US & World News

Fauci: US ‘Going in Wrong Direction’ in Coronavirus Outbreak

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. is “going in the wrong direction” with the coronavirus surging badly enough that Dr. Anthony Fauci told senators Tuesday some regions are putting the entire country at risk — just as schools and colleges are wrestling with how to safely reopen. With about 40,000 new cases being reported a day, Fauci, the government’s top infectious…

Supreme Court Strikes Down Louisiana Abortion Clinic Law

WASHINGTON (AP) –The Supreme Court has struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics, reasserting a commitment to abortion rights over fierce opposition from dissenting conservative justices in the first big abortion case of the Trump era. Chief Justice John Roberts joined with his four more liberal colleagues in ruling that the law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have…

Four Ex-Officers due Back in Court in George Floyd’s Death

(from left, Derek Chauvin, Tuo Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd are due in court Monday for a hearing that could deal with bail amounts and other issues. It’s the second pretrial hearing for the men, who were fired after Floyd’s May 25…

Saharan Dust Cloud Moves Through Midwest; Not Very Visible Through Minnesota Clouds

The cloud of dust from Africa creates vibrant sunsets and hazy skies, but cloudy skies keep Minnesotans from seeing it.

DULUTH, Minn.- If you were hoping to catch a glimpse of a hazy sky or a vibrant sunset here in Minnesota Sunday or Monday, caused by the phenomenon known as the Saharan Dust Cloud, you may be out of luck due to our pesky clouds. The Saharan Dust Cloud is dust picked up by thunderstorms and winds in Africa’s Sahara…

Appeals Court: Trump Wrongly Diverted $2.5B for Border Wall

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file) SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday ruled against the Trump administration in its transfer of $2.5 billion from military construction projects to build sections of the U.S. border wall with Mexico, ruling it illegally sidestepped Congress, which gets to decide how to use the funds. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of…

Segway to End Production

(AP) — Segway says it will end production of its namesake two-wheeled personal transporter, popular with tourists and police officers but perhaps better known for its high-profile crashes. The company, founded in 1999 by inventor Dean Kamen, will retire the Segway PT on July 15. The company said 21 employees will be laid off. In 2017, Segway got into the…

Disney Delays Southern California Theme Park Reopenings

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Disney is postponing the mid-July reopening of its Southern California theme parks until it receives guidelines from the state, the company announced Wednesday. Disney had hoped to reopen Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim on July 17 after a four-month closure due to the coronavirus. But the state has indicated it won’t issue guidelines until…

MLB Plans 60-Game Slate, Shortest Since 1878

NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball plans to unilaterally issue a 60-game schedule for its shortest season since 1878 after the players’ association rejected a negotiated deal of the same length, putting the sport on track for a combative and possibly unhappy return to the field amid the coronavirus pandemic. Six days after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and union…

Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting to be Fired

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville’s mayor said Friday that one of three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor will be fired. Mayor Greg Fisher said interim Louisville police Chief Robert Schroeder has started termination proceedings for Officer Brett Hankison. Two other officers remain on administrative reassignment while the shooting is investigated. Fischer said officials could not…

Justices Reject end to Protections for Young Immigrants

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants. For now, those immigrants retain their protection from deportation and their authorization to work in the United States. The outcome seems certain to elevate the issue in Trump’s campaign, given the anti-immigrant rhetoric of his first presidential run in…

1.5 Million More Laid-Off Workers Seek Unemployment Benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) – About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a historically high number, even as the economy increasingly reopens and employers bring some people back to work. The latest figure from the Labor Department marks the 11th straight weekly decline in applications since they peaked at nearly 7 million in March as the coronavirus…

Officer who Shot Rayshard Brooks Charged with Felony Murder

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks in the back after the fleeing man pointed a stun gun in his direction is going to be charged with felony murder and 10 other crimes. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard made the announcement about Garrett Rolfe during a news conference Wednesday. Howard said Rolfe kicked Brooks while…

Trump Signs Executive Order on Police Reform

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on policing following weeks of national protests after the death of George Floyd. The order is aimed at encouraging best practices and tracking officers with excessive use of force complaints. In the Rose Garden, Trump stressed the need for higher standards and commiserated with mourning families, even as he…

Canada, US Extend Border Restrictions to July 21

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot,File) TORONTO (AP) — Canada and the US have agreed to extend their agreement to keep their border closed to non-essential travel to July 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday’s agreement extends the closure by another 30 days. The restrictions were announced on March 18 and were extended in April and May….

First Drug Proves Able to Improve Survival From COVID-19

(AP) – Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients. Results were announced Tuesday and researchers said they would publish them soon. The study is a large, strict test that randomly assigned 2,104…

Academy Delays 2021 Oscars Ceremony Because of Coronavirus

(AP) – For the fourth time in its history, the Oscars are being postponed. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network said Monday that the 93rd Academy Awards will now be held April 25, 2021, eight weeks later than originally planned because of the pandemic’s effects on the movie industry. It’s true! Next year’s…

US Revokes Emergency use of Malaria Drugs vs. Coronavirus

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Monday revoked emergency authorization for malaria drugs for treating COVID-19 amid growing evidence they don’t work and could cause serious side effects. The Food and Drug Administration said the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus. Citing reports of heart complications, the FDA said the drugs’ unproven benefits…

WHO Expert Clarifies Remarks on Virus Spread

GENEVA — A top World Health Organization expert has tried to clear up “misunderstandings” about comments she made that were widely understood to suggest that people without COVID-19 symptoms rarely transmit the coronavirus. Maria Van Kerkhove, the U.N. health agency’s technical lead on the virus pandemic, insisted Tuesday that she was referring only to a few studies, not a complete…

With Recovery of Last Case, New Zealand has Eradicated Virus

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand appears to have completely eradicated the coronavirus — at least for now — after health officials said Monday the last known infected person had recovered. The announcement was greeted with joy around the country and means the nation of 5 million people will be among the first to welcome throngs of fans back…

Duty To Intervene: Floyd Cops Spoke Up But Didn’t Step In

Minneapolis was among several cities that had policies on the books requiring police officers to intervene to stop colleagues from using unreasonable force, but that didn’t save George Floyd and law enforcement experts say such rules will always run up against entrenched police culture and the fear of being ostracized and branded a “rat.” Power dynamics may have been magnified…

US Cities Erupt in More Violence Amid Threats From Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — American cities erupted in violence and destruction in a seventh straight night of unrest, with several police officers shot or run over, amid boasts and threats from President Donald Trump to send in troops to “dominate the streets.” In New York, nonviolent protests Monday night were punctuated by people smashing shop windows near Rockefeller Center and breaching…

Amid Protests, President Trump Talks of War — and Re-election

WASHINGTON (AP) — Embracing the language of confrontation and war, President Donald Trump on Monday declared himself the “president of law and order” and signaled he would stake his reelection on convincing voters his forceful approach, including deploying U.S. troops to U.S. cities, was warranted in a time of national tumult and racial unrest. Trump made his Rose Garden declaration…

On The Spot Where George Floyd Died, His Brother Urges Calm

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — George Floyd’s brother pleaded for peace in the streets Monday, saying destruction is “not going to bring my brother back at all.” Terrence Floyd’s emotional plea came as the United States braced for another night of violence in response to Floyd’s killing a week ago. Chants of “What’s his name? George Floyd!” filled the air as a…

SpaceX’s Astronaut-Riding Dragon Arrives at Space Station

(NASA TV via AP) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Sunday, following up a historic liftoff with an equally smooth docking in yet another first for Elon Musk’s company. With test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken poised to take over manual control if necessary, the SpaceX Dragon capsule…

US Cuts World Health Organization Ties Over Virus Response

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. will be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization, saying it had failed to adequately respond to the coronavirus because China has “total control” over the global organization. He said Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the WHO to mislead…

Twitter Adds ‘Glorifying Violence’ Warning to Trump Tweet

(Twitter via AP) WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter has added a warning to one of President Donald Trump’s tweets about protests in Minneapolis. The company says the tweet violated the platform’s rules about glorifying violence. Trump has been at war with Twitter since earlier this week when it applied fact checks to two of his tweets about mail-in ballots. The third…

CNN Crew Arrested While Reporting Live on Minneapolis Protests

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota State Patrol on Friday arrested a CNN television crew as they reported on violent protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck. Atlanta-based CNN said that the crew, which included CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, was released later Friday morning….

Boston Marathon Canceled for First Time in 124-Year History

BOSTON (AP) — Organizers canceled the Boston Marathon on Thursday for the first time in its history, bowing to the social distancing requirements of the coronavirus outbreak and ending a 124-year run that had persisted through two World Wars, a volcanic eruption, and even another pandemic. The race, which draws a field of 30,000 and already had been postponed from…

Trump Escalates War on Twitter, Social Media Protections

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump escalated his war on social media companies, signing an executive order Thursday challenging the liability protections that have served as a bedrock for unfettered speech on the internet. Trump said the fact checks were “editorial decisions” by Twitter and amounted to political activism. He said it should cost those companies…

US Layoffs Climb to 41 Million, Despite Business Reopenings

WASHINGTON (AP) — An estimated 2.1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, bringing the running total since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March to about 41 million, the government said Thursday. The figures underscored the continuing damage to businesses and livelihoods from the outbreak that has now killed…

Canada, US Extend Border Closure to Non-Essential Travel

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File) TORONTO (AP) — Canada and the US have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the border is a source of vulnerability, so the agreement will be extended by another 30 days. The restrictions were announced…

US Retail Sales Plunged a Record 16% in April as Virus Hit

BALTIMORE (AP) — U.S. retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, threatened the viability of stores across the country and further weighed down a sinking economy. The Commerce Department’s report Friday on retail purchases showed a sector that has collapsed so quickly that sales over the…

Whistleblower: US Could Face Virus Rebound ‘Darkest Winter’

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) WASHINGTON (AP) — America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus, says a government whistleblower who alleges he was ousted from his job for warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic. Immunologist Dr. Rick Bright makes his sobering prediction in testimony…

Trump Says Americans Could see a Second Round of Stimulus Payments

FOX NEWS – President Trump said Monday his administration is considering a second round of coronavirus stimulus payments. “We’re talking about that,” Trump said when asked about a Democratic proposal to send another round of relief checks. “We’re talking about that with a number of different people. We’re talking about a payroll tax,” the president said. “I want to see various things, but…

Fauci Warns of ‘Serious Problems’ if States Reopen too Soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, says states that ignore the national guidelines for reopening the economy run the risk of spikes in coronavirus cases that may turn into new outbreaks. “The consequences could be really serious,” Fauci tells the Senate Health, Labor and Pensions committee. Problems will escalate if states do not have the…

Shutdown of Tribal Casinos Deals Blow to Indian Country

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — When the Kalispel Tribe of Indians closed its casino as the coronavirus took hold in Washington state, it essentially shut down its economy. That difficult choice has played out nationwide as some 500 Native American casinos have voluntarily closed during the pandemic, often taking away tribes’ main source of income in an effort to protect people’s…

Minnesota Company to Close North Dakota Coal-fired Plant

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The company that operates the largest coal-fired power plant in North Dakota announced Thursday it will close the factory and replace most of its energy with new wind farms in Minnesota. Maple Grove, Minnesota-based Great River Energy said its Coal Creek Station near Underwood in west-central North Dakota will be shuttered in the second half of…

Trump Administration Buries Detailed CDC Advice on Reopening

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Trump administration shelved a document created by the nation’s top disease investigators with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public places during the still-raging coronavirus outbreak. The 17-page report by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up…

33 Million Have Sought US Unemployment Aid Since Virus Hit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 3.2 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the business shutdowns caused by the viral outbreak deepened the worst U.S. economic catastrophe in decades. Roughly 33.5 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the seven weeks since the coronavirus began forcing millions of companies to close their doors and slash their…

Canada Bans Assault-Style Weapons After Shooting Rampage

TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an immediate ban Friday on the sale and use of assault-style weapons in Canada, two weeks after a gunman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia. “Canadians need more than thoughts and prayers,” he said, rejecting the reaction of many politicians after mass shootings. Trudeau cited numerous mass shootings in the country, including…