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As police responded to reports of multiple people shot at a downtown Atlanta food court, Joseph Grier was on the sidewalk outside, rambling to reporters about his mental health, criminal record and banking history. Police say that just a short while later, he hijacked a commuter bus, ordering the driver at gunpoint to hit the gas and sending panic through the seats. Authorities say that by the time the bus rolled to a stop some 40 minutes later Tuesday afternoon, Grier had fatally shot a passenger and led officers on a dramatic chase. The food court shooting and bus hijacking created a sense of chaos in Atlanta. In the aftermath, city leaders decried the prevalence of guns on the streets.

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Republicans loyal to Donald Trump are largely echoing the former president鈥檚 claim that the Justice Department has treated President Joe Biden鈥檚 son with kid gloves while zealously prosecuting Trump. They used Hunter Biden's conviction Tuesday for charges related to buying a gun while addicted to drugs to press unsubstantiated or debunked allegations that Joe Biden acted while vice president to advance his family members鈥 foreign business interests. Trump鈥檚 campaign issued a statement calling the verdict 鈥渘othing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family.鈥

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Two advocacy groups have asked a judge to unseal court records and preserve public access to hearings in the class action lawsuit against the federal Bureau of Prisons over the sexual abuse of incarcerated women at a now-shuttered California prison. The bureau announced suddenly on April 15 that it would close FCI Dublin and transfer about 600 women despite attempts to reform the facility after an Associated Press investigation exposed rampant staff-on-inmate assaults. The legal nonprofit Public Justice and the ACLU of Northern California on Wednesday jointly filed a motion for increased transparency in the case, which is set for trial next June. The prisons bureau didn鈥檛 immediately comment.

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Delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention鈥檚 annual meeting have narrowly rejected a proposal to enshrine a ban on churches with women pastors in the denomination鈥檚 constitution. Opponents argued the proposal was unnecessary because the SBC already has a way of ousting such churches. The outcome still leaves the SBC with its official doctrinal statement saying the office of pastor is limited to men. Even the opponents of the ban said they favored that doctrinal statement but didn鈥檛 think it was necessary to reinforce it in the constitution. Southern Baptists also elected a new convention president and passed a nonbinding statement cautioning couples about using in vitro fertilization.

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Negotiators for the Group of Seven have reached an agreement on a plan to provide Ukraine with $50 billion backed by frozen Russian assets, two people familiar with the matter told the Associated Press. President Joe Biden and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will also sign a security agreement Thursday between the U.S. and Ukraine when they meet on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy, aiming to send a signal to Russia of American resolve in supporting Kyiv. Biden, who's fearful of being pulled into direct conflict between the nuclear-armed powers, is not committing U.S. troops to Ukraine, the administration said. Biden plans to meet with his counterparts from the world鈥檚 leading democracies, who have an urgency to get big things done.

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The president of the University of Miami has been chosen to become the next chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, where the retiring incumbent is leaving a campus roiled by protests over Israel鈥檚 war in Gaza. Dr. Julio Frenk was selected by regents of the University of California system Wednesday at a meeting on the UCLA campus where there were a swarm of security officers. Frenk is a Mexico City-born global public health researcher. He will succeed Gene Block, who has been chancellor for 17 years and announced his planned retirement long before UCLA became a national flashpoint for U.S. campus protests this spring.

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Southern Baptists have expressed alarm over the way in vitro fertilization is routinely being practiced at their annual meeting in Indianapolis. They approved a resolution lamenting that the creation of surplus frozen embryos often results in 鈥渄estruction of embryonic human life.鈥 They urged members to carefully weigh the ethical implications of the technology. And they expressed sympathy with couples 鈥渨ho experience the searing pain of infertility.鈥 The resolution affirms that embryos are human beings from the moment of fertilization, whether in the womb or generated in the laboratory via IVF. The resolution also urged couples to adopt surplus frozen embryos that would otherwise be destroyed.

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A fleet of Russian warships have reached Cuban waters ahead of planned military exercises in the Caribbean. Some see their deployment as a projection of Russia's strength as tensions grow over Western support for Ukraine. The U.S. military expects the exercises will involve a handful of Russian ships and support vessels, which may also stop in Venezuela. Russia is a longtime ally of Venezuela and Cuba, and its warships and aircraft have periodically made forays into the Caribbean. But this mission comes less than two weeks after President Joe Biden authorized Ukraine to use U.S.-provided weapons to strike inside Russia to protect Kharkiv, Ukraine鈥檚 second-largest city.

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Social media platform X is now hiding your likes. In an update posted on the platform formerly known as Twitter earlier this week, X鈥檚 engineering team said it would be making all users' likes private. That means that users will still be able to see their own likes, but others will not 鈥 putting an end to a feature that many had long used. The change went into effect Wednesday. The 鈥淟ikes鈥 tab now appears to only be available on your own profile page. But when visiting other accounts, that tab is no longer available. The hidden like count is one of many changes that have come to the platform since billionaire Elon Musk purchased it for $44 billion in 2022.

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U.S. stocks rose following a surprisingly聽encouraging update on inflation and a reassurance that the Federal Reserve still聽sees a cut聽to interest rates as likely this year. The S&P 500 climbed 0.9% Wednesday to add to its all-time high set a day before. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.5% to build on its own record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged the market and slipped 0.1%. Treasury yields dropped in the bond market after the report in the morning showed a slowdown in inflation in consumer prices during May. They pared their losses but stayed lower after the Fed held its main interest rate steady.

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Jerry West, who was selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame three times in a storied career as a player and executive and whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, has died. The Los Angeles Clippers say West died Wednesday morning with his wife, Karen, by his side. He was 86. West was nicknamed 鈥淢r. Clutch鈥 for his late-game exploits as a player, and he won both NBA and Olympic titles. He was an All-Star in all 14 of his NBA seasons and won the 1972 championship with the Lakers. West was later the general manger of eight Lakers championship teams.

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If Tesla shareholders vote against restoring Elon Musk鈥檚 $44.9 billion pay package Thursday, the CEO could deliver on threats to take artificial intelligence research to one of his other companies. If they approve the all-stock compensation that was thrown out by a Delaware judge this year, that would likely keep him at the company so he can shift to AI and robotics, which Musk says is Tesla鈥檚 future. But even with reapproval at the annual shareholders鈥 meeting there would be uncertainty. Musk has threatened on X, his social media platform, to develop AI elsewhere if he doesn鈥檛 get a 25% stake in Tesla.

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit of the last two survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre who were seeking reparations. The nine-member court on Wednesday upheld the decision made by a district court judge in Tulsa last year. The suit was an attempt to force the city of Tulsa and others to make recompense for the destruction by a white mob of the once-thriving Black district known as Greenwood. The two survivors of the attack, who are both now over 100 years old, sued in 2020 with the hope of seeing what their attorney called 鈥渏ustice in their lifetime.鈥 A third plaintiff, Hughes Van Ellis, died last year at age 102.

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Transplant organizations say a 98-year-old man may be the oldest American to ever donate an organ. Orville Allen lived a lifetime of service as a World War II and Korean war veteran and a longtime educator in rural Missouri. He had been in robust health until he suffered a fall at his home, and ultimately died on May 29. Hospital staff asked the family if they would consider donating his liver. Given Allen鈥檚 age, it was a surprising question. But relatives knew it would be what he wanted them to do. His liver was successfully transplanted into a 72-year-old woman.

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Sony Pictures Entertainment is getting into the exhibition business. The studio behind recent films like 鈥淏ad Boys: Ride or Die鈥 and 鈥淭he Garfield Movie鈥 has acquired the distinctive theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Included in the deal announced Wednesday is the genre film festival Fantastic Fest. Sony said it will continue to welcome content from all studios and distributors at the theaters. For many years, Hollywood studios were banned from owning movie theaters, but that changed in 2020 when the Paramount Consent Decrees were terminated. For Sony, the Drafthouse acquisition is also tied into its experiences initiatives.

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The Israeli military says about 215 rockets were fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel, hours after Israeli airstrikes killed a senior Hezbollah militant commander. In the Gaza cease-fire and hostage release talks, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says mediators will keep working to close the deal. Hamas wants changes to a U.S.-backed proposal. Blinken said Wednesday that some were 鈥渨orkable鈥 and some not. The Palestinian militant group says the 鈥渁mendments鈥 aim to guarantee a permanent cease-fire and complete Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza. The cease-fire proposal announced by U.S. President Joe Biden includes those provisions, but Hamas questions whether Israel will implement the terms.

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At least 40 Indians died after a fire swept through a building that housed foreign workers in Kuwait. Officials say the blaze early Wednesday appeared to be linked to code violations. Scores of workers were living in the building in the southern Mangaf district. India鈥檚 external affairs ministry said late Wednesday that 鈥渁round 40 Indians are understood to have died and over 50 injured.鈥 The statement said the injured are being treated in five public hospitals. India鈥檚 junior External Affairs Minister Kirti Vardhan Singh will be traveling to Kuwait to work toward early repatriation of mortal remains as well as for medical assistance to those injured. Kuwait, like other Persian Gulf countries, has large numbers of migrant workers.

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that mediators will keep trying to close an elusive cease-fire deal after Hamas proposed numerous changes to a U.S.-backed plan. He said Wednesday that some of the changes were 鈥渨orkable鈥 and some not. The back-and-forth laid bare frustration over the difficulty of reaching an accord that can bring an end to eight months of war that has decimated Gaza, killed tens of thousands of Palestinians and left scores of Israeli hostages still languishing in militant captivity. Previous moments of optimism have been repeatedly dashed by the differences between the two sides.

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A kite surfer was rescued after using rocks to spell out the word 鈥淗ELP鈥 when he became stranded on a Northern California beach last weekend. Cal Fire says the kite surfer got stuck Sunday on a narrow beach at the base of towering bluffs with the tide coming in. His 鈥淗ELP鈥 sign was spotted by a private helicopter and authorities were alerted. A rescue helicopter hoisted the kite surfer to the top of the cliff and he did not need medical attention. The area about 65 miles south of San Francisco is described as somewhat remote, with beaches that are notorious for strong winds, rip currents and cold water.

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French President Emmanuel Macron has defended his decision to call snap parlimentary elections after his party鈥檚 crushing defeat in the European parliamentary vote. Macron has a presidential mandate until 2027. He insisted he believes voters will ultimately choose the 鈥減rogressive bloc鈥 over the far-right. He has called for moderate politicians from the left and the right to regroup with his own centrist alliance to defeat the far-right. Macron addressed French voters for the first time since he called for a snap national election following a crushing defeat of his party by the far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen. He said 鈥淚 don鈥檛 believe at all that the worst can happen ... I鈥檓 an indefatigable optimist.鈥

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About half of U.S. adults approve of Donald Trump鈥檚 recent felony conviction, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The findings paint a picture of a nation with firmly entrenched opinions of the divisive former Republican president less than five months before Election Day. Overall views of Trump and Democratic President Joe Biden remain unchanged since before the guilty verdict in Trump's New York hush money trial. But the survey shows some modest signs of vulnerability for Trump as he tries to become the first American with a felony record to win the presidency.

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Across the U.S., thieves have been targeting electric-vehicle charging stations, intent on stealing the cables, which contain copper wiring. The price of copper is near a record high on global markets, which means criminals stand to collect rising sums of cash from selling the material. The stolen cables often disable entire charging stations. Broken-down chargers have emerged as the latest obstacle for U.S. automakers in their effort to convert more Americans to EVs despite public anxiety about a scarcity of charging stations. If even finding a charging station doesn鈥檛 necessarily mean finding functioning cables, it becomes another reason for buyers to stick with gasoline-fueled or hybrid vehicles, at least for now.

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Each June, Waubeka, Wisconsin, venerates one of the nation's more enduring symbols with a holiday that escapes the notice of many Americans. Flag Day commemorates June 14, 1777, when Congress decreed the flag's design. Waubeka, in north suburban Milwaukee, lays claim to the first Flag Day 鈥 in 1885 when a schoolteacher assigned his students essays on what the flag means. It became a federal observance in 1949. Waubeka has celebrated it on the second Sunday in June for 78 years.

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U.N.-backed human rights experts say in a report published Wednesday that Israeli forces and Palestinian militants engaged in sexual and gender-based violence in much of the first three months of the conflict that began on Oct. 7 last year. The independent experts offered a detailed chronicling of events that have largely been covered in the media. They also said Israel and Palestinian militants committed war crimes, while Israel was said to have committed crimes against humanity too. The report focused on the time between the Oct. 7 rampage and the end of last year. Israel, which has refused to cooperate with the body and accused it of bias, rejected the allegations.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hailed the country鈥檚 expanding relationship with Russia as reports suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin will soon visit the country for his third meeting with Kim. North Korea's state media reported Wednesday that Kim sent Putin a congratulatory message marking Russia鈥檚 National Day and spoke about booming bilateral ties. Cooperation between the two countries have sharply increased since Kim visited Russia last September for a meeting with Putin. Japanese public broadcaster NHK, citing unidentified diplomatic sources including high-ranking Russian officials, reported Wednesday that Putin is preparing to visit North Korea and Vietnam next week.

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For more than a decade, a steady flow of Syrians have crossed the border from their war-torn country into Lebanon. But anti-refugee sentiment is rising there, and over the past two months, hundreds of Syrian refugees have gone the other way. Until this year, the numbers returning from Lebanon were so low that one local government run by an insurgent group had not formally tracked them. Now it recorded 1,041 people arriving from Lebanon in May alone. Tiny, crisis-wracked Lebanon has been the host of the highest per capita population of refugees in the world, with hundreds of thousands of Syrians.

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Shares are mostly lower in Asia ahead of a decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates. In Japan, higher inflation and falling wages have raised questions about how the central bank can navigate away from near-zero interest rates. The Bank of Japan will issue a policy decision on Friday. On Tuesday, stocks drifted to a mixed close, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite managing to again hit records. A 7.3% gain in Apple helped push both indexes higher Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.3%. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to leave rates where they are as it wraps up its policy meeting later in the day.

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California Gov. Gavin 鉴黄师appom wants to back out of a deal he made last year to pay doctors more money to treat Medicaid patients. It's part of his plan to cover an estimated $45 billion budget deficit this year. But 鉴黄师appom might not have a choice. Doctors have placed a measure on the November ballot that could force California to pay them more to treat Medicaid patients. It's the latest example of budgeting by the ballot box in California. The 鉴黄师appom administration has had conversations with stakeholders about potentially pulling this measure from the ballot. The deadline to do so would be June 27.

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An extreme weather phenomenon known as the dzud has killed more than 7.1 million animals in Mongolia, endangering herders' livelihoods and way of life. Dzuds are a combination of perennial droughts and severe, snowy winters that are becoming harsher and they are becoming more frequent because of climate change. They are most associated with Mongolia but also occur in other parts of Central Asia. This year the dzud killed more than 10% of Mongolia's entire livestock holdings. Herding is central to Mongolia's economy and culture 鈥 contributing to 80% of its agricultural production and 11% of GDP. Experts say better weather forecasting and controls on overgrazing could help the country adapt.

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In Kenya's capital, a woman cooking with firewood engulfs herself in smoke as she heats herself some tea. She isn't aware of the impact on her health, but experts know it well. Respiratory diseases have been the most prevalent diseases in Kenya for the past six years. Cooking with biomass like firewood is a big part of the problem. And government data shows a growing number of Kenyans are doing it. One economist believes the increase is a result of economic shocks caused by reduced incomes during the COVID-19 pandemic and high inflation. Affordable 鈥渃lean鈥 cooking options are too expensive for many.

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The bull who jumped out of the arena at an Oregon rodeo, sending the audience into a frenzy, has been forced to retire from competition. The 3-year-old bull, named Party Bus, jumped the fence during a bull riding event at the Sisters Rodeo in central Oregon on Saturday. First responders said three people were injured after coming into contact with the bull, including a woman who was tossed into the air by its horns. The bull's owner says the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association will no longer allow Party Bus to compete in rodeos. The bull will spend the rest of his days on Corey's ranch in eastern Washington.