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President Joe Biden adjusts to life at the White House -- by working in commutes to Delaware

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WASHINGTON — Last weekend, before his second trip abroad since taking office, President Joe Biden had to prepare for foreign leader meetings and wanted to do it from the comfort of his family home. But he had problems brewing in Washington, where his legislative priorities are struggling for passage.

Instead of staying at the White House, ...Read more

Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/TNS

Judge declines to block vaccine mandate for NYPD as deadline nears

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NEW YORK — A Staten Island judge denied a request Wednesday from the city’s largest police union to block Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID vaccine mandate from going into effect.

The Police Benevolent Association had argued that the NYPD’s “vax or test” program, which requires unvaccinated officers to get tested weekly, was sufficient ...Read more

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/TNS

Facebook employees told to preserve documents amid scrutiny

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Facebook Inc. has told employees to preserve company documents as the social media giant disclosed it’s coming under scrutiny over allegations that it misled investors and consumers about harms and declining users on its platform.

Testimony and a trove of internal records provided by Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager turned ...Read more

SAUL LOEB/Getty Images North America/TNS

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are now worth almost half a trillion dollars

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The combined net worth of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos approached $500 billion on Wednesday, fueled by the unrelenting rally in Tesla Inc. shares and a broad surge in tech stocks that sent the Nasdaq 100 to an intraday record.

The value of the two fortunes — a sum bigger than the market value of Johnson & Johnson and about equal to that of ...Read more

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Family of man fatally shot by LAPD officer in Costco wins $17 million in damages

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LOS ANGELES — A federal jury awarded $17 million in damages on Wednesday to the family of a mentally disabled man who was fatally shot by an off-duty Los Angeles police officer inside a Costco in Corona.

The jury's verdict came a day after U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal found that Officer Salvador Sanchez used excessive and unreasonable ...Read more

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images North America/TNS

Democrats clash on billionaire tax as Neal rejects Senate plan

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WASHINGTON — The head of the House tax-writing committee said a proposal to put a levy on the assets of billionaires won’t be part of negotiations on President Joe Biden’s social spending bill, injecting new uncertainty into how Democrats will pay for the president’s agenda.

Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal said Wednesday that there ...Read more

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World leaders hit Rome to toast a tax deal that's far from done

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WASHINGTON — Global heads of government including President Joe Biden will endorse a historic revamping of international corporate tax rules when they gather in Rome this weekend, though they have a long way to go to make the plan a reality.

Multicountry negotiations over important aspects of the plan remain unfinished. And the details that ...Read more

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Cigarette sales climbed for first time in 20 years, US says

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Cigarette sales in the U.S. climbed last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first annual increase in two decades.

Major manufacturers sold 203.7 billion cigarettes in 2020, up from 202.9 billion the year prior, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Cigarette Report.

Altria Group Inc., the maker of Marlboros in the U.S., ...Read more

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene bets big on Trump's nascent social media empire

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene made a big-money bet on former President Donald Trump’s putative new social media empire — but the investment looks like a flop.

The fire-breathing Republican lawmaker from Georgia bought up to $50,000 worth of stock in the shell company that is facilitating the Trump Media & Technology Group’s plans to ...Read more

Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/TNS

Austin man is killed by police after he shot at city code staff, leading to standoff

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AUSTIN, Texas — A Southwest Austin man, who had been in a standoff with police after firing a gun from the residence when city code personnel came to cut his lawn, was fatally shot by police Wednesday afternoon.

The man, who was described by police only as being in his 50s, was not immediately identified by Austin police on Wednesday night, ...Read more

Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/TNS

Austin man in SWAT standoff after firing gun when city code staff came to cut lawn

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AUSTIN, Texas — A fire destroyed the home of a Southwest Austin man who had been in a standoff with police after firing a gun from the residence when city code personnel came to cut his lawn.

City code enforcement and Austin police personnel had an administrative warrant to conduct lawn maintenance at the home in the Circle C Ranch ...Read more

News briefs

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Feds raid home in widening Detroit corruption investigation

DETROIT — FBI agents raided a Rochester Hills home Wednesday morning as part of a broadening corruption investigation centered on public officials in Detroit, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Agents were seen swarming the home about 9 a.m. and a man was handcuffed ...Read more

K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Preliminary report of fatal San Diego County plane crash offers glimpse of flight's final moments

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SAN DIEGO — A preliminary investigative report released this week about a plane crash in the San Diego County city of Santee that killed a pilot and a UPS driver on the ground earlier this month offers a glimpse into the final moments of the doomed flight.

The three-page report from the National Transportation Safety Board highlights ...Read more

HYOSUB SHIN/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Stone Mountain Park seeks pitches for creation of truth-telling exhibit

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ATLANTA — Leaders at Stone Mountain Park have now issued a formal call for museum companies interested in creating a new exhibit to “tell the truth” about the history of the world’s largest Confederate monument.

But the timeline for such an exhibit’s creation is long — and plenty of questions and concerns remain.

After months of ...Read more

Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Judge orders Devin Nunes' family to disclose who's paying for Iowa defamation lawsuit

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WASHINGTON — A federal judge this week ordered Rep. Devin Nunes’ family members to disclose how they are paying for their defamation lawsuit against a reporter and magazine publisher over a 2018 story about their Iowa farm.

The judge will review the records detailing who is paying for the litigation behind closed doors before deciding ...Read more

Jacqueline Charles/Miami Herald/TNS

Key suspect in Haitian President Jovenel Moïse's murder remains in legal limbo in Jamaica

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The Haitian government is working to extradite a former Colombian military officer who is a key suspect in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse from Jamaica to Haiti, where 18 former soldiers are currently jailed in connection with the killing.

Mario Palacios Palacios was arrested in Kingston earlier this month after ...Read more

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images North America/TNS

Paid family leave benefit likely to be removed from Democrats' bill

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WASHINGTON — An ambitious proposal to mandate 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for workers nationwide will likely be struck from the Democrats’ Build Back Better plan, a setback for the party’s hopes of strengthening the nation’s social programs.

Paid family and medical leave has been a central plank of the bill and an ...Read more

Gofundme/Gofundme/TNS

Ex-Long Beach school safety officer charged with murder in fatal shooting of Mona Rodriguez

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LOS ANGELES — Murder charges have been filed against a former Long Beach school safety officer who shot an unarmed 18-year-old near a high school last month, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Eddie F. Gonzalez fired into a fleeing vehicle after a fight between Manuela “Mona” Rodriguez and an unidentified 15-year-old girl one block away ...Read more

ROBYN BECK/Getty Images North America/TNS

Income inequity persists in COVID-19 vaccination rates

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WASHINGTON — Despite state and national efforts to address inequalities in COVID-19 vaccination, most states still show lagging vaccination rates among people of lower incomes and education levels, even as gaps for racial and ethnic groups have largely disappeared in recent months.

The states that track the COVID-19 vaccination status of ...Read more

Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/TNS

US general likens China's hypersonic weapons test to a 'Sputnik moment'

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WASHINGTON — The United States' top uniformed military officer called China’s suspected test of a hypersonic weapons system a “very concerning” development in the escalating competition between Washington and Beijing.

“What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system. And it is very concerning,” Gen....Read more