National Politics

Michigan Senate approves $3.3B water infrastructure bill

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate on Thursday unanimously approved $3.3 billion in water infrastructure spending to replace lead pipes and repair aging dams around the state while also sending money to a Detroit-area system that has struggled with flooding blamed on climate change.

Honolulu utility shuts well to prevent fuel contamination

HONOLULU (AP) — Amid a continuing crisis over fuel contaminating the Navy’s tap water at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu’s water utility said Friday it shut off one of its wells so it doesn’t taint its own supply with petroleum from an underground aquifer it shares with the military.

Putin to seek guarantees on Ukraine as invasion fears grow

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin said Friday that President Vladimir Putin will seek binding guarantees precluding NATO’s expansion to Ukraine during a planned call with U.S. President Joe Biden, while a U.S. intelligence report and the Ukrainian defense minister warned of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine as soon as next month.

Nevada court sides with gunmakers in Las Vegas shooting suit

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada’s Supreme Court ruled gun manufacturers cannot be held responsible for the deaths in the 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip because a state law shields them from liability unless the weapon malfunctions.

Jan. 6 panel postpones deposition with former DOJ official

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection has postponed a deposition with a former Justice Department official Saturday due to a “medical condition that precludes his participation," according to a panel spokesman.

DAs, retailers say California needs tougher retail theft law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Spurred by a recent run of large-scale smash-and-grab robberies, prosecutors and retailers are pushing back on assertions by California's governor and attorney general that they have enough tools to combat retail theft in the wake of a voter-approved easing of related laws.

Despite analysis, Parson adamant mask mandates don't work

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A health department analysis shows Missouri cities that require masks to combat the coronavirus pandemic this year saw fewer infections, but Republican Gov. Mike Parson insisted Thursday that mandates don't work.

Correction: Election 2021-Atlanta Mayor-Dickens story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story published Dec. 1, 2021, about the Atlanta mayor’s race, The Associated Press erroneously reported that new mayor Andre Dickens’ mother did not graduate from high school. She did graduate. The story also erroneously said that Dickens is a deacon at his boyhood church. He helped found the church as an adult.

NC judges deny requests to block elections under new maps

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's 2022 elections under new legislative and congressional maps can begin as scheduled next week after state judges on Friday rejected demands from lawsuit filers who claim the lines have to be blocked because they so egregiously favor Republicans.

Time is no ally as Dems strain to finish Biden's $2T bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — If President Joe Biden's $2 trillion social and environment package was a Broadway show, its seven months on Congress' stage could qualify it as a hit. But lawmaking isn't show business, and many Democrats worry that with the curtain falling soon on 2021, time is not their friend.

Thousands of Air Guard, Reserves don't meet vaccine deadline

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 6% of the Air National Guard and Reserve did not meet the deadline to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and could begin to face consequences if they don't get the mandated shots or receive an exemption, the Air Force said Friday.

Biden signs stopgap funding bill to keep government running

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday signed into law the stopgap spending bill that will keep the federal government running through Feb. 18, after congressional leaders defused a partisan standoff over federal vaccine mandates.

Windfall boosts chances of New Mexico pay raises, policing

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico government economists on Friday announced a new surge in state income as legislators consider proposals to raise pay for public school teachers, a possible hiring spree for local police officers and new efforts to bolster essential public services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Court mulls: Was Trump's reply to rape claim part of job?

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal appeals judges asked Friday whether a U.S. president's every remark is part of the job as they weighed whether former President Donald Trump can be held liable in a defamation case that concerns his response to a rape allegation.