National Briefs

Justice Dept. formally moves to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has formally moved to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, a historic shift in generations of U.S. drug policy. A proposed rule sent Thursday to the federal register recognizes medical uses of cannabis and acknowledges it has less potential for abuse than some of the most dangerous drugs. The plan signed by Attorney General Merrick Garland wouldn’t legalize marijuana outright for recreational use. The Drug Enforcement Administration will take public comment on the proposal to move marijuana from its classification as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD. It moves pot to Schedule III, alongside some anabolic steroids.

Census Bureau estimates: Detroit population rises after decades of decline, South dominates growth

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. Census Bureau estimates show America’s Northeast and Midwest cities are rebounding slightly from years of population drops, highlighted by modest growth in Detroit after decades of declines. Government figures released Thursday show Detroit saw its population grow for the first time in decades, rising by 1,852 people to 633,218 inhabitants last year. That’s a milestone for Detroit, which had 1.8 million residents in the 1950s only to see its population plummet afterward. Meanwhile, Census Bureau estimates show 13 of the 15 fastest-growing cities in the U.S. were in the South last year, eight of them in Texas alone.

1 person has died and another is hurt after a fiery tanker truck crash in Colorado

DENVER (AP) — One person is dead and another has been hospitalized after a vehicle and a tanker truck crashed on Colorado’s main east-west highway. The crash Thursday on Interstate 70 near Morrison created a fireball and sent up a huge plume of black smoke. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says a person in a vehicle died and the truck driver has been hospitalized. The Colorado State Patrol says the truck was pulled off on the shoulder before the crash, but hasn’t released details about how it happened. A photo released by the sheriff’s office shows the charred remains of a vehicle smashed into the back of the tanker truck.

Long-term mortgage rates retreat for second straight week

(AP) — The average rate on a 30-year mortgage in the U.S. fell for the second straight week, giving some relief to home shoppers already facing sky-high prices and a shortage of supply. The average 30-year rate fell to 7.02% from 7.09% last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. A year ago, the rate averaged 6.39%. The recent pullbacks followed a five-week string of increases that pushed the average rate to its highest level since November 30. Higher mortgage rates can add hundreds of dollars a month in costs for borrowers, limiting homebuyers’ purchasing options.


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