Ian swamps southwest Florida, trapping people in homes
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the U.S., swamped southwest Florida, flooding streets and buildings, knocking out power to 2 million people and threatening catastrophic damage further inland. A coastal sheriff’s office reported that it was already getting a significant number of calls from people trapped in flooded homes. Some video showed debris-covered water sloshing toward the eaves of homes. The hurricane made landfall Wednesday afernoon near Cayo Costa, a protected barrier island just west of heavily populated Fort Myers. Though expected to weaken to a tropical storm as it marches inland, Ian’s hurricane force winds are likely to be felt well into central Florida.
Russia poised to annex occupied Ukraine after sham vote
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia has positioned itself to formally annex parts of Ukraine after occupied areas held a Kremlin-orchestrated “referendum” — denounced as illegal and rigged by Kyiv and the West — to live under Moscow’s rule. Armed troops had gone door-to-door with election officials to collect ballots in five days of voting. The results were widely ridiculed as implausible and characterized as a land grab by an increasingly cornered Russian leadership following embarrassing military losses in Ukraine. Russia is calling up 300,000 reservists to fight in the war and warned it could resort to nuclear weapons. The European Commission pr