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National News

California extends cocktails-to-go and outdoor dining rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California moved Friday to extend the sale of cocktails-to-go and keep alcohol service for outdoor dining at parklets as officials try to help restaurants recover from the coronavirus pandemic. "This is a pathway for these businesses to frankly make up for a lot of ...

California extends tax on phones to fund high-speed internet

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians could have higher cellphone bills after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two laws on Friday aimed at giving the state more money to build high-speed internet connections in unserved areas. California is one of 41 states that collect a tax on phone bills and ...

San Francisco to welcome cruise ships after 19-month hiatus

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cruise ships are returning to San Francisco after a 19-month hiatus brought on by the pandemic in what's sure to be a boost to the city's economy, the mayor announced Friday. The Majestic Princess will sail into the port of San Francisco Monday, the first cruise ship to ...

McConnell says he won’t help Dems raise debt limit again

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday he would not again help Democrats extend the government's borrowing authority, raising fresh doubts about how Congress will avert a federal default when a temporary patch expires in December. McConnell issued his warning in ...

California pipeline likely damaged up to a year before spill

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — An underwater oil pipeline off the Southern California coast was likely damaged by a ship's anchor several months to a year before it ruptured and sent oil spewing into the ocean and then onto some of the area's best-known beaches, investigators said ...

A growing worry for charities: Tax havens for the rich

A spotlight that has been thrown on how many of the rich and powerful shield their wealth is also intensifying a fear among philanthropy experts: That the tax havens being used by the wealthy will increasingly siphon money away from charitable causes. Wealthy Americans have long sought to use ...

EXPLAINER: Could Facebook sue whistleblower Frances Haugen?

Facebook has recently taken a harsher tone toward whistleblower Frances Haugen, suggesting that the social network could be considering legal retaliation after Haugen went public with internal research that she copied before leaving her job earlier this year. U.S. law protects whistleblowers ...

Vaccine mandate for police? NYC looking at ‘all options’

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's mayor said Friday he's looking at "all options" when it comes to a possible COVID-19 vaccine mandate for police officers — an idea backed by the city's police commissioner but opposed by its largest police union. "We're looking at all options," Mayor Bill de ...

2 parents convicted in 1st trial of college bribery scandal

BOSTON (AP) — Two wealthy parents were convicted Friday of buying their kids' way into school as athletic recruits in the first case to go to trial in the college admissions cheating scandal that embroiled prestigious universities across the country. Gamal Abdelaziz, a former casino ...

Biden restores Bears Ears, other monuments cut by Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday restored two sprawling national monuments in Utah, reversing a decision by President Donald Trump that opened for mining and other development hundreds of thousands of acres of rugged lands sacred to Native Americans and home to ancient cliff ...

Marathon bomber faces revived death sentence in high court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration will try to persuade the Supreme Court this week to reinstate the death penalty for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by arguing that a jury had no need to examine evidence that the government itself relied on at an earlier phase of ...

Small crack in pipeline may have delayed oil spill detection

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Video of the ruptured pipeline that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil off Southern California shows a thin crack along the top of the pipe that could indicate a slow leak that initially was difficult to detect, experts said Thursday. The ...

Ghost towns: Nursing home staffing falls amid pandemic

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — When Natalie Walters arrived at her father's nursing home, the parking lot was nearly empty and, inside, the elevator made no stops. On the 13th floor, the lights were off and the TVs silent. The last time she was allowed inside, nine months earlier, aides passed in the ...

Biden, a convert to vaccine mandates, champions compliance

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Il. (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday championed COVID-19 vaccination requirements, determined that the roughly 67 million unvaccinated American adults must get the shot even as he acknowledged that mandates weren't his "first instinct." Biden had ruled out such ...

US jobless claims fall to 326,000, first drop in four weeks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, another sign that the U.S. job market and economy continue their steady recovery from last year's coronavirus recession. Unemployment claims fell by 38,000 to 326,000, the first drop in four weeks, ...

What to expect as US weighs COVID shots for younger kids

The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to allow COVID-19 vaccinations in children ages 5 to 11 — using kid-sized doses. Until now, only people 12 and older could be vaccinated in the U.S., with shots made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. That's been a huge frustration for ...

US health experts urge flu shots to avoid ‘twindemic’

The U.S. is gearing up in case of a bad flu season on top of the continuing COVID-19 crisis, with a plea Thursday for Americans to get vaccinated against both. "I get it: We are all tired of talking about vaccines," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and ...

Puzzle overhanging job market: When will more people return?

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the U.S. government issues the September jobs report on Friday, the spotlight will fall not only on how many people were hired last month. A second question will command attention, too: Are more people finally starting to look for work? To an extent that has surprised ...

New FDA chief can’t come soon enough for beleaguered agency

WASHINGTON (AP) — Straining under a pandemic workload and battered by a string of public controversies, one of the leading agencies in the government's fight against COVID-19 is finally on the verge of getting a new commissioner. After nearly nine months of searching, President Joe Biden ...

Colorado woman who won’t get vaccinated denied transplant

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — When a Colorado woman found out her hospital wouldn't approve her kidney transplant surgery until she got the COVID-19 vaccine, she was left with a difficult decision pitting her health needs against her religious beliefs. Leilani Lutali, a born-again ...