US & World News

Delta Will Charge Unvaccinated Employees $200 per Month

(AP Photo/David Goldman) (AP) -Delta Air Lines will charge employees on the company health plan $200 a month if they fail to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a policy the airline’s top executive says is necessary because the average hospital stay for the virus costs the airline $40,000. CEO Ed Bastian said that all employees who have been hospitalized for the…

Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts Dies at Age 80

LONDON (AP) – Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has died at the age of 80. Publicist Bernard Doherty said Tuesday that Watts “passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family.” The self-effacing and unshakeable drummer helped anchor one of rock’s greatest rhythm sections for more than half a century and used his “day job” to…

Capitol Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Ashli Babbitt Formally Exonerated

WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) – The U.S. Capitol police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 riots has been formally exonerated. The exoneration of the officer, whose identity has not been released, was the last step in wrapping up the investigation into the incident. “USCP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) determined the officer’s conduct was lawful…

Pentagon to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine, as Pfizer Is Approved

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon says it will require service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now that the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby says that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making good on his vow earlier this month to require the shots once the Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine. Kirby said the…

US Regulators Give Full Approval to Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. has given full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer. The Food and Drug Administration’s decision on Monday may help lift public confidence in vaccinations as the nation battles the most contagious coronavirus mutant yet. The FDA has never before had so much evidence to judge a shot’s safety. More than 200 million doses…

Radio Host Who Regretted Vaccine Skepticism Dies Of COVID

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A conservative talk radio host from Tennessee who had been a vaccine skeptic until he was hospitalized from COVID-19 has died. He was 61. Nashville radio station SuperTalk 99.7 WTN confirmed Phil Valentine’s death in a tweet Saturday. Valentine had been a skeptic of coronavirus vaccines. But after he tested positive for COVID-19, and prior to his hospitalization,…

The Latest: US Keeps Ban on Nonessential Crossings to Canada

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government is extending a ban on nonessential travel along the borders with Canada and Mexico to slow the spread of COVID-19. That’s despite increasing pressure to lift the restriction. U.S. border communities dependent on shoppers from Mexico and Canada and their political representatives have urged the Biden administration to lift the ban. Canada recently began letting…

Biden to Address Chaotic Kabul Evacuation, Flights ‘Paused’

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden plans to speak Friday about the chaotic evacuations in Afghanistan. He’s facing a torrent of criticism, including from some U.S. diplomats over the effort to evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghans who helped the U.S. during the 20-year war. The pace of evacuations picked up some overnight, but flights from the Kabul airport had stopped…

Mike Richards out as ‘Jeopardy!’ Host After Past Scrutinized

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Producer Mike Richards stepped down as host of “Jeopardy!” after a report about past misogynistic comments surfaced this week. Richards was chosen last week as the successor to Alex Trebek, but his selection was seen as divisive from the beginning after the show embarked on a broad search that included actors, sports figures, journalists, and celebrities….

TSA Extends Into January Mask Rule for Airline Passengers

(AP) – Federal officials are extending into January a requirement that people on airline flights and public transportation wear face masks, a rule intended to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Transportation Security Administration’s current order was scheduled to expire on Sept. 13. An agency spokesman said Tuesday that the mandate will be extended until Jan. 18. The TSA briefed…

US to Recommend COVID Vaccine Boosters at 8 Months

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot. The goal is to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country. That’s according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to The…

Biden to Address Nation on Deadly Chaos in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is returning to the White House Monday to address the nation on the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan. This, as the planned withdrawal of American forces, turned deadly at Kabul’s airport Monday as thousands tried to flee Afghanistan a day after the Taliban’s takeover of the country. The White House says Biden will travel back…

Taliban Sweep Into Afghan Capital After Government Collapses

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital Sunday after the government collapsed and the embattled president joined an exodus of his fellow citizens and foreigners, signaling the end of a costly two-decade U.S. campaign to remake the country. Heavily armed Taliban fighters fanned out across the capital, and several entered Kabul’s abandoned presidential palace. Suhail Shaheen, a…

Biden Orders 1,000 More Troops to Aid Afghanistan Departure

Meanwhile an Afghan lawmaker and the Taliban say the militants have seized Jalalabad, Sunday cutting off Kabul to the east.

(Courtesy: Fox News) WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has authorized an additional 1,000 U.S. troops for deployment to Afghanistan, as the Taliban inches closer to the capital city of Kabul. That raises to roughly 5,000 the number of U.S. troops deployed to ensure what Biden is calling an “orderly and safe drawdown” of American and allied personnel. U.S. troops…

Extra COVID Vaccine OK’D for Those With Weak Immune Systems

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. health regulators have authorized an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in people with weakened immune systems to better protect them from the virus. The announcement Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration applies to millions of Americans who take immune-suppressing medicines because of organ transplants, cancer, or other disorders. The decision does…

27 People Aboard Carnival Cruise Test Positive for COVID-19

BELIZE CITY (AP) — Twenty-seven people aboard a Carnival cruise tested positive for COVID-19 just before the ship made a stop in Belize City this week, according to the Belize Tourism Board. The positive cases were among 26 crew members and one passenger on the Carnival Vista, which is carrying over 1,400 crew and nearly 3,000 passengers, the board said…

Britney Spears’ Father to Step Down From Conservatorship

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Several reports say Britney Spears’ father has agreed to step down from the conservatorship that has controlled her life and money for 13 years. Outlets including celebrity website TMZ and CNN reported that James Spears filed legal documents saying that while there are no grounds for his removal, he will step down. The decision comes after…

HHS Joins Vaccine Trend, Orders Shots for Its Health Workers

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal Department of Health and Human Services is requiring employees who provide care for patients to get their COVID-19 shots. Thursday’s order from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra will affect more than 25,000 clinicians, researchers, contractors, trainees, and volunteers with the National Institutes of Health, the Indian Health Service, and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps….

Mixed Bag: Erratic Pandemic Olympics Come To A Nuanced End

TOKYO (AP) — It began with a virus and a yearlong pause. It ended with a typhoon blowing through and, still, a virus. In between: just about everything. The Tokyo Olympics, christened with “2020” but held in mid-2021 after being interrupted for a year by the coronavirus, glided to their conclusion in a COVID-emptied stadium Sunday night as an often surreal mixed bag for…

Pause on Student Loan Payments Extended Through January

(AP) – The Biden administration has announced that federal student loan payments will remain suspended through January 2022, extending a pause that was scheduled to expire next month. The Education Department says this will be the final extension. Borrowers will not have to make payments on federal student loans during the moratorium, interest rates will be set at 0% and…

United Airlines Will Require US Employees to Be Vaccinated

(AP) – United Airlines will require U.S.-based employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by late October, and maybe sooner. United announced the decision Friday. The airline joins a growing number of big corporations that will require vaccinations. This is happening as a mutant variation of COVID-19 drives a surge in new infections. United CEO Scott Kirby says he knows some…

Apple to Scan U.S. Iphones for Images of Child Sexual Abuse

(AP) – Apple is planning to scan U.S. iPhones for images of child abuse, drawing applause from child protection groups but raising concern among some security researchers that the system could be misused by governments looking to surveil their citizens. The tool Apple calls “neuralMatch” will detect known images of child sexual abuse without decrypting people’s messages. If it finds…

Forgotten Oil And Gas Wells Linger, Leaking Toxic Chemicals

CRANE, Texas (AP) — Rusted pipes litter the sandy fields of Ashley Williams Watt’s cattle ranch in windswept West Texas. The corroded skeletons are all that remain of hundreds of abandoned oil wells that were drilled long before her family owned the land. The wells, unable to produce any useful amounts of oil or gas, were plugged with cement decades…

Biden to Announce New Eviction Ban Due to COVID Spread

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration will announce a new 60-day eviction moratorium that would protect areas where 90% of the U.S. population lives. That’s according to three people familiar with the plans who insisted on anonymity to discuss the forthcoming announcement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a legal authority for a new and different moratorium…

Officer Dead After Burst of Violence Outside Pentagon

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) UPDATE: WASHINGTON (AP) — An officer died after being stabbed Tuesday during a burst of violence at a transit station outside the Pentagon, law enforcement officials said. A shooting resulted in the Pentagon being locked down for more than an hour. A Pentagon officer who was stabbed later died, according to officials who were not authorized to…

Pentagon on Lockdown After Gunshots Fired Near Metro

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gunshots were fired Tuesday morning near the entrance of the Pentagon, resulting in multiple injuries. The facility, the headquarters of the U.S. military, was placed on lockdown. The Arlington County Fire Department reported “multiple patients,” but it wasn’t immediately clear if they had been shot or the extent of the injuries. The incident occurred on a Metro…

Gov. Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women, Probe Finds

NEW YORK (AP) – An investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found that he sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees. State Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings Tuesday. The investigation, conducted by two outside lawyers, found that the Cuomo administration was a “hostile work environment” and that it was “rife with fear and intimidation.”…

NYC Will Require Vaccination Proof for Indoor Dining, Gyms

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens,File) NEW YORK (AP) — New York City will soon require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone who wants to dine indoors at a restaurant, see a performance or go to the gym, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday, making it the first big city in the U.S. to impose such restrictions. The new requirement, which will be…

Graham 1st Vaccinated Senator to Test Positive for COVID-19

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Sen. Lindsey Graham has tested positive for the coronavirus. The South Carolina Republican is the first senator to disclose a breakthrough infection after being vaccinated. Graham said in a statement Monday afternoon that he “started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night” and went to the doctor Monday morning. Graham said he would quarantine for 10 days and…

Evictions Expected to Spike as Pandemic Moratorium Ends

BOSTON (AP) – Housing courts around the country are ramping up work following the end of the federal eviction moratorium. Housing advocates fear the end of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium over the weekend will result in millions of people being evicted. But most expect the wave of evictions to build slowly over the coming weeks and…

President Biden, Vice President Harris Meet With Governors to Hold a Discussion on Wildfires

(AP) – President Joe Biden is sounding the alarm about the need for more resources to fight a series of wildfires in Western states. The president met Friday with governors of western states to discuss the resulting supply shortages as the fires have worsened. Biden says climate change is to blame for the spread and ferocity of the blazes. Washington…

Biden to Allow Eviction Moratorium to Expire Saturday

BOSTON (AP) – The Biden administration will allow a nationwide ban on evictions to expire Saturday. The end of the moratorium comes as advocates and some lawmakers call for it to be extended in the face of rising coronavirus cases and the sluggish pace of distributing rental assistance. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,…

Man Charged With Sending Threatening Emails to Dr. Fauci

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged in federal court with sending emails that threatened to harm and kill Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, and their families, federal prosecutors in Maryland announced Tuesday. A criminal complaint filed Monday charges Thomas Patrick Connally Jr., 56, with threats against a federal official…

CDC Expected to Backpedal on Some Masking Guidelines

(AP) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was expected to backpedal Tuesday on its masking guidelines and recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging, a federal official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss details of the new…

Nearly 3 Dozen Athletes With Wisconsin Ties In Tokyo Games

Credit: Associated Press MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Nearly three dozen athletes with ties to Wisconsin will be going for the gold as the Olympics get underway in Tokyo. The Badger State athletes will represent Team USA in competition that includes trap shooting, track and field, rowing and sailing. Alie Rusher, from West Bend, will be participating in the quadruple sculls…

Amazon’s Mission: Getting a ‘Key’ to Your Apartment Building

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon is pushing landlords around the country to give its drivers the ability to unlock apartment building front doors whenever they need to leave packages in the lobby instead of the street. The service, called Amazon Key for Business, allows delivery workers to make their rounds faster since they don’t have to ring doorbells. And fewer…

US Jobless Claims Rise to 419,000 From a Pandemic Low

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week from the lowest point of the pandemic, even as the job market appears to be rebounding on the strength of a reopened economy. Jobless claims increased to 419,000 from 368,000 the previous week. The weekly number of first-time applications for benefits, which generally tracks layoffs, has fallen…

US Extends COVID-19 Travel Restrictions With Canada and Mexico Through August 21

(CNN) – The Biden administration is extending non-essential travel restrictions for the US northern and southern borders until August 21. The US has been limiting non-essential travel along both borders since the start of the pandemic and extending those restrictions on a monthly basis. The restrictions don’t apply to cross-border trade, US citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as…

Trump Inaugural Committee Head Accused of Being UAE Agent

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) NEW YORK (AP) – The chair of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee was arrested Tuesday in California on charges alleging that he and others conspired to influence Trump’s foreign policy positions to benefit the United Arab Emirates. Tom Barrack was among three men charged in New York federal court with trying to influence…

Capitol Rioter Who Breached Senate Gets 8 Months for Felony

(AP) – A Florida man who breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag has received an eight-month prison term, the first resolution for a felony case in the Capitol insurrection. Prosecutors wanted Paul Allard Hodgkins to serve 18 months behind bars, saying he and other Jan. 6 rioters “contributed to the collective threat to democracy.” A lawyer…

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Universal Masking in Schools for Everyone Older Than 2

(CNN) – The American Academy of Pediatrics released new Covid-19 guidance for schools on Monday that supports in-person learning and, among other things, recommends universal masking in schools for everyone over the age of 2. “The AAP believes that, at this point in the pandemic, given what we know about low rates of in-school transmission when proper prevention measures are…

American Gymnastics Alternate Tests Positive at Olympics

TOKYO (AP) – An alternate on the United States women’s gymnastics team has tested positive for COVID-19 in an Olympic training camp in Japan. USA Gymnastics says Olympic champion Simone Biles was not affected but another alternate was placed into isolation because of contact tracing. USA Gymnastics says “the Olympic athletes moved to separate lodging accommodations and a separate training…