National News

Fauci says US headed in `wrong direction' on coronavirus

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.

California's largest fire burns homes as blazes scorch West

INDIAN FALLS, Calif. (AP) — California's largest wildfire merged with a smaller blaze and destroyed homes in remote areas with limited access for firefighters, as numerous other fires gained strength and threatened property across the U.S. West.

Divine transformation: Ex-Alaska strip club becomes church

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A popular strip club that once beckoned customers off a busy highway leading into Anchorage is now a church offering salvation — instead of temptation — thanks to a daughter of a former exotic dancer.

Sparked by pandemic fallout, homeschooling surges across US

Some U.S. parents say they're planning to continue to homeschool their children, even as schools resume in-person classes. Danielle King of Randolph, Vermont, says requiring homeschooling for her 7-year-old daughter was a “silver lining” in the pandemic. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs. Others seek a faith-based curriculum or say their local schools are flawed. The common denominator: They tried homeschooling on what they thought was a temporary basis, and found it beneficial to their children. The U.S. Census Bureau has confirmed the surge. It says the rate of households homeschooling their children rose to 11% by September 2020, doubling from 5.4% six months earlier. 

US loses to France 83-76, 25-game Olympic win streak ends

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — For the first time since 2004, the U.S. men’s basketball team has lost in the Olympics. And the Americans’ quest for a fourth consecutive gold medal is already in serious trouble.

Sparked by pandemic fallout, homeschooling surges across US

Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They're now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes.

Ship hunts foreign ships doing work reserved for US crews

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Offshore energy service companies are out to find foreign-flagged ships hauling pipeline parts and other energy-related equipment from U.S. ports and delivering or installing them in U.S. waters.

AP PHOTOS: No cheers amid virus fears at fanless Tokyo Games

Gymnasts raised their arms and struck familiar poses — without the familiar explosion of cheers. Nothing to hear near the beach volleyball courts, either, except the piercing hiss of cicadas in surrounding trees.

California's largest fire torches homes as blazes lash West

INDIAN FALLS, Calif. (AP) — Flames racing through rugged terrain in Northern California destroyed multiple homes Saturday as the state's largest wildfire intensified and numerous other blazes battered the U.S. West.

Wildfires blasting through West draw states to lend support

BLY, Ore. (AP) — Out-of-state crews headed to Montana Saturday to battle a blaze that injured five firefighters as the U.S. West struggled with a series of fires that have ravaged rural lands and destroyed homes.

Imprisoned 'Dating Game Killer' Alcala dies in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A prolific serial torture-slayer dubbed “The Dating Game Killer” died Saturday while awaiting execution in California, authorities said. Rodney James Alcala was 77.

Beware of budget gimmicks in push for massive spending deals

Senators negotiating two colossal bills that would deliver more than $4 trillion for infrastructure, health care, environment and other initiatives keep insisting both bills will be fully paid for. But will they really? Democrats and Republicans have long relied on budget gimmicks to help finance their priorities. This budget gimmickry lets lawmakers claim they’re being fiscally responsible while inflicting little pain on voters and contributors with tax increases or spending cuts. Though there are some legitimate savings in the two emerging bills, it looks like lawmakers are getting ready to use smoke and mirrors again. 

Carbon-capture pipelines offer climate aid; activists wary

Two companies seeking to build thousands of miles of pipeline across the Midwest are promising the effort will aid rather than hinder the fight against climate change. Some environmental groups remain skeptical. The pipelines would stretch from North Dakota to Illinois, potentially transforming the Corn Belt into one of the world’s largest corridors for a technology called carbon capture and storage. The projects would capture the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide at ethanol refineries and transport it to sites where it could be buried thousands of feet underground beneath deep geological formations. But that isn’t stopping some conservationists from opposing it, raising the chances that the pipelines become another pitched battle between energy companies and environmentalists.

Dems renew questions about FBI background check of Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are raising new concerns about the thoroughness of the FBI's background investigation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after the FBI revealed that it had received thousands of tips and had provided “all relevant” ones to the White House counsel's office.