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home : news : national news free August 14, 2020

Virus relief on hold: Both sides playing blame game
With talks on emergency coronavirus aid having stalled out, both sides played the blame game Thursday rather than make any serious moves to try to break their stalemate. Official Washington is emptying, national politics is consuming the airwaves and the chasm between the warring sides appears too great for now.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pressed the case for funding for the U.S. Postal Service, rental assistance, food aid and rapid testing for the virus at her weekly press event, blasting Republicans as not giving a damn and declaring flatly that “people will die” if the delay grinds into September

Thursday, August 13, 2020

High court leaves vote-by-mail agreement in place
The U.S. Supreme Court on today left in place an agreement that allows Rhode Island residents to vote by mail in two upcoming elections without signing their ballots in the presence of two witnesses or a notary.

State officials had agreed to suspend the requirement because of the coronavirus pandemic. They have said that fulfilling the requirement results in close contact between voters and others, which could expose people to the virus.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Confucius Institute designated an 'arm of Beijing'
The Trump administration today designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the Chinese Communist Party, alleging that the program to help teach Chinese language classes in America is part of Beijing’s propaganda and influence operations on campuses and other classrooms.

The designation requires the the Confucius Institute U.S. Center, based in Washington, to submit reports to the U.S. government about its funding, personnel, curriculum and other activities in the United States.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

US unemployment falls below 1 million
The number of Americans applying for unemployment dropped below 1 million last week for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak took hold in the U.S. five months ago, but layoffs are still running extraordinarily high.

The figures show that the crisis continues to throw people out of work just as the expiration of an extra $600 a week in federal jobless benefits has deepened the hardship for many — and posed another threat to the U.S. economy.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Is public transit safe now?
The main way that the virus spreads is through droplets people spray when they talk, cough or sneeze. That means the best way to reduce the spread of infection on public transit and elsewhere is to wear and mask and stay 6 feet from others, experts say.

Transit systems around the world are requiring riders to wear masks and encouraging people to socially distance. Compliance could vary, especially as ridership levels start rebounding and trains and buses get more crowded. But there are other steps you can take to make trips less risky.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Virus diary: Have toilet seat, will travel
People said we were crazy. We said we’d be careful.

Maybe so, my doctor-uncle warned, but it would only take one moment of carelessness to get infected — one time finding ourselves too close to unmasked people.

Others raised eyebrows in Zoom calls, silently judging our desire to spend a nonessential week at the beach in South Florida, the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

With low interest rates, should you lease or buy?
One of COVID-19’s impacts has been the reduction in interest rates, including those for auto loans. In June 2020, the average interest rate for new auto loans decreased to 4.2%, down from 6.0% one year ago, according to Edmunds.

But Americans are buying more expensive vehicles, which means monthly payments have increased year over year. As of June, the average payment is $568 per month. This has caused many shoppers to turn to leasing and its lower payments, freedom from long-term maintenance worries and lure of getting a new car every 3 years.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Science and politics tied up in global race for vaccine
No, Russia isn’t having a Sputnik moment.

The announcement Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country was the first to approve a coronavirus vaccine did not provoke the awe and wonder of the Soviet Union’s launch of the first satellite into orbit in 1957. Instead, it was met by doubts about the science and safety.

But the claim underscored how, like the space race, the competition to have the first vaccine is about international rivalries as well as science. The first nation to develop a way to defeat the novel coronavirus will achieve a kind of moonshot victory and the global status that goes along with it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Hardball politics and some inexperience keeping Washington from a virus deal
Hopes that talks on a huge COVID-19 relief deal would generate an agreement soon are fizzling, with both the Trump administration negotiating team and top congressional Democrats adopting hard lines and testy attitudes.

Now that President Donald Trump has issued a series of executive edicts and the national political conventions are set to begin, consuming the attention of both Trump and top Democrats, the talks seem to be on an indefinite pause. The urgency has evaporated now that rank-and-file lawmakers have been set free for the August recess, and while both sides still want an agreement — and pressure is likely to remain high — it’s looking more like a September legislating effort than an August one.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A quickly growing number of parents are turning to homeschooling now
As parents nationwide prepare to help their children with more distance learning, a small but quickly growing number are deciding to take matters entirely into their own hands and begin homeschooling.

Some are worried their districts are unable to offer a strong virtual learning program. For others who may have been considering homeschooling, concerns for their family’s health amid the coronavirus and the on-again, off-again planning for in-person instruction are leading them to part ways with school systems.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

She brings interfaith roots to the ticket
Kamala Harris, tapped on Tuesday as Joe Biden’s running mate, attended services at both a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple growing up – an interfaith background that reflects her historic status as the first Black woman and woman of South Asian descent on a major-party presidential ticket.

The 55-year-old first-term Democratic senator, whose name means “lotus” in the Sanskrit language, identifies as a Baptist as an adult and brought another faith into her life in 2014 when she married Douglas Emhoff, a Jewish attorney. Their wedding featured the breaking of a glass, a Jewish tradition, and Harris’ stepchildren gave her the nickname of “Momala,” a rhyme with her name that recalls the Yiddish term “mamaleh.”

During a 2017 speech at a historic Black church in Atlanta, Harris invoked both of the faiths she encountered as the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

How Biden chose Harris: Inside his months-long search for a running mate
Gretchen Whitmer wanted out.

The Michigan governor had caught the interest of Joe Biden and his vice presidential vetting committee, who were drawn to her prominence in a crucial battleground state and her aggressive response to the coronavirus outbreak there. But by late spring, the nation was in the midst of a reckoning over race and inequality following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes.

Whitmer sent word to Biden’s team that while she was flattered, she no longer wanted to be considered for the running mate slot, according to a high-ranking Democrat familiar with the process. She recommended Biden pick a Black woman.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Trump adamantly defends payroll tax deferral relief
President Donald Trump’s move to defer Social Security payroll taxes could be taking him into treacherous political territory.

His directive — aimed at boosting an economy shaken by the coronavirus pandemic — doesn’t affect retirement benefits but impacts how they’re paid for. Democrats seized on it Monday as a signal that Trump would cut the social safety net and break a promise he made as a candidate in 2016 not to touch Social Security and Medicare. Some nonpartisan experts also expressed concerns.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Global virus cases top 20 million as Russia approves world's first vaccine
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide topped 20 million, more than half of them from the United States, India and Brazil, as Russia today became the first country to approve a vaccine  against the virus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that one of his two adult daughters had already been inoculated with the cleared vaccine, which he described as effective. “She’s feeling well and has a high number of antibodies,” Putin said.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Derecho leaves path of devastation across Midwest
A rare storm packing 100 mph winds and with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power as it moved through Chicago and into Indiana and Michigan.

The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours Monday as it tore from eastern Nebraska across Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois, had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado, said Patrick Marsh, science support chief at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

In northern Illinois, the National Weather Service reported a wind gust of 92 mph near Dixon, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Chicago, and the storm left downed trees and power lines that blocked roadways in Chicago and its suburbs. After leaving Chicago, the most potent part of the storm system moved over north central Indiana by late afternoon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

55 Years ago today: Watts riots erput in Los Angeles
— EDITOR’S NOTE: On Aug. 11, 1965, an uprising began in Los Angeles after the drunken driving arrest of a young Black man by a white California Highway Patrol officer.

It was focused in the segregated Black neighborhood of Watts, where violence exploded in response to systemic problems residents said they faced, including abusive police, high unemployment and poor health care.

Watts has never fully recovered from fires that leveled hundreds of buildings or the violence that killed 34 people — two-thirds of whom were shot by police or National Guard troops.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Health officials are quitting or getting fired amid virus outbreak
Vilified, threatened with violence and in some cases suffering from burnout, dozens of state and local public health leaders around the U.S. have resigned or have been fired amid the coronavirus outbreak, a testament to how politically combustible masks, lockdowns and infection data have become.

One of the latest departures came Sunday, when California’s public health director, Dr. Sonia Angell, was ousted following a technical glitch that caused a delay in reporting hundreds of thousands of virus test results — information used to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Company accused of saying product could lower COVID-19 risk
A Georgia company falsely claimed a vitamin D product it was selling could lower the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, federal prosecutors said.

Matthew Ryncarz and his company Fusion Health and Vitality, which operated as Pharm Origins, are accused of saying a product called Immune Shot would lower the risk of getting COVID-19 by 50%, according to federal prosecutors in Savannah. The product “bore false and misleading labeling,” leading to a charge of selling a misbranded drug, prosecutors said in a news release Monday.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Gas explosion levels 3 Baltimore homes; 1 dead
A “major gas explosion” completely destroyed three row houses in Baltimore this morning, killing a woman, injuring several other people and trapping at least one person in the wreckage, firefighters said.

At least three dozen firefighters converged on the disaster scene, where the natural gas explosion reduced to the homes to piles of rubble and pieces of debris. A fourth house in the row was partly destroyed, and the neighborhood was strewn with glass from shattered windows.

Monday, August 10, 2020

GOP senator subpoenas FBI over Russia, defends Biden probe
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said Monday that he has subpoenaed the FBI to produce documents to his committee related to the Trump-Russia investigation.

The Wisconsin senator also defended a separate investigation he is leading into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Ukraine, even as Democrats say the probe has the effect of amplifying Russian propaganda and as U.S. intelligence officials say they have assessed that Russia is working to denigrate Biden ahead of the November election.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Azar visit to Taiwan thorn in US-China ties
An ongoing visit by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to Taiwan will likely exacerbate mounting tensions between Washington and Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.

From the South China Sea to TikTok, Hong Kong and trade, China and the U.S. find themselves at loggerheads just three months ahead of the American presidential election. In a throwback to the Cold War, the two recently ordered tit-for-tat closures of consulates in Houston and Chengdu and rhetorical sniping has become a daily occurrence.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Why choice of running mate matters more
For all the secrecy and speculation that typically surrounds the search for a vice presidential candidate, the decision rarely sways an election. But ahead of Joe Biden’s imminent announcement, this year could be different.

At a minimum, the decision will shift the force of the campaign — at least temporarily — away from Donald Trump’s turbulent presidency onto Biden himself. That’s not a place many Democrats are comfortable given Biden’s proclivity for gaffes and the persistent lack of excitement behind his candidacy.

Monday, August 10, 2020

McDonald's sues ousted CEO, alleging employee relationships
McDonald’s says it’s suing Stephen Easterbrook, the CEO it ousted last year over an inappropriate relationship with an employee, alleging Monday that he covered up relationships with three other employees and destroyed evidence.

The company now wants to reclaim hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation paid to Easterbrook on his departure.

“McDonald’s does not tolerate behavior from employees that does not reflect our values,” said McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski, who was promoted following Easterbrook’s departure, in a message to employees Monday.

Monday, August 10, 2020

1 killed, 4 wounded in western Kentucky shooting
One person was killed and four others were wounded in a weekend shooting in western Kentucky, authorities said.
Monday, August 10, 2020

Germany's Maas confronts Secretary of State Pompeo over pipeline threat
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Monday he has personally told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of his “dismay” over a warning by three Republican senators who threatened sanctions against a German port operator for its part in a pipeline project with Russia.

The U.S. has long opposed the project, which has been increasingly a source of friction between Berlin and Washington as it nears completion.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Native mascots still a sticking point in high school sports
At a mostly white high school near Salt Lake City, the steps leading to the football field are covered in red handprints, arrows and drawings of Native American men in headdresses meant to represent the mascot, the Braves. “Welcome to the Dark Side” and “Fight like a Brave” are scrawled next to images of teepees, a tomahawk and a dream catcher.

While advocates have made strides in getting Native American symbols and names changed in sports, they say there’s still work to do mainly at the high school level, where mascots like Braves, Indians, Warriors, Chiefs and Redskins persist. Momentum is building during a nationwide push for racial justice following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the NFL team in Washington dropping the Redskins name.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Georgia school shifting online after infections reported
A Georgia high school plans to start the week with all classes shifting online after nine students and staff tested positive for the coronavirus when the school year opened last week with most students attending in-person.

North Paulding High School made headlines soon after students returned to school Aug. 3 when photos posted on social media showed hallways crowded with students, and many of them not wearing masks. The school’s principal notified parents Saturday that six students and three staff members had tested positive for the virus, though it’s unknown if any were infected at school.

Monday, August 10, 2020

California governor's public health director resigns
California’s top public health official has resigned, just days after the state announced a fix for a glitch that caused a lag in reporting coronavirus test results used to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools.
Monday, August 10, 2020

Virus aid talks collapse; no help for now
WASHINGTON (AP) — A last-ditch effort  to revive Capitol Hill talks on vital COVID-19 rescue money collapsed in disappointment at week’s end, making it increasingly likely that Washington gridlock will mean more hardship for millions of people who are losing enhanced jobless benefits and further damage for an economy pummeled by the still-raging coronavirus.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Program provides 160 acres for Alaska native vets
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Stewy Carlo had a short life, but he lived every moment. While serving in the Army, he bought a 1951 Mercedes and motored around Europe. After his service years, he roamed South America where he developed a love of photography, and then later turned heads while driving an exotic Maserati to a construction job back home in Alaska.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

What you might not know about Clarence Thomas
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has never been afraid to turn right when his colleagues turn left, or in any direction really as long as there’s a place to plug in his 40-foot (12-meter) refitted tour bus at the end of the day.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Health czar wants to learn secret to Taiwan success
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar said Friday he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to the cornavirus even though the island did things that the U.S. has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Fed program ends, businesses hope for 2nd chance
NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses are in limbo again as the coronavirus outbreak rages and the government’s $659 billion relief program draws to a close.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Coronavirus relief talks on the brink of collapse
WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington talks on vital COVID-19 rescue money are teetering on the brink of collapse after a marathon meeting in the Capitol generated lots of recriminations but little progress on the top issues confronting negotiators.
Friday, August 7, 2020

One entire football team, band under quarantine
ONEONTA, Ala. (AP) — The entire football team and marching band at a small-town Alabama high school are under quarantine following exposure to the new coronavirus.
Friday, August 7, 2020

Searchers in Beirut recover more bodies days after blast
BEIRUT (AP) — Rescue teams pulled more bodies from the rubble of Beirut’s port Friday, nearly three days after a massive explosion sent a wave of destruction through Lebanon’s capital, killing nearly 150 people and wounding thousands.
Friday, August 7, 2020

Thousands seek refuge as high heat slams Britain
LONDON (AP) — Thousands in Britain sought refuge from the searing heat today, mobbing beaches and parks despite warnings to keep their distance from others amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Friday, August 7, 2020

German nudist chases down wild boar
BERLIN (AP) — A German nudist had the last laugh after giving chase to a wild boar that had run off with a bag containing his laptop.
Friday, August 7, 2020

'Chief mouser' retires as UK's top diplomatic cat
LONDON (AP) — Time spent in lockdown was just superb for Palmerston, the chief mouser at the U.K. Foreign Office.
Friday, August 7, 2020

1.2 million seek unemployment aid after $600 federal checks end
Nearly 1.2 million laid-off Americans applied for state unemployment benefits last week, evidence that the coronavirus keeps forcing companies to slash jobs just as a critical $600 weekly federal jobless payment has expired.

The government’s report today did offer a smidgen of hopeful news: The number of jobless claims declined by 249,000 from the previous week, after rising for two straight weeks, and it was the lowest total since mid-March.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

ComEd pleads not guilty to bribery after previously admitting wrongdoing
Energy utility ComEd pleaded not guilty to bribery at an arraignment Wednesday despite previously admitting wrongdoing in an influence-peddling scheme that also threatens to ensnare Illinois’ most powerful Democrat, state House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The not-guilty plea comes after the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago unsealed a deferred prosecution agreement  with ComEd in July that revealed the existence of a far-reaching bribery investigation. The plea doesn’t mean the company is now saying it did nothing wrong.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

No hoopla: Virus upends Trump and Biden convention plans
At the last minute, President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, are searching for places to impressively yet safely accept their parties’ presidential nominations as the spread of the coronavirus adds fresh uncertainty to the campaign for the White House.

Trump said Wednesday he’s considering giving his Aug. 27 acceptance speech on the grounds of the White House, a move that could violate ethics law. Biden, meanwhile, scrapped plans to accept the Democratic nomination on Aug. 20 in Milwaukee, where the party has spent more than a year planning a massive convention.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Virginia first state to try smartphone pandemic app
Virginia has rolled out a smartphone app to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus, becoming the first U.S. state to use new pandemic technology created by Apple and Google.

The Covidwise app was available on the tech giants’ app stores Wednesday ahead of an expected announcement from Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Progress slow on virus relief legislation as urgency grows
Frustrated Senate Republicans re-upped their complaints that Democratic negotiators are taking too hard a line in talks on a sweeping coronavirus relief bill, but an afternoon negotiating session brought at least modest concessions from both sides, even as an agreement appears far off.

A glimmer of hope emerged as a key Senate Republican telegraphed that the party may yield to Democrats on an increase in the food stamp benefit as part of the huge rescue measure, which promises to far exceed a $1 trillion target set by the GOP.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Virus deaths in US rising by more than 1,000 a day
U.S. testing for the coronavirus is dropping even as infections remain high and the death toll rises by more than 1,000 a day, a worrisome trend that officials attribute largely to Americans getting discouraged over having to wait hours to get a test and days or weeks to find out the results.

An Associated Press analysis found that the number of tests per day slid 3.6% over the past two weeks to 750,000, with the count falling in 22 states. That includes places like Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Iowa where the percentage of positive tests is high and continuing to climb, an indicator that the virus is still spreading uncontrolled.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Residents of Beirut awoke today to utter devastation
Residents of Beirut awoke to a scene of utter devastation on Wednesday, a day after a massive explosion at the port sent shock waves across the Lebanese capital, killing dozens of people and wounding thousands.

Smoke was still rising from the port, where a towering grain silo had been shattered. Major downtown streets were littered with debris and damaged vehicles, and building facades were blown out. At hospitals across the city people had been waiting all night for news of loved ones who had gone missing or were wounded. Others posted requests for help online.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Email from inside monopolistic Big Tech giants looks like 'smoking gun' to some
The House Judiciary chairman was closing in on his Perry Mason moment with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Fortified with “hot” internal company documents, Rep. Jerrold Nadler was building his case at a hearing that seemed almost like a trial for Facebook and three other tech giants over alleged anti-competitive tactics.

“Thank you, Mr. Zuckerberg, you’re making my point,” Nadler declared. Then to the “jury:”

“By Mr. Zuckerberg’s own admission and by the documents we have from the time, Facebook saw Instagram as a threat that could potentially siphon business away from Facebook and so rather than compete with it, Facebook bought it.”

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

COVID-19 could disrupt rare polio-like disease hitting children
Health experts once thought 2020 might be the worst year yet for a rare paralyzing disease that has been hitting U.S. children for the past decade.

But they now say the coronavirus pandemic could disrupt the pattern for the mysterious illnesses, which spike every other year starting in late summer.

Scientists say it’s possible that mask wearing, school closures and others measures designed to stop spread of the coronavirus may also hamper spread of the virus suspected of causing the paralyzing disease.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Choctaw Indians bear brunt of virus in Mississippi
When Sharon Taylor died of coronavirus, her family — standing apart, wearing masks — sang her favorite hymns at her graveside, next to a tiny headstone for her stillborn daughter, buried 26 years ago. Fresh flowers marked row after row of new graves. Holy Rosary is one of the only cemeteries in this Choctaw Indian family’s community, and it’s running out of space — a sign of the virus’s massive toll on the Choctaw people.

As confirmed coronavirus cases skyrocket in Mississippi, the state’s only federally recognized American Indian tribe has been devastated. COVID-19 has ripped through Choctaw families, many of whom live together in multigenerational homes. Almost 10% of the tribe’s roughly 11,000 members have tested positive for the virus. More than 75 have died. The once-flourishing Choctaw economy is stagnant, as the tribal government put in place tighter restrictions than those imposed by the state.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

St. Louis prosecutor who charged couple defending home wins
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, whose job performance has been lauded by some civil rights activists and criticized by President Donald Trump, held off a challenge from a former homicide prosecutor in Tuesday’s primary election.

Gardner, 44, defeated Mary Pat Carl in the Democratic primary. She’ll be heavily favored in November against Republican Daniel Zdrodowski since St. Louis voters are overwhelmingly Democratic.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Trump signs $3 billion-a-year outdoors, parks plan
President Donald Trump today signed into law legislation that will devote nearly $3 billion annually to conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands. The measure was overwhelmingly approved by Congress.

“There hasn’t been anything like this since Teddy Roosevelt, I suspect,” Trump said about the 26th president, who created many national parks, forests and monuments to preserve the nation’s natural resources.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

'A line in the sand': Both sides dig in on coronavirus relief
Negotiators on a huge coronavirus relief bill reported slight progress after talks resumed in the Capitol, with issues like food for the poor and aid to schools struggling to reopen safely assuming a higher profile in the talks.

Multiple obstacles remain, including an impasse on extending a $600-per-week pandemic jobless benefit, funding for the U.S. Postal Service and aid to renters facing eviction. Democratic negotiators spoke of progress Monday but Republicans remain privately pessimistic.

“We are really getting an understanding of each side’s position. And we’re making some progress on certain issues moving closer together,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Debate over Biden's running mate ticks thru familiar list of female stereotypes
She’s too ambitious. She’s not apologetic enough. She should smile more.

The debate over Joe Biden’s running mate has recently ticked through a familiar list of stereotypes about women in politics as the Democratic presidential candidate and his allies stumble through a search they had hoped would stand out for its inclusion and diversity.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

History: The urgency to bear witness grows for the last Hiroshima victims
For nearly 70 years, until he turned 85, Lee Jong-keun hid his past as an atomic bomb survivor, fearful of the widespread discrimination against blast victims that has long persisted in Japan.

But Lee, 92, is now part of a fast-dwindling group of survivors, known as hibakusha, that feels a growing urgency — desperation even — to tell their stories. These last witnesses to what happened 75 years ago this Thursday want to reach a younger generation that they feel is losing sight of the horror.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Is it safe to go to the gym during the coronavirus pandemic?
Is it safe to go to the gym during the coronavirus pandemic?

It depends on where you live and the precautions you and the gym take.

If cases of COVID-19 are poorly controlled where you live, experts say it’s best to stay away. But if you live in an area where the spread is being contained, there are ways to minimize risk when going for a workout.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Regulators open investigation into Google plan to buy Fitbit
European Union regulators say they’re opening an in-depth investigation into U.S. tech giant Google’s plan to buy fitness tracking device maker Fitbit

The EU’s executive commission said Tuesday it’s concerned the deal would entrench Google’s position in the online ad market by “increasing the already vast amount of data“ that the company could use to personalize ads.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Schools reopen nationwide as coronavirus surges
Putting your child on the bus for the first day of school is always a leap of faith for a parent. Now, on top of the usual worries about youngsters adjusting to new teachers and classmates, there’s COVID-19.

Rachel Adamus was feeling those emotions at sunrise Monday as she got 7-year-old Paul ready for his first day of second grade and prepared 5-year-old Neva for the start of kindergarten.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Retail rout goes on as Lord & Taylor now falters
Lord & Taylor, America’s oldest retailer, is seeking bankruptcy protection, as is the owner of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks, lengthening the list of major retail chains that have faltered in the pandemic.

Companies, some with roots dating to the early 19th century, were already suffering with the things that people buy, and where they buy them, underwent a radical reformation.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Sorry, boomers, you're not the majority
Sorry, boomers. Millennials and their younger siblings and children now make up a majority of the U.S. population.

A new analysis by the Brookings Institution shows that 50.7% of U.S. residents were under age 40, as of July 2019.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Nevada joins list of U.S. states that will mail all voters ballots in November
Nevada state lawmakers passed a bill Sunday that would add the state to a growing list of U.S. states that will mail active voters ballots ahead of the November election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill now heads to Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat. If he signs it as expected, Nevada will join seven states that plan on automatically sending voters mail ballots, including California and Vermont, which moved earlier this summer to adopt automatic mail ballot policies.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Isaias nearing hurricane strength as it is crawling toward the Carolinas
Isaias was forecast to strike land as a minimal hurricane today in the Carolinas, where coastal residents were warned to brace for flooding rains and storm surge.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Surf City, North Carolina. Isaias was still a tropical storm at 11 a.m. EDT with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph), but it was expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane later Monday, with winds of 74 mph (119 kph) or more.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Stocks rally worldwide amid encouraging reports
Wall Street is starting August with more gains, and stocks were climbing today following encouraging reports from around the world on the economy.

The S&P 500 tacked 0.7% more onto its four-month winning streak, with Big Tech once again leading the way. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 238 points, or 0.8%, at 26,666, as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern time, and the gains for tech stocks helped the Nasdaq composite jump 1.3%.

Many competing currents are pushing the market in different directions, but the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy remain the most forceful.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Protests in the long term: How is a lasting legacy cemented?
What sort of staying power does it take for a protest movement to be judged a success?

This year, without a centralized team of senior leaders, perhaps the largest protest movement in U.S. history has been unfolding nationwide since the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. By some calculations, more than 15 million Americans have taken part — decrying racial injustice, reinforcing the message of Black Lives Matter.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Sleepy lions, empty bars, lost jobs: A world without tourism
With no American visitors to show around the D-Day beaches or the Loire Valley's chateaux, and no work on the immediate horizon, Paris tour guide Linda Zenou frets about how she'll pay off a loan and continue to care for her ailing mother in the achingly lean months ahead.

"My situation is going to become completely inextricable," she said. "We have nothing to live on."

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Foreign threats loom ahead of US presidential election
As the Nov. 3 presidential vote nears, there are fresh signs that the nation’s electoral system is again under attack from foreign adversaries.

Intelligence officials confirmed in recent days that foreign actors are actively seeking to compromise the private communications of “U.S. political campaigns, candidates and other political targets” while working to compromise the nation’s election infrastructure. Foreign entities are also aggressively spreading disinformation intended to sow voter confusion heading into the fall.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Thousands in Russia protest governor's arrest
Thousands of demonstrators rallied Saturday in the Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk to protest the arrest of their governor, keeping up a three-week wave of opposition that has challenged the Kremlin.

Smaller demonstrations took place in at least 10 other cities and 55 people were detained in those protests, according to the OVD-Info organization that monitors political arrests. No detentions were reported at the Khabarovsk rally.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Negotiators huddle in Capitol for solutions
With political pressure rising, talks on a huge coronavirus relief measure resumed on Saturday, focused on restoring a newly expired $600-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit, a fresh $1,200 direct payment to most Americans, and hundreds of billions of dollars in other aid to states, businesses and the poor.

President Donald Trump is eager for an agreement, but talks so far have not yielded progress. The administration is willing to extend the $600 jobless benefit, at least in the short term, but is balking at other demands of Democratic negotiators like aid for state and local governments, food stamp increases, and assistance to renters and homeowners.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Mexico No. 3 in virus deaths; storm could hinder US response
Mexico now has the third most COVID-19 deaths in the world, behind Brazil and the United States, where a hurricane bearing down on the East Coast on Saturday is threatening to complicate efforts to contain the virus.
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Jury: Washington state liable in Powell boys' deaths
A jury has found that Washington state officials were partially responsible for the deaths of missing Utah woman Susan Cox Powell’s children at the hands of their father.

Josh Powell was a suspect in the presumed killing of his wife in 2009 and living in Pierce County, Washington, in 2012, when he killed their two young sons Charlie and Braden and himself in an explosive house fire. The boys were visiting Josh Powell at his home on a supervised visit with a social worker when they were killed; Powell had locked the social worker outside.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Wages and benefits grow at slowest pace in 3 years
Wages and benefits for U.S. workers rose at the slowest pace in three years in the April-June quarter, a sign that businesses are holding back on pay as well as cutting jobs in the coronavirus recession.
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Trader Joe's says no to changing ethnic-sounding label names
Trader Joe’s, which said earlier this month it was moving to change the names of some of its products after an online petition denounced them as racist, now says it will stick with labels like Trader Jose’s and Trader Ming’s for Mexican and Asian food.

“We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist,“ the popular grocery chain said in a statement posted on its website. It added, “We do not make decisions based on petitions.”

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Florida teenager arrested as mastermind of Twitter hack
A Florida teen was identified Friday as the mastermind of a scheme earlier this month that commandeered Twitter accounts of prominent politicians, celebrities and technology moguls and scammed people around the globe out of more than $100,000 in Bitcoin. Two other men were also charged in the case.
Saturday, August 1, 2020

Fauci optimistic vaccine will be widely available
Once a coronavirus vaccine is approved as safe and effective, Americans should have widespread access within a reasonable time, Dr. Anthony Fauci assured lawmakers Friday.

Appearing before a House panel investigating the nation’s response to the pandemic, Fauci expressed “cautious” optimism that a vaccine would be available, particularly by next year.

“I believe, ultimately, over a period of time in 2021, that Americans will be able to get it,” Fauci said, referring to the vaccine.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Victims of Kentucky pipeline explosion sue line operator
A lawsuit filed on behalf of those who were injured or who had property damaged in a fatal Kentucky pipeline explosion alleges the operator failed to maintain and repair the line.

The lawsuit filed Thursday by Danville attorney Ephraim W. Helton listed more than 80 people affected by the blast last August near Junction City, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Lisa Denise Derringer, 58, died and at least five others were hospitalized following the explosion, according to a federal report.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Black voters wary of voting by mail
Despite fears that the coronavirus pandemic will worsen, Victor Gibson said he’s not planning to take advantage of Michigan’s expanded vote-by-mail system when he casts his ballot in November.

The retired teacher from Detroit just isn’t sure he can trust it. Many Black Americans share similar concerns and are planning to vote in person on Election Day, even as mail-in voting expands to more states as a safety precaution during the pandemic.

Friday, July 31, 2020

US consumer spending up 5.6%, but virus could stall gains
American consumers increased their spending in June by a solid 5.6%, helping regain some of record plunge that occurred after the coronavirus struck hard in March and paralyzed the economy. But the virus’ resurgence in much of the country could impede further gains.

Last month’s rise in consumer spending followed a seasonally adjusted 8.5% surge in May after spending had plunged the previous two months when the pandemic shuttered businesses, caused tens of millions of layoffs and sent the economy into a recession. So deep was the pullback in the spring that even with two months of gains, consumer spending was still down at a record annual rate of 34.6% in the April-June quarter.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Documents unsealed from suit against Epstein's ex
Newly unsealed court documents provide a fresh glimpse into a fierce civil court fight between Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, and one of the women who accused the couple of sexual abuse.

The documents released Thursday were from a now-settled defamation lawsuit filed by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Stakes rise for virus talks as jobless aid lapses
Frustrated negotiators of a massive coronavirus relief bill face heightened pressure with Thursday’s brutal economic news and the rapidly approaching lapse in a $600 per-week expanded jobless benefit that has helped prop up consumer demand.

Talks are at a standstill with few reasons for optimism despite sweeping agreement among Washington’s top power players that Congress must pass further relief in coming days and weeks.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain dies at 74
Herman Cain, former Republican presidential candidate and former CEO of a major pizza chain who went on to become an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, has died of complications from the coronavirus. He was 74.

A post on Cain’s Twitter account Thursday announced the death. Cain had been ill with the virus for several weeks. It’s not clear when or where he was infected, but he was hospitalized less than two weeks after attending Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June. Cain had been co-chair of Black Voices for Trump.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

NASA launches Mars rover to look for signs of ancient life
The biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover ever built — a car-size vehicle bristling with cameras, microphones, drills and lasers — blasted off for the red planet Thursday as part of an ambitious, long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth to be analyzed for evidence of ancient life.

NASA’s Perseverance rode a mighty Atlas V rocket into a clear morning sky in the world’s third and final Mars launch of the summer. China and the United Arab Emirates got a head start last week, but all three missions should reach their destination in February after a journey of seven months and 300 million miles (480 million kilometers).

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias forms in the Atlantic Ocean
Tropical Storm Isaias formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday evening prompting forecasters to issue a tropical storm warning for several islands in the Caribbean.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Isaias was centered about 155 miles (249 kilometers) south of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and about 265 miles (426 kilometers) southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph) and was moving west northwest at 20 mph (32 kph).

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Governor says US agents will start leaving Portland
Federal agents who have clashed with protesters in Portland, Oregon, will begin a “phased withdrawal” from Oregon’s largest city, Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement the plan negotiated with Brown over the last 24 hours includes a “robust presence” of Oregon State Police in downtown Portland.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

US jabs Russia over virus disinformation
U.S. officials say Russian intelligence officers are spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic through English-language websites, trying to exploit a crisis that America is struggling to contain before the presidential election in November.

Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow’s military intelligence service known as the GRU have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort meant to reach American and Western audiences, according to U.S. government officials. They were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

US to bring 6,400 troops home from Germany, move 5,600 more
Spurred on by President Donald Trump’s demand to pull troops out of Germany, the U.S. will bring about 6,400 forces home and shift about 5,600 to other countries in Europe, U.S. defense leaders said Wednesday, detailing a Pentagon plan that will cost billions of dollars and take years to complete.

The decision fulfills Trump’s announced desire to withdraw troops from Germany, largely due to its failure to spend enough on defense. A number of forces will go to Italy, and a major move would shift U.S. European Command and Special Operations Command Europe from Stuttgart, Germany, to Belgium.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Biden's notes: 'Do not hold grudges' against Kamala Harris
Joe Biden was uncharacteristically tight-lipped on Tuesday about the final stretch of his search for a vice president. But the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee seemed prepared to talk about at least one leading contender: California Sen. Kamala Harris.

As he took questions from reporters on Tuesday, Biden held notes that were captured by an Associated Press photographer. Harris’ name was scrawled across the top, followed by five talking points.

“Do not hold grudges.” “Campaigned with me & Jill.” “Talented.” “Great help to campaign.” “Great respect for her.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Lawsuit seeks $150M in ComEd refunds after bribery scheme
A class-action lawsuit seeks $150 million in refunds from ComEd for customer rate increases and other benefits the utility received from Illinois as part of an alleged bribery scheme.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Cook County by three individuals and a Chicago-based company that have been ComEd customers since 2011.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Barr condemns 'rioters' in House testimony
Attorney General William Barr defended the aggressive federal law enforcement response to civil unrest in America, saying on Tuesday “violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests” sparked by George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Barr told members of the House Judiciary Committee at a much-anticipated election year hearing the violence taking place in Portland, Oregon, and other cities is disconnected from Floyd’s killing, which he called a “horrible“ event that prompted a necessary national reckoning on the relationship between the Black community and law enforcement.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

MacDowell retreat experiments with virtual fellowships
Brenda Shaughnessy is a prize-winning poet who speaks reverently of her times spent at MacDowell, the New Hampshire based retreat where for more than a century writers, musicians and visual artists have enjoyed both rural solitude and creative camaraderie.

If not for the coronavirus, she would have had a residency this year at MacDowell, which shut down in the spring. So when officials there asked her to participate in a new kind of fellowship — Virtual MacDowell — she agreed despite her skepticism.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Protect yourself from coronavirus fraud
Restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 have saved untold numbers of lives. The world has adjusted to such restrictions, and many parts of the world have relaxed measures as case numbers have declined.

As communities begin returning to some semblance of normalcy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned people against letting their guard down. While many of those warnings pertain to the importance of continuing to practice social distancing as economies reopen, advisories also include notices about fraud schemes related to COVID-19.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Amazentis Launches Timeline powered by Mitopure A Breakthrough in Cellular Nutrition
Pioneering life sciences company, Amazentis, today announces new clinical findings and the commercial launch of Timeline Cellular Nutrition in the United States. After a decade of research by leading scientists and medical doctors, Timeline Nutrition is the first brand to offer Mitopure™, a highly pure form of Urolithin A proven to help counter age-associated cellular decline and improve muscular strength.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Australian watchdog accuses Google of privacy breaches
Australia’s consumer watchdog launched court action against Google on Monday alleging the technology giant misled account holders about its use of their personal data.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s action in the Federal Court is the latest litigation Google has faced around the world over allegations of privacy breaches.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Iraq PM orders probe after 2 protesters killed in clashes
Iraq’s prime minister said Monday he had ordered an investigation into the killing of two anti-government protesters, saying security forces were not authorized to fire “a single bullet” toward the demonstrators. Twenty-one protesters were also wounded in the overnight clashes.

The violence comes after months of quiet in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and were an embarrassment to Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who has vowed to meet protester demands by holding early elections and investigating the death of hundreds of protesters at the hands of security forces in recent months.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Dog lost on South Carolina highway found in Miami
A pet dog that jumped out of a car window on a South Carolina highway has been found two weeks later, nearly 600 miles (966 kilometers) away in Miami, according to a relative of the owner.
Monday, July 27, 2020

Big-ticket manufactured goods jump 7.3% in June
Orders for big-ticket manufactured goods rose a solid 7.3% in June, the second big monthly gain as manufacturing tries to climb out of a spring slump triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commerce Department said Monday that the June gain in durable goods orders, which was better than expected, followed an even bigger 15.1% increase in May. Those two increases came after sharp declines in March and April as factories shut down.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Pelosi presses GOP to quickly negotiate virus aid with Dems
Deadlines looming, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi implored Republicans and the White House on Monday to come quickly to the negotiating table with Democrats over the next coronavirus relief package to prevent unemployment assistance and an eviction moratorium from expiring for millions of Americans.

“Time is running out,” Pelosi said.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Experimental COVID-19 vaccine is put to its biggest test
The biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine got underway Monday with the first of some 30,000 Americans rolling up their sleeves to receive shots created by the U.S. government as part of the all-out global race to stop the outbreak.

Final-stage testing of the vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., began with volunteers at various U.S. sites given either a real shot or a dummy without being told which.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Security adviser has coronavirus
President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for the coronavirus — making him the highest-ranking official to test positive so far.

That’s according to two people familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss it by name.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Anxiety props up Biden, Trump voters fervent
Murtice Sherek is not excited about Joe Biden.

The Minnesota Democrat, a 79-year-old retired nurse, preferred another candidate in the presidential primary. She also worries about Biden’s age, 77. But anxious about another four years of President Donald Trump, she says she’s willing to go to any length to ensure Biden wins this fall.

“I don’t really give a damn what I have to do. If I have to carry signs on the streets, if I have to carry my old friends to the polls, I’ll do it,” Sherek said. “This just can’t be. Trump is a sick man.”

Monday, July 27, 2020

Body of civil rights icon John Lewis crosses Selma bridge
The late U.S. Rep. John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the final time Sunday as remembrances  continue for the civil rights icon.

The bridge became a landmark in the fight for racial justice when Lewis and other civil rights marchers were beaten there 55 years ago on “Bloody Sunday,“ a key event  that helped galvanize support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Lewis returned to Selma each March in commemoration.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Hurricane Douglas swirled close to Hawaii
Heavy rain and wind gusts battered Maui on Sunday as Hurricane Douglas swirled off the coast of Hawaii and officials urged residents to take shelter.

Forecasters said the Category 1 hurricane would pass close to Oahu and potentially even make a direct hit on the island, which is home to state’s biggest city of Honolulu.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Portland police: Rifle magazines, Molotov cocktails found
A bag containing loaded rifle magazines and Molotov cocktails was found at a park near where protests have erupted for two months in Portland, Oregon, following the death of George Floyd, police said.

A photo of the items was shared in a tweet from police late Sunday saying someone pointed out the bag to officers at Lownsdale Square Park late Sunday. No further information was immediately released.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Just a thought: What if these are the good old days?
HOPE VALLEY, R.I. (AP) — News articles don’t carry Hollywood-style viewer ratings or trigger warnings. Maybe this one should.
Saturday, July 25, 2020

St. Louis Olympics was really World's Fair with some sports
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The first Summer Olympics held in the U.S. looked unlike anything that had happened previously in Europe.
Saturday, July 25, 2020

Patience, placement needed to photograph comet
LINVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The newly discovered comet Neowise is only visible from Earth once every 6,800 years, and photographers who want to document it seek places with high elevation and little smog or light pollution. A place like North Carolina’s famed Grandfather Mountain.
Saturday, July 25, 2020

McDonald's to require masks at all US locations
NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s says it will be requiring customers to wear face coverings when entering its U.S. restaurants as the number of new virus cases continue to surge in many states.
Saturday, July 25, 2020

Watering advice for the hot season
(AP) — August is the month for two garden W’s: weeding and watering. Regular attention to both keeps a vegetable or flower garden pretty and productive well into autumn.
Saturday, July 25, 2020

Judge blocks US agents from arresting observers in Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge specifically blocked U.S. agents from arresting or using physical force against journalists and legal observers at protests in Oregon's largest city where President Donald Trump is testing the limits of federal power.
Friday, July 24, 2020

Parole recommended for Charles Manson follower
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California panel on Thursday recommended that Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten be paroled after serving nearly five decades in prison.
Friday, July 24, 2020

The face mask: Not since underwear has a single item of dress caught on so widely or quickly
SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE, France (AP) — House keys, wallet or purse, mobile phone and .... oh, yes: face mask.
Friday, July 24, 2020

Judge orders Michael Cohen released from prison
A judge ordered the release from prison of President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer on Thursday, saying he believes the government retaliated against him for planning to release a book about Trump before November's election.

Michael Cohen's First Amendment rights were violated when he was ordered back to prison on July 9 after probation authorities said he refused to sign a form banning him from publishing the book or communicating publicly in other manners, U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said during a telephone conference.

Hellerstein ordered Michael Cohen released from prison by 2 p.m. on Friday.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Portland mayor teargassed by feds as protest rages
The mayor of Portland, Oregon was tear-gassed by U.S. government agents late Wednesday as he stood outside a federal courthouse during another night of protests against the presence of the agents dispatched by President Donald Trump to quell the city's ongoing unrest.

Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, appeared slightly dazed and coughed and said it was the first time he’d been tear-gassed.

He put on a pair of goggles someone handed him and drank water but did not leave his spot at the front and continued to take gas as the protest raged — with demonstrators lighting a large fire between the fence and the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse amid the pop-pop-pop sounds of the federal agents deploying tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Republicans prepare to unveil $1-trillion COVID-19 rescue package
The White House reluctantly dropped its bid to cut Social Security payroll taxes today as Republicans prepared to unveil a $1 trillion COVID-19 rescue package, yielding to opposition to the idea among top Senate allies.

“It won’t be in the base bill," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking on CNBC about the payroll tax cut, killing the idea for now. The cut in the tax that finances Social Security and Medicare has been a major demand of President Donald Trump.

“The president is very focused on getting money quickly to workers right now, and the payroll tax takes time,” Mnuchin said at the Capitol. Only Sunday, Trump said in a Fox News interview that “I would consider not signing it if we don’t have a payroll tax cut.”

Thursday, July 23, 2020

From a nurse: How to make sure your mask maximizes protection
Whether or not you agree with a mandate to wear a mask, many of us will do so during our daily business.

I am a professor of nursing at Purdue University, where a colleague and I teach a class detailing the history of health care over the centuries. Among other things, students discover the original reason for a cloth mask, dating back to the late 19th century, is the same as today: to protect others from the germs of those wearing them. Understanding these past practices, say the students, makes them better caregivers.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Worldwide virus cases top 15 million; US labs buckle amid surge in testing
Laboratories across the U.S. are buckling under a surge of coronavirus tests, creating long processing delays that experts say are actually undercutting the pandemic response.

With the U.S. tally of infections at 3.9 million Wednesday and new cases surging, the bottlenecks are creating problems for workers kept off the job while awaiting results, nursing homes struggling to keep the virus out and for the labs themselves, dealing with a crushing workload.

Some labs are taking weeks to return COVID-19 results, exacerbating fears that asymptomatic people could be spreading the virus if they don’t isolate while they wait.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Loss of restaurant jobs extends well beyond kitchen
Restaurants helped revive the U.S. economy after the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

This time? Don't count on it. As the nation struggles to rebound from a now-resurgent coronavirus, restaurants seem much less likely to deliver an economic boost. They’ve suffered a heavy blow from lockdowns and occupancy restrictions, and it’s unclear how readily Americans will return en masse to dining out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Raoul one of 21 state attorneys who are suing over new Trump water rule
Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration on Tuesday, alleging that new federal rules undermine their ability to protect rivers, lakes and streams within their borders.

They say that new final rules issued last week by the Environmental Protection Agency alter a practice dating back more than 30 years giving state governments the authority to review, block or put conditions on federally permitted water projects.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Flying anytime soon? Take your mask, you'll need it
Passengers wishing to board a United Airlines flight will have to wear face masks at ticket counters and in its airport lounges, or risk a flight ban from the carrier.

United and all other major U.S. carriers require passengers to wear masks during flights. United said Wednesday that it is broadening mask requirements for passengers even before they board the plane.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Walmart, nation's largest retailer, to close its stores on Thanksgiving Day

Walmart Inc. said that it will be closing its namesake stores and Sam’s Clubs on Thanksgiving Day this year, saying that it wants to have its employees spend time with their families during the coronavirus.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Investigators looking at a men's rights lawyers as murder suspect
Federal investigators are examining whether a suspect in the ambush shooting of a federal judge’s family in New Jersey is also responsible for the killing of a fellow men’s rights lawyer in California, a law enforcement official said.

The federal agents are trying to determine whether Roy Den Hollander, who is suspected of posing as a FedEx driver when he opened fire at the judge’s home on Sunday, killing her son and wounding her husband, had any role in the killing of Marc Angelucci. Angelucci was killed earlier this month in San Bernardino County, California, the official said.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Renaming bridge after Lewis is opposed in Selma
Growing calls nationally to honor the late Rep. John Lewis by putting his name on the Alabama bridge where he and other voting rights demonstrators were beaten 55 years ago are being met with resistance in Selma, the majority Black city where “Bloody Sunday” occurred.

Some say renaming the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the Georgia congressman who died Friday would dishonor local activists who spent years advocating for civil rights before Lewis arrived in town in the 1960s. Others fear tourism would be hurt if the Pettus name — which is known worldwide yet belonged to a white supremacist — were gone.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Virus aid package may include another $1,200 cash payment to individuals
President Donald Trump acknowledged a “big flareup” of COVID-19 cases, but divisions between the White House and Senate Republicans and differences with Democrats posed fresh challenges for a new federal aid package with the U.S. crisis worsening and emergency relief about to expire.

Trump convened GOP leaders at the White House on Monday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prepared to roll out his $1 trillion package in days. But the administration criticized the legislation’s money for more virus testing and insisted on a full payroll tax repeal that could complicate quick passage. The timeline appeared to quickly shift.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

St. Louis couple, defending home, is charged for pulling guns on protesters
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis’ top prosecutor on Monday charged a husband and wife with felony unlawful use of a weapon for displaying guns during a racial injustice protest outside their mansion.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

California court upholds verdict in Monsanto cancer case
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California appeals court on Monday upheld a groundbreaking verdict that Monsanto’s widely used weed killer caused cancer in a school groundskeeper but the panel also slashed the damage award from $78.5 million to $21.5 million.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Renaming Alabama bridge for John Lewis opposed in Selma
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Growing calls nationally to honor the late Rep. John Lewis by putting his name on the Alabama bridge where he and other voting rights demonstrators were beaten 55 years ago are being met with resistance in Selma, the majority Black city where “Bloody Sunday” occurred.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

ACLU and lawyers sue to free ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer sued Attorney General William Barr and the Bureau of Prisons director Monday, saying he’s being unjustly held behind bars to stop him from finishing a book that criticizes Trump.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

First COVID-19, now mosquitoes: Bracing for bug-borne ills
(AP) — Sophia Garabedian had been dealing with a persistent fever and painful headache when her parents found her unresponsive in her bed one morning last fall.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Sizing up: As pandemic surges, so do waistlines
NEW YORK (AP) — When Allison Weiss Brady and Michael Ladin emerged from weeks of locking down during the pandemic, they needed new clothes in new sizes — for different reasons.
Monday, July 20, 2020

FDA cracks down on fruity vapes
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials are cracking down on a brand of fruity disposable e-cigarettes that is popular with teenagers, saying the company never received permission to sell them in the U.S.
Monday, July 20, 2020

Guidance for wearing masks in schools varies widely in US states
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — School districts that plan to reopen classrooms in the fall are wrestling with whether to require teachers and students to wear face masks — an issue that has divided urban and rural schools and yielded widely varying guidance.
Monday, July 20, 2020

UK vaccine prompts immune response in tests
LONDON (AP) — Scientists at Oxford University say their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot.
Monday, July 20, 2020

FDA approves Quest COVID test for pooled use
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a new approach to coronavirus testing that combines test samples in batches instead of running them one by one, speeding up the process.
Monday, July 20, 2020

AP says it will capitalize black but not white
NEW YORK (AP) — After changing its usage rules last month to capitalize the word “Black” when used in the context of race and culture, The Associated Press on Monday said it would not do the same for “white.”
Monday, July 20, 2020

2 men killed, 3 wounded in Chicago shooting
CHICAGO (AP) — A shooting on Chicago’s far South Side left two men dead and three others wounded, including one who was critically injured, police said.
Monday, July 20, 2020

First COVID-19, now mosquitoes: Bracing for bug-borne ills

Sophia Garabedian had been dealing with a persistent fever and painful headache when her parents found her unresponsive in her bed one morning last fall.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Four people hospitalized after being stuck by lightning in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Four people were rushed to hospitals in St. Louis on Sunday after being struck by lightning in a park, officials said.
Monday, July 20, 2020

Floating boat cinema is headed to St. Louis, Chicago
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, drive-in movies have been making a comeback — now a company says a floating cinema allowing people to watch from mini-boats will be making appearances in a number of places around the country.
Monday, July 20, 2020

Kansas dog makes 50-mile trek to home in Missouri
LAWSON, Mo. (AP) — A dog named Cleo who disappeared from her home in Kansas earlier this month turned up a few days later at her old home in Missouri, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) away.
Monday, July 20, 2020

Virus numbers show normal life still far away
South Africa was poised Saturday to join the top five countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, while breathtaking infection numbers around the world were a reminder that a return to normal life is still far from sight.

The country’s 337,000 cases make up roughly half of all confirmed infections on the African continent and its struggles are a sign of trouble to come for nations with fewer health care resources. South Africa was on track to join the U.S., Brazil, India and Russia as current trends show it will surpass Peru.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

John Lewis, lion of civil rights and Congress, dies at 80
John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement whose bloody beating by Alabama state troopers in 1965 helped galvanize opposition to racial segregation, and who went on to a long and celebrated career in Congress, has died. He was 80.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Lewis’ passing late Friday night, calling him “one of the greatest heroes of American history.”

“All of us were humbled to call Congressman Lewis a colleague, and are heartbroken by his passing,” Pelosi said. “May his memory be an inspiration that moves us all to, in the face of injustice, make ‘good trouble, necessary trouble.”’

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Millions of kids told full return to school in fall unlikely
Millions more children in the U.S. learned Friday that they’re unlikely to return to classrooms full time in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic as death tolls reached new highs.

It came as many states — particularly in the Sunbelt — struggled to cope with the surge and governments worldwide tried to control fresh outbreaks. In a sign of how the virus is galloping around the globe, the World Health Organization reported nearly a quarter-million new infections in a single day.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Manufacturer to bring Schwinn back to the U.S.
A Detroit bike manufacturer is expected to bring Schwinn production back to the U.S. later this month as workers begin assembling limited copies of the brand’s classic 1965 Collegiate bike.

In a partnership with Schwinn, an American brand that traces its lineage to 1895 in Chicago, Detroit Bikes LLC is building 500 bikes of the revived Schwinn model that debuted in 1965.

Friday, July 17, 2020

3M files suits for N95 price gouging
The leading manufacturer of N95 masks in the U.S. says it has investigated 4,000 reports of fraud, counterfeiting and price gouging in connection with the product and has filed 18 lawsuits.
Friday, July 17, 2020

Animall print, beads or black, masks about style
They can be colorful or come in basic black, make a political statement or just a funny one.

Masks made of cotton and other washable materials have become big sellers, and an emerging fashion item, as face coverings have been increasingly mandated around the world to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Friday, July 17, 2020

UK, US, Canada accuse Russia of hacking vaccine trials
Britain, the United States and Canada accused Russia on Thursday of trying to steal information from researchers seeking a COVID-19 vaccine.

The three nations alleged that hacking group APT29, also known as Cozy Bear and said to be part of the Russian intelligence service, is attacking academic and pharmaceutical research institutions involved in coronavirus vaccine development.

Britain’s National Cybersecurity Centre made the announcement, which was coordinated with authorities in the U.S. and Canada.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Senator seeks probe in St. Louis case
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley on today urged Attorney General William Barr to launch a federal civil rights investigation of St. Louis’ elected prosecutor, accusing Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner of abusing her power in her investigation of a white couple who wielded guns while defending their home during a protest.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey are under Gardner’s scrutiny for the June 28 confrontation when several hundred protesters marched by their $1.15 million mansion. The couple accused protesters of knocking down an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Woman faces 60-years in son's slaying
The sentencing hearing for a northern Illinois woman who pleaded guilty in the beating death of her 5-year-old son began Thursday with a prosecutor reading statements from neighbors who saw the boy was cut and bruised years before he was killed.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally began building his argument that JoAnn Cunningham should receive the maximum sentence of 60 years in state prison for what he says was years of physical abuse that ended with first-degree murder.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

36 students positive after sports camp
At least three dozen high school students in northern Illinois have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus after some attending summer sports camps showed symptoms of the disease.

Investigations and contact tracing of the infections are tied to the camps held last week at Lake Zurich High School and multiple prior social gatherings, according to Lake County health officials.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Three more states share license data to determine citizenship status of residents
Iowa, South Carolina and South Dakota have now joined Nebraska in agreeing to share state driver’s license information with the U.S. Census Bureau to help the Trump administration to determine the citizenship status of every U.S. resident.

Until recently, Nebraska had been the sole state to sign an agreement with the Census Bureau to share the information. President Donald Trump ordered the Census Bureau last year to gather citizenship data from the administrative records of federal and state agencies after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked his administration’s effort to place a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Number of openly LGBTQ elected officials more than doubled in last 4 years
The number of openly LGBTQ elected officials in the United States has more than doubled in the past four years — and those ranks could soon grow, due  to a record field of LGBTQ candidates this year, according to new data from an advocacy and research group.

The LGBTQ Victory Institute’s Out For America report, released today, tallies 843 openly LGBTQ elected officials across all levels of government at present, up from 417 in June 2016. The institute says a record 850 LGBTQ people are running for office this year, including several candidates with strong chances of entering Congress.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Health panel may open lung cancer screening to more smokers
A U.S. health panel wants to widen the number of Americans offered yearly scans for lung cancer by opening the screening to less-heavy smokers.

Lung cancer is the nation’s top cancer killer, causing more than 135,000 deaths each year. Smoking is the chief cause and quitting the best protection.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Virus resurgence forces new restrictions
Countries around the world are reimposing lockdowns and implementing new health checks at their borders in an effort to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus before it spins even further out of control.

Starting today, all travelers arriving in Greece from a land border with Bulgaria were required to carry negative coronavirus test results issued in the previous 72 hours. The new rules, which follow an increase in tourism-related COVID-19 cases, triggered an immediate drop in arrivals compared to recent days.

In the U.S., some state governments and businesses imposed their own new restrictions or sanctions.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Young people largest percent of new cases in Chicago
Young people have made up the largest percentage of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Chicago in recent weeks and city officials warned Wednesday that the trend could lead to the closure of bars or other businesses.

City health data showed 29% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases since June 15 have been among people ages 18 to 29. People ages 30 to 39 made up the second largest percentage of confirmed cases, said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. That’s a stark change from May, when cases of the virus peaked in the city and overwhelmingly affected older people.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Trump looks to scale back environmental law that he says stifles progress
President Donald Trump is ready to roll back a foundational Nixon-era environmental law that he says stifles major infrastructure projects, but that environmentalists say has served for decades as a safeguard for low-income and minority communities.

Trump was traveling to Atlanta on Wednesday to formally announce the changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, making it easier to build highways, pipelines, chemical plants and other projects. When Trump first announced the effort in January, the administration set a two-year deadline for completing full environmental impact reviews while less comprehensive assessments would have to be completed within one year. The White House said the final rule will promote the rebuilding of America.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Cost of ensuring school safety complicates bringing students back to class
As school districts across the country decide how and when they can bring students back to campus safely, a major sticking point is emerging: the money to make it happen.

Keeping public schools for 50 million students and more than 7 million staff safe from the coronavirus could require more teachers and substitutes, nurses and custodians. School districts will need to find more buses to allow for more space between children and buy more computers for distance learning. They’ll need to buy sanitizer, masks and other protective equipment. Some are putting up plastic dividers in offices and classrooms.

While public health concerns are getting most of the attention, especially with the nation’s infections and hospitalizations rising, costs have become a major consideration. Many districts are hoping Congress will step in.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Wall Street climbs tentatively with hopes for vaccine
Most of Wall Street rose today with hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Investors see a vaccine as the best way for the economy and human life to get back to normal, and researchers said late Tuesday that one developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna revved up people’s immune systems in early testing, as hoped. The S&P 500 was up 0.5% in its first day of trading since the announcement, though it had given up most of an earlier 1.3% gain by midday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 156 points, or 0.5%, at 26,798, as of 12:20 p.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite reversed its morning rise to dip 0.2%.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

NY Times editor resigns, says she was harassed for ideas that weren't liberal
Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at The New York Times, quit her job on Tuesday with a public resignation letter that alleged harassment and a hostile work environment created by people who disagreed with her.

Andrew Sullivan, another prominent journalist who expressed concern that a “woke” culture is crowding out dissenting opinion, similarly announced his resignation from New York magazine.

Sullivan is a conservative columnist and Weiss is considered conservative by some, although she labels herself a centrist.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Footage of Floyd arrest could show more of story
Video from the body cameras of two officers charged in George Floyd’s death is being made available for public viewing by appointment on Wednesday, but a judge thus far has declined to allow news organizations to publish the footage for wider distribution.

Footage from the body cameras of Thomas Lane and J. Kueng was filed with the court last week by Lane’s attorney, but only the written transcripts were made public. A coalition of news organizations and attorneys for Lane and Kueng have said that making the videos public would provide a more complete picture  of what happened when Floyd was taken into custody.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Nothing yet in search for Tulsa massacre victims
A third day of excavation began today at a Tulsa cemetery for remains of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre with no human remains yet found and the search area being expanded, according to state Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck.

Stackelbeck said Tuesday after the search ended for the day that items such as household trash, animal bones and a shell casing have been found, adding that there is no indication the shell casing is related to the massacre.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

St. Louis prosecutor may file charges against couple defending their home
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said President Donald Trump is focused on and concerned about the possibility that a white St. Louis couple could face criminal charges for displaying guns as they defended their home during a racial injustice protest.

Parson told reporters Tuesday that he had just been on the phone with Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr. The phone call came amid reports that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, may file charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, both of them lawyers in their 60s. The couple wielded guns on June 28 as protesters marched by their Renaissance palazzo-style mansion on the way to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

A police report said the couple heard a loud commotion and saw a large group of people break an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Canada, US poised to extend border restrictions
The U.S. and Canada are poised to extend their agreement to keep their shared border closed to non-essential travel to Aug. 21, but a final confirmation has not been given, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Florida tops virus death mark; UK and France issue face mask mandates
Florida surpassed its previous one-day record for coronavirus deaths today and Britain and France announced they will require people to wear masks in public indoor spaces, amid rising global fears about a resurgence of the pandemic.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Philadelphia protesters sue city over use of tear gas
Three class-action lawsuits filed in Philadelphia on Tuesday accuse the city of using military-level force that injured protesters and bystanders alike during peaceful protests against racial inequality and police brutality.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Fly without flapping? Andean condors surf air 99% of time
A new study sheds light on just how efficiently the world’s largest soaring bird rides air currents to stay aloft for hours without flapping its wings.

The Andean condor has a wingspan stretching to 10 feet and weighs up to 33 pounds, making it the heaviest soaring bird alive today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

What is contact tracing, and how does it work?
(AP) — What is contact tracing, and how does it work with COVID-19?

The goal of contact tracing is to alert people who may have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, and prevent them from spreading it to others. Health experts say contact tracing is key to containing the virus and allowing places to reopen more safely.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Zappos tries something new, selling 1 shoe, not 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Zappos is trying out new ways to sell shoes: allow shoppers to buy a single shoe at a time or purchase a pair in two different sizes.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Seriously, Burger King introduces reduced methane emissions beef whopper
(AP) — Burger King is staging an intervention with its cows.

The chain has rebalanced the diet of some of the cows by adding lemon grass in a bid to limit bovines contributions to climate change. By tweaking their diet, Burger King said today that it believes it can reduce a cows’ daily methane emissions by about 33%.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Demand for robot cooks rises as kitchens continue to combat COVID-19
HAYWARD, California (AP) — Robots that can cook - from flipping burgers to baking bread - are in growing demand as virus-wary kitchens try to put some distance between workers and customers.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Small study suggests that fetal coronavirus infection is possible
(AP) — A small study strengthens evidence that a pregnant woman infected with the coronavirus might be able to spread it to her fetus.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Entertainment this week: 'Flannery,' Ellie Goulding, 'Showbiz Kids,' 'Psych'
(AP) — Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Rare Cannonball Adderly concert in Seattle in 1966 is now going digital
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A rare collection of previously unissued recordings by legendary jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley is becoming more accessible thanks to two small jazz labels seeking to keep jazz history alive.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

US grapples with pandemic as WHO warns 'no return to normal'
Tensions mounted over how the United States is grappling with a resurgent coronavirus outbreak Monday, as global health officials warned that the pandemic will only intensify worldwide unless officials adopt comprehensive strategies to combat it.

The virus’ spread is worsening in many countries and “there will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future,“ the director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Pandemic could push millions into chronic hunger
The United Nations says the ranks of the world’s hungry grew by 10 million last year and warns that the coronavirus pandemic could push as many as 130 million more people into chronic hunger this year.

The grim assessment was contained in the latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, an annual report released Monday by the five U.N. agencies that produced it.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Judge blocks federal executions
A U.S. district judge on Monday ordered a new delay in federal executions, hours before the first lethal injection was scheduled to be carried out at a federal prison in Indiana. The Trump administration immediately appealed to a higher court, asking that the executions move forward.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said there are still legal issues to resolve and that “the public is not served by short-circuiting legitimate judicial process.“ The executions, pushed by the administration, would be the first carried out at the federal level since 2003.

Monday, July 13, 2020

57 injured in fire aboard ship at Naval Base San Diego
Firefighters were still battling a blaze Monday on a Navy combat ship that injured at least 57 people and sent smoke billowing over San Diego.

The fire began Sunday morning aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, apparently in a vehicle storage area as the ship was in a berth undergoing maintenance, according to Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Look out, Mars: Here we come with a fleet of spacecraft
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Mars is about to be invaded by planet Earth — big time.

Three countries — the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates — are sending unmanned spacecraft to the red planet in quick succession beginning this week, in the most sweeping effort yet to seek signs of ancient microscopic life while scouting out the place for future astronauts.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Ex-US diplomat Richardson to urge Maduro to free Americans
MIAMI (AP) — Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson plans to travel this week to Venezuela to urge President Nicolas Maduro to free several jailed Americans as a goodwill gesture aimed at easing tensions with the U.S.
Monday, July 13, 2020

Millennials and boomers: Pandemic pain, by the generation
CINCINNATI (AP) — Millennials, you’re taking a big hit — again. And you’re not OK, either, boomers.
Monday, July 13, 2020

New Orleans' 1st Black subdivision officially historic
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The first subdivision built for middle- and upper-class Black residents of New Orleans — and one of the first in the nation — is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Monday, July 13, 2020

Official: Photo helps in search for missing "Glee" actress
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A member of a team searching a Southern California lake for a missing TV star said Sunday that he’s confident his crew is getting a clearer idea of where in the lake to find her, a magazine reported.
Monday, July 13, 2020

Kelly Preston, actor and wife of John Travolta, dies at 57
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kelly Preston, who played dramatic and comic foil to actors ranging from Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire” to Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Twins,” died Sunday, husband John Travolta said. She was 57.
Monday, July 13, 2020

Grandson of Elvis Presley has died at age 27, agent says
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The son of Lisa Marie Presley has died. He was 27.

Presley’s representative Roger Widynowski said in a statement Sunday to The Associated Press that she was “heartbroken” after learning about the death of her son Benjamin Keough. He is the grandson of the late Elvis Presley.

Monday, July 13, 2020

2nd person of interest announced in death of eight year-old Atlanta girl
Monday, July 13, 2020

Mass celebrated after fire damages centuries-old church
SAN GABRIEL, Calif. (AP) — Mass was celebrated Sunday on the grounds of a historic Catholic church in Southern California that had been heavily damaged by fire a day earlier.
Monday, July 13, 2020

Trump commutes prison sentence of Roger Stone
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has commuted the sentence of his longtime political confidant Roger Stone, intervening in extraordinary fashion in a criminal case that was central to the Russia investigation.
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Facebook still tracking you even if you're not browsing
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Friday’s widespread crashes of popular apps running on the iPhone’s iOS operating system — including Tinder, Spotify and Pinterest — serve as a reminder that Facebook is still tracking you through your phone using sophisticated software, even if you’re not browsing the social network.
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Fed buys more corporate bonds but may stop soon
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Friday that it purchased $1.3 billion in corporate bonds in late June as part of its effort to keep U.S. interest rates low and ensure large companies can borrow by selling bonds.
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Tropical storm Fay becomes post-tropical cyclone
MIAMI (AP) — A tropical storm that brought heavy rain to mid-Atlantic states and southern New England was downgraded twice Saturday  as it moved over New York, forecasters said.
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Dozens of US Marines in Okinawa get virus
TOKYO (AP) — Dozens of U.S. Marines at two bases on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa have been infected with the coronavirus in what is feared to be a massive outbreak, Okinawa’s governor said Saturday, demanding an adequate explanation from the U.S. military.
Saturday, July 11, 2020

One more pandemic loss: No free Slurpees at 7-Eleven on 7-11
DALLAS (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has taken away another summertime tradition in the U.S.: There were no free Slurpees at 7-Elevens on Saturday — July 11 — to hail a date that doubles as an abbreviation of the convenience store chain’s name.
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Cases up sharply in Africa and India
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s confirmed coronavirus cases have doubled in just two weeks to a quarter-million, and India on Saturday saw its biggest daily spike as its infections passed 800,000. The surging cases are raising sharp concerns about unequal treatment in the pandemic, as the wealthy hoard medical equipment and use private hospitals and the poor crowd into overwhelmed public facilities.
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Disney World reopens as virus cases surge in Florida
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” has reopened after nearly four months with new rules in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Saturday, July 11, 2020

Florida's curve no longer flat amid new surge
MIAMI (AP) — Fighting a surge in coronavirus cases in the spring, Florida appeared to be “flattening the curve” as theme parks shuttered, sugar sand beaches closed and residents heeded orders to stay home. Now, it’s almost as if that never happened.
Friday, July 10, 2020

Notre Dame to be rebuilt without modern touches
PARIS (AP) — Notre Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt just the way it stood before last year’s devastating fire.
Friday, July 10, 2020

Catholic Church amasses $1.4 billion in virus aid
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.
Friday, July 10, 2020

Spectacular show from comet streaking past Earth
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A newly discovered comet is streaking past Earth, providing a stunning nighttime show after buzzing the sun and expanding its tail.
Friday, July 10, 2020

St. Louis considers using surveillance planes as a new tool in fighting crime
O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — With 2020 shaping to be an especially violent year in one of the nation’s most violent cities, St. Louis leaders are considering a new tool to fight crime — surveillance planes — even as opponents worry about the further militarization of police and the potential for invasion of privacy.
Friday, July 10, 2020

Police move out protesters today in St. Louis who want to defund the police
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police cleared out a crowd of protesters early today that had taken up camp outside the St. Louis City Hall to call for the resignation of Mayor Lyda Krewson.
Friday, July 10, 2020

Court rulings keep Trumps's finances private for now
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court issued a mixed verdict today on demands for President Donald Trump’s financial records that will keep his tax returns, banking and other documents out of the public eye for the time being.
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Court rules swath of Oklahoma remains tribal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled today that a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, a decision that state and federal officials have warned could throw Oklahoma into chaos.
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Safe injection sites may curb opioid deaths, new report suggests
(AP) — A safe haven in the U.S. where people can give themselves heroin and other drugs has observed more than 10,500 injections over five years and treated 33 overdoses with none proving fatal, researchers reported Wednesday.
Thursday, July 9, 2020

What are the potential long-term effects of having COVID-19
(AP) — What are the potential long-term effects of having COVID-19?

It’s hard to say exactly, because the coronavirus is still so new that scientists don’t know much about long-term effects. The best evidence comes from patients themselves, and some experience a variety of symptoms long after their infections have cleared.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Film review: 'Palm Springs' serves up a time-loop, romantic-comedy cocktail
(AP) — Well, it’s Groundhog Day at the movies...again. But instead of the icy winter of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the time-loop romantic comedy has been transported across the country to the desert resort city of Palm Springs where Andy Samberg is permanently stuck as a plus one at a wedding.
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Family re-imagines Bob Marley classic to help children affected by pandemic
NEW YORK (AP) — Bob Marley’s Grammy-winning children and chart-topping grandson have re-imagined one of his biggest hits to assist children affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Mary Kay Letourneau dies at age 58
SEATTLE (AP) — Mary Kay Letourneau, a teacher who married her former sixth-grade student after she was convicted of raping him in a case that drew international headlines, has died. She was 58.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

President threatens to cut federal aid if schools don't reopen in the fall
(AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to withhold federal funding if schools don’t reopen in the fall, and he lashed out at federal health officials over school reopening guidelines that he says are impractical and expensive.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Resurgence of virus outbreak rages across the US: Texas passes 10,000 confirmed new cases in 1 day
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas surpassed 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day Tuesday for the first time, crossing a sobering milestone rarely seen since the pandemic first hit the U.S. in March.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

United laying off nearly half US staff
(AP) — United Airlines will send layoff warnings to 36,000 employees - nearly half its U.S. staff - in the clearest signal yet of how deeply the virus outbreak is hurting the airline industry.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Supreme Court: Some employers can refuse to offer no-cost birth control
WASHINGTON (AP) — More employers who cite religious or moral grounds can decline to offer cost-free birth control coverage to their workers, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, upholding Trump administration rules that could leave more than 70,000 women without free contraception.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

St. Louis name change? Not happening, governor says
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Despite some calls to change the name of St. Louis, Missouri’s governor has told President Donald Trump that it’s not going to happen.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Entertainment this week: The Dalai Lama, 'Palm Springs,' and 'Stateless'
(AP) — Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

'First Cow' a radiant Old West fable
(AP) — The American West is about as well-trod territory as there is in movies, but Kelly Reichardt keeps unearthing new treasures.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Edmunds: Good time to shop pre-owned
(EDMUNDS via AP) — Used cars have historically been a smart alternative for those in need of transportation during an economic downturn. They don’t depreciate as much as new cars and are less likely to overburden a buyer with a large loan at a time of uncertainty.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

In the garden: Have transplants ready to take place of harvested vegetables
(AP) — One way to reap an abundance of vegetables from even a tiny garden is to keep planting throughout the growing season. Soon, you could be filling in new vegetables where you’ll have harvested onions or pulled spent pea or cucumber vines. Later, there’ll be space where corn, early beets or carrots have been harvested.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Tax time is an inevitable reminder to organize important documents
(NERDWALLET via AP) — Tax filing deadlines inspire many of us to vow that we’re finally going to organize our papers.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Ed secretary rejects part-time reopening for schools
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday assailed plans by some local districts to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week and said schools must be “fully operational” even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How risky is dining out during pandemic?
(AP) — How risky is dining out during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Protective gear for medical workers runs low again
(AP) — The personal protective gear that was in dangerously short supply during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is running low again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalized patients climbs.
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Retailers to governors: Please mandate face mask wearing
NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers have a message for state governors: Please make everyone wear a face mask.
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Doctors say experimental treatment may have rid man of HIV
(AP) — A Brazilian man infected with the AIDS virus has shown no sign of it for more than a year since he stopped HIV medicines after an intense experimental drug therapy aimed at purging hidden, dormant virus from his body, doctors reported Tuesday.
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Treasury names 650,000 small businesses receiving govt. loans
The Treasury Department on Monday released the names of more than 650,000 small businesses that received funds from a government program intended to support the economy as states shut down in April to contain the viral outbreak.

Treasury identified  just a fraction of the total borrowers, naming only those companies that got more than $150,000. Those firms made up less than 15% of the nearly 5 million small companies that received loans.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Miami-Dade County reverses course on COVID
Florida’s biggest county ordered restaurants and gyms closed again today because of a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, as the U.S. emerged from a Fourth of July weekend of picnics, pool parties and beach outings that health officials fear could fuel the rapidly worsening outbreak.
Monday, July 6, 2020

Court rules states can require presidential electors to back popular vote winner
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that states can require presidential electors to back their states’ popular vote winner in the Electoral College.

The ruling, in cases in Washington state and Colorado just under four months before the 2020 election, leaves in place laws in 32 states and the District of Columbia that bind electors to vote for the popular-vote winner, as electors almost always do anyway.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Supreme Court upholds cellphone robocall ban
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a 1991 law that bars robocalls to cellphones.

The case, argued by telephone in May because of the coronavirus pandemic, only arose after Congress in 2015 created an exception in the law that allows the automated calls for collection of government debt.

Monday, July 6, 2020

What to know about July 15 tax deadline
It’s time to do your taxes — no more delays.

As the coronavirus pandemic took hold this spring, the federal government postponed the traditional April 15 filing deadline until July 15.

Monday, July 6, 2020

40 lobbyists with ties to Trump have reaped a windfall in virus aid for clients
WASHINGTON (AP) — Forty lobbyists with ties to President Donald Trump helped clients secure more than $10 billion in federal coronavirus aid, among them five former administration officials whose work potentially violates Trump’s own ethics policy, according to a report.
Monday, July 6, 2020

Jesse White unveils new organ/tissue donation campaign
ILLINOIS — Secretary of State Jesse White unveiled a new ad campaign today featuring a woman whose life was saved because of organ donation when she received a heart from a friend’s daughter.
Monday, July 6, 2020

Treasury to name 700K small businesses receiving govt loans
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department says it is releasing on Monday the names of more than 700,000 companies that received funds from the government’s small business lending program, a massive effort intended to support the economy as states shut down in April to contain the viral outbreak.
Monday, July 6, 2020

Forget about fun: Stores focus on cleaning to get shoppers spending
Forget about making shopping fun. As clothing retailers and others try to stay viable during the coronavirus pandemic, they’re hoping steps like cleaning during store hours, offering hand sanitizer and other safety measures will bring in customers to spend.

At the same time, they are largely leaving fitting rooms open and not requiring shoppers to wear masks unless it’s a local rule, despite public health experts who advise that masks, social distancing and good ventilation are key for safety. That may make some already-jittery shoppers more nervous.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Ford is reviving its Bronco brand
When it comes to rugged vehicles that go off the road, over rocks and into the mud to experience nature, Jeep for years has cornered the U.S. market.

Now Ford is reviving the Bronco brand name in an effort to take a slice.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Spaghetti Western movie composer Ennio Morricone dies
ROME (AP) — Ennio Morricone, the Oscar-winning Italian composer who created the coyote-howl theme for the iconic Spaghetti Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and often haunting soundtracks for such classic Hollywood gangster movies as “The Untouchables” and the epic “Once Upon A Time In America,” died today. He was 91.
Monday, July 6, 2020

Amid pandemic, fewer students seek federal aid for college
(AP) — The number of high school seniors applying for U.S. federal college aid plunged in the weeks following the sudden closure of school buildings this spring — a time when students were cut off from school counselors, and families hit with financial setbacks were reconsidering plans for higher education.
Monday, July 6, 2020

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

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

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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

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

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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

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

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

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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

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

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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

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

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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

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

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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

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

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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

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

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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

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

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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

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

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

Friday, July 3, 2020

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 3, 2020

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

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

Friday, July 3, 2020

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

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

Thursday, July 2, 2020

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

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

Thursday, July 2, 2020

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

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

Thursday, July 2, 2020

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

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

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

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

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