Russia widens social media crackdown by blocking Instagram

Russian regulators said internet users will be blocked from accessing Instagram because it’s being used to call for violence against Russian soldiers. It’s Moscow’s latest move to restrict the reach of foreign social platforms. The regulator said Friday it’s tightening access to Instagram because the platform is spreading “calls to commit violent acts against Russian…

Republican ‘unforced errors’ threaten path to Senate control

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican missteps that include intense infighting are threatening the GOP’s path to the Senate majority. Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey dealt his party its latest setback by announcing he would not challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly this fall. But the GOP’s shortcomings extend well beyond Arizona. Republican candidates in virtually every major…

Bird flu confirmed in chicken flock in southeastern Missouri

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Federal inspectors have confirmed the presence of bird flu in a flock of commercial broiler chickens in southeastern Missouri’s Stoddard County. The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the discovery in a news release Friday. The USDA says Missouri officials have quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the properties will be…

Live updates: BBC temporarily halts operations inside Russia

LONDON — The BBC says it is temporarily suspending the work of all its journalists in Russia after the country’s lawmakers approved legislation criminalizing reporting of the war in Ukraine that differs from the government line. Tim Davie, director-general of the British broadcaster, said the legislation “appears to criminalize the process of independent journalism.” He…

Moscow: Nearly 500 of its troops have been killed in Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry says 498 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine and 1,597 wounded. Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov rejected reports about “incalculable losses” of the Russians as “disinformation” on Wednesday and reported Moscow’s casualties for the first time since the start of the attack last Thursday.…

State of the Union: Amid disputes, common cause for Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — As lawmakers gather for President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address, they are finding common ground in support of Ukraine. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a rare bipartisan condemnation from Congress and resolve in defense of the Western-oriented democracy. This in a Capitol still largely shuttered from the COVID-19…