Israel’s war with Hamas resumes with airstrikes in Gaza after a weeklong truce ends

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel’s war with Hamas erupted again Friday, as airstrikes hit houses and buildings in the Gaza Strip minutes after a weeklong truce expired. Health authorities in the besieged territory reported dozens of Palestinians killed and Israel dropped leaflets over Gaza City and southern parts of the enclave, urging civilians to flee to avoid the fighting.

Militants in Gaza resumed firing rockets into Israel, and fighting broke out between Israel and Hezbollah militants operating along its northern border with Lebanon.

The resumption of the war threatens to compound the suffering in Gaza. Some 2 million people — almost its entire population — are crammed into the territory’s south, where Israel urged people to relocate at the war’s start and has since vowed to extend its ground assault. Unable to go into north Gaza or neighboring Egypt, their only escape is to move around within the 85-square-mile area (220 square kilometers).

Renewed hostilities also heighten concerns for about 140 hostages still held captive by Hamas and other militants, after more than 100 were freed during the truce. For families of remaining hostages, the truce’s collapse was a blow to hopes their loved ones could be the next out after days of seeing others freed. The Israeli army said Friday it had confirmed the deaths of four more hostages, bringing the total known dead to seven.

Qatar, which has served as a mediator along with Egypt, said negotiators were still trying for a deal to restore the cease-fire. Israel and Hamas traded blame for ending the truce.

Bombs are falling on Gaza again. Who are the hostages still remaining in the besieged strip?

JERUSALEM (AP) — A weeklong cease-fire that brought the exchanges of dozens of hostages held by Hamas for scores of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel gave way Friday morning to resumed fighting between Israel and Hamas. As mediators scuttle between the warring sides in a last-ditch effort to broker another swap, questions emerge on who remains in captivity in the besieged enclave.

Hamas and other militants seized around 247 hostages in their deadly Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, in which more than 1,200 people were killed. Israel has pummeled the Gaza Strip in return, killing at least 13,300 people, two-thirds of them women and children, according to health authorities in the Hamas-ruled territory.

Here’s a closer look at the fate of the hostages.

Israel said on Friday that 136 hostages remain in Gaza. They include 119 men and 17 women and children, according to military spokesperson Daniel Hagari. Roughly 10 of the hostages are 75 and older, the Prime Minister’s Office said Friday.

The vast majority are Israeli while 11 are foreign nationals, including eight from Thailand, one from Nepal and Tanzania each, and one French-Mexican.

House expels New York Rep. George Santos. It’s just the sixth expulsion in the chamber’s history

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted on Friday to expel Republican Rep. George Santos of New York after a blistering ethics report on his conduct heightened lawmakers’ concerns about the scandal-plagued freshman. Santos became just the sixth member in the chamber’s history to be ousted by colleagues, and the third since the Civil War.

The vote to expel was 311-114, easily clearing the two-thirds majority required. House Republican leaders opposed removing Santos, whose departure leaves them with a razor-thin majority, but in the end 105 GOP lawmakers sided with nearly all Democrats to expel him.

The expulsion marked the final congressional chapter in a spectacular fall from grace for Santos. Celebrated as an up-and-comer after he flipped a district from Democrats last year, Santos’ life story began to unravel before he was even sworn into office. Reports emerged that he had lied about having Jewish ancestry, a career at top Wall Street firms and a college degree, among other things.

Then, in May, Santos was indicted by federal prosecutors on multiple charges, turning his presence in the House into a growing distraction and embarrassment to the party.

Santos joins a short list of lawmakers expelled from the House, and for reasons uniquely his own. Of the previous expulsions in the House, three were for siding with the Confederacy during the Civil War. The remaining two occurred after the lawmakers were convicted of crimes in federal court, the most recent in 2002.

Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, has died at age 93

WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, an unwavering voice of moderate conservatism and the first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, died Friday. She was 93.

O’Connor died in Phoenix, of complications related to advanced dementia and a respiratory illness, the Supreme Court said in a news release.

Chief Justice John Roberts mourned her death. “A daughter of the American Southwest, Sandra Day O’Connor blazed an historic trail as our Nation’s first female Justice,” Roberts said in statement issued by the court. “She met that challenge with undaunted determination, indisputable ability, and engaging candor.”

In 2018, she announced that she had been diagnosed with “the beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer’s disease.” Her husband, John O’Connor, died of complications of Alzheimer’s in 2009.

O’Connor’s nomination in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and subsequent confirmation by the Senate ended 191 years of male exclusivity on the high court. A native of Arizona who grew up on her family’s sprawling ranch, O’Connor wasted little time building a reputation as a hard worker who wielded considerable political clout on the nine-member court.

Trump attorney says trial during campaign would be ‘election interference’ if he is GOP nominee

ATLANTA (AP) — An attorney for former President Donald Trump said Friday it would amount to “election interference” if his client is the Republican nominee for president while on trial in Georgia in the months running up to the general election.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee opened the door for discussion on trial timing while considering requests by two of the former president’s co-defendants to delay certain pretrial deadlines. But he said he didn’t plan to make any immediate decisions on a trial date.

District Attorney Fani Willis last month asked that all defendants remaining in the case — currently Trump and 14 others — be tried together beginning Aug. 5. Prosecutors have previously estimated it would take them four months to present their case, not including jury selection. That would mean the trial would be underway during the final months of the election campaign.

“Can you imagine the notion of the Republican nominee for president not being able to to campaign for the presidency because he is, in some form or fashion, in a courtroom defending himself?” Sadow said during the Friday hearing, later adding, “That would be the most effective election interference in the history of the United States.”

Prosecutor Nathan Wade rejected that idea.

Inmate stabbed Derek Chauvin 22 times, charged with attempted murder, prosecutors say

An incarcerated former gang member and FBI informant was charged Friday with attempted murder in the stabbing last week of ex-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at a federal prison in Arizona.

John Turscak stabbed Chauvin 22 times at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson and said he would’ve killed Chauvin had correctional officers not responded so quickly, federal prosecutors said.

Turscak, serving a 30-year sentence for crimes committed while a member of the Mexican Mafia gang, told investigators he thought about attacking Chauvin for about a month because the former officer, convicted of murdering George Floyd, is a high-profile inmate, prosecutors said. Turscak later denied wanting to kill Chauvin, prosecutors said.

Turscak is accused of attacking Chauvin with an improvised knife in the prison’s law library around 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving. The Bureau of Prisons said employees stopped the attack and performed “life-saving measures.” Chauvin was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Turscak told FBI agents interviewing him after the assault that he attacked Chauvin on Black Friday as a symbolic connection to the Black Lives Matter movement, which garnered widespread support in the wake of Floyd’s death, and the “Black Hand” symbol associated with the Mexican Mafia, prosecutors said.

Chicago and other northern US cities scramble to house migrants with coldest weather just ahead

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago is scrambling to house hundreds of asylum-seekers who are still sheltering on sidewalks, at police stations and at the city’s busiest airport as the cold weather sets in and with winter just around the corner.

The country’s third-largest city announced a partnership with religious leaders this week to house 400 of the migrants in churches. But with nighttime temperatures dropping below freezing and chillier conditions still ahead, more than 1,000 were still living at police stations or at O’Hare International Airport as of Friday, according to the city dashboard.

“As winter fast approaches, our need for greater collaboration and coordination grows. And that is why we are mobilizing Chicago’s faith community and our partners in the philanthropic community to meet this moment,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said at a news conference announcing the partnership.

More than 23,000 asylum-seekers have been bused to Chicago from Texas since the start of the year, according to the city. Other Democratic-led cities are grappling with similar influxes, including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and New York, which has received more than 120,000 asylum-seekers.

Illinois announced this month that it would funnel an additional $160 million to help resettle migrants who arrive in Chicago, including $65 million to help the city build and operate two temporary shelters to avoid people sleeping out in the cold. On Friday, the state announced it would give an additional $4 million that will go toward feeding asylum-seekers in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository

A world away from the West Bank, Vermont shooting victims and their families face new grief and fear

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Nearly a week after three college students of Palestinian descent were shot and seriously wounded while taking an evening walk, relatives of two of the victims have arrived in Vermont from the war-torn West Bank, grappling with a new reality that has shattered their lives and a place they thought was a safe haven.

Elizabeth Price and her husband Ali Awartani flew in Wednesday just as their son, Hisham Awartani, underwent surgery. After the Israel-Hamas war erupted in early October, they decided it would be safer for Hisham to stay in the United States instead of coming home for the holidays.

Now they don’t know if he will ever walk again.

“When my nephew came to this country to pursue his studies and when he came to stay with me for Thanksgiving in Burlington, Vermont, it never occurred to me that he may be victim to this type of violence,” Awartani’s uncle Rich Price said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday. “And so I feel a sense of shame, I feel a sense of outrage, and it’s been a really difficult awakening to the fact that even here — even in this country, even in this town — that many of the risks that exist for my nephew and his friends in Palestine exist for them here.”

Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmad, all age 20 and attending colleges in the eastern U.S., were visiting Price and his family for the holiday break. The three have been friends since first grade at Ramallah Friends School, a private school in the West Bank. While they were out for a walk Saturday evening after a family birthday party, a man approached them and shot them without saying a word, they told police.

AP Exclusive: America’s Black attorneys general discuss race, politics and the justice system

BOSTON (AP) — The American legal system is facing a crisis of trust in communities around the country, with people of all races and across the political spectrum.

For many, recent protests against police brutality called attention to longstanding discrepancies in the administration of justice. For others, criticism of perceived conflicts of interest in the judiciary, as well as aspersions cast by former President Donald Trump and others on the independence of judges and law enforcement, have further damaged faith in the rule of law among broad swaths of the public.

Yet many Black attorneys understood the disparate impact the legal system can have on different communities long before the 2020 protests following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. Many pursued legal careers and entered that same system to improve it, with some rising to one of its most influential roles, the top enforcement official: attorney general.

There is a record number of Black attorneys general, seven in total, serving today. Two Black attorneys, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, have served as U.S. attorney general. And the vice president, Kamala Harris, was the first Black woman elected attorney general.

In that same moment of increased representation, the U.S. is gripped by intense debates regarding justice, race and democracy. Black prosecutors have emerged as central figures litigating those issues, highlighting the achievements and limits of Black communal efforts to reform the justice system.

Flu is on the rise while RSV infections may be peaking, US health officials say

NEW YORK (AP) — Flu is picking up steam while RSV lung infections that can hit kids and older people hard may be peaking, U.S. health officials said Friday.

COVID-19, though, continues to cause the most hospitalizations and deaths among respiratory illnesses — about 15,000 hospitalizations and about 1,000 deaths every week, said Dr. Mandy Cohen, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency is also looking into reports of pneumonia outbreaks in children in two states, but Cohen said “there is no evidence” that they are due to anything unusual.

As for the flu season, seven states were reporting high levels of flu-like illnesses in early November. In a new CDC report on Friday, the agency said the tally was up to 11 states — mostly in the South and Southwest.

In the last month, RSV infections rose sharply in some parts of the country, nearly filling hospital emergency departments in Georgia, Texas and some other states. But “we think we’re near the peak of RSV season or will be in the next week or so,” Cohen said.