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National News

Fauci: Vaccinations are increasing in a ‘glimmer of hope’

The U.S. ramped up COVID-19 vaccinations in the past few days after a slower-than-expected start, bringing the number of shots dispensed to about 4 million, government health officials said Sunday. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, also said on ABC's "This Week" ...

Trump, on tape, presses Ga. official to ‘find’ him votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump pressured Georgia's Republican secretary of state to "find" enough votes to overturn Joe Biden's win in the state's presidential election, repeatedly citing disproven claims of fraud and raising the prospect of a "criminal offense" if officials did not ...

Girl Scouts call on cookie bakers to address child labor

The Girl Scouts of the USA said Wednesday that child labor has no place in its iconic cookies and called on the two companies that bake them to act quickly to address any potential abuses linked to the palm oil in their supply chains. The comments were sent in the form of a tweet to Associated ...

COVID-19 dominates annual list of banished words, terms

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — Even as vaccines are being rolled out to battle the coronavirus, wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University in Michigan's Upper Peninsula say they want to kick any trace of it from the English language. "COVID-19" and "social distancing" are thrown in with ...

Federal checks salvage otherwise dreadful 2020 for US farms

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income, U.S. farmers are expected to end 2020 with higher profit than 2019 and the best net income in seven years, the Department of Agriculture said in its latest farm income forecast. Farmers faced challenges ...

Nashville assessing building damage from Christmas bombing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials are continuing to assess building damage caused by the Christmas Day bombing as law enforcement officials on Thursday allowed media outlets the first opportunity to survey the downtown Nashville explosion site. The photos show blown out windows, debris ...

Downtown Nashville explosion knocks communications offline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A recreational vehicle parked in the deserted streets of downtown Nashville exploded early Christmas morning, causing widespread communications outages that took down police emergency systems and grounded holiday travel at the city's airport. Police were responding to ...

Consumers still want to get outdoors as temperatures plunge

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Over the summer, people looking to get out of the house snapped up boats, bicycles and patio furniture, figuring they were safer socializing and being active outdoors than inside. Now that temperatures are dropping, they're buying snowshoes, skis, boots and winter ...

‘Unprecedented’ mail volume delays Christmas gifts

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Some who mailed holiday presents weeks early this year found they didn't act early enough as Christmas arrived with their gifts stuck in transit. The U.S. Postal Service said on its website that it was "experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee ...

US plants hope to maintain production despite virus threat

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — U.S. factories have been cranking out goods during much of the pandemic at rates that are remarkably close to normal. However, manufacturers are concerned they may not be able to keep pace until most of the country is vaccinated because the coronavirus continues to surge in ...

Experts say experience convinced Midwest of virus dangers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — As much of the country experiences spiking virus rates, a reprieve from a devastating surge of the coronavirus in the Upper Midwest has given cautious relief to health officials, though they worry that infections remain rampant and holiday gatherings could reignite ...

Amid anguish of pandemic, sports offered memorable moments

Sarah Fuller was a goalie on the Vanderbilt women's soccer team when a chance at history tapped her on the shoulder. The Commodores football team was down a kicker because of COVID-19 issues, so coach Derek Mason reached out to soccer coach Darren Ambrose to see if Fuller might be a good ...

Trump made lasting impact on federal courts

WASHINGTON (AP) — On this, even President Donald Trump's most fevered critics agree: he has left a deep imprint on the federal courts that will outlast his one term in office for decades to come. He used the promise of conservative judicial appointments to win over Republican skeptics as a ...

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch sold to billionaire

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in California has found a new owner in billionaire businessman Ron Burkle. Burkle views the 2,700-acre property in Los Olivos, near Santa Barbara, as a land banking opportunity, his spokesman said Thursday in an email. The Wall Street ...

GOP blocks $2,000 checks as Trump leaves COVID aid in chaos

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's sudden demand for $2,000 checks for most Americans was swiftly rejected by House Republicans as his haphazard actions have thrown a massive COVID relief and government funding bill into chaos. The rare Christmas Eve session of the House lasted just ...

Retailers brace for flood of returns from online shopping

NEW YORK (AP) — A huge surge in online shopping during the pandemic has been a savior for retailers, but it comes at a price. Shoppers are expected to return twice as many items as they did during last year's holiday period, costing companies roughly $1.1 billion, according to Narvar Inc., a ...

Nurses fear what’s to come: ‘Walk down our unit for a day’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nurses of California are afraid. It's Christmas Eve, and they aren't home with their families. They are working, always working, completely gowned up — and worn down. They're frightened by what people are doing, or not doing, during a coronavirus pandemic that has ...

Report on Philadelphia police protest response finds flaws

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An independent review of Philadelphia's police response to days of widespread protests after the May killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police found failures in planning that led to short staffing, emotional responses from officers and sometimes excessive uses of ...

Warrant: Co-worker confessed to fatally stabbing UPS driver

WATERTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A UPS employee accused of fatally assaulting a co-worker he was helping deliver packages told police he stabbed the man before fleeing into the woods, according to an arrest warrant released Thursday. When he was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon by state ...

Congress seals agreement on $900 billion COVID relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Capitol Hill negotiators sealed a deal Sunday on an almost $1 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package, finally delivering long-overdue help to businesses and individuals and providing money to deliver vaccines to a nation eager for them. The agreement, announced by ...