AP News Summary at 11:37 p.m. EDT

Biden: Nuclear ‘Armageddon’ risk highest since ’62 crisis

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden says the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russian officials speak of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine. Speaking at a fundraiser Thursday for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.” Biden added, “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

Riot plea: Proud Boys member admits to seditious conspiracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to plotting with other members of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group to violently stop the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election. Jeremy Joseph Bertino is the first Proud Boys member to plead guilty to a seditious conspiracy charge. Bertino also pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of unlawfully possessing firearms. Bertino has agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigation of the role that Proud Boys leaders played in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Former Proud Boys national chairman Henry “Ënrique” Tarrio and four other group members also have been charged with seditious conspiracy.

Biden pardons thousands for ‘simple possession’ of marijuana

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law, as his administration takes a dramatic step toward decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging practices that disproportionately impact people of color. He is also calling on governors to issue similar pardons for those convicted of state marijuana offenses, which reflect the vast majority of marijuana possession cases. Biden says the move reflects his position that “no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana.” He says his action will ease the consequences for “people who have prior Federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result.”

Judge delays Twitter trial, gives Musk time to seal buyout

A judge has delayed a looming trial between Twitter and Elon Musk. The move gives the Tesla CEO more time to close his $44 billion deal to buy the social media company after months spent fighting to get out of it. Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick, head of the Delaware Chancery Court, said Thursday that Musk and Twitter have until Oct. 28 to close the deal. She said that a trial set for Oct. 17 will happen in November if they don’t. Musk renewed his offer Monday and asked to halt the trial to get the financing in order. Twitter objected because he’d already backed out once.

Ian evacuees return to mud, rubble as death toll hits 101

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Ian’s death toll has climbed into the triple digits. The number of recorded storm-related deaths rose Thursday to at least 101 in the eight days since the storm made landfall in southwest Florida. Of the total deaths, 92 were in Florida, according to reports from the Florida Medical Examiners Commission. Other storm deaths include five in North Carolina, three in Cuba and one in Virginia. Ian is the second-deadliest storm to hit the mainland United States in the 21st century behind Hurricane Katrina, which left more than 1,800 people dead in 2005. The deadliest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. was the Great Galveston Hurricane in 1900 that killed as many as 8,000 people.

US carrier, S Korea warships start new drills amid tensions

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan has begun a new round of naval drills with South Korean warships. The two-day training that began Friday came a day after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles toward the sea and flew 12 warplanes near the border in an escalation of its weapons tests. The Reagan and its battle group returned to the waters near the Korean Peninsula after North Korea earlier this week launched a nuclear-capable missile over Japan in response to the carrier group’s earlier training with South Korean navy ships. North Korea views U.S.-South Korean military exercises as an invasion rehearsal. South Korea’s military says the latest drills occur off the peninsula’s east coast.

Sheriff: Killing of kidnapped California family ‘pure evil’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities say the suspect in the kidnapping and killing of a central California family was a former employee who had a longstanding dispute with them. Relatives of the slain family told investigators that Jesus Salgado had sent angry text messages or emails about a year ago after working with their trucking business. Authorities say Salgado kidnapped an 8-month-old baby, her parents and uncle on Monday and killed them, leaving their bodies in an almond orchard. The remains were discovered in the remote area by a farm worker late Wednesday. Investigators say they’re seeking a person of interest who may have acted as Salgado’s accomplice.

Fired police sergeant attacks Thai day care center, kills 36

UTHAI SAWAN, Thailand (AP) — A former police officer facing a drug charge burst through a locked door at a day care center in northeastern Thailand, killing dozens of preschoolers and teachers and then shooting more people as he fled. At least 36 people were killed Thursday in the deadliest rampage in the nation’s history. The assailant took his own life after killing his wife and child at home. The attack took place in Nongbua Lamphu province, in one of the country’s poorest regions. Police identified the attacker as a former police sergeant fired this year because of the drug charge. Authorities said the main weapon used was a 9mm pistol that the man had bought himself. He also had a shotgun and a knife.

Judy Tenuta, brash ‘Goddess of Love’ comedian, dies at 72

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Judy Tenuta, a brash standup who cheekily styled herself as the “Goddess of Love” and toured with George Carlin as she built her career in the 1980s golden age of comedy, has died. She was 72.  Her publicist says Tenuta died Thursday afternoon at home in Los Angeles, with her family around her.  She was among a generation of performers who drove the popularity of live comedy in clubs nationwide including the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, Laff Stop in Houston and Caroline’s in New York City. A typically male-dominated field found room for women, including Tenuta. She first gained national attention in 1987 with “Women of the Night,” a HBO special.

MLB’s postseason is here: A guide to the 12-team playoffs

Major League Baseball’s postseason has a little more heft this year. The playoffs are here, with the first games played on Friday. The postseason begins with a field of 12 teams and includes a best-of-three format for the opening wild-card round. That’s up from 10 teams last season. The playoffs include a best-of-three format for the opening wild-card round. The three games will be scheduled on consecutive days from Friday through Sunday at the higher seed’s field. The first team that gets two wins advances. After that, the playoffs will be business as usual. The division series will be best-of-five, while the league championship series and World Series will be best-of-seven.

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