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National News

Turn off, turn on: Simple step can thwart top phone hackers

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — As a member of the secretive Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Angus King has reason to worry about hackers. At a briefing by security staff this year, he said he got some advice on how to help keep his cellphone secure. Step One: Turn off phone. Step Two: Turn it ...

Infrastructure talks leave Biden’s entire agenda at risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's latest leap into the Senate's up-and-down efforts to clinch a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure deal comes with even more at stake than his coveted plans for boosting road, rail and other public works projects. The outcome of the infrastructure ...

High profile: Cannabis chemical delta-8 gains fans, scrutiny

NEW YORK (AP) — A chemical cousin of pot's main intoxicating ingredient has rocketed to popularity over the last year, and the cannabis industry and state governments are scrambling to reckon with it amid debate over whether it's legal. The chemical, called delta-8 THC, is billed as ...

First sign of animal life on Earth may be a sponge fossil

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Canadian geologist may have found the earliest fossil record of animal life on Earth, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Around a billion years ago, a region of northwest Canada now defined by steep mountains was a prehistoric marine ...

New CDC guidelines set off rush to reimpose mask mandates

New guidance from the federal government set off a cascade of mask rules across the nation Wednesday as cities, states, schools and businesses raced to restore mandates and others pushed back against the guidelines at a time when Americans are exhausted and confused over constantly shifting ...

Study: Only half of American households donate to charity

For the first time in nearly two decades, only half of U.S. households donated to a charity, according to a study released Tuesday. The findings confirm a trend worrying experts: Donations to charitable causes are reaching record highs, but the giving is done by a smaller and smaller slice of ...

EXCLUSIVE: Biden mileage rule to exceed Obama climate goal

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major step against climate change, President Joe Biden is proposing a return to aggressive Obama-era vehicle mileage standards over five years, according to industry and government officials briefed on the plan. He's then aiming for even tougher anti-pollution rules ...

Senators, White House in crunch time on infrastructure deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time running short, senators and the White House worked furiously Tuesday to salvage a bipartisan infrastructure deal, with pressure intensifying on all sides to wrap up talks on President Joe Biden's top priority. Despite weeks of closed-door discussions, several issues ...

NY law has long let officials use campaign funds for defense

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Some legislators want to change New York's campaign finance rules after Gov. Andrew Cuomo used $285,000 in political donations to pay lawyers representing him in sexual harassment and misconduct investigations. New York politicians have used millions of dollars in ...

Man honors 9/11 crews with Boston-New York drink cart push

BRAINTREE, Mass. (AP) — A former flight attendant who lost several colleagues when United Flight 175 was flown into the World Trade Center's south tower in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, is honoring his friends on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks by pushing an airline beverage cart ...

Judge hears request for new trial in Mollie Tibbetts case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The lead investigator in the 2018 death of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts expressed confidence Tuesday that the right man was convicted, rejecting defense claims that her abduction could be tied to two other local men. Division of Criminal Investigation ...

Man charged with sending threatening emails to Dr. Fauci

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged in federal court with sending emails that threatened to harm and kill Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, and their families, federal prosecutors in Maryland announced Tuesday. A criminal ...

US vows to improve protections for wild horse adoptions

RENO, Nev. (AP) — U.S. officials who are trying to adopt out wild horses captured on public land say they are tightening protections to guard against the illegal resale of the animals for slaughter, but advocates say the government needs to do more, including ending incentive payments for ...

South Carolina says its schools can’t follow CDC mask advice

Despite updated federal guidelines recommending indoor mask use at schools nationwide, even for vaccinated students, South Carolina education officials said Tuesday that they won't be able to follow the advice, due to recently passed legislation. A budget proviso that went into effect July 1 ...

EXPLAINER: Employers have legal right to mandate COVID shots

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The state of California. New York City. Hospitals and nursing homes. Colleges and universities. Employers are putting COVID-19 vaccine mandates into place and it's getting attention. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said a requirement ...

CDC changes course on indoor masks in some parts of the US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling infection surges. Citing new information about ...

3 tech giants report combined profits of more than $50B

Three tech companies — Apple, Microsoft and Google owner Alphabet — reported combined profits of more than $50 billion in the April-June quarter, underscoring their unparalleled influence and success at reshaping the way we live. Although these companies make their money in different ways, ...

Inflation fears and politics shape views of Biden economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is banking on the idea of making life more affordable for middle-class families — and that's where the recent bout of inflation poses both a political and an economic risk. The U.S. economy may be poised for the fastest growth since 1984, but many ...

As drought cuts hay crop, cattle ranchers face culling herds

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — With his cattle ranch threatened by a deepening drought, Jim Stanko isn't cheered by the coming storm signaled by the sound of thunder. "Thunder means lightning, and lightning can cause fires," said Stanko, who fears he'll have to sell off half his herd of ...

Warming rivers in US West killing fish, imperiling industry

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Baby salmon are dying by the thousands in one California river, and an entire run of endangered salmon could be wiped out in another. Fishermen who make their living off adult salmon, once they enter the Pacific Ocean, are sounding the alarm as blistering heat waves and ...