SpaceX rocket carrying four astronauts launches from Florida

A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft — carrying four astronauts from three countries — took off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida Friday morning, beginning their six-month stay in space.This launch marked the third-ever crewed flight for Elon Musk's company…

US drop in vaccine demand has some places turning down doses

Demand for the coronavirus vaccine has fallen off in some places around the United States to the point where some counties are turning down new shipments of doses. More than half of all U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine dose. But administering the shots remains a challenge. In Iowa, nearly half of its counties have declined new shipments of doses. About three-quarters of Kansas counties have turned down new shipments of the coronavirus vaccine at least once over the past month. And the state of Louisiana turned down new shipments this past week. Said one pharmacist: “I would like to have some on hand, but I don’t want them to go out of date because they’re just sitting there.”

Senate overwhelmingly passes anti-Asian hate crimes bill

The Senate passed with a wide bipartisan majority Thursday a bill denouncing discrimination against Asian communities in the United States, and creating a new position at the Justice Department to expedite reviews of potential Covid-19-related hate crimes.The vote was 94-1.…

Jobless claims fell more than expected last week, hitting a pandemic low

Claims for unemployment benefits went down more than expected last week. That's good news.Economists are confident that the labor market recovery will gather speed as the economy reopens fully and more people get vaccinated. But jobless claims rose in two…

Oklahoma passes a law that can protect drivers who run over protesters

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill Wednesday granting immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while attempting to flee and which stiffens penalties for demonstrators who block public roadways, according to the Oklahoma State Legislature.The state Senate…

Lewis & Clark College to require COVID student vaccinations

Lewis & Clark College has announced that it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all students this fall. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports according to a database maintained by the Chronicle of Higher Education, it’s the first institution in Oregon to announce that requirement. In an email to students sent Wednesday, the private college in Portland said all students must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption by Oct. 15. That policy does not apply to programs that are fully online. Seattle University announced last week it will require students to prove they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Biden expected to tout reaching 200 million shots since taking office

President Joe Biden is expected to tout the United States administering 200 million coronavirus vaccine shots since he took office in remarks on Wednesday, according to two administration officials.Two hundred million shots is double the original goal Biden had set…

Dems push $25B to electrify school buses, a Biden priority

Democratic lawmakers are unveiling legislation that would invest $25 billion to convert the nation’s fleet of gasoline- and diesel-powered school buses to electric vehicles. They're aiming Wednesday at a component of President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan geared toward improving children’s health. The legislation led by California Sen. Alex Padilla would authorize federal grant money over 10 years to cover the expense of purchasing electric school buses, building charging stations and providing workforce training. School buses make up 90% of the nation’s total bus fleet and typically carry 25 million children each day. Emissions from diesel engines may contribute to respiratory illnesses in children and have been linked to poor academic performance.