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US jobless claims down 24,000 to 400,000 as economy recovers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits slid last week, another sign that the job market continues to recover rapidly from the coronavirus recession. Jobless claims dropped by 24,000 to 400,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The weekly ...

Emergent: FDA letting troubled COVID vaccine factory restart

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is allowing the problem-plagued factory of contract manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions to resume production of COVID-19 vaccine, the company said Thursday. The Baltimore factory was shut down by the FDA in mid-April due to contamination problems that ...

Washington, DC, is back to requiring masks be worn indoors

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the face of rising regional COVID-19 infection numbers, the nation's capital is returning to mandatory indoor mask requirements, regardless of vaccination status. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser says the new regulations will kick in on Saturday and apply to ...

COVID kills a few vaccinated high-risk Missouri patients

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — More than a dozen high-risk Missouri residents who were vaccinated against COVID-19 were among those who died amid a surge of cases that has led the University of Missouri to reinstate a mask mandate and some St. Louis restaurants to permit only the immunized to eat ...

Florida virus cases soar, hospitals near last summer’s peak

MIAMI (AP) — Hospital admissions of coronavirus patients continue to soar in Florida with at least two areas in the state surpassing the previous peaks of last summer's surge, prompting calls by local officials for the governor to declare an emergency. A large hospital system in Jacksonville ...

Biden push to vaccinate feds forces uncomfortable questions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's requirement for federal workers to reveal their COVID-19 vaccination status is likely to force uncomfortable questions not only at government agencies but at private companies as well. Right now, there's a lack of clear answers. Getting the policy ...

States race to use COVID-19 vaccines before they expire

Hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been saved from the trash after U.S. regulators extended their expiration date for a second time, part of a nationwide effort to salvage expiring shots to battle the nation's summer surge in infections. The Food and Drug Administration on ...

PG&E could face criminal charges over deadly California fire

Pacific Gas & Electric will face criminal charges because its equipment sparked a wildfire last year that killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes, a Northern California prosecutor announced Thursday. It would be the latest action against the nation's largest utility, which was ...

FDA allows automatic ‘generic’ swap for brand-name insulin

U.S. regulators took action Wednesday that will make it easier to get a cheaper, near-copy of a brand-name insulin at the drugstore. Doctors now have to specifically prescribe what's called a biosimilar or OK substituting it for a more expensive brand-name insulin. Wednesday's move by the ...

Appeals court: Arbitration won’t shield Trump from lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump and his three eldest children can't force a lawsuit into arbitration that was brought by people who felt cheated by a business he promoted, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a written decision ...

Charities providing housing assistance to collapse survivors

DORAL, Fla. (AP) — Sharon Schechter escaped the South Florida condominium tower collapse with just the nightclothes she was wearing, so she cried shortly after when the Global Empowerment Mission gave her an electric toothbrush, a phone charger and a $500 gift card to buy essentials. Now ...

ZZ Top: Bearded bassist Dusty Hill dies in his sleep at 72

HOUSTON (AP) — ZZ Top's Dusty Hill, the long-bearded bassist for the million-selling Texas blues rock trio known for such hits as "Legs" and "Gimme All Your Lovin'," has died at age 72. In a Facebook post Wednesday, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard said Hill died in his sleep. ...

EXPLAINER: Why masks are again advised for everyone indoors

NEW YORK (AP) — Wait, we're supposed to wear masks again? Even if we are vaccinated? For a large part of the U.S., that's the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC this week revisited and revised its guidance for wearing masks indoors to stop the spread ...

Biden to launch vaccine push for millions of federal workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hoping to set a model for employers nationwide, President Joe Biden will announce Thursday that millions of federal workers must show proof they've received a coronavirus vaccine or submit to regular testing and stringent social distancing, masking and travel ...

CDC mask guidance met with hostility by leading Republicans

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — As he rallied conservatives on Wednesday, one of the Republican Party's most prominent rising stars mocked new government recommendations calling for more widespread use of masks to blunt a coronavirus surge. "Did you not get the CDC's memo?" Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ...

Turn off, turn on: Simple step can thwart top phone hackers

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — As a member of the secretive Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Angus King has reason to worry about hackers. At a briefing by security staff this year, he said he got some advice on how to help keep his cellphone secure. Step One: Turn off phone. Step Two: Turn it ...

Infrastructure talks leave Biden’s entire agenda at risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's latest leap into the Senate's up-and-down efforts to clinch a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure deal comes with even more at stake than his coveted plans for boosting road, rail and other public works projects. The outcome of the infrastructure ...

High profile: Cannabis chemical delta-8 gains fans, scrutiny

NEW YORK (AP) — A chemical cousin of pot's main intoxicating ingredient has rocketed to popularity over the last year, and the cannabis industry and state governments are scrambling to reckon with it amid debate over whether it's legal. The chemical, called delta-8 THC, is billed as ...

First sign of animal life on Earth may be a sponge fossil

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Canadian geologist may have found the earliest fossil record of animal life on Earth, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Around a billion years ago, a region of northwest Canada now defined by steep mountains was a prehistoric marine ...

New CDC guidelines set off rush to reimpose mask mandates

New guidance from the federal government set off a cascade of mask rules across the nation Wednesday as cities, states, schools and businesses raced to restore mandates and others pushed back against the guidelines at a time when Americans are exhausted and confused over constantly shifting ...