AP news recap at 2:31 p.m. EDT | nation and world

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Royal fans are giving London tourism a boost amid Britain’s economic woes

LONDON (AP) – Hotels, restaurants and shops are packed as royal fans flock to the heart of London to experience the flag-lined streets, pompous processions and face a mile-long queue for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II. Visitors flocking to central London from as far afield as the US and India for this historic moment are giving business a boost as the UK economy faces a cost of living crisis, fueled by the highest inflation in four decades and forecasts an impending recession. The macroeconomic upswing is likely to be limited as Monday was declared a public holiday due to the Queen’s funeral. However, experts said renewed interest in the royal family could support tourism demand.

king stands guard; Wait for the queen’s coffin to hit 24 hours

LONDON (AP) – A heaving tide of people – from London pensioners to former England football captain David Beckham – have queued to pass Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin as it lies in Parliament. So many have turned up that authorities on Friday put a temporary halt to adding others to the kilometer-long line. The queue reopened late Friday afternoon. Still, the British government has warned that the wait to see the Queen’s coffin has risen to more than 24 hours. King Charles III attended Llandaff Cathedral in Wales on Friday for a prayer service in honor of his late mother. Later that evening, Charles and his three siblings stood guard in front of the Queen’s flag coffin in London.

Ukrainian President: Tomb Contains Torture Victims

IZIUM, Ukraine (AP) – Investigators searching a mass gravesite in Ukraine have found evidence some of the dead were tortured, including bodies with broken limbs and ropes around their necks. That’s what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday. The site near Izium was recently recaptured by Russian forces. It appears to be one of the largest of its kind discovered in Ukraine. Zelenskyy released a video statement just hours after the exhumations began, apparently to underscore the gravity of the discovery.

Military intelligence chief says Putin can’t reach Ukraine’s target

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon’s intelligence chief says Russian forces have proved unable, as of today, to achieve President Vladimir Putin’s original goals in Ukraine. Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier addressed an intelligence and national security forum outside of Washington on Friday. He said Putin has come to a point where he needs to revise his original intentions in invading Ukraine. Berrier said what Putin decides next will determine how long the conflict lasts. His comments followed the recent major backlash by Russian forces, a Ukrainian offensive that had driven the Russians out of much of north-eastern Ukraine. Putin promised on Friday to continue his offensive.

Voter challenges, records flood polling stations

Election conspiracy theorists flood local polling stations with voter challenges and public records. The spate of inquiries adds to the already heavy workload these offices face as they prepare for November’s elections. Election officials say many of the challenges they receive deny the presence on voter rolls of people who are already being removed or have the right to be registered. At the very least, it will take some time for the electoral offices to grasp all the challenges. And if some of the target voters cast their ballots in November, there could be a dispute over whether their votes should be counted.

Abrams’ Strategy for Increasing Voter Turnout: Early Voting Commitments

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is making intense efforts to get the ballot by asking potential supporters to cast ballots in person during the first week of early voting while she tries to validate the new election laws of the state to navigate. The strategy, outlined by Abrams’ top advisers to The Associated Press, is a shift from 2018, when she lavishly spent money in her first gubernatorial bid to encourage voters to use mail-in ballots. It also moves away from Democrats’ pandemic-era emphasis on voting by mail, a push that handed Georgia’s electoral votes to President Joe Biden and helped Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff win simultaneous runoffs in the US Senate.

US asks appeals court to overturn judge’s Mar-a-Lago inquiry

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to overturn a judge’s order that temporarily prevented it from reviewing a stack of classified documents seized in an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home last month . The department filed the application Friday in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. It said the judge’s arrest hampered the “government’s efforts to protect the security of the nation” and hampered its investigation into the presence of top secret information at Mar-a-Lago. It is said that the hold must be lifted immediately so that work can be resumed.

Trump openly welcomes and reinforces QAnon conspiracy theories

Donald Trump increasingly embraces and supports the QAnon conspiracy theory, even as the number of frightening real-world events linked to the movement mounts. On his Truth Social platform this week, Trump posted a picture of himself with the words “The storm is coming” overlaid on dozens of recent Q-related posts from the former Republican president, who also ended a rally with a QAnon song .Experts studying QAnon say Trump may be trying to rally his most loyal supporters as investigations into his behavior escalate.

Biden meets with families of Whelan, Griner at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden met with family members of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another American jailed in Russia, Paul Whelan. Friday’s meetings at the White House are the first face-to-face encounters between the President and the families of Griner and Whelan. Administration officials say the sessions are meant to underscore Biden’s commitment to bringing home Americans held abroad and making a personal connection, but are not an indication that negotiations with Russia over their release have achieved a breakthrough. A national security spokesman told reporters Friday that the US had made a serious offer to bring Americans home, but the Russians had not responded to that offer.

Surprises are an integral part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took the playbook of another Republican, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, to a new level by catching officials in Martha’s Vineyard flat-footed with two planeloads of Venezuelan migrants. An immigration lawyer says the migrants have “no idea where they’re going or where they’ve been”. Divulging little or no information is part of the plan: On Friday, the migrants were voluntarily transferred to a military base on nearby Cape Cod for housing.

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