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AP News Summary at 12:21 p.m. EST

China sends students home, police patrol to curb protests

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese universities are sending students home and police are fanning out in Beijing and Shanghai to prevent more protests. That comes after crowds angered by severe anti-virus restrictions called for leader Xi Jinping to resign in the biggest show of public dissent in decades. Authorities have eased some controls after demonstrations in at least eight mainland cities and Hong Kong. But they showed no sign of backing off their larger “zero-COVID” strategy that has confined millions of people to their homes for months at a time. Security forces have detained an unknown number of people and stepped up surveillance. With police out in force, there was no word of protests Tuesday in Beijing, Shanghai or other major mainland cities. A small group gathered at a university in Hong Kong.

Torture allegations mount in aftermath of Kherson occupation

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KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian authorities are investigating sites where torture allegedly took place in the city of Kherson. More than two weeks after Russians retreated from the southern city, investigators say five torture rooms have been found in the city and at least four more in the wider Kherson region. Ukrainians allege that they were confined, beaten, shocked with electricity, interrogated and threatened with death. Human rights experts warn that the allegations made so far are only the beginning. The Ukrainian national police say more than 460 war crimes have been committed by Russian soldiers in recently occupied areas of Kherson.

EXPLAINER: What hazards are posed by Hawaii’s Mauna Loa?

HONOLULU (AP) — Lava is shooting into the air and flowing downhill as Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano erupts for the first time in nearly 40 years. For now, lava is not threatening any homes or communities and no evacuation orders have been issued. Lava could eventually reach neighborhoods on the eastern side of the Big Island though it could take a week or more for molten rock to reach populated areas. Mauna Loa is spewing sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases which combine with other particles to form volcanic smog, or vog. State health officials are urging people to cut back on outdoor exercise and other activities that cause heavy breathing.

Iran-US World Cup clash rife with political tension

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The last World Cup clash between the United States and Iran 24 years ago is considered one of the most politically charged matches in soccer history.This time, the political overtones are just as strong and relations perhaps even more fraught as the U.S. and Iran face off once again on Tuesday in Qatar.Iran’s nationwide protests, its expanding nuclear program and regional and international attacks linked back to Tehran have pushed the match beyond the stadium and into geopolitics.

High court to hear arguments over Biden’s deportation policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is taking up a dispute over a blocked Biden administration policy that would prioritize deportation of people in the country illegally who pose the greatest public safety risk. Republican-led states sued and won a nationwide court order that is meant to limit immigration officers’ discretion in deciding whom to deport. The justices are hearing arguments in the case Tuesday. At the center of the legal fight is a September 2021 directive from the Homeland Security Department that paused deportation unless individuals had committed acts of terrorism, espionage or “egregious threats to public safety.”

GOP’s new committee leaders prepare blitz of investigations

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are promising aggressive oversight of the Biden administration once they assume the majority next year. They are planning to take particular focus on the business dealings of presidential son Hunter Biden, illegal immigration at the U.S-Mexico border and the originations of COVID-19. The House members expected to lead those investigations include Ohio’s Jim Jordan, a favorite of former President Donald Trump. Jordan is likely to lead the House Judiciary Committee. Another is Kentucky’s James Comer, who is expected to lead the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

US bat species devastated by fungus now listed as endangered

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Biden administration is designating the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species. Officials say that the bat’s situation has worsened since it was classified as threatened in 2015. The species is among a dozen U.S. bats suffering from white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that causes bats to emerge early during hibernation, sometimes burn up winter fat reserves and starve. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will work with timber companies and landowners to protect trees where bats nest. The agency will also seek cooperation from the wind energy industry to reduce the likelihood that bats will strike turbines. The bat is found in 37 eastern and north-central states, plus Washington, D.C., and much of Canada.

Houston lifts boil-water order affecting more than 2 million

HOUSTON (AP) — The city of Houston has lifted an order that called for more than 2 million people to boil their tap water before drinking or using it. The boil order had been in effect since Sunday, when a power outage at a purification plant caused pressure to drop. The order led to the closure of schools and businesses. The nation’s fourth-largest city rescinded the order Tuesday morning. Mayor Sylvester Turner has said two electrical transformers failed. The city says water quality samples sent to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality confirmed the tap water meets regulatory standards and is safe to drink.

Apple Music reveals top music in 2022 and listener charts

NEW YORK (AP) — The smash hit by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber “Stay” topped Apple Music’s global song chart in 2022 as the giant music streamer released its end-of-year lists and provided listeners with data on their own most listened-to tunes. “Stay” was No. 1 on Apple Music’s top 100 global songs chart, staying on top for 51 days straight. Elton John and Dua Lipa’s “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” was No. 1 on the streamer’s Shazam chart and “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from the movie musical “Encanto” was the song with the most-read lyrics in 2022 on the platform.

Netherlands beats host Qatar 2-0 to advance at World Cup

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — The Netherlands has finished off the worst showing by any World Cup host nation by beating Qatar 2-0. The Dutch advanced to the round of 16 by winning Group A while the already eliminated Qataris became the first host to lose all three of its group games at soccer’s biggest event. Cody Gakpo put the Netherlands ahead midway through the first half with his third goal in as many matches and Frenkie de Jong doubled the advantage five minutes into the second half. The Netherlands is a three-time runner-up at the World Cup and also finished third in 2014. Qatar was making its tournament debut.

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