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National News

Republicans point to inflation in bid to retake Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gas prices have whizzed past $3 per gallon in much of the nation. The cost of used cars and new furniture, airline tickets, department store blouses, ground beef and a Chipotle burrito are on the rise, too. Many economists say the price increases are fueled by the ...

US stocks slump; S&P 500 has its worst week since February

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks sank again on Wall Street Friday, knocking the S&P 500 to its worst weekly loss since February, as more steam comes out of banks and other stocks that soared earlier this year with expectations for the economy and inflation. The S&P 500 fell 55.41 points, or ...

Biden’s silence on executions adds to death penalty disarray

CHICAGO (AP) — Activists widely expected Joe Biden to take swift action against the death penalty as the first sitting president to oppose capital punishment, especially since an unprecedented spate of executions by his predecessor ended just days before Biden took office. Instead, the White ...

US Catholic bishops OK steps toward possible rebuke of Biden

U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved the drafting of a "teaching document" that many of them hope will rebuke Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, for receiving Communion despite their support for abortion rights. The decision, vehemently opposed by a minority of ...

Biden promotes milestone of 300M vaccine shots in 150 days

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden took a cautious victory lap Friday in his quest to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control, announcing that 300 million vaccine shots have been administered in the 150 days since he took office. Biden credited scientists, companies, the American people ...

After Trump’s flattery, GOP hits Biden as weak on Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are accusing President Joe Biden of being weak on Russia after his summit with Vladimir Putin, conveniently ignoring four years of Putin flattery from former President Donald Trump. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Biden had given Putin a "pass" at ...

Dems eye $6T plan on infrastructure, Medicare, immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are eyeing a $6 trillion infrastructure investment plan that goes far beyond roads and bridges to include core party priorities, from lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 and adding dental, vision and hearing benefits to incorporating a long-running effort ...

After enrollment dips, public schools hope for fall rebound

Ashley Pearce's daughter was set to start kindergarten last year in Maryland's Montgomery County school system. But when it became clear that the year would begin online, Pearce found a nearby Catholic school offering in-person instruction and made the switch. Now Pearce is grappling with a ...

Biden gives Putin pair of Massachusetts-made aviators

RANDOLPH, Mass. (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin took a little of piece of Massachusetts with him after his meeting with President Joe Biden this week. The U.S. president gave his Russian counterpart a pair of custom aviator sunglasses manufactured by Randolph Engineering, based in ...

Top general ‘shocked’ by AP report on AWOL guns, mulls fix

Shocked by an Associated Press investigation into the loss and theft of military guns, the Pentagon's top general signaled Thursday that he will consider a "systematic fix" to how the armed services keep account of their firearms. The AP's investigation reported how some of the missing guns ...

US jobless claims tick up to 412,000 from a pandemic low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since April despite widespread evidence that the economy and the job market are rebounding steadily from the pandemic recession. The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless ...

Black community has new option for health care: The church

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Every Sunday at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Joseph Jackson Jr. praises the Lord before his congregation. But since last fall he's been praising something else his Black community needs: the COVID-19 vaccine. "We want to continue to encourage our people to ...

‘Obamacare’ survives: Supreme Court dismisses big challenge

\WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court, though increasingly conservative in makeup, rejected the latest major Republican-led effort to kill the national health care law known as "Obamacare" on Thursday, preserving insurance coverage for millions of Americans. The justices, by a 7-2 vote, left ...

Wisconsin Assembly to vote on transgender sports bans

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly planned to vote Wednesday on bills banning transgender athletes from participating in girls' and women's sports, measures that are being debated in the middle of gay pride month and are all-but certain to be headed for a veto ...

10 California residents get $1.5M richer via vaccine jackpot

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom doled out $1.5 million each to 10 vaccinated winners at Universal Studios on Tuesday to mark the end of the state's coronavirus restrictions. The $15 million total was the final part of Newsom's $116.5 million so-called "Vax for the Win" program, an ...

US West swelters in record-busting heat, risking wildfires

PHOENIX (AP) — Dangerous, record-busting heat spread across the U.S. Southwest on Tuesday and into parts of Utah, Montana and Wyoming as a dome of high pressure hovered over a large swath of the region, pushing temperatures into the triple digits this week and intensifying the risk for ...

Making hot sauce and working to save wetlands

AVERY ISLAND, La. (AP) — As storms grow more violent and Louisiana loses more of its coast, the family that makes Tabasco Sauce is fighting erosion in the marshland that buffers its factory from hurricanes and floods. Overall, the effort is probably a standoff, says CEO and president Harold ...

California’s virus reopening met with cheers and caution

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cable car bells clanged, Minions danced and restaurant patrons sipped their drinks indoors on a scorching day as California fully reopened its economy after 15 months of coronavirus restrictions. From the wine country to Disneyland, restaurants and other businesses threw ...

Doctors warn of burns from asphalt as heat wave hits US West

PHOENIX (AP) — Doctors who work in Arizona and Nevada burn centers are warning of injuries from contact with super-heated roadways and other surfaces as the first extreme heat wave of the year extends across the U.S. West. A high pressure system is expected to push temperatures above 115 ...

US to transfer federal property for Hawaiian home lands

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. is giving Native Hawaiians surplus land as compensation for acres that were meant for homesteading but used instead by the federal government. The land transfer also attempts to help right wrongs against the Indigenous people of Hawaii, officials said Monday. The 80 ...