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Biden's trimmed paid leave plan lags rest of world by months

Current News / News & Features /

Democrats’ latest paid family and medical leave proposal would offer workers four weeks annually — significantly lowering the promised benefits and leaving the U.S. lagging much of the world in guaranteed paid time off.

President Joe Biden confirmed on Thursday night’s CNN town hall that the latest version of what could be the country’s...Read more

Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Endangered bumblebee is blocking Ill. airport expansion that will destroy rare prairie -- but only for another week

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A federally endangered bumblebee has temporarily saved one of Illinois' rarest prairies from the bulldozer, but only until Nov. 1.

Meanwhile, biologists and conservationists are working to convince the prairie’s owner, the Chicago Rockford International Airport, to change its plans for a roughly 280-acre expansion that would go through the ...Read more

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS

Facebook faulted by staff over Jan. 6 insurrection: 'Abdication'

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WASHINGTON — As rioters breached barricades and bludgeoned police with flagpoles before storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, some employees at Facebook Inc. took to an internal discussion board to express shock and outrage.

Many of the posts were imbued with a dawning sense that they and their employer — whose platforms for weeks had spread...Read more

JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/TNS/TNS

Benefits of Pfizer child shot likely outweigh risks, FDA says

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The staff of the Food and Drug Administration said the benefits of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine for young children likely outweigh its risks, ahead of a meeting next week where experts will weigh whether the shot should be cleared for use.

According to the staff report, which was posted on the FDA website late Friday, the ...Read more

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Record US border crossings kindle GOP rebuke of Biden policies

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WASHINGTON — U.S. officials encountered more than 1.7 million migrants crossing the border with Mexico over the past year — a record number likely to escalate Republican attacks on the Biden administration’s handling of immigration.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 1.73 million southwest border encounters overall, but many were...Read more

Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

Budget package taking shape as Democrats eye aggressive schedule

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WASHINGTON — Democrats ended the legislative week Friday without a “framework” agreement on their partisan spending and tax package, but leaders said they’d continue negotiating through the weekend on a handful of unresolved issues.

Optimism was so high that Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters the House may vote on the budget ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

To save child tax credit expansion, Democrats ready shorter renewal

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WASHINGTON — Democrats are facing the possibility of a much shorter extension of an expanded child tax credit they’ve touted than many had hoped, which could ultimately stave off cuts to other aspects of the benefit they are fiercely defending.

As negotiators work to trim the House’s budget reconciliation bill from a $3.5 trillion plus ...Read more

MATIAS J. OCNER/Miami Herald/TNS

2 police officers shot in Doral, Fla., on busy roadway; suspected gunman is dead

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MIAMI — A gunman opened fired on Doral police officers on a busy road Friday morning, wounding two of them before he was felled by police bullets, the department said.

Both officers are expected to survive. One officer was injured in the face by shrapnel or broken glass. The other was shot in the chest, arm and leg — but he was saved by his...Read more

FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Feds step up prosecutions of Venezuelan corruption and money laundering cases in Miami

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MIAMI — After a slowdown during the coronavirus pandemic, federal authorities in South Florida are accelerating their crackdown on foreign corruption in Venezuela’s government and the diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S. banking system.

The latest target: Colombian businessman Alvaro Pulido Vargas, who has been charged...Read more

Viorel Margineanu/Dreamstime/TNS

4 people killed in Tacoma shooting

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SEATTLE — Police are searching for at least one suspect in the fatal shooting of four people in an East Tacoma neighborhood on Thursday afternoon.

Two female victims and one male victim were shot dead on Everett Street, Tacoma police spokesperson Wendy Haddow said. A second male victim with life-threatening injuries was taken to a hospital, ...Read more

News briefs

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Sexual assaults during Lyft rides have seen uptick, report says

Sexual assault became an even more prominent issue at Lyft in recent years, according to the company’s community safety report released Thursday.

Although reported sexual assaults made up less than 1% of the ride-share giant’s completed U.S. trips in 2019, the latest year for ...Read more

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images North America/TNS

McConnell says Biden White House aims to weaken Supreme Court independence

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WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the Biden administration of undermining the independence of the U.S. judiciary as a presidential commission explores ways to revamp the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court.

In remarks honoring the tenure of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, McConnell referenced a recent ...Read more

Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

Harris met by Bronx cheer, heckling while promoting infrastructure push in the borough

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NEW YORK — Welcome to the Bronx.

A heckler interrupted Vice President Kamala Harris' speech Friday as she promoted the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda at a YMCA in the borough.

Harris was discussing the details of the expansive infrastructure plan before a room packed with New York elected officials and some local families ...Read more

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Illinois Gov. Pritzker issues vaccination mandate for 55,000 day care workers

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CHICAGO — Workers in state licensed day care centers will have to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing under an executive order Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued Friday.

The state estimates the order will apply to 55,000 workers at nearly 2,900 day care centers licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Friday�...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Sexual assaults during Lyft rides have seen significant uptick, report says

Current News / News & Features /

Sexual assault became an even more prominent issue at Lyft in recent years, according to the company’s community safety report released Thursday.

Although reported sexual assaults made up less than 1% of the ride-share giant’s completed U.S. trips in 2019, the latest year for which the report accounts, there was a significant uptick between...Read more

David Joles/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Minneapolis police officer charged in fatal crash

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MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis police officer was driving nearly 80 mph on residential streets when he struck Leneal Frazier's SUV this summer while pursuing a suspected stolen vehicle, resulting in Frazier's death, according to criminal charges filed Friday.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office charged officer Brian Cummings with second-degree...Read more

Jill Toyoshiba/The Kansas City Star/TNS

Missouri taxpayers foot bill for AG Eric Schmitt's trip to US-Mexico border

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri taxpayers funded Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s trip to Texas Thursday to announce his filing of a lawsuit seeking to resume construction of a southern border wall, a spokesman confirmed Friday.

Schmitt’s office would not immediately release a tally of the costs, directing The Kansas City Star to file a public ...Read more

Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Michigan's redistricting maps need more explanation to hold up in court, experts say

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DETROIT — Redistricting experts urged the panel redrawing Michigan's voting boundaries to provide additional data and rationale to support the maps they've proposed so far, arguing the information will be essential if and when the maps are challenged in court.

The comments come as Michigan's Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission moves...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Millions more Californians are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine booster

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The campaign to insulate California against another winter coronavirus surge got a major shot in the arm this week when federal health officials adopted criteria that will allow millions of additional residents to receive COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

Eligible recipients will be able to book appointments for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson ...Read more

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

Florida sees lowest COVID positivity rate and new case count since June

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida’s COVID-19 cases and positivity rate plunged this week to their lowest levels since the first week of the summer when the delta wave began its surge through the state.

The number of new cases for the week dropped to 15,314, according to a report released Friday by the Florida Department of Health. The case ...Read more