AP News Summary at 11:59 a.m. EDT | Nation and World

Biden’s optimism collides with mounting political challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s top political advisers are bracing for big election losses in November. They know the party holding the White House nearly always losses congressional seats in the first midterm election of a new presidency. They also understand that gas prices racing past $5 per gallon on average, inflation exceeding its highest rates in four decades and crime rising in some areas could intensify historic headwinds. So could Biden’s low approval ratings. Some Democrats nonetheless worry the White House hasn’t fully grasped just how bad things may get and so far has been slow to prepare for that possibility.

In Ukraine, funeral for activist killed and mourned in war

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Hundreds of mourners have gathered in Ukraine’s capital for a well-known Kyiv activist who took up arms against Russia’s invasion and was killed. The 24-year-old Roman Ratushnyi had been a teenage protester during months of demonstrations that toppled Ukraine’s pro-Russian leader in 2014. He was also known as an environmental campaigner in Kyiv who led a fight to preserve a wooded park from development. Poppies, the blood-red flowers that cover the battlefields of Europe’s two world wars, were lain in mourning on his coffin at a memorial service. Mourners then walked in a silent column behind his coffin to a vast plaza in central Kyiv where three months of protests overthrew then-President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

Jan. 6 witnesses push Trump stalwarts back to rabbit hole

Instead of convincing Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reassert their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to…

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