US & World News

Biden Picks Former Obama Chief of Staff Mcdonough for VA

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is nominating Denis McDonough, who was President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff, as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The sprawling agency has presented organizational challenges for both parties over the years. Biden is continuing to stockpile his incoming administration with prominent members of Obama’s team. Biden plans to make the…

US Govt, States Sue Facebook for ‘Predatory’ Conduct

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government and 48 states and districts sued Facebook Wednesday, accusing it of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors and seeking remedies that could include a forced spinoff of the social network’s Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services. It marks the second U.S. offensive against a Big Tech…

ArcelorMittal USA Completes Sale to Cleveland-Cliffs

(AP Photo/Michel Euler) CLEVELAND, Oh. –  On Wednesday, ArcelorMittal announced the sale of ArcelorMittal USA to Cleveland-Cliffs has been completed. According to reports, the sale was for $1.4 billion in cash and shares. The deal, announced in September by the companies, makes Cleveland-Cliffs the largest flat-rolled steel and iron ore pellet producer in North America. “I would like to thank…

UK Probing if Allergic Reactions Linked to Pfizer Vaccine

LONDON (AP) — British regulators have warned that people who have a history of serious allergic reactions shouldn’t receive the new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as they investigate two adverse reactions that occurred on the first day of the country’s mass vaccination program. The U.K.’s Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is looking into whether the reactions were linked to the vaccine….

14 Fort Hood Soldiers Fired, Suspended Over Violence at Base

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army says it has fired or suspended 14 officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, and ordered policy changes to address chronic leadership failures at the base that contributed to a widespread pattern of violence including murder, sexual assaults and harassment. Two general officers are among those being removed from their jobs, as top Army…

‘Route Out’ of Pandemic: UK Gives 1st COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

LONDON (AP) — A retired British shop clerk has received the first shot in the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program, the start of an unprecedented global immunization effort intended to offer a route out of a pandemic that has killed 1.5 million. The U.K. is the first Western country to start a mass vaccination program after British regulators last week authorized…

Us Regulators Post Positive Review of Pfizer Vaccine Data

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators say in their initial review that the vaccine from Pfizer is 95% protective against COVID-19. The review posted online Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration offers the world the first detailed look at the evidence behind the shot, which was co-developed with BioNTech. The FDA review comes before a Thursday meeting where a…

Hundreds Ill, 1 Dead Due to Unidentified Illness in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — At least one person has died and 200 others have been hospitalized due to an unidentified illness in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, reports said Monday. The illness was detected Saturday evening in Eluru, an ancient city famous for its hand-woven products. Since then, patients have experienced symptoms ranging from nausea and anxiety to…

Report: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in “Critical” Condition for the First Time

(FOX-TV) – Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is critically deteriorating according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN. The reef is the world’s most extensive stretch of coral reef with over 1,500 species of fish and about 400 types of coral. This week, the union released a report saying climate change is now the biggest threat to World Heritage sites….

Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Tests Positive for COVID

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Sunday his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the latest in Trump’s inner circle to contract the disease that is now surging across the U.S. The 76-year-old former New York mayor has traveled extensively to battleground states in recent days and weeks in an effort to help…

House Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana at Federal Level

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled House has approved a bill to decriminalize and tax marijuana at the federal level. The bill would reverse what supporters called a failed policy of criminalizing pot use and take steps to address racial disparities in the enforcement of federal drug laws. Opponents, mostly Republicans, called the bill a hollow political gesture and mocked Democrats…

US Hiring Slows Sharply to 245,000 Jobs as Virus Intensifies

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers scaled back their hiring last month as the viral pandemic accelerated across the country, adding 245,000 jobs, the fewest since April and the fifth straight monthly slowdown. At the same time, the unemployment rate to a still-high 6.7%, from 6.9% in October, the Labor Department said. November’s job gain was down from 610,000 in October….

The Latest: Fauci Says ‘Yes Right on the Spot’ to Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s chief infectious disease expert, says there was never a question that he would accept President-elect Joe Biden’s offer to serve as his chief medical officer and adviser on the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci told NBC’s “Today” show on Friday, “I said yes right on the spot” after Biden asked him to serve during…

Data Shows Americans Couldn’t Resist Thanksgiving Travel

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Americans couldn’t resist the urge to gather for Thanksgiving. That’s according to data from roadways and airports provided to The Associated Press. Americans drove only slightly less than a year ago and largely ignored the pleas of public health experts, who begged them to forgo holiday travel to help contain the coronavirus pandemic. The nation’s…

US Panel: 1st Vaccines to Health Care Workers, Nursing Homes

NEW YORK (AP) — An influential government advisory panel says health care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line when the first coronavirus vaccine shots become available. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 13-1 on Tuesday to recommend priority be given to those groups in the first days of any coming vaccination program…

Barr: No Evidence of Fraud That’d Change Election Outcome

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud and has seen nothing that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working diligently to follow up on specific complaints and…

US Panel to Decide Who Should Get the First COVID-19 Shots

NEW YORK (AP) — An influential scientific panel on Tuesday is set to tackle one of the most pressing questions in the U.S. coronavirus epidemic: When the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine become available, who should be at the front of the line for shots? The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet in an open-to-the-public, virtual meeting to vote…

The Latest: Yellen Warns Quick Action Needed on Virus Impact

WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen is describing the economic crisis brought on by the COVID pandemic as an “American tragedy” and warning that without quick action to address it, the damage will get worse. Introducing herself during a Joe Biden transition event where the president-elect unveiled his economic team, Yellen spoke about the “historic crises” of the…

Arizona Certifies Biden’s Victory Over Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arizona officials have certified Joe Biden’s narrow victory over President Donald Trump in the state. Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey stood up for the integrity of the election even as lawyers for Trump were across town Monday arguing without evidence to nine Republican lawmakers that the election was marred by fraud….

Congress Returns With Virus Aid, Federal Funding Unresolved

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is returning to Washington for one last attempt at deal-making this year. The only absolute must-do is preventing a government shutdown on Dec. 11. But lawmakers are also debating whether to deliver another round of coronavirus relief before President Donald Trump leaves office. A virus bill would provide funding for vaccines and testing, for reopening schools,…

Casperson, ‘Titan’ of the Upper Peninsula, Dies at Age 61

(courtesy: Michigan Republicans) ESCANABA, Mich. (AP) — Tom Casperson, a former state lawmaker from the Upper Peninsula who cast a key vote to expand Medicaid and built alliances with labor unions, has died at age 61. Casperson, a Republican from Escanaba, died Sunday. He had been stricken with cancer. Fellow Republicans in the Senate called Casperson a “titan of the…

Moderna Asking US, European Regulators to OK Its Virus Shots

(AP) – Moderna Inc. says it will ask U.S. and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection. Multiple vaccine candidates must succeed for the world to stamp out the coronavirus pandemic. Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in…

Fauci: US May See ‘Surge Upon Surge’ of Virus in Weeks Ahead

(AP) – The nation’s top infectious disease expert says that the U.S. may see a “surge upon a surge” of the coronavirus over the coming weeks, and he does not expect current recommendations around social distancing to be relaxed before Christmas. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also says it’s “not too…

TSA on Wednesday Screened the Highest Number of Travelers in One Day Since Beginning of Pandemic

(FOX NEWS) – Americans are still traveling for the holidays. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued warnings against traveling over the holiday. While the overall number of travelers is still down, the TSA still reported a massive spike in the number of people passing through airports. Thanksgiving is often one of the busiest…

Appeals Court Rejects Trump Challenge of Pennsylvania Race

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court in Philadelphia has rejected President Donald Trump’s latest effort to challenge the election results in a case expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court if Trump appeals. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals echoed a string of other courts in finding his campaign offered no evidence of any election fraud. Instead, the…

Trump Says He’ll Leave if Electoral College Seats Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will leave the White House if the Electoral College formalizes President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory even as he insisted such a decision would be a “mistake.” Trump spent his Thanksgiving renewing claims that “massive fraud” and crooked officials in battleground states caused his election defeat even though there is no evidence…

Trump Pardons Flynn, Taking Direct Aim at Russia Probe

National security adviser General Michael Flynn delivers a statement daily briefing at the White House in Washington U.S., February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has pardoned former national security adviser Michael Flynn, taking direct aim in the final days of his administration at a Russia investigation that he has long insisted was motivated by political…

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to March on Despite Pandemic

NEW YORK (AP) — The pandemic may have upended most traditions this holiday season, but the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will march on with balloons, dancers, floats, Broadway shows, and Santa all heavily tweaked for safety. The biggest change this year is that the usual 2 1/2-mile route through crowded Manhattan has been scrapped in favor of concentrating events…

Biden Certified as Winner of Pennsylvania Presidential Vote

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democrat Joe Biden was certified Tuesday as the winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, culminating three weeks of vote counting and a string of failed legal challenges by President Donald Trump. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf first disclosed in a tweet that the Department of State had certified the vote count for president and vice president….

Biden Set to Formally Introduce His National Security Team

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to formally announce his national security team to the nation. Those being introduced during a Tuesday afternoon event are among Obama administration alumni whose roles in the upcoming administration signal Biden’s shift away from the Trump administration’s “America First” policies. The picks include former Secretary of State John Kerry to take…

3rd Major COVID-19 Vaccine Shown to Be Effective and Cheaper

LONDON (AP) – Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca says that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. The results announced Monday are based on an interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and…

Illinois Teen Charged in Protest Slayings Posts $2m Bail

(Antioch Police Department via AP) KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — A 17-year-old from Illinois who is charged with killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin and whose case has become a rallying cry for some conservatives, posted $2 million bail Friday and was released from custody. Kyle Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding…

Georgia Secretary of State to Certify Election for Biden

ATLANTA (AP) — A hand tally of the ballots cast in the presidential race has been completed. The results released Thursday by the secretary of state’s office affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow lead over Republican President Donald Trump. The hand recount of about 5 million votes stemmed from an audit required by new state law and wasn’t in response to…

The Latest: Dr. Fauci Recommends ‘Uniform Wearing of Masks’

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci is recommending “uniform wearing of masks” to help curb the surge of coronavirus cases in the United States. The nation’s top infectious disease expert told CNN on Tuesday that “we need to intensify public health strategies,” which include wearing masks, washing hands, and avoiding places where people gather. The U.S hit a record daily high…

Trump Faces Approaching Deadline for Recount in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — President Donald Trump could file for a recount in Wisconsin as soon as Tuesday, once the final county submits its certification of the election results. All but Brown County, where Green Bay is located, had already turned in their official canvass reports ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. Based on those reports, there was minimal change to the…

Biden Vows to Strengthen Economy Despite Exploding Pandemic

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Projected President-elect Joe Biden is acknowledging that the nation is in a “dark” place but says his administration will strengthen the vulnerable economy despite the exploding pandemic. Biden offered an optimistic assessment Monday of the next four years during a meeting with several business and labor leaders ahead of an afternoon economic address from his makeshift…

Michigan Halts Classes, Indoor Dining as Coronavirus Surges

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is ordering high schools and colleges to stop in-person classes, closing restaurants to indoor dining, and stopping organized sports — including the football playoffs — in a bid to curb Michigan’s spiking coronavirus cases. The restrictions will begin Wednesday and last three weeks. They are not nearly as sweeping as when the…

2nd Virus Vaccine Shows Overwhelming Success in U.S. Tests

(AP) – There’s more promising news on the COVID-19 vaccine front as Moderna says its shot provides strong protection against the coronavirus. Monday’s announcement comes a week after Pfizer revealed its own vaccine to be similarly effective. The announcements come as the virus surges in the U.S. and around the world. Moderna said of 95 infections so far in its…

Trump to Deliver Remarks on Vaccine Friday Afternoon

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump who has remained mostly holed in the White House this week is set to deliver an update Friday on Operation Warp Speed, the multi-agency effort to get a coronavirus vaccine to market as speedily and safely as possible. Trump, who was briefed by advisers in the Oval Office earlier Friday, is set to deliver…

Michigan Governor Seeks Shutdown of Great Lakes Oil Pipeline

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took legal action Friday to shut down a pipeline that carries oil beneath a channel that links two of the Great Lakes. Whitmer’s office notified the Canadian company that it was revoking an easement granted in 1953 to extend a roughly 4-mile section of the pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac….

Growing Number of Universities Going Virtual for Semester

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An increasing number of universities in Wisconsin are telling students heading home for Thanksgiving not to return for the rest of the semester. Three University of Wisconsin System schools, Eau Claire, Stout, and River Falls, are the latest campuses to go virtual through the holidays. Students will take final exams remotely and return to campus for…

Us Hits Record COVID-19 Hospitalizations Amid Virus Surge

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. has hit a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations and surpassed 1 million new confirmed cases in just the first 10 days of November. Newly confirmed infections in the U.S. were running at all-time highs of well over 100,000 per day, pushing the total to more than 10 million and eclipsing 1 million since Halloween….

Ulta to Open Beauty Shops at 100 Target Stores in 2021

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s largest beauty chain has a deal to place shops in more than 100 Target stores by mid-2021. Ulta Beauty and Target said Tuesday that the shops will be located next to Target’s existing beauty sections. The financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The partnership comes as the coronavirus pandemic has upended shopping habits….

Biden Pleads ‘Wear a Mask’ to Fight Virus Threat

WASHINGTON (AP) Projected president-elect Joe Biden is imploring Americans to “wear a mask” to help fight the spread of the coronavirus — “no matter who you voted for.” He says, “We are Americans, and our country is under threat.” The Democrat said Monday the act could slow the death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic, which he noted could climb by…

Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccine Is Looking 90% Effective

(AP) – Pfizer says an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. Monday’s announcement doesn’t mean a vaccine is imminent. The interim analysis, from independent data monitors, looked at 94 infections recorded so far in a study that has enrolled nearly 44,000 people. Pfizer did not provide any more details about…

‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Dies at 80

The longtime quiz-show host died at his California home, surrounded by family and friends, “Jeopardy!” studio Sony said.

  Photo: “Jeopardy!” LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Trebek, who presided over the beloved quiz show “Jeopardy!” for more than 30 years with dapper charm and a touch of school-master strictness, died Sunday. He was 80. Trebek, who announced in 2019 that he had advanced pancreatic cancer, died at his California home, surrounded by family and friends, “Jeopardy!” studio Sony…

Local Political Experts Weigh-In on Declared Biden Win, What Comes Next

Both experts say the high nationwide voter turnout and youth voter turnout were the biggest takeaways of this year's election. 

DULUTH, Minn.- Local political experts from universities in the Northland weighed in Saturday on what comes next for President-Elect Joe Biden, and for President Donald Trump. On President Trump’s next moves Dr. Cindy Rugeley of UMD, a featured political analyst on FOX 21, said the nation should allow him the chance to contest the outcome in court. “I think that…