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National News

Fauci says US headed in `wrong direction’ on coronavirus

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The United States is in an "unnecessary predicament" of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation's top infectious diseases expert said Sunday. "We're going in the wrong direction," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, ...

Sparked by pandemic fallout, homeschooling surges across US

Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They're now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes. The specific reasons vary widely. Some families who ...

Carbon-capture pipelines offer climate aid; activists wary

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Two companies seeking to build thousands of miles of pipeline across the Midwest are promising the effort will aid rather than hinder the fight against climate change, though some environmental groups remain skeptical. The pipelines would stretch from North Dakota to ...

Prosecutors air more claims in R. Kelly case; 1 involves boy

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors in R. Kelly's sex trafficking case say he had sexual contact with an underage boy in addition to girls, and the government wants jurors in his upcoming sex trafficking trial to hear those claims. Prosecutors aired a wide-ranging raft of additional ...

Imprisoned ‘Dating Game Killer’ Alcala dies in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A prolific serial torture-slayer dubbed "The Dating Game Killer" died Saturday while awaiting execution in California, authorities said. Rodney James Alcala was 77. He died of natural causes at a hospital in San Joaquin Valley, California, prison officials said in a ...

California’s largest fire torches homes as blazes lash West

INDIAN FALLS, Calif. (AP) — Flames racing through rugged terrain in Northern California destroyed multiple homes Saturday as the state's largest wildfire intensified and numerous other blazes battered the U.S. West. The Dixie fire, which started July 14, had already leveled over a dozen ...

Beware of budget gimmicks in push for massive spending deals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators fashioning a pair of colossal bills that would deliver more than $4 trillion for infrastructure, health care, environment and other initiatives insist they will fully pay for both plans. Will they? In a Washington ritual as reliable as panic-buying when light snow ...

Cannabis industry in New Mexico faces big challenge of water

MADRID, N.M. (AP) — Where some see desert, Cid and Medina Isbell see opportunity. Standing on a plot on their 30-acre property just north of Madrid, they envision a greenhouse full of cannabis plants where brush, sunflowers and cactuses now grow. They are among many hopeful entrepreneurs ...

Search for bodies concludes at Florida condo collapse site

MIAMI (AP) — Firefighters on Friday declared the end of their search for bodies at the site of a collapsed Florida condo building, concluding a month of painstaking work removing layers of dangerous debris that were once piled several stories high. The June 24 collapse at the oceanside ...

Unlikely partners Pelosi and Cheney team up for Jan. 6 probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Nancy Pelosi raised a glass to Liz Cheney, it was the most unlikely of toasts. Democratic lawmakers and the Republican congresswoman were gathered in the House speaker's office as the group prepared for the first session of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 ...

Wildfires blasting through West draw states to lend support

BLY, Ore. (AP) — Out-of-state crews headed to Montana Saturday to battle a blaze that injured five firefighters as the West struggled with a series of fires that have ravaged rural lands and destroyed homes. Progress was being made on the nation's largest blaze, the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, ...

Governors pin hopes on full vaccine approval as cases climb

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — As U.S. regulators weigh giving the final stamp of approval for certain COVID-19 vaccines, governors in states hard hit by the pandemic hope the move will help persuade the many holdouts in their states to finally get the shot. The governors of Arkansas and Ohio — ...

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 ...