WASHINGTON — Decisions by two Republican governors to remove all coronavirus restrictions in their states have reignited the political debate on the pandemic response, elevating it as a campaign issue this year and in 2022. Republicans Greg Abbott of Texas and Tate Reeves of Mississippi announced last week they’re eliminating state mask mandates and allowing businesses to reopen at full ...

AUSTIN, Texas — Two groups on Monday are holding a rally at the state Capitol in Austin against Gov. Greg Abbott's order lifting the statewide mask mandate in public places. The Amplified Sound Coalition and the Austin chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America will be protesting Monday outside the south steps of the Capitol. Protesters are asking the governor not to relax the mask ...

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DALLAS — Two out of three Texans lost electricity, water or both in last month’s devastating winter storm, though it’s unclear their harrowing experiences will have lasting political consequences, according to a poll released Sunday by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler. By a 2-to-1 margin, Texas registered voters say state and local leaders failed to adequately alert ...

Administration officials will brief President Joe Biden after traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border for operational briefings and to tour immigration facilities, the White House said. The group, led by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and White House Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice, visited a Department of Homeland Security Border Patrol facility and a Health and Human Services ...

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ALBANY, N.Y. — The highest-ranking Democrats in the New York Legislature are questioning Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “ability to continue to lead” and calling on him to step down amid mounting sexual harassment claims. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie made the unprecedented move Sunday, just hours after the governor defiantly declared that he has no ...

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The musicians who got us through a miserable year will help honor their communities at the Grammy Awards next weekend. Scheduled performers for the 63rd annual ceremony include Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, Bad Bunny, Billie Eilish and Post Malone, the Recording Academy announced Sunday, a week before the show. Swift’s performance will mark her first appearance at ...

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard said he plans to play on Team USA during this summer’s Tokyo Olympics regardless of how far his team plays in the NBA’s upcoming postseason. “Right now my plan is to go,” Leonard said Sunday, during a videoconference with reporters hours before the NBA held its All-Star Game in Atlanta, where Leonard will start for the team captained by LeBron James. “It doesn’t ...

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LOS ANGELES — A rare Kobe Bryant rookie card sold for $1.795 million Saturday on Goldin Auctions, an online auction house and repository for sports memorabilia. The sale is an all-time record for a Bryant card. The card shows Bryant, donning a No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey, going up for a shot against a Minnesota Timberwolves defender. According to Goldin Auctions, the "1996-97 Topps Chrome ...

A Saudi-led coalition on Sunday mounted a series of airstrikes on Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa amid an increase in attacks by the Houthi rebels against neighboring Saudi Arabia, residents said. Yemen has been roiled by a devastating power struggle between a Saudi-backed government and the Iran-aligned Houthis since late 2014. In 2015, the Saudi-led coalition started a military campaign ...

Iran released a British-Iranian aid worker detained in 2016 on national security charges yet barred her from leaving the country, a move that could perpetuate strained ties between the U.K. and Tehran. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s electronic ankle bracelet was removed on Sunday and she is “in good shape and happy to be released,” said her lawyer, Hojjat Kermani. She still faces another ruling ...

Pope Francis met the father of Alan Kurdi, the dead toddler whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey in 2015 whose photo went around the world at the height of the refugee crisis, on the last day of his trip to Iraq. The pope met Abdullah Kurdi after Mass at the Irbil football stadium, the Vatican announced Sunday evening. Francis expressed his condolences to Kurdi for losing his family. The ...

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As the world marks one year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rita Wilson is celebrating that she’s still alive. The actress, who tested positive last year along with husband Tom Hanks, reflected on the past year Sunday, a day before the one-year anniversary of starting to feel symptoms in Australia. “I want to take a moment to say how grateful we are for our health, how thankful we are for the ...

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Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Sunday he never intended to become the deciding vote on the Democratic agenda. “I didn’t lobby for this position. I’ve never changed,” the Democrat told ABC’s “This Week.” “I look for that moderate middle. “My state of West Virginia — they know me, they know how I’ve governed,” Manchin added. “I’ve tried to basically represent them in the best of my ...

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. will respond as appropriate to a rocket attack last week on an airbase hosting U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. While he stopped short of assigning blame on ABC’s “This Week,” an earlier rocket incident prompted U.S. airstrikes against Iranian-backed fighters in Syria in February. “We’re still developing the intelligence” on the ...

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MINNEAPOLIS — The former police officer seen kneeling for about nine minutes on George Floyd's neck before he died last spring is due to go on trial, and Minneapolis is on edge, protesting, barricading and boarding up. Several hundred people supporting the conviction of former Officer Derek Chauvin on murder charges gathered across the Mississippi River on Saturday in front of the governor's ...

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — Ken Gordon never kept a journal during his time at The Citadel. But no one, he explained more than 35 years later, can forget hell. When Gordon reported to the Charleston campus in August 1984, he found a South that refused to let go of its past. Confederate battle flags waved in the stands during home football games. Cadets marched to "Dixie" during Friday afternoon ...

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There’s a reason soldiers go through basic training before heading into combat: Without careful instruction, green recruits armed with powerful weapons could be as dangerous to one another as to the enemy. The immune system works much the same way. Immune cells, which protect the body from infections, need to be “educated” to recognize bad guys — and to hold their fire around civilians. In ...

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WASHINGTON — Dominic Bruno is not closely tracking the greenhouse gas soaking into the dirt beneath the walnut trees, sunflowers and melon vines at River Garden Farms in Yolo County, where the state of California spent $97,000 this year to create a 15,000-acre emissions sponge. Bruno is focused on how the state's promotion of "regenerative" soils on his and 333 other farms has made the land ...

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Within a coastal refuge of tiny islands and sea water saltier than the ocean is a climate battle among natural Florida’s titans. It’s happening in Central Florida’s remote and alluring Mosquito Lagoon, which nearly abuts Kennedy Space Center launch pads at the Atlantic Ocean. Reigning guardians of the lagoon are oysters. They assemble in fortresses of low mounds, or reefs that ...

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SAN DIEGO — From South Africa to Brazil to California, the list of locations linked to new strains of the coronavirus is growing — and so are concerns that viral variants could undo the vaccine rollout. The worries come at a time when most Americans still haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine. That could change by the end of May, when President Joe Biden says there will be enough vaccine for all ...

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PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia health officials are warning residents not to buy pet turtles from roadside vendors after a multi-state outbreak of salmonella linked to the reptiles is being blamed for eight cases that resulted in one death. Four of those contracting salmonella were from Philadelphia and four from Delaware County. James Garrow, a spokesman for the city health department, said he ...

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Dared and Renee Price are husband-and-wife pharmacists in south-central Kansas, and have spent tens of thousands of dollars and several months getting their six independent outlets in five small towns ready to deliver the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. They’ve had to buy freezers, temperature monitors and a mobile refrigerator. They’d like to break even. At first, they received just 100 ...

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MEXICO CITY — A day after an SUV packed with migrants crashed in Imperial County last week, leaving 13 dead, police in southern Mexico encountered a disturbing scene: more than 200 U.S.-bound Central Americans, a quarter of them children without adult supervision, crammed inside a tractor trailer. The two incidents — the fatal collision in California, and the discovery of the migrant-jammed ...

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PHILADELPHIA — Jason Kelce has never hidden how much the decision to continue playing for the Eagles, to continue administering to himself the punishment of playing pro football, has weighed on him. The question has come up at the end of each of his last three seasons; Super Bowl LII, in February 2018, was the last time that Kelce didn't offer that he was contemplating retirement and that no ...

"Cat" remains in question, but Terry Bradshaw can certainly spell "Tom" without being spotted the T and the O. The Steelers Hall of Famer presciently used the alias "Tom Brady" in 1983 when he was admitted to a Shreveport, La., hospital for elbow surgery, which we learned in a recently rediscovered newspaper article. Brady, who's long since supplanted Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the winningest ...

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — More than a year into a pandemic that has claimed 523,000 lives in the United States, right-wing protesters in Idaho, including a handful of elected officials, set protective masks aflame Saturday, claiming face coverings stifle their personal liberties. Although local, state and federal health officials are clear that masks are crucial in the fight against COVID-19, ...

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NEW YORK — A third staffer to Gov. Andrew Cuomo accused him of inappropriate behavior, saying in a newspaper interview that he asked her if she had a boyfriend, called her “sweetheart,” touched her back and kissed her hand. Ana Liss, 35, who worked for Cuomo between 2013 and 2015, told The Wall Street Journal that at first she saw the governor’s actions as harmless flirtations, but came over ...

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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County public health officials Saturday reported 1,823 new coronavirus cases and 98 related deaths, and noted that more than 22,000 residents have now died from the virus. “Today’s grim milestone reminds us of the human toll of this pandemic and how actions affect cases, hospitalizations and deaths several weeks from now,” Barbara Ferrer, the county public health ...

ATLANTA — The Georgia Senate voted to approve one of several bills aimed at reining in the powers governors have during a public emergency. Senate Bill 200 would allow churches to continue to hold all services and activities during a declared state of emergency. Businesses also would be able to operate as long as they meet safety protocols as established by the governor. The measure passed ...