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home : news : national news free April 16, 2021

51 West Point cadets caught cheating; must repeat year
Most of the 73 West Point cadets accused in the biggest cheating scandal in decades at the U.S. Military Academy are being required to repeat a year, and eight were expelled, academy officials said Friday.
Friday, April 16, 2021

Beijing says US 'too negative' toward China
BEIJING (AP) — A top Chinese diplomat said Friday that U.S. policy toward China is “too negative“ and that cooperation could be critically important as the Biden administration focuses on combatting COVID-19 and promoting economic recovery.
Friday, April 16, 2021

Pandemic has upended Oscars; Producer says changes are coming for this year's show
NEW YORK (AP) — Ninety seconds. That’s how quickly Steven Soderbergh believes the Academy Awards will convince viewers that this year’s telecast is different.
Friday, April 16, 2021

Police try to identify gunman, motive in FedEx shooting
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police were working Friday to identify a gunman and determine his motive for opening fire at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport, killing eight people and taking his own life in the latest mass shooting to rock the U.S.
Friday, April 16, 2021

Nat'l network will track virus variants
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is setting up a $1.7 billion national network to identify and track worrisome coronavirus mutations whose spread could trigger another pandemic wave, the Biden administration announced today.
Friday, April 16, 2021

Shy podcaster helps California police solve cold case
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Lambert would like to get back to making music but he can’t seem to stop chasing a ghost that has haunted him for nearly 25 years.
Friday, April 16, 2021

Kosovo doctors protest arrest
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovar doctors on Friday threatened to take action in support of a colleague who was arrested for refusing to treat a patient after working hours.
Friday, April 16, 2021

Coast Guard divers hope to reach 12 missing workers
PORT FOURCHON, La. (AP) — Divers searching for oil industry workers on a capsized liftboat prepared to enter the overturned vessel on Friday, a rescue effort complicated by daunting technical challenges and continued bad weather.
Friday, April 16, 2021

Charmed by Bernie Madoff, SEC later tightened its rules
WASHINGTON (AP) — Until Bernie Madoff’s scheme came crashing down and the biggest Ponzi scheme in Wall Street’s history came to light, he appeared as a charming wizard with a Midas touch. His investment advisory business attracted a devoted legion of clients, including A-list celebrities, rewarding them with steady returns that defied market fluctuations.
Friday, April 16, 2021

Europe has surpassed 1 million COVID-19 deaths
A top official from the World Health Organization says Europe has surpassed 1 million deaths from COVID-19 and the situation remains "serious," with about 1.6 million new cases reported each week in the region.

The comments by Dr. Hans Kluge on Thursday aimed to emphasize that Europe must keep up its guard with social distancing and speed up vaccinations as virus variants drive new infections to record levels in some nations.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Google Earth adds time lapse video, shows climate change
The Google Earth app is adding a new video feature that draws upon nearly four decades of satellite imagery to vividly illustrate how climate change has affected glaciers, beaches, forests and other places around the world.

The tool unveiled Thursday is rolling out in what is being billed as the biggest update to Google Earth in five years. Google says it undertook the complex project in partnership with several government agencies, including NASA in the U.S. and its European counterpart, in hopes that it will help a mass audience grasp the sometimes abstract concept of climate change in more tangible terms through its free Earth app.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

US jobless claims plunge to 576,000, lowest since pandemic
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits tumbled last week to 576,000, a post-COVID low and a hopeful sign that layoffs are easing as the economy recovers from the pandemic recession.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications plummeted by 193,000 from a revised 769,000 a week earlier. Jobless claims are now down sharply from a peak of 900,000 in early January and well below the 700,000-plus level they had been stuck at for months.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

US imposes new sanctions on Russia
The Biden administration on Thursday announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and sanctions against dozens of people and companies as it moved to hold the Kremlin accountable for interference in last year’s presidential election and the hacking of federal agencies.

The sanctions also target Moscow’s ability to borrow money by prohibiting U.S. financial institutions from buying Russian bonds directly from Russian institutions.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Biden's gamble; Will pulling troops revive extremist threat in Afghanistan?
At its start, America’s war in Afghanistan was about retribution for 9/11. Then it was about shoring up a weak government and its weak army so that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida could never again threaten the United States.

Now it’s about over. With bin Laden long since dead and the United States not suffering another major attack, President Joe Biden is promising to end America’s longest war and move on to what he believes are bigger, more consequential challenges posed by a resurgent Russia and a rising China.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

President faces long odds in push for more 'red flag' laws
President Joe Biden faces an uphill battle as he tries to revive a push for more state laws that would allow authorities to temporarily disarm people who are considered a danger to themselves or others.

The political circumstances surrounding this year’s effort are drastically different than they were three years ago, when state lawmakers, governors of both parties and former President Donald Trump embraced the extreme-risk protection orders after the 2018 mass shooting that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

No charges for officer in Capitol riot shooting
Federal prosecutors will not charge a police officer who shot and killed a woman as she climbed through the broken part of a door during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Authorities had considered for months whether criminal charges were appropriate for the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt, 35, an Air Force veteran from San Diego. The Justice Department’s decision, though expected, officially closes out the investigation.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Biden: Forces shouldn't be in Afghanistan
President Joe Biden  announced his plans to withdraw remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan, declaring that the Sept. 11 attacks “cannot explain” why American forces should still be there 20 years after the deadliest terror assault on the United States.

His plan is to pull out all the American forces — numbering 2,500 now — by this Sept. 11, according to U.S. officials. That is the anniversary of the attacks, which were coordinated from Afghanistan.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Expert blames Floyd death on heart rhythm problem
George Floyd died of a sudden heart rhythm problem due to his heart disease while being restrained by police, a retired forensic pathologist testified for the defense Wednesday at former Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, contradicting several experts who said Floyd succumbed to a lack of oxygen.

Dr. David Fowler, a former chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland and now a member of a consulting firm, said the fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd’s system, and possible carbon monoxide poisoning from auto exhaust, were contributing factors. He said Floyd’s heart disease included high blood pressure and narrowing of the arteries.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

State sued over veteran's COVID-19 death
A wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a Korean War veteran who contracted COVID-19 at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home accuses the facility of negligent care that violated state law.

Richard John Cieski Sr. was one of 36 veterans who died last year during the COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle home that began in November.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Digital currency exchange Coinbase goes public
Wall Streeet was focused on Coinbase today with the digital currency exchange becoming a publicly traded company.

Coinbase made its initial public offering of stock with cryptocurrency chatter seemingly everywhere, even at the U.S. Federal Reserve. It is being incorporated into the business plans and accepted by major corporations like Tesla, PayPal and Visa.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Edmunds: How to test-drive latest vehicle technology
New vehicles are brimming with technology that can enhance convenience, connectivity and driver safety. But the tech can also be unfamiliar to car shoppers, especially those who haven’t purchased a vehicle in the past five years or more. This poses a problem when it comes to the traditional test drive.

It’s one thing to evaluate familiar vehicle attributes such as acceleration or seat comfort. But how can you evaluate these new gadgets in the typical 15- to 20-minute test drive if you don’t quite know what they do or what to look for?

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in federal prison
Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme, died in a federal prison early Wednesday, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

Madoff died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, apparently from natural causes, the person said. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

US recommends pause for J&J vaccine
The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said today they were investigating unusual clots that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48; there was one death and all remained under investigation.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

15% of Americans worse off a year into pandemic
While most Americans have weathered the pandemic financially, about 38 million say they are worse off now than before the outbreak began in the U.S.

Overall, 55% of Americans say their financial circumstances are about the same now as a year ago, and 30% say their finances have improved, according to a new poll from Impact Genome and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. But 15% say they are worse off.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

US budget deficit jumps to record $1.7 trillion
The U.S. government’s budget deficit surged to an all-time high of $1.7 trillion for the first six months of this budget year, nearly double the previous record, as another round of economic-support checks added billions of dollars to spending last month.

In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit for the first half of the budget year — from October through March — was up from a shortfall of $743.5 billion in the same period a year ago.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Migrants: Mexico, Central America deploy troops
The Biden administration has struck an agreement with Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to temporarily surge security forces to their borders in an effort to reduce the tide of migration to the U.S. border.

The agreement comes as the U.S. saw a record number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the border in March, and the largest number of Border Patrol encounters overall with migrants on the southern border — just under 170,000 — since March 2001.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Unusual treatment shows promise for kids with brain tumors
For decades, a deadly type of childhood cancer has eluded science’s best tools. Now doctors have made progress with an unusual treatment: Dripping millions of copies of a virus directly into kids’ brains to infect their tumors and spur an immune system attack.

A dozen children treated this way lived more than twice as long as similar patients have in the past, doctors reported Saturday at an American Association for Cancer Research conference and in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

William, Harry remember Prince Phillip's wit
Princes William and Harry paid tribute Monday to their grandfather, Prince Philip, remembering his wit, sense of duty and barbecue skills.

The brothers, who are at the center of a royal family rift, issued separate statements about Philip, who died last week at 99.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Biden dog to get professional help adjusting to White House
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden’s dog Major will get professional help adjusting to the White House after a pair of biting incidents last month.

Private training for the 3-year-old German shepherd will be “off-site” in the Washington area, Michael LaRosa, a spokesperson for Jill Biden, said Monday in an emailed statement. The training is expected to last a few weeks, he said.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Outdoor enthusiasts to get cash, free passes to move to West Va.
West Virginia is joining the growing list of places recruiting remote workers — with a thrill-seeking twist.

A public-private program launched Monday will try to lure outdoor enthusiasts to live in the rural state with enticements of cash and free passes for recreational destinations. The goal is to leverage one of West Virginia’s most appealing assets, its epic natural beauty, to stem the tide of population loss in the only state that has fewer residents now than in 1950.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Death in Minnesota traffic stop sparks more unrest
A Black man died after being shot by police in a Minneapolis suburb during a traffic stop and crashing his car several blocks away, sparking violent protests that lasted into the early hours Monday as officers in riot gear clashed with demonstrators and the man’s mother called for calm.

The man was identified by family as 20-year-old Daunte Wright, and he died Sunday in a metropolitan area already on edge and midway through the trial of the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted he was praying for Wright’s family “as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”

Monday, April 12, 2021

Report issues infrastructure grades
The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 trillion infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns that show the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability.

The figures in the state summaries, obtained by The Associated Press, paint a decidedly bleak outlook for the world’s largest economy after years of repairs being deferred and delayed. They suggest that too much infrastructure is unsafe for vehicles at any speed, while highlighting the costs of extreme weather events that have become more frequent with climate change as well as dead spots for broadband and a dearth of child care options.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Record demand at Uber as vaccinations rise
Uber is offering sign-up bonuses and other incentives for drivers as it faces record demand for rides and meal delivery.

The San Francisco ride-hailing company said Monday that total monthly bookings, including food delivery and passenger service, reached an all-time high in March.

In a government filing, the company said demand for ride-hailing, which plunged during coronavirus lockdowns last year, has recovered more quickly than expected as daily COVID-19 vaccinations exceed 3 million per day in the U.S.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Duke Energy division planning $180M Indiana solar farm
A division of Duke Energy that develops renewable energy projects plans to build a $180 million solar farm in western Indiana that would produce enough electricity to power 35,000 homes.
Saturday, April 10, 2021

US to keep migrant families in hotels
Migrant families will be held at hotels in the Phoenix area in response to a growing number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said Friday, another step in the Biden administration’s rush to set up temporary space for them.

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was told that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will occupy “several hotels along the southwest border, including in Chandler and Phoenix,” her office said in a statement. Chandler is a Phoenix suburb that’s more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of the border.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Senate filibuster's racist past fuels arguments
Once obscure, the Senate filibuster is coming under fresh scrutiny not only because of the enormous power it gives a single senator to halt President Joe Biden’s agenda, but as a tool historically used for racism.

Senators and those advocating for changes to the practice say the procedure that allows endless debate is hardly what the founders intended, but rather a Jim Crow-relic whose time is up. Among the most vivid examples, they point to landmark filibusters including Strom Thurmond’s 24-hour speech against a 1957 Civil Rights bill, as ways it has been used to stall changes.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Reforms follow deadly year in New York nursing homes
After a deadly year in New York’s nursing homes, state lawmakers have passed legislation intended to hold facility operators more accountable for neglect and potentially force them to spend more on patient care.
Saturday, April 10, 2021

Apartment of Russian investigative journalist raided
Russian authorities took a prominent investigative journalist in for questioning after searching his apartment, and the news website he works for said the actions were likely connected to a story about one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest associates.
Saturday, April 10, 2021

After Amazon: Labor tries to regroup in wake of Alabama loss
Despite the strongest public support and the most sympathetic president in years, the American labor movement just suffered a stinging defeat — again.

Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, overwhelmingly voted against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in much-anticipated election results announced Friday.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Democrats trying to pass first major gun control in 2 decades
Democrats in Congress are trying to pass the first major gun control legislation in more than two decades with the support of President Joe Biden, who said Thursday that it is “long past time” to do so. But they are confronting a potentially insurmountable question over what rules should govern private sales and transfers, including those between friends and extended family, as they seek Republican votes.
Friday, April 9, 2021

Michigan COVID transmission worst in nation
Washington is surging federal resources to support vaccinations, testing and therapeutics, but not vaccines, to Michigan in an effort to control the state’s worst-in-the-nation COVID-19 transmission rate, the White House said Friday.

President Joe Biden outlined the moves late Thursday in a call with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to discuss the situation in the state, according to senior administration officials. It will not include a “surge” of vaccine doses, a move Whitmer has advocated.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Amazon appears to have enough votes to block union effort
Amazon appears to have enough votes to block a union effort at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, proving the might of the online shopping giant and cutting off a path that labor activists had hoped would lead to similar efforts throughout the company and beyond.

The company crossed the threshold to secure a majority of votes, with 1,798 warehouse workers rejecting the union and 738 voting in favor.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Biden's $1.5 trillion wish list
President Joe Biden released a $1.5 trillion wish list for the federal budget today, asking for an 8.4% increase in agency operating budgets with substantial gains for Democratic priorities like education, health care, housing and environmental protection.
Friday, April 9, 2021

Rep. Gaetz hires New York lawyer
Rep. Matt Gaetz is retaining two prominent New York attorneys as he faces a Justice Department investigation into sex trafficking allegations involving underage girls.

Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner will lead the Florida Republican’s legal team, a Gaetz spokesperson said in a statement Friday.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Wisconsin Supreme Court won't purge voters
The Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with Democrats on Friday and ruled that the state elections commission should not remove from the rolls voters flagged as possibly having moved, something conservatives have wanted done for nearly two years.

The court’s 5-2 ruling means about  69,000 people on the list of likely movers  will not have their voter registrations deactivated. When the lawsuit was first brought in 2019, about 234,000 were on the list. Of those who remain, none voted in the 2020 presidential election, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. No voters had their registrations deactivated while the legal fight was pending.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Biden's expansion of long-term care sparks debate
President Joe Biden is proposing a major expansion of the government’s role in long-term care, but questions are being raised over his using the low-income Medicaid program and piggybacking the whole idea on an infrastructure bill.

The White House infrastructure package includes $400 billion to accelerate a shift from institutional care to home and community services through the federal-state Medicaid program. The size of the financial commitment — about 17% of the $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal — leaves no doubt that Biden intends to put his mark on long-term care.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Prince Phillip, longest serving royal consort, dies
Prince Philip, the irascible and tough-minded husband of Queen Elizabeth II who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife in a role that both defined and constricted his life, has died, Buckingham Palace said Friday. He was 99.

His life spanned nearly a century of European history, starting with his birth as a member of the Greek royal family and ending as Britain’s longest serving consort during a turbulent reign in which the thousand-year-old monarchy was forced to reinvent itself for the 21st century.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Number of kids alone at border hits all-time high
The U.S. government picked up nearly 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border in March, authorities said Thursday, the largest monthly number ever recorded and a major test for President Joe Biden as he reverses many of his predecessor’s hardline immigration tactics.

A complex mix of factors in the United States and Central America drove the increase.  It has coincided with the Biden administration’s decision to exempt unaccompanied children from pandemic-related powers to immediately expel most people from the country without giving them an opportunity to seek asylum. Children are instead released to “sponsors” in the U.S., usually parents or close relatives, while being allowed to pursue their cases in heavily backlogged immigration courts.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

A city wrestled down an addiction crisis, then came COVID
Larrecsa Cox steered past the used tire shop, where a young man had collapsed a few days before, the syringe he’d used to shoot heroin still clenched in his fist.

She wound toward his house in the hills outside of town. The man had been revived by paramedics, and Cox leads a team with a mission of finding every overdose survivor to save them from the next one.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Georgia lawmaker will not face protest charges
A district attorney in Atlanta said Wednesday that she will not pursue charges against a Georgia state lawmaker who was arrested during a protest of the state’s sweeping new election law.

“After reviewing all of the evidence, I have decided to close this matter,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said in an emailed statement. “It will not be presented to a grand jury for consideration of indictment, and it is now closed.”

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Biden proposes pitch for higher business taxes
The Biden administration is drilling down on the argument that higher corporate tax rates would ultimately help an ailing economy, saying the resulting infrastructure investments would boost growth.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday it was “self-defeating” for then-President Donald Trump to assume that cutting the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% in 2017 would make the economy more competitive and unleash growth. Yellen said that competing on tax rates came at the expense of investing in workers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

156 million coronavirus relief payments issued
The Treasury Department said Wednesday it has issued more than 156 million payments as part of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan, including 25 million payments that were primarily to Social Security beneficiaries who hadn’t filed 2019 or 2020 tax returns.

The direct payments of as much as $1,400 per person were the cornerstone promise of Biden’s $1.9 trillion package to contain the pandemic and revive the U.S. economy. Roughly $372 billion has been paid out since March 12, a sum that likely boosted hiring last month as Americans had more money to spend.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Lawmakers call YouTube Kids a vapid wasteland
A House subcommittee is investigating YouTube Kids, saying the Google-owned video service feeds children inappropriate material in “a wasteland of vapid, consumerist content“ so it can serve them ads.

The inquiry comes despite  Google agreeing to pay $170 million in 2019 to settle allegations that YouTube collected personal data on children without their parents’ consent.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Discarded masks litter beaches, threaten sea life
To the usual list of foul trash left behind or washed up on beaches around the world, add these: masks and gloves used by people to avoid the coronavirus and then discarded on the sand.

In the past year, volunteers picking up trash on beaches from the Jersey Shore to California, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong have been finding discarded personal protective equipment.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Highest job openings rate on record
The pace of job openings reached the highest level on record in February, a harbinger of healthy hiring and a hopeful sign for those looking for work.

The job openings rate — which is the number of available jobs as a percentage of the employed and the open jobs, combined — rose to 4.9%, the highest since the data was first tracked in December 2000, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Farmers file antitrust lawsuit against big ag companies
A group of farmers has filed an antitrust case against several big agricultural companies, contending the companies worked together to ban e-commerce sales in order to keep prices artificially high.

The farmers are seeking class-action status and they want a judge to force the companies to give up “unlawful profits” and pay compensation to those impacted by the high prices.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

FDA OKs first new ADHD drug in over a decade
U.S. regulators have approved the first new drug in over a decade for children with ADHD, which causes inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

The Food and Drug Administration late Friday OK’d Qelbree (KELL’-bree) for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children ages 6 to 17. It comes as a capsule that’s taken daily.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Woman recovering after rare windpipe transplant from donor
Sonia Sein said she spent the last six years “trying to catch every breath at every moment“ after extensive treatment for her severe asthma damaged her windpipe.

She is breathing freely again after getting an unusual transplant. In January, doctors at New York’s Mount Sinai replaced her trachea, the tube that ferries air from the mouth to the lungs.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Twitter slowdown in Russia until mid-May; no block for now
Russian authorities said Monday they would continue to slow down Twitter until mid-May, but wouldn’t block the social media platform for now because it has started to remove banned content faster.

The announcement marks somewhat of a reprieve in the recent standoff between the Russian government and the platform, which has played a role in amplifying dissent in Russia.

Monday, April 5, 2021

High court sides with Google in copyright fight with Oracle
The Supreme Court sided Monday with Google in an $8 billion copyright dispute with Oracle over the internet company’s creation of the Android operating system used on most smartphones worldwide.
Monday, April 5, 2021

No indication officer in Capitol attack was stabbed, shot
A Capitol Police officer killed last week when a man armed with a knife rammed his car into two officers at a barricade outside the Capitol does not appear to have been stabbed, slashed or shot, a police official told The Associated Press on Monday.

Officer William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, died Friday after the driver rammed into the barricade near the Capitol. The driver, identified as 25-year-old Noah Green, crashed into the officers and the barrier, then exited the car armed with a knife and lunged at the officers before police fatally shot him, authorities said.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Yellen calls for minimum global corporate income tax
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday urged the adoption of a minimum global corporate income tax, an effort to offset any disadvantages that might arise from the Biden administration’s proposed increase in the U.S. corporate tax rate.

Citing a “thirty-year race to the bottom” in which countries have slashed corporate tax rates in an effort to attract multinational businesses, Yellen said the Biden administration would work with other advanced economies in the Group of 20 to set a minimum.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Border woes dent Biden approval on immigration
More Americans disapprove than approve of how President Joe Biden is handling the sharply increasing number of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, and approval of his efforts on larger immigration policy falls short of other top issues — suggesting it could be a weak point for the new administration.

A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also shows that solving the problem of young people at the border is among Americans' highest immigration priorities: 59% say providing safe treatment of unaccompanied children when they are apprehended should be a high priority, and 65% say the same about reuniting families separated at the border.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Some businesses want masks on, even as states drop mandates
Although Texas no longer requires people to wear masks to protect against COVID-19, customers do need them to enter De J. Lozada’s store.

“We cannot afford to take chances with the lives of my staffers. They’re young people and their parents have entrusted me with their care,” says Lozada, owner of Soul Popped Gourmet Popcorn, a shop located in Austin’s Barton Creek Square Mall.

Monday, April 5, 2021

GameStop to sell 3.5M shares after stock frenzy
Two months after a market phenomenon took shares of GameStop to the moon, the video game retailer said Monday that it will sell up to 3.5 million of its shares.

The shares will be sold through an “at-the-market” offering, which lets companies place their stock on the market over a period of time.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Wildfire in Theodore Roosevelt National Park triples in size
Firefighters worked Monday to further contain a wildfire in Theodore Roosevelt National Park that tripled in size on Easter, according to the North Dakota Forest Service.

Crews worked through the night in the park’s North Unit, where the fire threatens some park staff housing, maintenance buildings and the CCC Campground, according to the Forest Service’s acting outreach and education manager, Beth Hill.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Israel's Netanyahu sees prospects fade as his trial resumes
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial resumed Monday, with a key witness painting a picture of an image-obsessed Israeli leader forcing a prominent news site to flatter his family and smear his opponents.

The testimony came as Netanyahu’s chances of securing another term in office following last month’s parliamentary elections appeared to be dwindling in high-stakes political talks hosted by the country’s figurehead president just a few miles (kilometers) away.

Monday, April 5, 2021

New to DC, Buttigieg looks to build bridges with Biden plan
Pete Buttigieg was a few weeks into his job as transportation secretary, buried in meetings and preparing for the launch of President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion public works plan, when evening arrived along with a time to try something new in Washington.

Instead of climbing into the back seat of a black SUV like most Cabinet secretaries, he headed to a bike-share rack. Helmet on, and with a couple of Secret Service agents flanking him, he pedaled the mile-long trip to his home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Rescue hampered by distance as more rain falls in Indonesia
Rescuers were hampered by damaged bridges and roads and a lack of heavy equipment Monday after torrential rains caused multiple disasters on remote eastern Indonesian islands.

At least 55 people have died and more than 40 are missing in Indonesia, and the tropical cyclone causing the damage is expected to continue affecting Indonesia and East Timor for days and later Australia.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Taiwan investigators ask public for photos of train wreck
Prosecutors investigating Taiwan’s worst railway disaster in seven decades appealed to the public Monday for any photographs they may have taken of the crash that killed at least 50 people last week.

Hualien County Prosecutor Yu Hsiu-tuan said people may have inadvertently gathered evidence in their photos, particularly about individuals observing the crash scene from a construction site above.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Florida works to avoid "catastrophic" pond collapse
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday that crews are working to prevent the collapse of a large wastewater pond in the Tampa Bay area while evacuating the area to avoid a “catastrophic flood.“

Manatee County officials say the latest models show that a breach at the old phosphate plant reservoir has the potential to gush out 340 million gallons of water in a matter of minutes, risking a 20-foot-high (about 6.1-meter-high) wall of water.

Monday, April 5, 2021

9/11 Museum acquires prayer bench used by Rev. Mychal Judge
A prayer bench used by the Rev. Mychal Judge, a Fire Department chaplain killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was driven to the New York area on Sunday to join the collection of the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, museum officials said.
Monday, April 5, 2021

Capitol fencing: Deadly breach could delay decisions
WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest deadly breach of the Capitol’s perimeter could delay the gradual reopening of the building’s grounds to the public just as lawmakers were eyeing a return to more normal security measures following the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Saturday, April 3, 2021

Few in GOP rush to defend Gaetz, sex trafficking
WASHINGTON (AP) — The political peril for conservative Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz deepened Friday as the often outlandish, Trump-styled provocateur appeared politically isolated amid a federal sex-trafficking investigation.
Saturday, April 3, 2021

Spring is here, and unruly houseplants feel it too

(AP) — No matter that winter winds and snow still come and go in much of the country. The sun’s earlier rising and higher climb into the sky let us know that spring is on the way. Even houseplants indoors feel the changing season.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Some insects you will want to welcome in the garden
(THE CONVERSATION via AP) — As winter phases into spring across the U.S., gardeners are laying in supplies and making plans. Meanwhile, as the weather warms, common garden insects such as bees, beetles and butterflies will emerge from underground burrows or nests within or on plants.
Saturday, April 3, 2021

This might be the year to grow your own transplants
(AP) — If you’ve never grown your own transplants for your garden, perhaps this is the year to do it. It’s economical, it allows you to grow varieties you might not be able to buy as transplants, it’s satisfying and it’s easy.
Saturday, April 3, 2021

Vibrant new portrait of artist Helen Frankenthaler
(AP) — “Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York,” by Alexander Nemerov (Penguin Press)

There are doorstop biographies, and then there are appreciations. Alexander Nemerov has taken the latter approach in “Fierce Poise,” his vibrant, sympathetic portrait of Helen Frankenthaler. It focuses on 11 consequential days in the 1950s, the decade when she came of age as one of the leading painters of her generation.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Review: Lana Del Rey shifts gaze in 'Chemtrails'

Decay and decadence coexist in the world created by Lana Del Rey in "Chemtrails Over The Country Club."

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Take a virtual tour of the Roman Temples of Baalbek
(AP) — The famous temple complex of Baalbek, the ancient Heliopolis in Lebanon, is one of the largest Roman religious sites in the world and part of the world heritage. Baalbek has a rich history that goes back to around 8,000 BC. The remaining six pillars of the Temple of Jupiter are now a landmark of Lebanon. On March 31, the “Baalbek Reborn: Temples” app from Flyover Zone will launch using the latest technology to reconstruct what today’s ruins looked like in the past. On a journey through time, the virtual tour brings this heritage back to life and shows the Temple of Jupiter Heliopolitanus, the Temple of Bacchus, the Temple of Venus and the Temple of the Muses.
Saturday, April 3, 2021

US Capitol on lockdown after report of gunfire nearby
WASHINGTON (AP) — Police locked down the U.S. Capitol this afternoon after a report of gunshots in the area.
Friday, April 2, 2021

Politicians at odds over infrastructure
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden set about convincing America it needs his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday, deputizing a five-member “jobs Cabinet” to help in the effort. But the enormity of his task was clear as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s vowed to oppose the plan “every step of the way.”
Friday, April 2, 2021

March hiring accelerated, yet many jobs remain lost
WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers unleashed a burst of hiring in March, adding 916,000 jobs in a sign that a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession is taking hold as vaccinations accelerate, stimulus checks flow through the economy and businesses increasingly reopen.
Friday, April 2, 2021

CDC guidance: Fully vaccinated can travel again
NEW YORK (AP) — Add travel to the activities vaccinated Americans can enjoy again, according to new U.S. guidance issued Friday.
Friday, April 2, 2021

Lieutenant: Kneeling on Floyd's neck unnecessary
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kneeling on George Floyd ’s neck while he was handcuffed and in the prone position was “top-tier, deadly force“ and “totally unnecessary,” the head of the Minneapolis Police Department’s homicide division testified Friday.
Friday, April 2, 2021

LaHood paid fine to resolve investigation into loan
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Former Illinois congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in 2019 paid a $40,000 fine for allegedly making misleading statements to federal agents about a loan and failing to disclose it on ethics forms, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Friday, April 2, 2021

Lawsuits over execution of census coming to end
(AP) — Two legal challenges to the Trump administration’s execution of the 2020 census neared conclusions this week in the face of changes brought by President Joe Biden’s administration since he took office last January.
Friday, April 2, 2021

Amid glow of open day, cloud looms over MLB
ATLANTA (AP) — Amid the glow of baseball’s opening day, there is a cloud looming over the All-Star Game still more than three months away.
Friday, April 2, 2021

For many, this Easter will reflect extra measure of joy
(AP) — For Christians across the United States, Easter services on Sunday will reflect an extra measure of joy as the nation experiences rising optimism after a year of pandemic. Even if still observing restrictions, many churches may draw the largest numbers of in-person worshippers in months.
Friday, April 2, 2021

Cause of Tiger Woods crash found, officials won't reveal it
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County sheriff said detectives have determined what caused Tiger Woods to crash his SUV last month in Southern California but declined Wednesday to release details, citing unspecified privacy concerns for the golf star.
Thursday, April 1, 2021

North Carolina: Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams retiring
North Carolina says Hall of Fame basketball coach Roy Williams is retiring.
Thursday, April 1, 2021

WHO: Europe's vaccinations "unacceptably slow"
LONDON (AP) — European nations’ immunization campaigns against COVID-19 are “unacceptably slow” and risk prolonging the pandemic, a senior World Health Organization official said Thursday.
Thursday, April 1, 2021

High court: Charlottesville can remove Confederate statues
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s highest court ruled Thursday that the city of Charlottesville can take down two statues of Confederate generals, including one of Robert E. Lee that became the focus of a violent white nationalist rally in 2017.
Thursday, April 1, 2021

Boutique stretching resembles therapy and massage
CENTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Pandemic-weary Americans starved for human interaction and physical touch are taking advantage of a growing wellness option once reserved for Hollywood actors, rock stars and elite athletes: boutique stretching.
Thursday, April 1, 2021

Ancient coins may solve mystery of 1600s pirate
A handful of coins unearthed from a pick-your-own-fruit orchard in rural Rhode Island and other random corners of New England may help solve one of the planet’s oldest cold cases.

The villain in this tale: a murderous English pirate who became the world’s most-wanted criminal after plundering a ship carrying Muslim pilgrims home to India from Mecca, then eluded capture by posing as% a slave trader.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Company at heart of J&J vaccine woes has series of citations
The company at the center of quality problems that led Johnson & Johnson to discard an unknown amount of its coronavirus vaccine has a string of citations from U.S. health officials for quality control problems.

Emergent BioSolutons, a little-known company at the center of the vaccine supply chain, was a key to Johnson & Johnson’s plan to deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. by the end of May. But the company has been cited repeatedly by the Food and Drug Administration for problems such as poorly trained employees, cracked vials and mold around one of its facilities, according to records obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act. The records cover inspections at Emergent facilities since 2017.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

One state supreme court strikes down mask mandate
The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate Wednesday, stripping the governor of one of his last remaining tools to curb large-scale spread of COVID-19 as the state stands on the precipice of another surge in infections.

The conservative-leaning court ruled 4-3 that Evers violated state law by unilaterally issuing multiple emergency orders to extend the mandate for months. The court found Evers needed legislative approval to issue more orders after the initial 60-day mandate he issued in August expired.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

New York latest to legalize recreational marijuana
New Yorkers can now possess and use up to 3 ounces of cannabis under a legalization bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, while sales of recreational-use marijuana won’t become legal for an estimated 18 months until the state draws up regulations.

Advocates for criminal justice reform hope it will also help redress the inequities of a system that has locked up people of color for marijuana offenses at disproportionate rates. The legislation provides protections for cannabis users in the workplace, housing, family court and in schools, colleges and universities, and sets a target of providing half of marijuana licenses to individuals from underrepresented communities.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

COVID pushed total US death beyond 3.3 million
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed total U.S. deaths last year beyond 3.3 million, the nation’s highest-ever annual death toll, the government reported Wednesday.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate mastermind, dies
G. Gordon Liddy, a mastermind of the Watergate burglary and a radio talk show host after emerging from prison, died Tuesday at age 90 at his daughter’s home in Virginia.

His son, Thomas Liddy, confirmed the death but did not reveal the cause, other than to say it was not related to COVID-19.

Liddy, a former FBI agent and Army veteran, was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping for his role in the Watergate burglary, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. He spent four years and four months in prison, including more than 100 days in solitary confinement.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

EU: 'No evidence' to restrict use of Astra Zeneca vaccine
The head of the European Medicines Agency said Wednesday that there is “no evidence” that would support restricting use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine in any population, as Germany has now done amid concerns over rare blood clots in people who got the shot.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Justices take on NCAA restrictions
The NCAA and former college athletes are getting ready to play ball at the Supreme Court.

With the March Madness basketball tournament ongoing, the high court was hearing arguments today in a case about how colleges can reward athletes who play Division I basketball and football. The NCAA says if the former college students who brought the case win, it could erase the distinction between professional and college sports.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Biden eager to build infrastructure
President Joe Biden wants $2 trillion to reengineer America’s infrastructure and expects the nation’s corporations to pay for it.

The president traveled to Pittsburgh today to unveil what would be a hard-hatted transformation of the U.S. economy as grand in scale as the New Deal or Great Society programs of the 20th century.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Hunter Biden 'wouldn't repeat Ukrainian work'
President Joe Biden’s son Hunter says his service on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, which Republicans tried to turn into a negative during the 2020 presidential campaign, wasn’t unethical and didn’t represent a lack of judgment on his part.

But the younger Biden wouldn’t do it again if given a chance, he says in a new book, citing partisan politics.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Boutique stretching resembles therapy and massage
Pandemic-weary Americans starved for human interaction and physical touch are taking advantage of a growing wellness option once reserved for Hollywood actors, rock stars and elite athletes: boutique stretching.

“It’s like a workout, but you feel way more flexible," a masked Kelly O'Neal, 51, said as her leg was being pulled across her body during a recent session at a newly opened StretchLab studio in Centerville. "I get plenty done after I get done here because you just feel like you’ve warmed up really well.” She said her legs and feet ache after her shift at a grocery store in southwest Ohio — often plus overtime because of COVID-19 demands.

Others cite some intangibles offered by assisted stretching during the coronavirus.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Closer Look At Biden's Infrastructure Plans
President Joe Biden says his proposal for an aggressive series of infrastructure investments would require $2 trillion in spending over eight years but could create millions of jobs. It would be funded by higher corporate taxes.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Federal appeals court upholds the constitutionality of a terror watchlist
A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a challenge to the constitutionality of the government’s terrorist watchlist, ruling that the government deserves wide latitude in establishing programs designed to protect national security.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

School plotters often are bullied, suffer from depression
The warning signs are all there.

Students who were making plans to attack schools showed the same types of troubled histories as those who carried them out. They were badly bullied, often suffered from depression with stress at home and exhibited behavior that worried others, according to a U.S. Secret Service study released today that examined 67 thwarted school plots nationwide. Those warning signs are also found in many of the adults who commit mass shootings.

The study by the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center is a twist on the study of school shootings. The group analyzed 100 students responsible for plotting 67 attacks nationwide from 2006-18 in K-12 schools. It’s a companion report to its study in 2019 on student attackers, the most comprehensive analysis of school shootings since the 1999 Columbine High School killings.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Dr. Fauci uncertain about WHO findings
A joint World Health Organization-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press.

The findings offer little new insight into how the virus first emerged and leave many questions unanswered. But the report does provide more detail on the reasoning behind the researchers’ conclusions.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Video shows Asian woman assaulted on NYC street
An Asian American woman was attacked in New York City by a man who repeatedly kicked her as two people nearby who appeared to be security guards did not intervene, according to surveillance footage released by police.

The 65-year-old woman was walking in midtown Manhattan a few blocks from Times Square on Monday afternoon when a man approached her and kicked her in the stomach, knocking her to the ground, police said. The man then stomped on the woman’s face several times while shouting anti-Asian insults at her, police said. He later casually walked away, the footage shows.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Tennessee flood deaths rise to 6; more rain coming
Tennessee emergency officials have reported a sixth person died in flash flooding over the weekend, and four of the six deaths involved cars.

A vehicle driven by Donna Adams, 61, of Surgoinsville, was swept into Big Creek in Hawkins County on Sunday afternoon, according to a preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Adams was swept out of one of the windows. Her body was found about 20 yards (18 meters) downstream. She is believed to have drowned.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Crews battliing Black Hills fires hampered by wind
High winds Tuesday hampered firefighters battling wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota that have forced the evacuations of more than 400 homes and closed the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Three separate wildfires were burning near Rapid City, with the largest near Schroeder Road in the Nemo area. That fire has burned nearly 3 square miles (7.7 square kilometers) and has not been contained at all. Two smaller blazes were burning southwest of Rapid City, near Keystone, leading Mount Rushmore National Memorial to close through at least Wednesday, as well as surrounding roads.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Claims against Cuomo: A look at the women's allegations of impropriety
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing allegations that he sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately toward women who worked with him or met him elsewhere — now including one he encountered while on official business. The woman, Sherry Vill, said at a press conference Monday that Cuomo forcibly kissed her cheeks  and made her uncomfortable while examining flood damage at her home.

Other accusations range from groping under a woman’s shirt and planting unwanted kisses to asking unwelcome personal questions about sex and dating.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

President Biden's first judicial nominees: Black, Asian, Islander, Muslim, more
President Joe Biden has announced his first slate of judicial nominees. The list released by the White House early today includes Black, Muslim and Asian American Pacific Islander candidates among the nine women and two men.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Virgin Galactic rolls out latest generation spaceship
Virgin Galactic rolled out its newest spaceship Tuesday as the company looks to resume test flights in the coming months at its headquarters in the New Mexico desert.

Company officials said it will likely be summer before the ship — designed and manufactured in California — undergoes glide flight testing at Spaceport America in southern New Mexico. That will coincide with the final round of testing for the current generation of spacecraft, which will be the one that takes British billionaire and Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson to the fringes of space later this year.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Years later, Chickasaw remains return to Mississippi
A man and a woman were found buried among wolf teeth and turtle shells. Other graves contained mothers and infants. Some tribal members were laid to rest with beloved dogs.

Over the last century, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History has stored the remains of hundreds of Native Americans who once inhabited the state. Most of the remains were found in the Mississippi Delta and range from 750 to 1,800 years old. For decades, they sat on shelves in the state’s collections.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Fires in Black Hills force evacuation of 400 homes
Three separate wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota have forced evacuations of more than 400 homes northwest of Rapid City and shut down Mount Rushmore, authorities said.

A fire that started near Schroeder Road in the Nemo area, about 15 miles (northwest of Rapid City, had burned as much as 1 1/2 square miles  and was “still moving” on Monday afternoon, according to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. Several outbuildings and at least one home have been destroyed, officials said.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Vaccines are free, treatment isn't: COVID bills, what to expect
Testing and vaccination for the coronavirus is free thanks to laws passed last year. Treatment isn’t, however, and may be about to get more expensive.

A new vaccine is in production, millions of doses are being administered daily and President Joe Biden says there will be enough vaccines for all U.S. adults by the end of May. That’s great news. But there’s still a risk of getting COVID-19 and facing medical bills.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Did COVID stress and uncertainly stall anti-smoking efforts?
A year after COVID-19 upended life for millions of Americans, there are troubling signs that the coronavirus may have also slowed progress against another deadly health threat: smoking.

Fewer smokers called quit-smoking hotlines last year and some smoked more, contributing to an unusual bump in cigarette sales — all in the middle of the stress, anxiety and uncertainty from the pandemic.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Giant container ship in Suez Can is finally free
Salvage teams today freed a colossal container ship stuck for nearly a week in the Suez Canal, ending a crisis that had clogged one of the world’s most vital waterways and halted billions of dollars a day in maritime commerce.

Helped by the tides, a flotilla of tugboats wrenched the bulbous bow of the skyscraper-sized Ever Given from the canal’s sandy bank, where it had been firmly lodged since March 23.

Monday, March 29, 2021

CDC director has feeling of 'impending doom'
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made an impassioned plea to Americans today not to let their guard down in the fight against COVID-19, warning of a potential fourth wave of the virus and saying she has a recurring feeling “of impending doom.“

Speaking during a virtual White House briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky grew emotional as she reflected on her experience treating COVID-19 patients who are alone at the end of their lives.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Ban on renter evictions during pandemic expanded
The Biden administration is extending a federal moratorium on evictions of tenants who have fallen behind on rent during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday moved to continue the pandemic-related protection, which had been scheduled to expire on Wednesday. The moratorium is now extended through the end of June.

Monday, March 29, 2021

'People are letting their guard down'
A year after becoming a global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, New York and New Jersey are back atop the list of U.S. states with the highest rates of infection.

Even as the vaccination campaign has ramped up, the number of new infections in New Jersey has crept up by 37% in a little more than a month, to about 23,600 every seven days. About 54,600 people in New York tested positive for the virus in the last week, a number that has begun to inch up recently.

Monday, March 29, 2021

White House still declines to give media access to Border Patrol facilities
White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to provide a specific date for when the media will get access to Border Patrol facilities temporarily holding thousands of migrant children seeking to live in the United States, but said Sunday the Biden administration was committed to transparency and “we’re working to get that done as soon as we can.”
Monday, March 29, 2021

Emerging Republican candidate announces run for Murkowski's Alaska seat
An early Republican candidate announced plans today to seek the Alaska U.S. Senate seat that has been held since 2002 by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Kelly Tshibaka, who has led the sprawling Alaska Department of Administration since early 2019, in a statement said she is running “for the Alaskans who believe government is of the people, by the people and for the people. The D.C. insiders need to be held accountable to us.”

Monday, March 29, 2021

China outlines COVID-origin findings, ahead of WHO report
Chinese officials briefed diplomats Friday on the ongoing research into the origin of COVID-19, ahead of the expected release of a long-awaited report from the World Health Organization.

The briefing appeared to be an attempt by China to get out its view on the report, which has become enmeshed in a diplomatic spat. The U.S. and others have raised questions about Chinese influence and the independence of the findings, and China has accused critics of politicizing a scientific study.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Let the shell games begin in the Illinois General Assembly
Recently seated members of the 102nd General Assembly had introduced 6,950 bills as of March 22. That is correct, it is not a typo and you did not misread.  Almost 7,000  proposals of some variety have been introduced.  In addition, 180 Senate resolutions, 162 House resolutions, 10 Senate joint resolutions, 26 House joint resolutions, 10 Senate joint resolution constitutional amendments, and 32 House resolutions constitutional amendments have been filed.  If you add in these 335 various types of resolutions to the 6,950 bills filed, you have a grand total of 7,285 initiatives filed by 177 elected officials (118 House and 59 Senate members).  That is an average of just more than 41 proposals per member of the General Assembly. Your senator or representative might have filed an above or below average number of proposals.  For the record, that does not make them above average or below average lawmakers.
Saturday, March 27, 2021

North Korea snaps back at Biden
North Korea on Saturday snapped back at President Joe Biden’s criticism of its ballistic missile tests, calling his comments a provocation and encroachment on the North’s right to self-defense and vowing to continuously expand its “most thoroughgoing and overwhelming military power.”
Saturday, March 27, 2021

FEMA vaccination sites to close in California
The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to stop operating two mass vaccination sites in California next month, just days before the state makes everyone 16 and older eligible for a shot.

The two sites in Oakland and Los Angeles opened in February for an eight-week pilot program that concludes on April 15. The sites will switch from the Pfizer to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires just one shot, during the final two weeks of operation so that people do not have to sign up for a second dose elsewhere.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

New attempts planned to free huge vessel stuck in Suez Canal
A giant container ship remained stuck sideways in Egypt’s Suez Canal for a fifth day Saturday, as authorities prepared to make new attempts to free the vessel and reopen a crucial east-west waterway for global shipping.

The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged ship that carries cargo between Asia and Europe, ran aground Tuesday in the narrow canal that runs between Africa and the Sinai Peninsula.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

'Treating us like robots': Amazon workers seek union
Linda Burns was excited at first to land a job at the Amazon warehouse outside Birmingham, Alabama. The former nursing assistant had always enjoyed ordering from the company, Now, she would be working for them.

A cog in a fast-moving assembly line, her job involved picking up customers’ orders and sending them down the line to the packers. Now she is a staunch supporter of getting a union at the Bessemer facility. She said employees face relentless quotas and deserve more respect.

“They are treating us like robots rather than humans,” said Burns, 51, who said she is out of leave after developing tendonitis.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Arkansas governor signs medical conscience objections law
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday signed into law legislation allowing doctors to refuse to treat someone because of religious or moral objections, a move opponents have said will give providers broad powers to turn away LGBTQ patients and others.

The measure says health care workers and institutions have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience. The new law won’t take effect until late this summer.

Friday, March 26, 2021

MLB stadiums pass 1 million vaccinations given
COVID-19 vaccination shots have been dispensed at Major League Baseball stadiums, with the Oakland Coliseum and Marlins Park among the sites planning to continue operating after opening day.

The 11 ballparks that converted to mass vaccination centers in the offseason combined to pass a million total shots this week, MLB said Friday.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Maritime traffic jam grows at blocked Suez Canal
A maritime traffic jam grew to more than 200 vessels Friday outside the Suez Canal and some vessels began changing course as dredgers worked frantically to free a giant container ship that is stuck sideways in the waterway and disrupting global shipping.

One salvage expert said freeing the cargo ship, the Ever Given, could take up to a week in the best-case scenario and warned of possible structural problems on the vessel as it remains wedged.

Friday, March 26, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine testing turns to kids
The 9-year-old twins didn’t flinch as each received test doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine — and then a sparkly bandage to cover the spot.

“Sparkles make everything better,” declared Marisol Gerardo as she hopped off an exam table at Duke University to make way for her sister Alejandra.

Researchers in the U.S. and abroad are beginning to test younger and younger kids to make sure COVID-19 vaccines are safe and work for each age. The first shots are going to adults who are most at risk from the coronavirus, but ending the pandemic will require vaccinating children too.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Tornado outbreak rips Deep South
Tornadoes and severe storms tore through the Deep South, killing at least five people as strong winds splintered trees, wrecked homes and downed power lines.

The tornado outbreak rolled into western Georgia early Friday. One large, dangerous tornado moved through Newnan and surrounding communities in the Atlanta metro area, meteorologists said.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Small Texas border town is route to US for migrant children
Friday, March 26, 2021

Are suit jackets and sports coats oppression? Lawmakers fight over dress codes
A sneaker-clad Latino state senator in Rhode Island is objecting to his chamber’s jacket and dress shirt edict as a form of white oppression. Female lawmakers in Montana complain proposed rules dealing with s kirt lengths and necklines are overly sexist.

And an Iowa state representative wore jeans on the floor last month to highlight the irony of Republican leaders refusing to mandate face masks in the chamber as the coronavirus pandemic rages while still banning jeans and other casual clothes.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Voting company sues Fox over claims
Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News on Friday, arguing the cable news giant falsely claimed in an effort to boost faltering ratings that the voting company had rigged the 2020 election.

The lawsuit is part of a growing body of legal action filed by the voting company and other targets of misleading, false and bizarre claims spread by President Donald Trump and his allies in the aftermath of Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden. Those claims helped spur on rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a violent siege that left five people dead, including a police officer. The siege led to Trump’s historic second impeachment.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Trump defends Capitol rioters, there was 'zero threat'
Former President Donald Trump on Thursday defended some of his supporters who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, saying they posed “zero threat” to the lawmakers who had assembled there to certify the Electoral College vote that confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race.

Trump complained to Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham that law enforcement was “persecuting” the Capitol rioters, while “nothing happens” to left-wing protesters

Friday, March 26, 2021

GOP 2024 contenders start to make moves in Iowa
Ambitious Republicans are starting to make moves in Iowa, long a proving ground for future presidents. Their first step is finding out whether activists there have gotten over the last one.

Former President Donald Trump remains a hulking presence in Iowa, where he won twice by healthy margins. He’s hinted he’ll run again, and his false claims that the last election was stolen still dominate some Republican circles.

But that doesn’t mean Trump has frozen the field of potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates. Several GOP politicians have plans for trips to Iowa and other early nominating states this spring. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is the first since the election to gauge Iowans’ interest in person this week.

Friday, March 26, 2021

California's net neutrality law spring into life today
More than three years ago, Trump-era regulators killed federal net neutrality regulations designed to prevent AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and other major internet providers from exploiting their dominance to favor certain services or apps over others. In response, seven states and Puerto Rico enacted their own net neutrality policies. The most expansive effort of this sort was in California, which will start enforcing its law on Thursday — with potentially significant consequences for the rest of the U.S.
Thursday, March 25, 2021

Panel: Consider air cooling tech as climate back-up
The U.S. must seriously consider the idea of tinkering with the atmosphere to cool a warming Earth and accelerate research into how and whether humanity should hack the planet, the National Academy of Sciences said Thursday.

The report by the academy, set up by Abraham Lincoln to provide the government with expert advice, doesn’t recommend carrying out solar geoengineering to bounce heat back to space. At least not yet.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Bald eagle populations soar in the lower 48 states
The number of American bald eagles has quadrupled since 2009, with more than 300,000 birds soaring over the lower 48 states, government scientists said in a report Wednesday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said bald eagles, the national symbol that once teetered on the brink of extinction, have flourished in recent years, growing to more than 71,400 nesting pairs and an estimated 316,700 individual birds.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Powell likens emergency COVID-19 efforts to WWII efforts at Dunkirk
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell compared the actions taken by the central bank early in the pandemic as the economy barreled toward a recession to British efforts in World War II to evacuate troops at Dunkirk.

Asked Thursday in an NPR interview whether would have anything different back in March 2020 if given the chance, Powell said, “We almost certainly didn’t do everything right but we knew at the very beginning that we should use all of our tools and use them as aggressively and extensively as we needed to.”

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Biden taps VP Harris to lead response at border
President Joe Biden has tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the White House effort to tackle the migration challenge at the U.S. southern border and work with Central American nations to address root causes of the problem.

Biden made the announcement as he and Harris met at the White House on Wednesday with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandra Mayorkas and other immigration advisers to discuss the increase in migrants, including many unaccompanied minors, arriving at the border in recent weeks.

In delegating the matter to Harris, Biden is seeking to replicate a dynamic that played out when he served as President Barack Obama’s vice president. Obama turned to Biden in his first term to lead the White House effort to draw down U.S. troops in Iraq and oversee implementation of stimulus in response to the Great Recession.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Yellen sees room for US to borrow, opens the door to tax hike
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen believes the U.S. government has more room to borrow, but said higher taxes would likely be required in the long run to finance future spending increases.

Yellen appeared Wednesday before the Senate Banking Committee with the Biden administration considering up to $3 trillion in additional spending on infrastructure, green energy, and education. That “Build Back Better” plan would follow the $1.9 trillion economic relief package approved earlier this month.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Freeze in air travel thaws, United adds flights
With confidence rising that the end of the pandemic is growing closer, airlines are starting to revive flights that vanished last year as people cancelled vacations and business trips.

United Airlines will add 26 new nonstop routes from Midwest cities to vacation spots like Hilton Head, S.C.; Pensacola, Fla.; and Portland, Maine. The airline said Thursday that it is also restarting more than 20 domestic routes and will initiate new service between Orange County, Calif., and Honolulu.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Treasury sends out additional 37 million relief payments
The Treasury Department said Wednesday that it has sent out another 37 million economic impact payments, bringing the total disbursed in the past two weeks to $325 billion.

The second batch of payments sent out this week followed an initial 90 million payments made in the week after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief measure on March 11.

Treasury said the plan is to keep rolling out payments in batches over the coming weeks. Like the first round of payments, this latest group included direct deposits, as well as paper checks and debit cards mailed to households.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Buttigieg pitches infrastructure needs
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is warning that the county’s infrastructure needs exceed $1 trillion and that other countries, namely China, are pulling ahead of the U.S. with their public works investments, a scenario he describes as “a threat to our collective future.“

Buttigieg appeared before a House panel today, part of an opening gambit to sell Congress on President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. Congress just passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, but Buttigieg is expected to tell lawmakers that a broader economic recovery will require a national commitment to fix and transform America’s infrastructure.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Relief bill offers long-denied aid to Black farmers
In 2017, Latonya Andrews bought a 60-acre tract of Warren County land to become the fourth generation of her family to farm it. A former Air Force medic who now works as a research assistant at UNC, she took a methodical approach to reintroducing agriculture on land that had lain dormant for more than a decade.

She consulted with other Black farmers in the community, and they all offered the same advice.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Alternatives to nursing homes get $12B boost in COVID law
With the memory of the pandemic’s toll in nursing homes still raw, the COVID-19 relief law is offering states a generous funding boost for home- and community-based care as an alternative to institutionalizing disabled people.

Advocates hope the estimated $12.7 billion will accelerate what has been a steady shift to supporting elderly and disabled people and their overwhelmed families in everyday settings. But the money for state Medicaid programs, long in coming, will only be available over four calendar quarters this year and next. That’s raising concerns it will have just fleeting impact, and prompting calls for permanent legislation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Spring break turns deadly, 3 charged in Fla. deaths
Two North Carolina men on spring break in Florida have been charged with drugging and raping a woman who later died, possibly of a drug overdose in Miami Beach, police said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in Panama City, a man has been charged with fatally shooting a teenager from Kentucky and another Florida man died when he jumped from the 23rd story of a beach resort with a parachute that did not open, authorities said.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Colleges tout hopes for return to new normal in fall
Colleges throughout the U.S. are assuring students that the fall semester will bring a return to in-person classes, intramural sports and mostly full dormitories. But those promises come with asterisks.

Administrators say how quickly campus life comes back will depend on the success of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts and the ability to avoid widespread outbreaks.

Universities saw their budgets hammered during the coronavirus pandemic, which emptied dorms and led to declines in enrollment, and are facing pressure to reopen fully. A flood of announcements from schools describing their plans has begun as high school seniors and returning students are making decisions about where they will be next fall.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Homeschooling doubled since start of pandemic
The rate of households homeschooling their children doubled from the start of the pandemic last spring to the start of the new school year last September, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report released this week.

Last spring, about 5.4% of all U.S. households with school-aged children were homeschooling them, but that figure rose to 11% by last fall, according to the bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

The survey purposefully asked the question in a way to clarify that it was inquiring about genuine homeschooling and not virtual learning through a public or private school, the Census Bureau said.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Congress questions Texas officials about power grid
Congress is looking into last month’s massive and deadly power outages  across Texas and questioning officials who oversee the state’s energy industry and electric grid.

A House Energy Committee was scheduled Wednesday to hear from Bill Magness, the outgoing CEO of the grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and Christi Craddick, chair of the Texas Railroad Commission.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Colorado shooter prone to fits of rage, delusions
Law enforcement officials and former associates of a 21-year-old man accused of killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket have described the suspect as prone to sudden rage — and disclosed that he was suspended from high school several years ago for a sudden attack on a classmate that left the student bloodied.

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, from the Denver suburb of Arvada, was booked into jail Tuesday on murder charges a day after the attack at a King Soopers grocery in Boulder and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Democrats vow vote on gun bills
Democrats said they are pushing toward a vote on expanded gun control measures as the nation reels from its second mass shooting in a week. President Joe Biden said “we have to act,” but prospects for any major changes were dim, for now, in the closely divided Congress.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Three ways COVID-19 reshuffled our finances
The U.S. economy ground to a halt in March 2020 as state after state issued lockdown orders and shut down businesses to blunt the spread of the coronavirus.

A year later, mask-wearing is commonplace, the phrase “social distancing” is now in the dictionary, elbow bumps have replaced fist bumps and hugs are still on pause.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

How to get the best towing vehicle for your money
You might be thinking about hitting the road this spring with a new SUV or truck and pulling a trailer or toy hauler. But figuring out what kind of vehicle to get without overspending can be a confusing process.

To help, Edmunds’ car shopping experts have advice on how to better understand the jargon and interpret the potentially misleading towing numbers offered by automakers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Spring forecast: Widespread drought, warm temps
With nearly two-thirds of the United States abnormally dry or worse, the government's spring forecast offers little hope for relief, especially in the West where a devastating megadrought has taken root and worsened.

Weather service and agriculture officials warned of possible water use cutbacks in California and the Southwest, increased wildfires, low levels in key reservoirs such as Lake Mead and Lake Powell and damage to wheat crops.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Millions in US face heavy, past-due utility bills
Millions of U.S. households are facing heavy past-due utility bills, which have escalated in the year since the pandemic forced Americans hunkered down at home to consume more power.

And now, government moratoriums that for months had barred utilities from turning off the power of their delinquent customers  are starting to expire in most states. As result, up to 37 million customers — representing nearly one-third of all households — will soon have to reckon with their overdue power bills at a time when many of them are struggling with lost jobs or income.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Gun in supermarkeet shooting bought 6 days prior
The suspect in the Boulder supermarket shootings bought the assault rifle six days before the shooting where 10 people were killed, including a police officer, according to an arrest affidavit released Tuesday. The documents did not detail where the gun was purchased.

The affidavit also said employees of the supermarket told investigators that the suspect identified by police as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, shot an elderly man multiple times outside the store before going inside.

Another person was found shot and in a vehicle next to a car registered to suspect’s brother, the affidavit said.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

AstraZeneca results may have included outdated information
Results from a U.S. trial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine may have included “outdated information” and that could mean the company provided an incomplete view of efficacy data, American federal health officials said early Tuesday.

AstraZeneca said in a statement that the data it released Monday included cases up to Feb. 17, as the study rules specified, and that it was continuing to analyze cases that have occurred since then. The company said that a preliminary analysis of data that has continued to roll in was consistent with what it had already reported. It promised an update within 48 hours.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Microsoft to start bringing workers back to headquarters
Microsoft will begin bringing workers back to its suburban Seattle global headquarters on March 29 as the tech giant starts to reopen more facilities it largely shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.
Monday, March 22, 2021

Trump endorses challenger against Georgia elections chief
Former President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed a conservative Georgia congressman in his bid to unseat the Republican secretary of state who refused to help overturn the November election results.

Rep. Jody Hice, a Tea Party favorite and Trump acolyte, is the first major challenger to Brad Raffensperger since the secretary of state certified President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia and disputed Trump’s false allegations of fraud.

Monday, March 22, 2021

EU slaps sanctions on 4 Chinese officials
The European Union imposed Monday sanctions on four Chinese officials accused of responsibility for abuses against Uyghur Muslims, provoking swift retaliation from Beijing.

The four are senior officials in the northwest region of Xinjiang. The sanctions involve a freeze on the officials’ assets and a ban on them traveling in the bloc. European citizens and companies are not permitted to provide them with financial assistance.

Monday, March 22, 2021

AstraZeneca: US data shows vaccine effective for all adults
AstraZeneca reported Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection among all adults in a long-anticipated U.S. study, raising hopes that the findings could help rebuild public confidence in the beleaguered shot in other countries and moving a step closer to clearance for American use.

AstraZeneca said the vaccine was 79% effective overall at preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 — including in older people — and that none of the study volunteers who were vaccinated were hospitalized or developed severe disease. The company also said its experts did not identify any safety concerns related to the vaccine, including finding no increased risk of rare blood clots identified in Europe.

Monday, March 22, 2021

USS Constitution honors 1st female chief petty officer
The U.S.S. Constitution named one of its cannons in honor of the first woman to serve as a chief petty officer in the Navy.

The 24-pound long gun was named Perfectus after Loretta Perfectus Walsh during a ceremony in Boston on Sunday marking Women’s History Month, the Navy said in a statement.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Republican Rep. Tom Reed, accused of misconduct, will retire
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican from western New York who was accused last week of rubbing a female lobbyist’s back and unhooking her bra without her consent in 2017, apologized to the woman on Sunday and announced that he will not run for reelection next year.
Monday, March 22, 2021

Donations pour in for families of Atlanta shooting victims
Shortly after his mother was killed in the Atlanta-area shootings, Randy Park launched a GoFundMe page asking for $20,000 to pay for funeral expenses. By Sunday, the donations were approaching $3 million.
Monday, March 22, 2021

Missouri State Fair on this year after 2020 cancelation
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP)  Plans for a full Missouri State Fair are back on after the event was canceled last year because of the coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the state's agriculture director confirmed Tuesday.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Thai police use tear gas, rubber bullets to break up protest
BANGKOK (AP) — Police in the Thai capital used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets Saturday night to break up a rally by pro-democracy protesters calling for the release of detained activists, constitutional changes and reform of the nation’s monarchy.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Indiana utility fined $1.1M for pipeline safety violations
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) — State regulators have fined Northern Indiana Public Service Co. more than $1 million — the largest in Indiana history — for pipeline safety violations the utility has faced twice in the previous four years.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

California fireworks explosion caused $3.2 million in damage
ONTARIO, Calif. (AP) — A massive fireworks explosion that left two people dead in Southern California earlier this week caused at least $3.2 million worth of damage, officials said Friday.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Biden is on his heels amid migrant surge
WASHINGTON (AP) — Somehow, they didn’t see it coming.

Within weeks of Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, the Biden administration had reversed many of the most maligned Trump-era immigration policies, including deporting children seeking asylum who arrived alone at the U.S.-Mexico border and forcing migrants to wait in Mexico as they made their case to stay in the United States.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Pot legalization bill falters in New Mexico Legislature
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in New Mexico appeared to falter in the final hours of a 60-day legislative session as the Senate postponed a floor debate and turned to other bills.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Fallout from riot, virus leaves toxic mood on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON (AP) — The mood is so bad at the U.S. Capitol that a Democratic congressman recently let an elevator pass him by rather than ride with Republican colleagues who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s election.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Sunday News Guest lineups
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Famed Tiffany jewelry designer Elsa Peretti dead at age 80
NEW YORK (AP) — Elsa Peretti, who went from Halston model and Studio 54 regular in the 1960s and ’70s to one of the world’s most famous jewelry designers with timeless, fluid Tiffany & Co. collections often inspired by nature, has died. She was 80.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Advocates urge transparency in Biden priest investigation
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — A prominent victims advocate group on Friday urged Santa Clara University in Northern California to release details about unspecified allegations against its president, a Jesuit priest who presided over an inaugural Mass for President Joe Biden and is now under investigation.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

In poor districts, pandemic overwhelms school counselors
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — To help her students keep up with school this year, counselor Nadia Pearce has tried it all.
Saturday, March 20, 2021

Economy gaining, but 'far from complete'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his belief Friday that while the U.S. economy has been steadily rebounding from the devastation caused by the pandemic recession, the recovery is far from complete and needs continued support from the Fed.
Friday, March 19, 2021

Man accused of threatening Trump, other federal officials
CHICAGO (AP) — A central Illinois man is accused of threatening the life of former President Donald Trump, a U.S. attorney and a federal judge, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Friday, March 19, 2021

Scientist behind coronavirus shot says next target is cancer
BERLIN (AP) — The scientist who won the race to deliver the first widely used coronavirus vaccine says people can rest assured the shots are safe, and the technology behind it will soon be used to fight another global scourge — cancer.
Friday, March 19, 2021

Police search for motive in fatal Wisconsin warehouse attack
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A man who opened fire at a Wisconsin grocery distribution center and the two co-workers he killed were long-time employees, but a motive for the attack remains unclear, authorities said Thursday.
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Schools prepare summer of learning to catch up
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — After a dreary year spent largely at home in front of the computer, many U.S. children could be looking at summer school — and that’s just what many parents want.
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Becerra confirmed as first Latino health secretary
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate today confirmed California Attorney General  Xavier Becerra as President Joe Biden’s health secretary, filling a key position in the administration’s coronavirus response and its ambitious push to lower drug costs, expand insurance coverage, and eliminate racial disparities in medical care.
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Students who got partial relief to see full discharge
WASHINGTON (AP) — Students who were defrauded by their colleges and received only partial relief from their federal loans could now see them fully canceled, the Biden administration announced Thursday, reversing a Trump administration policy.
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Storms leave trail of damage in Deep South
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Storms that left splintered homes and broken trees across Alabama and Mississippi moved into Georgia and Florida on Thursday, rousing residents with early morning warnings as forecasters said the threat of dangerous weather would move up the south Atlantic seaboard.
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Justice Department flooded with cases
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department’s to-do list was already daunting, especially with this year’s flood of pandemic-delayed federal cases. And now two very different legal concerns — insurrection cases in Washington and tribal land disputes out West — are threatening to totally swamp the department.
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Google gets into sleep surveillance with new Nest Hub screen
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Google’s next internet-connected home device will test whether consumers trust the company enough to let it snoop on their sleep.
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Biden meets virtually with Irish PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is marking St. Patrick’s Day as he recommits the U.S. to the Good Friday Agreement, which has come under increasing stress following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Millions in Southeast brace for storms
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Hundreds of schools, COVID-19 vaccination clinics, businesses and more shut down across the Deep South on Wednesday as forecasters warned of waves of severe weather including massive tornadoes, downpours and hail the size of tennis balls.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Biden's dog to return to White House
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — There is Major breaking news: President Joe Biden’s wayward pup is no longer in the doghouse.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Endangered birds lose their songs, can't find mates
WASHINGTON (AP) — Male songbirds usually learn their tunes from adult mentors. But when aspiring crooners lack proper role models, they hit all the wrong notes — and have less success attracting mates.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Ed Dept. convening summit to help reopen schools
The Biden administration is convening a summit next week to help get children back into the classroom safely in the middle of a pandemic.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the sessions March 24 will give education leaders, teachers and students an opportunity to share their experiences in reopening schools.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

144 cities may be reclassified as 'micropolitan' areas
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and congressmen is urging the federal government not to approve recommendations to remove 144 cities from the designation of metropolitan statistical areas. Reclassifying them as “micropolitan” would put key federal funding at risk, they said.

The request comes after The Associated Press  reported this month that the federal government is contemplating raising the population criteria for core cities in metro areas from 50,000 residents to 100,000 residents. Doing so would reclassify more than a third of the current 392 metro areas as micropolitan statistical areas.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

First: Scientists mimic stages of fetal development
For the first time, scientists have used human cells to make structures that mimic the earliest stages of development, which they say will pave the way for more research without running afoul of restrictions on using real embryos.

Two papers published Wednesday in the journal Nature detail how two teams of scientists independently made such structures.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Virus surge in Europe cautionary tale for US
Optimism is spreading in the U.S. as COVID-19 deaths plummet and states ease restrictions and open vaccinations to younger adults. But across Europe, dread is setting in with another wave of infections that is closing schools and cafes and bringing new lockdowns.

The pandemic’s diverging paths on the two continents can be linked in part to the much more successful vaccine rollout in the U.S. and the spread of more contagious variants in Europe.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

It's time to test your home smoke alarms
Did you remember to test your smoke alarms when you moved your clocks forward? If you haven't, below are steps to take when testing your alarms:
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

3 dead, 1 hurt in small plane crash in Florida neighborhood
A boy who was riding in a SUV with his mother died when a small plane struggling to return to a South Florida airport crashed into them on a residential street, officials said.

Two people on the plane died in the Monday afternoon crash, which was recorded by a neighbor’s security camera. The boy’s mother was also injured, but authorities said she was released from the hospital later Monday, Pembroke Pines Fire Chief Marcel Rodriguez told news outlets.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Japan, US to share China worry as ministers meet in Tokyo
Japan and the United States joined forces Tuesday to criticize China’s “coercion and aggression“ in Asia as senior ministers from both countries held their first in-person talks since President Joe Biden took office in January.

Aside from the sharp rhetoric aimed at Beijing, the meeting in Tokyo and a planned stop next in Seoul are as much an effort by the Biden administration to reassure worried allies in Asia after four years of occasionally confrontational dealings with the Trump administration.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Anxiety, confusion, terror, relief: Giving birth in pandemic
Pregnancy, birth and life with a newborn in the middle of a pandemic has brought on high anxiety, ever-shifting hospital protocols and intense isolation for many of the millions of women who have done it around the world.

As the pandemic stretches into a second year and economic worry persists, demographers are studying the reasons for an anticipated pandemic baby bust. Women, meanwhile, have learned to go through labor in masks and to introduce fresh arrivals to loved ones through windows.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

California sues major US nursing home operator over ratings
California’s attorney general and local officials sued the nation’s largest senior living home operator Monday, alleging the company misled consumers on quality ratings and broke laws intended to protect patients when they are discharged from a facility.

The suit centers on Brookdale Senior Living Inc.’s 10 California-based skilled nursing facilities.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Chicago River dyed green this year after all
The Chicago River was dyed a bright shade of green Saturday after Mayor Lori Lightfoot reversed an earlier decision not to tint the waterway for second year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Crews on boats began dumping green dye into the riverfront about 7 a.m. after Lightfoot authorized the dyeing ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, delighting pedestrians with the vivid scene.

Chicago residents Lori Jones and Mike Smith surveyed the green waters, saying they were glad the tradition that dates to 1962 was resumed this year.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Five-time winners crosses finish in this year's Iditarod
Dallas Seavey today won the pandemic-shortened Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, matching the most wins ever by a musher.

Seavey brought his 10 dogs across the finish line near the community of Willow, Alaska, with a healthy lead over the second place musher, Aaron Burmeister.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Extent of vaccine waste still unknown
As millions continue to wait their turn for the COVID-19 vaccine, small but steady amounts of the precious doses have gone to waste across the country.

It’s a heartbreaking reality that experts acknowledged was always likely to occur. Thousands of shots have been wasted in Tennessee, Florida, Ohio and many other states. The reasons vary from shoddy record-keeping to accidentally trashing hundreds of shots. However, pinning down just how many of the life-saving vials have been tossed remains largely unknown despite assurance from many local officials the number remains low.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Western states dig out from big storm
People in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska were digging out today from a powerful late winter snowstorm that led to airport and road closures, power outages and avalanche warnings.

The storm dropped 27.1 inches  of snow at Denver International Airport by the end of Sunday, making it the fourth biggest snowfall in the city’s history, the National Weather Service said.

Monday, March 15, 2021

FBI says Nashville bomber was driven by paranoia and conspiracy theories
The man who blew himself up inside his recreational vehicle in a Christmas Day bombing in Nashville was grappling with paranoia and eccentric conspiracy theories, but there are no indications he was motivated by social or political ideology, the FBI said Monday in closing out the investigation into the blast.

The FBI statement sets out to resolve some of the lingering mysteries of an explosion that initially perplexed investigators and the public because it appeared to lack an obvious motive or fit a clear profile. Though the blast damaged dozens of buildings, it took place early on a holiday morning well before downtown streets would be bustling with activity and was preceded by a recorded announcement warning anyone in the area that a bomb would soon detonate.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Attorney fears impact of $27M settlement in Floyd trial
An attorney for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death said Monday that he’s “gravely concerned” that the announcement of a $27 million settlement for Floyd’s family makes it impossible for his client to get a fair trial.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson asked for a continuance and raised the possibility of renewing his previously unsuccessful motion to move Derek Chauvin’s trial to another city.

Monday, March 15, 2021

US air travel rises to highest levels since pandemic hit
The number of people flying in the United States has eclipsed the year-ago level for the first time in the pandemic period, although travel remains deeply depressed from 2019.

The Transportation Security Administration said 1.34 million people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints on Sunday, topping the 1.26 million people that TSA screened on the comparable Sunday a year ago.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Why countries are halting the AstraZeneca shot
In recent days, countries including Denmark, Ireland, and Thailand have temporarily suspended their use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine after reports that some people who got a dose developed blood clots, even though there’s no evidence that the shot was responsible. The European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization say the data available do not suggest the vaccine caused the clots and that people should continue to be immunized. Here’s a look at we know — and what we don’t.
Monday, March 15, 2021

Money flowing to small slaughterhouses shows no sign of solving supply issue
Sudden meat shortages last year because of the coronavirus led to millions of dollars in federal grants to help small meat processors expand so the nation could lessen its reliance on giant slaughterhouses to supply grocery stores and restaurants.

Like shortages of protective clothing for health care workers, hospital equipment and even toilet paper, the reality of empty meat counters was a shock to many Americans unaccustomed to scarcities. But where most other supply gaps are being addressed by changing how the U.S. acquires key items, the money flowing to small slaughterhouses shows no sign of solving the meat problem.

Monday, March 15, 2021

US prison guards refusing vaccine at alarming rates despite COVID-19 outbreaks
A Florida correctional officer polled his colleagues earlier this year in a private Facebook group: “Will you take the COVID-19 vaccine if offered?”

The answer from more than half: “Hell no.” Only 40 of the 475 respondents said yes.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Did you know?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns. Of the approximately 16,600 patients who visit emergency rooms for injuries involving grills each year, 8,200 are treated for thermal burns. UPMC HealthBeat notes that thermal burns typically occur when a person touches flames or fire or hot molten liquid or steam. Thermal burns also can result when touching a hot object, such as cooking pans, irons or heated appliances.
Saturday, March 13, 2021

Eaton's Vehicle Group Launches Electric Vehicle E-Drive Gearing Design, Development and Manufacturing
Power management company Eaton today announced its Vehicle Group is developing gearing solutions for electrified vehicles (EVs). Leveraging its expertise in producing transmissions and contract manufactured gear-sets for passenger and commercial vehicles, the Vehicle Group aims to be a leader in the global design, development and supply of EV reduction gearing. The new technology complements Eaton's eMobility power electronics portfolio in the electrified vehicle powertrain market.
Saturday, March 13, 2021

Democratic push to revive earmarks
Can lawmakers bring home the bacon without it being pork?

It’s a question that’s vexing Republicans as they consider whether to join a Democratic push to revive earmarks, the much-maligned practice where lawmakers direct federal spending to a specific project or institution back home. Examples include a new bridge, community library or university research program.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Warp-speed spending and other surreal stats of COVID times
The U.S. effort in World War II was off the charts. Battles spread over three continents and four years, 16 million served in uniform and the government shoved levers of the economy full force into defeating Nazi Germany and imperial Japan.

All of that was cheaper for American taxpayers than this pandemic.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

AP study: Nearly 90% of esports scholarships going to men
Colleges and universities rushing to invest in the booming arena of varsity esports are overwhelmingly committing opportunities and scholarships to male players, according to data collected by The Associated Press.

Male gamers held 90.4% of roster spots and received 88.5% of scholarship funds in a sample of 27 public American schools surveyed by the AP during this school year. The glaring gender disparity exists even though 41% of U.S. gamers are female, according to the Entertainment Software Association, and in a realm where — unlike traditional sports — there are no physical barriers separating male and female competitors.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Philly will join 33 other cities in Lights Out for birds
The lights of Philadelphia might not shine as bright in the coming weeks as a coalition in the City of Brotherly Love tries to prevent millions of migrating birds that pass through twice a year from slamming into skyscrapers and crashing to the sidewalk.

Bird Safe Philly on Thursday announced the Lights Out Philly initiative, a voluntary program in which as many external and internal lights in buildings are turned off or dimmed at night during the spring and fall.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Wild population of endangered Mexican wolves grows
Once on the verge of extinction, the rarest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America has seen its population nearly double over the last five years, with more gains being reported in 2020, U.S. wildlife managers said Friday.

The results of the latest annual survey show there are at least 186 Mexican gray wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona. That marks the fifth straight year that the endangered species has increased its numbers, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Minneapolis bowling alley drone video takes off
A video taken by a camera-equipped drone buzzing through the nooks and crannies of a historic Minneapolis bowling alley has attracted hundreds of thousands of views online.

The drone in the  1 1/2-minute video at Bryant-Lake Bowl follows bowling balls down the alley and takes viewers behind the alley’s reset mechanism, back out onto the floor and into the bar.

Friday, March 12, 2021

No need to lose sleep over shift to daylight saving time
No need to lose sleep over the shift to daylight saving time this weekend.

The sun will still come up, though the dawn’s early light will break through later than it has during the months of standard time and the twilight’s last gleaming will extend deeper into the evening.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Biden moves to relieve strain of child border crossing
The Biden administration hopes to relieve the strain of thousands of unaccompanied children coming to the southern border by ending a Trump-era order that discouraged potential family sponsors from coming forward to care for them.

The 2018 policy called on Health and Human Services to share information about family sponsors with immigration authorities, a move that discouraged parents and other relatives from stepping forward out of fear they would be deported.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Multiple NY politicians call on Cuomo to resign
The Democratic Party turned sharply against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday as a sprawling coalition of congressional leaders joined dozens of state lawmakers in calling for the embattled governor’s resignation.

Cuomo’s growing list of detractors now covers virtually every region in the state and the political power centers of New York City and Washington. His allies insist he will not resign, but as allegations of sexual harassment grow, his political isolation has reached unprecedented levels.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Biden relief bill could forever alter social safety net
President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package is being hailed by Democrats and progressive policy advocates as a generational expansion of the social safety net, providing food and housing assistance, greater access to health care and direct aid to families in what amounts to a broad-based attack on the cycle of poverty.

With more than $6 billion for food security-related programs, more than $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, nearly $10 billion in emergency mortgage aid for homeowners, and extensions of already-expanded unemployment payments through early September, the package is full of provisions  designed to help families and individuals survive and recover from pandemic-induced economic hardships.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Prosecutor's online hunch leads to arrest
A prosecutor’s uncomfortable hunch during an online court hearing led to the arrest of a Michigan man who was inside the same home as a woman who was testifying against him in an assault case.

A judge in St. Joseph County quickly intervened after Deborah Davis noticed the woman’s body language and how she answered questions. The parties in most Michigan court hearings are not actually in a courtroom because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Molson Coors: Cyberattack impacting brewing operations
Molson Coors Beverage Co. said Thursday it has been hit by a cyberattack that disrupted its brewing operations and shipments.

In a regulatory filing, the Chicago-based company said it has hired forensic information technology experts and legal counsel to help it investigate the incident.

“The company is working around the clock to get its systems back up as quickly as possible,” Molson Coors said in its filing.

Friday, March 12, 2021

As new pets hit the dog park owners are wrecks
Like a lot of new dog owners, Adriana Magarin recently got a puppy to help brighten up pandemic life. “You can only read so many books, you can only listen to so many podcasts,” she said.

Buddy, her husky, is “a troublemaker, but he gets me up in the morning and gets me outside.”

Friday, March 12, 2021

Obama in upcoming podcast credits his mother for his path
Former President Barack Obama reveals in an upcoming podcast with rocker Bruce Springsteen that he chose a career of public service in part due to his mother, an acknowledgement that lands in the middle of Women’s History Month.

“My mom was a little bit of a free thinker,” Obama says in Monday’s episode of Spotify’s “Renegades: Born in the USA.” The Associated Press was granted early access to a snippet.

Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was an anthropologist who worked to help improve the lives of the poor in Indonesia. Obama called her “kind of romantic” and “not that practical” and said she put a “little bit of that into me.”

Friday, March 12, 2021

The night sports, as we knew them, ended
Nobody knew exactly what to say in Oklahoma City around 7:10 p.m. local time on March 11, 2020. That was an issue for Mario Nanni, whose job as the Oklahoma City Thunder public-address announcer is to tell fans exactly what’s happening.

He had just introduced the starting lineups. The Thunder and Utah Jazz were about to play. And then someone ran onto the court from the back of the arena with one mandate: Make sure that game doesn’t start. The referees were hastily gathered, then coaches were brought together to hear the news: Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver decided to cancel the game.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

1 in 5 in US lost someone close in the pandemic
About 1 in 5 Americans say they lost a relative or close friend to the coronavirus, highlighting the division between heartache and hope as the country itches to get back to normal a year into the pandemic.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research illustrates how the stage is set for a two-tiered recovery. The public’s worry about the virus has dropped to its lowest point since the fall, before the holidays brought skyrocketing cases into the new year.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Will the coronavirus really ever go away for sure?
Will the coronavirus ever go away?

No one knows for sure. Scientists think the virus that causes COVID-19 may be with us for decades or longer, but that doesn’t mean it will keep posing the same threat.

The virus emerged in late 2019 and it’s difficult to predict how it will behave over the long term. But many experts believe it’s likely the disease will eventually ease from a crisis to a nuisance like the common cold.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

20th anniversary Sept. 11 tributes to include families
A year after a disagreement over coronavirus protocols spawned  competing Sept. 11 ceremonies in New York, the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks will be marked with the traditional reading of victims’ names at the World Trade Center’s memorial plaza, officials announced Thursday.

Commemorations will also again include the Tribute in Light, the art installation consisting of two beams of light evoking the twin towers destroyed in the attack.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

What's inside the $1.9T Covid-19 bill just passed?
The sweeping pandemic relief package awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature aims to help the U.S. defeat the virus and nurse the economy back to health. Highlights of the legislation:
Thursday, March 11, 2021

Former presidents urge Americans to get vaccines
Four former presidents are urging Americans to get vaccinated as soon as COVID-19 doses are available to them, as part of a campaign to overcome hesitancy about the shots.

Two public service announcements from the Ad Council and the business-supported COVID Collaborative feature Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter as well as first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Rosalynn Carter. All of them have received doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

In a 60-second spot, the former presidents say what they’re most looking forward to once the pandemic ends.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Nursing home residents safely can get hugs again, the feds say
Nursing home residents vaccinated against COVID-19 can get hugs again from their loved ones, and indoor visits may be allowed for all residents, the government said Wednesday in a step toward pre-pandemic normalcy.

The policy guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, comes as coronavirus cases and deaths among nursing home residents have plummeted in recent weeks at the same time that vaccination accelerated. People living in long-term care facilities have borne a cruel toll from the pandemic. They represent about 1% of the U.S. population, but account for 1 in 3 deaths, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Paraplegic inmate denied shower, 5 mos.
A paraplegic inmate at a St. Louis jail hasn’t been able to shower for more than five months because the facility isn’t equipped to accommodate people who need wheelchairs, advocacy groups argue in a new federal lawsuit.

Anthony Tillman, 39, was given a wash basin and rag, but he’s unable to use them to fully clean himself because of his physical limitations, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday on Tillman’s behalf.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

FBI offering $100k reward, DC riot
The FBI has released new video showing someone placing two pipe bombs outside the offices of the Republican and Democratic national committees the night before the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The explosive devices were placed outside the two buildings between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 5 and were located by law enforcement the next day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Biden visits businesses to highlight PPP changes
President Joe Biden visited a hardware store in the nation’s capital Tuesday to highlight changes he made to the Paycheck Protection Program to benefit small businesses he says were overlooked by the Trump administration earlier in the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden administration officials announced last month that for two weeks starting on Feb. 24, the Small Business Administration would only accept applications for the forgivable loan program from firms with fewer than 20 employees. That’s meant to ensure that they are not crowded out by larger firms.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Senate confirms Rep. Fudge as housing secretary
The Senate has confirmed Marcia Fudge to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, placing the longtime Ohio lawmaker in charge of the agency just as Congress is poised to pass new benefits for renters and homeowners who have suffered economic losses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fudge, who has represented parts of Cleveland and Akron in the House since 2008, is a former mayor and a longtime advocate for assistance for the needy. She said at her confirmation hearing in January that her first priority would be protecting the millions of people who have fallen behind on rent or mortgages due to loss of income during the pandemic, telling senators that “we cannot afford to allow people in the midst of a pandemic to be put in the streets.”

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Trial: Man propped dead wife on sofa in front of kids
A Southern California man who killed his wife propped up her body on a sofa, told their children she was drunk and had them open Christmas presents in front of her body, a prosecutor told jurors at his murder trial.

“This Christmas story does not have a happy ending, and unfortunately this is not just a story, it is real life,” Heather Brown, senior deputy district attorney in Orange County, said Monday as trial began for William Wallace of Anaheim, the Orange County Register reported.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Prosecutors oppose Ghislaine Maxwell bail request
Prosecutors urged a judge to reject a third quest for bail by a British socialite charged with soliciting teenage girls in the 1990s for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.

There are multiple reasons to deny Ghislaine Maxwell’s effort at freedom before her July trial, prosecutors said in a Tuesday filing in Manhattan federal court.

Last month, the 59-year-old Maxwell argued through her lawyers that bail should be granted because she is willing to renounce her citizenship in England and France. She also maintained that the evidence against her was exposed as weak by pretrial motions from her defense lawyers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Defendant in Slender Man case seeking release
Prosecutors asked a judge Wednesday for time to file written arguments on whether a Wisconsin woman convicted of stabbing a middle-school classmate seven years ago to please internet horror character Slender Man deserves to be released from a mental health facility.

Anissa Weier, now 19, has asked Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren for conditional release from the Winnebago Mental Health Institute in Oshkosh. Bohren sentenced her in December 2017 to 25 years in the institution.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Rittenhouse trial delayed for at least seven months
The trial for an 18-year-old from Illinois accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin was pushed back Wednesday by seven months and could be delayed even longer.

Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial was scheduled to begin March 29, but both sides told a judge that they needed more time to prepare. Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder set a Nov. 1 trial start date, with a May 17 status hearing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Relief package includes funding for Amtrak Empire Builder
The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill approvec by the U.S. Senate includes funding for Amtrak's Empire Builder route, which runs through northern Montana and other states.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester proposed the legislation to provide up to $166 million to reinstate furloughed Amtrak employees and restore daily service on the carrier's routes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

A homebound year has us rethinking our spaces
In normal times, new trends in home design and home decorating bubble up simply because it’s time for something different. A few years of bold color and homeowners start painting things gray. After enough minimalism, a hunger for plaids and florals comes roaring back.

But this time last year, a cultural experiment began that changed our relationships with houses and condos and apartments around the world.

Suddenly, constantly, we were inside them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Why is Harry and Meghan's son not a prince?
One of the most dramatic claims in Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was the allegation that their son was denied a royal title, possibly because of his skin color.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

COVID bill to deliver big health insurance savings
Several million people stand to save hundreds of dollars in health insurance costs, or more, under the Democratic coronavirus relief legislation on track to pass Congress.

Winners include those covered by “Obamacare” or just now signing up, self-employed people who buy their own insurance and don’t currently get federal help, laid-off workers struggling to retain employer coverage, and most anyone collecting unemployment. Also, potentially many more could benefit if about a dozen states accept a Medicaid deal in the legislation.

Taken together, the components of the coronavirus bill represent the biggest expansion of federal help for health insurance since the Obama-era Affordable Care Act more than 10 years ago. Obamacare not only survived President Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to tear it down but will now get a shot of new life.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Emails: FBI looking for Civil War gold at dig site
Go for the gold? The U.S. government went for it.

FBI agents were looking for an extremely valuable cache of fabled Civil War-era gold — possibly tons of it — when they excavated a remote woodland site in Pennsylvania three years ago this month, according to government emails and other recently released documents in the case.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

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