Stories by associated press

McDonald’s Era in Russia Coming to a Close, Restaurants Sold

Young Muscovites checks out a new taste sensation for the Soviet Union, hamburgers and soft drinks in Moscow on Jan. 31, 1990. McDonald’s said Thursday, May 19, 2022, it has begun the process of selling its Russian business to one of its licensees in the country. (AP Photo / Rudi Blaha, File)

The Chicago burger giant said its existing licensee Alexander Govor, who operates 25 restaurants in Siberia, has agreed to buy McDonald’s 850 Russian restaurants and operate them under a new name. McDonald’s did not disclose the terms of the sale.

EXPLAINER: White ‘Replacement Theory’ Fuels Racist Attacks

A person pays his respects outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

Ideas from the “great replacement theory” filled a racist screed supposedly posted online by the white 18-year-old accused of targeting Black people in Saturday’s rampage. Authorities were still working to confirm its authenticity.

Nearly 43,000 People Died on US Roads Last Year, Marking Highest Number in 16 Years

The scene of a fatality car crash, June 2, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla. (Tanner Laws / Tulsa World via AP, File)

The 10.5% jump over 2020 numbers was the largest percentage increase since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began its fatality data collection system in 1975. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said America faces a crisis on its roads. 

FDA Clears COVID Booster Shot for Healthy Kids Ages 5 to 11; CDC Scheduled to Consider Thursday

A nurse holds a vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, right, and a vial of the vaccine for adults, which has a different colored label, at a vaccination station in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo / Rogelio V. Solis, File)

The Food and Drug Administration’s authorization now opens a third shot to elementary-age kids, too — at least five months after their last dose. There is one more hurdle: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide whether to formally recommend the booster for this age group.

Brittney Griner’s Extended Detention in Russia Disappointing to Her WNBA Family

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner leaves a courtroom after a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 13, 2022. (AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Brittney Griner, 31, faces drug smuggling charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The two-time Olympic gold medalist who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, was detained at a Moscow airport in February after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage.

US Deaths From COVID Hit 1 Million, Less Than 2 1/2 Years In

Sara Atkins poses for a photo, in Wynnewood, Pa., Tuesday, May 10, 2022, while holding a pillow with an image of her father Andy Rotman-Zaid, who died of COVID-19 in December 2020. She channels her grief into fighting for global vaccination and better access to health care to honor her father. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

The confirmed number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It is roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out.

Biden Offers Logistics Support to Ease Formula Shortage

President Joe Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 13, 2022, during an event to highlight state and local leaders who are investing American Rescue Plan funding. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The White House said it is working with all major formula producers to boost production, including reaching out to their suppliers to encourage them to prioritize production and delivery of formula ingredients. 

Chicago Reader Survives Column Clash, Going Nonprofit

Tracy Baim, publisher of the Chicago Reader weekly newspaper sits for a portrait in her office Monday, May 9, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Chicago Reader, the city’s famed alt-weekly, is expected to become a nonprofit this month after the sale was nearly derailed over a co-owner’s column opposing COVID-19 vaccine requirements for children. Critics including former and current Reader staff blasted his take, arguing that Goodman relied on sources repeatedly fact-checked by media and infectious-disease experts.

16-Year-Old Boy Shot, Killed in Millennium Park Saturday Evening

A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

A 16-year-old boy was fatally shot near “The Bean” sculpture in Millennium Park, authorities said. Police said the teen was shot in the chest at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday near the popular tourist attraction. At least two suspects were taken in for questioning and at least two weapons were recovered, authorities said.

Show of Support for Abortion Rights Expected at US Rallies

Security fencing is in place outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Saturday, May 14, 2022, ahead of expected abortion right rallies later in the day. (Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Saturday’s rallies were being held three days after the Senate failed to muster enough votes to codify Roe v. Wade. Sponsors included the Women’s March, Move On, Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, MoveOn, SEIU and other organizations.

EXPLAINER: What’s Behind the Baby Formula Shortage?

A sign is posted at a CVS pharmacy indicating a shortage in the availability of baby food Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo / Chris Carlson)

The problems began last year as the COVID-19 pandemic led to disruptions in labor, transportation and raw materials — economy-wide issues that didn’t spare the formula industry. Inventory was further squeezed by parents stockpiling during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Biden Marks ‘Tragic Milestone’ of 1 Million COVID Deaths in US

The American flag flies at half-staff at the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2022, as the Biden administration commemorates 1 million American lives lost due to COVID-19. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

The coronavirus has killed more than 999,000 people in the U.S. and at least 6.2 million people globally since it emerged in late 2019, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Other counts, including by the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association, have the toll at 1 million.

Parents Hunting for Baby Formula as Shortage Spans US

Baby formula is displayed on the shelves of a grocery store in Carmel, Ind., Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo / Michael Conroy)

Months of spot shortages at pharmacies and supermarkets have been exacerbated by the recall at Abbott, which was forced to shutter its largest U.S. formula manufacturing plant in February due to contamination concerns.

US Overdose Deaths Hit Record 107,000 Last Year, CDC Says

Deb Walker visits the grave of her daughter, Brooke Goodwin, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Chester, Vt. Goodwin, 23, died in March of 2021 of a fatal overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl and xylazine, an animal tranquilizer that is making its way into the illicit drug supply. (AP Photo / Lisa Rathke, File)

The provisional 2021 total translates to roughly one U.S. overdose death every 5 minutes. It marked a 15% increase from the previous record, set the year before. The CDC reviews death certificates and then makes an estimate to account for delayed and incomplete reporting.

Face-Scanner Clearview Agrees to Limits in Court Settlement

Hoan Ton-That, CEO of Clearview AI, demonstrates the company's facial recognition software using a photo of himself in New York on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.  (AP Photo / Seth Wenig, File)

The company in a legal filing Monday agreed to permanently stop selling access to its face database to private businesses or individuals around the U.S., putting a limit on what it can do with its ever-growing trove of billions of images pulled from social media and elsewhere on the internet.

Pandemic Gets Tougher to Track as COVID Testing Plunges

Workers at a drive-up COVID-19 testing clinic stand in a tent as they prepare PCR coronavirus tests, Jan. 4, 2022, in Puyallup, Wash., south of Seattle. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

Experts say testing has dropped by 70 to 90% worldwide from the first to the second quarter of this year — the opposite of what they say should be happening with new omicron variants on the rise in places such as the United States and South Africa.

Condition of Some US Dams Kept Secret in National Database

Water flows out of the Rockwall-Forney Dam in Forney, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP Photo / LM Otero)

For much of the past couple of decades, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declined to reveal the conditions of dams in the National Inventory of Dams — which it maintains — citing security concerns stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

New Reparations Focus: Black Enclaves Lost to Development

In this still frame from circa 1961 WJAR-TV newsreel footage, provided by the Rhode Island Historical Society, an armored military vehicle is used to demolish a residential building in what was then known as the Lippitt Hill neighborhood, in Providence, R.I. (WJAR-TV / Rhode Island Historical Society via AP)

The approach builds off the blueprint in Evanston, a Chicago suburb that became the first in the nation to begin paying reparations last year with a program providing Black residents grants for mortgage payments and home repairs, in acknowledgement of the historic discrimination Black people endured when trying to buy homes.

COVID Coverage for All Dries up Even as Hospital Costs Rise

A room is empty in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center sits empty, in Lebanon, N.H., Jan. 3, 2022.  (AP Photo / Steven Senne, File)

Things are reverting to the way they were as federal money for COVID care of the uninsured dries up, creating a potential barrier to timely access. But the virus is not contained, even if it’s better controlled. And safety-net hospitals and clinics are seeing sharply higher costs for salaries and other basic operating expenses. 

How Higher Fed Rates Stand to Affect Americans’ Finances

This May 4, 2021, file photo shows the Federal Reserve building in Washington. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky, File)

The substantial half-point hike in its benchmark short-term rate that the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday won’t, by itself, have much immediate effect on most Americans’ finances. But additional large hikes are expected to be announced at the Fed’s next two meetings, in June and July, and economists and investors foresee the fastest pace of rate increases since 1989.

Boeing Will Move its Headquarters to DC Area From Chicago

In this July 13, 2021, photo, the logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.  (AP Photo / Richard Drew, File)

A move to Arlington, Virginia, would put Boeing executives close to officials for their key customer, the Pentagon, and the Federal Aviation Administration, which certifies Boeing passenger planes.

New Round of State Abortion Battles Winding up After Draft

 Protesters gather at the steps of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, May 3, 2022, during a rally organized by Planned Parenthood Michigan in response to the news that the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. (Daniel Shular / The Grand Rapids Press via AP, File)

The potential to roll back established abortion rights already has emerged in states with divided political control, including Pennsylvania and Virginia. California and Colorado are pushing to protect abortion access in their constitutions, a stronger step than passing a law. 

Biden Showcases Deficit Progress in Bid to Counter Critics

President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Washington. From left, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, Biden, Cecilia Rouse, chair of the Council of Economic Advisersand Brian Deese, Assistant to the President and Director of the National Economic Council. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden, embracing deficit reduction as a way to fight inflation, stressed that the dip in the national debt would be the first in six years, an achievement that eluded former President Donald Trump despite his promises to improve the federal balance sheet.

What’s Next For Abortion After Supreme Court Leak?

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen early Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)

It’s not surprising that the court, which has a strong conservative majority after former President Donald Trump appointed three justices during his single term in office, would seek to curb abortion rights. However, the breadth of the draft opinion startled advocates and sent shockwaves through American politics.

Even as COVID Cases Rise, Mask Mandates Stay Shelved

A pedestrian removes a protective mask worn as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus in Philadelphia, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke, File)

For weeks, much of upstate New York has been in the high-alert orange zone, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designation that reflects serious community spread. The CDC urges people to mask up in indoor public places, including schools, regardless of vaccination status. But few, if any, local jurisdictions in the region brought back a mask requirement despite rising case counts.

Lawmakers in 19 States Want Legal Refuge for Trans Youth

 State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, discusses his proposed measure to provide legal refuge to displaced transgender youth and their families during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., March 17, 2022.  (AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli, File)

The coordinated effort being announced Tuesday by the LGBTQ Victory Institute and other advocates comes in response to recent actions taken in conservative states. In Texas, for example, Gov. Gregg Abbott has directed state agencies to consider placing transgender children in foster care, though a judge has temporarily blocked such investigations.