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National News

Experts: Spend opioid settlement funds on fighting opioids

As a $26 billion settlement over the toll of opioids looms, some public health experts are citing the 1998 agreement with tobacco companies as a cautionary tale of runaway government spending and missed opportunities for saving more lives. Mere fractions of the $200 billion-plus tobacco ...

Federal judges block transgender restrictions in 2 states

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Federal judges on Wednesday temporarily blocked an Arkansas law banning gender confirming treatments for transgender youth and a West Virginia ban on trans athletes in women's sports, two major victories for LGBTQ advocates against a wave of restrictions approved by ...

Judge: $150M initially for victims in Florida condo collapse

As the remaining rubble from the collapse of a 12-story oceanfront condominium was cleared away Wednesday, a Florida judge said victims and families who suffered losses will get a minimum of $150 million in compensation initially. That sum includes about $50 million in insurance on the ...

US life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II, public health officials said Wednesday. The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years. The drop spelled out by the Centers for ...

A small victory: Used-car prices slip from dizzy heights

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — For months, anyone who wandered onto a dealer lot to look for a used car could be forgiven for doing a double take — and then wandering right off the lot. Prices had rocketed more than 40% from their levels just before the viral pandemic struck, to an average of ...

Bette Midler, Berry Gordy among new Kennedy Center honorees

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Kennedy Center Honors will return in December with a class that includes Motown Records creator Berry Gordy, "Saturday Night Live" mastermind Lorne Michaels and actress-singer Bette Midler. Organizers expect to operate at full capacity, after last year's ceremony was ...

50-year war on drugs imprisoned millions of Black Americans

Landscaping was hardly his lifelong dream. As a teenager, Alton Lucas believed basketball or music would pluck him out of North Carolina and take him around the world. In the late 1980s, he was the right-hand man to his musical best friend, Youtha Anthony Fowler, who many hip hop and R&B ...

Rare ‘breakthrough’ COVID cases are causing alarm, confusion

Reports of athletes, lawmakers and others getting the coronavirus despite vaccination may sound alarming but top health experts point to overwhelming evidence that the shots are doing exactly what they are supposed to: dramatically reducing severe illness and death. The best indicator: U.S. ...

US virus cases nearly triple in 2 weeks amid misinformation

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — COVID-19 cases nearly tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and pushing clergy into the fray. "Our staff, they are frustrated," said Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention at ...

Biden says getting vaccinated ‘gigantically important’

CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) — President Joe Biden expressed pointed frustration Wednesday over the slowing COVID-19 vaccination rate in the U.S. and pleaded that it's "gigantically important" for Americans to step up and get inoculated against the virus as it surges once again. Biden, speaking at ...

Judge exonerates man who served 20 years in Georgia slayings

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A judge on Monday dismissed all charges against a man convicted of the 1985 slayings of a couple at a south Georgia church, exonerating him after he spent two decades behind bars, the man's attorneys said. Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett granted a ...

Garland bars prosecutors from seizing reporters’ records

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday formally prohibited federal prosecutors from seizing the records of journalists in leak investigations, with limited exceptions, reversing years of department policy. The new policy largely codifies the commitment Garland made in ...

Indoor mask wearing recommended for some to combat variant

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's governor on Monday urged frontline workers dealing with the public to wear masks, even if fully vaccinated against COVID-19, due to risks from the more infectious delta variant blamed for sparking an increase in coronavirus cases. With large swaths of ...

Tax returns show Caitlyn Jenner’s income has fallen sharply

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Caitlyn Jenner's earnings have fallen precipitously in the last several years from a high of $2.5 million in 2016 when she had her own reality TV show to $550,000, tax filings show. Jenner is among those running in California's upcoming recall election of Gov. Gavin ...

McCarthy proposes 5 Republicans to sit on Jan. 6 panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has picked five Republicans to sit on the new select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, signaling that Republicans will participate in the investigation that they have staunchly opposed. McCarthy said ...

Biden: ‘Killing people’ remark was call for big tech to act

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden tempered his assessment that social media giants are "killing people" by hosting misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines on their platforms, saying Monday that he hoped they would not take it "personally" and instead would act to save lives. While ...

AP source: Biden looks to increase staffing of Cuba embassy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday ordered the State Department to create a working group to review U.S. remittance policy to ensure that money that Cuban Americans send home makes it directly into the hands of their families without the regime taking a cut. He also ordered a ...

With pandemic worsening in US, surgeon general worried

The U.S. surgeon general said Sunday that he's concerned about what lies ahead with cases of COVID-19 increasing in every state, millions still unvaccinated and a highly contagious virus variant spreading rapidly. Noting that nearly all coronavirus deaths now are among the tens of millions of ...

California launches largest free school lunch program in US

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When classrooms in California reopen for the fall term, all 6.2 million public school students will have the option to eat school meals for free, regardless of their family's income. The undertaking, made possible by an unexpected budget surplus, will be the largest free ...

Judge: Indiana University can require COVID-19 vaccinations

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana University can require its roughly 90,000 students and 40,000 employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 under a federal judge's ruling that might be the first of its kind regarding college immunization mandates. In a ruling dated Sunday, U.S. District Judge Damon ...