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Columns

Trump goes after former VP, McConnell in speech to donors

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It was supposed to be a unifying weekend for a Republican Party at war with itself over former President Donald Trump’s divisive leadership. But Trump himself shattered two days of relative peace in his closing remarks to the GOP’s top donors when he insulted the ...

High court halts California virus rules limiting home worship

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is telling California that it can't enforce coronavirus-related restrictions that have limited home-based religious worship including Bible studies and prayer meetings. The order from the court late Friday is the latest in a recent string of cases in ...

Group to study more justices, term limits for Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has ordered a study on overhauling the Supreme Court, creating a bipartisan commission Friday that will spend the next six months examining the politically incendiary issues of expanding the court and instituting term limits for justices, among other ...

Biden issues gun control actions, but they show his limitations

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden put on a modest White House ceremony Thursday to announce a half-dozen executive actions to combat what he called an “epidemic and an international embarrassment” of gun violence in America. But he said much more is needed. And for Biden, who ...

US suicides dropped last year, defying expectations

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of U.S. suicides fell nearly 6% last year amid the coronavirus pandemic — the largest annual decline in at least four decades, according to preliminary government data. Death certificates are still coming in and the count could rise. But officials expect a ...

Biden open to compromise on infrastructure but not inaction

President Joe Biden drew a red line on his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan Wednesday, saying he is open to compromise on how to pay for the package but inaction is unacceptable. The president turned fiery in an afternoon speech, saying that the United States is failing to build, invest and ...

Senate gives Biden a big tool to work around GOP filibuster

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a powerful new tool, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has fresh options for potentially advancing President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package and other priorities past Republican obstruction in the 50-50 split Senate. Republicans still pledge to do all they ...

Refugee families urge Biden to keep promise to up admissions

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The families of refugees and their supporters, including 124 elected officials, sent President Joe Biden a letter Tuesday urging him to make good on his promise to boost refugee admissions to the United States during the current budget year, replacing the record low number ...

Vaccine skepticism runs deep among white evangelicals in US

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest evangelical denomination, posted a photo on Facebook last week of him getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It drew more than 1,100 comments — many of them voicing admiration for the Rev. J.D. Greear, and many others assailing ...

After new law, McConnell warns CEOs to ‘stay out of politics’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says it's a "big lie" to call the new voting law in Georgia racist and he warned big business to "stay out of politics" after major corporations and even Major League Baseball distanced themselves from the state amid vast public ...

A measured response

It began for me suddenly and unexpectedly, when an individual, via texting, made an unsettling and disturbing remark. Before, I would have responded with unfiltered emotions such as anger, but things were different this time. This time, I delayed my response and disengaged, thus giving myself ...

Vaccine passports are latest flash point in COVID politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Vaccine passports being developed to verify COVID-19 immunization status and allow inoculated people to more freely travel, shop and dine have become the latest flash point in America's perpetual political wars, with Republicans portraying them as a heavy-handed ...

Poll: Majority in US support making voter registration easier

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats' proposals to overhaul voting in the U.S. won solid -- although not overwhelming -- support from Americans in a new survey measuring the popularity of major pieces of the sweeping legislation in Congress. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs ...

Biden’s ‘Jobs Cabinet’ to sell infrastructure as GOP resists

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden set about convincing America it needs his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday, deputizing a five-member “jobs Cabinet” to help in the effort. But the enormity of his task was clear as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s vowed to ...

Vaccination campaign launched

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to overcome vaccine hesitancy, the Biden administration on Thursday stepped up its outreach efforts to skeptical Americans, launching a coalition of community, religious and celebrity partners to promote COVID-19 shots in hard-hit communities. The administration's ...

Biden’s job approval at 61%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are broadly supportive of President Joe Biden’s early handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a new poll finds, and approval of his stewardship of the economy has ticked up following passage of a sprawling $1.9 trillion relief bill. But Americans are more ...

Biden rolls out his first slate of judicial nominees

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated a racially diverse and overwhelmingly female group to federal and other judgeships, including three Black women for the U.S. courts of appeals, one pathway to the Supreme Court. Biden promised as a candidate to nominate an African ...

Court case could change college sports

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Supreme Court case being argued this week amid March Madness could erode the difference between elite college athletes and professional sports stars. If the former college athletes who brought the case win, colleges could end up competing for talented student athletes by ...

Prosecutors in Jan. 6 cases struggle with consistent story

BOSTON (AP) — There’s little doubt the Oath Keepers were planning for something on Jan. 6. The question at the heart of the criminal case against its members and associates in the attack on the U.S. Capitol is: What, exactly, did they intend to do? Authorities suggested for weeks in ...

AP: SolarWinds hack got emails of top DHS officials

Suspected Russian hackers gained access to email accounts belonging to the Trump administration's head of the Department of Homeland Security and members of the department's cybersecurity staff whose jobs included hunting threats from foreign countries, The Associated Press has learned. The ...