National Politics

Congress poised for quick action on Biden's Pentagon nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled Congress has easily passed legislation required to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden’s secretary of defense, brushing aside concerns that his retirement occurred inside the seven-year window that safeguards civilian leadership of the military.

Biden ordering stopgap help as talks start on big aid plan

BALTIMORE (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to take executive action Friday to provide a stopgap measure of financial relief to millions of Americans while Congress begins to consider his much larger $1.9 trillion package to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In Portugal presidential race, how high can a populist fly?

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — With the moderate incumbent candidate widely seen as the sure winner of Sunday’s presidential election in Portugal, the most intriguing question for many Portuguese is how well a brash new populist challenger will fare in a ballot skewed by a surging COVID-19 pandemic.

It's a secret: California keeps key virus data from public

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has from the start said his coronavirus policy decisions would be driven by data shared with the public to provide maximum transparency. But with the state starting to emerge from its worst surge, his administration won't disclose key information that will help determine when his latest stay-at-home order is lifted.

AKA sorority members celebrate Kamala Harris inauguration

CHICAGO (AP) — Elizabeth Shelby had her inauguration outfit planned weeks in advance: blue jeans, a Kamala Harris sweatshirt, a green coat, and pink Chuck Taylors as an homage to her sorority’s colors and Vice President Harris’ signature shoe.

Time, transparency needed as Biden inherits frazzled census

Battered by criticism that the 2020 census was dangerously politicized by the Trump administration, the U.S. Census Bureau under a new Biden administration has the tall task of restoring confidence in the numbers that will be used to determine funding and political power.

Democrats ask ethics panel to investigate Sens. Cruz, Hawley

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven Democratic senators on Thursday asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the actions of Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley “to fully understand their role” in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

US military moves to try Bali bomb suspects at Guantanamo

WASHINGTON (AP) — After an unexplained delay, the Pentagon announced plans Thursday to move ahead with a military trial for three men held at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who are suspected of involvement in deadly bombings in Indonesia in 2002 and 2003.