153 Palestinians in hospital after Jerusalem holy site clash

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police firing tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets clashed with Palestinian stone-throwers at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site on Monday, the latest in a series of confrontations that is pushing the contested city to the brink of eruption. 

More than a dozen tear gas canisters and stun grenades landed in the Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site, said an Associated Press photographer at the scene.

At least 215 Palestinians were hurt in the violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, including 153 who were hospitalized, Palestinian medics said. Four of the injured were in serious condition. Police said nine officers were hurt, including one who was hospitalized.

Monday's confrontation was the latest in the sacred compound after days of mounting tensions between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the Old City of Jerusalem, the emotional ground zero of the conflict. Hundreds of Palestinians and about two dozen police officers have been hurt over the past few days.

The site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is also considered the holiest site in Judaism. The compound has been the trigger for rounds of Israel-Palestinian violence in the past.

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Capitol rioters make questionable claims about police

PHOENIX (AP) — Joshua Matthew Black said in a YouTube video that he was protecting the officer at the U.S. Capitol who had been pepper sprayed and fallen to the ground as the crowd rushed the building entrance on Jan. 6. 

"Let him out, he's done," Black claimed to have told rioters. 

But federal prosecutors say surveillance footage doesn't back up Black's account. They said he acknowledged that he wanted to get the officer out of the way — because the cop was blocking his path inside.

At least a dozen of the 400 people charged so far in the Jan. 6 insurrection have made dubious claims about their encounters with officers at the Capitol. The most frequent argument is that they can't be guilty of anything, because police stood by and welcomed them inside, even though the mob pushed past police barriers, sprayed chemical irritants and smashed windows as chaos enveloped the government complex. 

The January melee to stop the certification of Joe Biden's victory was instigated by a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump who have professed their love of law enforcement and derided the mass police overhaul protests that shook the nation last year following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

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Hit by COVID, Senegal's women find renewed hope in fishing

BARGNY, Senegal (AP) — Since her birth on Senegal's coast, the ocean has always given Ndeye Yacine Dieng life. Her grandfather was a fisherman, and her grandmother and mother processed fish. Like generations of women, she now helps support her family in the small community of Bargny by drying, smoking, salting and fermenting the catch brought home by male villagers. They were baptized by fish, these women say.

But when the pandemic struck, boats that once took as many as 50 men out to sea carried only a few. Many residents were too terrified to leave their houses, let alone fish, for fear of catching the virus. When the local women did manage to get their hands on fish to process, they lacked the usual buyers, as markets shut down and neighboring landlocked countries closed their borders. Without savings, many families went from three meals a day to one or two. 

Dieng is among more than a thousand women in Bargny, and many more in the other villages dotting Senegal's sandy coast, who process fish — the crucial link in a chain that constitutes one of the country's largest exports and employs hundreds of thousands of its residents.

"It was catastrophic — all of our lives changed," Dieng said. But, she noted, "Our community is a community of solidarity." 

That spirit sounds throughout Senegal with the motto "Teranga," a word in the Wolof language for hospitality, community and solidarity. Across the country, people tell each other: "on es ensemble," a French phrase meaning "we are in this together." 

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Cyberattack on US pipeline is linked to criminal gang

NEW YORK (AP) — The cyberextortion attempt that has forced the shutdown of a vital U.S. pipeline was carried out by a criminal gang known as DarkSide that cultivates a Robin Hood image of stealing from corporations and giving a cut to charity, two people close to the investigation said Sunday.

The shutdown, meanwhile, stretched into its third day, with the Biden administration loosening regulations for the transport of petroleum products on highways as part of an "all-hands-on-deck" effort to avoid disruptions in the fuel supply.

Experts said that gasoline prices are unlikely to be affected if the pipeline is back to normal in the next few days but that the incident — the worst cyberattack to date on critical U.S. infrastructure — should serve as a wake-up call to companies about the vulnerabilities they face.

The pipeline, operated by Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, carries gasoline and other fuel from Texas to the Northeast. It delivers roughly 45% of fuel consumed on the East Coast, according to the company.

It was hit by what Colonial called a ransomware attack, in which hackers typically lock up computer systems by encrypting data, paralyzing networks, and then demand a large ransom to unscramble it. 

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US trashes unwanted gear in Afghanistan, sells as scrap

BAGRAM, Afghanistan (AP) — The twisted remains of several all-terrain vehicles leaned precariously inside Baba Mir's sprawling scrapyard, alongside smashed shards that were once generators, tank tracks that have been dismantled into chunks of metal, and mountains of tents reduced to sliced up fabric. 

It's all U.S. military equipment. The Americans are dismantling their portion of nearby Bagram Air Base, their largest remaining outpost in Afghanistan, and anything that they are not taking home or giving to the Afghan military, they destroy as completely as possible.

They do so as a security measure, to ensure equipment doesn't fall into militant hands. But to Mir and the dozens of other scrap sellers around Bagram, it's an infuriating waste.

"What they are doing is a betrayal of Afghans. They should leave," said Mir. "Like they have destroyed this vehicle, they have destroyed us."

As the last few thousand U.S. and NATO troops head out the door, ending their own 20-year war in Afghanistan, they are deep into a massive logistical undertaking, packing up bases around the country. They leave behind an Afghan population where many are deeply frustrated and angry. They feel abandoned to a legacy they blame at least in part on the Americans — a deeply corrupt U.S.-backed government and growing instability that could burst into brutal new phase of civil war.

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Palestinians fear loss of family homes as evictions loom

JERUSALEM (AP) — When Samira Dajani's family moved into their first real home in 1956 after years as refugees, her father planted trees in the garden, naming them for each of his six children.

Today, two towering pines named for Mousa and Daoud stand watch over the entrance to the garden where they all played as children. Pink bougainvillea climbs an iron archway on a path leading past almond, orange and lemon trees to their modest stone house.

"The Samira tree has no leaves," she says, pointing to the cypress that bears her name. "But the roots are strong."

She and her husband, empty nesters with grown children of their own, may have to leave it all behind on Aug. 1. That's when Israel is set to forcibly evict them following a decades-long legal battle waged by ideological Jewish settlers against them and their neighbors.

The Dajanis are one of several Palestinian families facing imminent eviction in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem. The families' plight has ignited weeks of demonstrations and clashes in recent days between protesters and Israeli police.

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Inside Arizona's election audit, GOP fraud fantasies live on

PHOENIX (AP) — On the floor of Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where Sir Charles Barkley once dunked basketballs and Hulk Hogan wrestled King Kong Bundy, 46 tables are arrayed in neat rows, each with a Lazy Susan in the middle.

Seated at the tables are several dozen people, mostly Republicans, who spend hours watching ballots spin by, photographing them or inspecting them closely. They are counting them and checking to see if there is any sign they were flown in surreptitiously from South Korea. A few weeks ago they were holding them up to ultraviolet lights, looking for a watermark rumored to be a sign of fraud. 

This is Arizona's extraordinary, partisan audit of the 2020 election results in the state's most populous county — ground zero for former President Donald Trump and a legion of his supporters who have refused to accept his loss in Arizona or in other battleground states. Theses ballots have been counted before and certified by the Republican governor. Much of the country has moved on. 

And yet, in this aging arena, Republicans are searching for evidence to support claims they already believe. 

The effort has alarmed voting rights advocates, election administrators and civil rights lawyers at the U.S. Department of Justice, who this past week demanded confirmation that federal security and anti-intimidation laws are being followed. Senate President Karen Fann responded Friday by telling the department it had nothing to worry about. 

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Man kills 6, then self, at Colorado birthday party shooting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a birthday party in Colorado, slaying six adults before killing himself Sunday, police said. 

The shooting happened just after midnight in a mobile home park on the east side of Colorado Springs, police said.

Officers arrived at a trailer to find six dead adults and a man with serious injuries who died later at a hospital, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

The suspected shooter was the boyfriend of a female victim at the party attended by friends, family and children. He walked inside and opened fire before shooting himself, police said. 

The birthday party was for one of the people killed, police said.

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German Catholics to bless gay unions despite Vatican ban

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's powerful Catholic progressives are openly defying a recent Holy See pronouncement that priests cannot bless same-sex unions by offering such blessings at services in about 100 different churches all over the country this week.

The blessings at open worship services are the latest pushback from German Catholics against a document released in March by the Vatican's orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which said Catholic clergy cannot bless same-sex unions because God "cannot bless sin."

The document pleased conservatives and disheartened advocates for LGBTQ Catholics around the globe. But the response has been particularly acute in Germany, where the German church has been at the forefront of opening discussion on hot-button issues such as the church's teaching on homosexuality as part of a formal process of debate and reform. 

The dozens of church services celebrating blessings of gay unions are the latest escalation in tensions between conservatives and progressives that have already sparked alarm, primarily from the right, that part of the German church might be heading into schism. 

Germany is no stranger to schism: 500 years ago, Martin Luther launched the Reformation here.

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Medina Spirit could lose Ky. Derby win; track bans Baffert

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Medina Spirit's victory in the Kentucky Derby is in serious jeopardy because of a failed postrace drug test, one that led Churchill Downs to suspend Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert on Sunday in the latest scandal to plague the sport.

Baffert denied all wrongdoing and promised to be fully transparent with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission during its investigation. Baffert's barn received word Saturday that Medina Spirit had tested positive for an excessive amount of the steroid betamethasone, which is sometimes used to treat pain and inflammation in horses.

Medina Spirit's win over Mandaloun in the Derby stands — for now.

"To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit's results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner," Churchill Downs officials said in a statement shortly after Baffert held a hastily planned morning news conference outside his barn to announce and respond to the allegations.

The track said failure to comply with the rules and medication protocols jeopardizes the safety of horses and jockeys, the sport's integrity and the Derby's reputation.

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