Regional and US News

Green comet zooming our way, last visited 50,000 years ago

The Associated Press CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A comet is streaking back our way after 50,000 years. NASA says the dirty snowball last visited during Neanderthal times. It will come within 26 million miles of Earth on Wednesday before…

Jay Leno breaks bones in motorcycle wreck months after fire

The Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) - Two months after undergoing surgery for serious burns, Jay Leno is now contending with a number of broken bones after being knocked off a motorcycle. The comedian and former “Tonight Show” host told…

FDA moves to ease rules for blood donations from gay men

The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. plans to make it easier for gay and bisexual men to give blood by easing restrictions on groups that typically face higher risks of HIV. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday…

Auschwitz anniversary marked as peace again shattered by war

The Associated Press OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) - Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors and other mourners have commemorated the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German death camp in the final months of World War II. The observances Friday come amid the…

Pandemic, culture wars revive 'school choice' policy push

The Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Several years of pandemic restrictions and curriculum battles have emboldened longtime advocates of funneling public funds to private and religious schools in statehouses throughout the country. Republicans and parents’ rights activists are…

Biden picks Zients as his next White House chief of staff

The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - President Joe Biden has announced Jeff Zients as his next White House chief of staff, tapping an experienced technocrat who headed his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move came Friday as the…

5 women, immense power: Can they keep US from fiscal brink?

The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - It’s the first time the four leaders of the two congressional spending committees are women. Sitting down with The Associated Press for their first joint interview, along with Office of Management and Budget Director…

NASA marks 20 years since space shuttle Columbia disaster

By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA is marking the 20th anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia tragedy with somber ceremonies during its annual tribute to fallen astronauts. More than 100 people gathered under a…

1st legal medical marijuana sales are made in Mississippi

The Associated Press JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Patients have started buying medical marijuana in Mississippi, nearly a year after the products were legalized in the state. The Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association says the first purchases happened Wednesday in Brookhaven and…

Leaders are meant to keep state secrets. Just not at home.

The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - The discovery of classified documents at the home of former Vice President Mike Pence is scrambling the blame game in Washington. Now, lawmakers from both parties seem united in frustration with the string of…

Lawyer: Admins were warned 3 times the day boy shot teacher

The Associated Press NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - An attorney says a Virginia teacher who was shot by a 6-year-old student during class plans to sue the school district. Diane Toscano, a lawyer for the 25-year-old teacher, Abigail Zwerner, said…

The AP Interview: Pope says homosexuality not a crime

The Associated Press VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are. He called on those Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ…

AmazonSmile's end is alarming, say nonprofits that benefited

The Associated Press Since 2013, more than 1 million charities received donations from AmazonSmile, which sent a small portion of a customer's purchase on Amazon to a nonprofit of their choice. Amazon announced last week that the program will end…

'Happening way too often': Report delves into mass attacks

The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - A new report on mass attacks calls for communities to intervene early when they see warning signs of violence. The report also encourages businesses to consider workplace violence prevention plans and highlights the connection…

Murdoch pulls plug on possible merger of News Corp., Fox

The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) - Rupert Murdoch has pulled the plug on a proposal to merge his News Corp. and Fox Corp. In statements Tuesday, the companies said their boards received letters from Murdoch withdrawing the plan. They…

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Every year since 2010, a U.S. president has dedicated the month to raise awareness about human trafficking and to educate the public about how to identify and prevent the crime. The Polaris Project staffs…

Promising gene therapy delivers treatment directly to brain

The Associated Press Scientists say delivering gene therapy directly to the brain holds great promise. The first brain-delivered gene therapy on the market was recently approved in Europe and the U.K. for a rare genetic disorder called AADC deficiency. It…

'Everything Everywhere' tops Oscar nominations with 11

The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) - The sci-fi indie hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once” leads nominations to the 95th Academy Awards with 11 nominations. Nominations included acting nods for star Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan in a…

Elon Musk defiantly defends himself in Tesla tweet trial

The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Elon Musk has concluded his testimony in a federal trial over a class-action lawsuit that alleges he misled Tesla shareholders with a tweet about an aborted buyout. The billionaire insisted Tuesday in a…

Senators grill Ticketmaster after Taylor Swift fiasco

The Associated Press Senators grilled Ticketmaster Tuesday about its spectacular breakdown last year during a sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets. Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee debated possible action, including making tickets non-transferable to cut down on…

Justice Dept. sues Google over digital advertising dominance

The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department and eight states have filed an antitrust suit against Google, seeking to shatter its alleged monopoly on the entire ecosystem of online advertising as a hurtful burden to advertisers, consumers and…