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National News

States easing virus restrictions despite experts’ warnings

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — With the U.S. vaccination drive picking up speed and a third formula on the way, states eager to reopen for business are easing coronavirus restrictions despite warnings from health experts that the outbreak is far from over and that moving too quickly could prolong the ...

Senate confirms Cardona as Biden’s education secretary

The Senate voted Monday to confirm Miguel Cardona as education secretary, clearing his way to lead President Joe Biden's effort to reopen the nation's schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cardona, 45, a former public school teacher who went on to become Connecticut's education chief, was ...

Minimum wage hike all but dead in big COVID relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats' hopes of including a minimum wage increase in their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill seemed all but dead Monday as the Senate prepared to debate its own version of the House-passed aid package. Four days after the chamber's parliamentarian said Senate rules ...

‘We turn a blind eye’: Boston’s police remain largely white

BOSTON (AP) — For years, Boston city leaders have vowed to diversify the police department so it looks more like the community it serves. Yet the police force is just as white as it was a decade ago, and huge barriers to diversity remain, advocates say. City officials acknowledge more work ...

Nonprofit leader takes over as National Spelling Bee chief

Breaking from a tradition of being led by former contestants, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has hired a nonprofit leader with no history in the competition as its executive director, signaling a new era for the nearly century-old showcase for the top spellers in the English ...

EXPLAINER: Why rising rates are unsettling Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Yes, it's possible to have too much of a good thing, and that's exactly why stock markets around the world are getting so unsettled. Optimism for an economic revival is surging following a year of coronavirus-induced misery. But expectations for stronger growth — plus the ...

Airline CEOs, Biden officials consider green-fuel breaks

Chief executives of the nation's largest passenger and cargo airlines met with key Biden administration officials Friday to talk about reducing emissions from airplanes and push incentives for lower-carbon aviation fuels. The White House said the meeting with climate adviser Gina McCarthy and ...

Yellen’s encore: Lending economic heft to Biden’s virus plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — On a cold, gray February afternoon, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stepped out of the West Wing wrapped in a puffy black parka and clutching a folder of documents, seemingly oblivious to the Washington custom of having an aide schlep the paperwork. Viewed as an outsider to ...

Ohio is first state to sue Census Bureau over delay in data

Ohio on Thursday became the first state to challenge the U.S. Census Bureau's decision to push back the release of 2020 census figures so more time can be spent on fixing any inaccuracies in the data. The lawsuit filed by Ohio asks a federal judge in Dayton to restore a March 31 deadline for ...

Gambino crime family’s elder Peter Gotti dies in prison

Mobster Peter Gotti, the brother of notorious Gambino crime boss John Gotti, has died while serving a federal prison sentence, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press Thursday. Gotti, 81, died of natural causes while incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, ...