Coming off climate talks, US to hold huge crude sale in Gulf

By MATTHEW BROWN and JANET McCONNAUGHEY Associated Press NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday will auction vast oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico estimated to hold up to 1.1 billion barrels of crude. It’s the first such sale under President Joe Biden and underscores the challenges he faces to reach

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AP FACT CHECK: Biden hypes $1T bill impact on electric cars

By HOPE YEN Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Boasting about his $1 trillion infrastructure package, President Joe Biden overstated its reach by claiming it would result in 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations and meet his pledge to nudge half of U.S. drivers into EVs by decade’s end. The measure receiving final congressional passage late Friday

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Alabama lawmakers approve job protections for unvaccinated

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers approved legislation to prevent companies from firing workers who claim a religious or medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination mandates. The Alabama Legislature gave final approval to the bill Thursday night. It now goes to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. Republicans said they were responding to

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Republicans advance bill for claiming vaccine exemptions

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers advanced legislation aimed at protecting employees who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by setting out an easy process to claim a religious or medical exemption. The Alabama Senate voted 26-5 Tuesday for the bill that would let employees claim a medical or

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Alabama seeks to purge racist language from Constitution

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A state committee had advanced a plan to remove racist language from the Alabama Committee. The Committee on the Recompilation of the Constitution on Wednesday approved a plan to strip racist language from the state’s governing document. It also reorganizes the sprawling document that has nearly

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Alabama House OKs new congressional, legislative districts

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama House of Representatives has approved new lines for the state’s seven congressional districts. Representatives voted 65-38 on Monday for the new district lines with about 10 Republicans joining with Democrats to oppose the new boundary lines for the seven districts. The plan now moves

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Redistricting bills spawn controversy among state Dems, GOP

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Karris Harmon Alabama is one step closer to officially changing its state school board, state legislative and U.S. congressional districts, but some lawmakers aren’t happy about the process thus far. The Alabama House Government Committee approved bills redrawing those districts Oct. 29 after Gov. Kay Ivey called a special session

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Alabama: Vaccine mandate will lead state employees to quit

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama argued in a lawsuit challenging the federal vaccine requirements that many university and state agency employees would leave their jobs if required to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Alabama joined with a coalition of other states in a lawsuit filed late Friday challenging the vaccine mandate

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Alabama lawmakers begin special session on redistricting

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama Legislature has begun drawing the state’s legislative, school board and congressional districts, although many expect the issue will ultimately be headed for federal court. Lawmakers convened Thursday for the special session. Committees are scheduled to vote on the proposed maps Friday. However, many expect

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Alabama lawmakers working on new district lines

Alabama Lawmakers return to Montgomery this week for a special session focused on drawing new legislative, congressional and school board districts. Some legal groups argue the state should have two out of Alabama’s seven U.S. congressional districts likely elect a Black representative, instead of just one. According to data collected during the 2020 Census, Black

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GOP advances legislative maps; Dems say process rushed

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Republicans on a legislative committee have swiftly advanced proposed congressional and legislative districts ahead of this week’s special session. The approval came over the objections of Democrats who said the process was rushed and the congressional map failed to reflect the state’s racial diversity. The Joint

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Groups seek 2 districts with large Black voter bases

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers return to Montgomery this week to draw new legislative, congressional and school board districts. Some legal groups are arguing the state should have two congressional districts likely to elect African American representatives, instead of just one. Black and mixed-race residents make up more than

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‘Black Hawk Down’ pilot Durant enters Alabama Senate race

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A military veteran best known as the helicopter pilot who was shot down and held prisoner in the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” incident is joining the U.S. Senate race in Alabama. Mike Durant is now the owner of an aerospace company in Huntsville. He announced his

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Britt dominates fundraising in Alabama Senate race

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Katie Boyd Britt has piled up a significant cash advantage over other candidates in the Alabama race for U.S. Senate. Britt, the former chief of staff to retiring Sen. Richard Shelby, is seeking to fill his seat in the 2022 election. Britt stepped down as head of the Business Council of

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Alabama medical cannabis license dates to stay the same

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – An official says Alabama regulators have plenty to do before people can apply for medical cannabis licenses, so they won’t push for an earlier date. Medical marijuana supporters say the application date next Sept. 1 means the substance probably won’t be available before 2023. Vice Chair Rex Vaughn said the Alabama Medical

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Alabama seeks to purge racist sections of constitution

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers are moving forward on a proposal to strip racist language from the state’s constitution. The constitution was written in 1901 to entrench white supremacy and still has language allowing segregated schools and poll taxes. The Committee on the Recompilation of the Constitution on Wednesday

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Court again lets Texas continue banning most abortions

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A federal appeals court is once again allowing Texas to continue banning most abortions. The decision Thursday night keeps the law known as Senate Bill 8 in place as the Justice Department tries to halt the law. The Biden administration is suing Texas over the

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Biden vaccine order moves closer to enforcement

By The Associated Press WASHINGTON – The Biden’s administration’s mandate that employers with 100 or more workers require coronavirus vaccinations or institute weekly virus testing has moved one step closer to enforcement. On Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finalized the initial draft of the emergency order and sent it to the White House

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Alabama bypasses bid process to move fast on prison builds

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The state of Alabama intends to move quickly on building new prisons under a plan that uses some of the state’s pandemic relief funds and could skip the normal bidding process. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday signed into law the $1.3 billion construction plan. The

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Alabama House approves prison plan using virus funds

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers are heading toward swift approval of a prison construction package that would tap $400 million of the state’s pandemic relief funds to help pay for building three new lockups. The House of Representatives voted 74-26 for the $1.3 billion construction plan and 75-25 to

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Ivey defends use of virus funds for prisons, bills advance

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is defending her state’s plan to use pandemic relief funds to build new prisons. Ivey said the expenditure is both allowed and needed. The Republican governor issued the statement in response to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman urging Treasury to block

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Lawsuit: Alabama congressional map ‘racially gerrymandered’

By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A lawsuit is challenging Alabama’s congressional districts as racially gerrymandered, saying the district boundaries limit Black voters’ influence in all but one congressional districts. The lawsuit filed Tuesday argues that Alabama should have a second district with significant Black voter influence. The lawsuit was filed by

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Is Texas setting a new status quo for abortions?

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Madison Carmouche Americans all over the nation have been reacting to Texas’ strictest-in-the-nation abortion law, but the state isn’t the first to enact laws eroding abortion protections set up by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. In 2013, North Dakota became the first state to pass the Heartbeat

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Ivey promotes Alabama prison plan ahead of special session

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey blamed crumbling buildings and infrastructure for the state’s prison problems as she prepares to call lawmakers back to Montgomery for a special session on prison construction. Ivey said Tuesday that prison infrastructure is the main issue contributing to the problems. Ivey is calling a special session next

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