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National News

Southern California fire shuts highway, forces evacuations

SOLVANG, Calif. (AP) — Evacuation orders were expanded Tuesday for a growing wildfire driven by intense winds that has shut down a key Southern California highway for more than a day. At least 200 firefighters battled the Alisal Fire, which had scorched 12.5 square miles (31 square ...

Millennial Money: Save for holidays now, skip regret later

Factoring holiday expenses into your budget all year long is effective for avoiding debt, but it's not always feasible with a limited budget or unforeseen expenses. When that's the case, lacking a strategy for holiday spending can leave you vulnerable to debt and overspending that delays ...

Companies scraping for staff ahead of the holidays

NEW YORK (AP) — All employers want for Christmas is some holiday help. But they might not get their wish. Companies that typically hire thousands of seasonal workers are heading into the holidays during one of the tightest job markets in decades, making it unlikely they'll find all the ...

Idaho governor eyes more day cares to solve worker shortage

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little said Tuesday he wants to use federal coronavirus relief money to increase day care capacity to help alleviate the state's worker shortage. The Republican governor, in a speech about the future of work that was followed by several questions, said ...

MacKenzie Scott gifts help bolster nonprofit infrastructure

Umbrella groups that serve and advocate for nonprofits or grant makers and donors are an unsexy part of the charitable world. They act as scaffolding to strengthen organizations that do good by bringing nonprofit leaders and philanthropists together to learn from one another, conducting ...

Rail link to LaGuardia Airport put on hold after criticism

NEW YORK (AP) — A $2 billion project to build a rail link connecting New York City to LaGuardia Airport was officially put on hold Tuesday, after weeks of criticism from public officials and a lawsuit from neighborhood and environmental groups. In a news release, the Port Authority of New ...

FDA authorizes first e-cigarette, cites benefit for smokers

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday authorized an electronic cigarette, saying the vaping device from R.J. Reynolds can help smokers cut back on conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes have been sold in the U.S. for more than a decade with minimal ...

Opening, ticket prices announced for Peppa Pig theme park

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) — A standalone Peppa Pig theme park at the Legoland Florida Resort is set to open Feb. 24, park officials announced Tuesday. Officials also announced ticket prices. A one-day ticket for the central Florida park will be $34.99 at the gate and $30.99 online. An annual ...

Brian Goldner, who led transformation a Hasbro, dies at 58

NEW YORK (AP) — Brian Goldner, who as CEO and chairman spearheaded Hasbro's transformation from a toy company to an entertainment force, has died. He was 58. The announcement Tuesday came two days after the Pawtucket, Rhode Island, company said Goldner was taking a medical leave of ...

House sends debt limit hike to Biden, staving off default

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the House on Tuesday pushed through a short-term increase to the nation's debt limit, ensuring the federal government can continue fully paying its bills into December and temporarily averting an unprecedented default that would have decimated the economy. The ...

Openings set for Wednesday in trial of Giuliani associate

NEW YORK (AP) — A smiling Lev Parnas, a onetime associate of Rudy Giuliani who is accused along with a co-defendant of making illegal campaign contributions, left a Manhattan courthouse after a newly sworn-in jury was told to return Wednesday morning for opening statements. Twelve jurors and ...

Florida fines key county $3.5 million for mandating vaccines

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida has issued its first fine to a county it says violated a new state law banning coronavirus vaccine mandates and for firing 14 workers who failed to get the shots. The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday issued the $3.5 million fine for Leon County, home ...

Religious vaccine exemption stays for NY health care workers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York health care workers will be able to seek religious exemptions from a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate as a lawsuit challenging the requirement proceeds, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. Judge David Hurd in Utica had issued a temporary restraining order a month ...

Biden vaccine order moves closer to enforcement

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 ...

Boeing tells workers they must get COVID-19 vaccine

SEATTLE (AP) — The Boeing Co. has told employees they must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or possibly be fired. The Seattle Times reports the deadline for workers at the aerospace giant is Dec. 8. "Compliance with these requirements is a condition of employment," states a Boeing internal ...

Americans quit their jobs at a record pace in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — One reason America's employers are having trouble filling jobs was starkly illustrated in a report Tuesday: Americans are quitting in droves. The Labor Department said that quits jumped to 4.3 million in August, the highest on records dating back to December 2000, and up ...

Federal immigration agents to end practice of worksite raids

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal immigration agents will end mass workplace arrests of immigrant employees suspected of living in the U.S. without legal permission, according to a memo issued Tuesday by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Instead, the focus will shift to pursuing ...

Fewer in US turn to food banks, but millions still in need

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunger and food insecurity across the United States have dropped measurably over the past six months, but the need remains far above pre-pandemic levels. And specialists in hunger issues warn that the situation for millions of families remains extremely fragile. An ...

Texas order reflects growing GOP vaccine mandates hostility

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — With the governor of Texas leading the charge, conservative Republicans in several states are moving to block or undercut President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private employers before the regulations are even issued. The growing battle over what some see ...

‘Difficult decisions’ as Biden, Democrats shrink plan to $2T

With the calendar slipping toward a new deadline, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning that "difficult decisions must be made" to trim President Joe Biden's expansive plans for reimagining the nation's social service programs and tackling climate change. Democrats are laboring to chisel the ...