Michigan GOP governor nominee Dixon picks running mate

Michigan Republican gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon has chosen former state Rep. Shane Hernandez of Port Huron as her running mate in her bid to unseat Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Hernandez served two terms in the Michigan House ending in 2020, when he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House. He chaired the powerful budget-writing House Appropriations Committee for one term. Dixon said in a statement Friday that “Hernandez as lieutenant governor will help to improve our schools, create safer communities and improve our economy.” Hernandez said Dixon’s “vision is the right one for Michigan."

Russia, Ukraine spar over fighting near nuclear facility

A fire at a munitions depot inside Russia forced the evacuation of two villages near the border with Ukraine, while two civilians were reported wounded by Russian shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as both sides traded accusations about fighting near the facility in southern Ukraine. The fire late Thursday struck the munitions storage building near the village of Timonovo in Russia’s Belgorod region on Ukraine’s northeastern border. About 1,100 people live in Timonovo and Soloti, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) from the border. No one was hurt, said Belgorod regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov on Friday.

Spielberg among donors in $22M Kansas campaign on abortion

Abortion opponents and abortion rights advocates together spent more than $22 million on a ballot question this month in Kansas, and famed film director and producer Steven Spielberg contributed to the successful effort to affirm abortion rights. The campaign was over a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution that would have allowed the Republican-controlled Legislature to further restrict or ban abortion. Finance reports filed by 40 groups and individuals with the state showed that abortion rights supporters spent $11.3 million on their campaign to defeat the measure. Abortion opponents who pushed the measure spent nearly $11.1 million. Spielberg and his actress wife Kate Capshaw each contributed $25,000 to the no campaign.

Relationship with Cuomo daughter led to trooper's transfer

New York's inspector general says a state trooper should have been disciplined for being romantically involved with a daughter of Andrew Cuomo while he served on the former governor’s security detail. The watchdog report released Friday comes more than two years after the relationship was discovered by top police brass and former Trooper Dane Pfeiffer was transferred to a post about 150 miles north of the governor’s mansion in Albany. The inspector general's report does not conclude Cuomo did anything wrong but faults state police for not following their own procedures after finding out about the relationship.

Russia's Gazprom to shut gas pipeline to Europe for 3 days

Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom says a key pipeline conveying natural gas to Europe will shut down for three days at the end of this month to undergo “routine maintenance.” In a statement Friday, Gazprom said the only operational turbine at a key compressor station along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which links western Russia and Germany, will shut down from Aug. 31 to Sept 2. Gazprom said once work is completed, the flow of gas through Nord Stream 1 will resume at its prior level, which is just 20% of the pipeline’s capacity. Germany has called previous gas reductions a political move by the Kremlin to sow uncertainty and push up prices amid the conflict in Ukraine.

Nicaraguan police detain bishop, other priests in raid

Nicaraguan police have raided the residence of a Roman Catholic bishop, detaining him and several other people holed up inside for two weeks. Friday's pre-dawn raid came after Nicaraguan authorities accused Matagalpa Diocese Bishop Rolando Álvarez of allegedly “organizing violent groups” and inciting them “to carry out acts of hate against the population.” President Daniel Ortega’s government has moved systematically against voices of dissent. Dozens of political opposition leaders were arrested last year, including seven potential candidates to challenge him for the presidency. He has also increasingly clashed with the Catholic church, Nicaragua's predominant religion and the main independent institution.

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