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Supreme Court strikes New York gun law in major ruling

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Supreme Court strikes New York gun law in major ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a restrictive New York gun law in a major ruling for gun rights.

The justices’ 6-3 decision is expected to ultimately allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation’s largest cities — including New York, Los Angeles and Boston — and elsewhere. About a quarter of the U.S. population lives in states expected to be affected by the ruling, the high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade.

The ruling comes as Congress is actively working on gun legislation following recent mass shootings in Texas,New York and California.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority that the Constitution protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

In their decision, the justices struck down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need for carrying a gun in order to get a license to carry one in public. The justices said the requirement violates the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island all have similar laws likely to be challenged as a result of the ruling. The Biden administration had urged the justices to uphold New York’s law.

Backers of New York’s law had argued that striking it down would ultimately lead to more guns on the streets and higher rates of violent crime. The decision comes at a time when gun violence already on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic has spiked anew.

In most of the country gun owners have little difficulty legally carrying their weapons in public. But that had been harder to do in New York and the handful of states with similar laws. New York’s law, which has been in place since 1913, says that to carry a concealed handgun in public, a person applying for a license has to show “proper cause,” a specific need to carry the weapon.

The state issues unrestricted licenses where a person can carry their gun anywhere and restricted licenses that allow a person to carry the weapon but just for specific purposes such as hunting and target shooting or to and from their place of business.

The Supreme Court last issued a major gun decision in 2010. In that decision and a ruling from 2008 the justices established a nationwide right to keep a gun at home for self-defense. The question for the court this time was about carrying one outside the home.

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Russia fires missiles across Ukraine, cements gains in east

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Russia fires missiles across Ukraine, cements gains in east

By DAVID KEYTON and JOHN LEICESTER

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces were seeking to swallow up the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the eastern Luhansk region, pressing their momentum after taking full control Saturday of the charred ruins of Sievierodonetsk and the chemical plant where hundreds of Ukrainian troops and civilians had been holed up.

Russia also launched dozens of missiles on several areas across the country far from the heart of the eastern battles. Some of the missiles were fired from Russian long-range Tu-22 bombers deployed from Belarus for the first time, Ukraine’s air command said.

The bombardment preceded a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, during which Putin announced that Russia planned to supply Belarus with the Iskander-M missile system.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said late Saturday that Russian and Moscow-backed separatist forces now control Sievierodonetsk and the villages surrounding it. He said the attempt by Ukrainian forces to turn the Azot plant into a “stubborn center of resistance” had been thwarted.

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk province, said Friday that Ukrainian troops were retreating from Sievierodonetsk after weeks of bombardment and house-to-house fighting. He confirmed Saturday that the city had fallen to Russian and separatist fighters, who he said were now trying to blockade Lysychansk from the south. The city lies across the river just to the west of Sievierodonetsk.

Capturing Lysychansk would give Russian forces control of every major settlement in the province, a significant step toward Russia’s aim of capturing the entire Donbas. The Russians and separatists control about half of Donetsk, the second province in the Donbas.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a spokesman for the separatist forces, Andrei Marochko, as saying Russian troops and separatist fighters had entered Lysychansk and that fighting was taking place in the heart of the city. There was no immediate comment on the claim from the Ukrainian side.

Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk have been the focal point of a Russian offensive aimed at capturing all of the Donbas and destroying the Ukrainian military defending it — the most capable and battle-hardened segment of the country’s armed forces.

Russian bombardment has reduced most of Sievierodonetsk to rubble and cut its population from 100,000 to 10,000. The last remaining Ukrainian troops were holed up in underground shelters in the huge Azot chemical plant, along with hundreds of civilians. A separatist representative, Ivan Filiponenko, said earlier Saturday that its forces evacuated 800 civilians from the plant during the night, Interfax reported.

Ukrainian military analyst Oleg Zhdanov said some of the troops were heading for Lysychansk. But Russian moves to cut off Lysychansk will give those retreating troops little respite.

Some 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) to the west, four Russian cruise missiles fired from the Black Sea hit a “military object” in Yaroviv, Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytskyy said. He did not give further details of the target, but Yaroviv has a sizable military base used for training fighters, including foreigners who have volunteered to fight for Ukraine.

Russian missiles struck the Yaroviv base in March, killing 35 people. The Lviv region, although far from the front lines, has come under fire at various points in the the war as Russia’s military worked to destroy fuel storage sites.

About 30 Russian missiles were fired on the Zhytomyr region in central Ukraine on Saturday morning, killing one Ukrainian soldier, regional governor Vitaliy Buchenko said. He said all of the strikes were aimed at military targets.

In the northwest, two missiles hit a service station and auto repair center in Sarny, killing three people and wounding four, the Rivne regional governor, Vitaliy Koval, said. He posted a picture of the destruction. Sarny is located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the border with Belarus.

In southern Ukraine along the Black Sea coast, nine missiles fired from Crimea hit the port city of Mykolaiv, the Ukrainian military said.

In the north, about 20 missiles were fired from Belarus into the Chernihiv region, the Ukrainian military said.

Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said the Russian bombers’ use of Belarusian airspace for the first time for Saturday’s attack was “directly connected to attempts by the Kremlin to drag Belarus into the war.”

Belarus hosts Russian military units and was used as a staging ground before Russia invaded Ukraine, but its own troops have not crossed the border.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that as a war that Moscow expected to last five days moved into its fifth month, Russia “felt compelled to stage such a missile show.”

He said the war was at a difficult stage, “when we know that the enemy will not succeed, when we understand that we can defend our country, but we don’t know how long it will take, how many more attacks, losses and efforts there will be before we can see that victory is already on our horizon.”

During his meeting in St. Petersburg with Lukashenko, Putin told him the Iskander-M missile systems would be arriving in the coming months. He noted that they can fire either ballistic or cruise missiles and carry nuclear as well as conventional warheads. Russia has launched several Iskander missiles into Ukraine during the war.

Following a botched attempt to capture Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, in the early stage of the invasion that started Feb. 24, Russian forces have shifted their focus to the Donbas, where the Ukrainian forces have fought Moscow-backed separatists since 2014.

A senior U.S. defense official, speaking in Washington on condition of anonymity, on Friday called the Ukrainians’ withdrawal from Sievierodonetsk a “tactical retrograde” to consolidate forces into positions where they can better defend themselves. The move will reinforce Ukraine’s efforts to keep Russian forces pinned down in a small area, the official said.

After repeated Ukrainian requests to its Western allies for heavier weaponry to counter Russia’s edge in firepower, four medium-range American rocket launchers arrived this week, with four more on the way.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry released a video Saturday showing the first use of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, in Ukraine. The video gave no location or indication of the targets. The rockets can travel about 45 miles (70 kilometers).

The senior U.S. defense official said Friday that more Ukrainian forces are training outside Ukraine to use the HIMARS and are expected back in their country with the weapons by mid-July. Also to be sent are 18 U.S. coastal and river patrol boats.

The official said there is no evidence Russia has intercepted any of the steady flow of weapons into Ukraine from the U.S. and other nations. Russia has repeatedly threatened to strike, or actually claimed to have hit, such shipments.

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Chicago White Sox drop their 4th straight, falling to the Baltimore Orioles 6-2: ‘You get outplayed, you lose’

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Chicago White Sox drop their 4th straight, falling to the Baltimore Orioles 6-2: ‘You get outplayed, you lose’

Tony La Russa had a simple answer after the latest setback for the Chicago White Sox.

“The problem is whenever we’ve pitched well, they’ve pitched better, whenever we hit, they’ve hit better,” the manager said. “You get outplayed, you lose games.”

The Sox dropped their fourth straight, falling to the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 in front of 29,282 at Guaranteed Rate Field. The Orioles scored four runs in the seventh to pull away.

“They’re pitching us well,” La Russa said. “We’ll figure something else to do. There’s always something else you can do.”

The Sox need to figure it out soon.

They began the four-game series Thursday with an opportunity for some momentum ahead of a West Coast trip and a chance to get back over .500, playing a team that is last in the American League East.

Instead they’ve lost the first three, getting outscored 14-3 in the process. The Orioles (34-39) have one more win than the Sox (33-37).

“It’s part of the ups and downs of a season,” said Sox starter Lance Lynn, who allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits with eight strikeouts and a walk in 6⅔ innings. “You know that you’re going to go through stretches where you’re playing well and you’re going to go through stretches where you’re not playing well.

“As professionals you’ve got to show up and be ready to play the next day, and we’re doing that. Sometimes it doesn’t equate to a win on the field, but we’re giving everything we’ve got and as long as we keep doing that, everybody shows up and gives us what we’ve got, we’re going to be all right.”

Some of the issues that have hurt the team much of this season were on display again Saturday.

The defense had a mistake at a critical time. The Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Jorge Mateo scored on a fielding error by shortstop Leury García.

Offensively, the Sox couldn’t find any sustained success for the third straight day against Orioles pitching. They had six hits and only one in the final five innings. The Sox lost the series opener 4-0 and had just one hit in Friday’s 4-1 defeat.

“They’ve made good pitches,” Sox catcher Reese McGuire said. “They’re attacking the strike zone. It seems they’re getting ahead 0-1, we’re trying to be ready to hit early in the count. I think they’re playing awesome defense. We hit a lot of balls awfully hard in the gaps in the last day or two, and they’ve running them down, making diving catches, down the right-field line.

“(And they’re) keeping us off second on hits when they are getting in the hole. … But I think this team is close to clicking and getting rolling.”

The question becomes how can the Sox get clicking as a whole.

After the start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 21 minutes because of rain, Lenyn Sosa provided a brief spark in his first major-league start. The second baseman made a nice defensive play to catch a sinking line drive for the final out in the top of the third. He reached in the bottom of the inning on an error and scored from first on Luis Robert’s bloop single when the throw back to the infield got away from Orioles shortstop Jorge Mateo.

“I thought Sosa was impressive,” La Russa said. “He’s built a reputation. He’s very sound fundamentally. He’s exciting for us, and you can tell he’s not afraid up here. That’s a positive from today.”

Lynn took a step forward in his third start of the season after returning from right knee surgery in the spring to repair a torn tendon, although the right-hander was more focused on the result.

“It felt like a loss,” he said. “That’s the only way to look at it. We’ve got to be better, I’ve got to finish outings. That’s where I’m at right now. Stuff’s there, I’ve just got to finish outings.”

The Sox trailed 2-1 in the seventh when Lynn faced a bases-loaded challenge after Cedric Mullins reached on an infield hit.

There were two outs and Lynn was at 108 pitches.

“I was confident it was his inning,” La Russa said.

Lynn hit Trey Mancini on the next pitch, bringing home a run to make it 3-1.

“Didn’t finish the outing, and that’s what happens,” Lynn said. “Got to finish, got to make the pitch. Didn’t do it.”

José Ruiz entered and Austin Hays drove in three with a double, essentially putting the game out of reach.

And so a homestand that began with two promising wins against the Toronto Blue Jays wraps up Sunday with the Sox looking to salvage one game against the Orioles.

“No one likes to lose, so they’re going to show up (Sunday) ready to go, and that’s all you ask,” Lynn said. “Put in your work, get ready to go. We’ve got another one (Sunday) and be there for your teammates. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

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Orioles win fourth straight, 6-2 over White Sox, to continue best stretch since 2017: ‘It’s just been so much fun’

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Orioles win fourth straight, 6-2 over White Sox, to continue best stretch since 2017

Despite the long strings of losses the Orioles have endured during his four-year managerial tenure, Brandon Hyde has often praised his team’s ability to metaphorically get hit, then hit back.

In the span of three pitches Saturday, the Orioles did so to clinch a series victory on the road over the Chicago White Sox, downing the reigning American League Central champions, 6-2, to position themselves for a four-game sweep Sunday.

Baltimore (34-39) has won four games in a row for the first time since September 2020 and enjoyed its best 35-game stretch since 2017, going 20-15 since May 19.

“We come to the park every day and expect to win, and that’s not a feeling we’ve had here in a long time,” said Trey Mancini, the club’s longest-tenured player. “It’s just been so much fun.”

The Orioles took a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning, with Jorge Mateo having scored both of their runs on a third-inning home run and a fifth-inning error by shortstop Leury García that allowed him to score from second after a double. With two on and two outs, Cedric Mullins’ swinging bunt loaded the bases for Mancini, who took a Lance Lynn fastball to the side of his left hand. It brought in Baltimore’s third run but left Mancini in pain, prompting him to follow Hyde and head athletic trainer Brian Ebel into the dugout to get examined as the White Sox made a pitching change.

When play resumed, Mancini was at first base, and he scored from there when Austin Hays drove home three with a double on José Ruiz’s second pitch. In 22 games this month, the Orioles have scored at least six runs in half of them.

“I’m seeing guys that are playing with a ton of energy, playing to win,” Hyde said. “I think we’re playing with some confidence right now.”

Mancini recently missed a handful of games after a pitch hit his right hand during a series in Toronto, prompting Hyde to joke that Saturday’s inside fastball “evened it out.” Mancini had his left hand wrapped after the game but said this injury was “definitely better” than the previous one and he’s “not too concerned about it at all.”

A budding pitching staff also continued its run of excellence, with the only run the group surrendered through eight innings being an unearned one in the third against Spenser Watkins, who allowed five hits in five innings. Bryan Baker, Nick Vespi and Dillon Tate each worked a scoreless frame before Tate opened the ninth by hitting a pair of batters, leading to the game’s final run on an RBI groundout to third.

Still, Baltimore’s staff has allowed only four runs in its past 43 innings and has held the opposition to two or fewer runs in seven of the past nine games.

“Obviously, our body of work over the year has been good so far,” Baker said. “It’s pretty awesome to feed off of each other and see one guy after another go out there and try to put up a zero.”

Mancini meets cancer survivor

Before the game, players and coaches from both teams stood on the baselines to recognize 7-year-old cancer survivor and fighter Beau Dowling as part of the “Home Run for Life.” Dowling then sprinted around the bases, high-fiving Orioles players and coaches as he went to first base and members of the White Sox going from third to home.

Once the ceremony was over, Mancini, who missed the 2020 season undergoing treatment for stage 3 colon cancer, stayed at home plate to speak with Dowling and his family.

“It was so cool,” said Mancini, the league’s 2021 Comeback Player of the Year. “I knew that we had a pregame ceremony. I didn’t know what it was, but once I found out, I wanted to go over there after he ran the bases and just tell him that he was awesome. I told him that I had cancer two years ago and I’m doing just fine now and doing well, and I know the same thing is gonna happen for him, too. I just wanted him to know that, but that was really cool to see both teams on the line and his family out there, and it was absolutely incredible to be a part of.”

Around the horn

>> The game began after a 1-hour, 21-minute rain delay.

>> To add Watkins to the roster, the Orioles optioned right-hander Marcos Diplán to Triple-A Norfolk. Infielder Rylan Bannon was also optioned to create room for Jonathan Araúz, who was optioned after he was claimed from the Boston Red Sox on June 15 and thus had to be in the minors for 10 days before being recalled.

>> Diplán, Bannon and catcher Cody Roberts are serving as the Orioles’ taxi squad.

>> Catcher Adley Rutschman and outfielder Anthony Santander received days off, while second baseman Rougned Odor missed a third straight game with a sore back.

[email protected] SOX

Sunday, 2:10 p.m.

TV: MASN

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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