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AP News Summary at 11:48 p.m. EDT

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Uvalde school police chief on leave after mass shooting

DALLAS (AP) — The Uvalde school district’s police chief has been put on leave following allegations that he erred in his response to a mass shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Superintendent Hal Harrell said Wednesday that he put schools police Chief Pete Arredondo on administrative leave. Arredondo has faced criticism for his role as commander in charge of the response to the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Officers armed with rifles waited in a school hallway for more than an hour while the gunman carried out the massacre. Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t consider himself the commander and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the police response.

Biden calls for 3-month suspension of gas and diesel taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months — an election-year move meant to ease financial pressures. But it's not clear Biden has the votes to suspend the taxes. Many lawmakers in his own party have expressed reservations. Biden says he knows the move wouldn't reduce “all the pain but it will be a big help.” If the gas tax savings were fully passed along to consumers, people would save roughly 3.6% at the pump. Prices average about $5 a gallon nationwide. Biden also wants states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide similar relief.

Powell: Fed aims to avoid recession but says it's possible

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sought to reassure the public that the Fed will raise interest rates high and fast enough to quell inflation, without tightening credit so much as to throttle the economy and cause a recession. Testifying to the Senate Banking Committee, Powell faced skeptical questions about the Fed’s ability to tame inflation, which has surged to the top of Americans’ concerns as congressional elections near. Democrats wondered whether the Fed’s accelerated rate hikes will succeed in curbing inflation or might instead just tip the economy into a downturn. Several Republicans charged that the Powell Fed had moved too slowly to begin raising rates and now must speed up its hikes.

Afghanistan quake kills 1,000 people, deadliest in decades

GAYAN, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's state-run news agency reported a powerful earthquake struck a rural, mountainous region of the country's east, killing 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 more. Wednesday's quake was the country's deadliest in two decades. Officials warned that the already grim toll may still rise. Information remained scarce on the magnitude 6.1 earthquake near the Pakistani border. But early footage from villages tucked among the rough mountains showed residents picking through rubble of collapsed stone and mud-brick houses. The disaster posed a major test for the Taliban-led government. The Taliban seized power last year as the U.S. and its allies were withdrawing from the country.

Ghastly shootings, political forces align to prompt gun deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last month's mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, have produced a groundswell for change in Congress. Years of mass slayings of children, worshippers and others have not prompted lawmakers to pass significant legislation, until now. Buffalo and Uvalde came just 10 days apart, and the victims were elementary school students, teachers and shoppers engaged in everyday activities. Lawmakers say that's helped prompt a visceral public demand for Congress to finally do something. Feeling pressure to act, bipartisan bargainers produced a compromise gun violence bill that the Senate is moving toward approving later this week. House action is expected sometime afterward.

Jan. 6 hearings: What we’ve learned, and what’s next

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection heard from election workers and state officials on Tuesday as it described former President Donald Trump’s pressure on states to overturn his 2020 election defeat. On Thursday, they will hear from former Justice Department officials who resisted Trump’s entreaties to declare the election “corrupt.”  The committee’s fourth and fifth hearings are part of the panel’s effort to show how Trump’s pressure eventually shifted to Congress, and how his false declarations of widespread fraud in the election led to the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters violently broke into the Capitol.

Ukraine expects EU-wide support for candidacy to join bloc

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian deputy prime minister overseeing the country’s push to join the European Union says she’s “100%” certain all 27 EU nations will approve making Ukraine a candidate for membership in the bloc. In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna said the decision could come as soon as Thursday. She says countries that had been skeptical about starting accession talks while Ukraine is fighting Russia’s invasion are now supportive. Granting a country EU candidate status requires unanimous approval from existing member nations. Candidacy is the first step toward membership. It doesn't provide security guarantees or an automatic right to join the bloc.

Andrew Gillum, once a Florida governor candidate, indicted

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has been indicted on 21 federal charges including conspiracy and wire fraud for allegedly funneling donations through third parties back to himself for personal use. The U.S. attorney’s office announced the indictment Wednesday. Gillum is also charged with making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It’s the latest trouble for Gillum, who was the Democratic nominee for Florida governor in 2018. He narrowly lost to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in a race that required a recount. In March 2020, Gillum was found intoxicated and unconscious in a hotel room with two men, including one who works as a male escort.

Sound off! Trumpet is 1st bloodhound to win Westminster show

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — A bloodhound named Trumpet has won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Trumpet bested six other finalists Wednesday night to snare U.S. dogdom’s most coveted best in show prize. Trumpet beat a French bulldog, a German shepherd, a Maltese, an English setter, a Samoyed and a Lakeland terrier to take the trophy. Trumpet became the first bloodhound to win Westminster. The competition drew more than 3,000 purebred dogs, ranging from affenpinschers to Yorkshire terriers. The goal is to crown the dog that most represents the ideal for its breed.

Kadri's OT goal lifts Avalanche over Lightning 3-2 in Game 4

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Nazem Kadri scored at 12:02 of overtime and the Colorado Avalanche beat Tampa Bay 3-2 on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final to move within a victory of dethroning the two-time defending champion Lightning. Playing for the first time since June 4 due to a thumb injury, Kadri skated in on Andrei Vasilevskiy and slipped a shot under the goaltender’s right arm to give Colorado a 3-1 series lead. The Avalanche outshot the Lightning 11-3 in the extra period. Vasilevskiy stopped Logan O’Connor on a breakaway, and Colorado had a shot clang off the post and another hit the crossbar before Kadri ended it. Game 5 is Friday night in Denver.

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