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National News

Consumers still want to get outdoors as temperatures plunge

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Over the summer, people looking to get out of the house snapped up boats, bicycles and patio furniture, figuring they were safer socializing and being active outdoors than inside. Now that temperatures are dropping, they're buying snowshoes, skis, boots and winter ...

‘Unprecedented’ mail volume delays Christmas gifts

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Some who mailed holiday presents weeks early this year found they didn't act early enough as Christmas arrived with their gifts stuck in transit. The U.S. Postal Service said on its website that it was "experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee ...

US plants hope to maintain production despite virus threat

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — U.S. factories have been cranking out goods during much of the pandemic at rates that are remarkably close to normal. However, manufacturers are concerned they may not be able to keep pace until most of the country is vaccinated because the coronavirus continues to surge in ...

Experts say experience convinced Midwest of virus dangers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — As much of the country experiences spiking virus rates, a reprieve from a devastating surge of the coronavirus in the Upper Midwest has given cautious relief to health officials, though they worry that infections remain rampant and holiday gatherings could reignite ...

Amid anguish of pandemic, sports offered memorable moments

Sarah Fuller was a goalie on the Vanderbilt women's soccer team when a chance at history tapped her on the shoulder. The Commodores football team was down a kicker because of COVID-19 issues, so coach Derek Mason reached out to soccer coach Darren Ambrose to see if Fuller might be a good ...

Trump made lasting impact on federal courts

WASHINGTON (AP) — On this, even President Donald Trump's most fevered critics agree: he has left a deep imprint on the federal courts that will outlast his one term in office for decades to come. He used the promise of conservative judicial appointments to win over Republican skeptics as a ...

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch sold to billionaire

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in California has found a new owner in billionaire businessman Ron Burkle. Burkle views the 2,700-acre property in Los Olivos, near Santa Barbara, as a land banking opportunity, his spokesman said Thursday in an email. The Wall Street ...

GOP blocks $2,000 checks as Trump leaves COVID aid in chaos

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's sudden demand for $2,000 checks for most Americans was swiftly rejected by House Republicans as his haphazard actions have thrown a massive COVID relief and government funding bill into chaos. The rare Christmas Eve session of the House lasted just ...

Retailers brace for flood of returns from online shopping

NEW YORK (AP) — A huge surge in online shopping during the pandemic has been a savior for retailers, but it comes at a price. Shoppers are expected to return twice as many items as they did during last year's holiday period, costing companies roughly $1.1 billion, according to Narvar Inc., a ...

Nurses fear what’s to come: ‘Walk down our unit for a day’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nurses of California are afraid. It's Christmas Eve, and they aren't home with their families. They are working, always working, completely gowned up — and worn down. They're frightened by what people are doing, or not doing, during a coronavirus pandemic that has ...