Kansas protects abortion, Kentucky flooding, McKinney Fire: 5 things to know Wednesday

Kansas protects abortion, Kentucky flooding, McKinney Fire: 5 things to know Wednesday

Kansas upholds right to abortion as Tuesday’s primaries wrap up

In the nation’s first statewide vote on abortion after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Kansas voters upheld the right to abortion late Tuesday night as primary elections unfolded in five states. Even in heavily red districts where former President Donald Trump held double-digit margins in 2016 and 2020, voters overwhelmingly chose to protect abortion rights. Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab noted significantly high voter turnout in the state, nearly reaching 50% — a number typically seen in a November midterm election. Races for elected office in many other states are still waiting on results to come in. Trump is looking at mixed results in his effort to defeat three House Republicans who impeached him over the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021. Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., was losing a Republican primary early Wednesday to Trump-backed challenger John Gibbs. Trump-backed Blake Masters, calling to finish the former president’s controversial border wall and resume his agenda if he is elected, won the Arizona GOP Senate primary. 

Heat brings new concerns in eastern Kentucky flooding; death toll hits 37

Nearly a week has passed since flooding devastated eastern Kentucky, and high temperatures and humid conditions forecasted for Wednesday are creating new obstacles for thousands of residents who no longer have power, water or are in temporary housing. At least 37 people have died in what the governor called “one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky’s history.” Hundreds of people are still unaccounted for after nearly a foot of rain last week led to intense flash floods, sweeping away entire houses and stranding residents on roofs. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state was creating eight cooling centers for those in need, including the thousands of people still without power. 

First cargo ship to leave Ukraine in 5 months expected to reach Turkey

The first cargo ship to leave Ukraine in more than five months is expected to reach Istanbul Wednesday, according to Turkish Rear Admiral Ozcan Altunbulak. The ship carrying grain left the port of Odesa on Monday thanks to a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey. Another 16 are waiting to follow, with more to come. The agreement allows the country to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural goods that have been stuck in Black Sea ports for months because of a Russian blockade. As part of the deal, Russia will be able to export grain and fertilizer. The carrier was initially scheduled to arrive in Turkey Tuesday, but it ran into bad weather in the Black Sea. 

McKinney Fire continues burning in Northern California

The McKinney Fire in Northern California, the largest blaze in the state this year, continues to burn in the region.  Two more bodies were found within the burn zone, raising the death toll to four. More than 100 homes, sheds and other buildings have been damaged since the fire erupted Friday. Authorities said blaze remained out of control and was the largest of several wildfires in the Klamath National Forest.Search teams discovered the additional bodies Monday at separate residences along State Route 96, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said. Two bodies were also found Sunday inside a charred vehicle in the driveway of a home near the tiny unincorporated community of Klamath River, which sustained major damage in the McKinney Fire, sheriff’s officials said.

Senators to discuss Taiwan Policy Act after Pelosi visits the self-governing island 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will discuss the Taiwan Policy Act Wednesday, a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in the self-governing island. The package, which has bipartisan support, would provide Taiwan with nearly $4.5 billion in security assistance over the next four years and provide other support for its democratic government and civil society. If passed, it would also classify Taiwan as a “major non-NATO ally,” which opens the door to more security and trade benefits. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement minutes after Pelosi landed Tuesday that condemned her visit as “a serious violation” of the one-China principle that maintains Taiwan is part of China. In an op-ed published the same day in The Washington Post, Pelosi said her trip should be seen as “an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom.” 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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