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National News

Iowa’s contact-tracing firm helped Trump, Reynolds campaigns

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — After facing a workforce shortage for months, Iowa awarded an emergency $2.3 million contact-tracing contract to a company that has worked for the campaigns of President Donald Trump and Gov. Kim Reynolds and is owned by a Republican insider. The Iowa Department of ...

Gala ignites political dispute over COVID-19 restrictions

A New Jersey restaurant that hosted a political gala put on by a New York Republican club was ordered temporarily closed Friday over potential violations of coronavirus guidelines. Photos and video posted on Twitter showed dozens of maskless partiers at the New York Young Republican Club event ...

Families of 34 California boat fire victims grieve, advocate

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The snapshots tell the story of a big man with a big, beaming grin. The McIlvain family passes around the pictures, laughing over their son Charlie's antics captured through the years: Charlie as a youngster camping with a backpack bigger than him, Charlie cheesing for the ...

San Francisco Bay Area issues new stay-at-home order

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The health officers in five San Francisco Bay Area counties issued a new stay-at-home order Friday requiring some businesses to close and banning all gatherings, as the number of virus cases surge and hospitals fill. The changes take effect for most of the area at 10 ...

California on the brink: Virus rages and closures imminent

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Much of California is on the brink of sweeping new restrictions on businesses and activities, a desperate attempt to slow the frighteningly rapid escalation of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm hospitals. Five San Francisco Bay Area counties imposed a new ...

Biden seeks unity as Trump stokes fading embers of campaign

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — On a day of grace and grievance, President-elect Joe Biden summoned Americans to join in common purpose against the coronavirus pandemic and their political divisions while the man he will replace stoked the fading embers of his campaign to "turn the election ...

Picture of US economy is worrisome as virus inflicts damage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gripped by the accelerating viral outbreak, the U.S. economy is under pressure from persistent layoffs, diminished income and nervous consumers, whose spending is needed to drive a recovery from the pandemic. A flurry of data released Wednesday suggested that the spread of ...

Trump says he’ll leave if Electoral College seats Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will leave the White House if the Electoral College formalizes President-Elect Joe Biden's victory — even as he insisted such a decision would be a "mistake" — as he spent his Thanksgiving renewing baseless claims that ...

Black Friday offers beacon of hope to struggling stores

NEW YORK (AP) — After months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy, Black Friday is offering a small beacon of hope. In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, drawing millions of shoppers eager to get started on their holiday spending. But ...

In Santa’s mailbag, a peek into children’s pandemic worries

LIBOURNE, France (AP) — Jim, from Taiwan, slipped a face mask inside the greeting card he sent to Santa and marked "I (heart) u." Alina, 5, asked in her Santa letter written with an adult's help that he please use the front door when he drops in, because the back door is reserved for Grandma ...

US consumer confidence drops to 96.1 as virus spreads

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence fell to a reading of 96.1 in November as rising coronavirus cases pushed American optimism down to the lowest level since August. The November reading released Tuesday by the the Conference Board said represents a drop from a revised 101.4 in ...

Thanksgiving could make or break US coronavirus response

In Pennsylvania, if you're having friends over to socialize, you're supposed to wear a mask — and so are your friends. That's the rule, but Barb Chestnut has no intention of following it. "No one is going to tell me what I can or not do in my own home," said Chestnut, 60, of Shippensburg. ...

Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Election officials in Wisconsin's largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count. Trump requested the recount in ...

In blistering ruling, judge throws out Trump suit in Pa.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge issued a scathing order Saturday dismissing the Trump campaign's futile effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania, shooting down claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots. The case was always a long shot to stop ...

Trump team requests recount of Georgia’s presidential race

President Donald Trump's campaign requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race on Saturday, a day after state officials certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the state, as his legal team presses forward with attacks alleging widespread fraud without proof. Georgia's ...

Alleging sex abuse, 4 sue Vatican over handling of McCarrick

NEW YORK (AP) — Four accusers of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick have filed a lawsuit against the Vatican, arguing it should be held liable for allowing the now-disgraced cleric to serve in multiple positions in New York and New Jersey when it knew of numerous allegations of sexual abuse ...

California imposes curfew to curb skyrocketing COVID cases

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is imposing an overnight curfew for nearly all residents as the most populous state tries to head off a surge of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm its health care system, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday. What officials are calling a ...

Pair convicted in pharmacy fire bomb plot to be sentenced

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A Nebraska pharmacist and a Maryland drug dealer could each face a decade or more in prison when they are sentenced for a convoluted plot to firebomb a competing pharmacy so they could divert more prescription narcotics to the black market. William Burgamy, of Hanover, ...

Criminal probe, legal fights await Trump after White House

A few miles south of the namesake tower where Donald Trump began his run for president, New York prosecutors are grinding away at an investigation into his business dealings that could shadow him long after he leaves office in January. The probe led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance ...

Smithsonian closing museums and zoo again amid virus spike

WASHINGTON (AP) — In response to rising COVID-19 infection numbers, the Smithsonian Institution is indefinitely shutting down operations at all its facilities, effective Monday and affecting seven museums, plus the National Zoo. The Smithsonian said in a statement that its "top priority is ...