Stories by associated press

Pressure Mounts on Corporations to Denounce GOP Voting Bills

Texas Republicans advanced a slate of proposed new voting restrictions Thursday, April 1, 2021, that would reduce options to cast ballots, limit polling hours and hand more power to partisan poll watchers. All those efforts are rolled into a single bill that cleared the GOP-controlled state Senate — a key marker in a campaign by Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, to impose new restrictive measures over elections in America's biggest red state. (AP Photo / David J. Phillip, File)

Pressure is mounting on leading companies in Texas, Arizona and other states, particularly after Major League Baseball’s decision Friday to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta. 

Mercedes Gets 1st 5 Career Hits, White Sox Beat Angels 12-8

Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu (79) high-fives Yermin Mercedes (73) after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of an MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Friday, April 2, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Mercedes, Tim Anderson, and Luis Robert (88) also scored. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Yermín Mercedes got his first five major league hits and drove in four runs, and José Abreu hit a grand slam for the Chicago White Sox in their 12-8 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

Man Rams Car Into 2 Capitol Police; 1 Officer, Driver Killed

U.S. Capitol Police officers stand near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

A Capitol Police officer was killed Friday after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol and then emerged wielding a knife.

Lieutenant: Kneeling on Floyd’s Neck ‘Totally Unnecessary’

Black Lives Matter flags fly and line the fence surrounding the Hennepin County Government Center Friday, April 2, 2021 in Minneapolis where the trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues. (AP Photo / Jim Mone)

Kneeling on George Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed and lying on his stomach was top-tier, deadly force and “totally unnecessary,” the head of the Minneapolis Police Department’s homicide division testified Friday.

Fully Vaccinated People Can Travel Safely Again, CDC Says

In this Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 file photo, a passenger wears a face mask during an airline flight after taking off from Atlanta. (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel)

Add travel to the activities vaccinated Americans can safely enjoy again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to say fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S. without getting tested for the coronavirus or going into quarantine afterward.

George Floyd’s Girlfriend Recalls Their Struggles With Addiction

In this image from video, witness Courteney Ross answers questions as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Thursday, April 1, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

George Floyd’s girlfriend tearfully told a jury Thursday the story of how they met — at a Salvation Army shelter where he was a security guard with “this great, deep Southern voice, raspy” — and how they both struggled mightily with an addiction to opioids.

US Draws Close to 100M Vaccinations as Baseball Resumes

People walk their dog outside of Wrigley Field on opening day for the Chicago Cubs, Thursday, April 1, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)

The U.S. moved closer Thursday toward vaccinating 100 million Americans in a race against an uptick in COVID-19 cases that is fueling fears of another nationwide surge just as the major league baseball season starts and thousands of fans return to stadiums.

Child Among 4 Dead in Shooting at California Office Building

Investigators gather outside an office building where a shooting occurred in Orange, Calif., Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

A child was among four people killed Wednesday in a shooting at a Southern California office building that left a fifth victim wounded and the gunman critically injured, police said. It was the third U.S. mass shooting in just over two weeks.

Biden Announces Huge Infrastructure Plan to ‘Win the Future’

Plus: Our Spotlight Politics team weighs in on ‘Chicago Tonight’

President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure spending at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden on Wednesday outlined a $2.3 trillion plan to reengineer the nation’s infrastructure over the next eight years in what he billed as “a once in a generation investment in America” that would undo his predecessor’s signature legislative achievement of giant tax cuts for corporations in the process.

Ex-Cop Told Onlooker Floyd Was Big, ‘Probably on Something’

In this image from store video, George Floyd, right, is seen inside Cup Foods on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

After the ambulance took George Floyd away, the Minneapolis officer who had pinned his knee on the Black man’s neck defended himself to a bystander by saying Floyd was “a sizable guy” and “probably on something,” according to police video played in court Wednesday.

COVID-19 Pushed Total US Deaths Beyond 3.3 Million Last Year

In this Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 file photo, some of the nearly 900 large poster-sized photos of Detroit victims of COVID-19 are displayed on Belle Isle in Detroit. (AP Photo / Carlos Osorio)

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed total U.S. deaths last year beyond 3.3 million, the nation’s highest annual death toll, the government reported Wednesday.

Suspect in Attack on Asian American Woman in NYC Is Arrested

This image taken from surveillance video provided by the New York City Police Department shows a person of interest in connection with an assault of an Asian American woman, Monday, March 29, 2021, in New York. (Courtesy of New York Police Department via AP)

A suspect was arrested on assault and hate crime charges in an attack on an Asian American woman in New York City, police said Wednesday. The suspect was arrested after police circulated images taken from surveillance video around the attack. The suspect has a previous conviction.  

Pfizer Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Protects Younger Teens

In this Jan. 24, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 is shown at a one-day vaccination clinic set up in an facility in Seattle and operated by Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for ages 16 and older. Vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to stopping the pandemic — and helping schools, at least the upper grades, start to look a little more normal after months of disruption.

Biden Wants Infrastructure Package Approved Over Summer

President Joe Biden speaks during an event on COVID-19 vaccinations, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden is aiming for summer passage of an infrastructure plan that is expected to cost more than $3 trillion, and the White House hopes to take a more deliberate and collaborative approach with the contentious Congress than it did on the COVID-19 rescue package, officials said.

Witnesses: Onlooker Anger Increased as Floyd Stopped Moving

A picture of George Floyd hangs on a fence outside the Hennepin County Government Center, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Minneapolis where the trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues. (AP Photo / Jim Mone)

Onlookers grew increasingly angry as they begged Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin to take his knee off George Floyd’s neck, but Chauvin would not let up, and another officer forced back members of the crowd who tried to intervene, witnesses testified Tuesday at Chauvin’s murder trial.

Video Shows Vicious Attack of Asian American Woman in NYC

Community activists Calvin, right, and Cameron Hunt show support for the Asian community outside the building where an Asian American woman was assaulted, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo / Mary Altaffer)

A vicious attack on an Asian American woman as she walked to church near New York City’s Times Square is drawing widespread condemnation and raising alarms about the failure of bystanders to intervene amid a rash of anti-Asian violence across the U.S.

Biden Rolls out Diverse First Slate of Judicial Nominees

President Joe Biden speaks during an event on COVID-19 vaccinations and the response to the pandemic, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo  /Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated a racially diverse and overwhelmingly female group to federal and other judgeships, including three Black women for the U.S. courts of appeals, one pathway to the Supreme Court.

Justice Department to Review How Best to Fight Hate Crimes

President Joe Biden’s pick for attorney general Merrick Garland, addresses staff on his first day at the Department of Justice, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch / Pool via AP)

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday ordered a review of how the Justice Department can best deploy its resources to combat hate crimes during a surge in incidents targeting Asian Americans.

Jurors Shown Video at Ex-Officer’s Trial in Floyd’s Death

This image from a police body camera shows people gathering as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was recorded pressing his knee on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes as onlookers yelled at Chauvin to get off and Floyd saying that he couldn’t breathe on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis. (Minneapolis Police Department via AP)

The video of George Floyd gasping for breath was essentially Exhibit A as the former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee on the Black man’s neck went on trial Monday on charges of murder and manslaughter.

Biden Economic Plan to Focus 1st on Infrastructure This Week

Plus: ‘Chicago Tonight’ on what the plan could mean for the city, state

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden will lay out the first part of his multitrillion-dollar economic recovery package this week, focusing on rebuilding roads, bridges and other infrastructure, followed by a separate plan later in April addressing child and health care.

CDC Director Has Feeling of ‘Impending Doom’ Amid New Spike

In this March 19, 2021, photo, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leads President Joe Biden into the room for a COVID-19 briefing at the headquarters for the CDC Atlanta. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made an impassioned plea to Americans on Monday not to let their guard down in the fight against COVID-19, saying she has a recurring feeling “of impending doom.”

WHO Draft Report Says Animals Likely Source of COVID-19

In this Feb. 9, 2021, file photo, Peter Ben Embarek of the World Health Organization team holds up a chart showing pathways of transmission of the virus during a joint news conference at the end of the WHO mission in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. (AP Photo / Ng Han Guan, File)

A joint World Health Organization-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press. 

Did COVID-19 Stress, Uncertainty Stall Anti-Smoking Push?

In this Saturday, March 2, 2013 file photo, a cigarette burns in an ashtray in Hayneville, Ala. (AP Photo / Dave Martin)

A year after COVID-19 upended life for millions of Americans, there are troubling signs that the coronavirus may have also slowed progress against another deadly health threat: smoking.

Jurors in Ex-Officer’s High-Profile Trial Face Heavy Burden

In this screen grab from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, defendant and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, and Nelson’s assistant Amy Voss, back, introduce themselves to potential jurors as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill Tuesday, March 23, 2021, presides over jury selection in the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV, via AP, Pool)

Jurors at all trials feel pressure, knowing their decisions will alter lives. But the weight on jurors in Minneapolis is in a whole different category as they’ll be asked whether to assign guilt in the death of a Black man that prompted some of the largest protests in U.S. history.

Picked Last, Oregon State Now Elite After Beating Loyola

Loyola Chicago head coach Porter Moser, right, consoles guard Marquise Kennedy after a Sweet 16 game against Oregon State in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Indianapolis. Oregon State won 65-58. (AP Photo / Darron Cummings)

Not even the fervent prayers of Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt could help Loyola deal with the Beavers and the constantly changing defenses that coach Wayne Tinkle rolled out. The Ramblers, who played with such poise and perfection in toppling top-seeded Illinois, wound up shooting 33% from the field and 5 of 23 from beyond the arc.

Now Vaccinated, Older Adults Emerge From COVID Hibernation

Spring has arrived, and many older adults who have been vaccinated are emerging from hibernation imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar)

From shopping in person or going to the gym to bigger milestones like visiting family, the people who were once most at risk from COVID-19 are beginning to move forward with getting their lives on track. More than 47% of Americans who are 65 and older are now fully vaccinated.