A Missouri inmate convicted of ambushing and killing a St. Louis area police officer he blamed in the death of his younger brother is scheduled to be executed Tuesday, though his lawyers are seeking to have the lethal injection halted. Kevin Johnson’s attorneys don’t deny that he killed Poli…
Chinese universities are sending students home as the ruling Communist Party tightens anti-virus controls and tries to prevent more protests after crowds angered by its severe “zero COVID” restrictions called for President Xi Jinping to resign in the biggest show of public dissent in decades…
A federal trial to determine whether South Carolina’s congressional maps are legal is closing with arguments over whether the state Legislature diluted Black voting power. The NAACP says the General Assembly removed Black voters from the coastal 1st District to make it easier for Republicans…
Lava is shooting into the air and flowing downhill as Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano erupts for the first time in nearly 40 years. For now, lava is not threatening any homes or communities and no evacuation orders have been issued. Lava could eventually reach neighborhoods on the eastern side of…
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” has won best feature at the 32nd Gotham Awards on Monday, taking one of the first major prizes of Hollywood’s awards season and boosting the Oscar hopes of the anarchic indie hit of the year. The Gotham Awards serve as a downtown celebration of independent…
Benny Snell Jr.’s 2-yard touchdown run with 9:55 left gave Pittsburgh the lead and the Steelers fended off a last-minute comeback bid to beat the Indianapolis Colts 24-17. Snell had 12 carries for a season-high 62 yards after replacing the injured Najee Harris in the third quarter. Harris wa…
With police out in force, there was no word of additional protests against strict government anti-pandemic measures Tuesday in Beijing, as temperatures fell well below freezing. Shanghai, Nanjing and other cities where online calls to gather had been issued were also reportedly quiet. Rallie…
With police out in force, there was no word of additional protests against strict government anti-pandemic measures Tuesday in Beijing, as temperatures fell well below freezing. Shanghai, Nanjing and other cities where online calls to gather had been issued were also reportedly quiet. Rallies against China’s unusually strict anti-virus measures spread to several cities over the weekend in the biggest show of opposition to the ruling Communist Party in decades. Authorities eased some regulations, apparently to try to quell public anger, but the government showed no sign of backing down on its larger coronavirus strategy, and analysts expect authorities to quickly silence the dissent.
House Republicans are promising aggressive oversight of the Biden administration once they assume the majority next year. They are planning to take particular focus on the business dealings of presidential son Hunter Biden, illegal immigration at the U.S-Mexico border and the originations of COVID-19. The House members expected to lead those investigations include Ohio's Jim Jordan, a favorite of former President Donald Trump. Jordan is likely to lead the House Judiciary Committee. Another is Kentucky's James Comer, who is expected to lead the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
French President Emmanuel Macron will be the guest for the first state visit of Joe Biden’s presidency. The event this week is a revival of diplomatic pageantry that had been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden-Macron relationship has turned around from its choppy start. Macron briefly recalled France’s ambassador to the United States last year after the White House announced a deal to sell nuclear submarines to Australia that undermined a contract that France had to sell diesel-powered submarines. Today, Macron has become one of Biden’s most forward-facing European allies in the Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Supreme Court is taking up a dispute over a blocked Biden administration policy that would prioritize deportation of people in the country illegally who pose the greatest public safety risk. Republican-led states sued and won a nationwide court order that is meant to limit immigration officers’ discretion in deciding whom to deport. The justices are hearing arguments in the case Tuesday. At the center of the legal fight is a September 2021 directive from the Homeland Security Department that paused deportation unless individuals had committed acts of terrorism, espionage or “egregious threats to public safety.”
Congressman A. Donald McEachin, a Virginia Democrat, has died after a battle with colorectal cancer. He was 61. McEachin’s chief of staff, Tara Rountree, said in a statement late Monday: “Valiantly, for years now, we have watched him fight and triumph over the secondary effects of his colorectal cancer from 2013. Tonight, he lost that battle.” McEachin represented Virginia’s 4th Congressional District, which includes part of Richmond and extends south to the North Carolina border. He was reelected to a fourth term earlier this month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called her late colleague “a tireless champion for Virginia families and a force for economic opportunity and environmental justice.”
South Korea’s government has ordered some of the thousands of truck drivers who have been on strike to return to work, insisting that their nationwide walkout over freight fare issues is hurting an already weak economy. Despite facing the threat of delicensing or even prison terms, the strike’s organizers say they will defy the order and accused President Yoon Suk Yeol’s conservative government of suppressing their labor rights and ignoring what they described as worsening work conditions and financial strain caused by rising fuel costs and interest rates. The order targets the drivers of cement trucks among a broader group of truckers participating in the walkout.
A greater-than-expected demand for aid has forced the Connecticut General Assembly to considering how to cover the extra cost of promised bonuses for thousands of frontline workers who remained on the job the during the coronavirus pandemic. Connecticut lawmakers voted Monday in a special session to revamp the distribution formula for the $30 million Connecticut Premium Pay Program for private sector workers. A proposal also would earmark an additional $76.6 million. The move comes after officials predicted planned bonuses of up to $1,000 for eligible workers would end up being only $233, given the large number of claimants.
The former warden of an abuse-plagued federal women’s prison known as the “rape club” went on trial Monday. The former warden is accused of molesting inmates and forcing them to pose naked in their cells. Ray J. Garcia retired after the FBI found nude photos of inmates on his government-issued phone last year. Garcia is among five workers charged with abusing inmates at the federal correctional institution in Dublin, California, and the first to go to trial. Prosecutors said during opening statements that Garcia followed a pattern that started with compliments and flattery and escalated to sexual encounters. Garcia has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Garcia would face up to 15 years in prison.
The white gunman who massacred 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket has pleaded guilty to murder and hate-motivated terrorism charges. Payton Gendron’s plea means he’ll spend his life in prison without parole. The 19-year-old modified a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle into an assault weapon before targeting the Tops Friendly Market in May. He said in writings posted online that his goal was to terrify Black people and preserve white power. His own lawyer said Monday’s plea “represents a condemnation of the racist ideology that fueled his horrific actions.” Gendron previously pleaded not guilty to separate federal hate crime charges that could carry the death penalty.
The federal government says it will spend $250 million over four years on environmental cleanup and restoration work around a drying Southern California lake that's fed by the depleted Colorado River. The agreement announced Monday on funding for the Salton Sea marks a key step in ongoing negotiations to conserve more of the river's water amid drought. The lake was formed in 1905 when the river overflowed and it's mostly fed by runoff from farms in California's Imperial Valley. But as those farms reduce their water use, less flows into that sea. That's caused water levels to shrink, exposing dry lake bed and dust that's harmful to nearby communities.
Australia’s environment minister says her government will lobby against UNESCO adding the Great Barrier Reef to a list of endangered World Heritage sites, arguing that criticisms of government inaction on climate change are outdated. Officials from UNESCO and the International Union for Conservation of Nature released a report Monday warning that without “ambitious, rapid and sustained” climate action, the world’s largest coral reef is in peril. The report, which recommended shifting the Great Barrier Reef to endangered status, followed a 10-day mission to the famed reef system off Australia’s northeast coast. Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek says the report is a reflection on Australia’s previous government, which was voted out of office in May after nine years in power.
Incoming and returning Republicans to the North Carolina Senate have chosen a key lawmaker on tax, voting and energy issues to become majority leader for the next two years. The Senate Republican Caucus on Monday elected Sen. Paul Newton of Cabarrus County to the post. Newton succeeds Sen. Kathy Harrington, who didn't seek reelection this fall to her Gaston County seat. The caucus also agreed to nominate Phil Berger to a seventh term as president pro tempore when the session convenes in January. He has held the job since 2011. Senate Democrats meeting separately Monday reelected Sen. Dan Blue of Wake County as minority leader.
The Senate is set to vote Tuesday on legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages, putting Congress one step closer to passing the landmark bill and ensuring that such unions are enshrined in federal law. Senate Democrats are moving to quickly pass the bill while they still hold the majority in both chambers. The House would still have to vote on the legislation and send it to President Joe Biden. A test vote Monday evening moved the legislation closer to passage, with 12 Republicans who have previously supported the bill voting again to move it forward. Democrats set up a Tuesday afternoon vote on final passage.
Hundreds gathered in Chesapeake, Virginia, to honor six people killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart. The state's governor, Glenn Youngkin, also pledged during Monday's vigil to confront a “mental health and a behavioral health crisis.” The remembrance comes six days after the rampage in the city of about 250,000 people. Police said the shooter at the Walmart was a supervisor. He left behind a note that claimed he was harassed and pushed to the brink by a perception his phone was hacked. He died at the scene of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A Texas prosecutor facing mounting criticism over the handling of the 2019 Walmart mass shooting in El Paso that killed 23 people has resigned. The decision by El Paso County District Attorney Yvonne Rosales on Monday came after the county took the extraordinary step of seeking to remove her from elected office. El Paso television station KTSM reported that Rosales' last day will be Dec. 14. Rosales’ job was put in jeopardy over accusations of incompetence involving hundreds of criminal cases in El Paso and slowing down the case against Patrick Crusius, the suspected Walmart shooter who faces the death penalty if convicted.
Republican officials in a rural Arizona county have refused to certify the 2022 election despite no evidence of anything wrong with the count. The decision Monday was quickly challenged in court by the state’s top election official. The refusal to certify by Cochise County in southeastern Arizona comes amid pressure from prominent Republicans to reject results showing Democrats winning top races. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who narrowly won the race for governor, asked a judge to order county officials to canvass the election, which she said is an obligation under Arizona law.
A growing number of Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence, are criticizing Donald Trump for dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. Pence, in an interview Monday, said the former president had “demonstrated profoundly poor judgment” when he met last week at his Mar-a-Lago club with West, who is now known as Ye, as well as Nick Fuentes, a far-right activist with a long history of making antisemitic and white nationalist remarks. Trump has said he didn’t know who Fuentes was before the meeting but has so far refused to denounce his views.
New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday his administration has launched a promised review of its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Murphy says his administration hired regional law firm Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads — which has offices in the state as well as Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — along with management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group to conduct the review. The review is expected to end with a report in late 2023, the governor said. New Jersey was among the first states hit by the virus, announcing its first positive case in early March 2020.