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National News

SpaceX launches, lands Starship in 1st successful flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX launched and successfully landed its futuristic Starship on Wednesday, finally nailing a test flight of the rocketship that Elon Musk intends to use to land astronauts on the moon and send people to Mars. The previous four tests flights ended in fiery ...

South Carolina House adds firing squad to execution methods

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House voted Wednesday to add a firing squad to the state's execution methods amid a lack of lethal-injection drugs — a measure meant to jump-start executions in a state that once had one of the busiest death chambers in the nation. The bill, ...

Biden hits schools goal even as many students learn remotely

President Joe Biden has met his goal of having most elementary and middle schools open for full, in-person learning in his first 100 days, according to new survey data, but the share of students choosing to return has continued to lag far behind. The survey, conducted in March by the Education ...

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday joined calls for more sharing of the technology behind COVID-19 vaccines to help speed the end of the pandemic, a shift that puts the U.S. alongside many in the developing world who want rich countries to do more to get doses to the ...

Chauvin’s lawyer seeks new trial, hearing to impeach verdict

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The defense attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd has requested a new trial, saying the court abused its discretion, and he wants a hearing to have the verdict impeached because of what he says is jury misconduct, according to ...

After years, court hands tax win to Michael Jackson heirs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A U.S. tax court has handed a major victory to the estate of Michael Jackson in a years-long battle, finding that the IRS wildly inflated the value at the time of his death of Jackson's assets and image, leading to an estate tax bill for his heirs that was far too ...

Cheney could be ‘toast’ in fight with Trump over GOP future

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy wants his party to stand firmly with Donald Trump, despite the former president's false claims about the election being stolen from him. No. 3 GOP leader Liz Cheney is trying to steer the party far from Trump's claims about his defeat, ...

Judge orders Justice Dept. to release Trump obstruction memo

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the release of a legal memorandum the Trump-era Justice Department prepared for then-Attorney General William Barr before he announced his conclusion that President Donald Trump had not obstructed justice during the Russia investigation. The ...

Facebook board’s Trump decision could have wider impacts

Since the day after the deadly Jan. 6 riots on the U.S. Capitol, former President Donald Trump's social media accounts have been silent — muzzled for inciting violence using the platforms as online megaphones. On Wednesday, his fate on Facebook, the biggest social platform around, will be ...

Families, advocates mark day of awareness for Native victims

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — From the nation's capitol to Indigenous communities across the American Southwest, top government officials, family members and advocates are gathering Wednesday as part of a call to action to address the ongoing problem of violence against Indigenous women and ...

America’s new normal: A degree hotter than two decades ago

America's new normal temperature is a degree hotter than it was just two decades ago. Scientists have long talked about climate change — hotter temperatures, changes in rain and snowfall and more extreme weather — being the "new normal." Data released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and ...

Gov. Whitmer among 7 awarded for courage by JFK Foundation

BOSTON (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and six other people who risked their own health and safety to help and protect others during the coronavirus pandemic will receive Profile in Courage awards next month, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced Tuesday. The recipients, who ...

As pandemic ebbs, an old fear is new again: mass shootings

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Brianne Smith was overjoyed to get an e-mail telling her to schedule a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Hours later, her relief was replaced by dread: a phone alert — another mass public shooting. Before the pandemic, she would scan for the nearest exit in public ...

FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for youngsters ages 12 to 15 by next week, according to a federal official and a person familiar with the process, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school ...

Bill and Melinda Gates divorce could shake up philanthropy

As much as Bill and Melinda Gates might want to keep their pending divorce private, the split between the billionaire co-founders of the world's largest private foundation is sure to have very public consequences, with the breakup having already sent a wave of anxious uncertainty through the ...

Biden aims to vaccinate 70% of American adults by July 4

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one shot to 70% of adult Americans by July Fourth as he tackles the vexing problem of winning over the "doubters" and those unmotivated to get inoculated. Demand for vaccines has dropped off ...

AP source: Sheldon Silver released from prison on furlough

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been released from a federal prison on furlough while he awaits potential placement to home confinement, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Silver, 77, began serving his more than six-year sentence ...

US birth rate falls to lowest point in more than a century

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. birth rate fell 4% last year, the largest single-year decrease in nearly 50 years, according to a government report being released Wednesday. The rate dropped for moms of every major race and ethnicity, and in nearly age group, falling to the lowest point since ...

Mourners gathering Monday for funeral of Andrew Brown Jr.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — Mourners will gather on Monday for the funeral of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man shot and killed by deputies in North Carolina, with eulogists planning to celebrate his legacy and reflect on his life. The invite-only service at noon in a church in Elizabeth City ...

Prince Harry, Jennifer Lopez make voices heard at Vax Live

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — President Joe Biden spoke about the COVID-19 vaccination being safe, Prince Harry urged for the vaccine distribution everywhere and Jennifer Lopez embraced her fully-vaccinated mother on stage during one of the largest concert gatherings in Southern California since ...