It’s not exactly Sophie’s Choice, but it’s still painful for Democrats. Their big spending bill includes three programs for children: a subsidy for child care, monthly checks to parents and a paid family leave program. But they need the vote of Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and he says they can have only one of the three. They should go with the checks. Each idea has its advocates, as a ...

MIAMI — During its 2016 national convention in Orlando, the Democratic Party added abolishing the death penalty to its official party platform. But five years later, Democratic candidates vying to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis are breaking with that stance. As the gunman in Florida’s deadliest school shooting faces a possible death sentence, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, Agriculture Commissioner ...

PITTSBURGH — For most of last season, the Steelers started eight players on defense who were first-round draft choices. On offense, they started four. That number has declined this season with the retirement of center Maurkice Pouncey and (likely) guard David DeCastro and the free agent departure of outside linebacker Bub Dupree. But that doesn't mean their roster, even their practice squad, ...

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears shook the football world in September by announcing a $197 million purchase agreement for Arlington International Racecourse. Though team officials have flirted with the idea of moving to the suburbs for decades, and put in a preliminary bid for the property in June, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot previously had accused them of doing so as a “negotiating tactic” to ...

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Smack in the middle of the Power & Light District is the open-air area known as KC Live!, which bills itself as the "The Heartbeat of Kansas City" and has very much pulsated that part to the outer world during any number of U.S. men's and women's soccer matches. So on a gorgeous Thursday afternoon, it sure was an appropriate scene to try to bring the world to us with the ...

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 heart of the Bell Bowl Prairie in Winnebago County. ...

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 first nationwide paid leave plan has been whittled down, ...

WASHINGTON — Get ready for a barrage of campaign ads — even more than usual. Democrats and Republicans are setting a torrid fundraising pace more than one year out from the midterm elections, stockpiling record-breaking amounts of cash as control of the narrowly divided House and Senate hangs in the balance. Between the tens of millions of dollars that candidates and groups are already ...

The Phoenix Suns issued a preemptive denial Friday to unpublished accusations of misconduct by team owner Robert Sarver. "We understand that ESPN is considering publishing a proposed story that makes completely baseless claims against the Suns Legacy Partners, LLC organization concerning a variety of topics," the statement said. The denial was issued before the Suns played the Lakers on Friday ...

ATLANTA — Max Scherzer was scheduled to speak to the media via Zoom soon after the Dodgers landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Friday night. News conferences are customary for starting pitchers the day before scheduled playoff outings and Scherzer has been slated to start Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. But ...

AUSTIN, Texas — Nearly a year after offering up a hefty bounty for evidence of voter fraud in the wake of Donald Trump’s loss, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has handed out his first reward. But instead of going to an informant who smoked out fraud by Democrats, Patrick’s five-figure payout went to a progressive poll worker in Pennsylvania whose tip led to a single conviction of illegal voting by a ...

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 vaccine’s capacity to prevent hospitalizations and ...

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 content questioning the legitimacy of the election — ...

LOS ANGELES — ABC’s popular procedural “The Rookie” has banned the firing of real guns on the show after a fatal accident Thursday on a movie set in New Mexico. Shaken up by the events, Alexi Hawley, the showrunner on the cop drama starring Nathan Fillion as a Los Angeles Police Department newcomer, wrote to crew members Friday with the new policy, according to an email seen by the Los Angeles ...

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 in two massive money-laundering conspiracy cases ...

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 bulletproof vest, Doral spokesman Rey Valdes said. ...

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 package to somewhere closer to $2 trillion, the $556 ...

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 reconciliation package next week. “I’m hopeful,” the California ...

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 making repeat attempts, the agency said. CBP’s Border ...