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National News

FBI: 2020 homicides up nearly 30%, largest 1-year jump ever

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homicides in the U.S. in 2020 increased nearly 30% over the previous year, the largest one-year jump since the FBI began keeping records, according to figures released Monday by the agency. Homicides and non-negligent manslaughters climbed an estimated 29.4% to 21,570, an ...

Fires threatening California’s sequoias continue to grow

THREE RIVERS, Calif. (AP) — California firefighters battled fast-growing forest fires threatening giant sequoias and small communities in the Sierra Nevada on Monday and worked to fully surround a suspected arson wildfire that destroyed homes last week. More than 2,000 firefighters were on ...

After 5 years, Obamas to break ground on Presidential Center

CHICAGO (AP) — After five years of legal battles, gentrification concerns and a federal review, Barack and Michelle Obama were expected to attend a celebratory groundbreaking Tuesday on their legacy project in a lakefront Chicago park. Construction on the site along Lake Michigan, near the ...

GOP blocks bill to keep government going; new try ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators blocked a bill to keep the government operating and allow federal borrowing, but Democrats aiming to avert a shutdown pledged to try again — at the same time pressing ahead on President Joe Biden's big plans to reshape government. The efforts are not ...

Pentagon leaders to face Congress on Afghan pullout decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — In their first public testimony since the U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, top Pentagon leaders will face sharp questions in Congress about the chaotic pullout and the Taliban's rapid takeover of the country. Republicans in particular have intensified their ...

Federal judge requires vaccines for California prison staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday ordered that all employees entering California prisons be vaccinated or have a religious or medical exemption, as he tries to head off another coronavirus outbreak like the one that killed 28 inmates and a correctional officer at San Quentin ...

Lower death rates for Black moms is goal of California bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has among the lowest death rates nationally among pregnant women and new mothers, but the numbers for Black mothers tell a different story. They were six times more likely to die within a year of pregnancy than white women from 2014 to 2016 and had a ...

Judge blocks Arizona laws banning school, city mask mandates

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge on Monday struck down Republican-passed Arizona laws that block schools from requiring masks and restrict the power of local governments to impose COVID-19 requirements, the latest turn in a nationwide legal battle over pandemic rules. If it withstands a promised ...

Federal judges: NYC can impose vaccine mandate on teachers

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's largest school district can immediately impose a vaccine mandate on its teachers and other workers, after all, a federal appeals panel decided Monday, leading lawyers for teachers to say they'll ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. The city's Department of ...

Texas GOP tries to protect US House seats under new maps

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Facing up to Texas' booming suburbs turning bluer, Republicans on Monday proposed new U.S. House maps that would fortify their slipping grip and shrink the number of seats where the majority of voters are Hispanic — even as they fuel the state's blistering ...

Facebook puts Instagram for kids on hold after pushback

Facebook is putting a hold on the development of a kids' version of Instagram, geared toward children under 13, to address concerns that have been raised about the vulnerability of younger users. "I still firmly believe that it's a good thing to build a version of Instagram that's designed to ...

Blackstone selling Vegas hotel Cosmopolitan in $5.65B deal

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The owner of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the New York private equity firm Blackstone, is selling the 3,000-room Las Vegas Strip hotel in a $5.65 billion deal with a partnership that plans to contract with casino giant MGM Resorts International to operate the property. The ...

Global Citizen Live generates $1.1 billion to fight poverty

NEW YORK (AP) — Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour concert that featured performances from Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez, BTS and Elton John and dozens of other stars, raised more than $1.1 billion in commitments and pledges over the weekend to fight extreme poverty. Broadcasting from sites on ...

Company says planned natural gas pipeline won’t go forward

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Construction of a nearly 120-mile-long (193 kilometer) proposed natural gas pipeline from northeastern Pennsylvania to central New Jersey will not go forward, the group behind the project said Monday. PennEast Pipeline Company, which won a recent legal battle against New ...

DeSantis asks secretary of state to investigate Facebook

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis asked Florida's secretary of state to investigate Facebook on Monday based on a news article that reported the social media company gives preferential treatment to politicians, celebrities, professional athletes and other prominent ...

Greyhound settles lawsuit over immigration sweeps on buses

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Greyhound Lines Inc. will pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit over the bus line's practice of allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to board its buses in Washington state to conduct warrantless immigration sweeps, the state attorney general said ...

Powell says spike in inflation lasting longer than expected

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is preparing to tell Congress that the current spike in U.S. inflation has proven to be larger and more long-lasting than expected. But, in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday, he says that if inflation does not abate, the Fed is ...

Gas blowout near Los Angeles leads to up to $1.8B settlement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thousands of families sickened and forced from their Los Angeles homes after the nation's largest-known natural gas leak have reached a settlement of up to $1.8 billion with a utility, attorneys said Monday. The settlement with Southern California Gas Co. and its parent ...

Amtrak train that derailed was going just under speed limit

JOPLIN, Mont. (AP) — An Amtrak train that derailed in rural Montana over the weekend was going just under the speed limit at about 75 mph (121 kph) when it went off the track along a gradual curve, killing three people and possibly ejecting passengers, U.S. investigators said ...

Ford to add 10,800 jobs making electric vehicles, batteries

GLENDALE, Ky. (AP) — Ford and a partner company say they plan to build three major electric-vehicle battery factories and an auto assembly plant by 2025 — a dramatic investment in the future of EV technology that will create an estimated 10,800 jobs and shift the automaker's future ...