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Biden says debt deal ‘very close’ even as two sides far apart on work requirements

WASHINGTON (AP) — Work requirements for federal food aid recipients have emerged as a final sticking point in negotiations over the looming debt crisis, even as President Joe Biden says a deal is “very close.” Biden’s optimism came as the deadline for a potentially catastrophic default was pushed back to June 5. That seemed likely to drag negotiations between the White House and Republicans over raising the debt ceiling into another frustrating week. Both sides have suggested one of the main holdups is the GOP effort to boost work requirements, which Democrats have strenuously opposed. White House spokesman Andrew Bates called them “cruel and senseless”

Texas’ GOP-held House set for impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Ken Paxton

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ GOP-led House of Representatives is set to hold historic impeachment proceeding against Attorney General Ken Paxton, as the scandal-plagued Republican called on his supporters to protest a vote that could lead to his ouster. The House has scheduled a Saturday afternoon start for debate on whether to impeach and suspend Paxton over allegations of bribery, unfitness for office and abuse of public trust. Paxton has called the impeachment proceedings “political theater” and an attempt to disenfranchise voters who re-elected him in November. On Friday he asked supporters “to peacefully come let their voices be heard at the Capitol tomorrow.”

Thousands of exhausted South Sudanese head home, fleeing brutal conflict

RENK, South Sudan (AP) — Tens of thousands of exhausted people are heading home to the world’s newest country, South Sudan, from a civil war in neighboring Sudan. That’s creating a bottleneck near the dusty border. The international community and the government are scurrying to help, worried about a prolonged conflict. Fighting between Sudan’s military and a rival militia killed at least 863 civilians before a seven-day ceasefire began Monday night. Many in South Sudan are concerned about what could happen if the fighting next door continues. But the most immediate concern is the tens of thousands of South Sudanese returning with no idea how they’ll get to their towns and villages, many unable to afford the trip. Aid groups and the government are stretched for resources to help.

Mechanical sails? Batteries? Shippers forming ‘green corridors’ to fast-track cleaner technologies

Water transport is a cost-efficient way of moving goods and people — but it emits lots of greenhouse gases. The shipping industry produces nearly 3% of the emissions warming the planet. Government and industry leaders hope “green shipping corridors” can bring improvements. These corridors are partnerships along major shipping routes where ports, vessel companies, fuel producers and cargo owners can collaborate. They’re intended to fast-track development of cleaner technologies and operations. More than 20 have been proposed. They’re largely on paper now but are expected to take shape in coming years. A corridor linking ports in Los Angeles and Shanghai, among the world’s busiest routes, was announced in January.

Teen workers are in high demand for summer and commanding better pay

BOSTON (AP) — Teens have long been vital to filling out the summertime staffs of restaurants, ice cream stands, amusement parks and camps. Now, thanks to one of the tightest labor markets in decades, they have even more sway, with an array of jobs to choose from at ever higher wages. To ease the labor crunch, some states are moving to roll back restrictions to let teens work more hours — much to the chagrin of labor rights groups, who see it as a troubling trend. Economists say there are other ways to expand the workforce without putting more of a burden on kids, including by allowing more legal immigration.

A growing number of LGBTQ+ Russians seek refuge from war, discrimination in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Anastasia Domini and wife Anna are part of an increasing number of Russians from the LGBTQ+ community who have decided to leave their homeland to escape discrimination and settle in Argentina, where same-sex marriage has been legal for more than a decade. The Dominis changed their last names in Russia so they could more convincingly pretend to be sisters. A recent Saturday stroll holding hands in Argentina’s capital exemplified how much their life had changed since they moved to the country last year. They may have difficulties with the language there but are able to live openly.

New Mexico shooting victims mourned by their children, 64 grandchildren

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Each of the three women killed last week when indiscriminate gunfire erupted in a residential neighborhood of Farmington, New Mexico, left a unique mark in the community that spanned generations. Altogether, 97-year-old Gwendolyn Dean Schofield, her 73-year-old daughter Melody Ivie and 79-year-old Shirley Voita had 64 grandchildren. Two days of memorial services were held this week to celebrate the three longtime Farmington residents. The bedroom community in northwestern New Mexico is still grieving from the impacts of a rampage by an 18-year-old on the eve of his high school graduation. The May 15 shooting left six others wounded, including two police officers.

EU at the crossroads of fight for environment amid growing opposition to law to restore nature

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has been at the forefront of the fight against climate change and the protection of nature for years. But it now finds itself under pressure from within to pause new environmental efforts amid fears they will hurt the economy. With the next European Parliament elections set for 2024, some leaders and lawmakers are concerned about antagonizing workers and voters with new binding legislation and restrictive measures and are urging the 27-nation bloc to hit the brakes. Measures to extend protection to large swaths of land are a center of controversy.

Cannes closes Saturday with presentation of the Palme d’Or

After 21 world premieres, nearly two weeks of red-carpet parades and hundreds of thousands of camera flashes, the 76th Cannes Film Festival concludes Saturday with the presentation of its top prize, the Palme d’Or. One of cinema’s most sough-after awards will be decided by this year’s jury, presided by two-time Palme winner Ruben Östlund, the Swedish director. The brief ceremony will precede the festival’s closing night film, the Pixar animation “Elemental.” Any of the 21 films that played in Cannes’ main competition lineup can win the Palme. Among the critical favorites of this year’s festival are Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest,” the deadpan Finnish romance “Fallen Leaves,” and the French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.”

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