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National News

‘Overdue’: Biden sets Aug. 31 for US exit from Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan will end on Aug. 31, delivering an impassioned argument for exiting the nearly 20-year war without sacrificing more American lives even as he bluntly acknowledged there will be no "mission accomplished" ...

DeSantis parts with Trump in response to Surfside tragedy

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — When the coronavirus ravaged Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis defiantly bucked mask mandates. He later cracked down on protesters advocating racial justice, blasted President Joe Biden on immigration, jumped into the fight over transgender athletes and signed sweeping ...

African American spelling bee champ makes history with flair

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Zaila Avant-garde understood the significance of what she was doing as she stood on the Scripps National Spelling Bee stage, peppering pronouncer Jacques Bailly with questions about Greek and Latin roots. Zaila knew she would be the first African American winner ...

Purdue Pharma exit plan gains steam with OK from more states

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma's plan to reorganize into a new entity that helps combat the U.S. opioid epidemic got a big boost as 15 states that had previously opposed the new business model now support it. The agreement from multiple state attorneys general, including those who had most ...

Tropical storm sparks tornado warnings in trek up East Coast

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Severe weather from Tropical Storm Elsa spurred tornado warnings in southern Delaware early Friday as the system moved over the mid-Atlantic states and into the northeastern United States. It was not immediately clear whether a tornado touched down. The National ...

Tropical Storm Elsa weakens, spares Florida of major damage

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A weakened Tropical Storm Elsa dumped rain along a long stretch of Florida's Gulf Coast early Wednesday but appears to have spared the state significant damage and power outages. Elsa wobbled through the Gulf of Mexico, briefly reaching hurricane strength, but was ...

Are state interest-rate caps an automatic win for borrowers?

Small-dollar, short-term lenders, unburdened by a federal maximum interest rate, can charge borrowers rates of 400% or more for their loans. But more states are bringing that number down by setting rate caps to curb high-interest lending. Currently, 18 states and Washington, D.C. , have laws ...

Grizzly bear kills bicyclist camping in western Montana

HELENA Mont. (AP) — A grizzly bear attacked and killed a bicyclist who was camping in a small western Montana town early Tuesday, triggering an intensive search for the bruin by wildlife officials and law enforcement officers who planned to kill the animal, authorities said. The pre-dawn ...

California to pay victims of forced, coerced sterilizations

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is poised to approve reparations up to $25,000 to victims who were among the thousands of people — some as young as 13 — who decades ago were sterilized because state officials deemed them unfit to have children. The payments, part of the state's new ...

Boy Scouts bankruptcy plans anger some, welcomed by others.

NEW YORK (AP) — An $850 million agreement by the Boy Scouts of America to compensate sex-abuse victims prompted outrage Friday from some survivors and their advocates, while others were encouraged and saw it as the best outcome that could be achieved under the circumstances. The agreement, ...

Tribes say voting access hurt by US Supreme Court ruling

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The largest Native American reservation in the U.S. includes parts of three Arizona counties, all of which had different approaches to precinct voting in the 2020 general election. Voters in Apache County had to cast ballots at the polling location they were assigned. ...

New US LGBTQ-rights envoy sees reasons for hope and worry

NEW YORK (AP) — Jessica Stern, soon to become the State Department's special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, sees a mix of promising news and worrisome developments almost everywhere she looks, both at home and abroad. In the United States, Stern's admiration for President Joe Biden's ...

Florida condo building deemed unsafe, evacuation ordered

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The city of North Miami Beach ordered the evacuation of a condominium building Friday after a review found unsafe conditions about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the site of last week's deadly collapse in South Florida. An audit prompted by the collapse of ...

Hard lessons for lawyers in Cosby case; tougher for victims

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The seven justices who reversed Bill Cosby's conviction this week spent months debating whether he had a secret agreement with a prosecutor that tainted his 2018 criminal sexual assault conviction. In the end, Pennsylvania's highest court ruled that a district attorney ...

Historic Northwest heat wave may have killed hundreds

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Hundreds of deaths in Canada, Oregon and Washington may have been caused by the historic heat wave that baked the Pacific Northwest and shattered all-time temperature records in usually temperate cities. Oregon health officials said late Wednesday more than 60 deaths have ...

Learning setbacks coming into focus with new testing results

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The scores from the first U.S. standardized tests taken during the pandemic are offering an early glimpse of just how far students have fallen behind, with some states reporting that the turbulent year has reversed years of academic progress. Texas education officials ...

Millions skipped church during pandemic. Will they return?

WALDOBORO, Maine (AP) — With millions of people having stayed home from places of worship during the coronavirus pandemic, struggling congregations have one key question: How many of them will return? As the pandemic recedes in the United States and in-person services resume, worries of a ...

US will close 4 emergency shelters for migrant children

U.S. officials will close four emergency facilities set up to house record numbers of migrant children crossing the Mexican border alone but cautioned Tuesday that minors were still arriving. The Department of Health and Human Services will shut two facilities in Texas and two at convention ...

Army of volunteers showers first responders with food, water

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — Nicolette Daniel pulled a wheeled cart packed with takeout boxes of chicken tenders, French fries and deep-fried Oreos to the intersection where police officers stood by their cars Tuesday, directing traffic a block from the collapsed condominium tower in Surfside, ...

Actor Allison Mack faces sentencing in NXIVM sex-slave case

NEW YORK (AP) — TV actor Allison Mack, who played a key role in a scandal-ridden, cult-like upstate New York group, is facing sentencing Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges she manipulated women into becoming sex slaves for the group's spiritual leader. Mack — best known for her ...