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    AP Top News at 11:50 p.m. EST

    January 20, 2022 GMT

    Voting bill collapses, Democrats unable to change filibuster

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital to protecting democracy collapsed late Wednesday when two senators refused to join their own party in changing Senate rules to overcome a Republican filibuster after a raw, emotional debate. The outcome was a stinging defeat for President Joe Biden and his party, coming at the tumultuous close to his first year in office. Despite a day of piercing debate and speeches that often carried echoes of an earlier era when the Senate filibuster was deployed by opponents of civil rights legislation, Democrats could not persuade holdout senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia to change the Senate procedures on this one bill and allow a simple majority to advance it.

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    Supreme Court allows Jan. 6 committee to get Trump documents

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a rebuff to former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court is allowing the release of presidential documents sought by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. The justices on Wednesday rejected a bid by Trump to withhold the documents from the committee until the issue is finally resolved by the courts. Trump’s lawyers had hoped to prolong the court fight and keep the documents on hold. Following the high court’s action, there is no legal impediment to turning over the documents, which are held by the National Archives and Records Administration. They include presidential diaries, visitor logs, speech drafts and handwritten notes dealing with Jan.

    Biden says nation weary from COVID but rising with him in WH

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    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden acknowledged Wednesday that the pandemic has left Americans exhausted and demoralized but insisted at a news conference marking his first year in office that he has “outperformed” expectations in dealing with it. Facing sagging poll numbers and a stalled legislative agenda, Biden conceded he would likely have to pare back his “build back better” recovery package and instead settle for “big chunks” of his signature economic plan. He promised to further attack inflation and the pandemic and blamed Republicans for uniting in opposition to his proposals rather than offering ideas of their own. This is a perilous time for Biden: The nation is gripped by a disruptive new surge of virus cases, and inflation is at a level not seen in a generation.

    Airlines cancel some flights after reduced 5G rollout in US

    DALLAS (AP) — Some flights to and from the U.S. were canceled on Wednesday even after AT&T and Verizon scaled back the rollout of high-speed wireless service that could interfere with aircraft technology that measures altitude. International carriers that rely heavily on the wide-body Boeing 777, and other Boeing aircraft, canceled early flights or switched to different planes following warnings from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Chicago-based plane maker. Airlines that fly only or mostly Airbus jets, including Air France and Ireland’s Aer Lingus, seemed less affected by the new 5G service. Airlines had canceled more than 320 flights by Wednesday evening, or a little over 2% of the U.S.

    Biden predicts Russia will invade Ukraine, warns Putin

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday he thinks Russia will invade Ukraine and warned President Vladimir Putin that his country would pay a “dear price” in lives lost and a possible cutoff from the global banking system if it does. Biden, speaking at a news conference to mark his one-year anniversary in office, also said a “minor incursion” by Russia would elicit a lesser response. He later sought to clarify that he was referring to a non-military action, such as a cyberattack, that would be met with a similar reciprocal response, and that if Russian forces cross the Ukrainian border, killing Ukrainian fighters, “that changes everything.”

    Prior infection, vaccines provide best protection from COVID

    NEW YORK (AP) — A new study in two states that compares coronavirus protection from prior infection and vaccination concludes getting the shots is still the safest way to prevent COVID-19. The study examined infections in New York and California last summer and fall and found people who were both vaccinated and had survived a prior bout of COVID-19 had the most protection. But unvaccinated people with a past infection were a close second. By fall, when the more contagious delta variant had taken over but boosters weren’t yet widespread, that group had a lower case rate than vaccinated people who had no past infection.

    Pentagon releases first video of botched Kabul airstrike

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has declassified and publicly released video footage of a U.S. drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians in the final hours of a chaotic American withdrawal that ended a 20-year war in Afghanistan. The New York Times obtained the footage through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against U.S. Central Command, which then posted the imagery to its website. It marks the first public release of video footage of the Aug. 29 strike, which the Pentagon initially defended but later called a tragic mistake. The videos include about 25 minutes of footage from what the Times reported were two MQ-9 Reaper drones, showing the scene of the strike prior to, during and after a missile struck a civilian car in a courtyard on a residential street.

    What comes next in New York’s investigation of Donald Trump

    NEW YORK (AP) — After investigating former President Donald Trump for several years, New York Attorney General Letitia James used a court filing Tuesday to outline much of the evidence her investigators have gathered so far. The legal memo claimed the Republican’s company used “fraudulent or misleading” valuations of its assets while seeking loans and tax breaks. Here’s what this development could mean for Trump and his namesake company: IS DONALD TRUMP ACCUSED OF A CRIME? At this point, he hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing. New York’s attorney general has yet to decide whether she even wants to file a civil lawsuit.

    First aid flights leave for Tonga after big volcano eruption

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The first flights carrying fresh water and other aid to Tonga were finally able to leave Thursday after the Pacific nation’s main airport runway was cleared of ash left by a huge volcanic eruption. A C-130 Hercules military transport plane left New Zealand carrying water containers, kits for temporary shelters, generators, hygiene supplies and communications equipment, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said. Australia also sent a C-17 Globemaster transport plane with another to follow that were carrying humanitarian supplies. The flights were all due to arrive in Tonga on Thursday afternoon. The deliveries will be done with no contact because Tonga is desperate to make sure foreigners don’t bring in the coronavirus.

    NCAA adopts new policy for transgender athletes

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA has adopted a sport-by-sport approach for transgender athletes, bringing the organization in line with the U.S. and International Olympic Committees. Under the new guidelines, approved by the NCAA Board of Governors on Wednesday, transgender participation for each sport will be determined by the policy for the sport’s national governing body, subject to review and recommendation by an NCAA committee to the Board of Governors. When there is no national governing body, that sport’s international federation policy would be in place. If there is no international federation policy, previously established IOC policy criteria would take over. “Approximately 80% of U.S.