AP news roundup at 12:58 a.m. EST

Southwest Airlines flight cancellations continue to snowball

DALLAS (AP) — Families hoping to catch a Southwest Airlines flight after days of cancellations, misplaced luggage and lost family connections are experiencing another wave of canceled flights. Another 2,500 flights will be removed from the arrival and departure boards on Wednesday with more expected later in the day. Exhausted travelers look for alternative routes with other airlines, on the ground by rental car or by train, or simply give up. According to the FlightAware tracking service, more than 91% of all canceled flights in the US on Wednesday morning were from Southwest, which has been unable to recover from ferocious winter storms that battered much of the country over the weekend. of week.

NY Rep.-elect Santos under investigation for lying about his past

NEW YORK (AP) — The Nassau County District Attorney’s office is now investigating US Representative-elect George Santos of New York. The fact adds to a growing uproar over revelations that the Republican lied about his inheritance, education and professional life when he successfully campaigned for the United States Congress. Despite growing doubts about his suitability for federal office, Santos has so far shown no sign of stepping back, even as he has publicly admitted to a long list of fabrications. He is scheduled to be sworn in on Tuesday. If he takes office, he could face investigations by the House Ethics Committee and the Justice Department.

Lack of information about the COVID outbreak in China raises global concerns

BEIJING (AP) — Moves by the US, Japan and other countries to order COVID-19 tests for passengers arriving from China reflect global concern that new variants could emerge in their ongoing explosive outbreak, and it is the government may not inform the rest of the world quickly. enough. There have been no reports of new variants to date. But given the country’s track record, the concern is that China won’t share data on signs of evolving strains that could spark new outbreaks elsewhere.

Fire at casino hotel on Cambodian border leaves at least 10 dead

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodian police say a fire at a hotel casino has killed at least 10 people and injured 30 others. Videos posted on social media showed people apparently jumping out of windows. to escape the fire at the Grand Diamond City Casino and Hotel in a city on the border with Thailand. Thailand sent fire trucks to help fight the blaze that started Wednesday night and was still burning Thursday morning. The Banteay Meanchey province police chief said 360 emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene and rescue teams were searching for the victims. He said the cause of the fire is still unknown. Thai PBS said 50 Thais were trapped in the casino complex and local hospitals were treating patients.

EXPLANATION: Democratic Kansas governor imposes TikTok ban

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly became one of the first Democratic governors to ban the use of TikTok on state-issued devices. Her action on Wednesday to restrict the popular social media app comes five days after Congress passed the $1.7 trillion spending bill that banned TikTok on most US government-issued devices. USA for employees. Republican governors in at least 15 states have imposed such restrictions. In Louisiana on Monday, the state’s administration commissioner, a Republican appointee from the Democratic governor, imposed restrictions with the governor’s approval. Kelly cites the same concerns other officials have about the security and privacy of user data.

The new year is expected to bring more changes to state voting laws

An explosion of new election-related legislation followed former President Donald Trump’s lies about losing the 2020 presidential election due to fraud. Next year is shaping up to be another busy year for state legislatures seeking to change election laws. Democrats are preparing bills that would make voting easier in Michigan and Minnesota, two states where they gained control of the state chambers in November. In Texas, nearly 100 voting-related bills have already been filed previously. Some seek to increase access to the ballot box while others seek to further restrict it. Ohio is another Republican-controlled state where lawmakers continue to push for restrictions.

Judge Orders Longest Jail Sentence Yet in Gov. Whitmer Plot

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Delaware trucker described as the architect of the conspiracy to kidnap the Michigan governor has been sentenced to more than 19 years in prison. The sentence announced Wednesday is the longest yet handed down to anyone convicted in the plot. Prosecutors had sought life in prison for Barry Croft Jr., 47, who was the fourth and final federal defendant to learn his fate. Judge Robert J. Jonker described him as “the guy with the idea” behind the plot and called him “a very convincing communicator” to people who were open to his views. Croft and his accomplice Adam Fox were convicted in August of conspiracy in Grand Rapids. Fox was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years behind bars.

Vatican says retired Pope Benedict XVI’s health is ‘getting worse’

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The health of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has worsened in recent hours and doctors are constantly monitoring his condition, the Vatican said. Pope Francis called on the faithful on Wednesday to pray for his “very sick” predecessor “until the end.” A Vatican spokesman said Francis had gone to visit Benedict XVI, 95, at the monastery on Vatican grounds where he has lived since he retired in February 2013. The spokesman said Benedict’s situation “because of the moment is still under control.” Benedict was the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. Earlier, Francis turned away from prepared remarks to ask the faithful to pray for the retired pontiff. Benedict has grown increasingly fragile in recent years as he devoted his later life to the papacy in prayer and meditation.

Mexico attracts more asylum seekers despite horrific violence

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico has become the world’s third most popular destination for asylum seekers after the United States and Germany, despite its widespread violence. Bloodshed and inequality drive many Mexicans to seek a better life in the United States. But for others, Mexico offers a measure of peace and prosperity beyond what is available in their home countries. A safe and robust asylum system in Mexico eases pressure on the United States, which is looking more to other governments to manage migration. A US Supreme Court ruling issued Tuesday upholds the pandemic-era asylum limits for now.

Pelé spent about 1 month in the hospital with no sign of improvement

SAO PAULO (AP) — One of Pele’s daughters says she and her family are going through moments of sadness and despair as the 82-year-old Brazilian soccer great’s hospitalization approaches the month of hospitalization. The three-time World Cup winner’s cancer has progressed and doctors at Albert Einstein hospital recently said he is under “high care” related to “kidney and heart dysfunctions”. Pelé entered the Sao Paulo facilities on November 29. The hospital has not released any updates in the past week. Kely Nascimento says on social networks “These moments are difficult to explain. Sometimes it’s a lot of sadness and despair, at other times we laugh and talk about funny memories.”

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