US & World News

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…

Suspect’s Parents Charged in Michigan School Shooting

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) – A prosecutor has filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school. James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged Friday with four courts each. Authorities have said Ethan Crumbley opened fire shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday at Oxford High School, roughly…

US Employers Added a Sluggish 210,000 Jobs in November

WASHINGTON (AP) – America’s employers slowed the pace of their hiring in November, adding a still-solid 210,000 jobs, the fewest in nearly a year. Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate fell sharply to 4.2% from 4.6%. That is a historically low level though still above the pre-pandemic jobless rate of 3.5%. Overall, the November…

Michigan Teen Charged in Oxford High School Shooting

(Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP) OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan teenager has been charged with murder, terrorism, and other charges for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured others at Michigan’s Oxford High School. Charges against 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley were announced Wednesday, a few hours after authorities reported the death of a fourth teen from…

Us Official: 1st Case of Omicron Variant Identified in US

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) WASHINGTON (AP) — A person in California became the first in the U.S. to have an identified case of the omicron variant of COVID-19, a U.S. official told The Associated Press on Wednesday. It comes as scientists continue to study the risks posed by the new strain of the virus. The Biden administration moved late last month…

Fourth Student Dies From Michigan High School Shooting

(Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP) OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – Authorities say a 17-year-old boy has become the fourth student to die from a school shooting in Michigan. The Oakland County sheriff’s office identified the teen Wednesday as Justin Shilling. The shooting occurred Tuesday at Oxford High School in Oakland County. The suspect remains in custody. Seven other people…

Abortion Rights at Stake in Divided Supreme Court Arguments

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) WASHINGTON (AP) – Abortion rights are on the line at the Supreme Court in historic arguments over the landmark ruling nearly 50 years ago that declared a nationwide right to end a pregnancy. The justices on Wednesday are weighing whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks and overrule the 1973 Roe v….

Authorities: Student Kills 3, Wounds 6 at Michigan School

UPDATE: OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say eight people were wounded in an attack at a Michigan high school in which three students were killed. Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said at a news conference that two of the wounded were undergoing surgery as of 5 p.m. Tuesday and that the six others were in stable condition. He identified…

Bill Cosby Prosecutors Ask US Supreme Court To Review Case

Bill Cosby (Reuters) PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Prosecutors asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision that overturned Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction. In a petition filed Monday, they wrote that courts should not equate a supposed promise made by a former prosecutor to lifetime immunity. They believe the Pennsylvania Supreme Court erred when it overturned Cosby’s conviction in June…

Merriam-Webster Chooses Vaccine as the 2021 Word of the Year

NEW YORK (AP) – It’s an omnipresent truth: Merriam-Webster has declared vaccine its 2021 word of the year. Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for the dictionary company, tells The Associated Press that lookups for the word vaccine increased 601% over 2020. Even more telling, searches on the Merriam-Webster website increased by 1,048% over 2019, before the COVID pandemic took hold….

Wary, Weary World Slams Doors Shut, Fearing Omicron Variant

BRUSSELS (AP) – Nations around the world sought to keep the new omicron variant at bay with travel bans and further restrictions, even as it remains unclear what it means for the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan announced Monday it would suspend entry of all foreign visitors. New cases of the variant identified days ago by researchers in South Africa appeared as…

All 3 Defendants Found Guilty of Murdering Ahmaud Arbery

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) – All three men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday. The jury reached its decision after more than 10 hours of deliberations following a trial in which prosecutors argued that the defendants provoked a confrontation with Arbery and defense attorneys said their clients were acting in self-defense. Father and son Greg…

US Jobless Claims Hit 52-Year Low After Seasonal Adjustments

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plummeted last week to the lowest level in more than half a century, another sign that the U.S. job market is rebounding rapidly from last year’s coronavirus recession. Jobless claims dropped by 71,000 to 199,000, the lowest since mid-November 1969. The drop was much bigger than economists expected. The…

Brian Laundrie Autopsy: Forensic Anthropologist Says Laundrie Died of Suicide

(Fox News) – Deceased fugitive Brian Laundrie died of suicide, a forensic anthropologist told Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino on Tuesday. Laundrie took his own life with a gunshot wound to the head, Bertolino said. “Chris and Robert are still mourning the loss of their son and are hopeful that these findings bring closure to both families,” he said. Laundrie…

US to Release 50 Million Barrels of Oil To Ease Energy Costs

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has ordered 50 million barrels of oil released from the strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs, in coordination with other major energy-consuming nations, including China, India, and the United Kingdom. The move is aimed at global energy markets but also aimed at voters who are coping with higher inflation…

Official: More Than 90% Of Fed Workers Got Shots by Deadline

WASHINGTON (AP) – More than 90% of federal workers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday’s deadline set by President Joe Biden. Biden announced in September that all federal workers were required to undergo vaccination, with no test-out option, unless they secured an approved medical or religious exemption. A U.S. official said the vast majority…

Harris To Announce $1.5B Investment in Health Care Workforce

WASHINGTON (AP) – Vice President Kamala Harris will announce the Biden administration is investing $1.5 billion from the coronavirus aid package to address the health care worker shortage in underserved communities. The funding being announced Monday will go to the National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery programs. They’re all federal programs that offer…

In Kenosha And Beyond, Guns Become More Common On US Streets

As Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted in two killings that he said were self-defense, armed civilians patrolled the streets near the Wisconsin courthouse with guns in plain view. In Georgia, testimony in the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers showed that armed patrols were commonplace in the neighborhood where Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was chased down by three white men and shot. The…

Dems’ Sweeping Social, Climate Bill Passes Divided House

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) WASHINGTON (AP) – A sharply divided House has approved the Democrats’ sweeping social and environment bill, a big victory for President Joe Biden. Republicans solidly opposed the measure, but Democrats prevailed after the party’s progressives and moderates ended months of disputes over its size and scope. The legislation now moves to the Senate, where moderates like…

US Expands COVID Boosters to All Adults, Final Hurdle Ahead

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration has opened up COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, letting them choose another dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The move expands the U.S. government’s booster campaign to shore up protection and get ahead of rising coronavirus cases that may worsen with the holidays. But there’s…

State Attorneys General Probing Instagram’s Effects on Kids

(AP) – A group of state attorneys general are investigating Instagram and its effects on children and young adults, saying its parent company Facebook – recently renamed Meta Platforms – ignored research about the harms it causes to young people. The investigation is led by a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee,…

U.S. Jobless Claims Drop Seventh Straight Week to 268,000

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for the seventh straight week to a pandemic low of 268,000. U.S. jobless claims dipped by 1,000 last week from the week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The applications for unemployment aid are a proxy for layoffs, and their steady decline this year – after topping 900,000…

Americans Ramped up Retail Spending a Strong 1.7% Last Month

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans sharply boosted their spending last month, pushing up retail sales and giving the economy a lift. Much of the gain reflected the fact that shoppers are also paying higher prices. Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 1.7% in October from September, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday. That’s up from 0.8% in the previous month. Solid…

Trump Ally Bannon Taken Into Custody on Contempt Charges

WASHINGTON (AP) – Longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon has surrendered to federal authorities to face contempt charges after defying a subpoena from a House committee investigating January’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Bannon was taken into custody Monday morning. He’s expected to appear in court later in the afternoon. The 67-year-old was indicted on Friday on two counts of criminal…

Minnesota Gov. Walz Departs for Europe Trade Mission

He will also be joined by over 40 executives from Minnesota businesses and organizations at various points of the trip.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is leaving for a six-day trip to Europe to promote the state’s businesses. The Democratic governor said says he will travel to the United Kingdom and Finland to promote trade with a focus on health care, environmental technology, agriculture, and education. Walz will spend the first three days of the tour in London,…

Court Temporarily Delays Release of Trump’s Jan. 6 Records

WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the release of White House records sought by a U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, granting – for now – a request from former President Donald Trump. The administrative injunction issued Thursday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit effectively bars until the…

Texas A&M Student Hurt at Astroworld Dies; Death Toll at 9

HOUSTON (AP) – A 22-year-old college senior who was critically injured at the Astroworld festival in Houston has died. Attorney James Lassiter says Bharti Shahani died Wednesday. Her family says Shahani was studying electronics systems engineering at Texas A&M University and had been set to graduate next spring. She is the 9th person to die after festivalgoers rushed the stage…

Judge OKs $626 Million Settlement in Flint Water Litigation

DETROIT (AP) — A judge on Wednesday approved a sweeping $626 million deal to settle lawsuits filed by Flint residents and others who were exposed to water contaminated by lead and bacteria in 2014-15. Most of the money — $600 million — is coming from the state of Michigan, which was accused of repeatedly overlooking the risks of switching Flint’s…

US Consumer Prices Soared 6.2% In Past Year, Most Since 1990

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) WASHINGTON (AP) – Prices for U.S. consumers jumped 6.2% in October compared with a year earlier as surging costs for food, gas and housing left Americans grappling with the highest inflation rate since 1990. The year-over-year increase in the consumer price index exceeded the 5.4% rise in September. From September to October, prices jumped 0.9%, the highest…

Pfizer Asks FDA to OK COVID-19 Booster Shots for All Adults

(AP) – Pfizer is asking U.S. regulators to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older. Older Americans and other groups particularly vulnerable to the virus have had access to a third dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine since September. But the Food and Drug Administration has said it would move quickly to expand boosters to…

Klobuchar, MN Business Owner Celebrate Border Reopening, But New Requirements for Canadians Dampen Full Economic Rebound Stateside

Canadians visiting must complete a negative covid-19 test, regardless of their vaccination status to return home, and they have to pay for the test themselves here in the states.

DULUTH, Minn.- The U.S. has fully reopened its borders with Canada, after almost 20 months closed due to the pandemic. But some border businesses in Minnesota are still feeling like the door isn’t fully open as some Canadians are still hesitant to travel — knowing they face testing requirements to return home. “Our biggest trading partner, one of our best…

Houston Concert Deaths Spur Calls for Independent Review

HOUSTON (AP) – The Houston police and fire departments were deeply involved in safety measures for the music festival where a surging crowd killed eight people. Now the city’s police department is leading the criminal investigation into how the deadly chaos erupted during a performance by rapper Travis Scott. A prominent local official is calling for a separate, independent review…

Appeals Court Stays Vaccine Mandate on Larger Businesses

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A federal appeals court has temporarily halted the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday granted an emergency stay of the requirement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that those workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4, or face mask requirements and…

Pfizer Says COVID-19 Pill Cut Hospital, Death Risk by 90%

WASHINGTON (AP) – Pfizer says its experimental pill for COVID-19 cut rates of hospitalization and death by nearly 90% among patients with mild-to-moderate infections. The company announced Friday it will soon ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and international regulators to authorize its pill, which is taken twice a day for five days. A similar pill from competitor Merck…

US Hiring Rebounded in October, With 531,000 Jobs Added

WASHINGTON (AP) – America’s employers stepped up their hiring in October, adding a solid 531,000 jobs, the most since July and a sign that the recovery from the pandemic recession may be overcoming a virus-induced slowdown. Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% last month, from 4.8% in September. The economy’s emergence…

Michigan Will No Longer Tax Tampons, Other Feminine Products

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan will no longer apply the 6% sales tax to tampons and other menstrual products under legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The change will take effect in early February. Supporters of the new law said the feminine products are a necessity, not a luxury, and should be exempt from taxation like other medically necessary…

Unemployment Claims Drop to 269,000, Another Pandemic Low

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to a fresh pandemic low last week, another sign the job market is healing after last year’s coronavirus recession. Jobless claims dropped by 14,000 to 269,000 last week. Since topping 900,000 in early January, the weekly applications have fallen more or less steadily ever since and are gradually…

US Mandates Vaccines or Tests for Big Companies by Jan. 4

(AP) – Tens of millions of Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly. The new government rules were issued Thursday. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says companies that fail to comply could face penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation….

US Gives Final Clearance To COVID-19 Shots For Kids 5 to 11

(AP) — U.S. health officials on Tuesday gave the final signoff to Pfizer’s kid-size COVID-19 shot, a major expansion of the nation’s vaccination campaign. The Food and Drug Administration already authorized the shots for children ages 5 to 11 — doses just a third of the amount given to teens and adults. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

US Advisers Urge COVID Shot for Kids 5-11, Final OK Due Soon

(AP) – An influential U.S. advisory panel is recommending that all children ages 5 to 11 should get Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. If the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees with Tuesday’s vote, the U.S. will embark on a major expansion of vaccinations. Pediatricians are getting ready to put kid-size doses into little arms as soon…

Facebook To Shut Down Face-Recognition System, Delete Data

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook said it will shut down its face-recognition system and delete the faceprints of more than 1 billion people. “This change will represent one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology’s history,” said a blog post on Tuesday from Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence for…

U.S. Military Weighs Penalties for Service Members Who Refuse COVID Vaccine

(courtesy: U.S. Navy) WASHINGTON (AP) – As deadlines loom for military and defense civilians to get mandated COVID-19 vaccines, senior leaders must now wrestle with the fate of those who flatly refuse the shots or are seeking exemptions, and how to make sure they are treated fairly and equally. The vast majority of the active-duty force has received at least…

People, Homes Vanish Due To 2020 Census’ New Privacy Method

The three-bedroom colonial-style house where Jessica Stephenson has lived in Milwaukee for the last six years bustles with activity on any given weekday, filled with the chattering of children in the day care center she runs out of her home. The U.S. Census Bureau says no one lives there. “They should come and see it for themselves,” Stephenson said. From…

FDA Paves Way for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccinations in Young Kids

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration has paved the way for children ages 5 to 11 to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The agency authorized the kid-size doses on Friday. But there’s one more regulatory hurdle. Next week, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will discuss which youngsters should get vaccinated. In the meantime, Pfizer plans…

Biden at Capitol to Pitch $1.75T Agenda, Unite Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is traveling to Capitol Hill to pitch House Democrats on a dramatically scaled back domestic policy package. It’s now $1.75 trillion and without a paid family leave program and other priorities. But it’s still a sweeping proposal with new health care, free-prekindergarten, and climate change programs. Later, the president will make remarks at the…