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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed laws absorbing four Ukrainian regions into Russia, a move that finalizes the annexation carried out in defiance of international law. Earlier this week, both houses of the Russian parliament ratified treaties making the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions part of Russia. The formalities followed Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” in the four regions that Ukraine and the West have rejected as a sham.

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News that Elon Musk has agreed to proceed with his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter after all may feel like a big surprise. But it wasn’t all that surprising to experts who have observed the monthslong legal battle between Musk and Twitter. The news sent shares of the social media platform soaring and stoked alarm among some media watchdogs and civil rights groups. Twitter has been trying to compel the world’s richest man to consummate the buyout he proposed in April. A combination of gambles or missteps by Musk and potential advantages that didn’t pan out made his hand appear weak in the looming trial.

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As Hurricane Ian flooded Naples, Florida, one man went to rescue his 86-year-old mom from her home after she had refused to evacuate. He sent photos and short videos to his family, letting them know he was OK. That's how Johnny Lauder ended up unintentionally documented the whole rescue. His mom Karen had lost a leg and requires a wheelchair. As the waters rose, she called her son for help. Lauder swam, waded and walked about a half mile to her. Several hours later, the water subsided enough for him to push her through the streets to safety.

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President Joe Biden is traveling to hurricane-ravaged Florida with a pledge that federal, state and local governments will work as one to help rebuild homes, businesses and lives. Biden plans to put politics on mute for now to focus on those in need during his tour Wednesday afternoon of Fort Myers, Florida. Biden plans to meet with residents and small business owners, and to thank government officials providing emergency aid and removing debris. Joining Biden in Florida will be two of his most prominent Republican critics, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott.

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FILE - K. Barry Sharpless points to a sample used in his work, as he stands on the balcony outside of his home office in La Jolla, Calif. on O…

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This year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded in equal parts to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless for developing way of “snapping molecules together.” Hans Ellegren, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, announced the winners Wednesday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. A week of Nobel Prize announcements kicked off Monday with the award in medicine honoring a scientists who unlocked the secrets of Neanderthal DNA. Three scientists jointly won the prize in physics Tuesday for showing that tiny particles can retain a connection with each other even when separated.

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