all income levels.
The Fed’s latest move has raised its benchmark rate to a range of 3% to 3.25%, the highest level in 14 years. Its steady rate increases have already made it increasingly costly for consumers and businesses to borrow — for homes, autos and other purchases. And more hikes are almost surely coming. Fed officials are expected to signal Wednesday that their benchmark rate could reach as high as 4.5% by early next year.
Here’s what to know:
Ohio GOP House candidate has misrepresented military service
WASHINGTON (AP) — Campaigning for a northwestern Ohio congressional seat, Republican J.R. Majewski presents himself as an Air Force combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, once describing “tough” conditions including a lack of running water that forced him to go more than 40 days without a shower.
Military documents obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request tell a different story.
They indicate Majewski never deployed to Afghanistan but instead completed a six-month stint helping to load planes at an air base in Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally that is a safe distance from the fighting.
Majewski’s account of his time in the military is just one aspect of his biography that is suspect. His post-military career has been defined by exaggerations, conspiracy theories, talk of violent action against the U.S. government and occasional financial duress.
Still, thanks to an unflinching allegiance to former President Donald Trump — Majewski once painted a massive Trump mural on his lawn — he also stands a chance of defeating longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in a district recently redrawn to favor Republicans.
Federer on GOAT debate in AP Interview: How can you compare?
LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer is a father of four — two girls who are 13, two boys who are 8 — and so perhaps that is why, as he wraps up his playing career, he thinks about the “GOAT” debate that has engulfed the tennis world the way parents might look at their children.
Folks love to ask: Who’s the “Greatest of All-Time” in men’s tennis, Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic?
“People always like to compare. I see it every day with my twins. Without wanting, you compare them. You shouldn’t — ever,” Federer said during an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, hours after his farewell news conference at the arena that will host the 20-time Grand Slam champion’s final competition, the Laver Cup.
“Naturally, we do the same in tennis. … I am my own career, my own player, that needed those challenges. They needed a challenger like myself,” he said, leaning back on a couch, having traded in the blue blazer and polo shirt he wore earlier for a post-practice navy pullover, white T-shirt and black jogger pants. “We made each other better. So at the end of the day, we’ll all shake hands and be like, ‘That was awesome.’ Now is somebody going to be happier than the other? I mean, in moments, maybe.”
He called the topic “a good conversation, let’s be honest” and “definitely a fun debate” that “you can endlessly talk about.”
AP PHOTOS: Hurricane Fiona marches through the Caribbean
LOIZA, Puerto Rico (AP) — Nelson Cirino was sleeping when the roof was blown off his home by Hurricane Fiona in Loiza, Puerto Rico. “I had to run downstairs,” he said.
The storm has been blamed for directly causing at least four deaths in its march through the Caribbean, where winds and torrential rain in Puerto Rico left a majority of people on the U.S. territory without power or running water.
Historic flooding submerged homes in Puerto Rico where people trapped inside had to be rescued; residents took shelter at schools with their pets, drivers navigated blacked out streets and crops were flattened.
In the Dominican Republic, residents waded through flood waters surrounding their homes and worked to clear the mud-filled streets outside their doorsteps, salvaging and cleaning what they could of their homes and belongings.
Fiona strengthened into a Category 4 storm Wednesday after devastating Puerto Rico, lashing the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands and was forecast to squeeze past Bermuda later this week.
Russian separatists release 10, including 2 US veterans
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Two U.S. military veterans who disappeared three months ago while fighting Russia with Ukrainian forces were among 10 prisoners, including five British nationals, released by Russian-backed separatists as part of a prisoner exchange mediated by Saudi Arabia, officials said Wednesday.
Alex Drueke, 40, and Andy Huynh, 27, went missing in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border June 9. They had traveled to Ukraine on their own and became friends because both are from Alabama.
Their families announced their release in a joint statement from Dianna Shaw, an aunt of Drueke.
“They are safely in the custody of the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia and after medical checks and debriefing they will return to the states,” the statement said.
Shaw said both men have spoken with relatives and are in “pretty good shape,” according to an official with the U.S. embassy.
Iranians see widespread internet blackout amid mass protests
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranians experienced a near-total internet blackout on Wednesday amid days of mass protests against the government over the death of a woman held by the country’s morality police for allegedly violating its strictly-enforced dress code.
An Iranian official had earlier hinted that such measures might be taken out of security concerns. The loss of connectivity will make it more difficult for people to organize protests and share information about the government’s rolling crackdown on dissent.
Iran has seen nationwide protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly wearing the mandatory Islamic headscarf too loosely. Demonstrators have clashed with police and called for the downfall of the Islamic Republic itself, even as Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.
The protests continued for a fifth day on Wednesday, including in the capital, Tehran. Police there fired tear gas at protesters who chanted “death to the dictator,” and “I will kill the one who killed my sister,” according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.
London-based rights group Amnesty International said security forces have used batons, birdshot, tear gas, and water cannons to disperse protesters. It reported eight deaths linked to the unrest, including four people killed by security forces. It said hundreds more have been wounded.