ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Paolo Banchero scored 23 points and Garry Harris made all six of his 3-point shots and added 22 points as the Orlando Magic held off a late rally and beat the Indiana Pacers 126-120 on Wednesday night.
Bennedict Mathurin came off the Pacers’ bench to score 26 points for the second straight game, and Myles Turner added 22 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana, which was coming off a 116-110 win over Chicago a night earlier. Buddy Hield hit his first five 3-point shots and finished with 21 points.
Wendell Carter Jr. had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic. Orlando made 15 of 28 attempts from 3-point range and shot 56% overall.
The Pacers fell behind 11-0 and never led, losing for the eighth time in nine games since NBA assist leader Tyrese Haliburton went out with a sprained left knee and sprained left elbow.
Banchero scored 13 points in the Magic’s 46-point first quarter in which they shot 64% and built a 17-point lead.
Hield hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter as the Pacers got back within two points before trailing 73-68 at halftime.
Orlando regained a double-digit lead just before the third-quarter buzzer on Franz Wagner’s layup after a length-of-court pass from Jalen Suggs.
The Magic went back up by 17 points early in the fourth quarter, before Indiana closed within four in the final minute.
Pacers: Hield finished with six 3s and raised his NBA-leading total to 191. … Haliburton missed his eighth straight game, but might play Friday night. … G Andrew Nembhard missed a second game due to illness.
Magic: F Jonathan Isaac, playing in his second game since missing two-and-a-half seasons with a torn left ACL, had five points and two assists in eight minutes. … Franz Wagner was the only starter who also started the last game against Indiana, on Dec. 16.
Pacers: Host Milwaukee on Friday night.
Magic: At Miami on Friday night.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For Tuesday’s “UnPHILtered” Storm Track 8’s Chief Meteorologist Ashley Brown sheds some light on a few topics.
Brown breaks down the process of covering the weather and talks snow prediction for Tuesday evening.
Brown also discusses how to deal with the unexpected in reporting the weather.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Several senior Ukrainian officials, including front-line governors, lost their jobs Tuesday in a corruption scandal plaguing President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government as it grapples with the nearly 11-month-old Russian invasion.
Ukraine’s biggest government shake-up since the war began came as U.S. officials said Washington was poised to approve supplying Kyiv with M1 Abrams tanks, with international reluctance eroding toward sending tanks to the battlefront against the Russians.
Zelenskyy was elected in 2019 on an anti-establishment and anti-corruption platform in a country long gripped by graft, and the new allegations come as Western allies are channeling billions of dollars to help Kyiv fight against Moscow.
Officials in several countries, including the United States, have demanded more accountability for the aid, given Ukraine’s rampant corruption. While Zelenskyy and his aides portray the resignations and firings as proof of their efforts to crack down, the wartime scandal could play into Moscow’s political attacks on the leadership in Kyiv.
On the capital’s streets, Serhii Bochkarev, a 28-year-old translator, welcomed the moves.
“Corruption during war is totally unacceptable because people are giving their lives to fight Russians and to defend the motherland,” he said.
The shake-up even touched Zelenskyy’s office. Its deputy head, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, prominent for his frequent battlefield updates, quit as the president pledged to address allegations of graft — including some related to military spending — that embarrassed authorities and could slow Ukraine’s efforts to join the European Union and NATO.
Tymoshenko asked to be relieved of his duties. He didn’t cite a reason.
Local media said Deputy Defense Minister Viacheslav Shapovalov also resigned, in connection with a scandal involving the purchase of food for Ukraine’s armed forces. Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko also quit.
In all, four deputy ministers and five governors of front-line provinces were set to leave their posts, the country’s cabinet secretary said on the Telegram messaging app.
Authorities did not announce any criminal charges. There was no immediate explanation.
The departures thinned government ranks already diminished by the deaths of the interior minister, who oversaw Ukraine’s police and emergency services, and others in the ministry’s leadership in a helicopter crash last week.
Tymoshenko joined the presidential office in 2019 after working on Zelenskyy’s media strategy during his presidential campaign. He was under investigation in connection with his personal use of luxury cars and was among officials linked in September to the embezzlement of humanitarian aid worth more than $7 million earmarked for the southern Zaporizhzhia region. He has denied the allegations.
On Sunday, a deputy infrastructure minister, Vasyl Lozynsky, was fired for alleged participation in a network embezzling budget funds. Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency detained him while he was receiving a $400,000 bribe for helping to fix contracts for restoring facilities battered by Russian missile strikes, according to Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. He was put under house arrest, told to surrender his passport, ordered to wear a monitoring device, and told not to communicate with witnesses.
In a video address Tuesday, Zelenskyy said, “Any internal problems that hinder the state are being cleaned up and will be cleaned up. It is fair, it is necessary for our defense, and it helps our rapprochement with European institutions.”
Analysts say his message was that corruption won’t be tolerated.
“It’s very hard to save the country when there’s a lot of corruption,” Andrii Borovyk, the executive director of Transparency International Ukraine, a nonprofit organization that fights corruption, told The Associated Press.
Ukrainian political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko told AP the shake-up was “intended to remind officials of the entire (power) vertical that the authorities plan to continue to fight corruption in Ukraine, especially during the war, when literally everything in the country is in short supply.”
Fesenko, head of the Kyiv-based Penta Center independent think tank, said Ukrainian authorities and Western officials couldn’t “turn a blind eye on latest scandals.” He said the corruption involved supplies for the army so the shake-up was “intended to calm Western partners and show Brussels and Washington that their aid is being used effectively.”
Transparency International, in its 2021 report on worldwide corruption, ranked Ukraine 122 out of 180 countries, with 180 representing the most corrupt. Russia ranked even lower, 136.
Entrenched corruption long has made foreign investors and governments wary of doing business with Ukraine. Allegations by Ukraine’s journalists and nonprofits about corruption at high levels of government, in courts and in business have lingered under Zelenskyy, despite a proliferation of anti-corruption panels and measures, according to a U.S. State Department 2020 country report.
A major corruption scandal could endanger the tens of billions of dollars the U.S. and its allies are pouring into Ukraine to keep Ukraine’s fighters armed, civil servants paid and the lights on. It could risk sinking what has been bipartisan popular and political support for Ukraine from the United States.
“We welcome the quick action that President Zelenskyy is taking in this case, as well as the effective action of Ukraine’s anti-corruption institutions, civil society, and media, to ensure effective monitoring and accountability of public procurement and to hold those in positions of public trust to account,” the White House National Security Council said in a statement.
Last June, the EU agreed to put Ukraine on a path toward membership in the bloc. To join, countries must meet economic and political conditions, including a commitment to the rule of law and other democratic principles.
Ukraine has applied to join NATO, too, but the military alliance is not about to offer an invitation, because of the country’s contested borders, defense establishment shortcomings and, in part, its corruption issues.
Meanwhile, in what would be a reversal, U.S. officials said the Biden administration is set to approve sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The decision that could be announced as soon as Wednesday, though it could take months or years for the tanks to be delivered.
The U.S. announcement is expected in coordination with Germany stating that it will approve Poland’s request to transfer German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, according to one official. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not yet been made public.
German officials declined to comment on the reports of a deal. The news weekly Der Spiegel reported Tuesday, without citing a source, that Germany will provide Ukraine with at least one company of Leopard 2 tanks from its own army’s stock.
Zelenskyy, in his video address Tuesday, appeared concerned that the number of tanks to be sent would be insufficient. “It is not about five, or ten, or 15 tanks. The need is greater,” he said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is due on Wednesday to address lawmakers, many of whom have been pressing the government to join allies in providing the tanks.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Tuesday the Poles — and other Western allies he didn’t identify — are already training Ukrainian soldiers in Poland on the Leopards.
Also on Tuesday, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto suggested his country may consider joining NATO without neighboring Sweden if Turkey blocks their joint bid to enter the military alliance. Although he later backpedaled, his comments were the first by a senior official in either Nordic country raising doubts about becoming NATO members together while the alliance is seeking to present a united front to counter Russia’s invasion.
Sweden and Finland rushed to apply for NATO membership following Moscow’s invasion, abandoning their long-standing nonalignment policy. Their accession needs the approval of all NATO members, including Turkey, which has blocked the expansion, saying Sweden must crack down on exiled Kurdish militants and their sympathizers.
Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia, Malak Harb in Kyiv, and Ellen Knickmeyer, Lolita C. Baldor and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — 27 people have been shot so far in the month of January in Indianapolis.
Mayor Joe Hogsett says the Office of Public Safety and Health plans to do more this year to address gun violence.
Some action items are looking at state gun laws and doing more community outreach.
The mayor says the city’s approach is working. Hogsett said the city saw a 16% decline in criminal homicides last year, but the mayor admits more need to be done.
“I think most importantly for families that continue to be impacted by violence, the only number that truly matters to them is one, the one whom they’ve lost and I’m sensitive to how a report of progress may sound to those families,” Hogsett said.
Hogsett said the city plans to take what it learned in 2022 and apply it to the gun violence reduction strategy.
That identifies individuals who are at very high risk of being involved in gun violence and employs intensive interventions. It emphasizes investing in the community through grassroots efforts.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Tuesday’s “All Indiana” Titus Bakery and Deli joined News 8 to share some tasty pastries.
Titus Bakery is located in Lebanon and Westfield, Indiana.
Visit their website here.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Tuesday’s “Kid-ing with Kayla” we are getting a first hand look at what is known as “Mom Guilt”.
On “All Indiana” Kayla walks through these guilty parenting laments by narrating them like a news reporter.
For more “Kid-ing with Kayla, follow Kayla Sullivan on Facebook or click the “Kid-ing with Kayla” tab on wishtv.com.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Native Charles Browning joined “All Indiana” Tuesday to talk about his appearance on Broadway in August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson”.
The stage production tells the story of a fight between brother and sister over a piano, an heirloom with the faces of their ancestors carved into it.
Browning plays “Avery, a preacher pursuing the sister who may sell the heirloom piano.
Browning’s dream as a child was to have a career as an actor and inspire inner-city youth like himself to reach greatness.
Enjoy the full video interview.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Writer, actor, model and motivational speaker, Monti Washington joined News 8’s “All Indiana” Tuesday.
Washington is living out his dreams from humble beginnings to center state in Hollywood. He has spent years building his career and appearing in numerous commercials and independent films.
Washington has had roles on the BET series “The Games People Play” and Tyler Perry’s “Bruh”. He has recently played the leading role in a “Jenkins Family Christmas” on BET, and has also worked with Tyler Perry for his show, “Bruh” playing “Bill Frazier” as an actor.
Enjoy the full video interview.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Food and Drug Administration will weigh a major shift in its COVID-19 vaccine strategy Thursday.
For Monday’s “UnPHILtered” News 8’s Phil Sanchez spoke with WISH-TV medical expert and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.
Adams says recommendations have been long overdue and that the change could increase compliance.
Learn more by watching the full interview.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s decision allowing the FBI to search his home in Delaware last week is laying him open to fresh negative attention and embarrassment following the earlier discoveries of classified documents at that home and a former office. But it’s a legal and political calculation that aides hope will pay off in the long run as he prepares to seek reelection.
The remarkable, nearly 13-hour search by FBI agents of the sitting president’s Wilmington home is the latest political black eye for Biden, who promised to restore propriety to the office after the tumultuous tenure of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
But with his actions, Biden is doing more than simply complying with federal investigators assigned to look into the discovery of the records. The president is aiming to show that, unlike Trump, he never intended to retain classified materials — a key distinction that experts say diminishes the risks of criminal liability.
White House spokesman Ian Sams said Monday that Biden’s own attorneys invited the FBI to conduct the search. “This was a voluntary proactive offer by the president’s personal lawyers to DOJ to have access to the home,” he said, adding that it reflected “how seriously” Biden is taking the issue.
Mary McCord, a former senior Justice Department national security official, said, “If I was a lawyer and I represented the president of the United States and I wanted to show, ’I am being fully cooperative, and I do care to be projecting transparency to the American public, and I do take this seriously,’ I think this is the advice I would give as well.”
That’s not to say she approves of his handling of the documents.
“I think it’s wrong that he had those documents there,” she said. “It shows lapses at the end of the administration,” when Biden was completing his time as vice president under Barack Obama.
Biden’s personal attorneys first discovered classified materials on Nov. 2, a week before the midterm elections, as they were clearing out an office Biden had used at the Penn Biden Center in Washington. Since that initial discovery, Biden’s team has adopted an accommodating approach to the investigation, even if they haven’t been completely transparent in public.
The White House has cited the “ risk” of sharing information “that’s not complete” potentially interfering with the probe to justify not revealing more information to the public.
They didn’t acknowledge the first discovery before the elections, though they swiftly notified the National Archives, returned the documents the day after they were found and coordinated subsequent searches and discoveries with the Department of Justice.
They also are not standing in the way of interviews of staff, including Kathy Chung, Biden’s executive assistant when he was vice president, who helped oversee the packing of boxes that were taken to the Penn Biden Center.
She feels some responsibility but had “absolutely” no knowledge of classified documents being packed, according to a person familiar with her thinking. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
Biden himself has said he was surprised the documents were in his possession. Last Thursday, frustrated at all the focus, he told reporters: “There’s no there there.”
It all fits a theme: Biden and his aides maintain the document mishandling was not intentional. As far as Biden’s possible legal exposure goes, the question of intention is critical: Federal law does not allow anyone to store classified documents in an unauthorized location, but it’s only a prosecutable crime when someone is found to have “knowingly” removed the documents from a proper place.
Still, welcoming the FBI search could backfire depending on what else might be found. Agents last week took possession of an additional round of items with classified markings, and some of Biden’s handwritten notes and materials from his tenure as vice president and senator.
That’s in addition to the documents already turned in by Biden’s lawyers. Agents could also choose to search the Penn Biden Center and Biden’s other home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, as the probe continues. Sams declined to say whether Biden would sign off on additional searches, referring the matter to the DOJ — which has asked the White House not to publicize searches in advance.
Criticism of Biden’s handling of the matter has come from Democrats as well as Republicans. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the president should be “embarrassed by the situation.”
“I think he should have a lot of regrets,” added Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Even Biden’s own attorneys have called it a “mistake.”
Republicans, meanwhile, have sought to use their new-found powers in the House, where they regained the majority this month, to investigate Biden’s handling of the documents and hope to capitalize on the investigation, even as they have said investigating the documents retained by Trump is not a priority.
“It is troubling that classified documents have been improperly stored at the home of President Biden for at least six years, raising questions about who may have reviewed or had access to classified information,” House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., wrote in asking for visitor logs to Biden’s residence.
Responding to Comer’s requests for copies of the documents taken from Biden’s home, the White House counsel’s office on Monday said it no longer had possession of them. It said the White House would “accommodate legitimate oversight interests,” while also “respecting the separation of powers and the constitutional and statutory obligations of the executive branch generally and the White House in particular.”
“This is not ‘legitimate’ transparency from President Biden who once claimed he’d have the most transparent administration in history,” said Oversight Committee spokesperson Jessica Collins, who added that the panels Republicans would use “all possible tools” to get answers.
Trump and some of his supporters have been outspoken, claiming Biden is guilty of worse mishandling of classified documents than the Democrats sanctimoniously accuse Trump of being. The former president is sure to press that accusation vigorously as he campaigns to regain the White House.
The investigation of Trump also centers on classified documents that ended up at a home. In that case, though, the Justice Department issued a subpoena for the return of documents that Trump had refused to give back, then obtained a warrant and seized more than 100 documents during a dramatic August search of his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. Federal agents are investigating potential violations of three federal laws, including one that governs gathering, transmitting or losing defense information under the Espionage Act.
In 2016, when the FBI recommended against criminal charges for Hillary Clinton over classified emails she sent and received via a private server when she was secretary of state, then-FBI Director James Comey said the Justice Department —in choosing which cases to bring over the past century — has looked for evidence of criminal intent, indications of disloyalty to the U.S., retention of vast quantities of classified documents or any effort to obstruct justice.
It’s not clear whether agents in the Biden investigation have progressed beyond the question of intent. The White House has not answered key questions, including how classified information from his time as vice president could have ended up inside his Delaware home. But Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to head the probe given the sensitive politics around it.
Garland declared on Monday, in answer to a question: “We do not have different rules for Democrats or Republicans. … We apply the facts under the law in each case in a neutral and nonpartisan manner. That is what we always do and that is what we are doing in the matters you are referring to.”
One key test of the limits of Biden’s strategy revolves around the question of whether the president will agree to an interview with federal investigators if he is asked. White House officials thus far have refused to say whether or under what terms he would do so.