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home : news : national news free March 9, 2021

Fully-vaccinated people can gather without masks
Fully-vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials.

The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Georgia Senate set to take up raft of voting legislation
Georgia’s state Senate is set to vote on a slate of legislation that would roll back voting access Monday, the deadline that bills must generally pass out of one chamber to remain alive for the session.

Senate Bill 241 would limit absentee voting to people 65 and older, those with a disability and people who will be out of town on Election Day — ending broad no-excuse absentee voting introduced by the Republican-led legislature in 2005. It would also require an ID for those who are able to vote absentee, among many other changes.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Democrats debate filibuster changes
With President Joe Biden on the verge of his first big legislative victory, a key moderate Democrat says he's open to changing Senate rules that could allow for more party-line votes to push through other parts of the White House's agenda such as voting rights.
Monday, March 8, 2021

Trump policy that weakened wild bird protections is revoked
The Biden administration on Monday reversed a policy imposed under former President Donald Trump that drastically weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law that protects most U.S. bird species.

Trump ended criminal prosecutions against companies responsible for bird deaths that could have been prevented.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Judge tosses suit over 'race norming' in NFL dementia tests
A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit that challenged “race-norming” in dementia tests for retired NFL players, a practice that some say makes it harder for Black athletes to show injury and qualify for awards.

A hearing had been set for Thursday. The judge instead ordered the NFL and the lead lawyer in the overall $1 billion settlement to resolve the issue through mediation. That process would appear to exclude the Black players who sued.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Supreme Court won't get involved in Fairbanks Four case
Four men who say they were illegally imprisoned for nearly two decades for the murder of a teenager in Alaska will have their lawsuit go forward after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to get involved in the case.

The high court turned away the case Monday. As is typical, the justices did not comment in rejecting the case.

Monday, March 8, 2021

MacKenzie Scott marries Seattle teacher after Bezos divorce
MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist, author and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has married a Seattle science teacher who expressed gratitude “for the exceptional privilege it will be to partner in giving away assets with the potential to do so much good when shared.“

Dan Jewett, who made the announcement in a letter to the website of the nonprofit organization the Giving Pledge on Saturday, said he never imagined he would be in a position to talk about giving away significant wealth during his lifetime in order to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Jury selection on pause for ex-cop charged in Floyd's death
The judge overseeing the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer accused in the death of George Floyd on Monday paused jury selection for at least a day while an appeal proceeds over the possible reinstatement of a third-degree murder charge.

Judge Peter Cahill said he does not have jurisdiction to rule on whether the third-degree murder charge should be reinstated against Derek Chauvin while the issue is being appealed. But he said prosecutors' arguments that the whole case would be impacted was "tenuous."

Monday, March 8, 2021

Vaccine site overrun after false rumors said all could come
A Florida vaccination site had so few eligible takers Saturday that is started inoculating any adult who wanted a shot rather than let the vaccine on hand go to waste.

Word spread and on Sunday the Florida City site was overwhelmed, particularly after local state Sen. Annette Taddeo incorrectly tweeted that the federally run site would again take all comers. The Democrat, who was the party’s lieutenant governor candidate in 2014, later deleted that tweet and corrected herself.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Another ex-aide calls Cuomo's office conduct inappropriate
Another woman who worked for Gov. Andrew Cuomo is describing conduct she felt was inappropriate for the workplace.

Ana Liss, 35, told The Wall Street Journal in a story published Saturday that when she worked as a policy aide to the governor between 2013 and 2015, Cuomo called her “sweetheart,” once kissed her hand and asked personal questions, including whether she had a boyfriend. She said he sometimes greeted her with a hug and a kiss on both cheeks.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Tech rebound pulls stocks out of a slump and to weekly gain
A late-day rebound in technology companies pulled the stock market out of a slump and helped give the S&P 500 its first weekly gain in three weeks. The index rose 2% Friday. Investors were encouraged by a government report that U.S. employers picked up the pace of hiring last month.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Biden faces steep challenges to reach renewable energy goals
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — President Joe Biden wants to change the way the U.S. uses energy by expanding renewables, but he will need to navigate a host of challenges — including the coronavirus pandemic and restoring hundreds of thousands of lost jobs — to get it done.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Congressional report finds toxic metals in baby food brands
A congressional investigation has found levels of arsenic, lead and other toxic metals that can harm brain development in many popular baby foods, including organic brands.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Boeing Max makes emergency landing due to engine indicator
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max made an emergency landing Friday afternoon in Newark, New Jersey, after pilots noticed a possible problem with an engine oil pressure indicator.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Biden getting 1st shot at making mark on federal judiciary
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has two seats to fill on the  influential appeals court in the nation’s capital that regularly feeds judges to the Supreme Court.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Open spaces, rural US confronts vaccine void
SURRY, Va. (AP) — When Charlome Pierce searched where her 96-year-old father could get a COVID-19 vaccine in January, she found zero options anywhere near their home in Virginia. The lone medical clinic in Surry County had none, and the last pharmacy in an area with roughly 6,500 residents and more land mass than Chicago closed years ago.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Hospital marks year as southern Illinois' lone trauma center
CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Fifteen months after receiving official designation as a Level II trauma center, emergency department staff at SIH Memorial Hospital and the entire Southern Illinois Healthcare system are celebrating the hospital’s first year of service as Southern Illinois’ only trauma center.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

State tops 3 million vaccines administered; Pritzker announces awareness campaign
SPRINGFIELD – More than 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered statewide as of Friday, and Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new $10 million public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging residents to get vaccinated.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Jury selection set in ex-NW Indiana mayor's bribery retrial
HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Jury selection is set to begin Monday in a former northwestern Indiana mayor’s long-delayed retrial on a federal charge alleging that he solicited a bribe from two businessmen.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Business highlights
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Tech rebound pulls stocks out of a slump and to weekly gain
A late-day rebound in technology companies pulled the stock market out of a slump and helped give the S&P 500 its first weekly gain in three weeks. The index rose 2% Friday. Investors were encouraged by a government report that U.S. employers picked up the pace of hiring last month. However they were also still anxious over a recent surge in long-term interest rates in the bond market, which can slow the economy and discourage borrowing. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note pulled back from a midday spike and wound up at 1.56%, only slightly higher than a day earlier.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Judge dismisses lawsuit by Democratic AGs to recognize ERA
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by three Democratic state attorneys general that had sought to force the federal government to recognize Virginia’s vote last year to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and add it to the Constitution.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

California OKs reopening of ball parks, Disneyland
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has cleared a path for fans to hit the stands at opening-day baseball games and return to Disneyland nearly a year after coronavirus restrictions shuttered major entertainment spots.
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Jump in hiring fuels economy optimism
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a surprisingly robust 379,000 jobs last month in a sign the economy is strengthening as virus cases drop, vaccinations ramp up, Americans spend more and states ease business restrictions.
Friday, March 5, 2021

NY officials altered count of nursing home deaths
NEW YORK (AP) — Some New York lawmakers are calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's impeachment after reports late Thursday that his top aides altered a state Health Department report to omit the true number of people killed by COVID-19 in the state's nursing homes.
Friday, March 5, 2021

Biden signals support to replace war power authority
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday signaled support to replace decades-old authorizations for the use of military force in the Middle East, a little more than a week after he relied on the authorizations to carry out a retaliatory airstrike against Iranian-backed militia in eastern Syria.
Friday, March 5, 2021

US trade deficit rises 1.9% in January
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit rose 1.9% in January as the coronavirus pandemic continued to disrupt global commerce.
Friday, March 5, 2021

St. Louis-area mom, 2 children killed; baby taken, but safe
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis-area man fatally shot a woman and two of her children before fleeing with their baby, who was later found safe, and the man shot himself hours later as officers closed in on him Friday, authorities said.
Friday, March 5, 2021

Biden and Democrats leave Republicans behind
President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are jamming their agenda forward with a sense of urgency, an unapologetically partisan approach based on the calculation that it’s better to advance the giant COVID-19 rescue package and other priorities than waste time courting Republicans who may never compromise.

The pandemic is driving the crush of legislative action, but so are the still-raw emotions from the U.S. Capitol siege as well as the hard lessons of the last time Democrats had the sweep of party control of Washington. Republicans are mounting blockades of Biden’s agenda just as they did during the devastating 2009 financial crisis with Barack Obama.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Police request 60-day extension of Guard
The Capitol Police have requested that members of the National Guard continue to provide security at the U.S. Capitol for another two months, The Associated Press has learned. Defense officials say the new proposal is being reviewed by the Pentagon.

The request underscores the continuing concerns about security and the potential for violence at the Capitol, two months after rioters breached the building in violence that left five people dead. And it comes as law enforcement was on high alert Thursday around the U.S. Capitol after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the building.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Court raises bar for some immigrants to avoid deportation
The Supreme Court on Thursday made it harder for longtime immigrants who have been convicted of a crime to avoid deportation.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion for a 5-3 conservative majority that ruled against a Mexican citizen who entered the U.S. illegally and has lived in the country for 25 years.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Mississippi River cities join project to map plastic litter
Cities along the Mississippi River will take part in a global system to determine where plastic pollution comes from and how it ends up in waterways as a first step toward solving the problem, officials said Wednesday.

The project enables “citizen scientists“ using a mobile application to log types and locations of litter found along the river, which drains 40% of the continental U.S. and sends huge volumes of plastics into the Gulf of Mexico. Much of it reaches the river through municipal storm drains and tributary streams.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

US traffic deaths spike even as pandemic cuts miles traveled
Pandemic lockdowns and stay-at-home orders kept many drivers off U.S. roads and highways last year. But those who did venture out found open lanes that only invited reckless driving, leading to a sharp increase in traffic-crash deaths across the country.

The nonprofit National Safety Council estimates in a report issued Thursday that 42,060 people died in vehicle crashes in 2020, an 8% increase over 2019 and the first jump in four years.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Biden vows enough vaccine for all by end of May
President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine for all adults by the end of May — two months earlier than anticipated — and he pushed states to get at least one shot into the arms of teachers by the end of March to hasten school reopenings.

Biden also announced Tuesday that drugmaker Merck will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved one-shot vaccine, likening the partnership between the two drug companies to the spirit of national cooperation during World War II.

“We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden said.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

House panel seeks storm documents from Texas grid operator
The House Oversight Committee is investigating the agency that operates the Texas power grid, seeking information and documents about the lack of preparation for the recent winter storm that caused millions of power outages and dozens of deaths across the state.

Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat who chairs an environment subcommittee, sent a letter to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, saying he is concerned that the loss of electric service — “and the resulting human suffering, deaths and economic costs” — will happen again unless ERCOT and the state of Texas adequately prepare for a predicted increase in extreme weather events.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

US contractor dies in rocket attack in Iraq
A U.S. contractor died Wednesday when at least 10 rockets slammed into an air base housing U.S. and other coalition troops in western Iraq, the Pentagon said.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the contractor “suffered a cardiac episode while sheltering” and died shortly afterward. He said there were no service members injured and all are accounted for. British and Danish troops also are among those stationed at the base.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

75 ex-top prosecutors endorse Biden's pick for associate AG
More than 75 former U.S. attorneys are throwing their support behind President Joe Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general and urging congressional leaders to quickly confirm her to the post.

Vanita Gupta has been nominated for the No. 3 position in the Justice Department, a position in which she would be responsible for overseeing the department’s civil, antitrust and civil rights litigation, but also for helping to implement policy decisions on a host of nationwide issues. She was in charge of the Justice Department’s civil rights division in the Obama administration.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Trump endorses SC's Tim Scott in 2022 Senate reelection bid
Former President Donald Trump endorsed U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s 2022 reelection bid Tuesday, continuing to make clear his intent to remain a dominant force in Republican Party politics.

Trump issued a statement through his Save America PAC, saying Scott had his “Complete and Total Endorsement” and complimenting Scott’s work on behalf of the military, law enforcement and veterans.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

US infrastructure gets C- from engineers as roads stagnate
America’s infrastructure has scored near-failing grades for its deteriorating roads, public transit and storm water systems due to years of inaction from the federal government, the American Society of Civil Engineers reports. Its overall grade: a mediocre C-.

In its “Infrastructure Report Card” released Wednesday, the group called for “big and bold” relief, estimating it would cost $5.9 trillion over the next decade to bring roads, bridges and airports to a safe and sustainable level. That’s about $2.6 trillion more than what government and the private sector already spend.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Smokies sees more than 12M visitors despite virus closure
Despite closing for more than a month because of COVID-19, Great Smoky Mountains National Park experienced its second busiest year on record last year.

The park had a total of 12,095,720 visits in 2020, according to a news release. It saw a record 12.5 million visitors in 2019, a 1.1 million increase over 2018.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Deadly California crash on route for illegal border crossings
Barely a mile from where an SUV packed with 25 people struck a tractor-trailer — killing 13 inside — a cemetery with unmarked bricks is a burial ground for migrants who died crossing the border from Mexico to remote California desert.

Authorities are investigating whether human smuggling was involved in Tuesday’s early-morning collision that killed the 22-year-old male driver of the SUV and 12 passengers. The Mexican government said 10 of the dead were Mexican citizens and that nationalities of the three others who died was undetermined.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Cuomo apology 'tone-deaf,' ignores power imbalance
When Yuh-Line Niou first arrived in Albany to work as a legislative aide in 2013, lawmakers grabbed her buttocks, suggested she and her boss were “a hot duo” who should have sex, and peered into her office to check her out for a “hot or not” list.

Niou, then a chief of staff in her late 20s, never reported it. She feared it would unfairly drag down her boss. But the experiences stayed with her.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Minimum wage hike all but dead in big COVID relief bill
Democrats’ hopes of including a minimum wage increase in their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill seemed all but dead Monday as the Senate prepared to debate its own version of the House-passed aid package.

Four days after the chamber’s parliamentarian said Senate rules forbid inclusion of a straight-out minimum wage increase in the relief measure, Democrats seemed to have exhausted their most realistic options for quickly salvaging the pay hike. In one decision, they abandoned a potential amendment threatening tax increases on big companies that don’t boost workers’ pay to certain levels.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

CNN's Chris Cuomo says he 'obviously' can't cover brother
CNN host Chris Cuomo told viewers Monday that he “obviously” couldn’t cover the stories surrounding his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been accused of sexual harassment by three women.

The prime time host addressed the topic immediately at the start of his show, which airs at 9 p.m. Eastern, and just as quickly moved on.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

6 Dr. Seuss books won't be published for racist images
Six Dr. Seuss books — including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo” — will stop being published because of racist and insensitive imagery, the business that preserves and protects the author’s legacy said Tuesday.

“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press in a statement that coincided with the late author and illustrator’s birthday.

“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families,“ it said.

The other books affected are “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

What to know about irritable bowel syndrome
It's natural for people to keep issues regarding their personal health private. For example, some people may be hesitant to share information about illnesses they've battled with those outside their immediate families. While that reticence is understandable, it's vital that people be as forthcoming as possible with their physicians, no matter how uncomfortable situations or symptoms may be.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Democrat voting bill a game changer
WASHINGTON (AP) — As Congress begins debate this week on sweeping voting and ethics legislation, Democrats and Republicans can agree on one thing: If signed into law, it would usher in the biggest overhaul of U.S. elections law in at least a generation.
Monday, March 1, 2021

Fraud overwhelms pandemic-related unemployment
With the floodgates set to open on another round of unemployment aid, states are being hammered with a new wave of fraud as they scramble to update security systems and block scammers who already have siphoned billions of dollars from pandemic-related jobless programs.
Monday, March 1, 2021

Senate Democrats consider changes to virus relief
Senate Democrats are considering reshaping parts of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed by the House, as party leaders hoping to salvage a minimum wage increase have abandoned one proposal aimed at pressuring big companies to boost workers’ pay.

The chances seemed slim that Senate Democrats would find a way to include a minimum wage boost in the massive relief package, days after the nonpartisan parliamentarian said it violated the chamber’s rules and had to fall from the bill. Compared to that, most other changes the party was considering seemed modest.

Monday, March 1, 2021

U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace in three years
U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace three years with the arrival of a surge in new orders.

The Institute for Supply Management reported Monday that its gauge of manufacturing activity rose to a reading of 60.8% last month, 2.1 percentage-points above the January level of 58.7%.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Oath Keeper charged in Capitol riot renounces militia group
A member of the Oath Keepers militia group charged with plotting with other extremists in the attack on the U.S. Capitol disavowed the anti-government group in a court hearing Friday, telling the judge she is “appalled” by her fellow Oath Keepers and “humiliated” by her arrest.

Jessica Watkins, one of nine members and associates of the far-right militia group charged with planning and coordinating with one another in the Jan. 6 siege, said she plans to cancel her Oath Keepers membership and has disbanded her local Ohio militia group. Watkins’ remarks came before the judge ordered her to remain behind bars while she awaits trial.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Growing tension in Minneapolis as trial looms in Floyd death
Barbed wire and concrete barriers surround the courthouse where the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd will soon go on trial, a sign of the deep uneasiness hanging over a city literally set ablaze almost a year ago in the anger over his death.

Mayor Jacob Frey and Gov. Tim Walz, both Democrats, were sharply criticized for failing to move faster to stop last summer’s looting and destruction, which included the torching of a police station. Anything less than a murder conviction for Derek Chauvin is likely to test them — and the city — once again.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Warren Buffett again encourages investors to bet on America
Billionaire Warren Buffett encouraged investors to maintain their faith in America’s economy and the businesses his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owns in a reassuring letter to his shareholders Saturday.

Buffett hardly even addressed the coronavirus that ravaged many businesses last year, instead focusing on the long-term prospects for the railroad, utility and insurance businesses and stocks that Berkshire Hathaway owns. But he said U.S. business will thrive over time in spite of the pandemic.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

House passes $1.9T pandemic bill
The House approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that was championed by President Joe Biden, the first step in providing another dose of aid to a weary nation as the measure now moves to a tense Senate.
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Proposal would create a new state-recognized tribe in Maine
A bill that would grant state recognition for a second band of Maliseet Indians is running into opposition from leaders of other tribes, who say a lack of a formal standard for tribal recognition is a recipe for trouble.

Former Houlton Band of Maliseets tribal Rep. David Slagger is seeking state recognition for the Kineo Band of Maliseet, which derives its name from 1,788-foot (545-meter) mountain on a peninsula in Moosehead Lake.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Judge approves $650M Facebook privacy lawsuit settlement
A federal judge on Friday approved a $650 million settlement of a privacy lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly using photo face-tagging and other biometric data without the permission of its users.

U.S. District Judge James Donato approved the deal in a class-action lawsuit that was filed in Illlinois in 2015. Nearly 1.6 million Facebook users in Illinois who submitted claims will be affected.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Trump the dominant force at conservative conference
A conference dedicated to the future of the conservative movement turned into an ode to Donald Trump as speakers declared their fealty to the former president and attendees posed for selfies with a golden statue of his likeness.

As the Republican Party grapples with deep divisions over the extent to which it should embrace Trump after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress, those gathered at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday made clear they are not ready to move on from the former president — or from his baseless charges that the November election was rigged against him.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Airline CEOs, Biden officials consider green-fuel breaks
Chief executives of the nation’s largest passenger and cargo airlines met with key Biden administration officials Friday to talk about reducing emissions from airplanes and push incentives for lower-carbon aviation fuels.

The White House said the meeting with climate adviser Gina McCarthy and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also touched on economic policy and curbing the spread of COVID-19 — travel has been a vector for the virus. But industry officials said emissions dominated the discussion.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Third US vaccine frames question: Which is best?
The nation is poised to get a third vaccine against COVID-19, but because at first glance the Johnson & Johnson shot may not be seen as equal to other options, health officials are girding for the question: Which one is best?

If cleared for emergency use, the J&J vaccine would offer a one-dose option that could help speed vaccinations, tamp down a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 people in the U.S. and stay ahead of a mutating virus.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Florida restricts some exotic reptiles
Pythons, iguanas, monitor lizards, oh my! Florida is moving to restrict 16 invasive reptile species that have wreaked havoc in the Everglades and across the state.

Burmese pythons, in particular, have been especially destructive to native wildlife.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Virus relief likely; minimum wage boost is not
Democrats were ready to shove a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House late this afternoon, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden.

A near party-line vote seemed certain on the measure, Biden’s first crack at his initial legislative goal of acting decisively against the pandemic. In the year since the coronavirus has taken hold, it has stalled much of the economy, killed half a million Americans and reshaped the daily lives of virtually everyone.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Biden takes military action with airstrike
A U.S. airstrike in Syria targeted facilities belonging to a powerful Iranian-backed Iraqi armed group, killing one fighter and wounding several others, an Iraqi militia official said Friday, signaling the first military action undertaken by U.S. President Joe Biden.

The Pentagon said the strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this month that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member and other coalition troops.

Friday, February 26, 2021

St. Louis prosecutor seeks to take back McCloskey case
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to restore her authority to prosecute a couple accused of wielding guns at racial injustice protesters last summer.
Friday, February 26, 2021

Meet the vaccine appointment bots and their foes
Having trouble scoring a COVID-19 vaccine appointment? You’re not alone. To cope, some people are turning to bots that scan overwhelmed websites and send alerts on social media when slots open up.

They’ve provided relief to families helping older relatives find scarce appointments. But not all public health officials think they’re a good idea.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Diverse group of cities have most gay households
Once known for singer Anita Bryant’s anti-gay rights campaign and a ban on gay and lesbian adoptions, Florida is now home to two metro areas with among the highest concentrations of gay and lesbian coupled households in the U.S., according to a new report released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Orlando and Miami had the fourth and sixth highest percentages respectively of same sex coupled households in the U.S., according to the report released this week using data from the bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Prosecutor gets Trump tax records after long fight
A New York prosecutor has obtained copies of Donald Trump’s tax records after the Supreme Court this week rejected the former president’s last-ditch effort to prevent them from being handed over.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office enforced a subpoena on Trump’s accounting firm within hours of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday and now has the documents in hand, a spokesperson for the office, Danny Frost, said Thursday.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

How to protect or heal trees damaged by snow
The deadly winter storms that have wreaked havoc in large swaths of the country recently can also damage trees and shrubs.

Snow can of course enhance the look of yards and gardens, visually knitting together the plants, fences, even lawn furniture in a sea of white. But it also can bring down branches. Or worse, snap a major limb on a tree or split a bush wide open.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Groups fight to save Farmers to Families program
As the Biden administration sets up shop, many policies initiated by its hard-right predecessor are being targeted for extinction. But agricultural groups and anti-hunger organizations are fighting to keep one they've come to depend on, which channels food that might otherwise be plowed under to people reeling under the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture began the Farmers to Families Food Box program last April after many people were shocked to see farmers destroy crops because restaurants and institutions abruptly canceled orders due to the virus even as food banks were crushed by demand from people suddenly out of work.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Judge bans enforcement of 100-day deportation pause
A federal judge late Tuesday indefinitely banned President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations.

U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a preliminary injunction sought by Texas, which argued the moratorium violated federal law and risked imposing additional costs on the state.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

In 'equity push' millions to get masks
President Joe Biden plans to distribute millions of face masks to Americans in communities hard-hit by the coronavirus, as part of his efforts to ensure “equity” in the government’s response to the pandemic.

Biden, who like Donald Trump’s administration considered sending masks to all Americans, is instead adopting a more conservative approach, aiming to reach underserved communities and those bearing the brunt of the outbreak. Trump’s administration shelved the plans entirely.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Red-hot US housing market: Sales jump again
Demand for new homes in the U.S. surged 4.3% in January with the housing market still one of the strongest segments of the economy.

Last month’s increase pushed sales of new homes to an adjusted annual rate of 923,000, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. That’s much stronger than the 855,000 that economists were expecting. December’s new home sales figure was revised higher as well, from 842,000, to 885,000.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Biden to order review of supply chains for vital goods
President Joe Biden is preparing to sign an executive order to review U.S. supply chains for large-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals, critical minerals and semiconductors that power cars, phones, military equipment and other goods.

The United States has become increasingly reliant on imports of these goods — a potential national security and economic risk that the Biden administration hopes to address with the planned 100-day review and the possibility of increased domestic production, according to administration officials who insisted on anonymity to discuss the order. However, Biden will also look to work with international partners to ensure a stable and reliable supply chain.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Lawsuits filed against auto insurers over rates in pandemic
Class action lawsuits were filed in Nevada against 10 major auto insurance companies on Tuesday, contending that the companies charged excessive insurance premiums during the pandemic by failing to account for a drop in driving and crashes.

The lawsuits acknowledge that some insurers provided discounts over the emptier roads and drop in accidents and claims, but the discounts did not offer “any meaningful relief that actually reflects the reduction in cars on the road and reduced driving during the pandemic,” according to the court filings. The rates that were charged violate state law against excessive premiums, the lawsuits contend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Final decision soon on nation's 3rd vaccine
Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine offers strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to an analysis released today by U.S. regulators that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

The long-anticipated shot could offer the nation a third vaccine option and help speed vaccinations by requiring just one dose instead of two. Food and Drug Administration scientists confirmed that overall the vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, and about 85% effective against the most serious illness. The agency also said J&J’s shot is safe.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Another killed by explosion of gender reveal device
An expectant father was killed when a device he was building for a gender reveal party exploded, police in New York said Monday.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Wife of drug kingpin 'El Chapo' arrested for drugs
The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested Monday in the United States and accused of helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar cartel and plot his audacious escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, a 31-year-old former beauty queen, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and is expected to appear in federal court in Washington on Tuesday. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Ky. horse farms challenge 'stallion cap' breeding limit
Three prominent Kentucky horse farms challenged a rule Tuesday aimed at limiting the number of mares that a thoroughbred stallion breeds each year, calling it an anti-competitive restriction that threatens to disrupt the breeding industry.

The farms filed a federal lawsuit in Kentucky that takes aim at the “stallion cap” adopted by The Jockey Club in the spring of 2020. The rule effectively restricts thoroughbred stallions from breeding with more than 140 mares each year, the suit said.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Cherokee chief: Time for Jeep to stop using name
It is time for Jeep to stop using the Cherokee Nation’s name on its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs, the chief of the Oklahoma-based tribe said.

Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said in a statement first reported by Car & Driver magazine that he believes corporations and sports teams should stop using Native American names, images and mascots as nicknames or on their products.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Bill seeks freedom for man living in Missouri church
U.S. Rep. Cori Bush introduced legislation Monday to grant permanent residency to Alex Garcia, a Honduran immigrant who has spent more than three years inside a Missouri church to avoid deportation.

Bush, a freshman Democrat from St. Louis, announced a private bill that would allow the married father of five to emerge from his long stay at the Christ Church United Church of Christ in Maplewood, a St. Louis suburb. The church gave him refuge starting in 2017 as the federal government sough to deport him. Garcia entered the U.S. illegally in 2004.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What New York prosecutors could learn from Donald Trump's tax records
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump’s tax records.

Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for the Democrat’s investigation into Trump’s business affairs?

Former prosecutors say the trove of records could give investigators new tools to determine whether Trump lied to lenders or tax officials, before or after he took office.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Hawaii affordable housing guidelines up to $1M
Affordable housing guidelines set by a Hawaii state agency could rate two-bedroom homes costing $1 million as affordable for some households eligible for government-subsidized housing.

The guidelines established by the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. were aimed at helping developers produce affordable housing, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported  Sunday.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Car prices soar, used even more so than new
The viral pandemic has triggered a cascade of price hikes throughout America’s auto industry — a surge that has made both new and used vehicles unaffordable for many.

Prices of new vehicles far outpaced overall consumer inflation over the past year. In response, many buyers who were priced out of that market turned to used vehicles. Yet their demand proved so potent that used-vehicle prices soared even more than new ones did.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

U.S. home prices rise 10.1%, largest year-end jump since April of 2014
U.S. home prices surged at the fastest pace in nearly seven years in December, fueled by low mortgage rates and Americans moving from crowded urban areas to houses in the suburbs.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, climbed 10.1% in December from a year earlier. The year-end jump was the biggest since April 2014 and follows a strong 9.2% year-over-year gain in November.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

US tops 500,000 virus deaths, matching the toll of three wars
The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. topped 500,000 Monday, a staggering number that all but matches the number of Americans killed in World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined.

The U.S. recorded an estimated 405,000 deaths in World War II, 58,000 in the Vietnam War and 36,000 in the Korean War.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Rules planned to save right whales loom over lobster fishers
America’s lobster fishery is getting close to the date when it will have to contend with new rules designed to try to save a species of whale from extinction.

The North Atlantic right whale numbers only about 360, and scientists have said the animal’s small population of breeding females could spell doom for the species. The National Marine Fisheries Service is developing new rules to reduce the possibility of entanglement in fishing gear, which can kill the whales.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Dominion Voting Systems sues 'MyPillow Guy'
Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit Monday against the founder and CEO of Minnesota-based MyPillow, saying that Mike Lindell falsely accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in the District of Columbia alleges that Lindell ignored repeated warnings from Dominion, a voting technology company that  has filed similar lawsuits against Donald Trump lawyers Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Key senators oppose Biden budget pick
President Joe Biden’s nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget was thrown further into doubt on Monday as moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah said they would vote against confirming her.

On Friday, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia became the first Democratic lawmaker to oppose the confirmation of Tanden, who would be the first woman of color to lead the agency. With doubts growing about Tanden’s chances for confirmation, the White House called her “an accomplished policy expert,” and Biden said he was sticking with her.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Plan to rename many San Francisco schools is put on hold
The head of the San Francisco school board has put on hold controversial plans to rename 44 schools until students are back on campus after months of virtual learning during the coronavirus pandemic.
Monday, February 22, 2021

Indiana county seeks repayment for police fugitive manhunt
A northwestern Indiana county is seeking repayment of more than $30,000 from a private transport company for a manhunt police mounted after a fugitive escaped while being extradited from Texas.

The Lake County Commissioners unanimously agreed Wednesday to send REDI Transports a letter seeking reimbursement from the Green Bay, Wisconsin, company for the expenses incurred during the two-week-long manhunt and recapture of Leon Taylor.

Monday, February 22, 2021

High court formally rejects former President Trump's election challenge cases
The Supreme Court on Monday formally rejected a handful of cases related to the 2020 election, including disputes from Pennsylvania that had divided the justices just before the election.

The cases the justices rejected involved election challenges filed by former President Donald Trump and his allies in five states President Joe Biden won: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Inmates injured after power outage hits jail in Indianapolis
Nearly a dozen inmates were injured in falls or fights after a power outage plunged a privately-operated jail in Indianapolis into darkness early Monday and a backup generator failed to kick on, officials said.

Crews with Indianapolis Power & Light had reportedly disconnected a power line in the area that had an ice accumulation when the outage hit Marion County Jail II just after 3:30 a.m., Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal said.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Boeing: 777s with engine that blew apart should be grounded
Boeing has recommended that airlines ground all 777s with the type of engine that blew apart after takeoff from Denver this weekend, and most carriers that fly those planes said they would temporarily pull them from service.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered United Airlines to step up inspections of the aircraft after one of its flights made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport Saturday as pieces of the casing of the engine, a Pratt & Whitney PW4000, rained down on suburban neighborhoods. None of the 231 passengers or 10 crew were hurt, and the flight landed safely, authorities said. United is among the carriers that has grounded the planes.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Charge dropped against Black man walking on icy Texas street
A misdemeanor charge has been dropped against a Black man who was arrested last week for walking home on a street during a snowstorm in Texas.

Rodney Reese, 18, was arrested Feb. 16 in Plano and charged with being a pedestrian in the roadway, news outlets reported.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Bone cancer survivor to join billionaire on SpaceX flight
After beating bone cancer, Hayley Arceneaux figures rocketing into orbit on SpaceX’s first private flight should be a piece of cosmic cake.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced Monday that the 29-year-old physician assistant — a former patient hired last spring — will launch later this year alongside a billionaire who’s using his purchased spaceflight as a charitable fundraiser.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Extreme weather testing Biden's skills
WASHINGTON (AP) — Add Mother Nature to the pile of crises on President Joe Biden’s plate.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Experts warned of killer cold weather
(AP) — This week’s killer freeze in the U.S. was no surprise.

Government and private meteorologists saw it coming, some nearly three weeks in advance. They started sounding warnings two weeks ahead of time. They talked to officials. They issued blunt warnings through social media.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

In an anxious winter, the garden offers consolation
(AP) — Deep into this pandemic winter, it can be hard to remember what a refuge gardens were last spring and summer.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Sunday News Guest Lineups
Saturday, February 20, 2021

US existing home sales, and prices, rise again in January
Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose again last month, a sign that the housing market’s strong momentum from 2020 may be carrying over into this year.
Friday, February 19, 2021

US vows no more sidelining of climate
The United States officially returned to the Paris global climate accord on Friday, and President Joe Biden and other U.S. leaders declared the nation could not afford to sideline the growing climate crisis again.
Friday, February 19, 2021

No cat-astrophe: Police find kittens in 'suspicious package'
NEW MIAMI, Ohio (AP) — A police bomb squad responding to a suspicious package call at an Ohio church made an unexpected discovery: six newborn kittens and their mother inside a duffel bag.
Friday, February 19, 2021

Bankers say economy is improving in rural parts of 10 states
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economy is slowly improving in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states, but employment remains below the level it was at before the coronavirus pandemic began last year, according to a new monthly survey of bankers released Thursday.
Friday, February 19, 2021

NASA rover lands on Mars to look for signs of ancient life
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA rover streaked through the orange Martian sky and landed on the planet Thursday, accomplishing the riskiest step yet in an epic quest to bring back rocks that could answer whether life ever existed on Mars.
Friday, February 19, 2021

Texas power outages below 500,000
Power was restored to more Texans on Thursday, with fewer than a half-million homes remaining without electricity, and many still were without safe drinking water after winter storms wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid and utilities this week.

Meanwhile, the Appalachians, northern Maryland and southern Pennsylvania braced for heavy snow and ice. Snow fell in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Little Rock, Arkansas, got 15 inches (38 centimeters) of snow in back-to-back storms, tying a 1918 record, the National Weather Service said.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Chicago spent $281.5 million in pandemic relief cash on cops
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spent millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief money on the personnel costs for the police department, the city’s budget office revealed Wednesday.

The Chicago Tribune  reports of the $1.2 billion Chicago received from the federal government to help plug budget holes caused the drop of revenue due to the pandemic, $281.5 million went to the Chicago Police Department. Money also went to Chicago’s public health response to the pandemic, to homeless services, senior citizen assistance and O’Hare and Midway international airports.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

'Mercenary' donor to be sentenced in campaign finance scheme
A once high-flying political fundraiser who prosecutors say gave illegal campaign contributions to Joe Biden, and a host of other U.S. politicians while secretly working for foreign governments is set to be sentenced Thursday.

Imaad Zuberi is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles more than a year after he pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion, campaign finance violations and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Even without listening, you live in Limbaugh's media world
You didn’t have to like or even listen to Rush Limbaugh to be affected by what he did.

Conservative talk radio wasn’t a genre before him. Without Limbaugh, it’s hard to imagine a Fox News Channel, or a President Donald Trump, or a media landscape defined by shouters of all stripes that both reflect and influence a state of political gridlock.

To his fans, Limbaugh’s death Wednesday of lung cancer at the age of 70  was an occasion for deep mourning. For his foes, it was good riddance. Somewhere, Rush could surely appreciate it.

He left a legacy.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Migrants on the move again in Mexico and Central America
In the first Mexican shelter reached by migrants after trekking through the Guatemalan jungle, some 150 migrants are sleeping in its dormitories and another 150 lie on thin mattresses spread across the floor of its chapel.

Only six weeks into the year, the shelter known as “The 72” has hosted nearly 1,500 migrants, compared to 3,000 all of last year. It has halved its dormitory space due to the pandemic. That wasn’t a problem last year because few migrants arrived, but this year it’s been overwhelmed.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Lawmakers to face off with GameStop saga
The GameStop saga has been portrayed as a victory of the little guy over Wall Street giants but not everyone agrees, including some lawmakers in Washington.

GameStop shares soared 1,600% in January before falling back to earth. Entangled in the mess are massive short-selling hedge funds, a social media message board and ordinary investors wanting in on the hottest new trade among others. The House Financial Services Committee is ready to dig into the confounding episode at a hearing on Thursday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

US charges N. Korean computer programmers in global hacks
The Justice Department has charged three North Korean computer programmers in a broad range of global and destructive hacks, including targeting banks and a movie studio, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Wholesale prices surge 1.3%, led by big gains in health care and energy
U.S. wholesale prices surged by a record 1.3% in January, led by big gains in health care and energy prices.

The bigger-than-expected increase in the producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, was the largest one-month gain on records that go back to 2009, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. It followed much milder inflation readings of 0.3% in December and 0.1% in November.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Ford to spend $1B to switch German factory to electric cars
Ford says it will spend $1 billion to modernize its Cologne, Germany, manufacturing center, converting it into a European electric vehicle factory.

The factory will build an undisclosed electric passenger vehicle in 2023, and it may build a second one in the future, the company said Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

'A complete bungle': Texas' energy pride goes out with cold
Anger over Texas’ power grid failing in the face of a record winter freeze continued to mount Wednesday as millions of residents in the energy capital of the U.S. remained shivering with no assurances that their electricity and heat — out since Monday in many homes — would return soon or stay on once it finally does.

“I know people are angry and frustrated,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday. “So am I.”

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Biden extends pandemic help for homeowners, renters wait
President Joe Biden is extending a ban on housing foreclosures to June 30 to help homeowners struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

The moratorium on foreclosures of federally guaranteed mortgages had been set to expire on March 31. On his first day in office, Biden had extended the moratorium from Jan. 31. Census Bureau figures show that almost 12% of homeowners with mortgages were late on their payments.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Hospitals still ration masks as stockpiles swell
Mike Bowen's warehouse outside Fort Worth, Texas, was piled high with cases of medical-grade N95 face masks. His company, Prestige Ameritech, can churn out 1 million masks every four days, but he doesn't have orders for nearly that many. So he recently got approval from the government to export them.

"I'm drowning in these respirators," Bowen said.

On the same day 1000 miles (1,600 kilometers) north, Mary Turner, a COVID-19 intensive care nurse at a hospital outside Minneapolis, strapped on the one disposable N-95 respirator allotted for her entire shift.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Democratic congressman sues Trump
A Democratic congressman accused Donald Trump in a federal lawsuit on Tuesday of inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and of conspiring with his lawyer and extremist groups to try to prevent the Senate from certifying the results of the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Alleged Central African Republic rebels plead not guilty
Two alleged leaders of a predominantly Christian rebel group in the Central African Republic pleaded not guilty Tuesday to multiple counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity as their trial opened at the International Criminal Court.

Former soccer official Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona and Alfred Yekatom, a rebel leader known as Rambo, are accused of involvement in atrocities including murder, torture and attacking civilians. The charges stem from their roles as senior leaders in a predominantly Christian militia known as the anti-Balaka that engaged in bitter fighting with the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel group in 2013 and 2014.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Girl hurt in crash involving Chiefs coach Britt Reid awake
A 5-year-old girl left critically injured and in a coma following a crash this month involving Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid is now awake, her family said in an online post.

The news was delivered Monday in a brief post on the GoFundMe page for Ariel Young, who has been hospitalized since the Feb. 4 crash.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Record lows seen in several US cities
The National Weather Service says several cities are experiencing record lows amid a winter storm that’s dropping snow and ice in a huge swath of the U.S.

The weather station in Hibbing/Chisholm, Minnesota, saw a record low of minus 38 degrees, while Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hit minus 26 degrees.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Deaths highlight once in a decade Rockies avalanche danger
The deaths of two Colorado men caught in avalanches and a third in Montana over the frigid Presidents Day weekend show how backcountry skiers and others in the Rocky Mountain wilderness risk triggering weak layers of snow that have created the most hazardous conditions in a decade, forecasters say.

At least 25 people have been killed in avalanches in the United States so far this year — more than the 23 who died last winter. Typically, 27 people die in avalanches in the U.S. annually.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

LAPD investigating report of George Floyd 'Valentine'
The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an internal investigation after an officer reported that a photo of George Floyd with the words “You take my breath away” in a Valentine-like format was circulated among officers.
Monday, February 15, 2021

Trump looks to reassert himself after acquittal
Donald Trump took in the win at Mar-a-Lago, surrounded by friends and family. His lawyers celebrated with hugs and smiles. One joked, “We’re going to Disney World!”

Now acquitted in his second Senate impeachment trial, Trump is preparing for the next phase of his post-presidency life. Feeling emboldened by the trial’s outcome, he is expected to reemerge from a self-imposed hibernation at his club in Palm Beach, Florida, and is eyeing ways to reassert his power.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Biden faces pressure on immigration
After a weeklong bus ride from Honduras, Isabel Osorio Medina arrived in northern Mexico with the hope President Joe Biden would make it easier for people like him to get into the United States.

“It seems the new president wants to help migrants,” Osorio said as he got ready to check in to a cheap hotel in downtown Tijuana before heading to the U.S. “They’re saying he is going to help, but I don’t know for sure how much is true or not.”

Monday, February 15, 2021

South Carolina considers breaking up public health agency
South Carolina’s public health workers have been tasked with keeping the state safe for 143 years, ever since lawmakers created a health board in 1878 after a yellow fever outbreak killed 20,000 Americans.

Now, as the coronavirus pandemic surges, legislators are trying to break their agency apart.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Doctors who say no to opioid use face threats from patients
One patient threatened to shoot Dr. Terry Hunt if physical therapy didn’t relieve his pain as effectively as opioids did. Another harassed his staff, then roamed a hospital searching for Hunt after being told he would be weaned off painkillers he had used inappropriately.

Hunt was unharmed, but shaken enough to ask the central Illinois hospital system where he worked to dismiss both patients.

Monday, February 15, 2021

GM's Chevy Bolt SUV joins parade of new US electric vehicles
Monday, February 15, 2021

Power cut across Texas as snow, ice blanket southern Plains
A winter storm dropping snow and ice also sent temperatures plunging across the southern Plains, prompting a power emergency in Texas a day after conditions canceled flights and impacted traffic across large swaths of the U.S.

Rotating power outages were initiated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, early Monday morning, meaning hundreds of thousands went without electricity for short periods as temperatures fell into the teens near Dallas and 20s (about minus 5 degrees Celsius) around Houston.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Late ice cramps anglers' appetite, research of crucial fish
A lack of ice in cold weather states this year has made it difficult for scientists to study the population of an ecologically important fish.

Rainbow smelts, which are small fish that are very popular with ice anglers, have been a focus of conservationists for many years. The federal government listed the fish as a species of special concern more than 15 years ago due to declines in its population.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Hard-hit restaurants feed COVID doctors, nurses to survive
It was the week after Christmas and coronavirus case numbers and hospitalizations were soaring in Portland, Oregon.

At Oregon Health & Science University, the state's largest hospital, morale was low. Doctors and nurses caring for the most critically ill were burning out just when they were needed the most.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Norway deports truck driver for not using snow chains
Norwegian authorities deported a truck driver who was stopped by police twice within an hour for driving without mandatory snow chains near a city north of the Arctic Circle.

The man, who has been banned from returning to Norway for two years, was “careless of the conditions, which represents a great danger,” police spokesman Per Oeyvind Skogmo said in a statement Thursday.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Lauded early in pandemic, Cuomo now panned on nursing homes
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote a book on managing the COVID-19 crisis. Now he faces intensifying accusations that he covered up the true death toll of the pandemic on nursing home residents, attacks that challenge his reputation for straight-shooting competency and could cloud his political future.

State lawmakers called for investigations, stripping Cuomo of his emergency powers and even his resignation after new details emerged this week about why certain nursing home data was kept under wraps for months, despite requests from lawmakers and others.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Tight supply creates reluctance over federal vaccine sites
The Biden administration’s plan to open 100 vaccination sites by the end of the month was initially embraced by governors and health officials, who considered it a much needed lifeline to get more Americans inoculated against the coronavirus.

But reality has quickly set in: Some are hesitating to take the offer, at least for now, saying they don’t need more places to administer doses. They just need more doses.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

General Motors settles lawsuit with California for $5.75M
General Motors Co. has agreed to a $5.75 million settlement with California regarding false statements the company made to investors about problems with its deadly ignition switches, state officials announced Friday.
Saturday, February 13, 2021

Airlines push White House to reject testing for US flights
Leaders of several major U.S. airlines met online Friday with White House officials to press their case against requiring coronavirus tests for passengers on domestic flights, saying it would undermine the already fragile industry.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

How a leading anti-Trump group ignored a crisis in its ranks
Last June, the Lincoln Project was on a high.

Led by several prominent former Republican consultants, its slickly produced ads attacking President Donald Trump made it perhaps the best known of the so-called Never Trump organizations. The group tried to claim a higher moral ground in an effort to purge Trump from the GOP. Money flowed in by the tens of millions of dollars from donors eager to help.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Fire destroys part of Paul Newman's camp for ill children
A fire on Friday evening destroyed a large section of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children in Connecticut.

Jimmy Canton, the chief executive of the camp in Ashford, said it appears no one was injured in the blaze, which was reported to fire officials through an automatic fire alarm just before 5 p.m. He said buildings housing the camp’s store and arts and crafts, woodshop and cooking programs were destroyed.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Prosecutors refile charges against officer in summer protest
The Philadelphia prosecutor’s office has refiled charges against a city police officer who was accused of striking a protester in the head with a metal baton during a racial injustice demonstration.

The filing Thursday came about a month after a judge dismissed the charges against Police Inspector Joseph Bologna, finding that prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to establish that Bologna’s use of his baton amounted to a crime.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Fox hosts strike back in voting fraud suit
Three Fox News hosts — Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro — are seeking the dismissal of claims against them and their employer as part of a $2.7 billion libel lawsuit brought by the voting technology company Smartmatic.

Bartiromo, Dobbs and Pirro, as well as Donald Trump lawyers Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell, were sued this month for the eye-popping amount by Smartmatic, which accused them of conspiring to spread false claims that the company was involved in an effort to steal the presidential election from Trump.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Bidens view Valentine's Day decorations on White House lawn
First lady Jill Biden has a valentine for the American people: giant pink, white and red hearts bearing calls for “unity,” “hope” and “love” installed early Friday on the North Lawn of the White House.

“I just wanted some joy,” the first lady told reporters during a surprise visit to the lawn with President Joe Biden and their two German shepherds, Champ and Major. “I think things have been so — with the pandemic — everybody’s feeling a little down, so it’s just a little joy, a little hope, that’s all.”

Friday, February 12, 2021

Heart-shaped art brings love, hope to virus-ravaged spots
Donald Verger has been putting heart into his art during the pandemic.

And images of those intricate hearts made from vibrant sea glass are flowing back to schools and hospitals that have been hard hit by COVID-19 during the pandemic.

“The hearts hit a sweet spot for people,“ Verger said. “People love sea glass, the color, the patterns.”

Friday, February 12, 2021

Small electric air taxis will zip people to nearby airports
United Airlines said Wednesday it will buy up to 200 small electric air taxis to help customers in urban areas get to the airport.

The airline said it will help electric-aircraft startup Archer develop an aircraft capable of helicopter-style, vertical takeoffs and landings. Archer hopes to deliver its first aircraft in 2024, if it wins certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Chilling video becomes key exhibit in Trump trial
Chilling security video of last month’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, including of rioters searching menacingly for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, has become a key exhibit in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as lawmakers prosecuting the case wrap up their opening arguments for why Trump should be convicted of inciting the siege.

The House continued its case today, with Trump’s lawyers to launch their defense by week’s end. Democrats plan to use their remaining hours of arguments to lay out the physical and mental harm caused by the attack, discuss Trump’s lack of action as it unfolded and do a final presentation on the legal issues involved, according to aides working on the impeachment team. The aides were granted anonymity to preview the arguments.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

How the pandemic will affect filing your taxes
The pandemic has made everything a bit trickier — tax filing season is no exception.

The whole process is starting a bit later this year and there are a few wrinkles to be aware of for those who received unemployment benefits, worked from home, took on gig work, were a victim of fraud — or faced other issues common to 2020.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

CDC study finds two masks are better than one
U.S. government researchers found that wearing two masks are better than one in slowing coronavirus spread, but health officials stopped short of recommending that everyone double up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday reported the results of a lab experiment that spaced two artificial heads 6 feet from each other and checked to see how many coronavirus-sized particles spewed by one were inhaled by the other.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

America's top philanthropists include CEOs and founders of big tech companies
These are the donors who gave the most in 2020, according to the Philanthropy 50, an annual ranking compiled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Trump's acquittal expected in impeachment trial beginning today
Former President Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial will force the Senate to decide whether to convict him of incitement of insurrection after a violent mob of his supporters laid siege to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

While Trump’s acquittal is expected, Democrats hope to gain at least some Senate Republican votes by linking Trump’s actions to a vivid description of the violence, which resulted in five deaths and sent lawmakers fleeing for safety. The House impeached Trump on Jan. 13, one week later.

Trump’s lawyers say the trial should not be held at all because the former president is now a private citizen. They argue that he did not incite the violence when he told his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Public never in danger in hacker's poisoning attempt
A hacker gained entry to the system controlling the water treatment plant of a Florida city of 15,000 and tried to taint the water supply with a caustic chemical, exposing a danger cybersecurity experts say has grown as systems become both more computerized and accessible via the internet.

The hacker who breached the system at the city of Oldsmar’s water treatment plant on Friday using a remote access program shared by plant workers briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide by a factor of one hundred (from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million), Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a news conference Monday.

Sodium hydroxide, also called lye, is used to treat water acidity but the compound is also found in cleaning supplies such as soaps and drain cleaners. It can cause irritation, burns and other complications in larger quantities.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

WHO team: Coronavirus unlikely to have leaked from China lab
The coronavirus most likely first appeared in humans after jumping from an animal, a team of international and Chinese scientists looking for the origins of COVID-19 said Tuesday, dismissing as unlikely an alternate theory that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab.

A closely watched visit by World Health Organization experts to Wuhan — the Chinese city where the first coronavirus cases were discovered — did not dramatically change the current understanding of the early days of the pandemic, said Peter Ben Embarek, the leader of the WHO mission.

But it did “add details to that story,” he said at a news conference as the group wrapped up a nearly four-week visit to the city.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Luxenbourg defends itself against allegations of international tax haven
Luxembourg on Monday denied claims made in international media publications that the nation is a massive tax haven for the world’s rich and famous despite European Union legislation to clamp down on it.

A group of media outlets including France’s Le Monde allege that the Grand Duchy has scores of ghost companies without staff or offices with only the aim in mind to hide or protect funds and wealth from tax collectors or harbor suspect funds. The outlets cite financial data they collated based on publicly available registers of companies.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Tesla buys $1.5B in Bitcoin, will accept as payment soon
Tesla has invested around $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and said it plans to begin accepting the digital currency as payment for it high-end vehicles soon. The price of Bitcoin soared 15% to above $43,000 Monday morning.

The California-based electric car maker headed by Elon Musk revealed the new strategy in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, saying its investment in digital currency and other “alternative reserve assets” may grow.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Cannon fire at baby shower kills Michigan man
A Michigan man who was fatally injured when a cannon exploded in a backyard during a baby shower was within 15 feet of the device when the blast occurred, police said.

Evan Thomas Silva, 26, of Hartland, was struck by metal shrapnel in Saturday night’s explosion outside a home in Genesee County’s Gaines Township, about 55 miles (88.5 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. He was taken in serious condition to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, where he later died.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Schools nationwide plan for potential of remote learning into the fall
Parents of schoolchildren learning from home shouldn’t necessarily count on reclaiming the dining room table any time soon.

After seeing two academic years thrown off course by the pandemic, school leaders around the country are planning for the possibility of more distance learning next fall at the start of yet another school year.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Tampa mayor frustrated by maskless fans
So much for the mayor’s order requiring masks at Super Bowl parties. Throngs of mostly maskless fans took to the streets and packed sports bars as the clock inside Raymond James Stadium ticked down on a hometown Super Bowl win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“It is a little frustrating because we have worked so hard,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said during a Monday morning news conference with the Super Bowl Host Committee. “At this point in dealing with COVID-19, there is a level of frustration when you see that.”

Monday, February 8, 2021

New variants raise fear of reinfection
Evidence is mounting that having COVID-19 may not protect against getting infected again with some of the new variants. People also can get second infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus if they mounted a weak defense the first time, new research suggests.

How long immunity lasts from natural infection is one of the big questions in the pandemic. Scientists still think reinfections are fairly rare and usually less serious than initial ones, but recent developments around the world have raised concerns.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Amanda Gorman, in a first, brings poetry to Super Bowl
Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet who stirred America at the inauguration of President Joe Biden last month, again commanded the spotlight on one of the country’s biggest stages, the Super Bowl.

Gorman read an original poem Sunday during the pregame festivities in Tampa, Florida. The poem, titled “Chorus of the Captains,“ was a tribute to three people for their contributions during the pandemic: educator Trimaine Davis, nurse manager Suzie Dorner and Marine veteran James Martin.

Monday, February 8, 2021

University removes four-term governor Geo. Wallace name from building
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has removed the name of four-term governor and presidential candidate George C. Wallace from a campus building over his support of racial segregation.

A resolution unanimously approved by trustees Friday said Wallace rose to power by defending racial separation and stoking racial animosity. While noting Wallace’s eventual renouncement of racist policies, the resolution said his name remains a symbol of racial injustice for many.

A UAB building that was named after Wallace in 1975 will now be called simply the Physical Education Building. Removing Wallace’s name from the structure “is simply the right things to do,” trustee John England Jr. said in a statement.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Trump lawyers blast upcoming impeachment trial as 'political theater'
Lawyers for Donald Trump today blasted the impeachment case against him as an act of “political theater” as they accused House Democrats of exploiting the chaos and trauma of last month’s riot at the U.S. Capitol for their party’s gain.

In a brief filed on the eve of the impeachment trial, lawyers for the former president leveled a wide-ranging attack on the case, foreshadowing the claims they intend to present when arguments begin Tuesday on the same Senate floor that was invaded by rioters on Jan. 6.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Calendar quirk: Virus deaths won't be in census
(AP) — A calendar coincidence means the human loss from the coronavirus will not be reflected in the 2020 census, and that could save a congressional seat for New York but cost Alabama one.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Biden's Champ and Major to make appearance during Puppy Bowl
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s dogs will make an appearance during the Puppy Bowl this weekend.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Criminal Element: FBI slaying shows the great risk that surveillance cameras pose to the police
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The child pornography suspect who gunned down two South Florida FBI agents this week somehow knew exactly when they were approaching his apartment.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

St. Louis jail inmates set fires, break out windows
(AP) — Inmates at a St. Louis jail set fires, broke out windows and threw things from fourth-floor windows Saturday in the latest disturbance over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions that have limited visits and stalled court proceedings, officials said.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Nabisco plant to close leaving up to 600 jobless
FAIR LAWN, N.J. (AP) — A Nabisco plant in New Jersey will close for good by summer’s end after 63 years of operation, leaving as many as 600 people without jobs, officials said.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Two nurse, two stories: Her mom battled 1918 pandemic, she fights this one
SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — She’s 76 years old but nurse practitioner Sigrid Stokes is in no mood to retire.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Investigation into allegations finds no 'actionable' sexual bias at United Way
(Via AP) — An investigation into harassment allegations by three former employees of United Way Worldwide found no evidence of “actionable harassment, discrimination, or retaliation,” although the report urged the organization to review and improve its policies regarding such complaints, according to a statement issued by the nonprofit.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Special Valentines meal can take many forms this year
(AP) — As we come to the end of a collective year of pandemic firsts, Valentine’s Day is next up. And showing love and gratitude can feel more important than ever.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Special Valentines meal can take many forms this year
(AP) — As we come to the end of a collective year of pandemic firsts, Valentine’s Day is next up. And showing love and gratitude can feel more important than ever.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Fox Bus cancels Dobbs
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” whose host has trumpeted unfounded assertions of voter fraud in the 2020 election, has been canceled.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

'Heroes' a story of deep friendship
In Mike Chen’s “We Could Be Heroes,” Jamie and Zoe each wake up alone in an unfamiliar apartment. Neither has any memory of who they are or how they got there. All they know is that they now possess special powers. Jamie can read and erase memories, and Zoe has superhuman strength and speed.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Music: Take a great detour into fun
Foo Fighters, “Medicine at Midnight” (Roswell/RCA)

“Medicine at Midnight” is what happens when the Foo Fighters embrace grooves instead of riffs. Who asked for that? No one, really. But we should have.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

US lags in detecting mutant viruses
NEW YORK (AP) — Despite its world-class medical system and its vaunted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. fell behind in the race to detect dangerous coronavirus mutations. And it’s only now beginning to catch up.
Friday, February 5, 2021

Epstein's ex-girlfriend blames her arrest on his death
NEW YORK (AP) — Financier Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend claims she is being prosecuted on sex abuse charges that could put her in prison for life because Epstein killed himself and prosecutors wanted a substitute to replace him with, lawyers said in newly unsealed court papers.
Friday, February 5, 2021

66 people rescued from ice floes in Wisconsin Bay
STURGEON BAY, Wis. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard and several other agencies rescued 66 people stranded on ice floes in a bay in northeastern Wisconsin.
Friday, February 5, 2021

Rittenhouse fires attorney who helped raise his bail
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An 18-year-old from Illinois who’s accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a police brutality protest in Wisconsin last summer fired a California attorney who had been soliciting money for his case.
Friday, February 5, 2021

Suspect in killing of woman, daughters fled on bus
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man charged with killing a St. Louis woman and her two young daughters took a bus to escape the scene and was captured about 100 miles away in Illinois, authorities said.
Friday, February 5, 2021

Super Bowl ads to watch; Sexy Alexa, Dan Levy
(AP) — It might not have seemed likely early in the pandemic, but the 55th Super Bowl Sunday is upon us yet again. Each year advertisers pull out all the stops to entertain the crowd of 100 million viewers expected to tune in to the CBS broadcast on Sunday. This year there are more than 20 newcomers as well as old favorites. Amazon shows off a sexy new body for its Alexa assistant, Dan Levy apologizes for eating M&M’s and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade makes a downpour of lemons a metaphor for 2020’s troubles. And as always, expect some surprises, too.
Friday, February 5, 2021

Chiefs under pressure to ditch the tomahawk chop celebration
(AP)  — Pressure is mounting for the Super Bowl-bound Kansas City Chiefs to abandon a popular tradition in which fans break into a “war chant” while making a chopping hand motion designed to mimic the Native American tomahawk.
Friday, February 5, 2021

Britain to test mixing and matching virus vaccines
British scientists are starting a study Thursday to find out if it’s OK to mix and match COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccines being rolled out now require two doses, and people are supposed to get two shots of the same kind, weeks apart.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Biden flexible on who gets aid, encourages lawmakers to act fast and 'go big'
President Joe Biden encouraged Democratic lawmakers Wednesday to “act fast” on his $1.9 trillion COVID rescue plan but also signaled he’s open to changes, including limiting the proposed $1,400 direct payments to Americans with lower income levels, which could draw Republican support.

Biden told lawmakers in private comments he’s “not married“ to an absolute number for the overall package but wants them to “go big“ on pandemic relief and “restore the soul of the country.”

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Fauci: Don't let Super Bowl turn into a super spreader
The nation’s top infectious disease expert doesn’t want the Super Bowl to turn into a super spreader.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, says when it comes to Super Bowl parties during the pandemic, people should “just lay low and cool it.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

What's hot on TV: Ratched, Ozark, Crown
Netflix built on its recent dominance at scooping up Golden Globe TV nominations today, getting 20 nods — nearly three times as many as its closest competitor, HBO.

Netflix, which beat its own record of 17 TV nominations from last year, secured three out of the five nominations for best drama TV series — “The Crown,” “Ozark” and “Ratched” — and four of the five acting nods for best actress in that category for Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin, Laura Linney and Sarah Paulson.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

St. Louis zoo plans habitat for endangered wolf breed
The St. Louis Zoo plans to use land it owns in a rural area of Missouri as habitat for a wolf breed on the verge of extinction, zoo officials announced this week.

Only about 20 American red wolves remain in the wild due mostly to illegal hunting, vehicle strikes and habitat loss. Plans call for wolves to live and breed on the Sears Lehmann Jr. Wildlife Reserve, a protected setting that was donated to the zoo in 1993. The reserve is in Franklin County, Missouri, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of St. Louis.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Buttigieg touts Transportation agenda
Pete Buttigieg, sworn in Wednesday as transportation secretary, urged his 55,000 employees to embrace “imaginative, bold, forward thinking” as the Transportation Department embarks on a vital mission to rebuild America’s infrastructure and foster equality.

“We will continue to prioritize safety as the foundation of everything we do,” Buttigieg said in an email message. “And at the same time, we will break new ground: in ensuring that our economy recovers and rebuilds, in rising to the climate challenge, and in making sure transportation is an engine for equity in this country.”

He added that the department’s mission “has never been more important than in this season of change and possibility.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Supreme Court puts off wall and asylum cases
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to requests from the Biden administration to put off arguments in two cases involving the U.S.-Mexico border wall and asylum-seekers because President Joe Biden has taken steps to change Trump administration policies that had been challenged in court.

The justices issued a brief order canceling arguments that had been set for the coming weeks.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

US extends sole remaining nuke treaty with Russia
The United States joined Russia on Wednesday in extending the two countries’ last remaining treaty limiting their stockpiles of nuclear weapons, two days before the pact was set to expire.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement the U.S. would use the five years of the New START treaty’s renewal to pursue limits on all of Russia’s nuclear weapons. That’s after the Trump administration pulled out of two other such deals, as part of a broad withdrawal from international accords.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Agreement is reached to organize 50-50 Senate
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced an agreement today with Republicans to organize the evenly split chamber, ending a weekslong standoff  that prevented the new Democratic majority from setting up some operations and soured relations at the start of the congressional session.

Schumer, D-N.Y., said that he and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had agreed on committee ratios and other details in the 50-50 chamber, where Democrats have the slim edge because Vice President Kamala Harris is a tie-breaking vote.

Senators can now promptly “get to work, with Democrats holding the gavels,” Schumer said.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Biden, Harris pay respects to officer killed in riot
Slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick lay in honor today in the building he died defending, as colleagues, members of Congress and the president and vice president paid their respects.

Sicknick died after defending the Capitol on Jan. 6 against the mob that stormed the building and interrupted the electoral count after then-President Donald Trump urged supporters on the National Mall to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that Sicknick, who died the next day, was injured “while physically engaging with protesters,” though the cause of his death has not been determined.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

PBS CEO defends filmmaker Ken Burns against accusations of racial bias
The chief executive of PBS rejected a filmmaker’s argument that public TV’s 40-year relationship with documentarian Ken Burns has come at the expense of diversity.

President and CEO Paula Kerger was asked Tuesday about an essay by filmmaker Grace Lee, who contended that public TV’s deep attachment to Burns, whose series include “The Civil War” and “Baseball,” slights viewers of color.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

GameStop shares head sharply lower for second straight day
GameStop shares are down sharply Tuesday, cleaving off more of the stock’s recent blockbuster gains following a social-media led campaign to get it to skyrocket at the expense of big Wall Street funds.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Schumer moves ahead on Biden virus aid, GOP talks continue
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that senators will vote Tuesday on a first step toward eventually approving President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus recovery package on a fast-track with or without Republican support.

Schumer said Congress must take bold action toward “America’s long-awaited come back.“ The procedural vote launches a lengthy budget procedure that would allow Democrats who have a slim majority to pass Biden’s proposal on their own if Republicans object.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Lawyers: Trump trial unconstitutional
Donald Trump’s lawyers denied Tuesday that he played a role in inciting the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol and said that the Senate impeachment trial is unconstitutional.

The lawyers filed their brief ahead of next week’s trial on accusations that he provoked the siege of the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol through his baseless efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Biden administration to provide COVID vaccine to pharmacies
The Biden administration will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to U.S. pharmacies, part of its plan to ramp up vaccinations as new and potentially more serious virus strains are starting to appear, the White House said Tuesday.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Hundreds deported under Biden, including witness to massacre
President Joe Biden’s administration has deported hundreds of immigrants in its early days despite his campaign pledge to stop removing most people in the U.S. illegally at the beginning of his term.

A federal judge last week ordered the Biden administration not to enforce a 100-day moratorium on deportations, but the ruling did not require the government to schedule them. In recent days, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported immigrants to at least three countries: 15 people to Jamaica on Thursday and 269 people to Guatemala and Honduras on Friday. More deportation flights were scheduled Monday.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

How exercise can help you live longer
There are many reasons to get in shape. Weight loss is a prime motivator, as is reversing a negative health effect, such as high cholesterol or increased diabetes risk. Routine exercise also can improve life expectancy.

WebMD says exercise keeps the body and brain healthy. That's why exercise should be an important component of daily life no matter one's age.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

India farming protests resonate with US agriculture
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Images of thousands of farmers streaming into India’s capital on tractors and carrying banners to decry potentially devastating changes in agricultural policy can seem a world away, but the protests in New Delhi raise issues that resonate in the United States and have led to dramatic change in rural America.
Monday, February 1, 2021

GameStop bug may have mutated as silver surges
NEW YORK (AP) — The erratic trading in shares of underdog companies like GameStop that turned markets combustible last week appears to have migrated to commodities, sending silver prices surging to an eight-year high.
Monday, February 1, 2021

WHO team in Wuhan looking for clues amid tight control
WUHAN, China (AP) — A World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic visited two disease control centers today that had an early hand in managing the outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Monday, February 1, 2021

Vaccine skepticism lurks in town famous for syphilis study
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (AP) — Lucenia Dunn spent the early days of the coronavirus pandemic encouraging people to wear masks and keep a safe distance from each other in Tuskegee, a mostly black city where the government once used unsuspecting African American men as guinea pigs in a study of a sexually transmitted disease.
Monday, February 1, 2021

10-year-old boy cashes in on GameStop stocks
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A 10-year-old San Antonio boy made a killing by selling GameStop stock he was gifted more than a year ago.
Monday, February 1, 2021

Republicans propose smaller aid plan
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden met with a group of 10 Republican senators who have proposed $618 billion in coronavirus relief, about a third of the $1.9 trillion he is seeking as congressional Democrats are poised to move ahead without Republican support.
Monday, February 1, 2021

Southern Poverty Law Center: Hate groups in decline, migrate to online networks
(AP) — During one of the most politically divisive years in recent memory, the number of active hate groups in the U.S. actually declined as far-right extremists migrated further to online networks, reflecting a splintering of white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups that are more difficult to track.
Monday, February 1, 2021

Huge blaze at northern New Jersey recycling plant
A massive fire engulfed a northern New Jersey recycling plant overnight and raged into Saturday morning as firefighters battled flames, frigid cold and wind.

The blaze broke out around midnight at the Atlantic Coast Fibers plant in Passaic, sending flames shooting into the dark as 20 fire departments converged to fight them, officials said. There were at least two explosions, one involving a truck with gas tanks on it, Mayor Hector Lora said.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Biden, Democrats push for $15 minimum wage
The Democratic push to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour has emerged as an early flashpoint in the fight for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, testing President Joe Biden’s ability to bridge Washington’s partisan divides as he pursues his first major legislative victory.

Biden called for a $15 hourly minimum wage during his campaign and has followed through by hitching it to a measure that, among other things, calls for $1,400 stimulus checks and $130 billion to help schools reopen. Biden argues that anyone who holds a full-time job shouldn’t live in poverty, echoing progressives in the Democratic Party who are fully on board with the effort.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Alaska plans screening changes after '3REICH' license plate
An Alaska agency plans to update its electronic screening system after issuing personalized license plates reading “FUHRER” and “3REICH” and later recalling them because of complaints, officials announced Friday.
Saturday, January 30, 2021

Fighting climate change in America means changes to America
Climate isn’t the only thing changing.

What comes next in the nation’s struggle to combat global warming will probably transform how Americans drive, where they get their power and other bits of day-to-day life, both quietly and obviously, experts say. So far the greening of America has been subtle, driven by market forces, technology and voluntary actions.

The Biden administration is about to change that.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Workers escaped deadly leak by going through nitrogen fog
Workers at a northeast Georgia poultry plant said they escaped through a fog of vaporizing liquid nitrogen that killed six of their coworkers, as an investigation continued Friday into the cause of the leak at Foundation Food Group.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office identified the victims on Friday as: 45-year-old Jose DeJesus Elias-Cabrera of Gainesville; 35-year-old Corey Alan Murphy of Clermont; 28-year-old Nelly Perez-Rafael of Gainesville; 41-year-old Saulo Suarez-Bernal of Dawsonville; 38-year-old Victor Vellez of Gainesville; and 28-year-old Edgar Vera-Garcia of Gainesville.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Biden pushing for $1.9 trillion aid plan
Republican lawmakers are balking at the cost of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan — but the Biden team is trying to convince the country that the cost is a bargain compared to the potential damage to the world’s largest economy.

Biden hammered the message at a Friday meeting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Friday, January 29, 2021

French coal miners awarded $7.3M for anxiety caused by toxic exposure
A French court ordered the state today to pay a total 7.3 million euros ($8.9 million) to 727 former coal miners for anxiety caused to them by a career of exposure to toxic substances.

The case could set a precedent for other former miners or people working in dangerous environments without protection.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Idaho ban on marijuana advances
A proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent the legalization of marijuana in Idaho moved forward Friday as lawmakers in the conservative state try to halt the increasing acceptance of the drug nationwide.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted to send the joint resolution that bans all psychoactive drugs not already legal in Idaho to the full Senate. That list would change for drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Charged dropped against activist who exposed hog killings
Prosecutors have dropped trespassing charges against an activist who helped secretly record Iowa’s largest pork producer using heat to kill thousands of hogs last year as the pandemic devastated the industry.

Matt Johnson, an activist with the group Direct Action Everywhere, had been scheduled to stand trial in Grundy County, Iowa, on Monday on two counts of trespassing at Iowa Select Farms properties in May.

Friday, January 29, 2021

GameStop stock back to the races; Wall Street bends under the pressure
GameStop’s stock was back to the races today, and the overall U.S. market was down again, as the saga that’s captivated and confused Wall Street ramps up the drama.

GameStop shot up more than 70% in midday trading, clawing back most of its steep loss from the day before, after Robinhood said it will allow customers to start buying some of the stock again. GameStop has been on a stupefying 1,900% run over the last three weeks and has become the battleground where swarms of smaller investors see themselves making an epic stand against the 1%.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Brokaw to journalists: Get out to more of the country
If Tom Brokaw has one piece of advice to leave for television journalists upon his retirement, it’s to get out to more of the country —and not just to visit.

The Capitol insurrection is but one example of a story that might not have seemed as much a surprise if more journalists were attuned to communities outside of the power centers, the veteran NBC newsman said.

Friday, January 29, 2021

'Just shocked': Small town reckons with charges in Capitol riot
In this don't blink-or-you'll-miss-it, one-stoplight town, dozens of residents still fly “Trump 2020” and “Make America Great Again” flags.

But it's a now-shuttered bar that brought the FBI and other investigators to Woodstock, Ohio, around 40 miles northwest of Columbus, this month. Bedsheets and drapes cover the windows of The Jolly Roger Bar and Grill, except for a sliver where an “OPEN” sign flickers in red, white and blue.

Friday, January 29, 2021

GAO makes new pandemic recommendations
The U.S. Government Accountability Office is making some new recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the vaccine rollout has not met expectations.

The office has continued to report on its ongoing monitoring and oversight efforts related to the pandemic. Its latest report examines the federal government’s continued efforts to respond to and recover from the pandemic.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

6.5-hour surgery to replace tiger's hip a success
A 10-year-old Amur tiger with arthritis underwent hip replacement surgery at a zoo outside Chicago on Wednesday, and her surgical team is confident the procedure will add years to her life.

Veterinarians at Brookfield Zoo noted that, like humans, animals routinely develop degenerative problems in their joints as they age. When the tiger, Malena, arrived at the zoo last year, she had already been diagnosed with arthritis of the hip and was receiving pain relief medications.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Virus variant from South Africa in US for 1st time
A new coronavirus variant identified in South Africa has been found in the United States for the first time, with two cases diagnosed in South Carolina, state health officials said today.

The two cases don’t appear to be connected, nor do the people have a history of recent travel, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Cyber attacks shift from individuals to businesses
Cybercriminals shifted away from stealing individual consumers’ information in 2020 to focus on bigger, more profitable attacks on businesses, according to a report from the Identity Theft Resource Center.

The nonprofit, which supports victims of identity crime, found that the number of U.S. data breaches fell 19% in 2020 to 1,108. But the number of individual victims of such cybercrimes fell 66% compared with the year prior.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

GM sets goal of going largely electric by 2035
General Motors has set a goal of making the vast majority of the vehicles it produces electric by 2035, and the entire company carbon neutral, including operations, five years after that.

The Detroit automaker’s push into electric vehicles has gone into overdrive this year.

GM has already announced that it will invest $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles in the next five years, a 35% increase over plans made before the pandemic. It will offer 30 all-electric models worldwide by the middle of the decade. By the end of 2025, 40% of its U.S. models will be battery electric vehicles. The company plans to include crossovers, SUVs, sedans and trucks in its electric vehicle lineup.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Most aggressive energy agenda of all
President Joe Biden is aiming to cut oil, gas and coal emissions and double energy production from offshore wind turbines through executive orders today.

The orders  target federal subsidies for oil and other fossil fuels and halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Oceanic shark populations drop 71% since 1970
When marine biologist Stuart Sandin talks about sharks, it sounds like he’s describing Jedis of the ocean. “They are terrific predators, fast swimmers and they have amazing senses — they can detect any disturbance in the ocean from great distance,” such as smells or tiny changes in water currents.

Their ability to quickly sense anything outside the norm in their environment helps them find prey in the vastness of the open ocean. But it also makes them especially vulnerable in the face of increased international fishing pressure, as global fishing fleets have doubled since 1950.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Ponytails, polish ok for gals; beards still out for guys
Female soldiers can let their hair down, and flash a little nail color under new rules being approved by the Army. But male soldiers will still have to shave.

Army leaders announced Tuesday that they are loosening restrictions on various grooming and hairstyle rules, as service leaders try to address longstanding complaints, particularly from women. The changes, which also expand allowances for earrings and hair highlights and dyes, are particularly responsive to women of various ethnicities, and will allow greater flexibility for braids, twists, cornrows and other styles more natural for their hair.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Biden to reopen 'Obamacare' markets for COVID-19 relief
Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Joe Biden plans to reopen the insurance markets for a special sign-up opportunity geared to people needing coverage in the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden is expected to sign an executive order Thursday, said two people familiar with the plan, whose details were still being finalized. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the pending order ahead of a formal announcement.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Buying homeowners insurance? Ask these questions
Purchasing insurance may not be as fun as choosing new furniture and paint colors, but it’s a critical part of the homebuying process. Your homeowners insurance policy is a financial safety net in case of a disaster, so you’ll want to ask a few important questions to make sure you have the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Edmunds: Mustang Mach-E vs. Tesla Model Y
The 2020 Tesla Model Y is an intriguing pick for an electric SUV. It has a relatively small footprint but provides cavernous passenger and cargo space. And with a current entry price of $43,190 including destination and handling fees, it’s also one the most affordable electric SUVs around.

But there’s a new rival aimed at taking on the Model Y: the all-new 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. The Mach-E is priced competitively. It starts at $43,995 and, unlike Tesla, still qualifies for federal tax credits. But which EV is better? Edmunds’ experts tested both to find out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Major winter storm drops foot of snow on Midwest
A major winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the middle of the country while another system blanketed parts of the Southwest with snow, disrupting travel for a second consecutive day today and shuttering many schools.

There were closures of several coronavirus testing sites on Monday and Tuesday in Nebraska and Iowa, and both states saw 12 to 15 inches  of snow in places. At least 4 inches  of snow was expected through today across most of an area stretching from central Kansas northeast to Chicago and southern Michigan.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Trump impeachment goes to Senate, testing his sway
House Democrats delivered the impeachment case against Donald Trump to the Senate for the start of his historic trial, but Republican senators were easing off their criticism of the former president and shunning calls to convict him over the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.

It’s an early sign of Trump’s enduring sway over the party.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

First private space crew paying $55M each to fly into outer space
The first private space station crew was introduced today: Three men who are each paying $55 million to fly on a SpaceX rocket.

They’ll be led by a former NASA astronaut now working for Axiom Space, the Houston company that arranged the trip for next January.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Senate filibuster fight cools for now, battles ahead
Easing off a stalemate, the Senate moved forward today with a power-sharing agreement in the evenly-split chamber after Republican leader Mitch McConnell backed off his demand that Senate Democrats preserve the procedural tool known as the filibuster.

The stand-off between McConnell and new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had all but ground the Senate to a halt in the early days of the Democratic majority and threatened President Joe Biden’s agenda. Schumer refused to meet McConnell’s demands.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Harriet Tubman may be headed to the face of a $20 bill again
With a change of administrations, it looks like Harriet Tubman is once again headed to the front of the $20 bill.

Biden press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put the 19th century abolitionist leader on the $20 bill.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

FBI has received 200,000+ photos and videos of rioters involved in Capitol seige
These suspects weren’t exactly in hiding.

“THIS IS ME,” one man posted on Instagram with a hand emoji pointing to himself in a picture of the violent mob descending on the U.S. Capitol. “Sooo we’ve stormed Capitol Hill lol,” one woman texted someone while inside the building. “I just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol,” another wrote on Facebook about a selfie he took inside during the Jan. 6 riot.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

House sending Trump impeachment to Senate
As the House prepares to bring the impeachment charge against Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, a growing number of Republican senators say they are opposed to the proceeding, dimming the chances that former president will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol.

House Democrats will carry the sole impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” across the Capitol late Monday evening, a rare and ceremonial walk to the Senate by the prosecutors who will argue their case. They are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Russian hack of US agencies exposed weaknesses
The elite Russian hackers who gained access to computer systems of federal agencies last year didn't need to painstakingly break one-by-one into the networks of each department in order to cause havoc.

Instead, they got inside by sneaking malicious code into a software update pushed out to thousands of government agencies and private companies.

That hackers were able to exploit vulnerabilities in the supply chain to launch a massive intelligence gathering operation wasn't especially surprising. U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts have sounded the alarm for years about a problem that has caused havoc, including billions of dollars in financial losses, while also defying easy solutions from the government and private sector.

Monday, January 25, 2021

The Supreme Court ends Trump emoluments lawsuits
The Supreme Court on Monday brought an end to lawsuits over whether Donald Trump illegally profited off his presidency.

The justices threw out Trump’s challenge to lower court rulings that had allowed lawsuits to go forward alleging that he violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause by accepting payments from foreign and domestic officials who stay at the Trump International Hotel and patronize other businesses owned by the former president and his family.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio won't seek reelection
Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, of Ohio, said Monday that he won’t seek reelection due in part to how it’s gotten “harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress,” and plans to end a career in federal government spanning more than three decades.

Portman’s announcement comes the same day the U.S. Senate is receiving the House impeachment article  against former Republican President Donald Trump. While some Republican senators have criticized going ahead with the trial next month with Trump out of office, Portman said last week he would listen to both sides before making a decision on how to vote.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Biden plans to sign order for government to buy more US goods
President Joe Biden plans to sign on Monday an executive order that aims to boost government purchases from U.S. manufacturers, according to administration officials.

The United States has shed roughly 540,000 factory jobs since last February as the coronavirus pandemic hurled the world’s largest economy into recession. The goal of the order would be to use the $600 billion the federal government spends on procurement to boost domestic factories and hiring, said officials who insisted on anonymity to discuss the forthcoming announcement.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Merck ends development of two potential COVID-19 vaccines
Merck is giving up on two potential COVID-19 vaccines following poor results in early-stage studies.

The drugmaker said Monday that it will focus instead on studying two possible treatments for the virus that also have yet to be approved by regulators. The company said its potential vaccines were well tolerated by patients, but they generated an inferior immune system response compared with other vaccines.

Monday, January 25, 2021

China's Xi calls for unity in fighting virus, climate change
Countries must cooperate more closely in fighting the challenges of the pandemic and climate change and in supporting a sustainable global economic recovery, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday in an address to the World Economic Forum.

“Humanity has only Earth and one future,” Xi said in remarks from Beijing to a virtual gathering that is taking place in lieu of the annual in-person meetings in Davos, Switzerland, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Aloha shirts on 'boogaloos' link peace to violence
HONOLULU (AP) — People following a violent movement that promotes a second U.S. civil war or the breakdown of modern society have been showing up at recent protests across the nation armed and wearing tactical gear. But the anti-government “boogaloo” movement has adopted an unlikely public and online symbol: the so-called Hawaiian shirt.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Thousands arrested in Russian opposition protest
MOSCOW (AP) — Protests erupted in dozens of cities across Russia on Saturday to demand the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin’s most prominent foe. Police arrested more than 2,100 people, some of whom took to the streets in temperatures as frigid as minus-50 Celsius (minus-58 Fahrenheit).
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Doctors seek review of vaccine gap
LONDON (AP) — A major British doctors’ group is says the U.K. government should “urgently review” it’s decision to give people a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine up to 12 weeks after the first, rather than the shorter gap recommended by the manufacturer and the World Health Organization.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

When travel is safe again: Lotusland offers a meditative retreat
MONTECITO, Calif. (AP)  The botanical gardens at Lotusland, near Santa Barbara, California, offer a meditative retreat outdoors.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Tips to grow by:: For the sake of your plants, go easy on the salt
(AP) — Removing ice from roads and walkways in winter might be essential for safety, but salt can be damaging to plants and soil.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Dry January is moist for some at rocky start of 2021
NEW YORK (AP) — A raging pandemic, tumultuous presidential election and deadly Capitol insurrection have combined to make the annual tradition of Dry January more moist than air-tight for some.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Warm meals, cold times: Getting to know root veggies
(AP) — Root vegetables are pretty much what they sound like: vegetables that grow under the earth and must be dug up to be harvested. In cold weather, from late fall to early spring in temperate climates, root vegetables are pretty much all that’s seasonally available, other than some late-summer crops that are hardy enough to store.
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Insurers now covering food in some cases as a way to improve health
(AP) — When COVID-19 first swarmed the United States, one health insurer called some customers with a question: Do you have enough to eat?
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Taylorville native arranges music for inaugural
WASHINGTON, D. C. — Anyone who watched any part of the Inaugural festivities on Wednesday realizes there were thousands upon thousands of moving parts to pull off such a monumental task. This includes the music performed by the military bands which goes along with the pomp and circumstance.
Friday, January 22, 2021

Washington briefs: 1st Black Pentagon chief okayed
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lloyd J. Austin, a West Point graduate who rose to the Army’s elite ranks and marched through racial barriers in a 41-year career, won Senate confirmation Friday to become the nation’s first Black secretary of defense.
Friday, January 22, 2021

Existing home sales rise in 2020 to highest in 14 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of existing homes rose 0.7% in December, pushing the entirety of 2020 to a pace not seen in 14 years and providing one of the few bright spots for a U.S. economy mired in a global pandemic.
Friday, January 22, 2021

Amazon offers to assist with vaccine distribution
Amazon is offering its colossal operations network and advanced technologies to assist President Joe Biden in his vow to get 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations to Americans in his first 100 days in office.

“We are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts,” wrote the CEO of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer division, Dave Clark, in a letter  to Biden. “Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19, and we stand ready to assist you in this effort.”

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Day 2: 10 pandemic exec orders signed
Deep in the deadliest coronavirus wave and facing worrisome new mutations, President Joe Biden will kick off his  national COVID-19 strategy to ramp up vaccinations and testing, reopen schools and businesses and increase the use of masks — including a requirement that Americans mask up for travel.

Biden also will address inequities in hard-hit minority communities as he signs 10 pandemic-related executive orders today. Those orders are a first step, and specific details of many administration actions are still being spelled out.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Winning Powerball ticket sold in old coal mining town
The jackpot-winning Powerball ticket worth $731.1 million was sold in a struggling coal mining town whose biggest previous claim to fame was being the hometown of baseball legend Lefty Grove, the Maryland Lottery announced on Thursday.

Coney Market, a convenience store in the Allegany County town of Lonaconing, will receive a $100,000 bonus from the Maryland Lottery for selling the ticket to the fifth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Keystone XL oil pipeline is halted as Biden decides to revoke the permit
Construction on the long disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline halted Wednesday as incoming U.S. President Joe Biden decided to revoke its permit.

Biden’s Day One plans included moving to revoke a presidential permit for the pipeline.

The premier of the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta called it an “insult” and said the federal Canadian government should impose trade sanctions if it is not reversed.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

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