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AP Top News at 7:36 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 7:36 p.m. EST ALTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — Armed government officials with Brazil's justice, Indigenous and environment ministries pressed illegal gold miners out of Yanomami Indigenous territory Wednesday, citing widespread river contamination, famine and disease they have brought to one of the most isolated groups in the world. NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Nevada prosecutors told a judge Wednesday that a former “Dances With Wolves" actor accused of sexually abusing Indigenous women and girls for decades should remain in custody because he was “grooming young children” to replace his older wives when he was arrested last week. The extraordinary scene of U.S. fighter jets getting ready to strike a Chinese balloon had many people along the Carolina coast straining their necks and pointing their smartphones to the sky to capture the moment of impact. MILAN (AP) — The only Black designer belonging to Italy’s fashion chamber withdrew Wednesday from this month’s Milan Fashion Week, alleging a lack of support for diversity and inclusion after the chamber “abandoned” a project to promote young designers of color working in Italy.

AP Top News at 7:36 p.m. EST

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BEIRUT (AP) — For years, the people of Aleppo bore the brunt of bombardment and fighting when their city, once Syria’s largest and most cosmopolitan, was among the civil war’s fiercest battle zones. Even that didn’t prepare them for the new devastation and terror wreaked by this week’s earthquake. The natural disaster piled on many man-made ones, multiplying the suffering in Aleppo and Syria more broadly. Fighting largely halted in Aleppo in 2016, but only a small number of the numerous damaged and destroyed buildings had been rebuilt. The population has also more recently struggled with Syria's economic downslide, which has sent food prices soaring and residents thrown into poverty.

Tyre Nichols documents: Officer never explained stop to him

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) — The officer who pulled Tyre Nichols from his car before police fatally beat him never explained why he was being stopped, newly released documents show, and emerging reports from Memphis residents suggest that was common. The Memphis Police Department blasted Demetrius Haley and four other officers as “blatantly unprofessional” and asked that they be stripped of the ability to work as police for their role in the Jan. 7 beating, according to documents released Tuesday by the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. They also include revelations that Haley took photographs of Nichols as he lay propped against a police car, then sent the photos to other officers and a female acquaintance.

PARIS (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sought Western support for his country in surprise visits to Britain and France on Wednesday, pushing for fighter jets to battle Russian invaders in a dramatic speech to the U.K. Parliament, and then flying to Paris to meet the French and German leaders over dinner at the Elysee Palace. On Thursday, Zelenskyy will join EU leaders at a summit in Brussels, which German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described as a “signal of European solidarity and community.” Zelenskyy's European tour and pleas for more advanced weapons came as Ukraine braces for an expected Russian offensive and hatches its own plans to retake land held by Moscow's forces.

Residents can return after air deemed safe from derailment

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — Evacuated residents can return to the Ohio village where crews burned toxic chemicals after a train derailed five days ago near the Pennsylvania state line now that monitors show no dangerous levels in the air, authorities said Wednesday. Around-the-clock testing inside and outside the evacuation zone around the village of East Palestine and a sliver of Pennsylvania showed the air had returned to normal levels that would have been seen before the derailment, said James Justice of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Hundreds and hundreds of data points we’ve collected over the time show the air quality is safe," he said.

ALTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — Armed government officials with Brazil's justice, Indigenous and environment ministries pressed illegal gold miners out of Yanomami Indigenous territory Wednesday, citing widespread river contamination, famine and disease they have brought to one of the most isolated groups in the world. People involved in illegal gold dredging streamed away from the territory on foot. The operation could take months. There are believed to be some 20,000 people engaged in the activity, often using toxic mercury to separate the gold. An estimated 30,000 Yanomami people live in Brazil’s largest Indigenous territory, which covers an area roughly the size of Portugal and stretches across Roraima and Amazonas states in the northwest corner of Brazil’s Amazon.

Probe into US Olympic failings stunted by red tape in DC

DENVER (AP) — More than 27 months since it was greenlighted by Congress, the panel established to investigate the inner workings of the U.S. Olympic structure has yet to conduct a formal interview because of bureaucratic red tape and slow action from the same lawmakers who had expressed a pressing need for better oversight. Two Olympics — the Summer Games in Tokyo and Winter Games in Beijing — have come and gone since the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics was signed into law and charged with looking into, among other topics, the handling of sex-abuse cases that were mismanaged for decades.

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Nevada prosecutors told a judge Wednesday that a former “Dances With Wolves" actor accused of sexually abusing Indigenous women and girls for decades should remain in custody because he was “grooming young children” to replace his older wives when he was arrested last week. The new details in the criminal case against Nathan Chasing Horse, who played young Sioux tribe member Smiles a Lot in Kevin Costner’s 1990 Oscar-winning film, were revealed in a packed North Las Vegas courtroom before Justice of the Peace Craig Newman set bail at $300,000 and called the 46-year-old a danger to the community.

This year's Super Bowl features a rare matchup of the NFL’s top two teams from the regular season. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs were the league's only 14-game winners, marking just the sixth time since the 1970 merger that the squads with sole possession of the two best records in the regular season met for the championship. The last time it happened came after the 2013 season when Seattle beat Denver 43-8 in a matchup of 13-win teams. That blowout was relatively typical of these meetings, with the average margin of victory in the previous five powerhouse matchups being 21 points.

As jets closed in on China balloon, hobbyists were listening

WASHINGTON (AP) — The extraordinary scene of U.S. fighter jets getting ready to strike a Chinese balloon had many people along the Carolina coast straining their necks and pointing their smartphones to the sky to capture the moment of impact. But a group of aviation enthusiasts was, instead, intently scanning radio frequencies for the exchanges between the pilots who would follow as Huntress, NORAD’s eastern air defense sector controller, tracked the exact distance as two Air Force F-22 fighter jets closed in on the target. The pilots had to balance striking the balloon when it was at least six miles (10 kilometers) offshore — the distance NASA had advised the military allow to keep debris from falling on land — with ensuring it was still in U.S.

MILAN (AP) — The only Black designer belonging to Italy’s fashion chamber withdrew Wednesday from this month’s Milan Fashion Week, alleging a lack of support for diversity and inclusion after the chamber “abandoned” a project to promote young designers of color working in Italy. Stella Jean interrupted a press conference by the Italian National Fashion Chamber to announce that neither she nor five members of the We Are Made in Italy collective of designers of color would participate in fashion week. She also said she had started a hunger strike Wednesday out of concern members of WAMI, an initiative launched in 2020 on the heels of the Black Lives Matter movement, could suffer a professional backlash for her activism.

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