AP News Summary at 3:18 p.m. EST

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Election scrutiny high, but US votes without major hitches

Americans voted without major hitches Tuesday in midterm elections receiving intense scrutiny after two years of false claims and conspiracy theories about how ballots are cast and counted. Since the last nationwide election two years ago, former President Donald Trump and his allies have succeeded in sowing distrust about voting by promoting false claims of widespread fraud. Despite voters and officials being on edge, there were no widespread problems reported early on, though there were hiccups with tabulation machines and late-arriving workers in some places, which is common on any Election Day.

Trump ally faces election defender in Arizona governor race

PHOENIX (AP) — The appeal of Donald Trump’s movement will be put to the test Tuesday in the race for governor of Arizona. Republican Kari Lake says she would not have certified the 2020 election results. The former news anchor’s television-ready demeanor, confrontations with journalists and combative message for Democrats made the first-time candidate a rising star on the right. Lake faces Democrat Katie Hobbs, the secretary of state who rose to prominence defending the integrity of President Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, where he eked out the smallest margin of any state he won two years ago.

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Michigan, Kentucky among states with abortion on ballot

WASHINGTON (AP) — Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the nationwide right to abortion this summer, lawmakers in a dozen states have passed near-total bans and the issue has been thrust to the center of races around the country. But the only direct test of how voters feel about abortion law after Roe v. Wade has been in Kansas, where voters soundly rejected a push to eliminate state constitutional protections for abortion. Now, five more states will get a gauge of voter sentiment about abortion, from deep-red Kentucky to purple Michigan to blue California.

Powerball ticket sold in California snags record $2.04B win

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Someone who bought a Powerball ticket in Southern California has won a record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot. The winning numbers drawn Tuesday morning at the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee were: white balls 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56, and the red Powerball was 10. The jackpot ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, northeast of Los Angeles. The business will receive a maximum Powerball bonus of $1 million. The Multi-State Lottery Association said Monday night’s scheduled drawing was delayed by nearly 10 hours until Tuesday because a participating lottery had issues processing sales. The jackpot was by far the largest lottery jackpot ever won, topping the previous record $1.586 billion prize won by three Powerball ticketholders in 2016.

Zelenskyy open to talks with Russia — on Ukraine’s terms

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president has suggested he’s open to peace talks with Russia but is sticking to Kyiv’s demands. Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s appeal to the international community to “force Russia into real peace talks” reflected a softening of his refusal to negotiate with Moscow while Russian President Vladimir Putin is in power. But Zelenskyy’s preconditions appear to be non-starters for Moscow, so it’s hard to see how his latest comments would advance any talks. Western weapons and aid have been key to Ukraine’s ability to fight off Russia’s invasion. Support for Ukraine has garnered strong bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress, but growing conservative opposition could complicate that if Republicans take control of the House in Tuesday’s elections.

Treaty against fossil fuels floated at UN climate summit

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The leader of the small island nation of Tuvalu has proposed a treaty against fossil fuels as world leaders make the case for tougher action to tackle global warming. Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano said the world should confront climate change the way it does nuclear weapons, by agreeing to a non-proliferation treaty that stops further production of fossil fuels. The proposal came as vulnerable nations pushed for more action and money at international climate talks in Egypt. But big polluters remained divided over who should pay for the damage industrial greenhouse gas emissions have done to the planet.

Tropical Storm Nicole churns toward Bahamas, Florida

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Nicole is forecast to strengthen to a hurricane as it churns toward the northwestern Bahamas and Florida’s Atlantic coastline. A range of warnings and watches remained in place Tuesday throughout the region. Nicole is expected to cross the Bahamas later Tuesday and strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall in Florida on Wednesday night or Thursday. Many areas are still reeling from damage caused by Hurricane Ian, which struck in late September. The hurricane center says Nicole’s exact path remains uncertain but some Florida counties — including Palm Beach and Volusia — have called for mandatory evacuations beginning Wednesday morning.

Wall Street drifts ahead of election results, inflation data

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mixed in tentative trading as Wall Street braces for the results from the day’s midterm elections and a big update on inflation that’s due later in the week. With Americans heading to the polls across the country Tuesday amid high inflation and worries about a possible recession, analysts say investors appear to be making bets for Republicans to gain control of at least one house of Congress. That combined with a Democratic White House could lead to little getting done in Washington, which may be bad for society but could also keep the status quo on economic policy.

Review: In ‘Wakanda Forever,’ an empire mourns and rebuilds

Made in the wake of tragedy, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” reverberates with the agony of loss, piercing the usually less consequential superhero realm. Like someone going through the stages of grief, Ryan Coogler’s movie is at turns mournful and rootless, full of rage and blessed with clarity, Associated Press Film Writer Jake Coyle writes in his review. In the fantastical Marvel Cinematic Universe where mortality is almost always a plaything, wrestling with the genuine article, in the death of T’Challa star Chadwick Boseman, makes for an unusually uncertain, soul-searching kind of blockbuster-scale entertainment. “Wakanda Forever” opens in theaters Thursday.

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