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National News

House passes $1.9T pandemic bill on near party-line vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill early Saturday in a win for President Joe Biden, even as top Democrats tried assuring agitated progressives that they'd revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage. The new president's vision for flushing ...

Highlights of the COVID-19 relief bill advancing in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package early Saturday, 219-212, that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and billions of dollars for schools, state and local governments and businesses. Republicans are overwhelmingly against the bill, raising ...

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine works well in big ‘real world’ test

A real-world test of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in more than half a million people confirms that it's very effective at preventing serious illness or death, even after one dose. Wednesday's published results, from a mass vaccination campaign in Israel, give strong reassurance that the benefits ...

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, flu has disappeared in the US

NEW YORK (AP) — February is usually the peak of flu season, with doctors' offices and hospitals packed with suffering patients. But not this year. Flu has virtually disappeared from the U.S., with reports coming in at far lower levels than anything seen in decades. Experts say that measures ...

House poised to vote on legal safeguards for LGBTQ people

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-led House is poised to pass a bill that would enshrine LGBTQ protections in the nation's labor and civil rights laws, a top priority of President Joe Biden, though the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate. The Equality Act amends existing civil ...

BLM launches Survival Fund amid federal COVID-19 relief wait

NEW YORK (AP) — The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is formally expanding a $3 million financial relief fund that it quietly launched earlier this month, to help people struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The foundation, which grew out of the ...

Southern exposure: Cold wreaks havoc on aging waterworks

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The sunshine is back and the ice has melted. But more than a week after a deep freeze across the South, many communities are still grappling with getting clean water to their citizens. For years, experts have warned of the need to upgrade aging and often-neglected ...

Southern cities hit hard by storms face new crisis: No water

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Southern cities slammed by winter storms that left millions without power for days have traded one crisis for another: Busted water pipes ruptured by record-low temperatures created shortages of clean drinking water, shut down the Memphis airport on Friday and left ...

South Carolina abortion law suspended 1 day after passage

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's new law banning most abortions was suspended by a federal judge Friday on its second day in effect. Judge Mary Geiger Lewis put a 14-day temporary restraining order on the law and will renew it until she can hold a more substantial hearing on March 9 on ...

JFK’s Harvard sweater sold at auction for more than $85,000

BOSTON (AP) — John F. Kennedy's Harvard University sweater, given away to a television cameraman who mentioned that he was chilly while interviewing Jacqueline Kennedy, has sold at auction for more than $85,000. The crimson wool cardigan, featuring a large black block-letter "H" and eight ...

Suspected Russian hack fuels new US action on cybersecurity

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jolted by a sweeping hack that may have revealed government and corporate secrets to Russia, U.S. officials are scrambling to reinforce the nation's cyber defenses and recognizing that an agency created two years ago to protect America's networks and infrastructure lacks the ...

Guns in capitol buildings divide states after armed protests

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — In the past year, insurrectionists have breached the U.S. Capitol and armed protesters have forced their way into statehouses around the country. But the question of whether guns should be allowed in capitol buildings remains political, and states are going in opposite ...

Biden declares ‘America is back’ in welcome words to allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden used his first address before a global audience Friday to declare that "America is back, the transatlantic alliance is back," after four years of a Trump administration that flaunted its foreign policy through an "America First" lens. Speaking to the ...

Biden defends progress on COVID as weather delays 6M shots

PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — President Joe Biden toured a state-of-the art coronavirus vaccine plant Friday, intent on showcasing progress even as extreme winter weather across the U.S. handed his vaccination campaign its first major setback, delaying shipment of about 6 million doses and causing ...

AP source: Police suggest keeping Capitol fence for months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Capitol Police officials told congressional leaders the razor-wire topped fencing around the Capitol should remain in place for several more months as law enforcement continues to track threats against lawmakers, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated ...

Divides in parent opinion complicate school reopening push

President Joe Biden is pushing for K-8 schools to fully reopen in his first 100 days. But don't look for Omeisha Snape's kids in the classrooms. The New York City mother made the decision to keep her six children home in the fall when given the option of some in-person learning, and she's ...

US jobless claims rise to 861,000 as layoffs stay high

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid rose last week to 861,000, evidence that layoffs remain painfully high despite a steady drop in the number of confirmed viral infections. Applications from laid-off workers rose 13,000 from the previous week, which was ...

SC governor signs abortion ban; Planned Parenthood sues

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's governor on Thursday signed a bill banning most abortions, one of his top priorities since he took office more than four years ago. Planned Parenthood immediately sued, effectively preventing the new law from taking effect. The "South Carolina Fetal ...

Widespread power outages, icy conditions hobble food supply

A series of winter storms and widespread power outages gripping Texas and other states not used to such extreme low temperatures are creating big challenges in the nation's food supply networks. Grocery chains like Walmart and Publix have been forced to close some stores either because of lack ...

Massive storms, outages force tough decisions amid pandemic

DALLAS (AP) — Ashley Archer, a pregnant, 33-year-old Texas financial adviser, and her husband have been cautious about the coronavirus. They work from home, go out mostly just to get groceries and wear masks whenever they are in public. But when a friend lost power amid the winter storms ...