NEW YORK (AP) — Social media users are sharing a surprisingly effective way to protect yourself indoors from the toxic wildfire smoke blanketing much of the East Coast: a box fan, four air filters and a whole lot of duct tape.
Electric vehicles made by General Motors will be able to use much of Tesla’s vast charging network starting early next year. In addition, GM will adopt Tesla’s connector, the plug that links an electric vehicle to a charging station. GM joins Ford in shifting its vehicles to about 12,000 of Tesla’s chargers, and both Detroit automakers are pushing to make Tesla’s connector the industry standard. GM CEO Mary Barra and her Tesla counterpart, Elon Musk, made the announcement during a Twitter Spaces conversation. Their discussion comes two weeks after Ford CEO Jim Farley joined Musk to announce that Ford’s electric vehicles would gain access to much of Tesla’s EV-charging network, the largest in the nation.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis woos GOP Christian voters but stays tight-lipped on his own Catholic faith
The presidential campaign of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is busy courting white evangelicals – a key voting bloc for the GOP. The governor’s religious rhetoric and hard-charging policies are at the center of his faith outreach. And yet, when it comes to his own Catholicism, the culture warrior is much more guarded, rarely mentioning the specifics of his faith and practice. The governor is the leading alternative to former President Donald Trump. If DeSantis captures the Republican nomination and takes on Joe Biden, two Catholic presidential candidates will face off for the first time in U.S. history.
FBI agents have arrested a Texas businessman at the center of the scandal that led to the historic impeachment of state Attorney General Ken Paxton. Online records show that Nate Paul was booked into an Austin jail Thursday afternoon after being taken into custody by federal agents. It was not immediately clear what charges led to his arrest, and the jail records said only that he was being held on a federal detainer. Paul’s entanglements with Paxton were central to the GOP-led state House of Representatives’ overwhelming vote to impeach the Republican last month.
Pat Robertson united tens of millions of evangelical Christians through the power of television. And then he pushed them in a far more conservative direction with the grace of a folksy, Baptist minister. Robertson's biggest impact may have been wedding evangelical Christianity to the Republican party to an extent once unimaginable. One expert says the culture wars waged today by Republican candidates for president are partly a product of Robertson. The religious broadcaster died Thursday at the age of 93.
California's transit agencies are asking Democrats who control the state's government to rescue them like Democrats in New York recently did. It's proving to be a much tougher sell in California. The nation's most populous state is far more automobile-reliant than much of the Northeast. The state is projected to have a $31.5 billion budget deficit. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has also proposed slashing another $2 billion from transit infrastructure funding to help balance the books. Bay Area Rapid Transit has warned that they could be forced to stop running after 9 p.m. and on weekends without additional funding.
This week’s Supreme Court decision ordering Alabama to redraw its congressional maps was seen by many minority lawmakers and voting rights activists as a stunning victory with the potential to become a major stepping stone for undoing gerrymandered political maps that dilute the political strength of communities of color. The court majority found that Alabama concentrated Black voters in one district, while spreading them out among the others to make it much more difficult to elect more than one candidate of their choice. Similar maps have been drawn in other states, primarily by Republican-controlled legislatures. Voting rights activists said they believe maps will have to be redrawn in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana ahead of the 2024 elections.
Advocates for survivors of child sexual abuse say momentum is growing for completely removing the statute of limitations for such crimes. Maryland followed Maine and Vermont to become the only three states to have eliminated all time limits on lawsuits. Maryland's governor signed the law after a report detailed more than 600 children were abused by priests over decades. Lawmakers in Michigan, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are poised to take action before their legislative sessions end this summer. CHILD USA CEO Marci Hamilton says the changes are needed to ensure justice for survivors and to prevent further victims.
A judge overseeing the case against a man charged with killing four University of Idaho students is set to hear arguments over a gag order that largely bars attorneys and other parties in the case from speaking with news reporters. A coalition of more than 30 media organizations has challenged the order, saying it violates the Constitution’s guarantees of free speech and a free press. A lawyer for one of the victim’s families has also made that argument in the case set to be heard Friday. But prosecutors and the defendant’s lawyers insist it’s needed to prevent prejudicial news coverage that could damage Bryan Kohberger's right to a fair trial.
Donald Trump's indictment on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate has brought renewed attention to one of the most notable cases in Justice Department history.
Donald Trump has been indicted on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate. The remarkable development makes him the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges by the federal government that he once oversaw. The indictment carries unmistakably grave legal consequences, including the possibility of prison if he’s convicted. But it also has enormous political implications, potentially upending a Republican presidential primary that Trump has been dominating. And it sets the stage for a sensational trial centered on claims that he willfully, and illegally, hoarded sensitive national security information. The Justice Department did not immediately confirm the indictment publicly.
DEPTFORD, N.J. (AP) — The April Facebook post hardly seemed like national news at the time for Deptford Little League president Don Bozzuffi. He’d lost patience when two umpires resigned in the wake of persistent spectator abuse. So he wrote an updated code of conduct.
Baseball is steeped in the tradition of fans wanting to jeer the umpire. One Little League in New Jersey is taking a more hands-on approach. It's trying to curb the appetite among the crowd watching 10- and 11-year-olds play baseball who curse at the unpaid volunteers behind the plate. The fans could become the umpires if they won't follow league rules on sportsmanship. Outbursts of bad behavior at sporting events for young people have had frightening consequences for officials at all youth levels. The Deptford Little League is hoping its solution is a preventative one.
Donald Trump says he has been indicted on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate. The remarkable development makes him the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges by the federal government that he once oversaw. The indictment carries unmistakably grave legal consequences, including the possibility of prison if he’s convicted. But it also has enormous political implications, potentially upending a Republican presidential primary that Trump had been dominating. And it sets the stage for a sensational trial centered on claims that he willfully, and illegally, hoarded sensitive national security information. The Justice Department did not immediately confirm the indictment publicly.
A judge is deciding whether to sanction two lawyers who blamed ChatGPT for tricking them into including fictitious legal research in a court filing. The lawyers apologized at a hearing Thursday in Manhattan federal court for their roles in written submissions that seemed to leave Judge P. Kevin Castel both baffled and disturbed at what happened. The filing was in a lawsuit against an airline and included references to past court cases that Steven A. Schwartz thought were real. They were actually invented by the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. Castel repeatedly expressed his dismay as he questioned Schwartz about his decision to use ChatGPT. He did not immediately rule.
In the final half an hour of Louisiana’s legislative session, lawmakers have hastily passed a budge plan of about $45 billion but have been given little explanation for amendments crafted behind closed doors by a six-member committee. The budget passed Thursday includes spending a chunk of the state’s estimated $2.2 billion in extra revenue on temporary $2,000 teacher pay raises, paying down retirement debt, infrastructure projects and offsetting expiring federal pandemic relief funds used for early childhood education access. The rushed vote has been met with an outcry from House conservatives who argue they didn’t have enough time to read the proposal and accused Republican Speaker Clay Schexnayder of not following floor rules.
A California jury has returned a $63 million verdict against Chevron after finding the oil giant covered up a toxic chemical pit on land purchased by a man who built a house on it and was later diagnosed with a blood cancer. The lawsuit said a Chevron subsidiary had used the property as a sump pit for oil and gas production, a process that left the carcinogenic chemical benzene in the ground. The victim's lawyer called the case a “blatant example of environmental pollution and corporate malfeasance.” Chevron said it disagreed with the judgment and would appeal.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, said Thursday he intends to veto a package of bills passed by the GOP-dominated legislature that targets the LGBTQ+ community, including a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors and the state’s version of a “Don’t Say Gay” bill. If Edwards blocks the bills, lawmakers can convene for a veto session. Overriding a veto requires support from two-thirds of both the House and Senate — and Republicans hold a two-thirds majority in both chambers. Louisiana legislators have only convened for two veto sessions since 1974.
Economists say New Mexico's budget numbers have been “mind-blowing.” They painted a bountiful picture for lawmakers during a briefing Thursday, saying revenues are at levels never seen before. Still, they warned members of the revenue and tax policy committee that some of that one-time funding will dry out, and lawmakers will have to decide whether to continue spending for health care, education and other social programs that have been expanded during the boom. The legislative economists also reiterated that oil and gas development has been driving New Mexico's historic numbers and more still needs to be done to diversify the state's economy.
New York would create a commission to consider reparations to address the lingering, negative effects of slavery under a bill passed by the state Legislature. The measure passed Thursday will be sent to New York Governor Kathy Hochul for consideration. New York is following the lead of California, which became the first state to form a reparations task force in 2020. State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages says "this is about beginning the process of healing our communities." The New York legislation would create a nine-member commission that would address persistent economic, political and educational disparities experienced by Black people in the state today.