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International

Blinken says some of Hamas’ proposed changes to a cease-fire plan in Gaza are workable and some not

BEIRUT (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that mediators will keep trying to close an elusive cease-fire deal after Hamas proposed numerous changes to a U.S.-backed plan. He said Wednesday that some of the changes were “workable” and some not. The back-and-forth laid bare frustration over the difficulty of reaching an accord that can bring an end to eight months of war that has decimated Gaza, killed tens of thousands of Palestinians and left scores of Israeli hostages still languishing in militant captivity. Previous moments of optimism have been repeatedly dashed by the differences between the two sides.

Wreck of the last ship of famed Anglo-Irish explorer Shackleton found

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland (AP) — The wreck of the last ship belonging to a famous Irish-born British explorer of Antarctica has been found off the coast of Canada by an international team led by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. The Quest was found using sonar scans on Sunday evening, sitting on its keel under 390 meters — about 1,280 feet — of churning, frigid water. The society said Wednesday that its towering mast is lying broken beside it, likely cracked off as the vessel was sucked into the depths after it struck ice on May 5, 1962. Sir Ernest Shackleton’s death aboard the ship in 1922 marked the end of what historians consider the “heroic age” of Antarctic exploration.

9 killed in Russian aerial attacks on Ukraine ahead of G7 summit

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces have launched new deadly attacks on Ukraine, killing at least nine people a day before a high-profile meeting where leaders of countries that are some of Ukraine’s biggest backers are to discuss how to slow Moscow’s offensive. Ukrainian authorities say that along with the nine killed, 29 people were wounded when Russian missiles hit an apartment block in Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hometown, on Wednesday. He says the strike has again proven the need for the West to help strengthen Ukrainian air defenses.

France’s Macron defends decision on snap legislative elections

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron has defended his decision to call snap parlimentary elections after his party’s crushing defeat in the European parliamentary vote. Macron has a presidential mandate until 2027. He insisted he believes voters will ultimately choose the “progressive bloc” over the far-right. He has called for moderate politicians from the left and the right to regroup with his own centrist alliance to defeat the far-right. Macron addressed French voters for the first time since he called for a snap national election following a crushing defeat of his party by the far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen. He said “I don’t believe at all that the worst can happen … I’m an indefatigable optimist.”

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