National Politics

New Mexico races to spend federal rental assistance

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State agencies spent federal pandemic aid at a furious pace during the month of August, channeling about $630 million in efforts to bolster unemployment reserves, provide emergency housing assistance and promote COVID-19 vaccination efforts, the Legislature's budget and accountability office said Wednesday.

Mississippi voting rights case is argued at US appeals court

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The authors of Mississippi's 1890 constitution had racist intent when they stripped voting rights from people convicted of some felonies because they chose crimes they thought were more likely to be committed by Black people, an attorney argued Wednesday in a federal appeals court.

COVID case delays contentious redistricting in Oregon

A broken power-sharing deal, the lingering possibility of a Republican walkout and a COVID-19 case are adding greater uncertainty to whether Oregon legislators will successfully redraw the state’s political districts ahead of a tight deadline.

Under pressure, Powell says Fed to revamp its trading rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the central bank will overhaul its financial ethics policies in response to growing questions about investing and trading decisions by high-ranking Fed officials that raise potential conflicts of interest.

Florida makes quarantine optional for exposed students

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A day after assuming his job, Florida's newly appointed surgeon general on Wednesday signed new protocols allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they are asymptomatic after being exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Fed: On track to slow support for economy later this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled Wednesday that the Fed plans to announce as early as November that it will start withdrawing the extraordinary support it unleashed after the coronavirus paralyzed the economy 18 months ago.

Analysis: A 'United' Nations, navigating a fractured world

NEW YORK (AP) — When the United Nations rose from World War II's rubble, its birth reflected a widespread aspiration that humanity could be lifted up and dispatched down a positive path — if only there was a coherent, informed, unified effort of good faith among countries and their leaders. That would require persistence, compromise and, above all, hope.

12th inmate dies as New York City's jail crisis intensifies

NEW YORK (AP) — An inmate on a New York City jail barge died Wednesday after a medical emergency, the city’s Department of Correction said. It is at least the 12th death of a city inmate this year and the second this week amid what some elected officials and advocates have deemed a “humanitarian crisis” in the city's lockups.

Senators: Bipartisan police overhaul talks end with no deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bipartisan congressional talks on overhauling policing practices have ended without an agreement, top bargainers from both parties said Wednesday, marking the collapse of an effort that began after killings of unarmed Black people by officers sparked protests across the U.S.

Biden meets with Democrats as $3.5T plan faces party split

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time growing shorter, President Joe Biden launched meetings Wednesday with House and Senate Democrats as Congress worked to bridge party divisions over his big “build back better” agenda ahead of crucial voting deadlines.

UN anti-racism event, rejected by some, recommits to goals

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly pledged Wednesday to redouble efforts to combat racism around the world, commemorating a landmark but contentious 2001 anti-racism conference by holding an anniversary meeting once again riven with divisions.

CDC panel grapples with who needs a COVID-19 booster shot

An influential panel of advisers to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention grappled Wednesday with the question of which Americans should get COVID-19 booster shots, with some members wondering if the decision should be put off for a month in hopes of more evidence.

San Francisco pledges to crack down on retail shoplifting

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The mayor and police chief of San Francisco announced Wednesday they'll dedicate more police, beef up coordination and make it easier to report shoplifters in an attempt to crack down on brazen commercial thieving that has added to the city's reputation as soft on crime.

Lawmakers OK $55B budget bills; $7.5B in virus relief left

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers who finished passing the state budget Wednesday will next turn to allocating an unprecedented amount of federal COVID-19 rescue funding — money that largely is flexible and can be spent however the state decides.

As Texas draws its maps, Latinos push for political power

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — As a Dallas County commissioner, Elba Garcia represents some 670,000 people — nearly the population of a congressional district. The majority of her constituents are Latino and live in the fast-growing suburbs west of Dallas, where they share worries about managing growth, schools and access to health care.