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National News

Microsoft return to U.S. offices delayed indefinitely

REDMOND, Washington (AP) — Microsoft told employees Thursday that it has indefinitely delayed their return to U.S. offices until it's safer to do so. "Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, we've decided against attempting to forecast a new date for a full reopening of our U.S. work sites," ...

After Ida, small businesses face uncertainty on many fronts

NEW YORK (AP) — A week or more after Ida, business owners from Louisiana to Connecticut are still adding up the financial losses and assessing the physical and emotional toll, grappling to find a way forward. Many say it's difficult to figure out the future when they're unsure of the answers ...

Elizabeth Holmes drawn as villain, underdog as trial begins

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys sketched dueling portraits of fallen Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes as her trial got underway Wednesday, alternatively describing her as a greedy villain who faked her way to the top and as a passionate underdog whose spent years ...

Judge Judy returning to TV in November, with granddaughter

NEW YORK (AP) — Judge Judy Sheindlin is returning to television on Nov. 1 with a new red robe, a granddaughter in tow and the challenge of competing with herself. She announced on Thursday the start date and name of her new show, "Judy Justice," which will be available weekdays on the ...

Airlines say rise in COVID-19 cases is hurting ticket sales

DALLAS (AP) — Several leading U.S. airlines warned Thursday that the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant is hurting their bookings and further delaying the travel industry's recovery. The summer got off to a strong start, with many planes full of vacationers eager to break out ...

US average mortgage rates rise slightly; 30-year at 2.88%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term mortgage rates were marginally higher this week as the recovering economy appeared stalled against the backdrop of a wave of new delta variant coronavirus cases. They remained under 3%. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a ...

In a hot market, companies compete with would-be homeowners

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Soaring home prices and rents are fueling real estate companies' appetite for houses, adding unwelcome competition for many would-be homebuyers. Residential real estate bought by companies or institutions hit an all-time high of 67,943 properties in the second quarter, ...

Key parts of Biden’s plan to confront delta variant surge

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has unveiled a new "action plan" plan to confront the COVID-19 surge that's being driven by the spread of the delta variant. It mandates vaccines for federal workers and contractors and certain health care workers, requires employees at companies with 100 ...

FDA delays decision on e-cigarettes from vaping giant Juul

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials on Thursday delayed a high-stakes decision on whether to permit bestselling vaping brand Juul to stay on the market, while banning the sale of thousands of other electronic cigarettes. The Food and Drug Administration said it rejected applications ...

California may require menstrual products in public schools

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California public schools and colleges would have to stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under legislation sent Thursday to Gov. Gavin Newsom as women's rights advocates push nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons and other items. The bill ...

California OKs new spending on drought, wildfire prevention

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Thursday voted to spend more than $2 billion to prevent wildfires and address a severe drought, closing the book — for now — on a $262.5 billion operating budget that began the year with a record deficit because of the pandemic and ended ...

Oil-soaked birds found near oil spill at refinery after Ida

WASHINGTON (AP) — Louisiana wildlife officials say they have documented more than 100 oil-soaked birds after crude oil spilled from a refinery flooded during Hurricane Ida. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Thursday that a growing number of oiled birds had been observed ...

Brian Benjamin is sworn in as New York lieutenant governor

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin thanked Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul for choosing him as he was sworn in Thursday to join her 2-week-old administration. "You asking me to join the administration is making it abundantly clear that you want upstate and downstate, every ...

South Carolina abortion law challenge backed by 20 states

Twenty Democratic attorneys general have voiced their support for a lawsuit challenging South Carolina's new abortion law, arguing that the restrictive measure could harm their states by taxing resources if women cross borders to seek care. "The effects of the law are not confined to limits on ...

Ida and COVID-19: ‘Twin-demic’ slams Louisiana hospitals

HOUMA, La. (AP) — The wind ripped chunks off the hospital's roof and the entire building rumbled. One nurse said the cement pounding into the walls sounded like the loudest bowling alley she could imagine. Another felt like she was inside a meteor shower. One of the most powerful hurricanes ...

Grief comes home to US towns week after Afghanistan war ends

BERLIN HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — Waiting for the hearse carrying one of the 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan two weeks ago, Faye Hillis thought about all the military veterans she had mourned at her hometown's lone funeral home. Her father who came home from ...

Biden, Dems push Civilian Climate Corps in echo of New Deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inspired by the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps, President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats are pushing for a modern counterpart: a Civilian Climate Corps that would create hundreds of thousands of jobs building trails, restoring streams and helping prevent ...

COVID-19 surge in the US: The summer of hope ends in gloom

WASHINGTON (AP) — The summer that was supposed to mark America's independence from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S. more firmly under the tyranny of the virus, with deaths per day back up to where they were in March. The delta variant is filling hospitals, sickening ...

Can kids get ‘long COVID’ after coronavirus infections?

Can kids get "long COVID" after coronavirus infections? Yes, but studies indicate they're less likely than adults to be affected by symptoms that persist, recur or begin a month or more after infection. Estimates vary on how often the symptoms known as long COVID-19 occur in kids. A recently ...

Researchers complete first-ever detailed map of global coral

HONOLULU (AP) — Researchers have completed a comprehensive online map of the world's coral reefs by using more than 2 million satellite images from across the globe. The Allen Coral Atlas, named after late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, will act as a reference for reef conservation, marine ...