National And World News

COVID-19 surge forces health care rationing in parts of West

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — In another ominous sign about the spread of the delta variant, Idaho public health leaders on Thursday expanded health care rationing statewide and individual hospital systems in Alaska and Montana have enacted similar crisis standards amid a spike in the number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization.

Lawyer Murdaugh exits jail after $10M insurance fraud arrest

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Instead of a suit and tie, lawyer Alex Murdaugh found himself in a jail jumpsuit Thursday in a cramped South Carolina courtroom, struggling to wipe tears from his eyes with handcuffed wrists as his lawyer detailed how his life crumbled over the past three months.

Jane Powell, Hollywood golden-age musicals star, dies at 92

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jane Powell, the bright-eyed, operatic-voiced star of Hollywood's golden age musicals who sang with Howard Keel in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and danced with Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding,” has died. She was 92.

Witnesses: Suspect in slayings of 4 met victim at bar

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) — One of two men suspected in the shooting deaths of four people found in an abandoned SUV in Wisconsin was spotted meeting with one of the victims the night before at a Minnesota bar, authorities said Thursday.

Illinois hopes 'better angels' prevail in Lincoln desk rehab

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The storage-room merchants' desk where President-elect Abraham Lincoln penned his first inaugural address, beseeching southern states to recall the “mystic chords of memory" and invoke “the better angels of our nature” to circumvent the Civil War, was unveiled by Illinois officials Thursday after a painstaking restoration to its 1850s splendor.

California wildfires threaten famous giant sequoia trees

THREE RIVERS, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters wrapped the base of the world's largest tree in a fire-resistant blanket as they tried to save a famous grove of gigantic old-growth sequoias from wildfires burning Thursday in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada.