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National News

This is his quest: An actor serenades the front-line workers

NEW YORK (AP) — It's a stunning sound, emerging amid the clanging and the whooping and the banging and the honking at 7 p.m. each night as New Yorkers cheer front-line workers: the velvety, buttery baritone of Brian Stokes Mitchell. For decades, Mitchell's voice has been one of the most ...

NYC subway will halt overnight service due to virus

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City will shut down its subway system each day from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to increase cleaning of trains and stations during the coronavirus crisis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo anounced Thursday. Subway trains, which had been disinfected at least once every 72 hours, will be ...

U.S. intel: Coronavirus not manmade, still studying lab theory

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the new coronavirus was "not manmade or genetically modified" but say they are still examining whether the origins of the pandemic trace to contact with infected animals or an accident at a Chinese lab. The statement from the ...

Biden reaches deal to let Sanders keep hundreds of delegates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has agreed to let former primary rival Bernie Sanders keep hundreds of delegates he would otherwise forfeit by dropping out of the presidential race in a deal designed to avoid the bitter feelings that marred the party in 2016 and ...

Before the virus: Looking back on some last ‘normal’ moments

The coronavirus scare has done something to time. The days, weeks, and now the months, have blurred and stretched as talk of reopening the world has taken over for millions waiting and wondering at home. There are few of life's usual rhythms. And like so many cataclysms before this one, ...

U.S. jobless claims soar past 30 million; Europe reeling also

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits because of the coronavirus has soared past 30 million, worsening a crisis unmatched since the 1930s and turning up the pressure on political leaders to lift restrictions that are choking the economy. Government figures ...

Stocks slam on brakes as dismal economic data piles higher

Stocks are falling in early trading on Wall Street Thursday after more reports made clear the worldwide devastation the coronavirus outbreak is causing for the economy. In the United States, another 3.8 million workers filed for unemployment benefits last week as layoffs continue to hammer the ...

Unemployment surge pushing state funds toward insolvency

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A surge in unemployment stemming from the coronavirus shutdown of large parts of the U.S. economy is starting to push some state jobless funds toward insolvency. At least a half-dozen states already have notified the federal government that they could need to ...

McConnell open to state aid in next virus relief package

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shifting tone, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he is "open" to considering additional funds for state and local governments in the next coronavirus relief bill as the chamber returns to session during the pandemic. The Republican leader faced a storm ...

Smallest businesses get a few hours at head of relief loan line

NEW YORK (AP) — The smallest companies seeking coronavirus relief loans were moving to the head of the line Wednesday after the Small Business Administration said that for eight hours ending at midnight Eastern time it would accept loans only from small lenders. The step was being taken to ...

Stocks charge higher on hopes for progress in fighting virus

Stocks around the world whipped higher Wednesday, riding a wave of optimism on encouraging data about a possible treatment for COVID-19. The upswell of hope was so strong that investors completely sidestepped a report showing the outbreak drove the U.S. economy to its worst quarterly ...

Drug proves effective against virus as economic damage rises

Scientists on Wednesday announced the first effective treatment against the coronavirus — an experimental drug that can speed the recovery of COVID-19 patients — in a major medical advance that came as the economic gloom caused by the scourge deepened in the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. ...

Virus leaves New York City artists in a ‘tailspin’

NEW YORK (AP) — Dancer and choreographer Netta Yerushalmy has built a career in movement and community. Both are gone now. Her world is still, isolated — and fearful. "Dancers I know are in a muted, depressed state right now," she said from her apartment in Manhattan. "The metaphor of the ...

PG&E’s top exec to end short stint at beleaguered utility

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — PG&E Corp. CEO Bill Johnson will step down from his job just 14 months after the nation's largest utility hired him to rescue it from a financial mess caused by a history of negligence and to change a corporate culture that emphasized profits over ...

‘U ok?’ Virus-era friendships can be both crucial & fraught

A single mother hunkering down at home with a teenage daughter, Sharon Litwin sees her friends, like most people these days, only virtually. Even so, they've been a crucial lifeline. "Sometimes I just need to have a conversation with adults," she says. "And sometimes I just need to cry, which ...

Navy to widen carrier probe, delaying decision on commander

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy will conduct a wider investigation of circumstances surrounding the spread of the coronavirus aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, a move that effectively delays a decision on whether to reinstate the ship's captain, who was fired after pleading for ...

Pandemic brings fortunes to Amazon – and headaches too

Amazon has spent years honing the business of packing, shipping and delivering millions of products to doorsteps around the world. Now it has a captive audience. With much of the globe in various stages of a lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, the world's largest online retailer has ...

Groups sow doubt about COVID vaccine before one even exists

NEW YORK (AP) — A coronavirus vaccine is still months or years away, but groups that peddle misinformation about immunizations are already taking aim, potentially eroding confidence in what could be humanity's best chance to defeat the virus. In recent weeks, vaccine opponents have made ...

Trump order keeping meat packing plants open worries unions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump took executive action to order meat processing plants to stay open amid concerns over growing coronavirus cases and the impact on the nation's food supply. The order signed Tuesday uses the Defense Production Act to classify meat processing as ...

Medicare applications raise anxiety for seniors in pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — At greater risk from COVID-19, some seniors now face added anxiety due to delays obtaining Medicare coverage. Advocates for older people say the main problem involves certain applications for Medicare's "Part B" coverage for outpatient care. It stems from the closure of ...