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AP News Summary at 11:55 p.m. EDT

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Jan. 6 panel deepens probe to Trump Cabinet, awaits Thomas

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan. 6 committee plans to interview more former Cabinet secretaries and is prepared to subpoena conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, who’s married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as part of its investigation of the Capitol riot and Donald Trump’s role. Lawmakers say they're deepening their inquiry after a series of hearings culminating in a prime-time session Thursday. There are plans to interview additional witnesses and reconvene in September to resume laying out the committee's findings to the public. Committee members hope to learn more about Ginni Thomas’ effort to keep Trump in office and the potential conflicts of interest for Clarence Thomas as a result on Jan. 6 cases that have come before the court.

Pope lands in Canada, set for apologies to Indigenous groups

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Pope Francis has landed in Canada, beginning a historic visit to apologize to Indigenous peoples for abuses by missionaries at residential schools. The trip is a key step in the Catholic Church’s efforts to reconcile with Indigenous communities and help them heal from generations of trauma. Francis kissed the hand of a residential school survivor as he was greeted at the Edmonton, Alberta airport by Indigenous representatives, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mary Simon, an Inuk who is Canada’s first Indigenous governor general. On Monday, the pope is meeting with school survivors in Maskwacis, where he is expected to deliver an apology. Indigenous groups are seeking more, though, including access to church archives to learn the fate of children who never returned home.

Russia says strike on Ukrainian port hit military targets

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian defense officials insist that an airstrike on the Ukrainian port of Odesa hit only military targets. But the attack tested an agreement on resuming grain shipments that the two countries signed less than a day before the assault. Long-range missiles destroyed a docked Ukrainian warship and a warehouse holding Harpoon anti-ship missiles supplied by the U.S. That's according to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attack “destroyed the very possibility” of dialogue with Russia. Under the grain-shipment agreement obtained by The Associated Press, both Kyiv and Moscow agreed not to target vessels and port facilities involved in the initiative.

Crews protect homes as California fire burns near Yosemite

JERSEYDALE, Calif. (AP) — A destructive wildfire near Yosemite National Park is burning out of control and has grown into one of California’s biggest blazes of the year. Thousands of residents were ordered to flee remote mountain communities. Some 2,000 firefighters are battling the Oak Fire, contending with steep terrain and hot weather. The blaze erupted Friday southwest of the park in Mariposa County. Cal Fire described “explosive fire behavior” on Saturday as flames made runs through bone-dry vegetation caused by the worst drought in decades. By Sunday the blaze had consumed more than 22 square miles of forest land. The cause is under investigation.

Alex Jones' defamation trial finally set to begin in Texas

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is set to face a defamation trial over his false comments that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was a hoax. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in Austin, Texas. Courts have already found the Infowars host liable for his portrayal of the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting that killed 20 first graders and six educators as a hoax involving actors. At stake for Jones is another potentially major financial blow that could put his constellation of conspiracy peddling businesses into deeper jeopardy.

Milley: China more aggressive, dangerous to US, allies

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the Chinese military has become significantly more aggressive and dangerous over the past five years. The top U.S. military officer made the comment during a trip to the Indo-Pacific that included a stop Sunday in Indonesia. Milley said the number of intercepts by Chinese aircraft and ships in the Pacific region with U.S. and other partner forces has increased significantly over that time, and the number of unsafe interactions has risen by similar proportions. His comments came as the U.S. redoubles its efforts to strengthen its relationships with Pacific nations as a counterbalance to China, which is trying to expand its presence and influence in the region.

Semiconductor bill unites Sanders, the right — in opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to boost semiconductor production in the United States has managed to do nearly the unthinkable — unite Sen. Bernie Sanders and the tea party. The bill making its way through the Senate is a top priority of the Biden administration. It would subsidize computer chip manufacturers through grants and tax breaks when they build or expand chip plants in the U.S. Supporters say the U.S. must join other nations courting the chip industry or risk losing a secure supply of semiconductors. But Sanders and a wide range of conservative lawmakers, think tanks and media outlets have a different take on the bill. They call the effort “corporate welfare.”

One thing voters agree on: Fresh voices needed in politics

NEW YORK (AP) — Political divides in the U.S. seem deeper than ever, but one of the few shared sentiments right now from voters of all stripes is the desire for something different. Democrats are contending with President Joe Biden’s stalled domestic agenda. Republicans are contending with party leader and former President Donald Trump still focusing on his false claims of fraud in the 2020 election and the fallout from the House committee investigating the Capitol riot. The possibility that the 2024 presidential race could look like a rematch from 2020, with 79-year-old Biden facing 76-year-old Trump, has voters on both sides wondering if there’s someone else who can carry their parties into the future.

Yellen downplays US recession risk as economic reports loom

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the U.S. economy is slowing but pointed to healthy hiring as proof that it is not yet in recession. Yellen spoke Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” just before a slew of economic reports will be released this week that will shed light on an economy currently besieged by rampant inflation and threatened by higher interest rates. The highest-profile report will likely be Thursday, when the Commerce Department will release its first estimate of the economy’s output in the April-June quarter. Some economists forecast it may show a contraction for the second quarter in a row.

Big Papi a big hit at his Baseball Hall of Fame induction

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was inducted into the Hall of Fame as legions of fans cheered him. They chanted “Papi! Papi!” from the lawn outside the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York, and countless flags of his native Dominican Republic wafting in the breeze. Dressed in a blue suit with a red tie, Ortiz spoke from his heart, thanking all of those along the way that made his Hall of Famer journey possible.  Six Era Committee selections also comprised in the Class of 2022 — former Twins teammates Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva, the late Minnie Miñoso, former Dodgers star and Mets manager Gil Hodges, and Black pioneers Buck O’Neil and Bud Fowler.

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