Stories by Associated Press

Vaccine Effort Turns Into Slog as Infectious Variant Spreads

In this May 12, 2021, file photo, one man holds the door for another as they arrive at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Auburn Mall in Auburn, Maine. (AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty)

As cases tumble and states reopen, the potential final stage in the U.S. campaign to vanquish COVID-19 is turning into a slog, with a worrisome variant gaining a bigger foothold and lotteries and other prizes failing to persuade some Americans to get vaccinated.

Hours After 4 Killed in Chicago, 5 More Hurt in Shooting

Police tape marks off a Chicago street as officers investigate the scene of a fatal shooting in the city's South Side on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. An argument in a house erupted into gunfire early Tuesday, police said. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford)

Five people standing outside on Chicago’s West Side were shot in a violent end to a day that began with a mass shooting on the city’s South Side that left four people dead and four more injured, police said.

More Evidence Suggests COVID-19 Was in US by Christmas 2019

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the spherical coronavirus particles from what was believed to be the first U.S. case of COVID-19. (C.S. Goldsmith, A. Tamin / CDC via AP)

A new analysis of blood samples from 24,000 Americans taken early last year is the latest and largest study to suggest that the new coronavirus popped up in the U.S. in December 2019 — weeks before cases were first recognized by health officials. 

Mexican Band Los Bukis to Reunite for 1st Tour in 25 Years

Members of the Mexican grupera band Los Bukis, from left, Pedro Sanchez, Roberto Guadarrama and Marco Antonio Solis attend a press conference at SoFi Stadium on Monday, June 14, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo / Chris Pizzello)

Considered one of Latin music’s most iconic bands, the group will start its three-concert tour in Los Angeles on Aug. 27, followed by a performance in Chicago’s Soldier Field on Sept. 4 and a final night on Sept. 15th at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Illinois Chemical Plant Explosion, Fires Prompt Evacuations

Officials said dozens of employees at Chemtool Inc. were safely evacuated following an explosion and fires at the plant in Rockton, Illinois. (WTTW News via CNN)

An explosion at a northern Illinois chemical plant Monday morning sparked massive fires that sent flames and huge plumes of thick black smoke high into the air and debris raining onto the ground, prompting evacuations.

Florida Bans ‘Critical Race Theory’ From its Classrooms

(WTTW News)

The move by Florida’s state Board of Education was widely expected as a national debate intensifies about how race should be used as a lens in classrooms to examine the country’s tumultuous history.

As US COVID-19 Death Toll Nears 600,000, Racial Gaps Persist

In this April 22, 2020, file photo, pallbearers, who were among only 10 allowed mourners, walk the casket for internment at the funeral for Larry Hammond, who died from the coronavirus, at Mount Olivet Cemetery in New Orleans. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert, File)

The approaching 600,000 mark, as tracked by Johns Hopkins University, is greater than the population of Baltimore or Milwaukee. It is about equal to the number of Americans who died of cancer in 2019. And as bad as that is, the true toll is believed to be significantly higher.

Novavax: Large Study Finds COVID-19 Shot About 90% Effective

In this Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, file photo, a vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St. George's University hospital in London. (AP Photo / Alastair Grant, File)

The Novavax vaccine, which is easy to store and transport, is expected to play an important role in boosting vaccine supplies in the developing world.

Travel Rebound: 2 Million People Go Through US Airports

In this May 28, 2021 file photo, travelers wait for their luggage at a baggage carousel at Miami International Airport in Miami. (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee, File)

The airline industry’s recovery from the pandemic passed a milestone as more than 2 million people streamed through U.S. airport security checkpoints on Friday for the first time since early March 2020.

G-7 Leaders Agree on Vaccines, China and Taxing Corporations

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference after attending the G-7 summit, Sunday, June 13, 2021, at Cornwall Airport in Newquay, England. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

At the group’s first face-to-face meeting in two years, the leaders dangled promises of support for global health, green energy, infrastructure and education.

Chicago Man Jumps Into Lake Michigan for 365th Straight Day

Dan O’Conor, the “Great Lake Jumper,” makes his 365th leap into Lake Michigan, Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Chicago’s Montrose Point. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)

Dan O’Conor said he started jumping into the lake at Montrose Harbor on the city’s North Side last year to relieve stress.

Rash of Mass Shootings Stirs US Fears Heading Into Summer

This photo provided by Austin Police Department shows Chief Chacon providing an update on overnight shootings in Austin, Texas, early Saturday, June 12, 2021. Chacon says gunfire erupted in a busy entertainment district downtown early Saturday injuring several. (Austin Police Department via AP)

Two people were killed and at least 30 others wounded in mass shootings overnight in three states, authorities said Saturday, stoking concerns that a spike in U.S. gun violence could continue into summer as coronavirus restrictions ease and more people are free to socialize.

Biden Urges G-7 Leaders to Call Out and Compete With China

President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron visit during a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit, Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Carbis Bay, England. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

Leaders of the world’s largest economies unveiled an infrastructure plan Saturday for the developing world to compete with China’s global initiatives, but they were searching for a consensus on how to forcefully to call out Beijing over human rights abuses.

Teachers Wary of New Laws Limiting Instruction on Race

In this Sept. 18, 2020, file photo, students work in class in Washington. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, File)

In response to a push for culturally responsive teaching, Republican lawmakers and governors have championed legislation to limit the teaching of material that explores how race and racism influence American politics, culture and law.

US Closes Trump-Era Office for Victims of Immigrant Crime

FILE - In this April 26, 2017, file photo, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announces the opening of the new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office during a news conference at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Washington. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

The Biden administration said Friday it has dismantled a Trump-era government office to help victims of crimes committed by immigrants, a move that symbolizes President Joe Biden’s rejection of former President Donald Trump’s repeated efforts to link immigrants to crime.

AMA Doctors Meet Amid Vocal Backlash Over Racial Equity Plan

This November 2018 photo provided by the American Medical Association shows Gerald Harmon at the Interim Meeting of the AMA in National Harbor, Md. (Ted Grudzinski / American Medical Association via AP)

The nation’s largest, most influential doctors’ group is holding its annual policymaking meeting amid backlash over its most ambitious plan ever — to help dismantle centuries-old racism and bias in all realms of the medical establishment.

Legislators, Students Push for K-12 Asian American Studies

In this Monday, May 10, 2021 photo, Senior Annie Chen, center, listens with classmates as Connecticut Attorney General William Tong speaks for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Farmington High School in Farmington, Conn. (AP Photo / Jessica Hill)

Illinois would become the first state to require public schools to teach Asian American studies if the governor signs a bill that cleared the state Legislature. Lawmakers have proposed similar mandates this year in Connecticut, New York and Wisconsin.

In US, Pride Month Festivities Muted by Political Setbacks

FILE - In this Thursday, May 20, 2021 file photo, demonstrators gather on the steps to the State Capitol to speak against transgender-related legislation bills being considered in the Texas Senate and Texas House in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo / Eric Gay, File)

For many, the top political priority is passage of the Equality Act, which would extend federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people. 

McDonald’s Latest Company to Be Hit by a Data Breach

A sign is displayed outside a McDonald's restaurant, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall)

McDonald’s has become the latest company to be hit by a data breach after unauthorized activity on its network exposed the personal data of some customers in South Korea and Taiwan.

Latino Group Sues to Block Democrat-Drawn Maps in Illinois

(WTTW News)

Illinois Democrats used inadequate data and an opaque process to draw new legislative districts, a Latino civil rights organization argued in the latest lawsuit seeking to block the maps from being used for statehouse elections over the next decade.

Why Do Some People Get Side Effects After COVID-19 Vaccines?

(AP Illustration / Peter Hamlin)

Temporary side effects including headache, fatigue and fever are signs the immune system is revving up – a normal response to vaccines. And they’re common.

G-7 Nations Gather to Pledge 1B Vaccine Doses for World

President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visit during a bilateral meeting ahead of the G-7 summit, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Carbis Bay, England. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

Leaders from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are set to commit at their summit to sharing at least 1 billion coronavirus shots with struggling countries around the world — half the doses coming from the U.S. and 100 million from the U.K.

US Extends Expiration Dates for J&J COVID Vaccine by 6 Weeks

This Saturday, March 6, 2021 file photo shows vials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski, File)

The company said a Food and Drug Administration review concluded the shots remain safe and effective for at least 4 1/2 months. In February, the FDA originally authorized J&J’s vaccine for up to three months when stored at normal refrigeration levels.

Homicides Are Up, But GOP Misleads with Claims About Blame

In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo a protester holds a sign that reads "Defund Police" during a rally for the late George Floyd outside Barclays Center in New York. (AP Photo / John Minchillo, File)

On social media and in political speeches, some Republicans and pro-police groups say last year’s calls to slash spending on law enforcement have led to a dramatic rise in killings in cities overseen by Democrats.

‘There is Stuff’: Enduring Mysteries Trail US Report on UFOs

Plus: “Chicago Tonight” gets into the UFO report and its implications

The image from video provided by the Department of Defense labelled Gimbal, from 2015, an unexplained object is seen at center as it is tracked as it soars high along the clouds, traveling against the wind. (Department of Defense via AP)

The U.S. government has been taking a hard look at unidentified flying objects. A report summarizing what the U.S. knows about “unidentified aerial phenomena” — better known as UFOs — is expected to be made public this month.

Keystone Pipeline Canceled After Biden Had Blocked Permit

Pipes for the Keystone Pipeline in Swanton, Nebraska, Aug. 13, 2009. (Credit Wikimedia Commons / ShannonPatrick17)

Calgary-based TC Energy said it would work with government agencies “to ensure a safe termination of and exit from” the partially built line, which was to transport crude from the oil sand fields of western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.