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The Memphis police chief has disbanded the city’s so-called Scorpion unit after some of its officers beat Black motorist Tyre Nichols to death. The chief on Saturday cited a “cloud of dishonor” from newly released video of the fatal encounter. Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis acted a day after the harrowing video emerged. She said she listened to Nichols’ relatives, community leaders and uninvolved officers in making the decision. The nation and the city are struggling to come to grips with the violence by the officers, who are also Black. The video renewed doubts about why fatal encounters with law enforcement keep happening despite repeated calls for change.

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For all the sound and fury about raising the nation's debt limit, most economists say federal borrowing is not at a crisis point. At least, not yet. The national debt is nonetheless at the core of a dispute about how to raise the government’s legal borrowing authority. That issue could come to a head this summer if the government runs out of accounting maneuvers to keep paying its bills. The political jousting masks a tough reality: Today’s $31.4 trillion national debt does not appear to be a weight on the U.S. economy, but its path in the decades to come might put at risk national security and major programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

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The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of airmen who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained a military brief that at least nine missileers were reporting diagnoses of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. One of the officers has died. Missileers are the officers who serve in underground bunkers near silo-based Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles and are responsible for turning launch keys if ordered.

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Delaware Gov. John Carney has tested positive for COVID-19. The governor's office said Saturday that Carney tested positive late Friday using an at-home antigen test after experiencing mild symptoms. The 66-year-old Carney says he’s “feeling fine” and is isolating himself, and will work from home. This marks Carney’s second publicly announced bout with coronavirus in the past several months. He tested positive last May. Carney is barred by term limits from seeking reelection in 2024.

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If Vegas oddsmakers are correct — and there’s a reason those casinos are huge and luxurious — then football fans are in for a treat this weekend. The NFL’s conference championship weekend is here: The Philadelphia Eagles will host the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC title while the Kansas City Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC. Both games are Sunday. The gambling odds are tight for both games, though both home teams have a slight edge. The Eagles are a 2 1/2-point favorite while the Chiefs are favored by 1 1/2 points, according to odds from FanDuel Sportsbook. The winners will meet in the Super Bowl on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona.

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The U.S. population center is on track this decade to take a southern swerve for the first time in history. Last year, the South outgrew other U.S. regions by well over 1 million people. If the trend continues through this decade, by 2030 the mean center of the U.S. population will head due south from a rural county in the Missouri Ozarks. It will be the first time in U.S. history without a westward extension. Since the population center was first calculated in 1790, it has moved continuously westward. Experts say the southern allure has to do with housing affordability, lower taxes and remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Across the country, there’s a silent frustration brewing over the ever-presence of tipping. Some fed-up consumers are posting rants on social media complaining about tip requests at drive-thrus, while others say they’re tired of being asked to leave a gratuity for a muffin or a simple cup of coffee at their neighborhood bakery. As more businesses adopt digital payment methods, customers are automatically being prompted to leave a gratuity at places they normally wouldn’t. And some say it has become more frustrating as the price of items has skyrocketed due to inflation, which eased to 6.5% in December but still remains painfully high. For workers, though, the surge in tip requests is a welcome development.

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Authorities in Memphis have released video showing Black motorist Tyre Nichols being beaten by five police officers who held him down and repeatedly struck him with fists, batons and boots. The footage released Friday also shows the Black officers pummeling the 29-year-old and leaving him propped against a squad car as they fist-bump and celebrate their actions. The officers have been charged with murder in the assault that the Nichols family legal team likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King. The chilling images of another Black man dying at the hands of police provoked tough questions about the nation’s policing culture.

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The Minnesota Senate has voted to write broad protections for abortion rights into state statutes, which would make it difficult for future courts to roll back. The pill passed 34-33 early Saturday after a marathon debate. Democrats have made the bill one of their top priorities in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade. While a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision protects abortion rights, sponsors want to make sure those protections remain in force no matter who sits on future courts. The House passed the bill last week. Gov. Tim Walz hopes to sign it before the end of the month.

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A mobile app for migrants to seek asylum in the United States has been overwhelmed since it was introduced this month in one of several major changes to the government’s response to unprecedented migration flows. New appointments are made available daily. But migrants are increasingly frustrated by a variety of error messages. Many can’t log in. Others are hopeful when they get a date, only to be deflated when the screen freezes at final confirmation. The daily ritual resembles a race for concert tickets when online sales begin for a major act.

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Italian designer Sabato De Sarno has been named the new creative director of Gucci, and will unveil his first collection during Milan Fashion Week next September, Gucci and parent company Kering announced Saturday. De Sarno has previously worked for Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino, where he was most recently fashion director overseeing both men’s and women’s collections.  Speculation has been rife in the fashion world over who would succeed Alessandro Michele after he stepped down from the role unexpectedly last fall, after nearly eight years in which he redefined the brand’s codes with gender fluid, romantic and eclectic looks. Like Michele when he was named in 2015 to the post, De Sarno is relatively unknown in the wider fashion world.

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Tyre Nichols was brutally attacked by police in Memphis after they pulled him over Jan. 7. Video of the deadly beating was released to the public on Friday. Family and friends remember Nichols as a generous, lovable man who worked hard to be a good father to his 4-year-old son. He was passionate about photography. He was an avid skateboarder and hailed from Sacramento, California. He got stuck in Memphis during the coronavirus pandemic, but didn't mind because he was with his mother. They were close, and she says she's still in shock he won't walk through her door anymore.

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IMSA is bringing North American sports car racing into the hybrid era starting with Saturday's Rolex 24 at Daytona. The twice-round-the-clock endurance race will be the first to use new hybrid engines in the top class. It makes IMSA the first North American racing series to use hybrid technology. The change lured new manufacturers to the class as automakers craved the pairing of a motorsports program that is in step with its road car program. Most automakers are shifting toward electric technology. But with the change comes concerns on durability for new cars with new engines in the longest and most prestigious race of the year.

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The U.S. plans to make it easier for gay and bisexual men to give blood. The Food and Drug Administration proposed easing restrictions on groups that typically face higher risks of HIV. The agency wants to drop the three-month abstinence requirement for donations from men who have sex with men. Donors would instead be screened with a questionnaire that evaluates individual risks for HIV, including sexual behavior. As a result, gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships could soon be able to donate blood for the first time in decades. The U.S. and other countries began restricting blood donations during the AIDS crisis of the early 1980s.

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A camera atop Hawaii’s tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky. Researchers believe it was from the launch of a military GPS satellite, that lifted off earlier on a SpaceX rocket in Florida. The images were captured on Jan. 18 by a camera at the summit of Mauna Kea outside the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru telescope. A time-lapse video shows a white orb spreading out and forming a spiral as it moves across the sky. The location of the spiral matches where the second stage of the SpaceX rocket was expected to be after launch.

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The Federal Reserve Board has denied a Wyoming cryptocurrency bank’s application for Federal Reserve System membership. The decision deals a setback to the crypto industry’s attempts to build acceptance in mainstream U.S. banking. Many in crypto were looking to Cheyenne-based Custodia Bank’s application as a bellwether. Approval would have meant access to Federal Reserve services including its electronic payments system. The denial announced Friday adds to doubts about crypto banking’s viability. The Federal Reserve Board says in a statement that the crypto bank would've been risky for depositors. Custodia CEO Caitlin Long denies that, saying in a statement that the application went “above and beyond all requirements.”

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Amazon is axing free grocery delivery for Prime members on orders less than $150. In an email to Prime members Friday, Amazon said customers who get their groceries delivered from Amazon Fresh — and pay less than $150 — will be charged between $3.95 and $9.95 depending on the order size. The new policy starts February 28. Currently, the company offers Prime members free grocery delivery on orders above $35, with the exception of New York, where it’s $50. The decision to impose new fees comes as Amazon attempts to trim costs amid a hazy economic environment.

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A New Jersey man who joined a mob’s attack on the U.S. Capitol has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for using pepper spray to assault police officers, one of whom died a day after the siege. Julian Khater didn’t mention the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick in a written statement he read aloud before U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan sentenced him to six years and eight months of imprisonment. A medical examiner concluded that the 42-year-old officer suffered two strokes and died of natural causes a day after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

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Utah lawmakers on Friday approved a measure that would ban most transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming health care — including surgery or puberty blockers. The bill now goes to the desk of Republican Gov. Spencer Cox, who hasn’t yet taken a position on the legislation. The measure comes as legislators in at least 18 states consider similar bills targeting health care for young transgender people. Utah’s measure prohibits transgender surgery for youth and disallows hormone treatments for minors who have not yet been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The state’s Legislature made the topic a top priority, hearing the first draft just two days after the session started earlier this month.

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Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel has won her bid to lead the GOP for two more years. McDaniel prevailed Friday over Donald Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon in a high-profile election that highlighted fierce internal divisions that threaten to plague the party into the next presidential season. While Donald Trump privately backed McDaniel, powerful forces from within his “Make America Great Again” movement lined up behind Dhillon. The victory makes McDaniel the longest-serving RNC chair since the Civil War, yet friends and foes alike agree that she will not be leading the RNC from a position of strength.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk and top aides to President Joe Biden have met in Washington to discuss electric vehicles. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says Musk did not meet with the president. Instead, Biden aides Mitch Landrieu and John Podesta sat down with the Tesla chief on Friday to discuss how recently enacted infrastructure and climate legislation can help grow the EV industry and electrification more broadly. Landrieu oversees federal spending on infrastructure, including help for the electric vehicle industry, while Podesta is the president's point man on federal spending on climate and clean energy initiatives.

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Stocks closed higher on Wall Street, marking the market's third winning week in the last four. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% Friday after giving up most of an earlier gain. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.9%, and the Dow ended up about 0.1%. American Express helped lead the way. It jumped after giving a profit forecast that topped expectations. Next week could be even busier for markets. The Federal Reserve is expected to announce its latest increase to interest rates. A report on Friday showed that inflation is continuing to cool, raising hopes for a smaller increase that's less painful.

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A proposed bill to deny gender-affirming care to young transgender people in Montana drew emotional testimony in a Friday hearing. Supporters argued it is needed to protect children, and opponents called it government overreach that would harm transgender children by denying them medically necessary treatment. The bill threatens health care providers with the loss of their license for a year if they use puberty blockers, hormones or surgery to treat transgender minors. A similar bill failed in the 2021 Legislature after receiving strong opposition from medical experts, human rights advocates and the transgender community. Sen. John Fuller's bill would also ban Montana Medicare payments for medication or surgical treatments for transgender minors.

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Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel has won her bid to lead the GOP for two more years. McDaniel prevailed Friday over Donald Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon in a high-profile election that highlighted fierce internal divisions that threaten to plague the party into the next presidential season. While Donald Trump privately backed McDaniel, powerful forces from within his “Make America Great Again” movement lined up behind Dhillon. The victory makes McDaniel the longest-serving RNC chair since the Civil War, yet friends and foes alike agree that she will not be leading the RNC from a position of strength.

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