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National News

Wisconsin GOP to vote on tougher penalties for protesters

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican legislators were poised Tuesday to vote on a pair of bills that would create tougher penalties for protesters who participate in riots and deface public statues. The bills come after protesters burned swaths of downtown Kenosha and damaged the Hans Christian ...

Graduation rates dip across US as pandemic stalls progress

High school graduation rates dipped in at least 20 states after the first full school year disrupted by the pandemic, suggesting the coronavirus may have ended nearly two decades of nationwide progress toward getting more students diplomas, an analysis shows. The drops came despite at least ...

EXPLAINER: Why are oil prices high, and any relief in sight?

NEW YORK (AP) — Anyone who's bought food, paid rent or looked for a used car recently has come up against the billowing inflation that has engulfed the U.S. economy. And, with surging oil prices keeping gasoline high, so has anyone who's filled up a car. Energy costs have been one of the ...

Judges approve special grand jury in Georgia election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — Judges have approved a request for a special grand jury by the Georgia prosecutor who's investigating whether former President Donald Trump and others broke the law by trying to pressure Georgia officials to throw out Joe Biden's presidential election victory. Fulton County ...

Youngkin faces new lawsuit as Virginia mask order kicks in

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin was facing a new legal challenge over his executive action that aimed to let parents opt out of school mask mandates as his order took effect Monday but was ignored by some districts. Youngkin issued the order as one of his first ...

FDA halts use of antibody drugs that don’t work vs. omicron

WASHINGTON (AP) — COVID-19 antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly should no longer be used because they don't work against the omicron variant that now accounts for nearly all U.S. infections, U.S. health regulators said Monday. The Food and Drug Administration said it was revoking ...

Oxford High School reopens nearly 2 months after shooting

OXFORD, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan high school where four students were fatally shot reopened Monday for the first time since the November attack, with the school's principal declaring "we are reclaiming our high school back." Dozens of therapy dogs, including a fleet of puppies, were ...

Prosecutor: Teen bought gun online, friend helped build it

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — The teen charged with shooting a fellow student at a Maryland high school last week told authorities he bought parts for the 9 mm ghost gun online and assembled it with a friend, a prosecutor said in court Monday. Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office Juvenile ...

Extra cash for low-income mothers may influence baby brains

New research suggests giving extra cash to low-income mothers can change their infants' brain development. Brain measurements at age 1 showed faster activity in key brain regions in infants whose low-income families received $300-plus monthly for a year, compared with those who got $20 each ...

Researchers: Shark attacks increase after 3 years of decline

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Shark attacks increased around the world in 2021 following three consecutive years of decline, though beach closures in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could be making the numbers seem more dramatic than they are, officials said Monday. Researchers with the ...

6 charged with bid to smuggle arsenal to Mexican drug cartel

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Six men have been charged with plotting to smuggle assault weapons and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, including .50-caliber armor piercing bullets, to one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels, authorities announced Monday. The alleged ringleader of the ...

Lawsuit: 1st Wyoming Black sheriff fires deputy for racism

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming's first Black sheriff last year fired a white deputy who is accused of tormenting a Black subordinate for years with racist name-calling that led him to quit, a new federal lawsuit reveals. Albany County Patrol Sgt. Christian Handley once drove past and yelled a ...

Abortion opponents eye priorities as high court ruling looms

In the nearly two months since a conservative majority of justices on the Supreme Court indicated openness to dramatic new restrictions on abortion, money has poured into the political fundraising arm of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List. The organization secured $20 million in ...

Delay in creating new cybersecurity board prompts concern

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — It's a key part of President Joe Biden's plans to fight major ransomware attacks and digital espionage campaigns: creating a board of experts that would investigate major incidents to see what went wrong and try to prevent the problems from happening again — much like a ...

Ski resorts aim for more efficient snowmaking amid drought

DENVER (AP) — The sight can be jarring during extreme drought: snowmaking guns lined up on a mountainside, blasting precious crystal flakes on a ski run while the rest of the land goes thirsty. Snowpack in the U.S. West has decreased by about 20% in the last century, making man-made snow ...

Taxpayers face overloaded IRS as filing season opens Monday

WASHINGTON (AP) — Count 30-year-old Ethan Miller among that subset of Americans who are actually eager to file their taxes once income tax filing season opens on Monday. The financial planner who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, is looking forward to claiming the new deductions that will ...

Black Democrats in South Carolina giving Biden mixed reviews

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Joe Biden's run for the Democratic presidential nomination was all but declared dead as he headed to the South Carolina primary in late February 2020. He had finished fifth in New Hampshire and fourth in Iowa. Still, Biden advised skeptics to withhold judgment until a ...

Yellowstone visits hit record high in 2021, straining staff

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — A record number of visitors flocked to Yellowstone National Park last year despite fewer hotel rooms and campsites being available because of the coronavirus pandemic and construction projects. About 4.86 million visits were tallied in 2021, breaking the ...

Once allies, Stormy Daniels and Avenatti face off at trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Stormy Daniels, the porn star who catapulted herself and Michael Avenatti to fame with lawsuits against former President Donald Trump, will have a starring role in court beginning Monday when prosecutors try to prove that the California lawyer cheated her of $300,000 in book ...

Youth’s overdose death renews pleas for Narcan in schools

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The death of a 13-year-old student who apparently overdosed on fentanyl at his Connecticut school has drawn renewed pleas for schools to stock the opioid antidote naloxone, as well as for training of both staffers and children on how to recognize and respond to ...