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National News

SAT doing away with optional essay, subject tests

NEW YORK (AP) — The College Board said Tuesday it will eliminate the optional essay from the SAT and do away with subject tests amid a changing college admissions landscape. "The pandemic has highlighted the importance of being innovative and adaptive to what lies ahead," according to a ...

‘Shameful’: US virus deaths top 400K as Trump leaves office

As President Donald Trump entered the final year of his term last January, the U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Not to worry, Trump insisted, his administration had the virus "totally under control." Now, in his final hours in office, after a year of presidential denials of ...

An inauguration unlike any other amid a pandemic, unrest

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inauguration Day for President-elect Joe Biden will look unlike anything the nation has seen before as the scars of COVID-19 and the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol turn the West Front into a virtual ghost town compared to years past. Instead of a parade down ...

Biden charts new US direction, promises many Trump reversals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stop. Stabilize. Then move — but in a vastly different direction. President-elect Joe Biden is pledging a new path for the nation after Donald Trump's four years in office. That starts with confronting a pandemic that has killed 400,000 Americans and extends to sweeping ...

Mega Millions jackpot now $970M; Powerball up to $730M

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lottery players will have another shot at the third-largest jackpot in U.S. history after Tuesday night's drawing didn't turn up a winner. The Mega Millions top prize climbed to an estimated $970 million, the biggest jackpot in more than two years. Powerball, the ...

Sales of US Constitution topped 1 million during Trump years

NEW YORK (AP) — At the National Constitution Center, in Philadelphia, they like to joke that what's bad for the country is often good for the organization. "Web traffic is through the roof," says the nonprofit's CEO and president, Jeffrey Rosen. "We had more than 400,000 visitors to our site ...

Powerball jackpot grows to $730M; Mega Millions to be $850M

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lottery players have another chance to win big next week since there were no winners of the top prize for both the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots in their most recent drawings. The Powerball jackpot grew to an estimated $730 million after no one matched all five ...

Teens tutor peers online to fill need during pandemic

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — When her suburban Dallas high school was forced to move online last spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, Charvi Goyal realized that the schoolmates she'd been informally tutoring between classes would still need extra help but wouldn't necessarily be able to get ...

Federal prisons on lockdown in run-up to Biden inauguration

NEW YORK (AP) — All federal prisons in the United States have been placed on lockdown, with officials aiming to quell any potential violence that could arise behind bars as law enforcement prepares for potentially violent protests across the country in the run-up to President-elect Joe ...

Inauguration Day also is move in/out day at the White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Moving from house to house is challenging under the best of circumstances, and even with movers as first rate as the housekeepers and other staff who work in the White House. But the coronavirus pandemic could be a complicating factor as the executive mansion gets ready for ...

Inauguration week prayer event aims to show Christian unity

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a politically divided nation prepares to inaugurate a new president in the wake of a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a group of Christian leaders is hoping to ease tensions through prayer during three days of ecumenical, nonpartisan programming. Using the ...

Trump trial pending, McConnell calls it ‘vote of conscience’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is likely to start after Joe Biden's inauguration, and the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, is telling senators their decision on whether to convict the outgoing president over the Capitol riot will be a "vote of ...

Biden outlines ‘Day One’ agenda of executive actions

WASHINGTON (AP) — In his first hours as president, Joe Biden plans to take executive action to roll back some of the most controversial decisions of his predecessor and to address the raging coronavirus pandemic, his incoming chief of staff said Saturday. The opening salvo would herald a ...

Harris to be sworn in by Justice Sotomayor at inauguration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday, a history-making event in which the first Black, South Asian and female vice president will take her oath of office from the first Latina justice. Harris chose ...

Expanded vaccine rollout in US spawns a new set of problems

The rapid expansion of COVID-19 vaccinations to senior citizens across the U.S. has led to bottlenecks, system crashes and hard feelings in many states because of overwhelming demand for the shots. Mississippi's Health Department stopped taking new appointments the same day it began accepting ...

US executes Virginia gang killer despite COVID-19 infection

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. government executed a drug trafficker Thursday for slaying seven people in a burst of violence in Virginia's capital in 1992, with some witnesses in the death-chamber building applauding as the 52-year-old was pronounced dead. Corey Johnson's execution went ...

Biden unveils $1.9T plan to stem COVID-19 and steady economy

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan to end "a crisis of deep human suffering" by speeding up vaccines and pumping out financial help to those struggling with the pandemic's prolonged economic fallout. Called the "American Rescue ...

Trump impeached after Capitol riot; historic second charge

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House for a historic second time Wednesday, charged with "incitement of insurrection" over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office. With the Capitol secured by armed ...

US will require all arriving passengers to get COVID-19 test

NEW YORK (AP) — Anyone flying to the U.S. will soon need to show proof of a negative test for COVID-19, health officials announced Tuesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirement expands on a similar one announced late last month for passengers coming from the United ...

As pandemic worsens, most US states resist restrictions

PHOENIX (AP) — As the U.S. goes through the most lethal phase of the coronavirus outbreak yet, governors and local officials in hard-hit parts of the country are showing little willingness to impose any new restrictions on businesses to stop the spread. And unlike in 2020, when the debate ...