Stories by associated press

Biden Pushes Effort to Combat Rising Tide of Violent Crime

(WTTW News)

President Joe Biden plans to lay out new steps to stem a rising national tide of violent crime, with a particular focus on gun violence, as administration officials brace for what they fear could be an especially turbulent summer.

Biden to ‘Bring Every Resource’ to Manage Busy Storm Season

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, left, and Homeland Security Adviser and Deputy National Security Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, right, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that his administration needs to “bring every resource to bear” to deal with natural disasters as huge swaths of the country have already endured extreme weather with the summer season just starting.

How Big Tech Created a Data ‘Treasure Trove’ for Police

This Aug. 11, 2019, file photo an iPhone displays the apps for Facebook and Messenger in New Orleans. (AP Photo / Jenny Kane, File)

When U.S. law enforcement officials need to cast a wide net for information, they’re increasingly turning to the vast digital ponds of personal data created by Big Tech companies via the devices and online services that have hooked billions of people around the world.

Biden Pushes Shots for Young Adults as Variant Concern Grows

In this June 18, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccination shots, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to get younger Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 as concerns grow about the spread of a new variant that threatens to set the country back in the months ahead.

Prosecutors: Robber Fired 10 Shots at Wounded Iowa Deputy

A tactical vehicle from the Cedar Rapids Police Department is seen as law enforcement stage as they search for a robbery and shooting suspect in Coggon, Iowa, on Monday, June 21, 2021. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette via AP)

A Chicago man robbed two Iowa gas station employees at gunpoint and confined them in a cooler before he fired 10 shots at a sheriff’s deputy who responded to the crime, seriously wounding him, prosecutors said Tuesday.

When It Comes to Heated Divorce, Pets Aren’t People Too

A couple walks their dog in Los Angeles, on Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes, File)

In the eyes of the law, pets are property when it comes to divorce, but new ways of working out custody of the dog, cat or parrot have sprung up with special mediators and “petnups” to avoid courtroom disputes.

High Court Sides With Ex-Athletes in NCAA Compensation Case

This June 8, 2021, file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday the NCAA can’t limit education-related benefits that colleges can offer their sports stars, a victory for athletes that could help open the door to further easing in the decades-old fight over paying student-athletes.

Chicago Cop Who Owns House Where 5 Killed Disciplined

Crime scene tape hangs outside a house where multiple people were shot, some fatally, inside the Englewood building, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Chicago’s police superintendent said Monday that his decision to strip an officer’s police powers was tied in part to the officer’s ownership of a house on the city’s South Side where gunmen killed five people and injured three others. 

Tokyo Olympics to Allow Local Fans — But with Strict Limits

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, greet each other during a five-party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin / Pool Photo via AP)

The decision comes as opposition among Japanese to holding the Games in July remains high, though may be softening, and as new infections in Tokyo have begun to subside.

Rabid Dog Imported into US Sparks Multi-State Investigation

In this Monday, April 22, 2019 file photo, a plane flies over the south air traffic control tower at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. (AP Photo / Kiichiro Sato, File)

The dog was one of 34 animals — 33 dogs and one cat — imported by an animal rescue organization from Azerbaijan to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on June 10. 

Can You Mix and Match COVID-19 Vaccines?

(AP Illustration / Peter Hamlin)

The short answer: It’s likely safe and effective, but researchers are still gathering data to be sure.

Juneteenth, Recalling End of Slavery, is Marked Across US

Selena Quinn, from left, LaVon Fisher-Wilson and Traci Coleman perform during a free outdoor event organized by The Broadway League as Juneteenth's celebrations take place at Times Square Saturday, June 19, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Parades, picnics and lessons in history were offered Saturday to commemorate Juneteenth in the U.S., a day that carried even more significance after Congress and President Joe Biden created a federal holiday to observe the end of slavery.

Federal Holiday Pressures Companies to Give Juneteenth Off

FILE - In this June 17, 2021, file photo, President Joe Biden hands a pen to Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., after signing the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci, File)

Hundreds of top companies had already pledged last year to observe Juneteenth in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and the national reckoning on racism that followed.

Amid Reform Movement, Some GOP States Give Police More Power

FILE - In this June 3, 2020, file photo, protesters rally in Phoenix, demanding the Phoenix City Council defund the Phoenix Police Department, following the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo / Matt York, File)

After a year of protests over police brutality, some Republican-controlled states have ignored or blocked police-reform proposals, moving instead in the other direction by granting greater powers to officers, making it harder to discipline them and expanding their authority to crack down on demonstrations.

Declaration of Juneteenth Holiday Sparks Scramble in States

FILE - In this June 19, 2020, file photo, demonstrators march through downtown Orlando, Fla., during a Juneteenth event.  (AP Photo / John Raoux, File)

This year alone, legislation to make Juneteenth a paid state holiday died in Florida and South Dakota and is stalled in Ohio, all states controlled by Republicans. But even in Maryland, where Democrats control the Legislature, a Juneteenth bill passed one chamber only to die in the other.

Biden’s Silence on Executions Adds to Death Penalty Disarray

FILE - This March 22, 1995, file photo shows the interior of the execution chamber in the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. (AP Photo / Chuck Robinson, File)

President Biden hasn’t said whether he’d back a bill introduced by fellow Democrats to strike the death penalty from U.S. statutes. He also hasn’t rescinded Trump-era protocols enabling federal executions to resume and allowing prisons to use firing squads if necessary, something many thought he’d do on day one.

Boeing’s Newest Version of the 737 Max Makes First Flight

The final version of the 737 MAX, the MAX 10, passes other 737 MAX planes as it takes off from Renton Airport in Renton, Wash., on its first flight Friday, June 18, 2021. The plane will fly over Eastern Washington and then land at Boeing Field. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times via AP, Pool)

U.S. regulators cleared the way for Max jets to resume flying late last year after Boeing made changes, including overhauling flight-control software that played a role in the crashes. This spring, about 100 new Max jets were idled for several weeks because of an unrelated problem with electrical grounding of cockpit instruments.

Explainer: The Story of Juneteenth, the New Federal Holiday

President Joe Biden signs the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday that was passed by Congress to set aside Juneteenth, or June 19th, as a federal holiday. Here’s a look at the holiday and its history.

‘Obamacare’ Survives: Supreme Court Dismisses Big Challenge

In this June 8, 2021 photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

“The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land,” President Joe Biden, said, celebrating the ruling. The justices, by a 7-2 vote, left the entire Affordable Care Act intact in ruling that Texas, other GOP-led states and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuit in federal court. 

Fed Sees Earlier Time Frame for Rate Hikes With Inflation Up

In this Dec. 1, 2020 file photo, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell appears before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it may act sooner than previously planned to start dialing back the low-interest-rate policies that have helped fuel a swift rebound from the pandemic recession but have also coincided with rising inflation. 

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.