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Retreating Russians leave their comrades’ bodies behind

LYMAN, Ukraine (AP) — Russian troops abandoned a key Ukrainian city so rapidly that they left the bodies of their comrades in the streets, offering more evidence Tuesday of Moscow’s latest military defeat as it struggles to hang on to four regions of Ukraine that it illegally annexed last week.

Meanwhile, Russia’s upper house of parliament rubber-stamped the annexations following “referendums” that Ukraine and its Western allies have dismissed as fraudulent.

Responding to the move, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy formally ruled out talks with Russia, declaring that negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin are impossible after his decision to take over the regions.

The Kremlin replied by saying that it will wait for Ukraine to agree to sit down for talks, noting that it may not happen until a new Ukrainian president takes office.

“We will wait for the incumbent president to change his position or wait for a future Ukrainian president who would revise his stand in the interests of the Ukrainian people,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

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Deal back on? Elon Musk gets closer to buying Twitter

The tumultuous saga of Elon Musk’s on-again off-again purchase of Twitter took a turn toward a conclusion Tuesday after the mercurial Tesla CEO proposed to buy the company at the originally agreed-on price of $44 billion.

Musk made the surprising turnaround not on Twitter, as has been his custom, but in a letter to Twitter that the company disclosed in a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It came less than two weeks before a trial between the two parties is scheduled to start in Delaware.

In response, Twitter said it intends to close the transaction at $54.20 per share after receiving the letter from Musk. But the company stopped short of saying it’s dropping its lawsuit against the billionaire Tesla CEO. Experts said that makes sense given the contentious relationship and lack of trust between the two parties.

“I don’t think Twitter will give up its trial date on just Musk’s word — it’s going to need more certainty about closing,” said Andrew Jennings, professor at Brooklyn Law School, noting that the company may also be worried about Musk’s proposal being a delay tactic. After all, he’s already tried to unsuccessfully postpone the trial twice.

Trading in Twitter’s stock, which had been halted for much of the day pending release of the news, resumed trading late Tuesday and soared 22% to close at $52.

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Loretta Lynn, coal miner’s daughter and country queen, dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter whose frank songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of country music, has died. She was 90.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Lynn’s family said she died Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

“Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” the family said in a statement. They asked for privacy as they grieve and said a memorial will be announced later.

Lynn already had four children before launching her career in the early 1960s, and her songs reflected her pride in her rural Kentucky background.

As a songwriter, she crafted a persona of a defiantly tough woman, a contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material from which even rock performers once shied away.

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S. Korea missile crash during drill with US panics wary city

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean ballistic missile malfunctioned and crashed into the ground early Wednesday during a live-fire drill with the United States, panicking confused residents of a coastal city already uneasy over increasingly provocative weapons tests by rival North Korea.

The sound of the blast and subsequent fire led many in Gangneung to believe it could be a North Korean attack, concern that only grew as the military and government officials provided no explanation about the explosion for hours.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said no injuries have been reported from the accident, which involved a short-range Hyumoo-2 ballistic missile that crashed inside an air force base in the outskirts of the city.

The military said it was investigating what caused the “abnormal flight” of a missile that is a key weapon in South Korea’s preemptive and retaliatory strike strategies against the North.

The military said the test was meant to be a show of strength by South Korea and the United States, following North Korea’s firing of a nuclear-capable ballistic missile that crossed over Japan early Tuesday in North Korea’s most provocative weapons demonstration in years.

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Trump asks Supreme Court to intervene in Mar-a-Lago dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for former President Donald Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to step into the legal fight over the classified documents seized during an FBI search of his Florida estate, escalating a dispute over the powers of an independent arbiter appointed to inspect the records.

The Trump team asked the justices to overturn a lower court ruling and allow the arbiter, called a special master, to review the roughly 100 documents with classification markings that were taken in the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago.

A three-judge panel from the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit last month limited the special master’s review to the much larger tranche of non-classified documents. The judges, including two Trump appointees, sided with the Justice Department, which had argued there was no legal basis for the special master to conduct his own review of the classified records.

But Trump’s lawyers said in their application to the Supreme Court that it was essential for the special master to have access to the classified records to “determine whether documents bearing classification markings are in fact classified, and regardless of classification, whether those records are personal records or Presidential records.”

“Since President Trump had absolute authority over classification decisions during his Presidency, the current status of any disputed document cannot possibly be determined solely by reference to the markings on that document,” the application states.

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Yankees star Judge hits 62nd homer to break Maris’ AL record

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night, breaking Roger Maris’ American League record and setting what some fans consider baseball’s “clean” standard.

The 30-year-old Yankees slugger drove a 1-1 slider from Texas right-hander Jesús Tinoco into the first row of seats in left field when leading off the second game of New York’s day-night doubleheader.

After No. 99 took a smooth, mighty swing, he had a wide smile on his face as he rounded the bases and his Yankees teammates streamed out of the dugout to celebrate with him. They stayed away from home plate, letting Judge step on it before sharing hugs and high-fives.

Judge’s mother and father were in the stands to see Judge end a five-game homerless streak, including Game 1 of the doubleheader when he was 1 for 5 with a single.

The ball was caught by a fan in Section 31, who was then taken with security to have the ball authenticated.

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Police: California serial killer ‘on a mission’ in slayings

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — A California serial killer seems to be “on a mission” throughout the fatal shooting of six men and the wounding of one woman dating back to last year, but detectives have not figured out what’s behind the violence.

Ballistics tests and some video evidence linked the crimes in Stockton and Oakland, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) apart, police said. The first fatal shooting was in Oakland in April 2021. The woman was wounded in Stockton days later. More than a year passed, then the five killings in Stockton took place between July 8 and Sept. 27, all within a radius of a few square miles, police said.

“We don’t know what the motive is. What we do believe is that it’s mission-oriented,” Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden said Tuesday. “This person’s on a mission.”

Although police would not say whether all seven shootings had been linked to the same gun, McFadden alluded to a single pistol during the news conference.

“I have absolutely no answer as to why that pistol went dormant for over 400 days,” between the April 2021 shootings and the first case this summer, the chief said.

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3 physicists share Nobel Prize for work on quantum science

Three scientists jointly won this year’s Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for proving that tiny particles could retain a connection with each other even when separated, a phenomenon once doubted but now being explored for potential real-world applications such as encrypting information.

Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John F. Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger were cited by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for experiments proving the “totally crazy” field of quantum entanglements to be all too real. They demonstrated that unseen particles, such as photons, can be linked, or “entangled,” with each other even when they are separated by large distances.

It all goes back to a feature of the universe that even baffled Albert Einstein and connects matter and light in a tangled, chaotic way.

Bits of information or matter that used to be next to each other even though they are now separated have a connection or relationship — something that can conceivably help encrypt information or even teleport. A Chinese satellite now demonstrates this and potentially lightning fast quantum computers, still at the small and not quite useful stage, also rely on this entanglement. Others are even hoping to use it in superconducting material.

“It’s so weird,” Aspect said of entanglement in a telephone call with the Nobel committee. “I am accepting in my mental images something which is totally crazy.”

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Haiti at breaking point as economy tanks and violence soars

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Daily life in Haiti began to spin out of control last month just hours after Prime Minister Ariel Henry said fuel subsidies would be eliminated, causing prices to double.

Gunshots rang out as protesters blocked roads with iron gates and mango trees. Then Haiti’s most powerful gang took a drastic step: It dug trenches to block access to the Caribbean country’s largest fuel terminal, vowing not to budge until Henry resigns and prices for fuel and basic goods go down.

The poorest country in the Western hemisphere is in the grips of an inflationary vise that is squeezing its citizenry and exacerbating protests that have brought society to the breaking point. Violence is raging and making parents afraid to send their kids to school; fuel and clean water are scarce; hospitals, banks and grocery stores are struggling to stay open.

The president of neighboring Dominican Republic described the situation as a “low-intensity civil war.”

Life in Haiti is always extremely difficult, if not downright dysfunctional. But the magnitude of the current paralysis and despair is unprecedented. Political instability has simmered ever since last year’s still-unsolved assassination of Haiti’s president; inflation soaring around 30% has only aggravated the situation.

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You’re a winner: Listening in on ‘the call’ for Nobel Prize

This is what it’s like to get “the call” — the Swedish Academy of Sciences ringing you up to say you won the Nobel Prize.

It’s usually a dream-of-a-lifetime call that only the special few get in private. But for American physicist John Clauser, who was awarded the Nobel for his work on quantum mechanics, it rang a little different.

Thanks to a three-hour delay from a phone busy with congratulations and reporters’ queries, the call finally got through to him while he was on a live Zoom interview with The Associated Press. And he shared his side of the notification and celebration.

“Oh hang on. They’re on the phone right now,” he said. “OK. Hang on just a second. Can I talk to the guys from the Swedish Nobel Committee?”

Over the next nine minutes, Clauser recounted to the Swedish Academy the difficult road that eventually led to a Nobel-awarding phone call — albeit a few hours late.