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AP News in Brief at 6:04 a.m. EDT


S. Korea in shock, grief as 151 die in Halloween crowd surge

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Concerned relatives raced to hospitals in search of their loved ones Sunday as South Korea mourned the deaths of at least 151 people, mostly in their teens and 20s, who got trapped and crushed after a huge Halloween party crowd surged into a narrow alley in a nightlife district in Seoul.

Witnesses said the crowd surge in the Itaewon area on Saturday night caused “a hell-like” chaos as people fell on each other “like dominos.” Some people were bleeding from their noses and mouths while being given CPR, witnesses said, while others clad in Halloween costumes continued to sing and dance nearby, possibly without knowing the severity of the situation.

“I still can’t believe what has happened. It was like a hell,” said Kim Mi Sung, an official at a non-profit organization that promotes tourism in Itaewon.

Kim said she performed CPR on 10 people who were unconscious and nine of them were declared dead on the spot. Kim said the 10 were mostly women wearing witch outfits and other Halloween costumes.

The crowd surge is the country’s worst disaster in years. Tens of thousands of people were believed to have gathered in Itaewon for Halloween festivities. Witnesses said the streets were so densely clogged with people and slow-moving vehicles that it was practically impossible for emergency workers and ambulances to reach the alley near Hamilton Hotel swiftly.


Russia suspends Ukraine grain deal over ship attack claim

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia announced Saturday that it will immediately suspend its implementation of a U.N.-brokered grain deal that has seen more than 9 million tons of grain exported from Ukraine during the war and has brought down soaring global food prices. Ukraine accused Russia of creating a world "hunger games.”

The Russian Defense Ministry cited an alleged Ukrainian drone attack Saturday against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ships moored off the coast of occupied Crimea as the reason for the move. Ukraine has denied the attack, saying that the Russians mishandled their own weapons.

The Russian declaration came one day after U.N. chief Antonio Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine to renew the grain export deal, which was scheduled to expire on Nov. 19. Guterres also urged other countries, mainly in the West, to expedite the removal of obstacles blocking Russian grain and fertilizer exports.

The U.N. chief said the grain deal — brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July — helps "to cushion the suffering that this global cost-of-living crisis is inflicting on billions of people,” his spokesman said.

U.N. officials were in touch with Russian authorities over the announced suspension.


Pelosi attack shocks country on edge about democracy threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — An America that can already feel like it’s hurtling toward political disintegration has been jolted yet again, this time by the violent attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi less than two weeks before Election Day.

Seizing a hammer and leaving a trail of broken glass, an intruder broke into the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday and repeatedly struck Paul Pelosi, 82. He had surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, and his doctors expect a full recovery, the speaker’s office said.

The assailant confronted Paul Pelosi by shouting, “Where is Nancy,” according to another person familiar with the situation who was granted anonymity to discuss it. The Democratic congresswoman was in Washington at the time.

The calling out of her name was a sign that the assault could have targeted the lawmaker, who as speaker is second in line to the presidency. The ambush was a particularly savage reminder of the extremism that has coursed through American politics in recent years, adding to a sense of foreboding with the Nov. 8 election nearly at hand.

Armed watchers are staking out ballot drop boxes in Arizona to guard against false conspiracies about voter fraud. Threats against members of Congress have risen to historic levels. Public opinion surveys show fears for a fragile democracy and even of a civil war. Former President Donald Trump continues to deny that he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden, and his acolytes are attempting to consolidate their power over future elections.


What is known about the attack on Speaker Pelosi's husband

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home in San Francisco and severely beat her 82-year-old husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer early Friday while the Democratic lawmaker was in Washington.

Paul Pelosi had surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, and his doctors expect a full recovery, the speaker’s office said. In a letter to congressional colleagues Saturday night, Nancy Pelosi said her husband's condition “continues to improve.”

David DePape, 42, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary, police said.

“This was not a random act. This was intentional. And it’s wrong,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said.

The violence was the latest jolt to an increasingly splintered political system that is riven with extremism.


Brazil's polarizing Bolsonaro-Lula contest goes to voters

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilians vote Sunday in a polarizing presidential runoff election that pits an incumbent vowing to safeguard conservative Christian values against a former president promising to return the country to a more prosperous past.

The runoff shaped up as a close contest between President Jair Bolsonaro and his political nemesis, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Both are well-known, divisive political figures who stir passion as much as loathing.

The vote will determine if the world’s fourth-largest democracy stays the same course of far-right politics or returns a leftist to the top job — and, in the latter case, whether Bolsonaro will accept defeat.

More than 120 million Brazilians are expected to cast ballots, but because the vote is conducted electronically, the final result is usually available within hours after voting stations close in late afternoon. Most opinion polls gave a lead to da Silva, universally known as Lula, though political analysts agreed the race grew increasingly tight in recent weeks.

For months, it appeared that da Silva was headed for easy victory as he kindled nostalgia for his 2003-2010 presidency, when Brazil's economy was booming and welfare helped tens of millions join the middle class.


Somalia's president says at least 100 killed in car bombings

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia’s president says at least 100 people were killed in Saturday’s two car bombings at a busy junction in the capital and the toll could rise in the country's deadliest attack since a truck bombing at the same spot five years ago killed more than 500.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, at the site of the explosions in Mogadishu, told journalists that nearly 300 other people were wounded. “We ask our international partners and Muslims around the world to send their medical doctors here since we can't send all the victims outside the country for treatment," he said.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group, which often targets the capital and controls large parts of the country, claimed responsibility, saying it targeted the education ministry. It claimed the ministry was an “enemy base” that receives support from non-Muslim countries and “is committed to removing Somali children from the Islamic faith.”

Al-Shabab usually doesn’t make claims of responsibility when large numbers of civilians are killed, as in the 2017 blast, but it has been angered by a high-profile new offensive by the government that also aims to shut down its financial network. The group said it is committed to fighting until the country is ruled by Islamic law, and it asked civilians to stay away from government areas.

Somalia’s president, elected this year, said the country remained at war with al-Shabab “and we are winning.”


Philippine storm victims feared tsunami, ran toward mudslide

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Victims of a huge mudslide set off by a storm in a coastal Philippine village that had once been devastated by a killer tsunami mistakenly thought a tidal wave was coming and ran to higher ground where they were buried alive by the boulder-laden deluge, an official said Sunday.

At least 18 bodies, including those of children, have been dug out by rescuers in the vast muddy mound that now covers much of Kusiong village in southern Maguindanao province, among the hardest-hit by Tropical Storm Nalgae, which blew out of the northwestern Philippines early Sunday.

Officials fear 80 to 100 more people, including entire families, may have been buried by the deluge or washed away by flash floods in Kusiong between Thursday night and early Friday, according to Naguib Sinarimbo, the interior minister for a Muslim autonomous region run by former separatist guerrillas.

Nalgae, which had a vast rain band, left at least 61 people dead in eight provinces and one city in the Philippine archipelago, including in Kusiong, and a trail of destruction in one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

The catastrophe in Kusiong, populated mostly by the Teduray ethnic minority group, was particularly tragic because its more than 2,000 villagers have carried out disaster-preparedness drills every year for decades to brace for a tsunami because of a deadly history. But they were not as prepared for the dangers that could come from Mount Minandar, where their village lies at the foothills, Sinarimbo said.


Powerball grand prize climbs to $1B without a jackpot winner

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Powerball jackpot keeps getting larger because players keep losing.

It happened again Saturday night as no one matched all six numbers and won the estimated $825 million grand prize. That means the next drawing Monday night will be for a massive $1 billion, according to a statement by Powerball.

The winning numbers Saturday night were: white balls 19, 31, 40, 46, 57 and the red power ball 23.

The increased jackpot will be the second-largest in U.S. history. The biggest prize was a $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot won by three ticketholders in 2016.

Although the advertised top prize will be an estimated $1 billion, that is for winners who receive their winnings through an annuity paid over 29 years. Winners almost always opt for cash, which for Monday’s drawing will be an estimated $497.3 million.


Flashy Dubai will cash in on a World Cup a short flight away

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The FIFA World Cup may be bringing as many as 1.2 million fans to Qatar, but the nearby flashy emirate of Dubai is also looking to cash in on the major sports tournament taking place just a short flight away.

Some soccer fan clubs have already said they'll be commuting to Qatar during the cup on 45-minute flights from Dubai, the skyscraper-studded, beachfront city-state in the United Arab Emirates. Other fans plan to sleep on cruise ships or camp out in the desert amid a feverish rush for rooms in Doha.

Dubai's airlines, bars, restaurants, shopping malls and other attractions now hope to benefit, further boosting their rebounding tourism industry in the crucial fall and winter months after the blows delivered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you can’t stay in Qatar, Dubai is the place you’d most like to go as a foreign tourist,” said James Swanston, a Middle East and North Africa expert at Capital Economics. “It’s somewhere safe, somewhere more liberal in terms of Western norms. It’s the most attractive destination.”

Now home to the world's tallest building, cavernous malls — including one with an indoor ski slope — and thriving nightclub scene, Dubai has seen explosive growth fueled by its boom-and-bust real estate market that's transformed the one-time pearling village over the last 20 years.


Astros burst ahead, beat Phillies 5-2, tie World Series 1-1

HOUSTON (AP) — Framber Valdez swapped his glove and his spikes midgame. He repeatedly rubbed his hands.

By the time he strode off the mound to a standing ovation and handed the Houston Astros' bullpen a seventh-inning lead, it was clear he had thrown a curve at the Philadelphia Phillies.

“This was a really good game for the fans, a really good game for our team and also for me," he said through a translator after pitching the Astros over the Phillies 5-2 Saturday night to tie the World Series at one game apiece. “I’ve just been playing really inspired.”

Valdez made a five-run lead stand up after Houston’s lightning first-inning burst and Alex Bregman homered as the Astros rushed to a 5-0 lead for the second straight night. Unlike ace Justin Verlander in the opener, Valdez and Houston held on.

“His curveball was on tonight,” Phillies star Bryce Harper said after going 0 for 4. "It was big, sharp.”

The Associated Press