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home : news : national news free July 5, 2020

Police: 2 women hit by car on Seattle highway amid protests
A 27-year-old man drove a white Jaguar onto a closed freeway in Seattle early Saturday and barreled through a panicked crowd of protesters, injuring two women, officials said.

Dawit Kelete of Seattle drove the car around vehicles that were blocking Interstate 5 and sped into the crowd at about 1:40 a.m., according to a police report released by the Washington State Patrol. Video taken at the scene by protesters showed people shouting “Car! Car!” before fleeing the roadway.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Virus concerns grow - as do crowds flocking to Jersey Shore
As coronavirus-related restrictions are eased and temperatures climb, people are flocking back to the Jersey Shore.

And with the July Fourth holiday weekend upon us, that’s making some people nervous, particularly given the large crowds that have surfaced at some popular shore spots recently and poor compliance with mandated measures to help slow the spread of the virus.

“I am really concerned,” said Paul Kanitra, mayor of Point Pleasant Beach, a popular shore town that was unexpectedly overrun by thousands of tourists who swarmed the beach and boardwalk a few weeks ago at a “pop-up party,” paying little heed to social distancing or masks.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

'People aren't stupid': Pence's virus spin tests credibility
Vice President Mike Pence has long played the straight man to Donald Trump, translating the president’s bombast into more measured, calming language.

His job has become even more difficult. As coronavirus cases spike across large parts of the country despite months of lockdown, Pence has spent the past week trying to convince the American public that things are going very well, even though they’re not.

“Make no mistake about it, what you see today is that America is going back to work and the American people are finding a way every day to put this coronavirus farther in the past,“ he told CNBC the same day the country reported more than 55,000 new virus cases, a daily record.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

US forges ahead with troubled Taliban peace deal
Washington’s envoy to Afghanistan on Saturday emphasized the economic benefits of the peace deal with the Taliban, forging ahead with an agreement that has run into new political obstacles in the U.S. and the region.

Zalmay Khalilzad was wrapping up a week-long trip that included stops in Uzbekistan, Pakistan and the Gulf state of Qatar, where Taliban negotiators are headquartered.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Across Sun Belt, hopes for economy give way to renewed cornavirus fears
At the beginning of March, Joey Conicella and Alex Marin were riding high. Their new Orlando restaurant, Hungry Pants, had drawn rave reviews. With revenue rising, they planned to hire more servers. Sunday brunch service was coming soon.

That was just before the coronavirus struck suddenly, forcing them to close. But in May, as authorities eased safety and social-distancing rules, Hungry Pants reopened at smaller capacity, fueled by hope, hand sanitizer and a government loan.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

8-year-old boy killed, 3 injured in shooting at Alabama shopping mall
An 8-year-old boy was killed Friday in a shooting at an Alabama shopping mall that left three other people injured, police said.

Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said the child was killed in the afternoon shooting at the Riverchase Galleria. The police chief said a girl and two adults were also hospitalized after the shooting.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Governors stress 'personal responsibility' over virus orders
Earlier this week, as Tennessee registered what then was its highest single-day coronavirus case increase, Gov. Bill Lee held a news conference and issued a stern response.

It wasn’t a mandate to wear masks in public or clamp down on businesses or social gatherings. Instead, it was a plea for residents to do the right thing.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

AMERICAN DIARY: July 4 hurts, until I remember my WWII uncle
The July Fourth holiday hurts me every year. Waving flags seems out of place, and wearing anything stars and stripes makes me feel like Apollo Creed in “Rocky.“ Lee Greenwood’s song “Proud To Be An American” doesn’t invoke patriotism inside of me, and I never take advantage of those exclusive, one-day mattress sales.

Yes, I relax, maybe throw some meat on the grill and take my family to a New Mexico desert mesa to watch fireworks among coyotes and rabbits. Independence Day pageantry doesn’t make me feel American, though; thanks to birth and chance, I have no other place to go.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

More fireworks in Americans' hands for July 4 raises risks
For many Americans, the Fourth of July will be more intimate this year. It also could be riskier.

Saturday will be unlike any Independence Day in recent memory. From Atlanta to San Diego, hundreds of fireworks shows have been canceled as officials restrict large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, especially as infections surge across the U.S.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Germany first major economy to phase out coal
German lawmakers have finalized the country’s long-awaited phase-out of coal as an energy source, backing a plan that environmental groups say isn’t ambitious enough and free marketeers criticize as a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Bills approved by both houses of parliament today envision shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 and spending some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) to help affected regions cope with the transition.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Trump's Rushmore trip draws fireworks, literally
President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore before a crowd of thousands, but even in a part of the country where many remain supportive of the president, the event has drawn controversy and protests.
Friday, July 3, 2020

Critics of the Russian vote claim it was falsified
President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered amendments that would allow him to remain in power until 2036 to be put into the Russian Constitution after voters approved the changes during a week-long plebiscite.

“The amendments come into force. They come into force, without overstating it, at the people’s will,” Putin said after he signed a decree to have the constitution revised.

“We made this important decisions together, as a country.“ the Russian president said during a video-conference with lawmakers who worked on drafting the amendments.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Experts say this is a pivotal moment
The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans’ self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.

With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.

Friday, July 3, 2020

The Supreme Court today says no to abortion clinic buffers; yes to Trump
The Supreme Court today turned away pleas from anti-abortion activists to make it easier for them to protest outside clinics, declining to wade back into the abortion debate just days after striking down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics.

The justices said in a written order that they would not hear cases from Chicago and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where anti-abortion activists had challenged ordinances that restrict their behavior outside clinics.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Socialite Epstein friend arrested today
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on Thursday on charges she helped procure underage sex partners for financier Jeffrey Epstein.

An indictment made public today said Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein and was his frequent travel companion on trips around the world, facilitated Epstein’s crimes by “helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse “ girls as young as 14. It also said she participated in the sexual abuse.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Students threw COVID-catching parties
Several college students in an Alabama city organized “COVID-19” parties as a contest to see who would get the virus first, officials said.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said students hosted the parties to intentionally infect each other with the new coronavirus, news outlets reported.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Not so random acts: Science finds that being kind pays off
Acts of kindness may not be that random after all. Science says being kind pays off.
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Background checks, a metric for gun sales, hit all-time high
(AP) — Historic numbers of background checks to purchase or possess a firearm were done in June, a trend in a year marked by uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, a subsequent economic recession, protests over racial injustice and calls to reduce police funding.
Thursday, July 2, 2020

4.8M jobs added amid virus resurgence
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. unemployment fell to 11.1% in June as the economy added a solid 4.8 million jobs, the government reported Thursday. But the job-market recovery may already be faltering because of a new round of closings and layoffs triggered by a resurgence of the coronavirus.
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Death Cafes help ease grief, loss in the time of coronavirus
NEW YORK (AP) — Panic attacks, trouble breathing, relapses that have sent her to bed for 14 hours at a time: At 35, Marissa Oliver has been forced to deal with the specter of death on COVID-19’s terms, yet conversations about her illness, fear and anxiety haven’t been easy.
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Remembering the slave who joined Jefferson in Philadelphia
NEW YORK (AP) — In the early summer of 1776, Thomas Jefferson worked away in the second floor parlor of a boardinghouse in downtown Philadelphia. Wielding language he would call “plain and firm,” he set down the words that still inspire those seeking justice and liberation, “All men are created equal.”
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Health experts slam US hoarding of only licensed virus drug
LONDON (AP) — Health experts on Wednesday slammed the U.S. decision to hog nearly the entire global supply of remdesivir, the only drug licensed so far to treat COVID-19, warning that type of selfish behavior sets a dangerous precedent for attempts to share scarce treatments amid the pandemic.
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Around the nation: Black Lives Matter in forefront, cities deal with protesters
NEW YORK (AP) — Spurred by broad public support for the Black Lives Matter movement, thousands of Black activists from across the U.S. will hold a virtual convention in August to produce a new political agenda that seeks to build on the success of the protests that followed George Floyd’s death.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Russia nears end of vote on amendment extending Putin's rule to 2036
MOSCOW (AP) — A vote on amendments to Russia’s constitution that could allow President Vladimir Putin to hold power until 2036 entered its final day today amid widespread reports of pressure on voters and other irregularities.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Watching Sun Belt spikes, other states back off on reopening
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City and states that likewise seemed to have tamed their coronavirus outbreaks are hitting pause on some of their reopening plans because of the alarming surge in reported infections across the Sun Belt and other parts of the U.S.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Pfizer reports encouraging, very early vaccine results
(AP) — The first of four experimental COVID-19 vaccines being tested by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech showed encouraging results in very early testing of 45 people, the companies said Wednesday.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

How risky is flying during pandemic?
How risky is flying during the coronavirus pandemic?

Flying can increase your risk of exposure to infection, but airlines are taking some precautions and you can too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Edmunds: 4th of July deals may not be quite as deep, but they're still there
With summer in full swing, we typically see car dealerships heavily discounting excess inventory for the Fourth of July holiday. But the novel coronavirus and its effects make this year different than most.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The last thing you may want to think about during a crisis is money habits
Probably the last thing you want to think about during a crisis is working on healthy financial habits like saving money. But if you’re able to save, you can make your eventual recovery easier.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Pooled testing for virus holds promise
The nation’s top health officials are banking on a new approach to dramatically boost U.S. screening for the coronavirus: combining test samples in batches instead of running them one by one.

The potential benefits include stretching laboratory supplies, reducing costs and expanding testing to millions more Americans who may unknowingly be spreading the virus. Health officials think infected people who aren’t showing symptoms are largely responsible for the rising number of cases across more than half of states.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

1,200 extra cops on Chicago streets July 4
Chicago’s police superintendent said Monday that he plans to flood the city’s streets with additional officers during the long July 4 weekend in an effort to avoid a repeat of particularly bloody recent weekends and despite pressure to keep officer overtime to a minimum.

“We didn’t do it last weekend and the Memorial Day weekend,” Superintendent David Brown said of the two weekends that ended with a combined total of 111 people being shot, 24 fatally. “This weekend ... we’ll have an additional 1,200 cops every day from Thursday through Sunday.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Golden State Killer admits to dozens of rapes and murders
A former police officer who terrorized California as a serial burglar and rapist and went on to kill more than a dozen people while evading capture for decades pleaded guilty Monday to murders attributed to the Golden State Killer.

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. had remained almost silent in court since his 2018 arrest until he repeatedly uttered the words “guilty” and “I admit” in a hushed and raspy voice as part of a plea agreement that will spare him the death penalty for a life sentence with no chance of parole.

DeAngelo, 74, did not cooperate with authorities, but muttered a confession of sorts after his arrest that cryptically referred to an inner personality named “Jerry” that he said forced him to commit the wave of crimes that appeared to end abruptly in 1986.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Fed's program for loaning to Main Street off to slow start
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Haith, owner and CEO of a Denver-based restaurant chain called Teriyaki Madness, is in an unusual position for people like him: He’s making money through food delivery and pickup and wants to borrow funds so he can expand.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Europe restricts visitors from the US amid virus resurgence
The European Continent on Tuesday reopened to visitors from 14 countries but not the U.S., where some of the states that pushed hardest and earliest to reopen their economies are now in retreat because of an alarming surge in confirmed coronavirus infections.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Golden State Killer admits to dozens of rapes, murders
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A former police officer who terrorized California as a serial burglar and rapist and went on to kill more than a dozen people while evading capture for decades pleaded guilty Monday to murders attributed to the Golden State Killer.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Biggest cases of the Supreme Court term so far have surprising common thread
WASHINGTON (AP) — The biggest cases of the Supreme Court term so far have a surprising common thread.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

New this week: Willie Nelson, Hamilton
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

US isn't in a second wave of coronavirus, first wave never ended
(THE CONVERSATION via AP — ) After sustained declines in the number of COVID-19 cases over recent months, restrictions are starting to ease across the United States. Numbers of new cases are falling or stable at low numbers in some states, but they are surging in many others. Overall, the U.S. is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of new cases a day, and by late June, had surpassed the peak rate of spread in early April.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

EU prolongs sanctions against Russia over Ukraine conflict
The European Union on Monday prolonged economic sanctions against Russia for six months for failing to live up to its commitments to the peace agreement in Ukraine.

The measures target Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes They are part of a raft of sanctions slapped on Russia in 2014 after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, and are tied to respect of the 2015 Minsk peace deal.

Monday, June 29, 2020

2 Oklahoma police officers shot, suspect taken into custody
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Two police officers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were shot and critically wounded on the city’s east side Monday morning and police arrested the suspected gunman following a more than seven-hour search, authorities said.
Monday, June 29, 2020

Trump denies briefing about reported bounties
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has denied he was made aware of U.S. intelligence officials’ conclusion that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan. The Trump administration was set to brief select members of Congress on the matter Monday.
Monday, June 29, 2020

Diageo goes green with carbon neutral distillery in Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Spirits giant Diageo announced Monday that it’s going green with its newest whiskey-making venture in the Bluegrass State.
Monday, June 29, 2020

Democrats want John Wayne's name, statue taken off airport
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — In the latest move to change place names in light of U.S. racial history, leaders of Orange County’s Democratic Party are pushing to drop film legend John Wayne’s name, statue and other likenesses from the county’s airport because of his racist and bigoted comments.
Monday, June 29, 2020

BET Awards celebrate 20th Anniversary with strong performance reflecting the current times

NEW YORK (AP) — The BET Awards, celebrating its 20th anniversary, kicked off with a performance reflecting the current times as Black artists rapped and sang anthems about the Black experience and fighting for equal rights.

Monday, June 29, 2020

China forces birth control on Uighurs to suppress population
The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children.
Monday, June 29, 2020

Couple draw guns at crowd heading to St. Louis mayor's home
A white couple pointed guns at protesters in St. Louis as a group marched toward the mayor’s home to demand her resignation after she read the names and addresses of several residents who supported defunding the police department during an online briefing.
Monday, June 29, 2020

Gilead prices coronavirus drug at $2,340 for rich countries
The maker of a drug shown to shorten recovery time for severely ill COVID-19 patients says it will charge $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries.

Gilead Sciences announced the price Monday for remdesivir, and said the price would be $3,120 for patients with private insurance. The amount that patients pay out of pocket depends on insurance, income and other factors.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Governors face competing voices as reported virus cases rise
LAS VEGAS (AP) — As Nevada prepared to start reopening parts of its economy last month, a team of medical experts recommended to Gov. Steve Sisolak that he require people wear masks in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Saturday, June 27, 2020

Trump admin to give Congress full virus loan data
WASHINGTON (AP) — After prodding from Democratic lawmakers, the Trump administration has agreed to give Congress — but not the public — complete data on the millions of small businesses that received loans from a $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program.
Saturday, June 27, 2020

Edmunds says shoppers should think twice about long-term auto loans
(EDMUNDS via AP) — Car buyers have collectively blown past the stop sign of the old 48-month “golden rule” for car loans. In fact, 72- and 84-month loans are now more common than ever, propelled by rising vehicle prices and the reemergence of 0% loans. But long-term loans aren’t without pitfalls.
Saturday, June 27, 2020

Charles Webb, author of 'The Graduate,' dies
(AP) — Charles Webb, a lifelong non-conformist whose debut novel “The Graduate” was a deadpan satire of his college education and wealthy background adapted into the classic film of the same name, has died. He was 81.
Saturday, June 27, 2020

Simple design steps add personal touch, taking your garden to the next level
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP)  The flower beds are finished, the vegetables are growing, and yet something could be missing from the backyard landscape: That "wow" factor.
Saturday, June 27, 2020

Novelist has Nashville bookstore customers swooning
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville bookstore that opened and thrived while others were closing their doors is once again defying the odds, thanks, in part, to its famous novelist co-owner.
Saturday, June 27, 2020

Group hopes to bring back tours and programs
WILLIAMS BAY, Wis. (AP) — The round, wooden floor here has been a platform for some of the biggest names in science.
Saturday, June 27, 2020

US health officials estimate that 20 million Americans have had virus
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials estimate that 20 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus since it first arrived in the United States, meaning that the vast majority of the population remains susceptible.
Friday, June 26, 2020

Minneapolis Council advances plan to dismantle the city's police department
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis City Council today unanimously approved a proposal to change the city charter to allow the police department to be dismantled, following widespread criticism of law enforcement over the killing of George Floyd.
Friday, June 26, 2020

Even before virus, communities feeling loss of newspapers
NEW YORK (AP) — If Penelope Muse Abernathy can take any solace in her grim work of counting how many newspapers across America have closed, it’s that more people are becoming aware of the problem.
Friday, June 26, 2020

State of America: Native American activists decry Rushmore symbolism
President Donald Trump’s plans to kick off Independence Day at Mount Rushmore are drawing sharp criticism from Native Americans who view the monument as a desecration of land violently stolen from them and used to pay homage to leaders hostile to native people.

Several groups led by Native American activists are planning protests for Trump’s July 3 visit, part of Trump's “comeback” campaign for a nation reeling from sickness, unemployment and, recently, social unrest. The event is slated to include fighter jets thundering over the 79-year-old stone monument in South Dakota's Black Hills and the first fireworks display at the site since 2009.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Confederate store in Branson, Missouri, at the center of the protests
Branson, Missouri, may be known for its country music shows and wholesome entertainment, but the tourist hot spot now finds itself at the center of a standoff over Confederate symbolism.

Protesters have been gathering outside a strip mall store Dixie Outfitters, which specializes in Confederate flags, clothing and other merchandise. The protests have drawn people from opposing sides of the debate — Black Lives Matter demonstrators, as well as those who support the store and the Confederate flag.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

In Madison protesters defaced statues that had nothing to do with racism
Protesters have defaced and torn down statues of historic figures during recent demonstrations against racial injustice in cities across the nation. Most of those pieces have explicit ties to colonialism, slavery and the Confederacy, including imagery of Christopher Columbus and former U.S. presidents who owned slaves.
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Chicago school board votes to keep police in schools
Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson argued against the removal of officers, saying that decision should be left to individual schools.
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Virus cases climbing fast among young Americans in states that reopened
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Coronavirus cases are climbing rapidly among young adults in a number of states where bars, stores and restaurants have reopened — a disturbing generational shift that not only puts them in greater peril than many realize but poses an even bigger danger to older people who cross their paths.
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Census shows white decline: Nonwhite now majority of those under age 16
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — For the generation of Americans not yet old enough to drive, the demographic future has arrived.
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Open wide: US dentists quickly rebuild practices after shutdown
(AP) — U.S. dental offices are quickly bouncing back, but it won’t be business as usual. Expect social distancing, layers of protective gear and a new approach to some procedures to guard against coronavirus.
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Early, rarely seen Alcott story published in Strand
NEW YORK (AP) — The current issue of Strand Magazine will give readers the chance to discover an obscure and unfinished Louisa May Alcott work of fiction, and to provide a conclusion themselves.
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Music: Dylan's 'Rough and Rowdy Way's masterful
(AP) — It may have seemed after three-straight records covering traditional pop standards that Bob Dylan didn’t have much left to say.
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Open wide: US dentists quickly rebuild practices after shutdown
U.S. dental offices are quickly bouncing back, but it won’t be business as usual. Expect social distancing, layers of protective gear and a new approach to some procedures to guard against coronavirus.

Dental offices largely closed, except for emergency care, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in March that they should delay elective procedures like teeth cleaning and filling cavities.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Ruling favors health care price disclosure
The Trump administration won a court ruling Tuesday upholding its plan to require insurers and hospitals to disclose the actual prices for common tests and procedures in a bid to promote competition and push down costs.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called the decision in federal court in Washington, D.C., “a resounding victory“ for President Donald Trump’s efforts to open up the convoluted world of health care pricing so patients and families can make better-informed decisions about their care.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Business interruption grant applications begin Friday
Applications will soon be available for Illinois’ new Business Interruption Grant program, which will make $60 million available for 3,500 small businesses affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

US inmates got coronavirus relief checks, and the IRS wants them back
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief payments have been sent to people behind bars across the United States, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help claw back the cash that the federal tax agency says was mistakenly sent.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

White House wins ruling on health care price disclosure
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration won a court ruling Tuesday upholding its plan to require insurers and hospitals to disclose the actual prices for common tests and procedures in a bid to promote competition and push down costs.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Appeals court orders dismissal of Michael Flynn prosecution
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, avoiding a protracted court fight that would have delved deeper into the reasoning for the Justice Department’s extraordinary decision to drop the charges.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

US inmates got virus relief checks, and IRS wants them back
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief payments have been sent to people behind bars across the United States, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help claw back the cash that the federal tax agency says was mistakenly sent.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

US cites rise in Iran-backed and white supremacist attacks
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is claiming significant victories against global terrorism but says Iran continues to increase its support for extremists and that white supremacist attacks are on the rise.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A side-by-side look at police reform bills in Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) — As congressional lawmakers work toward one of the most ambitious policing overhauls in decades, there is increasing division between Republicans and Democrats about how to accomplish a common goal.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Crowds tear down statues and attack Wisconsin state senator
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Crowds outside the Wisconsin State Capitol tore down two statues, attacked a state senator, threw a Molotov cocktail into a government building amid protests following the arrest of a Black man who shouted at restaurant customers through a megaphone while carrying a baseball bat.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Bagged salad from grocery stores sickens 100 people
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A recalled bagged salad distributed to a dozen Midwestern states by grocery stores has sickened 122 people in seven states and sent 19 to the hospital, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Despite pledges, Amazon's footprint grew 15%
Amazon said Tuesday that its carbon footprint rose 15% last year, even as it launched initiatives to reduce its harm on the environment.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

FCC to vote to make '988' suicide hotline number
Federal regulators will vote in July on whether to make “988” the number to reach a suicide prevention hotline.

The Federal Communications Commission says phone service providers will have until July 2022 to implement the new number, if the measure is approved in July, as expected.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Fauci: Next couple of weeks going to be critical
The government’s top infectious disease expert said today he is cautiously optimistic that there will be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year or early 2021, and warned that the next few weeks will be critical to tamping down coronavirus hot spots around the country.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

FCC to vote to make '988' suicide hotline number
(AP) — Federal regulators will vote in July on whether to make “988” the number to reach a suicide prevention hotline.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Sahara 'Godzilla dust cloud' blankets Caribbean
A vast cloud of Sahara dust is blanketing the Caribbean as it heads to the U.S. with a size and concentration that experts say hasn’t been seen in half a century.

Air quality across most of the region fell to record “hazardous” levels and experts who nicknamed the event the “Godzilla dust cloud” warned people to stay indoors and use air filters if they have one.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Museum removing statue of Theodore Roosevelt after objections it symbolizes 'colonial expansion'
The American Museum of Natural History will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.

The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940 depicts Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Head of the World Health Organization warns coronavirus still accelerating around the globe
World leaders must not politicize the coronavirus pandemic but unite to fight it, the head of the World Health Organization warned Monday, reminding all that the pandemic is still accelerating and producing record daily increases in infections.

The comments by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has faced criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump, comes as the number of reported infections soared in Brazil, Iraq, India and southern and western U.S. states, straining local hospitals.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Two new studies say recreational pot laws may lead to more traffic deaths
Laws legalizing recreational marijuana may lead to more traffic deaths, two new studies suggest, although questions remain about how they might influence driving habits.

Previous research has had mixed results and the new studies, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, can’t prove that the traffic death increases they found were caused by marijuana use.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hiring rose in 46 states in May yet jobless rates still high
Employers added jobs in 46 states last month, evidence that the U.S. economy’s surprise hiring gain in May was spread broadly across the country — in both states that began reopening their economies early and those that did so only later.

Unemployment rates fell in 38 states, rose in three and were largely unchanged in nine, the Labor Department said Friday. The disparities ranged from Nevada, with the highest rate (25.3%), Hawaii (22.6%) and Michigan (21.2%) to Nebraska (5.2%, the lowest) and Utah (8.5%). The overall U.S. unemployment rate in May was a still-high 13.3%, a decline from 14.7% in April.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

DC protesters pull down, burn statue
Protesters toppled the only statue of a Confederate general in the nation’s capital and set it on fire on Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the United States, amid continuing anti-racism demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Saturday, June 20, 2020

Chileans mass produce caskets to deal with COVID onslaught
Nicolas Bergerie’s family has been making coffins for four generations, with barely any alteration. But when he saw the coronavirus ravaging Europe, he decided to roll out a new product.

The “COVID” is a casket that eliminates precious woods, detailed carvings and glass viewing panes in favor of a plain box of cheaper wood that is fast to produce in quantity. It’s the perfect product for Chile, which has become a hot spot for the virus despite aggressive government measures to control its spread.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Adventurists prefer challenging travel off the beaten path
There's nothing like clutching a capsized boat in the deep swells of the Indian Ocean with friends to discover their true nature.

Or racing across the unforgiving sands and mountains of Morocco on child-size motorbikes to discover inner strength.

Just ask Walker Richardson and Andrew Thompson.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

President says he will renew effort to end DACA
Undeterred by this week’s Supreme Court ruling, President Donald Trump said Friday he will renew his effort to end legal protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children.

Trump denounced the high court’s ruling that the administration improperly ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2017. Splitting with Trump and judicial conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal justices in the 5-4 vote Thursday.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Tulsa mayor sets curfew ahead of Trump's rally
The mayor of Tulsa has declared a civil emergency and set a curfew for the area around the arena where President Donald Trump plans to hold a campaign rally this weekend.

In his executive order establishing a curfew around the BOK Center from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.Thursday through Saturday and from the end of the rally on Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday, Mayor G.T. Bynum cited the unrest that followed some of the recent protests around the country over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Employers added jobs in 46 states last month yet jobless rates are still high
Employers added jobs in 46 states last month, evidence that the U.S. economy’s surprise hiring gain in May was spread broadly across the country — in both states that began reopening their economies early and those that did so only later.

Unemployment rates fell in 38 states, rose in three and were largely unchanged in nine, the Labor Department said Friday. The disparities ranged from Nevada, with the highest rate (25.3%), Hawaii (22.6%) and Michigan (21.2%) to Nebraska (5.2%, the lowest) and Utah (8.5%). The overall U.S. unemployment rate in May was a still-high 13.3%, a decline from 14.7% in April.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Klobuchar drops out of contention; urges Biden to pick a nonwhite woman
Amy Klobuchar says she is dropping out of the running to be vice president and urging Democrat Joe Biden to select a woman of color instead.

The white Minnesota senator, who had seen her prospects fall as racial tensions swept the nation, said Thursday that she called the presumptive presidential nominee Wednesday night and made the suggestion. Biden had already committed to choosing a woman as his running mate.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Juneteenth holiday marks the day the last enslaved people were freed
Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago. Now, with support growing for the racial justice movement, 2020 may be remembered as the year the holiday reached a new level of recognition.

While the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the South in 1863, it wasn't enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War two years later. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but word didn't reach the last enslaved black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Speaker Pelosi orders removal of Confederate portraits from Capitol
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she is ordering the removal from the Capitol of portraits honoring four previous House speakers who served in the Confederacy.

In a letter to the House clerk, Pelosi requested the immediate removal of portraits depicting former speakers Robert Hunter of Virginia, James Orr of South Carolina and Howell Cobb and Charles Crisp, both of Georgia.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

DACA: Roberts sides with liberal justices
The Supreme Court today rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants living in the country illegally.
For now, the young immigrants retain  protection from deportation and retain authorization to work in the United States.

The 5-4 outcome, in which Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices were in the majority, seems certain to elevate the issue in Trump's campaign, given the anti-immigrant rhetoric of his first presidential run in 2016 and immigration restrictions his administration has imposed since then.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Video shows American oil execs jailed in Venezuela
Venezuela has released a video showing six American oil executives jailed in Caracas as relatives appealed for international help in securing their release over fears about the men's health amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The men have been jailed for over two years since officials under Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro asked them to travel from the Houston-based CITGO headquarters for a meeting, when they were arrested.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Persistently high layoffs suggest a slow US economic rebound after virus
Three months after the viral outbreak shut down businesses across the country, U.S. employers are still shedding jobs at a heavy rate, a trend that points to a slow and prolonged recovery from the recession.

The number of laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits barely fell last week to 1.5 million, the government said Thursday. That was down from a peak of nearly 7 million in March, and it marked an 11th straight weekly drop. But the number is still more than twice the record high that existed before the pandemic. And the total number of people receiving jobless aid remains a lofty 20.5 million.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

WWII forces sweetheart singer Vera Lynn dies at 103
Dame Vera Lynn, the endearingly popular “Forces’ Sweetheart” who serenaded British troops abroad during World War II, has died at 103.
During the war and long after, Lynn got crowds singing, smiling and crying with sentimental favorites such as “We’ll Meet Again,” and “The White Cliffs of Dover.”

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Jean Kennedy Smith, last surviving sibling of John F. Kennedy, dies
Jean Kennedy Smith dies atJean Kennedy Smith, who was the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy and who as a U.S. ambassador played a key role in the peace process in Northern Ireland, has died, relatives said Thursday. She was 92.

Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Smith’s nephew, confirmed her death. She died Wednesday at her home in Manhattan, her daughter Kym told The New York Times.
Smith was the eighth of nine children born to Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy, and tragically several of them preceded her in death by decades. Her siblings included older brother Joseph Kennedy Jr., killed in action during World War II; Kathleen “Kick’ Kennedy, who died in a 1948 plane crash; the president, assassinated in 1963 and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, slain in 1968. Sen. Edward Kennedy, the youngest of the Kennedy siblings, died of brain cancer in August 2009, the same month their sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver died.
Smith, who married Kennedy family financial adviser and future White House chief of staff Stephen Edward Smith in 1956, was viewed for much of her life as a quiet sister who shunned the spotlight. In her memoir “The Nine of Us,” published in 2016, she wrote that for much of the time her childhood seemed “unexceptional.”

Thursday, June 18, 2020

New York declares Juneteenth a holiday
New York’s governor signed an executive order today recognizing Juneteenth as a paid holiday for state employees to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the U.S.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will propose legislation next year making June 19 a permanent state holiday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Quaker retires Aunt Jemima brand
Quaker Oats is retiring the 131-year-old Aunt Jemima brand, saying the company recognizes the character’s origins are “based on a racial stereotype.”

Just hours later, the owner of the Uncle Ben’s brand of rice says the brand will “evolve” in response to concerns about racial stereotyping.

Quaker, which is owned by PepsiCo, said it’s overhauled pancake mix and syrup will hit shelves by the fourth quarter of 2020. The company will announce the new name at a later date.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Approval of Great American Outdoors Act expected
The Senate has approved a bipartisan bill that would double spending on a popular conservation program and devote nearly $2 billion a year to improve and maintain national parks.

The 73-25 vote today sends Great American Outdoors Act to the House, where approval is expected. It would be the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century. The bill would spend about $2.8 billion per year on conservation, outdoor recreation and park maintenance.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Home constructions begins to rebound
US home construction rebounded 4.3% in May after steep declines caused by shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

The Commerce Department reported today that new homes were started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000 last month after steep declines in April and March. Compared with last year, however, construction activity remains 23.2% below last year’s pace.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

US expects insurers to cover vaccine
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say they expect health insurance companies will cover vaccines for COVID-19 without charging copays, once those vaccines are developed and become available.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Trump signs order on police reform
WASHINGTON (AP) — Following weeks of national protests since the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on policing today that would encourage better police practices and establish a database to keep track of officers with a history of excessive use-of-force complaints.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

COVID-19 will turn state pension problems nationwide into a fiscal crisis
You may be wondering why, over the last few months, the state pension problem – normally not a subject of widespread discussion – has been in the news.

In fact, you may be wondering just what the state pension problem is.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Rescuers relieved after legendary treasure is found
They’ve been pulled from steep canyons and rushing rivers, sometimes no longer breathing, after chasing a cryptic poem’s clues and promise of treasure deep into the Rocky Mountains.

Now, many of those who’ve encountered imperiled or dead treasure seekers over the past decade have the same reaction to news that an unidentified person supposedly has found Forrest Fenn’s purported $2 million treasure at an undisclosed location.

“We are very happy,” said Dan Johnson, spokesman for Dinosaur National Monument.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Pandemic nudges him into the woods. . .sort of
For someone who grew up on the sandy beaches and the urban jungle that is coastal South Florida, camping — real camping, as I imagined it — was the stuff you’d see in movies: friends gathered around a fire somewhere in the woods, eating marshmallows and telling ghost stories or listening for bears.

This childhood dream was never far from the imagination. Not while hiking the chaparral-covered Hollywood Hills when I called Los Angeles home, not while spending a weekend in New England when I worked in New York City. I realized, eight weeks into working from home, that if there was ever a time to go camping — real camping — this was it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Researchers say steroid improves survival from COVID-19
Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients.

Results were announced Tuesday and researchers said they would publish them soon. The study is a large, strict test that randomly assigned 2,104 patients to get the drug and compared them with 4,321 patients getting only usual care.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

American convicted of spying in Russia, gets 16 years
A Russian court convicted an American corporate security executive Monday of espionage and sentenced him to 16 years in prison after a closed trial that the U.S. denounced as a “mockery of justice,” and it angrily said his treatment in jail was “appalling.”

Paul Whelan, a former Marine from Novi, Michigan, has insisted he was innocent, saying he was set up when he was arrested in Moscow in December 2018 while he was visiting Russia to attend a friend’s wedding.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Beijing outbreak revives need for vigilance
European countries reopened borders today after a three-month coronavirus shutdown, although international visitors are still being kept away and there was uncertainty over whether many Europeans will quickly embrace travel outside their home countries.

The virus is far from being wiped out, and the need for constant vigilance came into sharp focus again as China, where COVID-19 first emerged last year, rushed to contain an outbreak in the capital of Beijing.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Supreme Court for now stays out of police immunity debate
The Supreme Court is for now declining to get involved in an ongoing debate by citizens and in Congress over policing, rejecting cases Monday that would have allowed the justices to revisit when police can be held financially responsible for wrongdoing.

With protests over racism and police brutality continuing nationwide, the justices turned away more than half a dozen cases involving the legal doctrine known as qualified immunity, which the high court created more than 50 years ago. It shields officials, including police, from lawsuits for money as a result for things they do in the course of their job.

As is usual the court didn’t comment in turning away the cases, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 6-page dissent saying he would have agreed to hear one of the cases.

Monday, June 15, 2020

To help distance learning absentees, educators go sleuthing
After a knock on his door, third-grade student Jamie-Lee emerged to see his school principal smiling at him from his doorstep. She held out her arms, offering a socially distant “air hug,” and told the boy how much she’d missed him since the pandemic closed their school building.

As they chatted, Principal Tayarisha Batchelor picked up on a clue to the question that brought her to the apartment. The boy was not looking up from a smartphone. Twice, she asked what he was doing on it before he confirmed her suspicions: He was playing video games.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Sheriff apologizes to black pastor in Virginia after arrest
A sheriff in Virginia has apologized to a black pastor in Virginia who described being arrested after calling 911 on a group of white people who threatened to kill him after trying to dump a refrigerator on his property.

Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter made the apology to Leon K. McCray Sr. of Woodstock Friday, announcing hate crime and assault charges against the five people involved and saying a weapons charge against the pastor would be dropped.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Alabama city's Confederate statue relocated to a museum
A Confederate statue removed from Alabama’s port city earlier this month has been relocated to a museum, the city’s mayor said.

The History Museum of Mobile has received the bronze likeness of Admiral Raphael Semmes, which stood in a middle of a downtown street near the Mobile waterfront for 120 years until June 5, and “will develop a plan to protect, preserve and display” the statue and “place it into the appropriate historic context,“ the city’s Mayor Sandy Stimpson said Sunday in multiple Twitter posts.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Police stories have evolved, far from Sgt. Friday
NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Phillips, a prize-winning crime novelist from Los Angeles, grew up on TV shows that showed a world nothing like the one he lived in.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

On this they agree, the great outdoors
WASHINGTON (AP) — At a time of national crises, the Senate has been able to come together on a topic both parties celebrate: the great outdoors.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Treasury chief refusing to disclose recipients of virus aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — Building ramparts of secrecy around a $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program for small businesses, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has moved from delay to denial in refusing outright to disclose the recipients of taxpayer-funded loans.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Buy, build it or fix it: What's the best option for first-time home buyers now?
(NERDWALLET via AP) — With a limited supply of entry-level housing for sale, getting your foot in the door you want could be a challenge if you’re looking to buy your first home soon.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Mix-and-match: In with the old, in with the new
(AP) — An early, painted Swedish sideboard next to a leather sectional. An ornate Italian walnut headboard on a bed dressed in featherweight linen. A collection of colorful 1930s Fiestaware pottery on a Lucite bookshelf.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Flowers and floral design are coming up all over in home decor this year
(AP) — In lighting fixtures, wallpapers, bedding and wall art, flowers are coming up all over in 2020. Along with floral design in furnishings, there’s also renewed interest in actual flowers: floral arranging and floral-inspired table settings.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

How I bought a tiny home: one woman's story
(NERDWALLET via AP) — HGTV shows have popularized tiny homes — typically those smaller than 400 square feet — in a big way. Many people are drawn to this alternative path to homeownership as a way to save before committing to a more expensive piece of property.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Bringing it home: Find inspiration in public decor
(AP) — Sometimes, sitting in a public place like a hotel lobby, you notice a mix of colors you’d never considered using in your own home — and you realize you absolutely love it.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Plant-based materials catch on with home goods
(AP) — With an eye toward sustainability, makers of home furnishings are experimenting more and more with plant-based materials. You can find things like bark, leaves and seeds transformed into vegan leather, fabric and organic plastic.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Author urges gardeners to form big 'national park'
(AP) — Imagine if all the back and front yards  and even patio container plants  across the country were seen as one magnificent patchwork quilt, a ``Homegrown National Park." Home gardeners would join forces to bring back a variety of native plants to protect and nurture struggling birds, bees and other pollinators.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Queen marks 94th birthday
LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday was marked Saturday with a smaller ceremony than usual, as the annual Trooping the Color parade was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Good fences make good neighbors for humans, wildlife
(AP) — Fences are the best way to prevent deer and other foraging animals from damaging gardens, landscape plants and orchards, but they can be expensive, and difficult or time-consuming to install.
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Rhode Island asked to strip Plantations from true name
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The smallest U.S. state has the longest name, and it’s not sitting well with some in the George Floyd era.
Friday, June 12, 2020

Fed says it will use 'full range of tools' to pull country out of deep recession
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is promising to use its “full range of tools” to pull the country out of a recession brought on by a global pandemic, signaling that it would keep interest rates low through 2022.
Friday, June 12, 2020

Florida migrant farm worker communities become coronavirus hot spots
IMMOKALEE, Fla. (AP) — When much of the world was staying at home to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, Elbin Sales Perez continued to rise at 4:30 a.m. to report to his landscaping job in a rural Florida town.
Friday, June 12, 2020

Moderna on track for large vaccine test in July
The first experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. is on track to begin a huge study next month to prove if it really can fend off the coronavirus, its manufacturer announced Thursday — a long-awaited step in the global vaccine race.
Thursday, June 11, 2020

Alarming rise in virus cases in 21 states
States are rolling back lockdowns, but the coronavirus isn’t done with the U.S.

Cases are rising in nearly half the states, according to an Associated Press analysis, a worrying trend that could worsen as people return to work and venture out during the summer.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

1.5 million more laid-off workers seeking benefits
About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many Americans are still losing their jobs even as the economy appears to be slowly recovering with more businesses partially reopening.

The latest figure from the Labor Department marked the 10th straight weekly decline in applications for jobless aid since they peaked in mid-March when the coronavirus hit hard. Still, the pace of layoffs remains historically high.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Missouri woman gets dictionary to redefine racism
Merriam-Webster is revising its definition of racism after a Missouri woman’s emails claimed it fell short of including the systemic oppression of certain groups of people.

Kennedy Mitchum, who lives in the St. Louis suburb Florissant, said people would argue with her about the definition of racism and she realized the problem was in the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, KMOV-TV reported.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Minneapolis withdrawing from union negotiations
The Minneapolis Police Department will withdraw from police union contract negotiations, Chief Medaria Arradondo said Wednesday in announcing the first steps in what he said would be transformational reforms to the agency in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Arradondo said a thorough review of the contract is planned. He said the contract needs to be restructured to provide more transparency and flexibility for true reform. The review would look at matters such as critical incident protocols, use of force, and disciplinary protocols including grievances and arbitration.

He said it’s debilitating for a chief when there are grounds to terminate an officer and a third-party mechanism works to keep that person on the street.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Outcry as some nursing homes grab stimulus checks
Compounding the hardships of the coronavirus, some nursing homes have demanded that low-income residents turn over their $1,200 economic stimulus checks, a cash grab lawmakers want to halt.

On Tuesday, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called on the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office to issue a warning to nursing homes and assisted living facilities that such practices are “improper and unlawful.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Cristobol brings storms, flooding to the Midwest
The remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal were moving out of the Midwest on Wednesday and into Canada, with gusty winds and heavy rain leaving behind flooding in Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa.

High winds brought down trees and left thousands without power in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Nebraska. In rural Iroquois County, south of Chicago, a brief tornado was reported late Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. No injuries were reported.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Military rethinking Confederate imagery
The U.S. military is rethinking its traditional connection to Confederate Army symbols, mindful of their divisiveness at a time the nation is wrestling with questions of race after the death of George Floyd in police hands.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, both former Army officers, put out word through their spokesmen that they are “open to a bipartisan discussion” of renaming Army bases such as North Carolina’s Fort Bragg that honor Confederate officers who led the fight against the Union and directly or implicitly defended the institution of slavery.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Text of testimony of Floyd's brother
Prepared text of the testimony of Philonise Floyd, a brother of George Floyd, before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday:

“Thank you for the invitation to be here today to talk about my big brother, George. The world knows him as George, but I called him Perry. Yesterday, we laid him to rest. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’m the big brother now. So it was my job to comfort our brothers and sisters, Perry’s kids, and everyone who loved him. And that’s a lot of people. I have to be the strong one now, because it’s what George would have done.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

She sings in a church choir: When the singing stopped, the emptiness arrived
My mother taught me that the best place in the world is on the inside of a chord. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know what she meant. It’s a bear hug of awe and wonder, a sublime sliver of beauty or dissonance or genius powered by the humble human voice. Or, more precisely, by many human voices.

How I miss that place.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Edmunds: 5 vehicles with clever storage
While many aspects of car design can seem commoditized, storage space is one place where automakers can still get creative. These extra spots to put your stuff can make a big difference in your daily driving.

Besides the typical places like a glove compartment, some vehicles have modular cargo areas that can fold and transform into new shapes. Others have hidden compartments or storage hooks that are kept out of sight until you need them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The unexpected perks of scaling back
When I originally set out to write this column, I wanted to share the unexpected benefits of cutting back on my online shopping habit.

At the beginning of the year, I set a personal challenge to reduce my online orders from several times a week (insert embarrassed emoji) to a few times a month. As time passed, I realized I had fewer deliveries to track and more money left in my bank account at the end of the month.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Home gardening is hot, and some gardeners are donating their harvests
Gardening’s popularity has surged during the coronavirus pandemic; it provides exercise, outdoor time, emotional well-being and wholesome produce. Home gardening also can provide some hunger relief to others during a time of rising food insecurity.

Many home gardeners are donating portions of their freshly picked harvests to food banks, meal programs and shelters.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Still beside the queen: Prince turns 99 Wednesday
There certainly won’t be fuss. Count on that.

When Britain’s Prince Philip reaches the grand age of 99 on Wednesday, he will spend it quietly and in much the same way he’s spent most of his adult life: beside Queen Elizabeth II.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Business: Gold and diamonds lose luster, but garden supply sales shine
The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Tuesday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Fed acts to broaden appeal of lending program
The Federal Reserve is expanding the range of companies that will qualify for its soon-to-begin Main Street Lending Program, in which the Fed will lend directly to individual companies for the first time since the Great Depression.

Under the changes announced Monday, the Fed will lower the minimum amount companies can borrow, from $500,000 to $250,000. And it’s raising the maximum loan, from $200 million to $300 million, for companies that want to expand existing loans. The Fed will also extend the program’s loan repayment period from four years to five. In addition, borrowers won’t have to make principal payments for the first two years.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Floyd, whose death created a movement, to be buried
George Floyd’s body arrived at a Houston church today for a private funeral, to be followed by his burial, capping six days of mourning for the black man whose death has led to a global reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice.

Floyd, 46, was to be laid to rest next to his mother in the suburb of Pearland. He called for her as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck May 25. Cellphone video of the encounter ignited protests and scattered violence in cities across the U.S. and around the world.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Cristobal moves into the Midwest
The remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal moved across parts of the Midwest on Tuesday after lashing the South, unleashing downpours and bringing gusty winds as more high winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms were forecast.

Heavy rain hit Missouri this morning and Cristobal was expected to intensify later in the day as another “energetic” weather system approachedfrom the west and begian to interact with it, the National Weather Service said.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Medical professionals say tear gas, pepper spray could spread virus
Police departments have used tear gas and pepper spray on protesters in recent weeks, raising concern that the chemical agents could increase the spread of the coronavirus.

The chemicals are designed to irritate the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat. They make people cough, sneeze and pull off their masks as they try to breathe.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Some encouraging signs in the economy
The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Monday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

SALES REPORT: The pandemic has affected companies in vastly different ways. Retailers like Target and Walmart became critical lifelines, while others have suffered.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Treasure chest hidden in Rocky Mountains finally found
A bronze chest filled with gold, jewels, and other valuables worth more than $1 million and hidden a decade ago somewhere in the Rocky Mountain wilderness has been found, according to a famed art and antiquities collector who created the treasure hunt.

Forrest Fenn, 89, told the Santa Fe New Mexican on Sunday that a man who did not want his name released  but was from "back East"  located the chest a few days ago and the discovery was confirmed by a photograph the man sent him.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Cristobl drenching Mississippi River basin
Tropical Storm Cristobal weakened into a depression early today after inundating coastal Louisiana and ginning up dangerous weather along most of the U.S. Gulf Coast, sending waves crashing over Mississippi beaches, swamping parts of an Alabama island town and spawning a tornado in Florida.
Monday, June 8, 2020

Illinois statewide positivity rate for virus is 5 percent
The Illinois is reporting 867 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 127,757, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Sunday.

The Department of Health reported 43 additional deaths from the disease over the weekend, raising the number of confirmed deaths to 5,904.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Largely peaceful protests march on
Massive protests against police brutality nationwide capped a week that began in chaos but ended with largely peaceful expressions that organizers hope will sustain their movement.

Marches featured few reports of problems in scenes that were more often festive than tense. Authorities were not quick to release crowd size estimates, but it was clear tens of thousands of people — and perhaps hundreds of thousands — turned out nationally.

Monday, June 8, 2020

As travel eases, hotels are competing on cleanliness
Marriott, Hilton and other big hotel companies are used to competing on price or perks. Now they are competing on cleanliness.

From masked clerks at the front desk to shuttered buffets, hotels are making visible changes in the wake of the pandemic. Signage will tout new cleaning regimens: Red Roof Inns promise “RediClean,” while Hilton boasts of “CleanStay with Lysol.”

Monday, June 8, 2020

Mitt Romney joines BLM protest in DC
U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney marched Sunday in the nation’s capital in a protest against police mistreatment of minorities, making him the first Republican senator known to do so.

Romney, who represents Utah, posted a tweet showing him wearing a mask as he walked with Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington. Above the photo he wrote: Black Lives Matter.

Monday, June 8, 2020

New PPP measure allows 24 weeks to spend aid
The Senate last week passed legislation to make it easier for businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic to take advantage of a payroll subsidy program that's been a central part of Washington's response to the corresponding economic crisis.
Monday, June 8, 2020

NY Times editor who added conservative columnist 'unable to lead the team'
The New York Times’ editorial page editor resigned Sunday after the newspaper disowned an opinion piece by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton that advocated using federal troops to quell unrest, and it was later revealed he hadn’t read the piece prior to publication.

James Bennet resigned and his deputy, James Dao, is being reassigned at the newspaper, the Times said Sunday.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Health: Can I get COVID-19 thru my eyes or ears?
Can I get COVID-19 through my eyes or ears?

It's possible through the eyes, but not likely through the ears.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Finance: 0% loans smart way to get out of bad loan
To spur car sales amid the coronavirus pandemic, nearly every automaker has introduced 0% financing. Getting a 0% car loan can be a smart way to finance a new car.

Edmunds data shows that 26% of vehicle loans in April took advantage of 0% financing. Additionally, an interesting trend emerged from the data: The amount of negative equity with trade-ins, which is when you owe more on your current loan than the vehicle is worth, hit a record high of $5,571.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Jobs report puts virus aid on hold for GOP
A stronger than expected jobs report could further scramble an already uncertain picture for passing a fifth and possibly final coronavirus aid bill. The positive statistics are feeding the  wait-and-see approach of the White House and its GOP allies in Congress.

Republicans say the numbers vindicate their decision to take a pause and assess the almost $3 trillion in assistance they already have approved. The White House was already showing little urgency about pursing another trillion-dollar response bill, much less the $3.5 trillion measure passed by the House last month, and prefers to concentrate on reopening the economy.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Food, coffee, diapers: Amid pandemic, van delivers donations
On a recent day, a powder-blue van parked curbside in Brooklyn, one of the hardest-hit communities in America by the coronavirus pandemic, and a group of women wearing protective face masks and gloves set to unloading.

Locals lined up, spaced out next to orange traffic cones on the sidewalk, waiting their turn to pick up much-needed free supplies that help them make it through what are tough times for the borough.

“We go to areas where we’re needed most. Today ... we handed out food, all kinds of food, canned food, squash, coffee, crackers, adult and baby diapers,” said driver Denise Rodriguez, 26. “We handed out condoms — all essential stuff.”

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Illinois maker of COVID-19 forecast models says it's too soon to remove lockdown measures
As the state prepares to ease some restrictions designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus, an Illinois State University professor who has been developing models of the pandemic since January is urging caution.

“Every model we look at agrees on one thing, . it is too soon to remove the lockdown measures,” said Olcay Akman, who also serves as editor in chief of “Letters in Biomathematics.” The peer-reviewed journal publishes mathematics and statistics research related to biological, ecological, medical, and environmental settings.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Trump allows commercial fishing in marine conservation area
President Donald Trump rolled back protections Friday at a marine conservation area off the New England coast, signing an order to allow commercial fishing in a stretch of water environmentalists say is critical for endangered right whales and other fragile marine life.

“We are reopening the Northeast Canyons to commercial fishing,” Trump told a roundtable meeting with fishing industry representatives and Maine officials. “We’re opening it today.”

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Venezuela jails 3 DirecTV executives as US firm ends service
Venezuelan authorities have jailed three local DirecTV executives under an arrest warrant issued after the Dallas-based company abruptly cut off services to the South American country last month, citing U.S. sanctions against the socialist government, the men’s lawyer said Friday.

Carlos Villamizar, one of the three men, told reporters in his attorney’s office before surrendering that he had no prior knowledge that the services were being ended and that he was innocent of any crimes.

“It was a total surprise,” he said, choking up with emotion over concern for his family and two young children. “I’m innocent.”

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Solidarity for black reporter pulled from protests
A black reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was told she could not cover the city’s protests over the death of George Floyd because of a tweet, and now dozens of her colleagues, fellow journalists, her union and even the city’s mayor are speaking out in support of her.

On Friday the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh and many of her fellow reporters at the Post-Gazette were demanding that Alexis Johnson be allowed cover the protests, sending identical versions of the tweet themselves and using the hashtag (hash)IStandWithAlexis.

On Sunday, Johnson posted four photos that show trashed public spaces in the aftermath of a crowd.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Trump reads economic boom into jobs data
President Donald Trump has always been a big numbers guy.

He’s proved adept at taking even the grimmest numbers and giving himself a pat on the back or relying on a creative use of data to make himself look good. But his declaration that an unexpected dip in the unemployment rate marked probably “the greatest comeback in American history” was a remarkable level of hyperbole even for him.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

SpaceX opens era of amateur astronauts, cosmic movie sets, flying factories and so much more
SpaceX’s debut astronaut launch is the biggest, most visible opening shot yet in NASA’s grand plan for commercializing Earth’s backyard.

Amateur astronauts, private space stations, flying factories, out-of-this-world movie sets — this is the future the space agency is striving to shape as it eases out of low-Earth orbit and aims for the moon and Mars.

It doesn’t quite reach the fantasized heights of George Jetson and Iron Man, but still promises plenty of thrills.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Tropical Storm Cristobal advances toward US Gulf Coast
A re-energized Tropical Storm Cristobal advanced toward the U.S. Gulf Coast early Saturday, bringing with it the heavy rains that already caused flooding and mudslides in Mexico and Central America.

After weakening to a tropical depression while moving over land in Mexico’s Gulf coast, Cristobal headed back into the southern Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday and powered back up into a tropical storm. Forecasters said it would arrive on U.S. soil late Sunday but was not expected to grow into a hurricane.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

One man lays wreaths in Normandy on this unusual D-Day
The essence of war remembrance is to make sure the fallen are never forgotten. All it takes is a wreath, a tiny wooden cross, a little token on a faraway grave to show that people still care about their fallen hero, parent or grandparent.

This year, though, the pandemic stepped in, barring all travel for families to visit the World War II graves in France's Normandy, where Saturday marks the 76th anniversary of the epic D-Day battle, when allied troops successfully stormed the beaches and turned the war against the Nazis.

So anguished families turned to the next best thing — an Englishman living on D-day territory, a pensioner with a big heart and a small hole in his agenda.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Plane crashes in rural Georgia; 2 children among the 5 dead
A small plane crashed Friday in rural Georgia, killing all five on board, including four members of a Florida family who were traveling to a funeral in Indiana.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills told local news outlets no one survived the afternoon crash about 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

COVID-19 puts Nat'l WWII Museum 20th anniversary online
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the National WWII Museum in New Orleans was planning on a 20th anniversary crowd of thousands. Now it’s working to avoid crowds by selling a limited number of scheduled tickets and holding all anniversary commemorations - including an annual D-Day morning ceremony - online.

The museum opened June 6, 2000, as the National D-Day Museum and was designated the national World War II museum a few years later. Last June 6, the landing’s 75th anniversary, it logged 3,200 visitors.

With the date falling on a Saturday this year, “we could have had as many as 5,000 visitors,” president and CEO Stephen Watson said Tuesday.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Federal agents descend on DC to quell violence
The two black SUVs travel from checkpoint to checkpoint, each guarded by federal drug enforcement agents alongside members of the National Guard.

Just down the street from the White House, acting Drug Enforcement Administrator Timothy Shea hops out to greet his agents who have been working 12- to 14-hour shifts to prevent any more of the violence that has erupted in Washington during protests over the police death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Unemployment drops to a still-high 13.3 percent
U.S. unemployment dropped unexpectedly in May to 13.3% as reopened businesses began recalling millions of workers faster than economists had predicted, triggering a rally today on Wall Street and giving President Donald Trump something to boast about amid his reelection bid.
Friday, June 5, 2020

Study raising concerns over malaria drug retracted
Several authors of a large study that raised safety concerns about malaria drugs for coronavirus patients have retracted the report, saying independent reviewers were not able to verify information that’s been widely questioned by other scientists.

Thursday’s retraction in the journal Lancet involved a May 22 report on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, drugs long used for preventing or treating malaria but whose safety and effectiveness for COVID-19 are unknown.

Friday, June 5, 2020

On a sad anniversary, there are few to mourn the D-Day dead on the beaches of Normandy, France
At least the dead will always be there.

All too many have been, for 76 years since that fateful June 6 on France’s Normandy beaches, when allied troops in 1944 turned the course of World War II and went on to defeat fascism in Europe in one of the most remarkable feats in military history.

Forgotten they will never be. Revered, yes. But Saturday’s anniversary will be one of the loneliest remembrances ever, as the coronavirus pandemic is keeping almost everyone away — from government leaders to frail veterans who might not get another chance for a final farewell to their unlucky comrades.

Rain and wind are also forecast, after weeks of warm, sunny weather.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Mourners are converging now in Minneapolis
Mourners converged in Minneapolis today for the first in a series of a memorials to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police has sparked turbulent protests around the world against racial injustice.

The afternoon event was set for North Central University, where the civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton was scheduled to be among those eulogizing the 46-year-old Floyd.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

1.9 million seek jobless aid even with reopening
Nearly 1.9 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many employers are still cutting jobs even as the gradual reopening of businesses has slowed the pace of layoffs.

The total number of people who are receiving jobless aid rose slightly to 21.5 million, down from a peak of nearly 25 million two weeks ago but still at a historically high level. It shows that scattered rehiring is offsetting only some of the ongoing layoffs with the economy mired in a recession. Thursday’s latest weekly number from the Labor Department is still more than double the record high that prevailed before the viral outbreak.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

No new COVID-19 cases from Missiouri parties
No additional cases of the new coronavirus have been reported stemming from the crowded pool parties at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks over the Memorial Day weekend, the state’s top health official said.

Camden County Health Department reported Friday that a person from Boone County who had attended the parties tested positive for the virus.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

More food producers selling direct to consumers
Eric Pray is used to shipping seafood all over the country. But since the coronavirus took hold, he has shifted his focus closer to home — selling lobsters from a homemade tank in his garage.

Pray, of Portland, Maine, is one of hundreds of fishermen, farmers and food producers who have shifted to a direct-to-consumer model amid the virus outbreak. The pandemic has stressed and sometimes disrupted supply chains, shuttered restaurants and changed the way consumers buy food, leaving some producers scrambling for a new way to reach their customers.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

We may be safer now than we were, but we're not totally safe
With social distancing guidelines and mandates mostly lifted, people have begun to head back to beaches, parks and restaurants in many parts of the U.S. But you may ask: What’s so different now compared to the situation back when social distancing began in March and April? Coronavirus still lurks. Are we really safe?
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Sweden's chief epidemiologist defends country's no-lockdown virus strategy
Sweden’s chief epidemiologist today defended his country’s controversial coronavirus strategy, which avoided a lockdown but resulted in one of the highest per capita COVID-19 death rates in the world.

Anders Tegnell of the Public Health Agency denied that “the Swedish strategy was wrong and should be changed. That’s not the case.“

“We still believe that our strategy is good, but there is always room for improvement. ... You can always get better at this job,” Tegnell told a news conference in Stockholm.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Protests in virus hot spots ignite fears
As demonstrators flooded streets across America to decry the killing of George Floyd, public health experts watched in alarm — the close proximity of protesters and their failures in many cases to wear masks, along with the police using tear gas, could fuel new transmissions of the coronavirus.

Many of the protests broke out in places where the virus is still circulating widely in the population. In fact, an Associated Press review found that demonstrations have taken place in every one of the 25 U.S. communities with the highest concentrations of new cases. Some have seen major protests over multiple days, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Nearly 26,000 nursing home virus deaths reported
At least a quarter of the COVID-19 deaths in the United States were among nursing home residents, a new report said, a disclosure that came as coronavirus restrictions eased Monday even as U.S. protests against police brutality sparked fears of new outbreaks.

The Florida Keys welcomed visitors for the first time in two months, the Colosseum opened its ancient doors in Rome, ferries restarted in Bangladesh and golfers played in Greece. But as tourist destinations worldwide reopened for business, new rules were in place to guard against the virus’ spread.

“Bring facial coverings, gloves, hand sanitizer, reef-safe sunscreen and personal essential medicines. If you’re feeling unwell, please stay home,” the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, which includes the tourist-dependent Keys, said on its website.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

US cities erupt in more violence
President Donald Trump stepped up the pressure on governors to crack down after a week of unrest set off by the death of George Floyd, demanding New York call up the National Guard to stop the “lowlifes and losers.”

As cities around the U.S. have witnessed a seventh straight night of both peaceful demonstrations and bursts of theft, vandalism and attacks on police, the president amplified his hard-line calls of a day earlier, in which he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn’t do it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Budget office: Virus could trim GDP by trillions
The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the U.S. economy could be $15.7 trillion smaller over the next decade than it otherwise would have been if Congress does not mitigate the economic damage from the coronavirus.

The CBO, which had already issued a report forecasting a severe economic impact over the next two years, expanded that forecast to show that the severity of the economic shock could depress growth for far longer.

The new estimate said that over the 2020-2030 period, total GDP output could be $15.7 trillion lower than CBO had been projecting as recently as January. That would equal 5.3% of lost GDP over the coming decade.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Police say 4 officers shot in St. Louis
Police say four officers were hit by gunfire after protests in St. Louis that started peacefully Monday and became violent overnight, with demonstrators smashing windows and stealing items from businesses and fires burning in the downtown area.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Who will make your wishes clear if you can't speak for yourself?
If you get COVID-19 and struggle to breathe, would you want to be put on a ventilator? Whatever your answer, ask yourself another question: Who would make your wishes clear if you couldn’t speak for yourself?

Advance directives — an umbrella term that includes living wills and health care proxies or powers of attorney — are legal documents that all of us need but that many of us don’t have. A living will allows you to tell your loved ones and medical providers what kinds of medical care you want at the end of your life. Health care proxies or powers of attorney allow you to designate someone to make medical decisions for you if you can’t communicate.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Florida Keys reopen to visitors as Miami-area beaches closed
The Florida Keys reopened for visitors Monday after the tourist-dependent island chain was closed for more than two months to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

As the Keys took down barriers, Miami-Dade County decided to keep its beaches closed because of protests in South Florida and across the country over the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Roadblocks were taken down shortly after midnight near Key Largo, the northernmost island in the chain. Almost half of all workers in the Keys are employed by hotels, bars and other hospitality industries, and many of the rest are involved in commercial and sport fishing.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Trump slams governors as 'weak'
President Donald Trump on Monday derided the nation’s governors as “weak” and demanded tougher crackdowns on protesters in the aftermath of another night of violent protests in dozens of American cities.

Trump spoke to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials, telling the local leaders they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses.

“Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people.”

Monday, June 1, 2020

Lawmakers question home confinement rules
Democratic lawmakers are raising questions about the federal Bureau of Prisons’ release of high-profile inmates and are calling for widespread testing of federal inmates as the number of coronavirus cases has exploded in the federal prison system.

Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries sent a letter Monday to Attorney General William Barr and Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal over the home confinement policies. They expressed concern that a number of high-profile inmates, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, had been released despite not meeting all the criteria that the agency has set for inmates prioritized for home confinement.

“As President Trump’s associates are cleared for transfer, tens of thousands of low-risk, vulnerable individuals are serving their time in highly infected prisons,” the lawmakers wrote.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Court declines to take up Sanders supporters' lawsuit
The Supreme Court is declining to revive a lawsuit by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders who sued the Democratic National Committee in 2016 over claims officials improperly tipped the scales for Hillary Clinton during the nominating process.

The justices said Monday they would not take up the lawsuit. As is usual the court did not comment in turning away the case.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Survey: US factories sink in May for third straight month
American factories slowed for the third consecutive month in May as they continued to sustain economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index came in at 43.1 last month after registering 41.5 in April. Anything below 50 signals that U.S. manufacturers are in retreat. New orders, production, hiring and new export orders all fell in May but at a slower pace than they did in April.

Monday, June 1, 2020

US food prices see historic jump, likely to stay high
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As if trips to the grocery store weren’t nerve-racking enough, U.S. shoppers lately have seen the costs of meat, eggs and even potatoes soar as the coronavirus has disrupted processing plants and distribution networks.
Saturday, May 30, 2020

National unrest: State of emergency
ATLANTA (AP) — Protesters burned businesses in Minneapolis. They smashed police cars and windows in Atlanta, broke into police headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and chanted curses at President Donald Trump outside the White House. Thousands also demonstrated peacefully, demanding justice for George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck.
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Trump cuts WHO funding; US largest contributor
WASHINGTON (AP) — Grim employment and spending numbers darkened the prospects for a speedy recovery in the U.S. as the economic devastation from the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, even as states moved to reopen more sectors.
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Flooded Michigan city is midcentury modern mecca
MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Christopher Jue knew he was home the moment he and his wife stepped inside the sprawling 62-year-old ranch with brick floors, a sunken living room and built-in desks, shelves and bureaus — hallmarks of an Alden B. Dow original.
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Patrons under plastic: Restaurants getting creative
PARIS (AP) — Dining at a table where each person is enclosed by a clear plastic shield might look and sound futuristic, but it could be one way for some restaurants to reopen. It also might help out if your companion orders escargots, heavy on the garlic.
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Virtual safaris keep wildlife in sight for absent tourists
NANYUKI, Kenya (AP)  Virtual safaris are helping to distract people under coronavirus lockdowns while attracting badly needed support for African wildlife parks hit hard by the disappearance of tourists.
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Historic passenger excursion railroad in Santa Fe to be saved
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — George R.R. Martin, the famed author of the “Game of Thrones” fantasy series, has joined a group to buy the historic Santa Fe Southern Railroad.
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Cruise company plans to be 1st to be on US waters again
GUILFORD, Conn. (AP) — A small cruise company says it plans to be the first to begin cruising again on U.S. waters since the coronavirus pandemic caused cruise ships to be anchored across the globe.
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Fed to soon begin challenging Main Street lending
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged today that the Fed faces a major challenge with the launch in the coming days of a program through which the Fed will lend directly to private companies for the first time since the Great Depression.
Friday, May 29, 2020

A look at some of the highest paid CEOs in the US
Pay for chief executives rose to a median of $12.3 million last year, including salary, stock and other compensation. Median means half were larger, and half were smaller.

Compensation often includes stock and option grants that the CEO may not receive for years unless certain performance measures are met. For some companies, big raises occur when CEOs get a stock or option grant in one year as part of a multi-year grant.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Funerals have become lonely affairs amid the virus pandemic
Mohammad Altaf, the generous spirit. Eudiana Smith, the trailblazer. Servius Collin, the caretaker. All were taken by COVID-19. And in death, all were robbed of the funerals they deserved.

As the coronavirus pandemic worked its way toward 100,000 U.S. deaths, a wave of shaken families has had to honor the dead apart and in small groups during an era of social distancing.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Changes to PPP will allow more loan forgiveness
The House is moving to pass a bipartisan measure to modify a new “paycheck protection” program for businesses that have suffered COVID-related losses, giving them more flexibility to use federal subsidies for other costs and extending the program for four additional months.

The measure appeared sure to pass by a sweeping vote on Thursday. The compromise then heads to the Senate, where passage is likely next week. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law, though talks remain stalled on a much bigger measure to inject more than $3 trillion into the tumbling economy.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

41M have lost jobs since virus hit, but layoffs slow
An estimated 2.1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, bringing the running total since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March to about 41 million, the government said Thursday.
Thursday, May 28, 2020

US virus death tolls surges past 100,000
The U.S. surpassed a jarring milestone Wednesday in the coronavirus pandemic: 100,000 deaths.

That number is the best estimate and most assuredly an undercount. But it represents the stark reality that more Americans have died  from the virus than from the Vietnam and Korean wars combined.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Is mortgage forbearance an option? Here's what you should know
Suddenly out of work or making due with reduced paychecks, an estimated 4.1 million Americans have sought forbearance on their mortgage, according to data released Monday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. That’s a staggering number, and experts anticipate more homeowners will seek this protection as the economic impact of the coronavirus wears on.

A forbearance hits the pause button on mortgage payments. As part of its massive economic rescue package for the economy, Congress made it easier for homeowners to enter a forbearance plan and regain their financial footing.

Still, there are considerations for homeowners. Eventually the money must be paid, and homeowners with federally back loans have some advantages over those with private mortgages.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Congress shifts attention to improving Paycheck Protection Program
Deadlocked over the next big coronavirus relief bill, Congress is shifting its attention to a more modest overhaul of small-business aid in hopes of helping employers reopen shops and survive the pandemic.

Bipartisan legislation that would give small employers more time to take advantage of federal subsidies for payroll and other costs is expected to pass the House this week, as lawmakers return to Washington for an abbreviated two-day session.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Nevada to welcome tourists, reopen casinos June 4
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday night that he would allow casinos to reopen June 4, welcoming tourists to return to the glitzy gambling mecca of Las Vegas.

“We welcome the visitors from across the country to come here, to have a good time, no different than they did previously, but we’re gonna be cautious,“ Sisolak told reporters.

The governor said he would also allow in-person religious services of up to 50 people starting Friday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

This is the week when the U.S. official tally of virus deaths will reach 100,000
The fraught, freighted number of this particular American moment is a round one brimming with zeroes: 100,000. A hundred thousands. A thousand hundreds. Five thousand score. More than 8,000 dozen. All dead.

This is the week when America’s official coronavirus death toll reaches six digits. One hundred thousand lives wiped out by a disease unknown to science a half a year ago.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Trump's skills in a political brawl are potent, but can he really feel your pain?
In the rubble of buildings and lives, modern U.S. presidents have met national trauma with words such as these: “I can hear you.” “You have lost too much, but you have not lost everything.” “We have wept with you; we’ve pulled our children tight.”

As diverse as they were in eloquence and empathy, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama each had his own way of piercing the noise of catastrophe and reaching people.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Insulin copays next year $35 a month
Most Medicare recipients will have access to prescription plans next year that limit their copays for insulin to no more than $35 a month, potentially saving hundreds of dollars, the Trump administration announced today.

The new benefit is being touted as a major accomplishment by Trump administration officials eager to change the subject from the grim drumbeat of coronavirus pandemic news.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Wall Street up as recovery hopes overshadow worries
Stocks surged on Wall Street in morning trading today, driving the S&P 500 to its highest level in nearly three months, as hopes for economic recovery overshadow worries about the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 was up 2% to 3,015 points. It’s the first time the benchmark index has been above the 3,000-point mark since March 5, before the widespread business shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the outbreak sent the U.S. economy into a sharp skid.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Congressional choice: 'Go big' on virus or hit pause
Congress is at a crossroads in the coronavirus crisis, wrestling over whether to “go big,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants for the next relief bill, or hit “pause,” as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insists.

It’s a defining moment for the political parties heading toward the election and one that will affect the livelihoods of countless Americans suddenly dependent on the federal government. Billions of dollars in state aid, jobless benefits and health resources are at stake. As questions mount over Washington’s proper role, it’s testing the ability of President Donald Trump and Congress to do the right thing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

162 days to go: Will Biden's caution or Trump's bold behavior prevail?
Presidential politics move fast. What we’re watching heading into a new week on the 2020 campaign:

Days to general election: 162.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Public pools will look very different this summer if they open at all
Public pools will look very different this summer if they open at all with the coronavirus threat still looming, as teenage lifeguards will be tasked with maintaining social distancing and spotting COVID-19 symptoms in addition to their primary responsibility of preventing drownings.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Efforts underway to get food from farms to needy
As food banks have struggled to meet soaring demand from people suddenly out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been especially troubling to see farmers have to bury produce, dump milk and euthanize hogs.

Now some states are providing more money to help pay for food that might otherwise go to waste, the U.S. Agriculture Department is spending $3 billion to help get farm products to food banks, and a senator is seeking $8 billion more to buy farm produce for food banks.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Illinois provides detailed data on COVID spending
States are spending billions of dollars stocking up on medical supplies such as masks and breathing machines during the coronavirus pandemic. But more than two months into the buying binge, many aren’t sharing details about how much they’re spending, what they’re getting for their money or which companies they’re paying.

An Associated Press survey of all 50 states found a hodgepodge of public information about the purchase of masks, gloves, gowns and other hard-to-get equipment for medical and emergency workers.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Lock your cars! Pandemic has sparked vehicle thefts nationwide
The coronavirus hasn’t been kind to car owners.

With more people than ever staying home to lessen the spread of COVID-19, their sedans, pickup trucks and SUVs are parked unattended on the streets, making them easy targets for opportunistic thieves.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Fisherman's Wharf fire devastates SF fishing industry
A huge fire that tore through a warehouse on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf has destroyed fishing gear used to deliver about two-thirds of the city’s fresh seafood, threatening to disrupt the upcoming Dungeness crab season, local fishermen said Sunday.

The fire erupted before dawn Saturday and wiped out the warehouse the size of a football field near the end of Pier 45.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Allies: Ex-Detroit mayor to be released from prison early
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is being quarantined at a federal prison while awaiting a likely release in June, which would be years before he was scheduled to finish his 28-year sentence for corruption, a pastor said Friday.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons declined to comment about Kilpatrick, saying only that he remains in custody at the prison in Oakdale, Louisiana. U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider in Detroit said he wasn’t aware of any plans to release Kilpatrick.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Time running out on the last US Russia nuclear arms treaty
Time is running out on an arms control treaty that, if it’s allowed to expire, will leave the world with no legal restrictions on U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons for the first time in nearly half a century.

If President Donald Trump doesn’t extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty — only remaining U.S.-Russia arms control pact — or succeed in negotiating a replacement treaty, it will expire on Feb. 5. That’s just 16 days after Trump begins a second term or his successor is sworn into office.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Budget plan needs $6B in federal aid to balance
Despite an economy decimated by shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Illinois House is poised to consider a $42.64 billion operating budget for next year, a 6.8% increase over current spending that is heavily reliant on federal assistance.

The governor’s stay-at-home order aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus left shops closed and more than 1 million Illinois residents out of work. But Democrats who control the General Assembly expect $36.96 billion in revenue for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Majority Leader Greg Harris said. That would leave a $5.8 billion hole lawmakers would look to Washington to fill.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Debt and coronavirus push Hertz into bankruptcy protection
Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, unable to withstand the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled global travel and with it, the heavily indebted 102-year-old car rental company’s business.

The Estero, Florida-based company’s lenders were unwilling to grant it another extension on its auto lease debt payments past a Friday deadline, triggering the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

First commercial space taxi a pit stop on Musk's Mars quest
It all started with the dream of growing a rose on Mars.

That vision, Elon Musk’s vision, morphed into a shake-up of the old space industry, and a fleet of new private rockets. Now, those rockets will launch NASA astronauts  from Florida to the International Space Station — the first time a for-profit company will carry astronauts into the cosmos.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Biden: If not me over Trump, 'you ain't black'
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, had a testy exchange with a prominent black radio personality on Friday over Biden’s support among black voters and his choosing of a running mate.

Charlamagne Tha God pressed Biden on reports that he is considering Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is white, to be vice president and told him black voters “saved your political life in the primaries“ and “have things they want from you.”

Friday, May 22, 2020

Will virus keep spectators from astronaut launch?
In ordinary times, the beaches and roads along Florida’s Space Coast would be packed with hundreds of thousands of spectators, eager to witness the first astronaut launch from Florida in nine years.

In the age of coronavirus, local officials and NASA are split on whether that’s a good idea.

NASA and SpaceX are urging spectators to stay at home next Wednesday for safety reasons. Officials in Brevard County, home to the Kennedy Space Center, are rolling out the welcome mat in an effort to jump-start a tourism industry hit hard this spring by coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Friday, May 22, 2020

US is becoming a nation of amateur actuaries
We are becoming a nation of amateur actuaries, calculating the risk of restarting our lives.

Can we go outside? Can we go back to work? Can we go to a restaurant or bar? Can we go to the beach? Can our children go back to school? Can we visit grandma?

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Virus-triggered layoffs in US hit nearly 39 million
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits in the two months since the coronavirus took hold in the U.S. has swelled to nearly 39 million, the government reported Thursday, even as states from coast to coast gradually reopen their economies and let people go back to work.

More than 2.4 million people filed for jobless aid last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the outbreak that has triggered nationwide business shutdowns and brought the economy to its knees, the Labor Department said. That brings the running total to a staggering 38.6 million, a job-market collapse unprecedented in its speed.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Lessons from 1918: Old pandemic a murky guide for sports
The image is striking: Fans watching a college football game in the midst of a pandemic, wearing masks with a smidge of social distance between them on row after row of bleacher seats.

The photo is 102 years old.

The Georgia Tech alumni Twitter feed posted a black-and-white photo of the scene at Grant Field in 1918. Decades before tailgates, prime-time kickoffs and billions in program-supporting TV money, the ethos of the die-hard college football fan was not much different than today: Risks be damned, we’re going to the game.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Tourism officials: 'Orlando is suffering'
Face masks. Temperature checks. Social distancing markers. These are the new safety measures Florida’s largest industry is adopting as tourism businesses battered by coronavirus-related lockdowns start reopening, industry leaders told Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday.
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Virus Diary: When you prefer it anyway, staying in isn't bad
Like you, I’ve been locked away at home for two months. But for me, not much has changed.

It’s true that I don’t go the grocery store in person like I used to. I don’t grab brunch with friends, go to the gym, volunteer with a grief support group or pop in for a coffee or ice cream anymore. But overall, the pandemic hasn’t disrupted my routine too dramatically.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

US roadway death rate up despite travel restrictions
The rate of fatal automobile crashes in the U.S. jumped dramatically in March, even though the number of miles driven plummeted due to coronavirus stay-home orders.

The National Safety Council said today that based on preliminary figures from states, the number of fatal crashes per 100 million miles driven rose an “alarming” 14% compared with March of 2019.

The group pointed to anecdotal reports from states of an increase in reckless driving and speeding due to nearly traffic-free highways during shutdowns that were in effect in March, the latest month for which statistics are available.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Persistent infection lapses at nursing homes cited
Before COVID-19 killed thousands of nursing home residents, about 4 in 10 homes inspected were cited for infection control problems, according to a government watchdog report that found a “persistent” pattern of lapses.

In light of the pandemic, seemingly minor cutting of corners such as an employee caring for residents while battling a cold has taken on new significance.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Workers cheered as they enter pork packing plant
Employees at a Smithfield pork processing plant in South Dakota where a coronavirus outbreak infected over 800 people  were greeted at work today with thank you signs, cheers and waves from about a dozen area residents.

“They’re putting their health at risk just like the hospital workers are to continue on with this work, so I hope they feel appreciated,” said Becky Olson, a Sioux Falls resident who held a sign outside Smithfield’s entrance.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Oprah gives grants to 'home' cities
Oprah Winfrey is giving grants to the cities she’s called home through her $12 million coronavirus relief fund.

She announced Wednesday that her Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation will donate money to organizations dedicated to helping underserved communities in Chicago; Baltimore; Nashville, Tennessee; Milwaukee; and Kosciusko, Mississippi, where she was born.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

US births fall, and virus could drive them lower
U.S. births continued to fall last year, leading to the fewest number of newborns in 35 years.

The decline is the latest sign of a prolonged national “baby bust” that’s been going on for more than a decade. And some experts believe the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy will suppress the numbers further.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

What can a COVID-19 antibody test tell me?
What can a COVID-19 antibody test tell me?

An antibody test might show if you had COVID-19 in the recent past, which most experts think gives people some protection from the virus. The tests are different from the nasal swab tests that determine if you’re currently sick.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Trump defends his use of hydroxychloroquine
The White House hurried Tuesday to defend President Donald Trump’s decision to take a malaria drug to protect against the coronavirus, despite warnings from his own government that it should only be administered for COVID-19 in a hospital or research setting due to potentially fatal side effects.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Who got what? Details scant on SBA relief effort
A small, overlooked federal agency is shouldering a massive relief effort for the nation’s small businesses and their workers left reeling by the pandemic.

The Small Business Administration has committed to auditing every sizable emergency loan it approves.

But six weeks after the $600 billion-plus program was launched, the agency has yet to make public the recipients of taxpayer aid.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Pandemic threatens to deepen crisis in mental health care
More than three weeks after Brandon Bell stopped showing up at a New York office that serves people with schizophrenia, employees finally located him at a nearby homeless shelter.

The office remains open, but patients aren’t stopping by as much during the pandemic. Group activities such as the weekly Caribbean lunch that were also an important source of food have ended because of the coronavirus. Visits from caregivers are less frequent and shorter — usually five or 10 minutes — to reduce the risk of infection.

When a caregiver recently checked on him, Bell noted that life before the pandemic was happier and “more social.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

FBI finds link between Pensacola gunman, al-Qaida
The FBI has found a link between the gunman in a deadly attack at a military base last December and an al-Qaida operative, a U.S. official said Monday.

Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray were set to hold a news conference to announce developments in the shooting late last year at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, in which a Saudi Air Force officer killed three U.S. sailors and injured eight other people.

Monday, May 18, 2020

WHO bows to calls for virus probe
The World Health Organization bowed to calls Monday from most of its member states to launch an independent evaluation of how it managed the international response to the coronavirus, which has been clouded by finger-pointing between the U.S. and China over a pandemic that has killed over 300,000 people and leveled the global economy.

The “comprehensive evaluation,“ sought by a coalition of African, European and other countries, is intended to review “lessons learned” from WHO’s coordination of the global response to COVID-19, but would stop short of looking into contentious issues such as the origins of the new coronavirus. U.S. President Donald Trump has claimed he has proof suggesting the coronavirus originated in a lab in China while the scientific community has insisted all evidence to date shows the virus likely jumped into humans from an animal.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Powell: Recovery may begin by summer, will likely be slow
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell expressed optimism Sunday that the U.S. economy can begin to recover from a devastating recession in the second half of the year, assuming the coronavirus doesn’t erupt in a second wave. But he suggested that a full recovery won’t likely be possible before the arrival of a vaccine.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,“ Powell noted that the economy was fundamentally healthy before the virus struck suddenly and forced widespread business shutdowns and tens of millions of layoffs. Once the outbreak has been contained, he said, the economy should be able to rebound “substantially.”

Monday, May 18, 2020

What you need to know today about the virus outbreak
Europe reopened more widely on Monday, allowing people into the Acropolis in Greece, shops in Italy, markets and museums in Belgium, golf courses in Ireland and beer gardens in Bavaria while its leaders discussed how to salvage hallowed summer vacations.
Monday, May 18, 2020

Tropical Storm Arthur crawls closer to North Carolina coast
Life-threatening surf and rip currents will spread along U.S. East coast beaches in the days ahead as Tropical Storm Arthur kicks up ocean swells offshore, the National Hurricane Center warned on Monday.

It’s another early start for the Atlantic hurricane season: Arthur formed Saturday in waters off Florida, marking the sixth straight year that a named storm has developed before June 1.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Woman, boy, drown in Houston home of ex-Dodger Crawford
A 5-year-old boy and a woman drowned in the backyard pool of former Los Angeles Dodgers player Carl Crawford’s Houston home, according to reports.

Houston police were called about 2:40 p.m. Saturday for a reported drowning at a north Houston home that property and business records list as belonging to Crawford, The Houston Chronicle reports.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Brothers who survived Holocaust die weeks apart
NEW YORK (AP) — The brothers didn’t have a chance to say goodbye.
Saturday, May 16, 2020

Democrats push new $3T coronavirus relief bill through House
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats powered a massive $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill through the House on Friday, an election-year measure designed to brace a U.S. economy in free fall and a health care system struggling to contain a pandemic still pummeling the country.
Saturday, May 16, 2020

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