Some of those left behind after the U.S. military’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan say they are scared the ruling Taliban will find them, throw them in jail, perhaps even kill them because they are Americans or had worked for the U.S. government. Through messages, emails and phone conversations with loved ones and rescue groups, AP has pieced together what life has been like for some families of permanent U.S. resident green card holders, who described a frightened, furtive existence of hiding in houses and apartments, keeping the lights off at night and moving from place to place every few days.
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The head of Russia's second-largest political party is alleging widespread violations in the election for a new national parliament, in which his party is widely expected to gain seats. Communist Party head Gennady Zyuganov said on Saturday —the second of three days of voting — that police and the national elections commission must respond to reports of “a number of absolutely egregious facts” including ballot-stuffing in several regions. The Golos election-monitoring movement and independent media also reported violations including vote-buying and lax measures for guarding ballots at polling stations. The United Russia party, which is loyal to President Vladimir Putin, appears certain to retain dominance in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.
In the city of Khabarovsk in Russia's Far East. a few demonstrators gather nightly in a chronic reminder of mass protests last year demanding the release of the region's former governor, Sergei Furgal. He was arrested on charges of being involved in murders of businessmen over a decade ago. His Kremlin-appointed replacement, Mikhail Degtyaryov, is on the ballot for governor in three days of voting that ends Sunday and coincides with the national election for parliament. The race, which includes three other lightly regarded candidates, will be closely watched to gauge how much anger remains against the Kremlin in the region, located seven time zones east of Moscow.
The board that oversees Arizona’s most populous county has scheduled a special Friday afternoon meeting where members may announce whether they will comply with a state Senate subpoena to hand over its computer routers to contractors conducting an unprecedented partisan review of 2020 election results. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a decision last month that Maricopa County must comply with the subpoena issued by Republican Senate President Karen Fann or lose about $700 million in yearly state funding.
South Dakota legislative leaders are distributing a petition to lawmakers asking them to support a special session to consider impeaching Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg for a car crash last year that killed a pedestrian. House Speaker Spencer Gosch released the text of the petition. Two-thirds of both the House and Senate must support it to convene the special session. Lawmakers would meet in November, the day after they are scheduled to hold a special session to consider new legislative districts. The attorney general pleaded no contest to a pair of misdemeanors last month.
New Yorkers will be able to avoid jail time for most nonviolent parole violations under a new law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The law signed Friday largely eliminates New York’s practice of incarcerating people for technical parole violations that include being late to an appointment with a parole officer, missing curfew, changing a residence without approval, and failing to attend a mandated program. Supporters say incarcerating people for technical parole violations is costly and fuels recidivism. The Republican minority in the Legislature has accused Democrats of focusing more on perpetrators of crimes than victims.
Minnesota regulators have ordered Enbridge to pay more than $3 million for allegedly violating state environmental law by piercing a groundwater aquifer during construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline. The state Department of Natural Resources says Enbridge, while working near Clearbrook in January, dug too deeply into the ground and pierced an artesian aquifer, which resulted in a 24 million gallon groundwater leak and endangered nearby wetlands. Enbridge did not immediately return a call for comment Friday. The company's 340-mile Line 3 pipeline will carry Canadian crude across northern Minnesota to the company’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The pipeline, opposed by environmental groups and some Ojibwe tribes, is 90% complete.
The Dutch defense minister has resigned, a day after parliament passed a motion of censure against her for her handling of chaotic evacuations from Kabul of translators who worked for Dutch forces in Afghanistan. Ank Bijleveld is the second minister in the Netherlands’ caretaker coalition government to resign over the evacuations, following Foreign Affairs Minister Sigrid Kaag. The foreign minister resigned immediately after a parliamentary censure motion was passed Thursday night. Bijleveld initially said she would remain in office but quit Friday afternoon amid political debate about why she refused to follow Kaag’s example.
The man who might oust Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from power advertised himself a year ago as a “true-blue conservative” who would “take back Canada” when he became his party’s leader. Instead, Erin O’Toole has tried to pull the Conservative Party toward the political center, especially in the weeks since Trudeau called a snap federal election. Polls show O’Toole's Conservatives could defeat the prime minister's Liberal Party on Monday. Critics describe him as a two-faced politician who would say and do anything to get elected. O’Toole calls himself a Conservative leader with a new, more inclusive style. "We’re not your dad’s Conservative Party anymore," he told a crowd in Quebec this week.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned Britain that there will be no U.S.-U.K. trade deal unless Britain solves post-Brexit problems that risk destabilizing Northern Ireland’s peace. Britain and the European Union are at odds over trade arrangements that have imposed checks on goods coming to Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K. They were agreed by both sides in their divorce deal to keep an open border between the north and EU member Ireland — a key pillar of Northern Ireland’s peace process. Britain now says the new checks are onerous and wants to rewrite the agreement. On a visit to London, Pelosi said a trans-Atlantic trade deal was “very unlikely” if the peace process suffers.