Stories by Associated Press

WNBA star Brittney Griner deplanes at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, following her release in a prisoner swap with Russia, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Brittney Griner Back Home in US After Russian Prisoner Swap

“So happy to have Brittney back on U.S. soil. Welcome home BG!” tweeted Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., grins as he emerges from the closed-door Senate Democratic Caucus leadership election at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

Schumer Reelected Senate Leader After Democrats Expand Majority; Durbin Retains No. 2 Spot

Senate Democrats met behind closed doors at the Capitol to choose their leadership team for the new Congress that begins in January. The session was quick and upbeat, with no challengers. 

Brittney Griner (15) runs up court during women’s basketball gold medal game against Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Aug. 8, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. Russia has freed WNBA star Brittney Griner in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange, with the U.S. releasing notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall, File)

WNBA Star Griner Freed in Swap for Russian Arms Dealer Bout

“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” President Biden said from the White House, where he was accompanied by Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle, and administration officials.

In this image from House Television, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., announces final passage of the bill with protections for same-sex marriages, on the House Floor on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Washington. The bipartisan legislation, which passed 258-169, would also protect interracial unions by requiring states to recognize legal marriages regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.” (Senate Television via AP)

Bill Protecting Same-Sex, Interracial Unions Clears Congress

President Joe Biden is expected to promptly sign the measure, which requires all states to recognize same-sex marriages, a relief for hundreds of thousands of couples who have married since the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that legalized those marriages nationwide.

Deborah Sampson, left, a nurse at a University of Washington Medical Center clinic in Seattle, gives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot to a 20-month-old child, June 21, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, file)

FDA Clears Updated COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Under Age 5

The Food and Drug Administration’s decision aims to better protect the littlest kids from severe COVID-19 at a time when children’s hospitals already are packed with tots suffering from a variety of respiratory illnesses.

This illustration provided by researchers depicts Kap Kobenhavn, Greenland, two million years ago, when the temperature was significantly warmer than northernmost Greenland today. (Beth Zaiken via AP)

Oldest Known DNA Reveals Lush Life in Greenland 2 Million Years Ago

With animal fossils hard to come by, the researchers extracted environmental DNA, also known as eDNA, from soil samples. This is the genetic material that organisms shed into their surroundings — for example, through hair, waste, spit or decomposing carcasses.

Michael Martin of Springfield, Va., with UpVote Virginia, holds a sign that reads “End Gerrymandering Again!” and speaks with Nadine Seiler of Waldorf, Md., in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

Supreme Court Justices Appear Skeptical of Elections Case That Could Alter Voting

In nearly three hours of arguments, liberal and conservative justices appeared to take issue with the main thrust of a challenge asking them to essentially eliminate the power of state courts to strike down legislature-drawn, gerrymandered congressional district maps on grounds that they violate state constitutions.

Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky, File)

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments Wednesday in ‘Most Important Case’ on Democracy

The question for the justices is whether the U.S. Constitution’s provision giving state legislatures the power to make the rules about the “times, places and manner” of congressional elections cuts state courts out of the process.

(WTTW News)

University of Chicago’s Julianne Sitch 1st Woman to Coach Men’s Soccer Team to NCAA Title

Chicago defeated Williams College 2-0 on Saturday for the Maroons’ first NCAA men’s soccer title in program history. The title capped an undefeated season (22-0-1) and set a school record for wins in Sitch's first year as head coach.

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

Democrats Move to Make South Carolina, Not Iowa, 1st Voting State

The president’s direction came as the DNC rules committee gathered in Washington on Friday to vote on shaking up the presidential primary calendar starting in 2024. Members now expect to approve new rules putting South Carolina first, followed by New Hampshire and Nevada on the same day a week later.

President Joe Biden speaks before signing H.J.Res.100, a bill that aims to avert a freight rail strike, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Washington. Themeasure passed Thursday by the Senateand Wednesday by the House binds rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached between the rail companies and union leaders in September. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Rail Strike Averted: Biden Signs Bill Enforcing Agreement

President Joe Biden signed a bill Friday to avert a freight rail strike that he said could have plunged the U.S. into a catastrophic recession.

This illustration made available by the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health depicts cells in an Alzheimer’s affected brain, with abnormal levels of the beta-amyloid protein clumping together to form plaques, brown, that collect between neurons and disrupt cell function. (National Institute on Aging, NIH via AP)

Experimental Drug Slows Alzheimer’s But Can It Make a Real Difference?

Japanese drugmaker Eisai and its U.S. partner Biogen had announced earlier this fall that the drug lecanemab appeared to work, a badly needed bright spot after repeated disappointments in the quest for better treatments of the incurable disease.

Then-Council of Economic Advisers Chairman under President Barack Obama, Austan Goolsbee, left, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 28, 2013, before the Joint Economic Committee hearing on state of the U.S. economy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Names Ex-Obama Adviser Austan Goolsbee as Next Leader

As head of a regional Fed bank, Goolsbee will have a vote on the central bank’s interest rate decisions in 2023. Each year, four of the regional bank presidents rotate into voting positions on the Fed’s rate-setting committee.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, center, speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

Senate Moves to Avert Rail Strike Amid Dire Warnings

The Senate passed a bill to bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached between the rail companies and union leaders in September. That settlement had been rejected by some of the 12 unions involved, creating the possibility of a strike beginning Dec. 9.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, listens as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, Nov. 29, 2022, about their meeting with President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

House Votes to Avert Rail Strike, Impose Deal on Unions

The measure passed by a vote of 290-137 and now heads to the Senate. If approved there, it will be signed by President Joe Biden, who urged the Senate to act swiftly.

Maria Correa, of Washington, center, who says she is sick with cancer, cannot work, and that things are especially difficult because of the pandemic, accepts a turkey and Thanksgiving trimmings during an annual Thanksgiving food giveaway at The Redeemed Christian Church of God New Wine Assembly, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Higher Food Prices Worsen Hunger Crisis This Holiday Season

The government estimates food prices will be up 9.5% to 10.5% this year. And that's squeezing the budgets of many Americans and the food banks that have helped them, especially with the expiration of the massive flow of pandemic relief aid.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 15, 2022. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Landmark Same-Sex Marriage Bill Wins Senate Passage, Headed for Final House Vote

The bill, which would ensure that same-sex and interracial marriages are enshrined in federal law, was approved 61-36 on Tuesday, including support from 12 Republicans. 

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks before former President Donald Trump at a rally at Dayton International Airport on Nov. 7, 2022, in Vandalia, Ohio. (AP Photo / Michael Conroy, File)

GOP’s New Congressional Committee Leaders Prepare Blitz of Investigations

Republicans won’t have enough votes to advance key legislative priorities if there is no Democratic buy-in, but their oversight of government agencies could put Democrats on the defensive and dampen support for the Biden administration. 

(WTTW News)

Illinois, Other States Settle With Google and iHeartMedia Over Misleading Ads

The settlements stem from complaints alleging Google paid to have radio personalities endorse and talk about their personal experiences using the Pixel 4, one of the company’s cellphones, according to California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with a group of Basij paramilitary force in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 26, 2022. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)

Iranian General Acknowledges Over 300 Dead in Ongoing Unrest

That estimate is considerably lower than the toll reported by Human Rights Activists in Iran, a U.S.-based group that has been closely tracking the protests since they erupted after the Sept. 16 death of a young woman being held by the country’s morality police.

Gas lamps illuminate St. Louis' Gaslight Square on April 2, 1962. "Gaslighting" — mind manipulating, grossly misleading, downright deceitful — is Merriam-Webster's word of 2022. (AP Photo/JMH, File)

'Gaslighting' is Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2022

Lookups for the word on merriam-webster.com increased 1,740% in 2022 over the year before. But something else happened. There wasn't a single event that drove significant spikes in curiosity, as it usually goes with the chosen word of the year.

In this Aug. 7, 2017 file photo, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer informs a migrant couple of the location of a legal border station, shortly before they illegally crossed from Champlain, N.Y., to Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, using Roxham Road. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa, File)

Mexican Asylum Seekers Set Their Sights North — On Canada

Due to the relative ease of obtaining asylum in Canada compared to the U.S., visa-free travel between Mexico and Canada, and the threat of violence back home, more than 8,000 Mexican nationals have sought refugee status in 2022.

A Zimbabwe National Parks official inspects some of the elephant tusks during a tour of ivory stockpiles in Harare, May, 16, 2022. (AP Photo / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

International Wildlife Conference Boosts Protection for Sharks, Turtles

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known by its initials as CITES, ended Friday in Panama. Along with protections for over 500 species, delegates at the United Nations wildlife conference rejected a proposal to reopen the ivory trade. An ivory ban was enacted in 1989.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Aug. 18, 2022. (Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

New State Voter Fraud Units Finding Few Cases From Midterms

An Associated Press investigation found there was no widespread fraud in Georgia or the five other battleground states where Trump disputed his 2020 loss, and so far there is no indication of that in this year's elections. Certification of the results is going smoothly in most states, with few complaints.

In this file photo taken from video footage and released by Hangpai Xingyang, people with suitcases and bags are seen leaving from a Foxconn compound in Zhengzhou in central China’s Henan Province on Oct. 29, 2022. (Hangpai Xingyang via AP, File)

Protesting Workers Beaten at Chinese iPhone Factory

Foxconn, the biggest contract assembler of smartphones and other electronics, is struggling to fill orders for the iPhone 14 after thousands of employees walked away from the factory in the central city of Zhengzhou last month following complaints about unsafe working conditions.

A registered nurse and immunization outreach coordinator with the Knox County Health Department, administers a vaccination to a kid at the facility in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Friday May 17, 2019. (AP Photo / Paul Vernon, File)

WHO, CDC: A Record 40 Million Kids Miss Measles Vaccine Dose

In a report issued Wednesday, the WHO and the CDC said millions of children were now susceptible to measles, among the world’s most contagious diseases. In 2021, officials said there were about 9 million measles infections and 128,000 deaths worldwide.