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National News

Bill banning critical race theory goes to Mississippi Senate

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi Senate committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would ban schools from teaching critical race theory, even though the state superintendent of education has said the theory is not being taught in schools and legislators have offered no evidence to show it ...

Youngkin lays out ‘COVID Action Plan’ for Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order Thursday intended to continue offering hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers extra flexibility as they deal with the latest COVID-19 surge driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. The state's newly ...

Jury selected for federal trial over George Floyd’s killing

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A jury was picked Thursday for the federal trial of three Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's killing, with the judge stressing repeatedly that fellow Officer Derek Chauvin's conviction on state murder charges and guilty plea to a federal civil rights ...

Schumer: ‘We made progress’ on voting bill, filibuster rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in an interview Thursday that Democrats "made progress" toward changing the Senate's filibuster rules to advance sweeping voting legislation, despite the dramatic collapse of the package that his party says is central to protecting ...

Georgia DA asks for special grand jury in election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia prosecutor looking into possible attempts to interfere in the 2020 general election by former President Donald Trump and others has asked for a special grand jury to aid the investigation. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Thursday sent a letter to ...

Native American tribe, New Mexico ink water leasing deal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Native American tribe has agreed to lease more of its water to help address dwindling supplies in the Colorado River Basin, officials announced Thursday. The agreement involves the Jicarilla Apache Nation, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission and The Nature ...

New approach to teaching race in school divides New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A proposal to overhaul New Mexico's social studies standards has stirred debate over how race should be taught in schools, with thousands of parents and teachers weighing in on changes that would dramatically increase instruction related to racial and social identity ...

San Francisco subpoenas unauthorized COVID testing operator

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco's city attorney has issued subpoenas seeking records from an unauthorized COVID-19 test operator and laboratory suspected of trying to scam people out of money or personal information. City Attorney David Chiu announced the legal action Thursday after the ...

Democrats eye new strategy after failure of voting bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats were picking up the pieces Thursday following the collapse of their top-priority voting rights legislation, with some shifting their focus to a narrower bipartisan effort to repair laws Donald Trump exploited in his bid to overturn the 2020 election. Though their ...

NTSB: Require small planes to have carbon monoxide detectors

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. crash investigators are urging the Federal Aviation Administration to require private planes to be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, citing deadly crashes that were attributed to poisoning by the odorless gas. The National Transportation Safety Board said ...

Rising inflation tightens squeeze on consumers

Retail sales took an unexpected dip in December in what could be a signal that persistently rising inflation is prompting a pullback in consumer spending. Consumers paid more for everything from groceries to cars in 2021 as companies passed along the costs of pricier raw materials and supply ...

Amazon heads to the mall with prototype clothing store

NEW YORK (AP) — First, Amazon competed with malls. Now, it's moving inside one. The online retailing giant said Thursday that it plans to open a clothing store in a Southern California mall later this year. It's the latest foray into brick-and-mortar for Amazon, which already sells more than ...

American Airlines reports $931 million fourth-quarter loss

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines lost $931 million in the fourth quarter and the incoming CEO said Thursday that the surge in COVID-19 will delay the airline's recovery by two or three months. First-quarter revenue is expected to be down about 20% to 22% compared with the first quarter of ...

Analysis: Biden finds inflation overshadows strong economy

President Joe Biden is paying a steep price for high inflation — a problem that festered during his first year in office instead of fading away as he suggested it would. His $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, enacted in March, drove what will probably be the fastest economic growth ...

Long-term mortgage rates continue rise; 30-year breaks 3.5%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates continued to rise this week. The rate on the benchmark 30-year loan breached 3.5%. Home loan rates have been running in recent weeks at levels not seen since early 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was breaking in the U.S. They remain ...

McDonald’s expanding test of McPlant burger in US stores

McDonald's is expanding sales of its meatless McPlant burger to hundreds of locations. The company said the McPlant __ which it co-developed with plant-based protein company Beyond Meat __ will be sold at 600 stores in the San Francisco and Dallas areas starting Feb. 14. It's a major ...

Judge: Georgia county can move ahead on land for spaceport

WOODBINE, Ga. (AP) — A judge has denied a request to stop a county from buying land for a planned spaceport near the Georgia coast, dealing the latest blow to opponents of the project. In an order Thursday, Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett denied the request from opponents to restrain ...

Fed study on digital currency leans toward role for banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve on Thursday released a highly anticipated report on central bank digital currencies that suggested it is leaning toward having banks and other financial firms, rather than the Fed itself, manage digital accounts for customers. A central bank digital ...

California water districts will get more supply than planned

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Last month's wet winter storms led California officials on Thursday to announce they'll release more water than initially planned from state storage to local agencies that provide water for 27 million people and vast swaths of farmland. The Department of Water ...

New vehicles to be rated on how they make drivers stay alert

DETROIT (AP) — Two organizations that influence many Americans' automobile buying decisions will begin rating vehicles on how well they track behavior of motorists who use partially automated driver-assist systems. Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety say the ...