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National News

McConnell open to state aid in next virus relief package

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shifting tone, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he is "open" to considering additional funds for state and local governments in the next coronavirus relief bill as the chamber returns to session during the pandemic. The Republican leader faced a storm ...

Smallest businesses get a few hours at head of relief loan line

NEW YORK (AP) — The smallest companies seeking coronavirus relief loans were moving to the head of the line Wednesday after the Small Business Administration said that for eight hours ending at midnight Eastern time it would accept loans only from small lenders. The step was being taken to ...

Stocks charge higher on hopes for progress in fighting virus

Stocks around the world whipped higher Wednesday, riding a wave of optimism on encouraging data about a possible treatment for COVID-19. The upswell of hope was so strong that investors completely sidestepped a report showing the outbreak drove the U.S. economy to its worst quarterly ...

Drug proves effective against virus as economic damage rises

Scientists on Wednesday announced the first effective treatment against the coronavirus — an experimental drug that can speed the recovery of COVID-19 patients — in a major medical advance that came as the economic gloom caused by the scourge deepened in the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. ...

Virus leaves New York City artists in a ‘tailspin’

NEW YORK (AP) — Dancer and choreographer Netta Yerushalmy has built a career in movement and community. Both are gone now. Her world is still, isolated — and fearful. "Dancers I know are in a muted, depressed state right now," she said from her apartment in Manhattan. "The metaphor of the ...

PG&E’s top exec to end short stint at beleaguered utility

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — PG&E Corp. CEO Bill Johnson will step down from his job just 14 months after the nation's largest utility hired him to rescue it from a financial mess caused by a history of negligence and to change a corporate culture that emphasized profits over ...

‘U ok?’ Virus-era friendships can be both crucial & fraught

A single mother hunkering down at home with a teenage daughter, Sharon Litwin sees her friends, like most people these days, only virtually. Even so, they've been a crucial lifeline. "Sometimes I just need to have a conversation with adults," she says. "And sometimes I just need to cry, which ...

Navy to widen carrier probe, delaying decision on commander

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy will conduct a wider investigation of circumstances surrounding the spread of the coronavirus aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, a move that effectively delays a decision on whether to reinstate the ship's captain, who was fired after pleading for ...

Pandemic brings fortunes to Amazon – and headaches too

Amazon has spent years honing the business of packing, shipping and delivering millions of products to doorsteps around the world. Now it has a captive audience. With much of the globe in various stages of a lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, the world's largest online retailer has ...

Groups sow doubt about COVID vaccine before one even exists

NEW YORK (AP) — A coronavirus vaccine is still months or years away, but groups that peddle misinformation about immunizations are already taking aim, potentially eroding confidence in what could be humanity's best chance to defeat the virus. In recent weeks, vaccine opponents have made ...

Trump order keeping meat packing plants open worries unions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump took executive action to order meat processing plants to stay open amid concerns over growing coronavirus cases and the impact on the nation's food supply. The order signed Tuesday uses the Defense Production Act to classify meat processing as ...

Medicare applications raise anxiety for seniors in pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — At greater risk from COVID-19, some seniors now face added anxiety due to delays obtaining Medicare coverage. Advocates for older people say the main problem involves certain applications for Medicare's "Part B" coverage for outpatient care. It stems from the closure of ...

Joe Biden wins Ohio’s mail-in primary delayed by coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Joe Biden won Ohio's presidential primary, clinching a contest that was less about the Democratic nomination and more about how states can conduct elections in the era of the coronavirus. Tuesday's primary was the first major test of statewide elections via mail amid an ...

U.S. economy shrank at 4.8% rate last quarter as virus struck

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country and began triggering a recession that will end the longest expansion on record. The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product, the total output of ...

Milwaukee police find 5 dead in house; suspect in custody

By TODD RICHMOND Associated Press Police found five people shot to death Monday inside a Milwaukee home and arrested the man who dialed 911 to report the slayings, the city's police chief said. The police department received a call around 10:30 a.m. from a man who said his family was dead, ...

Riots, escapes and pepper spray: Virus hits juvenile centers

By MARGIE MASON and ROBIN McDOWELL Associated Press Nicole Hingle wasn't surprised when the call came. Frustrations had been building inside juvenile detention centers nationwide as the number of coronavirus cases continued to climb. Now, her 17-year-old son Jace, was on the phone telling her ...

Federal agency releasing report on Missouri duck boat deaths

By MARGARET STAFFORD Associated Press LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — Nearly two years after 17 people died when a tourist boat sank on a Missouri lake, federal transportation safety investigators on Tuesday will release the results of an investigation into the tragedy. The National Transportation ...

Federal inmates battle mixed messages on home confinement

By MICHAEL BALSAMO and COLLEEN LONG Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — She never thought her husband's punishment for selling drugs would be a death sentence. But as the new coronavirus rips through the U.S. prison system and into the facility where he is serving eight years, she fears it ...

Doubts about testing remain in spite of Trump’s assurances

By ZEKE MILLER, JILL COLVIN and JONATHAN LEMIRE Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House released new guidelines aimed at answering criticism that America's coronavirus testing has been too slow, and President Donald Trump tried to pivot toward a focus on "reopening" the ...

Trump says virus testing ‘not a problem,’ but doubts persist

By ZEKE MILLER, JILL COLVIN and JONATHAN LEMIRE Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House released new guidelines Monday aimed at answering criticism that America's coronavirus testing has been too slow, and President Donald Trump tried to pivot toward a focus on "reopening" the ...