AP News Summary at 5:22 p.m. EST
Passionate calls for police reform at Tire Nichols funeral
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A funeral for Tire Nichols mixed a celebration of his life with outrage at the brutal beatings he suffered from the Memphis police force and heated calls for police reform. Rev. Al Sharpton and Vice President Kamala Harris delivered impassioned speeches on Wednesday urging Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a sweeping package of policing reforms that would create a national register of police officers disciplined for misconduct, a ban on No-Knock Warrants and Other Measures. In the three weeks since his death, five officers have been fired and charged with murder, and their special unit has been disbanded.
The Fed hikes rates by a quarter point but says inflation is easing
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve extended its fight against high inflation by raising interest rates by a quarter point, the eighth hike since March. And the Fed has signaled that inflation, while easing, remains high enough to warrant further rate hikes. At the same time, Chairman Jerome Powell told a news conference that the Fed was acknowledging that the pace of inflation had slowed – a signal that it could be nearing the end of its rate hikes. Stock and bond markets rallied during his news conference, suggesting they expect an imminent pause in the Fed’s credit tightening.
FBI raids Biden’s vacation home; no secret documents
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI has searched the home of President Joe Biden in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, as part of its probe into possible high-level misuse of classified records. Biden’s attorney says agents did not find any classified documents during Wednesday’s search, but did take some handwritten notes and other materials related to Biden’s time as vice president for review. It’s the latest twist in an extraordinary series of searches by Bidens and his predecessor. Unlike former President Donald Trump, Biden has voluntarily allowed the Justice Department access to his homes while a separate criminal investigation into Trump continues.
Brady’s unparalleled career has been full of highlights
Nobody pushed Tom Brady harder than the record-breaking quarterback himself. Though his 23rd and final season after a brief retirement didn’t end with him winning another Lombardi Trophy. He leaves the NFL with more wins, yards passing and touchdowns than any other quarterback. At the age of 45 he even set two season records. And yes, nobody has more Super Bowl rings than Brady at seven. Brady pushed so hard that he dragged his teammates with him. Tampa Bay center Ryan Jensen worked his way back from a knee injury that sidelined him all season to snap to Brady in the quarterback’s final game.
Russia said it is eyeing a push into eastern Ukraine; Kyiv aims for transplantation
Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) – Ukrainian officials say Russia is mobilizing its military might in the country’s Luhansk region. Kyiv suspects the movements are preparing an offensive in the eastern province as the anniversary of the invasion of Moscow approaches. The provincial governor said Kremlin forces are evicting residents near parts of the front line held by Russians, so they cannot provide information on troop deployments. Also on Wednesday, the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continued its crackdown on suspected corruption. A prominent lawmaker says the government has fired several civil servants. Zelenskyy was elected in 2019 on an anti-corruption platform in a country long gripped by bribery. The latest allegations come as Western allies are pouring billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine.
US winter storm causes dangerous, freezing conditions on day 3
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A deadly storm system lashes much of the southern U.S. with bands of sleet and snow for a third day. The storm grounded another 2,200 flights Wednesday, including most to and from the two major Dallas-area airports that are major hubs for American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. It has also cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers, forced school closures and worsened already treacherous driving conditions. Watches and warnings of wintry conditions have been issued for an area stretching along the western Texas-Mexico border through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana to western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. The slippery conditions have been blamed for at least six Texas road fatalities.
History lessons for blacks were revised under criticism by the College Board
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The official syllabus for a new Advanced Placement course in African-American Studies, released Wednesday, downplays some components that have been criticized by conservatives, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said the course would banned in his state. In the new framework, issues such as Black Lives Matter, reparations and queer theory are not part of the exam. They are simply included in a list of sample research topics for student projects from which countries and school systems could choose. The course is currently being tested at 60 schools in the United States
Google has the next step as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz
NEW YORK (AP) — Startup OpenAI released its ChatGPT artificial intelligence tool late last year to much fanfare. But Google has been more cautious about who gets to play with its AI advances, despite growing pressure on the internet giant to compete more aggressively with rival Microsoft, which is pouring billions of dollars into OpenAI and inserting its technology into Microsoft products. Generative AI can produce paragraphs with readable text and new images, as well as music and videos. And some of the technological breakthroughs driving the red-hot field have been developed in Google’s sprawling research arm.
Anti-Asian hatred “goes in all directions,” say racist Yelp reviews
WASHINGTON (AP) – There has been a sharp increase in the number of hateful business reviews discovered by Yelp’s content moderators. The San Francisco-based company says it proactively removed more than 2,000 such posts in the past year, up from fewer than 250 a year earlier. While some of the content targeted Black, Latino and LGBTQ people, Asian American business owners saw the worst spike, reflecting the ongoing stigma of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increases are a function of Yelp’s increased efforts to remove racist content and show how even a site known for restaurant and artisan reviews can become enmeshed in America’s ongoing struggle for online civilization.
Pat Riley: Kareem never had potential, ‘only greatness’
Pat Riley puts it that way. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar never had potential. Riley says, “He only had greatness.” Abdul-Jabbar’s nearly four-decade reign as the NBA’s top scorer is coming to an end. LeBron James is nearing the top spot claimed by Abdul-Jabbar in 1984. Riley coached Abdul-Jabbar with the Lakers and brought James to Miami as a free agent in 2010.