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National News

Impeachment over, Congress shifts focus to security failures

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the still shaken and heavily guarded U.S. Capitol, thousands of National Guard troops still wander the halls. Glass windows remain broken. Doors swing without handles. And in the grand marble hallways, which amplified the shouts of insurrectionists just over a month ago, ...

Graceland plans in-person events during Elvis Week

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — On the 44th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, fans will get to celebrate the musician once again at the annual Elvis Week event in Memphis, Tennessee. Presley's Graceland is preparing to host visitors and offer in-person events for Elvis Week from Aug. 11 through ...

Biden describes life at the White House: ‘A gilded cage’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four weeks into his presidency, Joe Biden is still getting used to the trappings of the office. Biden offered a frank description of life at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. during his CNN town hall Tuesday night, referencing past presidents who have spoken of the White House as "a ...

Ex-FBI agent linked to Whitey Bulger to be freed from prison

BOSTON (AP) — A former FBI agent convicted of second-degree murder for leaking information to Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger that led to the shooting death of a gambling executive will be released from prison on medical grounds, officials ruled Wednesday. The Florida Commission on ...

California lawmakers propose ban on fracking by 2027

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — New legislation would ban all fracking in California by 2027, taking aim at the powerful oil and gas industry in the state already planning to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. Progressive California has long been a leader in combating climate change, ...

Thousands of service members saying no to COVID-19 vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — By the thousands, U.S. service members are refusing or putting off the COVID-19 vaccine as frustrated commanders scramble to knock down internet rumors and find the right pitch that will persuade troops to get the shot. Some Army units are seeing as few as one-third agree ...

NASA rover attempting most difficult Martian touchdown yet

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Spacecraft aiming to land on Mars have skipped past the planet, burned up on entry, smashed into the surface, and made it down amid a fierce dust storm only to spit out a single fuzzy gray picture before dying. Almost 50 years after the first casualty at Mars, ...

EXPLAINER: How will we know we’ve reached herd immunity?

Health officials around the world are racing to vaccinate enough people to stop the spread of COVID-19, but what qualifies as "enough" is still an open question. The goal is to get to "herd immunity," which is when enough people have immunity, either from vaccination or a past infection, to ...

US govt seizes over 10M phony N95 masks in COVID-19 probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal agents have seized more than 10 million fake 3M brand N95 masks in recent weeks, the result of an ongoing investigation into counterfeits sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies. The most recent seizures occurred ...

Crippling weather hampers vaccine deliveries, distribution

The icy blast across much of the U.S. injected more confusion and frustration into the nation's COVID-19 vaccination drive Wednesday just when it was gathering speed, snarling vaccine deliveries and forcing the cancellation of countless shots around the country. Across a large swath of the ...

Promises on schools pose political problem for Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is in a political firestorm over how and when to get more schools open amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Republicans seizing on confusion surrounding Biden's goal to reopen a majority of schools within his first 100 days to paint the president as ...

Coronavirus slows bourbon tourism in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Bourbon tourism in Kentucky slowed to a trickle last year as the coronavirus pandemic led to the first drop-off in visitors in more than two decades. Total attendance at Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries plummeted in 2020 amid pandemic-related restrictions, the ...

Seattle woman, 90, walks 6 miles through snow for vaccine

SEATTLE (AP) — A rare winter storm that dumped a foot of snow on Seattle couldn't keep a 90-year-old woman from her first appointment for the coronavirus vaccine. The Seattle Times reports that Fran Goldman walked six miles round trip to get her shot. "I have been calling to get an ...

Biden optimistic on reopening of elementary schools

MILWAUKEE (AP) — President Joe Biden predicted Tuesday that most elementary schools will be open five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in office, but said it will be tougher for high schools to reopen at the same rate because of the risk of infection. The comments, made during ...

Highlights of COVID-19 relief bill progressing in House

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic-led effort to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package has passed its latest challenge with House committees advancing measures that will soon be combined into a single bill expected to clear the full House by the end of February. Democrats beat back ...

Millions endure record cold without power; at least 20 dead

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (AP) — A winter storm that left millions without power in record-breaking cold weather claimed more lives Tuesday, including three people found dead after a tornado hit a seaside town in North Carolina and four family members who perished in a Houston-area house fire ...

Deaths highlight once-in-a-decade Rockies avalanche danger

DENVER (AP) — The deaths of two Colorado men caught in avalanches and a third in Montana over the frigid Presidents Day weekend show how backcountry skiers and others in the Rocky Mountain wilderness risk triggering weak layers of snow that have created the most hazardous conditions in a ...

Dozens charged in Capitol riots spewed extremist rhetoric

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — In a text message, a radicalized Trump supporter suggested getting a boat to ferry "heavy weapons" across the Potomac River into the waiting arms of their members in time for Jan. 6, court papers say. It wasn't just idle talk, authorities say. Investigators found ...

Historic Black colleges to get $650,000 to preserve campuses

CHICAGO (AP) — Several historically Black colleges and universities will receive more than $650,000 in grants to preserve their campuses as part of a new initiative announced Tuesday. The funding for the HBCUs comes as leaders of the colleges and universities continue to advocate for ...

Hospitals still ration medical N95 masks as stockpiles swell

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of medical-grade N95 face masks are pouring out of American factories and heading into storage, yet doctors and nurses say there still aren't enough to keep them safe. An Associated Press investigation found a logistical breakdown at the heart of ...