AP News Summary at 4:32 p.m. EST

Zelenskyi says Ukrainian special forces in Kherson

MYKOLAIV, Ukraine (AP) – The President of Ukraine says special military units have entered the city of Kherson. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made the announcement in a video address on Friday, hours after Russia said it had completed withdrawing troops from the strategically important city. Zelenskyy said: “From now on our defenders are approaching the city. We will enter in a moment. But special forces are already in town.”

Dems maintain narrow leads in Arizona Senate gubernatorial races

PHOENIX (AP) — Democrats are holding onto narrow leads in key Arizona contests, but the U.S. Senate and governor races are too early to announce. About a fifth of the total ballot papers still have to be counted. Democratic Senator Mark Kelly led Republican Blake Masters by 5.6 percentage points late Thursday, while Democrat Katie Hobbs was 1.4 points ahead of Republican Kari Lake in the gubernatorial race. Election officials in populous Maricopa County are expected to begin reporting Friday on the results of nearly 300,000 mail-in ballots mailed in on Election Day. This crucial group of ballots will provide clues as to how the remaining votes will fall.

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GOP’s Stefanik supports Trump ’24 while other Republicans oppose

WASHINGTON (AP) — The third-ranking Republican in the House, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, is endorsing Donald Trump as the presidential nominee in 2024. She will become the highest-ranking congressional leader to publicly endorse the former president. Trump is expected to make his own announcement for a potential White House run next Tuesday. But Trump is widely blamed by fellow Republicans for the midterm election failure. Many Republicans say it’s time for the party to break away from Trump. Stefanik is close to Trump and has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate.

AP sources: US Border Protection chief to be evicted

WASHINGTON (AP) – The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is being pushed out of his job as head of the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, according to two people familiar with the matter. Chris Magnus has been in office for less than a year. He was told to resign or be fired, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter who were not authorized to discuss it publicly, and Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council. The ultimatum comes after Republican gains in the midterm elections are likely to lead to greater scrutiny from Congress.

Identity politics, referred to as torture, leaves transgender people infertile

SINGAPORE (AP) — Dozens of countries around the world still require transgender people to undergo sterilization before their gender can be legally recognized. It’s a practice that international human rights organizations have condemned as torture. These policies have left countless transgender people with an agonizing choice between their fertility and their identity. For those who choose not to have surgery, the consequences of the policy can be severe, limiting their prospects for work, housing, marriage and safe travel around the world. Because their genders are listed on their identity documents as the opposite of their public appearance, they can be easily outed. And that can lead to anything from bureaucratic hassles to life-threatening confrontations.

Pelosi faces an uncertain future weeks after her husband was attacked

WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker Nancy Pelosi has arrived at a crossroads. She could be forced to relinquish the gavel if Republicans win a majority in the House of Representatives. Pelosi is the nation’s first and only woman to become spokeswoman. The uncertainty surrounding her future comes just weeks after her husband Paul Pelosi was brutally assaulted when an intruder broke into the family’s California home looking for the spokesman. She was in Washington at the time. Speaker Pelosi said the attack will affect her decision on whether to remain in Congress. She won her own re-election as the San Francisco representative. She has served for 35 years.

Twitter Blue signups are unavailable after a spate of fake accounts

Twitter’s newly launched premium service – which gives Blue Check “verification” labels to anyone willing to pay $8 a month – is unavailable after a wave hit the social media platform was flooded by Twitter-approved scammer accounts. Before billionaire Elon Musk took control of the social media platform two weeks ago, the blue check was given to celebrities and journalists and verified by the platform — precisely to prevent identity theft. Now anyone can get one as long as they have a phone, a credit card, and $8 a month. Eli Lilly, Nintendo, Lockheed Martin, Musk’s own Tesla and SpaceX have all been imitated, as have the accounts of various professional athletes.

Wall Street rebounds for its best week since June on interest rate hopes

NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street added to its mammoth rally from a day earlier to end its best week since the summer. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% on Friday and the Nasdaq more than doubled. Markets were boosted after China eased some of its anti-COVID measures, while a report suggested US inflation expectations were ticking slightly higher. Stocks rose this week on hopes that the worst of inflation may be over and that the US Federal Reserve could hike interest rates less aggressively, although some analysts called the rally overdone. Crypto sank after a major exchange filed for bankruptcy.

Kevin Conroy, a defining voice of Batman, has died at the age of 66

NEW YORK (AP) – Kevin Conroy has died at the age of 66. The prolific voice actor’s serious performance in Batman: The Animated Series was the definitive sound of the Caped Crusader for many Batman fans. Warner Bros. announced Friday that Conroy died Thursday after a battle with cancer. Conroy was the voice of Batman in the acclaimed animated series that ran from 1992 to 1996 and often starred alongside Mark Hamill’s Joker. Conroy has remained the almost exclusive animated voice of Batman, including some 15 films, 400 television episodes and two dozen video games. In Batman’s eight-decade history, no one has played the Dark Knight again.

Instagram’s Gossip Girl Deuxmoi Talks New Novel ‘Anon Pls’

With 1.7 million followers, the Deuxmoi Instagram account has become a focal point for pop culture musings and the occasional snarky comment with its belated celebrity sightings, blind gossip pieces and even restaurant recommendations. The account’s creator, who remains anonymous, co-wrote the novel Anon Pls with Jessica Goodman. It’s based on her own experience of running a social media account that grew into a phenomenon and then a full-time career. HBO Max is developing the book into a drama series with Deuxmoi as executive producer. She spoke to the AP about the future of the account.

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