US & World News

CDC to Ease up Guidance on Indoor Mask-Wearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is easing indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places. That’s according to a person briefed on the announcement, expected later Thursday at the White House. The new guidance will still call for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like…

McDonald’s Raising US Workers’ Pay in Company-Owned Stores

(AP) — McDonald’s is raising pay at 650 company-owned stores in the U.S. as part of its push to hire thousands of new workers in a tight labor market. The fast-food giant followed Chipotle, which also announced pay hikes this week. Wages and benefits for U.S. workers have been growing quickly as vaccinations increase and employers try to meet growing…

US Unemployment Claims Drop to 473,000, a New Pandemic Low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low and the latest evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs as consumers ramp up spending and more businesses reopen. Applications declined 34,000 from a revised 507,000 a week earlier. The number of weekly jobless claims — a rough measure of the…

Report: Ellen Degeneres to End Her TV Talk Show Next Year

NEW YORK (AP) — Ellen DeGeneres is calling time on her longtime-running talk show. Reports say the daytime host, who has seen a ratings hit after allegations of running a toxic workplace, has decided that her upcoming season will be the last. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” started airing in 2003 and has a mix of dancing, games and giveaways along…

Whitmer Threatens Profit Seizure if Pipeline Keeps Operating

(Garret Ellison | MLive) LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is threatening to go after Enbridge’s profits from a Great Lakes oil pipeline if it isn’t shut down. The Democratic governor issued the warning Tuesday in a letter to Enbridge, a Canadian oil transport company. Whitmer ordered the company last November to close the line by May 12….

Job Market for New Grads: Much Hiring but Much Competition

(AP) – This year’s graduating class of college seniors is poised for better prospects than were the 2020 graduates, who had the misfortune to graduate in the depths of the disastrous coronavirus recession. Though the competition will be stiff — this year’s graduates will have to compete, in many cases, with 2020 graduates who are still seeking their first full-time…

Reversing Trump, US Restores Transgender Health Protections

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration says the government will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in health care. That reverses a Trump-era policy that sought to narrow the scope of legal rights in sensitive situations involving medical care. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Monday that LGBTQ people should have the same access to health…

US Job Growth Slows Sharply in Sign of Hiring Struggles

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers added just 266,000 jobs last month, sharply lower than in March and a sign that some businesses are struggling to find enough workers as the economic recovery strengthens. With viral cases declining and states and localities easing restrictions, businesses have added jobs for four straight months. Still, the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1% from…

Shooting at Idaho Middle School Injures 3; Student Captured

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Authorities say a shooting at an eastern Idaho middle school has injured two students and a custodian, and a student suspected of being the shooter has been taken into custody. The Jefferson County sheriff says the victims’ injuries aren’t believed to be life-threatening. Police were called to the school around 9:15 a.m. Thursday, and multiple law…

US Unemployment Claims Fall to a Pandemic Low of 498,000

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to 498,000, the lowest point since the viral pandemic struck 14 months ago and a sign of the job market’s growing strength as businesses reopen and consumers step up spending. Applications declined 92,000 from a revised 590,000 a week earlier. The number of weekly jobless claims —…

Michigan Lifts Outdoor Mask Requirement for Crowds Under 100

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan late Tuesday lifted an outdoor mask requirement except in gatherings of at least 100 people and in organized contact sports and said teen athletes no longer must undergo regular COVID-19 testing if they are fully vaccinated. Under a revised pandemic order that takes effect Thursday, the state also eased caps on outdoor event sizes and said vaccinated…

Facebook Board Upholds Trump Suspension

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Former President Donald Trump won’t return to Facebook — for now. The social network’s quasi-independent Oversight Board voted to uphold his ban from the platform after his account was suspended four months ago for inciting violence that led to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. While upholding the suspension, the board faulted Facebook in a statement…

Wisconsin Guard Soldier, Friend Charged in Capitol Attack

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin Army National Guard member and his friend have been charged with entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack. Abram Markofski and Brandon Nelson are charged with four counts including entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds. Markofski joined the National Guard…

US Extends Face-Mask Requirement on Planes Until September

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is extending the requirement that travelers wear face masks on planes, trains, and buses. The rule was set to expire May 11, but the Transportation Security Administration said Friday that it will extend the requirement through Sept. 13. Children under 2 and people with certain disabilities are exempted. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration says…

US Economy Accelerated at a Robust 6.4% Rate Last Quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy grew at a brisk 6.4% annual rate last quarter — a show of strength fueled by government aid and declining viral cases that could drive further gains as the nation rebounds with unusual speed from the pandemic recession. Thursday’s report from the Commerce Department estimated that the nation’s gross domestic product — its total…

WATCH TONIGHT: Biden to Pitch Sweeping ‘Family Plan’ in Speech to Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will use his first joint address to Congress to pitch a $1.8 trillion investment in children, families, and education that would transform the role government plays in American life. Biden delivers the Wednesday speech on the eve of his 100th day in office. Biden will make his case before a pared-down gathering of mask-wearing…

Feds Search Rudy Giuliani’s NYC Home, Office

NEW YORK (AP) — A law enforcement official tells the Associated Press that federal investigators have executed search warrants at Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan residence and office. The former New York City mayor has been under investigation for several years over his business dealings in Ukraine. Details of the reasons for Wednesday’s searches were not immediately available. The officials who confirmed…

CDC Says Fully Vaccinated Americans Can Now Go Outside Without a Mask

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials say fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers. And unvaccinated people can drop face coverings in some cases, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the updated guidance Tuesday. Previously the CDC had been advising that people should wear…

Student’s Snapchat Profanity Leads to High Court Speech Case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Before the Supreme Court this week is an argument over whether public schools can discipline students over something they say off-campus. Fourteen-year-old Brandi Levy was suspended from cheerleading over a profanity-laced posting on Snapchat. Arguments are on Wednesday before a court on which several justices have school-age children or recently did. The case has its roots in…

Justice Dept. Opens Policing Probe Over Breonna Taylor Death

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is opening a sweeping probe into policing in Louisville, Kentucky over the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death by police during a raid at her home. The 26-year-old Taylor, an emergency medical technician who had been studying to become a nurse, was roused from sleep by police who came…

SOS Messages, Panic as Virus Breaks India’s Health System

NEW DELHI (AP) — India has set another record for daily coronavirus infections for the fifth day in a row, at more than 350,000. On Monday, the country reported more than 2,800 deaths, with roughly 117 Indians succumbing to the disease every hour — and experts say even those figures are likely an undercount. The new infections brought India’s total to more…

Caitlyn Jenner Says She Will Run for Governor of California

LOS ANGELES-Republican Caitlyn Jenner says she will run for governor of California. Jenner says in statement posted Friday on Twitter that she has filed initial paperwork to run. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a likely recall election this year. Election officials are still reviewing petition signatures required to qualify the recall for the ballot. Several other Republicans have also…

US Troops in Afghanistan Begin Packing Gear as They Prep to Leave

KABUL, Afghanistan-A U.S. defense department official says the U.S. military has begun shipping equipment and winding down contracts with local service providers ahead of the May 1 start of the final phase of its military pullout from Afghanistan. The pullout marks the end of America’s longest war, after a 20-year military engagement. Currently, some 2,500 U.S. soldiers and about 7,000…

At ‘Moment of Peril,’ Biden Opens Global Summit on Climate

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has convened a global climate summit – by livestream from around the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden started it out Thursday with an ambitious U.S. pledge to cut by at least one-half the climate-wrecking coal and petroleum fumes that America is pumping out. He is hoping the commitment, along with similar ones…

FDA Inspection Found Problems at Factory Making J&J Vaccine

(AP) – U.S. regulators say the Baltimore factory contracted to make Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine was dirty, didn’t follow proper manufacturing procedures, and had poorly trained staff. The problems resulted in contamination of a batch of material that was going to be put in the shots. The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday released a 13-page report detailing findings…

Biden Aims For Momentum as US Returns to Climate Fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is convening a coalition of the willing, the unwilling, the desperate-for-help, and the avid-for-money for a two-day summit aimed at rallying the world’s worst polluters to do more to slow climate change. Biden’s first task when his virtual summit opens Thursday is to convince the world that the United States is both willing and…

Burning Man Mulling Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines for August

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Burning Man festival organizers are considering requiring attendees to prove they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 if they move forward with plans to hold this year’s counter-culture festival in the Nevada desert. But they backed off an earlier statement indicating they had already decided to make the shots mandatory. The organizers say they won’t decide for sure…

Crowds React With Joy, Wariness To Verdict In Floyd’s Death

London Williams stood in Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C., moments before the verdict was read in George Floyd’s murder trial Tuesday, wondering how he would cope if the white police officer who killed the Black man was acquitted. “I feel very nervous. It’s already hard as it is as a Black man in today’s society,” said Williams, standing…

Duluth ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protesters March Celebrating Chauvin Guilty Verdict

“I didn't really expect us to come out on top based on our past,” said Veronica Davis, one of the organizers.

DULUTH, Minn.- For perhaps the first time in the year since George Floyd was killed, a Black Lives Matter protest through the streets of Duluth was filled with hope and celebration, after the jury convicted Derek Chauvin of murdering Floyd Tuesday. “I didn’t really expect us to come out on top based on our past,” said Veronica Davis, one of…

Biden, Harris to Speak After Floyd Case Verdict

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks Tuesday evening after the conviction of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. Biden, Harris and first lady Jill Biden called members of the Floyd family moments after the verdict, according to video posted by family attorney Ben Crump. Biden told the family,…

Biden Praying For ‘Right Verdict’ in Chauvin Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says he is “praying the verdict is the right verdict” in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and that he believes the case to be “overwhelming.” Biden told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that he was only weighing in on the trial into the death of George Floyd because…

Police Trying to Identify Gunman, Motive in FedEx Shooting

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities say they have not yet identified the gunman of a motive in a mass shooting at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport. Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis police said the suspect started randomly shooting in the parking lot and then went into the building. Police say a gunman killed eight people and wounded…

Police: 8 Dead in Shooting at FedEx Facility in Indianapolis

Eight people were shot and killed and the shooter killed himself, police said.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Eight people were shot and killed in a late-night shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, and the shooter killed himself, police said. Several other people were injured Thursday night when gunfire erupted at the facility near the Indianapolis International Airport, police spokesperson Genae Cook said. At least four were hospitalized, including one person with critical injuries….

Homeless Americans Finally Getting a Chance at COVID-19 Shot

(AP) – Homeless Americans who have been left off priority lists for coronavirus vaccinations — or even bumped aside as states shifted eligibility to older age groups — are finally getting their shots as vaccine supplies increase. While the U.S. government has only incomplete data on infections among homeless people, it’s clear that crowded, unsanitary conditions at shelters and underlying…

Us Jobless Claims Plunge to 576,000, Lowest Since Pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to 576,000, a hopeful sign that layoffs are easing as the economy recovers from the pandemic recession. The Labor Department said Thursday that applications plummeted 193,000 from a revised 769,000 a week earlier. Jobless claims are now down sharply from a peak of 900,000 in…

AP Source: Ponzi Schemer Bernie Madoff Dies in Prison

NEW YORK (AP) — Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, has died in prison. A person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that Madoff died early Wednesday at the federal medical center in Butner, North Carolina, apparently of natural causes. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and…

US Recommends ‘Pause’ for J&J Vaccine Over Clot Reports

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in the administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in…

Kim Potter Identified As Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright In Brooklyn Center

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (FOX 9) – The police officer who shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center Sunday afternoon was identified as Kim Potter by the Minnesota BCA Monday night. In a release, the BCA said Potter has been with the Brooklyn Center Police Department for 26 years. She has been placed under standard administrative leave. Bodycam footage released Monday showed the moments…

CDC Chief Urges Michigan to ‘Close Things Down’ Amid Spike

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Michigan should “close things down” to help address surging coronavirus infections. Dr. Rochelle Walensky’s statement Monday comes as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer instead urges people to voluntarily restrict certain activities. Whitmer wants the federal government to send additional doses to the state, but the administration of…