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National News

Southern cities hit hard by storms face new crisis: No water

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Southern cities slammed by winter storms that left millions without power for days have traded one crisis for another: Busted water pipes ruptured by record-low temperatures created shortages of clean drinking water, shut down the Memphis airport on Friday and left ...

South Carolina abortion law suspended 1 day after passage

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's new law banning most abortions was suspended by a federal judge Friday on its second day in effect. Judge Mary Geiger Lewis put a 14-day temporary restraining order on the law and will renew it until she can hold a more substantial hearing on March 9 on ...

JFK’s Harvard sweater sold at auction for more than $85,000

BOSTON (AP) — John F. Kennedy's Harvard University sweater, given away to a television cameraman who mentioned that he was chilly while interviewing Jacqueline Kennedy, has sold at auction for more than $85,000. The crimson wool cardigan, featuring a large black block-letter "H" and eight ...

Suspected Russian hack fuels new US action on cybersecurity

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jolted by a sweeping hack that may have revealed government and corporate secrets to Russia, U.S. officials are scrambling to reinforce the nation's cyber defenses and recognizing that an agency created two years ago to protect America's networks and infrastructure lacks the ...

Guns in capitol buildings divide states after armed protests

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — In the past year, insurrectionists have breached the U.S. Capitol and armed protesters have forced their way into statehouses around the country. But the question of whether guns should be allowed in capitol buildings remains political, and states are going in opposite ...

Biden declares ‘America is back’ in welcome words to allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden used his first address before a global audience Friday to declare that "America is back, the transatlantic alliance is back," after four years of a Trump administration that flaunted its foreign policy through an "America First" lens. Speaking to the ...

Biden defends progress on COVID as weather delays 6M shots

PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — President Joe Biden toured a state-of-the art coronavirus vaccine plant Friday, intent on showcasing progress even as extreme winter weather across the U.S. handed his vaccination campaign its first major setback, delaying shipment of about 6 million doses and causing ...

AP source: Police suggest keeping Capitol fence for months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Capitol Police officials told congressional leaders the razor-wire topped fencing around the Capitol should remain in place for several more months as law enforcement continues to track threats against lawmakers, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated ...

Divides in parent opinion complicate school reopening push

President Joe Biden is pushing for K-8 schools to fully reopen in his first 100 days. But don't look for Omeisha Snape's kids in the classrooms. The New York City mother made the decision to keep her six children home in the fall when given the option of some in-person learning, and she's ...

US jobless claims rise to 861,000 as layoffs stay high

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid rose last week to 861,000, evidence that layoffs remain painfully high despite a steady drop in the number of confirmed viral infections. Applications from laid-off workers rose 13,000 from the previous week, which was ...

SC governor signs abortion ban; Planned Parenthood sues

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's governor on Thursday signed a bill banning most abortions, one of his top priorities since he took office more than four years ago. Planned Parenthood immediately sued, effectively preventing the new law from taking effect. The "South Carolina Fetal ...

Widespread power outages, icy conditions hobble food supply

A series of winter storms and widespread power outages gripping Texas and other states not used to such extreme low temperatures are creating big challenges in the nation's food supply networks. Grocery chains like Walmart and Publix have been forced to close some stores either because of lack ...

Massive storms, outages force tough decisions amid pandemic

DALLAS (AP) — Ashley Archer, a pregnant, 33-year-old Texas financial adviser, and her husband have been cautious about the coronavirus. They work from home, go out mostly just to get groceries and wear masks whenever they are in public. But when a friend lost power amid the winter storms ...

Texas prices for lodging, necessities skyrocket amid storm

Hotel rooms for $1,000 a night. Gasoline prices spiking. Even bottled water prices doubling or tripling overnight. Officials in Texas say the winter storm that knocked out power and water to millions of residents is providing an opportunity for some unscrupulous merchants to take advantage of ...

NASA rover lands on Mars to look for signs of ancient life

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA rover streaked through the orange Martian sky and landed on the planet Thursday, accomplishing the riskiest step yet in an epic quest to bring back rocks that could answer whether life ever existed on Mars. Ground controllers at the space agency's Jet ...

‘Obviously a mistake’: Cruz returns from Cancun after uproar

DALLAS (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said his family vacation to Mexico was "obviously a mistake" as he returned stateside Thursday following an uproar over his disappearance during a deadly winter storm. The Republican senator said he began second-guessing the trip since the moment he first ...

Biden rolling out plan for $4 billion global vaccine effort

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden will use his first big presidential moment on the global stage at Friday's Group of Seven meeting of world leaders to announce that the U.S. will soon begin releasing $4 billion for an international effort to bolster the purchase and distribution of coronavirus ...

US life expectancy drops a year in pandemic, most since WWII

Life expectancy in the United States dropped a staggering one year during the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic caused its first wave of deaths, health officials are reporting. Minorities suffered the biggest impact, with Black Americans losing nearly three years and Hispanics, ...

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 ...