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National News

Florida fines key county $3.5 million for mandating vaccines

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida has issued its first fine to a county it says violated a new state law banning coronavirus vaccine mandates and for firing 14 workers who failed to get the shots. The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday issued the $3.5 million fine for Leon County, home ...

Religious vaccine exemption stays for NY health care workers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York health care workers will be able to seek religious exemptions from a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate as a lawsuit challenging the requirement proceeds, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. Judge David Hurd in Utica had issued a temporary restraining order a month ...

Biden vaccine order moves closer to enforcement

WASHINGTON — The Biden's administration's mandate that employers with 100 or more workers require coronavirus vaccinations or institute weekly virus testing has moved one step closer to enforcement. On Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finalized the initial draft of ...

Boeing tells workers they must get COVID-19 vaccine

SEATTLE (AP) — The Boeing Co. has told employees they must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or possibly be fired. The Seattle Times reports the deadline for workers at the aerospace giant is Dec. 8. "Compliance with these requirements is a condition of employment," states a Boeing internal ...

Americans quit their jobs at a record pace in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — One reason America's employers are having trouble filling jobs was starkly illustrated in a report Tuesday: Americans are quitting in droves. The Labor Department said that quits jumped to 4.3 million in August, the highest on records dating back to December 2000, and up ...

Federal immigration agents to end practice of worksite raids

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal immigration agents will end mass workplace arrests of immigrant employees suspected of living in the U.S. without legal permission, according to a memo issued Tuesday by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Instead, the focus will shift to pursuing ...

Fewer in US turn to food banks, but millions still in need

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunger and food insecurity across the United States have dropped measurably over the past six months, but the need remains far above pre-pandemic levels. And specialists in hunger issues warn that the situation for millions of families remains extremely fragile. An ...

Texas order reflects growing GOP vaccine mandates hostility

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — With the governor of Texas leading the charge, conservative Republicans in several states are moving to block or undercut President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private employers before the regulations are even issued. The growing battle over what some see ...

‘Difficult decisions’ as Biden, Democrats shrink plan to $2T

With the calendar slipping toward a new deadline, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning that "difficult decisions must be made" to trim President Joe Biden's expansive plans for reimagining the nation's social service programs and tackling climate change. Democrats are laboring to chisel the ...

Alexander Hamilton letter at center of legal fight returned

A letter written by founding father Alexander Hamilton during the Revolutionary War and believed stolen decades ago from the Massachusetts state archives has been returned following a federal appeals court decision, top state officials said Tuesday. Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin ...

$50K fine, no prosecution for ex-coach in college scam deal

BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have promised to drop their case against a former Wake Forest University coach charged in the college admissions bribery scandal if he pays a $50,000 fine and follows certain conditions, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. A deferred prosecution ...

2-headed baby turtle thrives at Massachusetts animal refuge

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — A rare two-headed diamondback terrapin turtle is alive and kicking — with all six of its legs — at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts after hatching two weeks ago. A threatened species in the state, this turtle is feeding well on blood worms and ...

Southwest cancels hundreds more flights; passengers stranded

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines canceled more than 350 flights Monday following a weekend of major disruptions that it blamed on bad weather and air traffic control issues. The pilots union accused the company of a botched response to what it said would have been a minor challenge for other ...

Next on FDA’s agenda: Booster shots of Moderna, J&J vaccines

WASHINGTON (AP) — With many Americans who got Pfizer vaccinations already rolling up their sleeves for a booster shot, millions of others who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine wait anxiously to learn when it's their turn. Federal regulators begin tackling that question ...

Gun violence claiming more lives of American teens, children

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Gun violence is killing an increasing number of American children, from toddlers caught in crossfires to teenagers gunned down in turf wars, drug squabbles or for posting the wrong thing on social media. Shootings involving children and teenagers have been on the rise in ...

Justice Department again presses to halt Texas abortion law

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Biden administration urged the courts again Monday night to step in and suspend a new Texas law that has banned most abortions since early September, as clinics hundreds of miles away remain busy with Texas patients making long journeys to get care. The latest ...

As Shatner heads toward the stars, visions of space collide

"Risk is our business," James T. Kirk once said. "That's what this starship is all about. That's why we're aboard her." More than a half-century later, the performer who breathed life into the fabled Enterprise captain is, at age 90, making that kind of risk his own business and heading toward ...

Hurricane Ida in Louisiana: Caskets, vaults still displaced

LAFITTE, La. (AP) — Hurricane Ida swept through Louisiana with furious winds that ripped roofs off buildings and storm surge so powerful it moved homes. What it wrought on the living it also wrought on the dead, moving vaults and caskets and adding another layer of trauma for families and ...

Allen West, Texas GOP gubernatorial hopeful, has COVID-19

GARLAND, Texas (AP) — Tea party firebrand Allen West, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor of Texas, said Saturday that he has received monoclonal antibody injections after being diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia. The antibodies are used to treat those in the early stages ...

No. 2 House Republican refuses to say election wasn’t stolen

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House's second-ranking Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise, repeatedly refused to say on Sunday that the 2020 election wasn't stolen, standing by Donald Trump's lie that Democrat Joe Biden won the White House because of mass voter fraud. More than 11 months after Americans ...