AP News Summary at 11:47 p.m. EST

Biden signs gay marriage law, calls it ‘a blow against hate’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has signed gay marriage legislation into law. A celebratory crowd of thousands bundled up on a chilly Tuesday afternoon on the South Lawn of the White House to watch the joyful ceremony, which was tempered by the backdrop of an ongoing conservative backlash over gender issues. Biden says, “This law and the love it defends strike a blow against hate in all its forms.” Singers Sam Smith and Cyndi Lauper performed. Vice President Kamala Harris recalled officiating at a lesbian wedding in San Francisco. Lawmakers from both parties attended the ceremony, reflecting the growing acceptance of same-sex unions, once among the country’s most contentious issues.

EXPLAINER: Why fusion could be a clean-energy breakthrough

A major advance in fusion research announced in Washington on Tuesday was decades in coming. Scientists say that for the first time, they’ve been able to engineer a reaction that produced more power than was used to ignite it. The breakthrough at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California used powerful lasers focusing enormous energy on a tiny capsule filled with fuel. But researchers and outside experts acknowledge it will likely take decades more before fusion might one day be used to produce nearly limitless carbon-free energy.

US poised to approve Patriot missile battery for Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say the Biden administration is poised to approve sending a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine, finally agreeing to an urgent request from Ukrainian leaders desperate for more robust weapons to shoot down incoming Russian missiles. The officials said the approval is likely to come later this week and could be announced as early as Thursday. Three officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision is not final and has not been made public. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pressed Western leaders as recently as Monday to provide more advanced weapons to help his country in its war with Russia. The Patriot would be the most advanced surface-to-air missile system the West has provided to Ukraine.

FTX founder charged in scheme to defraud crypto investors

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. government charged Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, with a host of financial crimes on Tuesday. Federal prosecutors allege he intentionally deceived customers and investors to enrich himself and others, while playing a central role in FTX’s multibillion-dollar collapse. The indictment says that beginning in 2019 Bankman-Fried devised “a scheme and artifice to defraud” FTX’s customers and investors, diverting their money to pay expenses and debts at his crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research, and to make lavish real estate purchases and large political donations. Separately, the SEC filed civil charges against Bankman-Fried, alleging he defrauded investors and used proceeds to buy real estate for himself and his family.

Massive US storm brings tornadoes to South, blizzard threat

DALLAS (AP) — A massive storm blowing across the country has spawned several tornadoes that wrecked buildings and injured a handful of people in Oklahoma and Texas. Tornados also left two people missing in Louisiana. Meanwhile, much of the central United States braced Tuesday for blizzard-like conditions, from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest. Some tornado damage was reported in Oklahoma. Authorities in South Dakota and Nebraska shut down interstates due to freezing rain, drifting snow and high winds. The severe weather threat also continues into Wednesday for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Lawmakers announce ‘framework’ on bill to keep gov’t open

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers leading the negotiations on a bill to fund the federal government for the current fiscal year say they’re reached agreement on a “framework” that should allow them to complete work on the bill over the next week and avoid a government shutdown. Congress faces a midnight Friday deadline to pass a spending bill to prevent a partial government shutdown. The two chambers are expected this week to pass a short-term measure to keep the government running until Dec. 23, which should give negotiators time to complete work on the full-year spending bill.

Australian police investigate extremist views of cop killers

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australian police are investigating the extremist views of three people who shot and killed two officers and a neighbor at a rural property before they were killed hours later by police in a gunfight. In all, six people died in the violence Monday in Queensland state. The killers have been identified as former school principal Nathaniel Train, his brother Gareth and sister-in-law Stacey. Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said late Tuesday that investigators would look at the possible extremist links of the killers after a series of posts under the name of Gareth Train were found on conspiracy theory forums.

Oregon governor commutes all 17 of state’s death sentences

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has announced she is commuting the sentences of all of the state’s 17 inmates awaiting execution. She said Tuesday that their death sentences will be changed to life in prison without the possiblity of parole. With less than a month to go in office, Brown said she is using her executive clemency powers to commute the sentences. Oregon has not held an execution since 1997. In her first news conference after becoming governor in 2015, the Democrat announced she would continue the moratorium on the death penalty imposed by her predecessor, former Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Argentina erupts in joy after team reaches World Cup final

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The streets of Argentina have turned into a party as the national team beat Croatia by a comfortable 3-0 and earned this soccer-crazed South American country a spot in the World Cup final.  Fans poured out onto the streets of the capital of Buenos Aires as soon as the match ended, with people waving Argentina flags out of their cars and people took over whole streets as they jumped and sang in joy amid a sea of wearing the national team’s jersey. Earlier, Buenos Aires had come to a standstill as fans packed cafes, restaurants and public plazas, where giant screens showed exploits of the Lionel Messi-led national team.

Alex Ovechkin reaches 800 career goals with hat trick

CHICAGO (AP) — Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin has become the third NHL player to score 800 career goals. He scored three times at Chicago on Tuesday night. Ovechkin scored on his first two shots, beating Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek 24 seconds into the game before stuffing one home on a power play with 11:46 left in the first period. The 37-year-old winger then completed his 29th career hat trick when he sent a rebound over a sprawled Mrazek 6:34 into the third. The rest of the Capitals poured onto the ice to celebrate after the historic goal, and the United Center crowd responded by throwing their hats down and chanting of “Ovi! Ovi!” Washington beat Chicago 7-3.

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