US & World News

Hostages Safe after Texas Synagogue Standoff; Captor Dead

FBI and police spokeswomen declined to answer questions about who shot the man.

AP Photo/Brandon Wade COLLEYVILLE, Texas (AP) — Four hostages were spared and their captor was killed, ending a 10-hour standoff at a Texas synagogue where the hostage-taker — a British national — could be heard ranting on a Livestream and demanding the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of trying to kill U.S. Army officers in Afghanistan. One…

Man Takes Hostages at Texas Synagogue, Demands Prisoner Be Freed

The Colleyville Police Department said the male hostage was released shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday.

Jessika Harkay/Star-Telegram via AP COLLEYVILLE, Texas (AP) – Police say one hostage has been released uninjured from a Texas synagogue where a man had been holding four people. The Colleyville Police Department said the male hostage was released shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday. He was expected to be reunited with his family soon and did not require medical attention. FBI…

West Coast Under Tsunami Advisory Following Pacific Eruption

Japan Meteorology Agency via AP WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – An undersea volcano has erupted in spectacular fashion near the Pacific nation of Tonga. The eruption on Saturday sent tsunami waves swirling around buildings and people rushing to higher ground. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage because all internet connectivity with Tonga was lost. Following the eruption,…

Supreme Court Halts COVID-19 Vaccine Rule for US Businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job. At the same time, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S. The…

The Heat Stays On: Earth Hits 6th Warmest Year on Record

(AP) – Two U.S. science agencies say 2021 was the sixth hottest year on record globally, part of a long-term warming trend. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Thursday released measurements showing how hot last year was. It wasn’t record hot, but the year’s 58.5-degree average is not much behind the record. The last eight years have been…

US Inflation Soared 7% In Past Year, the Most Since 1982

WASHINGTON (AP) – Prices paid by U.S. consumers jumped 7% in December from a year earlier, the highest inflation rate since 1982, and the latest evidence that rising costs for food, gas, rent and other necessities are heightening the financial pressures on America’s households. Inflation has spiked during the recovery from the pandemic recession as Americans have ramped up spending…

Pfizer: Omicron-specific COVID-19 Vaccine Human Trials To Begin Late January

(FOX 9) – Pfizer will begin human trials of an omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine beginning in late January, a company spokesperson confirmed Monday to FOX TV Stations. “We already have begun work on a DNA template tailored to the sequence of Omicron, a critical step in the process of advancing a variant version of our vaccine if in fact, we find…

Home COVID Tests To Be Covered by Insurers Starting Saturday

(AP Photo/David Dermer, File) WASHINGTON (AP) – Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for those on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as it looks to lower costs and makes testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations. Under the new policy, first detailed…

Tax Season Begins Two Weeks Early Due to Virus, IRS Funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — This year’s tax filing season will begin on Jan. 24, 17 days earlier than last year, the Internal Revenue Service announced Monday. The IRS is warning that a resurgence of COVID-19 infections on top of less funding authorization from Congress than the Biden administration had requested could make this filing season particularly challenging. “The pandemic continues to…

Parents in Michigan School Shooting Lose Bid To Reduce Bail

(Oakland County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File) DETROIT (AP) — A judge has denied a request to lower a $500,000 bail set for two parents who are charged with their son in a fatal Michigan school shooting. Judge Julie Nicholson said James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to turn themselves in when they were charged with involuntary manslaughter on Dec. 3…

Hospitalizations Skyrocket in Kids Too Young for COVID Shots

(AP Photo/Steven Senne) (AP) – Hospitalizations in U.S. children under age 5 with COVID have soared dramatically to unprecedented levels, a worrisome trend in youngsters too young to be vaccinated. That’s according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released Friday. Since early December, as the highly contagious omicron variant has spread furiously around the country, the hospitalization rate…

Teen in Michigan School Shooting Waives Key Court Hearing

DETROIT (AP) – A teenager charged with killing four students at their Michigan high school has waived a key court hearing. The decision means Ethan Crumbley’s case moves straight to a trial court in suburban Detroit. Prosecutors in Michigan typically must present some evidence to show there’s probable cause to send people to trial on felony charges. It’s a low…

Supreme Court Weighs Vaccine Rules Affecting More Than 80M

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is taking up two major Biden administration efforts to bump up the nation’s vaccination rate against COVID-19 at a time of spiking coronavirus cases because of the omicron variant. The justices on the conservative-oriented court are hearing arguments Friday about whether to allow the administration to enforce a vaccine-or-testing requirement that applies to large…

US Jobless Rate Sinks to 3.9% As Many More People Find Jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers added a modest 199,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate fell sharply, at a time when businesses are struggling to fill jobs with many Americans remaining reluctant to return to the workforce. At the same time, Friday’s jobs report from the Labor Department showed that the nation’s unemployment rate fell from 4.2% to a…

Grammys Postpone Ceremony, Citing Omicron Variant Risks

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The upcoming Grammy Awards have been postponed due to what organizers called “too many risks” from the omicron variant. The ceremony had been scheduled for Jan. 31st in Los Angeles with a live audience and performances. The Recording Academy said Wednesday it made the decision “after careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health…

Winning Tickets for Wednesday’s $632M Powerball Jackpot Sold in California, Wisconsin

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (CNN) – Two lucky lotto players will find themselves in a new tax bracket in 2022 after hitting the $632.6 million jackpot in Wednesday night’s drawing. The winning tickets, sold in California and Wisconsin, matched all six numbers: 6 – 14 – 25 – 33 – 46 with a Powerball number of 17. The winners will split…

Child Tax Credit 2021 Payments: How To Know if You Owe, IRS Letter to Watch For

WASHINGTON (FOX-TV via Fox 9) – Many parents across the U.S. received monthly payments in 2021 as part of the expanded Child Tax Credit program, and with tax season coming up, there is some important information to know and look out for in 2022. The Internal Revenue Service began sending letters to recipients of the program in late December and…

CDC Signs off on Pfizer Extra Dose Measures

NEW YORK (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has signed off on two measures to increase access to additional doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. The CDC on Tuesday recommended shortening the recommended interval of time between when people who had an initial series of Pfizer vaccinations and when they receive a Pfizer booster shot, from six…

FDA Expands Pfizer Boosters for More Teens as Omicron Surges

UNDATED (AP) -The U.S. is expanding COVID-19 boosters as it confronts the omicron surge. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday allowed extra Pfizer shots for children as young as 12. Boosters already are recommended for everyone 16 and older, and the FDA says they’re also warranted for 12- to 15-year-olds. The FDA also said everyone eligible for a Pfizer…

Trump, Ivanka, Don Jr Subpoenaed by NY Attorney General

Trump has sued attempting to end the probe, which he says is politically motivated.

NEW YORK (AP) – New York’s attorney general recently issued subpoenas to former President Donald Trump and his two eldest children in connection with an ongoing civil investigation into the family’s business practices. Attorney General Letitia James’ office said in a court filing Monday that it is seeking testimony and documents from Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump “in…

Betty White, TV’s Golden Girl, Dies at 99

Photo: AP/Chris Pizzello LOS ANGELES (AP) – Actress Betty White, whose saucy, up-for-anything charm made her a television mainstay for more than 60 years, has died. She was 99. People and the Washington Post reported Friday the news of White’s death. Her witty style gave life to a roster of quirky characters over more than a half-century. They included the…

Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s Nobel Peace Winner, Dies at 90

Photo: AP/Themba Hadebe, File JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning icon, an uncompromising foe of the country’s past racist policy of apartheid and a modern-day activist for racial justice and LGBT rights, died Sunday at 90. South Africans, world leaders and people around the globe mourned the death of the man viewed as the country’s moral…

US Adds Merck Pill as 2nd Easy-to-Use Drug Against COVID-19

(Merck & Co. via AP) WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. regulators have authorized a second pill against COVID-19, an antiviral drug from Merck that may help blunt the wave of infections driven by the omicron variant. The Food and Drug Administration granted the drug emergency use Thursday for adults with early COVID-19 who face the highest risks of hospitalization. It comes…

US Population Growth at Lowest Rate in Pandemic’s 1st Year

(AP) – U.S. population growth dipped to its lowest rate since the nation’s founding during the first year of the pandemic as the coronavirus curtailed immigration, delayed pregnancies, and killed hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents, according to figures released Tuesday. The United States grew by only 0.1%, with only an additional 392,665 added to the U.S. population, from July…

Biden to Pledge 500M Free COVID-19 Tests to Counter Omicron

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden plans to deliver 500 million free COVID-19 tests to Americans, increase support for hospitals and expand the availability of vaccines to confront a winter surge of coronavirus cases driven by the fast-spreading omicron variant. Biden will stress in a Tuesday speech the importance of getting vaccinated to protect from a wave of infections as…

Dec. 15 Storms Across North-central US Classified as Derecho

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) – A line of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes that swept across the north-central U.S. last week has been classified by the National Weather Service as a serial derecho – the first on record December. At least 45 tornadoes have been preliminarily confirmed in the Dec. 15 storms that crossed the Great Plains and Midwest amid unseasonably warm…

With Christmas in the Balance, Nations Eye UK Omicron Surge

LONDON (AP) – Britain’s main nurses’ union has warned that exhaustion and surging coronavirus cases among medical staff are pushing them to the breaking point. That is adding to pressure on the government for new restrictions to curb record numbers of infections driven by the omicron variant. The warning Monday throws into stark relief the unpalatable choice Prime Minister Boris…

Manchin Can’t Support Dems’ $2T bill, Potentially Dooming It

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) WASHINGTON (AP) – Sen. Joe Manchin says he can’t back his party’s signature $2 trillion social and environment bill. That would deal a seemingly fatal blow to President Joe Biden’s leading domestic initiative heading into an election year when Democrats’ narrow hold on Congress was already in peril. The West Virginia senator said on “Fox News…

OSHA Vaccine Mandate Penalties to Start Jan. 10

The federal agency separately says there will be no citations of companies regarding its testing requirements before Feb. 9.

UNDATED (AP)- The Occupational Health and Safety Administration says it will not issue citations tied to its coronavirus vaccination mandate before Jan. 10. This will give companies time to adjust to and implement the requirements. The federal agency separately says there will be no citations of companies regarding its testing requirements before Feb. 9. Saturday’s announcement came after the U.S….

Strong Winds in Midwest Whip up Dust, Blow Over Semitrailers

(Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle via AP) OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A powerful storm system blew through the Great Plains and Midwest, combining with unusually warm temperatures to close highways and prompt numerous tornado warnings. The winds gusting up to 80 mph hit parts of Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa. The strong winds whipped up dust that reduced visibility to zero west…

US COVID Death Toll Hits 800,000, a Year Into Vaccine Drive

(AP) – The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 800,000. That is according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The once-unimaginable milestone was hit Tuesday. It’s seen as doubly tragic, given that more than 200,000 of those lives were lost after the vaccine became available practically for the asking last spring. The death toll is about equal…

Judge Delays Case Against Michigan School Suspect’s Parents

(Oakland County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File) ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) – A judge has granted a Michigan prosecutor more time to collect and share additional evidence against the parents of a boy charged with killing four students at Oxford High School. It’s partly because prosecutor Karen McDonald wants to give the Michigan community “time to heal” during the holiday…

Data Indicate Omicron Is Milder, Better at Evading Vaccines

JOHANNESBURG (AP) – An analysis of data from South Africa shows the omicron variant appears to cause less severe disease than previous versions of the coronavirus, and the Pfizer vaccine seems to offer less defense against infection from it but still good protection against hospitalization. While the findings are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed, they line up with other…

Thousands Without Heat, Water After Tornadoes Kill Dozens

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s governor said that at least 64 people were killed in the state during a devastating cluster of tornadoes. At least 14 people are dead in four other states: Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told reporters Monday that it could take days more to tally a final death toll…

Kentucky Hardest Hit as Storms Leave Dozens Dead in 5 States

The storms hit a candle factory in Kentucky, an Amazon facility in Illinois, and a nursing home in Arkansas.

MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s governor says tornadoes may have killed 70 people in the state and the death toll may exceed 100. Gov. Andy Beshear said Saturday that a twister had touched down for more than 200 miles in the state. Severe storms moved through the area Friday night and caused catastrophic damage across multiple states. The storms hit…

Court Won’t Stop Texas Abortion Ban, but OKs Clinics’ Suit

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has ruled that Texas abortion providers can sue over the state’s ban on most abortions, but the justices are allowing the law to remain in effect. The court acted Friday, more than a month after hearing arguments over the law that makes abortion illegal after cardiac activity is detected in an embryo. That’s around…

US Consumer Inflation up 6.8% In Past Year, Most Since 1982

WASHINGTON (AP) – Prices for U.S. consumers jumped 6.8% in November compared with a year earlier as surging costs for food, energy, housing, and other items left Americans enduring their highest annual inflation rate since 1982. The Labor Department also reported Friday that from October to November, prices jumped 0.8%. Inflation has been intensifying pressure on consumers, especially lower-income households…

Reality TV’s Josh Duggar Convicted of Child Porn Possession

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – A federal jury in Arkansas has convicted former reality TV star Josh Duggar of downloading and possessing child pornography. Jurors on Thursday found Duggar guilty of the charges, and Duggar was immediately taken into custody. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each of the two counts when…

Uber Unveils New Audio Recording Feature During Rides as Part of Safety Enhancements

WASHINGTON (FOX TV Digital Team) – Uber is launching a new audio recording option for drivers and riders during trips. This new feature is part of several new safety initiatives the company is starting. According to a press release from the company, a rider and driver can enable the audio recording feature by choosing to record audio by pressing the…

Pfizer Says COVID Booster Offers Protection Against Omicron

(AP) – Pfizer says a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine appears to offer important protection against the new omicron variant. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech tested how well vaccine-produced antibodies could neutralize omicron in lab dishes. They found significant weakening after the standard two doses. But a booster dose increased antibody levels by 25-fold. The companies said two doses…

Omicron Variant May Be Less Dangerous Than Delta, US Health Officials Say

(AP) — U.S. health officials say that while the omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading in the country, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than delta, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN’s “State of the Union” scientists need more information before drawing conclusions…

Senate Leader, Presidential Candidate Bob Dole Dies At 98

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Bob Dole, who overcame disabling war wounds to become a sharp-tongued Senate leader from Kansas, a Republican presidential candidate and then a symbol and celebrant of his dwindling generation of World War II veterans, died Sunday. He was 98. His wife, Elizabeth Dole, said in an announcement posted on social media that he died in his sleep. Dole…

Michigan School Shooting Suspect’s Parents Found in Building; Bond Set at $500K Apiece

James and Jennifer Crumbley entered not guilty pleas to each of the four involuntary manslaughter counts against them.

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) – A judge has imposed a combined $1 million bond for the parents of the Michigan teen charged with killing four students at Oxford High School, hours after police said they were caught hiding in a commercial building. James and Jennifer Crumbley entered not guilty pleas to each of the four involuntary manslaughter counts against them during…

CNN Fires Chris Cuomo for Helping Brother Deal with Scandal

Cuomo issued a statement on Twitter calling the decision disappointing.

NEW YORK (AP) – CNN has fired anchor Chris Cuomo after details emerged about how he assisted his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the politician faced sexual harassment allegations earlier this year. The network suspended Chris Cuomo earlier in the week to investigate his involvement with his brother’s defense. CNN hired a law firm for the review….

Manhunt Underway for School Shooting Suspect Ethan Crumbley’s Parents After Charges Announced

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Michigan authorities say they’re searching for two parents charged with involuntary manslaughter in a high school shooting. Jennifer and James Crumbley are the parents of Ethan Crumbley, who is charged with murder and terrorism in the deaths of four students at Oxford High School on Tuesday. Crumbley’s parents were charged Friday. A prosecutor says they gave…