Biden aims for vaccinating 70% of adult Americans by July 4
By ZEKE MILLER and JONATHAN LEMIRE
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one dose to 70% of adult Americans by July Fourth, focusing on easing access to shots as his administration tackles the vexing problem of winning over those reluctant to get inoculated.
The new goal comes as demand for vaccines has dropped off markedly nationwide, with some states leaving more than half their vaccine doses unordered. Biden called for states to make vaccines available on a walk-in basis and will direct many pharmacies to do the same, and his administration is for the first time moving to shift doses from states with weaker demand to areas with stronger interest in the shots.
CDC says many Americans can now go outside without a mask
By MIKE STOBBE
NEW YORK (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.
And those who are unvaccinated can go outside without masks in some situations, too.
The new guidance represents another carefully calibrated step on the road back to normal from the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 570,000 people in U.S.
Ex-cop guilty of murder and manslaughter in Floyd case
By AMY FORLITI, STEPHEN GROVES and TAMMY WEBBER
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, the explosive case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
The jury reached its verdict Tuesday after deliberating about 10 hours over two days in a city on edge against another outbreak of unrest.
Biden to move COVID-19 vaccine eligibility date to April 19
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden was announcing Tuesday that he’s bumping up his deadline for states to make all adults in the U.S. eligible for coronavirus vaccines.
With states gradually expanding eligibility beyond such priority groups as older people and essential, front-line workers, the president will announce that every adult will be eligible by April 19 to sign up and get in a virtual line to be vaccinated, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Boulder supermarket shooter ID’d as 21-year-old man
By PATTY NIEBERG and THOMAS PEIPERT
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Police on Tuesday identified a 21-year-old man as the suspect who opened fire inside a crowded Colorado supermarket in an attack that killed 10 people, including an officer, and sent terrorized shoppers and employees scrambling for cover.
Authorities said Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was from the Denver suburb of Arvada and that he engaged in a shootout with police inside the Boulder store. The suspect was being treated at a hospital and was expected to be booked into the county jail later in the day.
Child border crossings surge as DHS chief defends policies
By BEN FOX and ELLIOT SPAGAT
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. authorities encountered nearly double the number of children traveling alone across the Mexican border on Monday than on an average day last month, an official said Tuesday, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas conceded the surge was a challenge.
The Border Patrol came across 561 unaccompanied children at the border on Monday, including 280 in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, the official said, offering a snapshot of how quickly events at the border have changed during the first two months of Joe Biden’s presidency. By comparison, it encountered a daily average of 332 unaccompanied children in February, which itself was a 60% jump from January. The peak was 370 during a Trump-era surge in May 2019.
Meghan’s racism claims come as no surprise to Black Britons
By JILL LAWLESS
LONDON (AP) — Explosive allegations by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex that she faced racist attitudes from both the palace and the U.K. press have sent ripples of shock around the world. But they came as no surprise to many Black Britons.
Whether it’s the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color or the lack of non-white faces at the top of British media and politics, ethnic minorities in the U.K. say racist attitudes and structures of discrimination are pervasive — and all too often denied by society at large.
WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director Chris Wray condemned the January riot at the U.S. Capitol as “domestic terrorism” Tuesday as he defended the bureau’s handling of intelligence indicating the prospect for violence. He told lawmakers the information was properly shared with other law enforcement agencies even though it was raw and unverified.
Wray’s comments in his first public appearance before Congress since the deadly Capitol attack two months ago amounted to the FBI’s most vigorous defense against the suggestion that it had not adequately communicated to police agencies that there was a distinct possibility of violence as lawmakers were gathering to certify the results of the presidential election.
Security officials cast blame for Jan. 6 failures at Capitol
By MARY CLARE JALONICK, MICHAEL BALSAMO and LISA MASCARO
WASHINGTON (AP) — Testifying for the first time about the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, former security officials blamed faulty intelligence for the disastrous failure to anticipate the violent intentions of the mob that invaded the building and interrupted the certification of the presidential election.
Hospitals still ration medical N95 masks as stockpiles swell
By JASON DEAREN, JULIET LINDERMAN and MARTHA MENDOZA
Mike Bowen’s warehouse outside Fort Worth, Texas, was piled high with cases of medical-grade N95 face masks. His company, Prestige Ameritech, can churn out 1 million masks every four days, but he doesn’t have orders for nearly that many. So he recently got approval from the government to export them.
“I’m drowning in these respirators,” Bowen said.
Riot lawsuit just part of Trump’s post-impeachment problems
By MICHAEL R. SISAK and JIM MUSTIAN
NEW YORK (AP) — Acquitted by the Senate of inciting last month’s U.S. Capitol insurrection, former President Donald Trump faces more fallout from the unrest, including a lawsuit from a congressman Tuesday. But his biggest legal problems might be the ones that go much further back.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, will step down as CEO
NEW YORK (AP) — Jeff Bezos, who founded Amazon as an online bookstore and built it into a shopping and entertainment behemoth, will step down later this year as CEO, a role he’s had for nearly 30 years, to become executive chairman, the company announced Tuesday.
Bezos, 57, will be replaced in the fall by Andy Jassy, who runs Amazon’s cloud-computing business.
Prince Harry accepts apology, damages in UK libel suit
LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry on Monday accepted an apology and damages from the publisher of British tabloid The Mail on Sunday and its online version, MailOnline, in a libel lawsuit relating to articles about his relationship with the British armed forces.
Harry sued Associated Newspapers for libel over two articles published in October which claimed he had snubbed the Royal Marines after stepping down as a senior royal.
Biden signs immigration orders as Congress awaits more
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a second spate of orders to undo his predecessor’s immigration policies, demonstrating the powers of the White House and its limitations without support from Congress.
His orders on family separation, border security and legal immigration bring to nine the number of executive actions on immigration during his first two weeks in office
Biden administration to boost vaccine supply amid shortages
The Biden administration is boosting purchases of coronavirus vaccines to deliver enough to protect 300 million Americans by the end of the summer, as it surges deliveries to states for the next three weeks following complaints of shortages and inconsistent supplies.
President Joe Biden announced the surge in deliveries to states Tuesday, along with the news that the federal government is purchasing an additional 100 million doses each of the two approved coronavirus vaccines. With existing purchases, the White House expects to be able to deliver enough of the two-dose regimens to states to vaccinate 300 million people.
Capitol Police chief apologizes for failures in Jan. 6 siege
The interim chief of the Capitol Police apologized Tuesday for failing to prepare for what became a violent insurrection despite having warnings that white supremacists and far-right groups would target Congress.
Yogananda Pittman, in prepared testimony before Congress, said that the Capitol Police “failed to meet its own high standards as well as yours.” She listed several missteps: not having enough manpower or supplies on hand, not following through with a lockdown order she issued during the siege and not having a sufficient communications plan for a crisis.
Biden vows to ‘get right to work’ despite Trump resistance
Vowing “to get right to work,” President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday shrugged off President Donald Trump’s fierce refusal to accept the election outcome as “inconsequential,” even as Democrats elsewhere warned that the Republican president’s actions were dangerous.
Final weeks of historic hurricane season bring new storms
Just when you thought it should be safe to go back to the water, the record-setting tropics are going crazy. Again.
Apple unveils first Macs built to run more like iPhones
Apple is rolling out new Mac computers powered by the same kind of chips that run iPhones and iPads, a move aimed at making it easier for its most popular products to work together.
FBI investigates robocalls warning voters to ‘stay home’
Voters across the U.S. received anonymous robocalls in the days and weeks before Election Day urging them to “stay safe and stay home” — an ominous warning that election experts said could be an effort to scare voters into sitting out the election.
The FBI is investigating calls that seek to discourage people from voting, a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security told reporters Tuesday. Authorities wouldn’t offer details.
Virus hospitalizations surge as pandemic shadows US election
Americans went to the polls Tuesday under the shadow of a resurging pandemic, with an alarming increase in cases nationwide and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 reaching record highs in a growing number of states.
While daily infections were rising in all but three states, the surge was most pronounced in the Midwest and Southwest.
Wind a risk as California fires keep tens of thousands away
Crews tried to beat back two out-of-control wildfires in Southern California on Tuesday that have kept tens of thousands of people out of their homes even as another round of dangerous fire weather raises the risk for flames erupting across the state.
Gulf Coast braces, again, for hurricane as Zeta takes aim
Residents of the storm-pummeled Gulf Coast steeled themselves for yet another tropical weather strike Tuesday after Zeta raked across the Yucatan Peninsula on a track that forecasters said would likely bring it ashore south of New Orleans as a hurricane.
Scientists remove 98 ‘murder hornets’ in Washington state
Workers from the state Department of Agriculture managed to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the U.S. without suffering any stings or other injuries, the agency said Monday. The nest, located in Whatcom County near the Canadian border, created concern because the Asian giant hornets are large and their sting can be lethal, especially if a person is stung numerous times. The hornets also pose a huge threat to honey bees that pollinate many crops.