US & World News

Congress OKs $1.9T Virus Relief Bill in Win for Biden, Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress has sent President Joe Biden the landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The House approved the bill Wednesday over solid Republican opposition in a vote that gives the new president and Democrats a victory just seven weeks after he took office. The 628-page measure represents Democrats’ effort to bridle the catastrophic pandemic and revive the enfeebled…

WH: States Get 900K More Vaccine Doses This Week

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is making an additional 900,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available to states and pharmacy partners this week. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that states and territories will receive 15.8 million doses of the two-shot vaccines, up from 15.2 million last week. Another 2.7 million doses will be distributed through the federal pharmacy…

Fully Vaccinated People Can Gather Without Masks, CDC Says

NEW YORK (AP) — Fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing. That’s according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials. The recommendations were announced Monday. They also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way with people considered at low-risk for severe diseases, such as in the…

U.S. Senate Approves $1.9T Virus Relief Bill

The bill provides direct payments of up to $1,400 for most Americans, extended emergency unemployment benefits, and more.

WASHINGTON (AP) — An exhausted Senate narrowly approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Saturday as President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies notched a victory they called crucial for hoisting the country out of the pandemic and economic doldrums. After laboring through the night on a mountain of amendments — nearly all from Republicans and rejected — bleary-eyed senators…

Police Request 60-Day Extension of Guard at US Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that the Capitol Police have requested that members of the National Guard continue to provide security at the U.S. Capitol for another two months. And defense officials say the proposal is being reviewed by the Pentagon. The request underscores the continuing concerns about security and the potential for violence at the Capitol,…

Law Enforcement on Alert After Plot Warning at US Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Law enforcement is on high alert around the U.S. Capitol after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the iconic building yet again. The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that Donald Trump will rise again to power on March 4, the original…

US Jobless Claims Tick up to 745,000 as Layoffs Remain High

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits edged higher last week to 745,000, a sign that many employers continue to cut jobs despite a drop in confirmed viral infections and evidence that the overall economy is improving. Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims rose by 9,000 from the previous week. Though the…

Official: Dems OK Tighter Income Limits for COVID-19 Relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic official says President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have agreed to tighten the upper-income limits at which people could qualify for stimulus checks in the party’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill. That’s a major concession to moderates as party leaders prepared to move their legislation through the Senate. As part of Democrats’ legislative thrust on…

Lawmakers Can’t Cite Local Examples of Trans Girls in Sports

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) (AP) – Legislators in more than 20 states have introduced bills this year that would ban transgender girls from competing on girls’ sports teams in public high schools. Yet in almost every case, sponsors are unable to cite an instance in their own state or region where such participation has caused problems. Asked about actual cases with…

Police Uncover ‘Possible Plot’ by Militia to Breach Capitol on Thursday

  WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing there is a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that Trump will…

Congressman Stauber Honors K9 Luna on the House Floor

(courtesy: Facebook/Congressman Pete Stauber) WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, Congressman Pete Stauber spoke on the House Floor to honor the service and sacrifice of fallen Duluth K9 Luna. K9 Luna was killed in the line of duty last week while responding to reports of a domestic violence situation. Congressman Stauber said during his speech, “K9 Luna was a guardian of…

6 Dr. Seuss Books Won’t Be Published for Racist Images

(AP Photo/Steven Senne) BOSTON (AP) — The business that preserves and protects Dr. Seuss’s legacy has announced it will stop publishing six titles because of racist and insensitive imagery. Dr. Seuss Enterprises tells The Associated Press in a statement on Tuesday, the author and illustrator’s birthday, that the books portray people in ways that are hurtful. It says the decision…

Massive Iceberg, 20x the Size of Manhattan, Breaks off in Antarctic

courtesy: British Antarctic Survey) (FOX TV) – A massive iceberg, 20 times the size of Manhattan, recently broke off in the Antarctic according to the British Antarctic Survey. Researchers said the iceberg measured 1270 km² and broke away from the Brunt Ice Shelf in a news release. Scientists had been anticipating the crack over the past decade and don’t believe the…

Countries Call on Drug Companies to Share Vaccine Know-How

PARIS (AP) — Across Africa and Southeast Asia, governments and aid groups, as well as the World Health Organization, are increasingly calling on pharmaceutical companies to share their coronavirus vaccine know-how and technology more broadly. They say it’s the only way to meet a huge global shortfall in a pandemic that already has claimed over 2.5 million lives. The Associated…

Johnson & Johnson’s 1-Dose Shot Cleared, Giving US 3rd COVID-19 Vaccine

One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. now has a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts have anxiously awaited a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations. The virus has already killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and…

US Advisers Endorse Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine From J&J

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health advisers have endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson that’s expected to provide an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic. The panel of Food and Drug Administration experts ruled on Friday that J&J’s vaccine protected against COVID-19 and should be made available for adults. The FDA is expected to quickly follow the recommendation…

Cooper Recalls 430K Light Truck Tires Due to Sidewall Bulges

DETROIT (AP) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is recalling more than 430,000 light truck tires in the U.S. because they can develop sidewall bulges that could lead to tire failure. The recall covers certain Discoverer, Evolution, Courser, Deegan, Adventurer, Hercules, Back Country, Multi-Mile, Wild Country, and Big O tires in several sizes. The company says in documents posted Friday…

AG: Ex-Olympics Gymnastics Coach Kills Himself After Felony Charges, Including Sex Trafficking

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar has died by apparent suicide after being charged with two dozen crimes, including forms of human trafficking. Michigan’s attorney general announced John Geddert’s death on Thursday afternoon. It came about three hours after a news conference where Nessel announced that Geddert was…

US Jobless Claims Fall to 730,000 but Layoffs Remain High

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week but remained high by historical standards. Applications for benefits declined 111,000 from the previous week to a seasonally adjusted 730,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It is the lowest figure since late November. Before the virus erupted in the United States last March, weekly applications for…

USPS Selects Oshkosh Defense to Build Greener Mail Truck

(USPS) WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service says it has chosen Oshkosh Defense to build its next-generation mail-delivery vehicle. It’s part of an effort to make the USPS more environmentally friendly by switching a portion of its massive fleet to electric vehicles. Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 of the new Next Generation Delivery Vehicles at its…

Tiger Woods Injured in Car Accident in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Golf star Tiger Woods was injured Tuesday in a vehicle rollover in Los Angeles County, authorities said. Woods had to be extricated from the vehicle with the “jaws of life” tools, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. Woods was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries. The vehicle sustained major damage, the sheriff’s department…

Drug Execs Face Capitol Hill Questions on Vaccine Supply

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top developers of U.S. COVID-19 vaccines are set to face questions from Congress about limited supplies of the shots needed to end the pandemic. The pace of vaccinations is picking up nationwide, but demand for the shots continues to outpace limited supplies distributed by the U.S. government. A House panel will question executives from five companies…

Security Officials to Answer for Jan. 6 Failures at Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is set to hear from former security officials about what went wrong at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. That’s when a violent mob laid siege to the Capitol and interrupted the counting of electoral votes. Three of the four testifying Tuesday resigned under pressure immediately after the attack, including the former head of the Capitol…

Supreme Court Won’t Halt Turnover of Trump’s Tax Records

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a significant defeat for former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court has declined to step in to halt the turnover of his tax records to a New York state prosecutor. The court’s action Monday is the apparent culmination of a lengthy legal battle that had already reached the high court once before. Trump’s tax records are…

Biden to See Pfizer Plant as Weather Delays Shipping Vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Extreme winter weather is dealing the first major setback to the Biden administration’s planned swift rollout of coronavirus vaccines just as the national vaccination campaign was hitting its stride. The disruptions caused by frigid temperatures, snow, and ice left the White House scrambling to work with states to make up “lost ground.” White House coronavirus adviser Andy…

NASA Rover Lands on Mars to Look for Signs of Ancient Life

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA rover has landed on Mars in an epic quest to bring back rocks that could answer whether life ever existed on the red planet. The space agency says the six-wheeled Perseverance hurtled through the thin, orange atmosphere and settled onto the surface Thursday in the mission’s riskiest maneuver yet. Mars has long been…

US Needs to Brace Itself for More Deadly Storms, Experts Say

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deadly winter storms that knocked out power for millions in Texas and other states have exceeded the worst-case scenarios of many U.S. utilities. They also fit a pattern of worsening extremes under climate change and demonstrate anew that local, state, and federal officials have failed to do enough to prepare for greater and more dangerous extremes….

Biden Extends Pandemic Help for Homeowners, Renters Wait

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is extending a ban on housing foreclosures to June 30 to help homeowners struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The moratorium on foreclosures of federally guaranteed mortgages had been set to expire on March 31. On his first day in office, Biden had extended the moratorium from Jan. 31. Census Bureau figures show that almost…

Pelosi Says Independent Commission Will Examine Capitol Riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will establish an independent, Sept. 11-style commission to look into the deadly insurrection that took place at the U.S. Capitol. Pelosi says the commission will “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex and relating to…

Former President Trump Acquitted of Inciting Violent Jan 6th Attack on Capitol

The Senate voted 57-43 that Trump is “not guilty” of incitement. Two thirds of the Senate, or 67 votes, was needed for conviction.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has acquitted Donald Trump of inciting the horrific Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, bringing his trial to a close and giving the former president a historic second victory in the court of impeachment. Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, and he is also now twice acquitted as the majority of…

CDC: Strong Evidence in-Person Schooling Can Be Done Safely

(AP) – The nation’s top public health agency says in-person schooling can be done safely with mask use, social distancing, and other strategies, but vaccination of teachers, while important, is not a prerequisite for reopening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released its long-awaited roadmap for getting students back to classrooms in the middle of a pandemic….

Government Investigating Massive Counterfeit N95 Mask Scam

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities are investigating a massive counterfeit N95 mask operation in which fake 3M masks were sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities, and government agencies. The foreign-made knockoffs are becoming increasingly difficult to spot and could put health care workers at grave risk for the coronavirus. A federal official says these masks are…

Senators to Hear Opening Arguments as Trump Fumes Over Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening arguments are set to begin in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. An emotional first day ended Tuesday with the Senate voting to hear the case for convicting the former president of inciting the riot at the U.S. Capitol. On Wednesday, House Democrats prosecuting the case, and the former president’s attorneys will lay out their opposing arguments before…

US Vaccine Drive Complicated by 1st, 2nd Dose Juggling Act

(AP) – The U.S. has entered a tricky phase of the COVID-19 vaccination effort as providers try to ramp up the number of people getting first shots while also ensuring a growing number of others get second doses. The shift is happening just when millions more Americans are becoming eligible to receive vaccines. The need to give each person two…

New Variants Raise Worry About COVID-19 Virus Reinfections

(AP) – Evidence is mounting that having COVID-19 may not protect a person against getting infected again with some of the new variants emerging around the world. New research also suggests that people can get second infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus if they mounted a weak defense the first time. How long immunity lasts from natural infection is…

Man Charged With Trespassing After Run on Super Bowl Field

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man who ran onto the field during the Super Bowl has been charged with trespassing. With the world watching, authorities say Yuri Andrade, 31, scampered onto the field Sunday night in the fourth quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Andrade was wearing shorts and a pink leotard or…

$1,400 Stimulus Check: When Could You Get Your Third Payment?

  WASHINGTON D.C. (Fox Business) – Congressional Democrats are pushing ahead with passing President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, paving the way for a third $1,400 stimulus check for millions of Americans — and households could start to receive the money in just a few weeks. Once Congress approves the emergency aid bill, Biden needs to sign the…

Trump Impeachment Trial to Open With Sense of Urgency, Speed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial is opening this week with a sense of urgency. Democrats want to hold the former president accountable for the violent U.S. Capitol siege. And Republicans want it over as fast as possible. It’s scheduled to begin Tuesday, just over a month since the deadly Jan. 6 riot. Senate leaders are still…

Senate OKs Fast-Track of COVID Aid, Harris Casts Tie-Breaker

(Senate TV via AP) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a measure that would let Democrats push through President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan without Republican support. Vice President Kamala Harris was in the chair to cast the tie-breaking vote, her first. Democrats in the chamber applauded after Harris announced the 51-50 vote at around 5:30 a.m….

US Unemployment Claims Fall to 779,000 but Job Cuts Grind on

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to 779,000 last week, a historically high total that shows that a sizable number of people are still losing jobs to the viral pandemic. Last week’s total dropped from 812,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday and is the lowest in two months. Before the virus erupted…

Fauci Warns Against Super Bowl Parties to Avoid Virus Spread

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s top infectious disease expert doesn’t want the Super Bowl to turn into a super spreader. Dr. Anthony Fauci, says when it comes to Super Bowl parties during the pandemic, people should “just lay low and cool it.” He said during TV interviews Wednesday that now isn’t the time to invite people over for watch parties…

Feds to Start Sending COVID Vaccine to Pharmacies Next Week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to U.S. pharmacies, part of its plan to ramp up vaccinations as new and potentially more serious virus strains are starting to appear. White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said Tuesday the government will initially ship about 1 million doses to some 6,500 pharmacies around the country, starting next…

Uber Will Bring the Booze After Acquiring Drizly for $1.1B

NEW YORK (AP) — Uber is bringing the booze. The mobile ride-hailing company said Tuesday that it is acquiring the alcohol-delivery platform Drizly for $1.1 billion in stock and cash. Uber expects more than 90% of the consideration to be paid to Drizly stockholders in shares of Uber common stock and the remainder paid in cash. Boston-based Drizly formed about…

‘Saved by the Bell’ Star Dustin Diamond Dies of Cancer at 44

(AP) – “Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond died Monday after a three-week fight with carcinoma. His spokesman confirmed Diamond’s death. He was 44. Diamond, best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom, was hospitalized last month in Florida and his team disclosed later he had cancer. “Saved by the Bell” aired from 1989 to 1993, and…