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US, allies pledge unity on Russia; to do what isn’t clear

ELLEN KNICKMEYER and LORNE COOK Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden largely has rallied European allies to pledge as one that they will take tough measures against Russia if it rolls troops into Ukraine. But when it comes to what exactly the United States and Europe are willing to do, the allies haven’t…

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US faces wave of omicron deaths in coming weeks, models say

CARLA K. JOHNSON AP Medical Writer The fast-moving omicron variant may cause less severe disease on average, but COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are climbing and modelers forecast 50,000 to 300,000 more Americans could die by the time the wave subsides in mid-March. The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.…

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Yellowstone bison species decision questioned by US judge

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revisit part of its decision not to protect Yellowstone National Park’s bison as an endangered species. The Buffalo Field Campaign and Western Watersheds Project groups have been fighting since 2014 to have Yellowstone’s bison declared endangered or…

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Fact-checking may be important, but it won’t help Americans learn to disagree better

Taylor Dotson New Mexico Tech (THE CONVERSATION) Entering the new year, Americans are increasingly divided. They clash not only over differing opinions on COVID-19 risk or abortion, but basic facts like election counts and whether vaccines work. Surveying rising political antagonism, journalist George Packer recently wondered in The Atlantic, “Are we doomed?” It is common…

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Irvin, Aurora’s 1st Black mayor, makes GOP bid for governor

JOHN O’CONNOR AP Political Writer SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin joined the gubernatorial fray on Monday, entering the race as a Republican challenging incumbent Democrat J.B. Pritzker. Elected the first Black mayor of Illinois’ second-largest city in 2017, Irvin, 51, is the fifth candidate seeking the GOP spot on the November ballot.…

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Tornado victim’s family sues Amazon over warehouse collapse

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The family of a delivery driver who died last month when a tornado collapsed the central Illinois Amazon facility where he worked filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday in Madison County. The action on behalf of Austin McEwen, 26, claims that Amazon failed to warn employees of dangerous weather or provide…

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COVID deaths and cases are rising again at US nursing homes

MEG KINNARD and BRYAN GALLION Associated Press COVID-19 infections are soaring again at U.S. nursing homes because of the omicron wave, and deaths are climbing too, leading to new restrictions on family visits and a renewed push to get more residents and staff members vaccinated and boosted. Nursing homes were the lethal epicenter of the…

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Most seniors in Sun City Center are vaccinated — and tired

HANNAH CRITCHFIELD Tampa Bay Times SUN CITY CENTER, Fla. (AP) — Wayne Rediger, 74, is sweeping the court ahead of this afternoon’s shuffleboard tournament. It’s still early in Sun City Center, a census-designated place in Hillsborough County where more than 70% of the population is over the age of 65. Rediger’s wife was supposed to…

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China cites coronavirus on packaging, despite doubts abroad

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say parcels mailed from overseas may have spread the omicron variant of the coronavirus in Beijing and elsewhere, despite doubts among overseas health experts that the virus can be transmitted via packaging. The State Post Bureau said it has ordered stronger measures to ventilate and disinfect sites where items…

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Hong Kong to kill 2,000 animals after hamsters get COVID-19

ZEN SOO Associated Press HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong authorities said Tuesday that they will kill about 2,000 small animals, including hamsters, after several tested positive for the coronavirus at a pet store where an employee was also infected. The city will also stop the sale of hamsters and the import of small mammals,…

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