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National News

Confederate bust moved from Tennessee Capitol building

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The bust of a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader that had been prominently displayed inside the Tennessee Capitol for decades — over objections from Black lawmakers and activists — was removed from its pedestal Friday. The image of Nathan Bedford ...

Virus’s impact: More relaxing and thinking, less socializing

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The eruption of COVID-19 last year caused the proportion of people working from home in the U.S. to nearly double, with the shift most pronounced among college graduates and workers in such fields as finance and professional services. The share of employed people working ...

Mario Batali harassment probe settlement: $600K to accusers

NEW YORK (AP) — Celebrity chef Mario Batali, his business partner and their New York City restaurant company have agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve a four-year investigation by the state attorney general's office into allegations that Batali, restaurant managers and other workers sexually ...

Yellen outlines to Congress emergency measures on debt limit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress on Friday that she will start taking emergency measures next week to keep the government from an unprecedented default on the national debt, warning that a default would cause "irreparable harm to the U.S. economy and the ...

AP-NORC poll: Most unvaccinated Americans don’t want shots

Most Americans who haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get the shots and doubt they would work against the aggressive delta variant despite evidence they do, according to a new poll that underscores the challenges facing public health officials amid soaring ...

Federal court lifts CDC rules for Florida-based cruise ships

MIAMI (AP) — Pandemic restrictions on Florida-based cruise ships are no longer in place under a ruling Friday by a federal appeals court, while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seek to fight a Florida lawsuit challenging the regulations. A three-judge panel of the 11th ...

Biden stumps for McAuliffe in early test of political clout

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — President Joe Biden led the kind of campaign rally that was impossible last year because of the pandemic, speaking before nearly 3,000 people in support of a fellow moderate Democrat whose race for Virginia governor could serve as a test of Biden's own strength and ...

Groups worry about tapping COVID relief for infrastructure

By KEVIN FREKING and LISA MASCARO Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Organizations representing long-term care facilities on Friday urged lawmakers working on a bipartisan infrastructure plan to avoid dipping into COVID-relief funds to help pay for the roughly $600 billion in new spending ...

Dems renew questions about FBI background check of Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are raising new concerns about the thoroughness of the FBI's background investigation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after the FBI revealed that it had received thousands of tips and had provided "all relevant" ones to the White House counsel's ...

US churches reckon with traumatic legacy of Native schools

The discoveries of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential schools for Indigenous children in Canada have prompted renewed calls for a reckoning over the traumatic legacy of similar schools in the United States — and in particular by the churches that operated many of them. U.S. ...

Crafty cockatoos master dumpster diving and teach each other

WASHINGTON (AP) — A few years ago, a Sydney scientist noticed a sulfur-crested cockatoo opening his trash bin. Not every resident would be thrilled, but ornithologist Richard Major was impressed by the ingenuity. It's quite a feat for a bird to grasp a bin lid with its beak, pry it open, ...

Democrats back Biden US lands pick assailed by Republicans

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A bitterly divided U.S. Senate panel deadlocked Thursday on President Joe Biden's pick to oversee vast government-owned lands in the West, as Democrats united behind a nominee whose credibility was assailed by Republicans over her links to a 1989 environmental sabotage ...

AP-NORC poll: Parties split on some infrastructure proposals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The overwhelming majority of Americans -- about 8 in 10 -- favor plans to increase funding for roads, bridges and ports and for pipes that supply drinking water. But that's about as far as Democrats and Republicans intersect on infrastructure, according to a new poll from ...

Mississippi argues Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and let states decide whether to regulate abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb, the office of Mississippi's Republican attorney general argued in papers ...

Small businesses lifted by return of summer tourists

Small businesses in the U.S. that depend on tourism and vacationers say business is bouncing back, as Americans rebook postponed trips and spend freely on food, entertainment and souvenirs. U.S. states and cities have loosened many of their restrictions on crowd size and mask-wearing, a ...

Hugs as California public school returns to class in person

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (AP) — There was pumping music, dancing teachers and lots of hugs as one of the first public schools in California opened fully to in-person learning Wednesday, marking a major milestone in the fight to return to normalcy in the nation's most populated state, though the ...

Experts: Spend opioid settlement funds on fighting opioids

As a $26 billion settlement over the toll of opioids looms, some public health experts are citing the 1998 agreement with tobacco companies as a cautionary tale of runaway government spending and missed opportunities for saving more lives. Mere fractions of the $200 billion-plus tobacco ...

Federal judges block transgender restrictions in 2 states

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Federal judges on Wednesday temporarily blocked an Arkansas law banning gender confirming treatments for transgender youth and a West Virginia ban on trans athletes in women's sports, two major victories for LGBTQ advocates against a wave of restrictions approved by ...

Judge: $150M initially for victims in Florida condo collapse

As the remaining rubble from the collapse of a 12-story oceanfront condominium was cleared away Wednesday, a Florida judge said victims and families who suffered losses will get a minimum of $150 million in compensation initially. That sum includes about $50 million in insurance on the ...

US life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II, public health officials said Wednesday. The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years. The drop spelled out by the Centers for ...