AP News Summary at 11:53 p.m. EDT

Floods trap many in Florida as Ian heads to South Carolina

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Ian has regained some strength after exiting Florida and taking aim at South Carolina. The National Hurricane Center said the storm spent only a few hours as a weakened tropical storm over Florida before it spun up into a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday in the Atlantic Ocean. Rescue crews were wading through water and using boats to rescue Florida residents stranded in the wake of Hurricane Ian. The Orange County fire department posted photos of crews in a flooded neighborhood in the Orlando area. At least four people in Florida were confirmed dead on the state’s eastern coast. Forecasters have issued a hurricane warning for coastal South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina ahead of another landfall Friday.

Russia to annex more of Ukraine on Friday at the Kremlin

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia is planning to annex more of Ukraine on Friday. The move represents an escalation of the seven-month war that is expected to isolate the Kremlin further, draw more international punishment and bring extra support to Ukraine. An annexation ceremony is planned in the Kremlin. The annexation would come just days after voters supposedly approved Moscow-managed “referendums” that Ukrainian and Western officials have denounced as illegal, forced and rigged. In an apparent response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an emergency meeting Friday of his National Security and Defense Council.

Russia opens more border draft offices amid call-up exodus

Russian authorities are opening more military enlistment offices near Russia’s borders in an apparent effort to intercept Russian men of fighting age who are trying to avoid getting called up to fight in Ukraine. Saratov regional officials said a new draft office opened Thursday at a checkpoint on Russia’s border with Kazakhstan. Another military enlistment center was to open at a crossing in the Astrakhan region, also on the border with Kazakhstan. Earlier this week, makeshift Russian draft offices were set up near a border crossing into Georgia and on Russia’s border with Finland. Russian officials say they would hand call-up notices to all eligible men who were trying to leave the country.

1/6 chairman: Ginni Thomas reiterates false election claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has stood by the false claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent during an interview with the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. That is according to Rep. Bennie Thompson, the panel’s Democratic chairman. The committee has for months sought an interview with Thomas in an effort to know more about her role in trying to help former President Donald Trump overturn his election defeat. She texted with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and contacted lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin after the election. Thomas’ attorney says his client was solely focused on ensuring reports of voter fraud and irregularities were investigated.

Hurricane Ian sweeps away homes, memories on barrier islands

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Cars are left abandoned where they stalled on the road into Fort Myers Beach when Hurricane Ian’s storm surge flooded their engines and their drivers couldn’t continue. Broken trees, boat trailers and other debris litter the path. It’s even worse in the seaside tourist town, much of which was flattened by the fierce winds and powerful storm surge generated by the Category 4 hurricane. The barrier islands along the southwest Florida coast are famed for their seashells, fishing and laid-back lifestyle. They took major hits from Ian when it came ashore Wednesday and residents tried to salvage what they could Thursday.

Trump records probe: Tensions flare over special master

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI search of Donald Trump’s Florida estate has spawned a parallel “special master” process that has slowed the Justice Department’s criminal investigation and exposed simmering tensions between department prosecutors and lawyers for the former president. The probe into the presence of top secret information at Mar-a-Lago continues. But barbed rhetoric in the past week’s court filings has laid bare deep disagreements related to the special master’s work and made clear that a process the Trump team initially sought has not been playing to the president’s advantage. The special master, Raymond Dearie, is a former federal prosecutor and served as a U.S. District judge in Brooklyn.

S. Korea, US and Japan hold anti-N. Korean submarine drills

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea, U.S. and Japanese warships have launched their first anti-submarine drills in five years, after North Korea renewed ballistic missile tests this week. South Korea says Friday’s one-day trilateral training off the Korean Peninsula’s east coast is meant to cope with a North Korean push to advance its ability to fire missile from submarines. North Korea has been building bigger submarines including a nuclear-powered one and testing sophisticated missiles that can be fired from them in recent years. The North’s recent five missiles launches, the first such tests in a month, also came before and after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited South Korea.

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa stretchered off with head injury

CINCINNATI (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained neck and head injuries after being slammed to the ground Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, and was stretchered from the field. The Dolphins said Tagovailoa was conscious and had movement in all his extremities after being taken by stretcher from the field and to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The Dolphins said after their 27-15 loss to the Bengals that Tagovailoa was expected to be released from the hospital and fly home with the team. Tagovailoa was chased down and sacked by Josh Tupou with about six minutes left in the first half. He remained down for more than seven minutes before being loaded on a backboard, stabilized and removed via stretcher.

Study finds that climate change added 10% to Ian’s rainfall

A quick study by two scientists calculates that climate change made Hurricane Ian 10% rainier than it would have been if there were no such thing as global warming. Thursday’s analysis, which was not peer reviewed, is based on 20 computer simulations of a world with no climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas. Scientists then compared those scenarios to what was playing out in real time with Hurricane Ian. The authors compared the highest rainfall rates over three hours.

Biden vows US commitment to Pacific Islands at summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has told visiting leaders from more than a dozen Pacific Island countries that the U.S. is committed to bolstering its presence in their region and becoming a more collaborative partner as they face the “existential threat” of climate change. The president on Thursday addressed the leaders who gathered in Washington for a summit as the White House looks to improve relations in the Pacific amid heightened U.S. concern about China’s growing economic and military influence. Biden hosted the leaders for a dinner at the White House on Thursday evening.

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