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'A warning that a fourth wave is possible here.' 834 new Kentucky coronavirus cases.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — The number of new COVID-19 cases this week is set to outpace last week's total, Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday, as he announced 834 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky on Thursday along with 17 deaths.

Likewise, the statewide positivity rate continues to rise, topping out at 3.45%.

"It is at least a warning that a fourth wave...Read more

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

Pompeo fuels 2024 speculation with cash infusion into new PAC with Wichita ties

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WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s dormant U.S. House campaign fund has donated to a newly formed political action committee that uses the same Kansas-based bank and bears the name of his new political slogan, according to financial disclosures.

The Champion American Values committee was created on February 22. Two days ...Read more

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Texas Senate approves limits on transgender student athletes

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AUSTIN, Texas — Split irrevocably along party lines, the Texas Senate on Thursday approved legislation banning transgender student athletes from competing in sports within their gender identity.

All 18 Republicans voted for Senate Bill 29, which would require athletes in Texas public high schools and grade schools to compete in sports based ...Read more

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Supreme Court expansion bill faces serious blocks across political spectrum

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WASHINGTON — Before a quartet of Democratic members of Congress could take to the steps of the Supreme Court on Thursday to tout a new bill that would expand the number of justices from nine to 13, leaders of their party were already deflating that effort.

“I have no plans to bring it to the floor,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the ...Read more

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Former Vice President Mike Pence undergoes heart procedure

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Former Vice President Mike Pence received a pacemaker Wednesday.

Pence underwent the procedure at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, Virginia, according to a statement.

He is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity soon, according to the statement.

“I am grateful for the swift professionalism and care of the ...Read more

Architect of the Capitol/TNS

This wood sat in storage for 100 years. Now it's being used to fix Capitol riot damage

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WASHINGTON — Only a few people on Earth know where to find a stash of century-old rare mahogany that can be used to repair priceless furnishings damaged on Jan. 6 by a pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol.

Robert “Bob” Ross is one of those people.

The acting assistant director of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory ...Read more

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office/TNS

Former Brooklyn Center officer makes first court appearance in killing of Daunte Wright

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MINNEAPOLIS — At a brief hearing Thursday before District Court Judge Paul Scoggin, Kimberly A. Potter made her first court appearance on a charge of second-degree manslaughter in the killing on Sunday of Daunte Wright.

The initial appearance held over a Zoom call lasted about five minutes, during which time Scoggin confirmed basic ...Read more

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Pfizer CEO says third COVID-19 booster shot 'likely' needed within a year of getting vaccinated

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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla predicted Thursday that people who have received the company’s COVID-19 vaccine will “likely” need a third booster shot within a year to maintain protection against the virus.

“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” Bourla told CNBC.

The pharmaceutical ...Read more

Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/TNS

US sanctions Russia over massive cyberattack and election interference

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WASHINGTON — In its first attempt to punish Moscow’s attacks on U.S. elections and cybernetworks, the Biden administration on Thursday announced stinging economic sanctions against a host of Russian companies and individuals as well as the expulsion from the U.S. of 10 Russian intelligence officials.

As part of the punitive broadside, the U...Read more

Final county moves out of California's purple tier as wider reopenings continue

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LOS ANGELES — And then there were none.

For the first time since California unveiled its color-coded COVID-19 reopening system nearly eight months ago, not a single county is in the most-restrictive purple tier.

The milestone was reached Wednesday, when state health officials moved what had been the lone remaining occupant of the category �...Read more

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Lawmakers, advocates question delay in raising refugee cap

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WASHINGTON — Months after President Joe Biden took office and promised a more welcoming refugee policy than his predecessor, the U.S. is on pace to resettle the smallest number of refugees in years, mystifying resettlement agencies and lawmakers alike.

Biden has yet to officially sign an annual presidential determination for refugee ...Read more

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Trump allies work to craft a platform going beyond fealty to him

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WASHINGTON — Former Cabinet members and top officials in Donald Trump’s administration, including economic adviser Larry Kudlow, have launched a new think tank in an effort to create a policy platform out of the former president’s chaotic approach to governing.

The 40-person America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit with a $20 million ...Read more

Cuba replaces 2 high-ranking ministers ahead of Communist Party Congress

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Cuba has replaced two high-ranking ministers in the days before the Communist Party Congress, in which Raúl Castro is expected to retire from politics.

Cuban state media reported Thursday that Leopoldo Cintra, 79, minister of the armed forces, would be replaced by Álvaro López, 77. Both men fought alongside Fidel Castro’s rebels during the...Read more

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office/TNS

Suspect in Kristin Smart disappearance investigated in sex assault cases

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LOS ANGELES — Paul Flores, the man accused this week in the slaying of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristin Smart in 1996, was years later investigated for sexual assault cases in the Los Angeles area, police and prosecutors have revealed.

San Luis Obispo prosecutors charged Flores with first-degree murder, alleging that he killed Smart ...Read more

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Video of teen's fatal shooting by Chicago police to be released Thursday

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CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and lawyers for 13-year-old Adam Toledo’s family have issued a call for calm as the city prepares to release video of the teen’s fatal police shooting Thursday.

“We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our ...Read more

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Landlords say tenants are not tapping rent relief

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FORT WORTH, Texas — On the morning of April 8, landlord Margarita Palacios went before a Tarrant County, Texas, judge via Zoom and tried to explain why she wanted to evict a tenant who owed $4,350 in back rent.

Palacios, representing The Palace apartments, began to explain, “We sent her links to rental assistance programs and offered to ...Read more

Man brings multiple guns, more than 1,200 rounds of ammunition to California beach

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LOS ANGELES — A Riverside County man is in custody after authorities said he harassed women at Zuma Beach in Malibu while armed with several weapons.

Kyle Kiddy, 34, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of violations, including carrying a concealed firearm, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies were called to the ...Read more

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JPMorgan embarks on $2.5 trillion climate, sustainability effort

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a goal to finance $2.5 trillion in initiatives that combat climate change and advance sustainable development, amid a push by U.S. banks to step up their environmental and social activities.

The bank’s commitment spanning the next ten years will include $1 trillion of financing for projects that bolster cleaner energy...Read more

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Inslee signs into law bill to put statue honoring Billy Frank Jr. in U.S. Capitol

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FRANK'S LANDING, Nisqually Indian Reservation — He was arrested 50 times by state game wardens for practicing his treaty right to fish. But on Wednesday, Washington's governor signed into law legislation that will send a statue of Billy Frank Jr. to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

One of the country's most elegant and revered civic spaces,...Read more

Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald/TNS

Florida's FEMA vaccination rollout failed Black communities. Except in one place

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MIAMI — When the state of Florida partnered with the federal government to open COVID-19 vaccine sites around the state in early March, the pilot program was supposed to help boost lagging vaccination in underserved communities.

Just over a month into the program — which used city parks, youth centers, community colleges and sometimes even ...Read more