Palestinian teen wounds 2, day after 7 killed in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli authorities say a 13-year-old Palestinian attacker has shot and wounded at least two people in east Jerusalem. The shooting on Saturday occurred less than a day after another attacker killed seven people outside a synagogue there in the deadliest attack in the city since 2008. The surge in violence marks the latest major escalation in one of the bloodiest months in Israel and the occupied West Bank in years. Earlier this week, the Israeli military killed nine Palestinians in a West Bank raid. The events, just a day before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in the region, pose a pivotal test for Israel’s new far-right government.

How to fix a howitzer: US offers help line to Ukraine troops

A MILITARY BASE IN SOUTHEASTERN POLAND (AP) — A rapidly expanding group of U.S. and allied troops and contractors are using phones and tablets to communicate in encrypted chatrooms to provide real-time maintenance advice to Ukrainian troops on the battlefield. As the U.S. and other allies provide a growing number of increasingly complex and high-tech weapons, the maintenance demands are expanding. There were just a bit more than 50 members of what they call the remote maintenance team just a few months ago. That will surge to 150 in the coming weeks, and the number of encrypted chat lines has more than tripled — from about 11 last fall to 38 now.

‘He’s close to us’: Wheelchair users in Africa await pope

GOMA, Congo (AP) — When Pope Francis arrives in Congo and South Sudan next week, thousands of people will take special note of a gesture more grounded than the sign of the cross. Watching from their wheelchairs, they will relate to the way he uses his. The pope began using a wheelchair last year. He is visiting two countries where years of conflict have disabled many. And yet Congo and South Sudan are among the world’s most difficult places to find accessibility and understanding. Among wheelchair users, his visit is heartening Catholics and non-Catholics alike. “He’s close to us,” one South Sudanese says.

Japan firm opens whale meat vending machines to push sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid protests from conservationists, has found a new way to cultivate clientele: whale meat vending machines. The Kujira (Whale) Store, an unmanned outlet that recently opened in the port town of Yokohama near Tokyo, houses three vending machines for whale sashimi, whale bacon, whale skin and whale steak, as well as canned whale meat. Prices range from $7.70 to $23. Japan resumed commercial whaling in 2019 after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission. Conservationists say whale meat is no longer part of the daily diet in Japan, especially for younger generations.

Sabalenka beats Rybakina for Australian Open women’s title

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka has won her first Grand Slam title by coming back to beat Elena Rybakina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Australian Open women’s final. Sabalenka used 17 aces to help overcome seven double-faults Saturday in her first championship match at a major tournament. The 24-year-old Sabalenka is from Belarus. She improved to 11-0 in 2023. The only set she has dropped all season was the opener on Saturday against Wimbledon champion Rybakina. But Sabalenka put that behind her quickly and used her aggressive style to turn things around in the last two sets.