National Politics

FBI: Cash, shredded papers seen at couple's home in spy case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI found a trash bag of shredded documents, thousands of dollars in cash, latex gloves and a “go-bag” when they searched the home of a Maryland couple accused of trying to sell information about nuclear-powered warships to a foreign country, an agent testified Wednesday.

Auditor: Iowa's privatized Medicaid illegally denies care

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's privatized Medicaid system has illegally denied services or care to program recipients, and both private insurance companies managing the system have violated terms of their contracts with the state, according to a state audit released Wednesday.

Kentucky lawmakers preview abortion bill for 2022 session

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Republican lawmakers outlined their next round of abortion legislation in Kentucky on Wednesday, previewing efforts to strengthen parental consent standards for minors seeking the procedure and create greater oversight of medication-induced abortions.

Back home in Scranton, Biden plugs $2T plan to revive US

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — President Joe Biden returned to his birthplace Wednesday for the first time since taking office, declaring his multitrillion-dollar safety net and infrastructure packages would restore an America starving for investments in its workers, families and the environment.

Louisiana governor, lawmakers at odds over Superdome upgrade

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Two years after a contract appeared near to keep the Saints football team in New Orleans for decades, Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is trying to persuade legislative leaders to commit to putting up the cash for Superdome upgrades central to those plans.

Army hiring criminal investigators to improve case work

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army has begun hiring more agents and support staff for its criminal investigations, as the new civilian director works to correct widespread failures that surfaced last year after a string of murders and other crimes at Fort Hood, Texas.

NYC requiring vaccine for cops, firefighters, city workers

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City will require its entire municipal workforce to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be placed on unpaid leave, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, an ultimatum that ensures a fight with some unions representing employees, including police officers and firefighters, who have refused the shots.

Senator asks Facebook CEO to testify on Instagram and kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — The senator leading a probe of Facebook’s Instagram and its impact on young people is asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before the panel that has heard far-reaching criticisms from a former employee of the company.

Reynolds hopes rule changes will push jobless back to work

ADEL, Iowa (AP) — Unemployed Iowans would be required to meet weekly with state case managers, conduct twice as many weekly work searches and undergo audits to prove they're actively looking for work under a new proposal announced Wednesday by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

What's in, and what's out, as Democrats trim Biden bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of talks, Democrats are edging closer to an agreement on what programs and policies to include in President Joe Biden's massive plan to expand health and safety net programs and combat global warming.

FDA OKs mixing COVID vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Wednesday signed off on extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially.

Groups want US to suspend oil leases off California coast

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A group of environmental organizations demanded Wednesday that the Biden administration suspend and cancel oil and gas leases in federal waters off the California coast after a recent crude oil spill.

Tennessee lawmakers OK $900M Ford incentive package

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers on Wednesday committed to spending nearly $900 million on state incentives, infrastructure upgrades and more as part of a sweeping plan with Ford Motor Co. to build an electric vehicle and battery plant near Memphis.

Jailed Russian opposition leader Navalny wins top EU prize

BRUSSELS (AP) — Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who narrowly survived a poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin, was awarded the European Union’s top human rights prize Wednesday in a clear slap at President Vladimir Putin.

Senate GOP again blocks Democrats' election bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the third time this year, Senate Democrats on Wednesday tried to pass sweeping elections legislation that they tout as a powerful counterweight to new voting restrictions sweeping conservative-controlled states.

Indiana GOP push against vaccine mandate faces hurdles

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some conservative Indiana lawmakers wanting to stymie President Joe Biden’s planned COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private employers are facing skepticism from their own Republican leaders and the state’s largest business group.

White House details plans to vaccinate 28M children age 5-11

WASHINGTON (AP) — Children ages 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician's office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, the White House said Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for elementary school youngsters in a matter of weeks.

Ambassador pick emphasizes US strengths in countering China

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's pick for ambassador to Beijing told lawmakers considering his nomination on Wednesday that Americans should "have confidence in our strength” when dealing with the rise of our top rival, China, a nation he said the U.S. and its allies could manage.