AP News Summary at 6:27 p.m. EDT

Eroding trust in US elections taxes state investigators

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — As complaints about elections pile up around the country, investigators tasked with dealing with them find themselves on the front line of defending the integrity of elections. In blue states like Oregon and red states like Idaho, elections officials say investigating the complaints is critical for maintaining voter confidence. An Oregon complaints log obtained through a public records request says at least 204 accusations have been filed this year. The complaints included accusations of campaign finance violations, public employees campaigning while on the job, and someone yelling about signs on lawns.

Russian soldiers enter Kherson homes, dig in for urban war

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A resident of the Russian-occupied capital of Ukraine’s Kherson region says soldiers are forcing civilians from their apartments and  moving in themselves. His account of soldiers spreading throughout the city Friday suggested that Russia could be preparing for intense urban warfare as the southern city becomes a growing focus of the war. Russia-installed authorities in Kherson have urged civilians to leave the city in anticipation of Ukrainian advances and say that Russian forces might soon withdraw. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has suggested the Russians were feigning a pullout to lure in Ukrainian army into an entrenched battle.

Trump ally Tom Barrack acquitted of foreign agent charges

NEW YORK (AP) — A Donald Trump loyalist has been acquitted at a federal trial in which he was accused of using his access to the former president to secretly promote the interests of the United Arab Emirates. A jury in Brooklyn deliberated three days before finding Tom Barrack not guilty Friday of acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, obstruction of justice and making false statements. Barrack is a longtime friend of Trump and is a California billionaire who chaired Trump’s inaugural committee. Trump responded to the acquittal in a statement, calling it “Great news for our Country, Freedom, and Democracy.”

AP source: Trump ally appears before Mar-a-Lago grand jury

WASHINGTON (AP) — An aide to former President Donald Trump who has claimed that he was present as Trump declassified broad categories of materials has appeared before a federal grand jury after being given immunity for his testimony. That’s according to a person familiar with the matter. Kash Patel testified Thursday after the Justice Department agreed to grant him immunity and after a federal judge in Washington entered a sealed order to that effect. He had invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during an earlier appearance before the grand jury. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

Widespread Twitter layoffs begin a week after Musk takeover

Twitter has begun widespread layoffs as new owner Elon Musk overhauls the company. The move has raised grave concerns about chaos enveloping the platform as a source of reliable information just days ahead of the U.S. midterm elections. The speed and size of the cuts also opened Musk and Twitter to lawsuits. At least one was filed in San Francisco alleging Twitter has violated federal law by not providing the required notice. The company had told employees by email that they would find out Friday if they had been laid off. It did not say how many of the roughly 7,500 employees would lose their jobs.

Death in CRISPR gene therapy study sparks search for answers

The lone volunteer in a unique study involving a gene-editing technique has died, and those behind the trial are now trying to figure out what killed him. Terry Horgan, a 27-year-old who had Duchenne muscular dystrophy, died last month, according to Cure Rare Disease, a Connecticut-based nonprofit founded by his brother, Rich, to try and save him. Although it’s still unclear what killed him, his death is raising questions about the experiment and the overall prospect of what one ethicist calls designer genetic therapies. The hope for this study was to use a gene-editing tool called CRISPR to treat Horgan’s particular form of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Giant, sustainable rainforest fish is now fashion in America

TRES RIOS, Brazil (AP) — Until recently, the skin of the pirarucu, the largest fish in the Amazon, had no commercial value. The meat was being sustainably fished, but the skin discarded. But a new technique and the fact that the fish are sustainably harvested has delighted boot manufacturers and the fashion industry. Rihanna in her pregnancy shoot for Vogue magazine wore a red fish scale jacket open at her belly. The new trade is a circle of good because the livelihood is helping local people preserve the Amazon rainforest.

‘Slow day:’ Guard emails don’t match Noem border ‘war’ talk

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem described the U.S. border with Mexico as a “war zone” last year when she sent dozens of state National Guard troops there. Noem said they’d be on the front lines of stopping drug smugglers and human traffickers. But newly released records from the National Guard show that in their two-month deployment, the South Dakota troops didn’t seize any drugs and sometimes went days without encountering any migrants at all. Noem justified the deployment and a widely criticized private donation to fund as a state emergency because of drugs making their way across the southern border to South Dakota. But the records cast doubt on whether the deployment was effective in addressing that.

It’s that time: Daylight saving time out, standard time in

WASHINGTON (AP) — A transition is coming this weekend across most of the United States, and it has nothing to do with the election: Daylight saving time is out, standard time is in this weekend. Standard time begins at 2 a.m. local time Sunday and lasts until March 12. Relish the chance to catch up on sleep and remember to set clocks back an hour before going to bed Saturday night. The time change means darkness will arrive earlier in the evening but it will be lighter earlier in the morning than now. Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and most of Arizona do not observe daylight saving time.

New this week: Radcliffe gets weird, ‘Causeway’ and Phoenix

This week’s new entertainment releases include albums by A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Phoenix, Daniel Radcliffe takes on “Weird Al” Yankovic on film and George Lopez’ returns to sitcoms in “Lopez vs. Lopez” opposite his real-life offspring, Mayan Lopez. In her first leading role in four years, Jennifer Lawrence stars in, and produces, “Causeway,” a film drama about a U.S. soldier rehabbing at home in New Orleans after suffering a brain injury in Afghanistan. And the mystery TV drama “Manifest” starts its final goodbye and hopefully gives us answers on Netflix.

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