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National News

‘Last hurrah’: 2020 college grads finally get ceremonies

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — After she was picked as commencement speaker for fellow 2020 graduates at Otterbein University, Katie Exline considered focusing her speech on perspective. By the time she finally got to deliver it in front of them this month, they already had some of that. "I don't ...

Flight 93 families hope heroism award helps keep story alive

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Serene, stark and seemingly in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania, the National Park Service memorial to the people who died on United Airlines Flight 93 is hard to find on a map — as the Sept, 11, 2001, terrorist attack itself slips deeper into the nation's ...

NASA spacecraft begins 2-year trip home with asteroid rubble

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — With rubble from an asteroid tucked inside, a NASA spacecraft fired its engines and began the long journey back to Earth on Monday, leaving the ancient space rock in its rearview mirror. The trip home for the robotic prospector, Osiris-Rex, will take two ...

Lafayette Square near the White House reopens to public

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lafayette Square, the park across from the White House, reopened Monday to the public nearly a year after federal authorities fenced off the area at the height of nationwide protests over policing following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The square, which ...

US schools fight to keep students amid fear of dropout surge

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — U.S. educators are doing everything they can to track down high school students who stopped showing up to classes and to help them get the credits needed to graduate, amid an anticipated surge in the country's dropout rate during the coronavirus pandemic. There isn't ...

Top US general urges greater racial diversity in military

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military must widen opportunity and improve advancement for Black service members, who remain vastly underrepresented in some areas, including among Air Force pilots and in the most senior ranks, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday. Army Gen. ...

Chance to shoot bison at Grand Canyon draws 45k applicants

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — More than 45,000 people are vying for one of a dozen spots to help thin a herd of bison at Grand Canyon National Park. The odds aren't as good as drawing a state tag to hunt the massive animals beyond the boundaries of the Grand Canyon, but they're far better than ...

SpaceX launches, lands Starship in 1st successful flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX launched and successfully landed its futuristic Starship on Wednesday, finally nailing a test flight of the rocketship that Elon Musk intends to use to land astronauts on the moon and send people to Mars. The previous four tests flights ended in fiery ...

South Carolina House adds firing squad to execution methods

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House voted Wednesday to add a firing squad to the state's execution methods amid a lack of lethal-injection drugs — a measure meant to jump-start executions in a state that once had one of the busiest death chambers in the nation. The bill, ...

Biden hits schools goal even as many students learn remotely

President Joe Biden has met his goal of having most elementary and middle schools open for full, in-person learning in his first 100 days, according to new survey data, but the share of students choosing to return has continued to lag far behind. The survey, conducted in March by the Education ...

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday joined calls for more sharing of the technology behind COVID-19 vaccines to help speed the end of the pandemic, a shift that puts the U.S. alongside many in the developing world who want rich countries to do more to get doses to the ...

Chauvin’s lawyer seeks new trial, hearing to impeach verdict

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The defense attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd has requested a new trial, saying the court abused its discretion, and he wants a hearing to have the verdict impeached because of what he says is jury misconduct, according to ...

After years, court hands tax win to Michael Jackson heirs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A U.S. tax court has handed a major victory to the estate of Michael Jackson in a years-long battle, finding that the IRS wildly inflated the value at the time of his death of Jackson's assets and image, leading to an estate tax bill for his heirs that was far too ...

Cheney could be ‘toast’ in fight with Trump over GOP future

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy wants his party to stand firmly with Donald Trump, despite the former president's false claims about the election being stolen from him. No. 3 GOP leader Liz Cheney is trying to steer the party far from Trump's claims about his defeat, ...

Judge orders Justice Dept. to release Trump obstruction memo

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the release of a legal memorandum the Trump-era Justice Department prepared for then-Attorney General William Barr before he announced his conclusion that President Donald Trump had not obstructed justice during the Russia investigation. The ...

Facebook board’s Trump decision could have wider impacts

Since the day after the deadly Jan. 6 riots on the U.S. Capitol, former President Donald Trump's social media accounts have been silent — muzzled for inciting violence using the platforms as online megaphones. On Wednesday, his fate on Facebook, the biggest social platform around, will be ...

Families, advocates mark day of awareness for Native victims

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — From the nation's capitol to Indigenous communities across the American Southwest, top government officials, family members and advocates are gathering Wednesday as part of a call to action to address the ongoing problem of violence against Indigenous women and ...

America’s new normal: A degree hotter than two decades ago

America's new normal temperature is a degree hotter than it was just two decades ago. Scientists have long talked about climate change — hotter temperatures, changes in rain and snowfall and more extreme weather — being the "new normal." Data released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and ...

Gov. Whitmer among 7 awarded for courage by JFK Foundation

BOSTON (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and six other people who risked their own health and safety to help and protect others during the coronavirus pandemic will receive Profile in Courage awards next month, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced Tuesday. The recipients, who ...

As pandemic ebbs, an old fear is new again: mass shootings

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Brianne Smith was overjoyed to get an e-mail telling her to schedule a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Hours later, her relief was replaced by dread: a phone alert — another mass public shooting. Before the pandemic, she would scan for the nearest exit in public ...