Government shutdown averted with little time to spare as Biden signs funding before midnight
WASHINGTON (AP) — The threat of a federal government shutdown ended late Saturday night after Congress approved a temporary funding bill to keep federal agencies open until Nov. 17. The bill passed just hours before the midnight deadline and President Joe Biden quickly signed it. He called it “good news for the American people.” The package drops aid for Ukraine but adds money for U.S. disaster assistance. House approval came after Speaker Kevin McCarthy abandoned plans for steep spending cuts and relied on Democratic help. Biden said he expects McCarthy to keep “his commitment” to the Ukrainian people and push for aid “at this critical moment” in the war with Russia.
A truck crash in Illinois kills 5, seriously injures 5 and forces an evacuation due to ammonia leak
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Five people were killed and five were critically injured when a semitruck carrying anhydrous ammonia crashed in central Illinois. Illinois State Police said the accident occurred Friday and involved “multiple” vehicles. It happened about a half-mile east of Teutopolis on U.S. Highway 40. Police said Saturday that due to the plume from the ammonia leak, an evacuation was ordered within an approximate one-mile radius of the crash, including northeastern parts of Teutopolis. Crews were working to contain the leak. The National Transportation Safety Board said Saturday it will review the crash. Teutopolis is about 110 miles northeast of St. Louis.
Dianne Feinstein was at the center of a key LGBTQ+ moment. She’s being lauded as an evolving ally
The nation’s LGBTQ+ leaders are lauding the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein as a longtime friend who learned and evolved to become an ally. Feinstein died Thursday at her home in Washington. She became mayor of San Francisco after the sitting mayor and her pioneering gay colleague Harvey Milk were assassinated by a disgruntled former fellow county supervisor. She led the city and its large gay population through the AIDS crisis. And the Human Rights Campaign is extolling her “sterling record” of support for LGBTQ+ people during her three decades in the U.S. Senate.
Arrest in Tupac Shakur killing stemmed from Biggie Smalls death investigation
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The first arrest in the 1996 killing of Tupac Shakur had its roots in the investigation of the killing of Biggie Smalls. Duane Keffe D. Davis was arrested and charged with murder Friday, with prosecutors saying he ordered and masterminded the Shakur killing. Retired Los Angeles police detective Greg Kading tells The Associated Press that he interviewed Davis as a person of interest in the Biggie Smalls shooting death. The detective says Davis revealed his role in the Shakur killing in that interview, then said the same thing in public interviews and a memoir. That gave new life to the Las Vegas investigation, and led to his arrest and indictment.
The Supreme Court will take up abortion and gun cases in its new term while ethics concerns swirl
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is returning to a new term with familiar topics such as guns and abortion, as well as concerns about ethics swirling around the justices. The year also will have a heavy focus on social media and how free speech protections apply online. The new term begins on Monday. A big unknown is whether the court will be asked to weigh in on any aspect of the criminal cases against former President Donald Trump or on efforts in some states to keep Trump off the 2024 presidential ballot because of his role in trying to overturn the results of the last presidential contest.
When Kula needed water to stop wildfire, it got a trickle. Many other US cities are also vulnerable
Hours before fires largely destroyed the historic Hawaiian town of Lahaina, residents of another part of Maui were trying to stop flames reaching their homes despite a frustrating loss of pressure in their water system. Officials say when electricity was knocked out, the lack of backup power for pumps seriously hindered firefighting efforts in Kula. The scale of damage and loss was far smaller than in Lahaina, where at least 97 people died. But Kula’s experience highlighted a vulnerability that exists in many water systems across the United States. Experts say adding backup power to water systems is expensive, and it’s not required.
California governor rejects bill to give unemployment checks to striking workers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California won’t be giving unemployment checks to workers on strike. While state lawmakers passed a bill to make California the third state to do this, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed it Saturday. Newsom says he rejected the bill because the fund the state uses to pay unemployment benefits is in debt. The money comes from a tax on businesses that hasn’t changed since 1984. Labor unions argue that making striking workers eligible for benefits would not have much of an impact on the fund. Lawmakers could attempt to pass the law anyway, but it’s been decades since a governor’s veto was overruled in California.
The police chief who led a raid of a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended
The police chief who led a highly criticized raid of a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended. Marion Mayor Dave Mayfield on Saturday confirmed to The Associated Press that he suspended Chief Gideon Cody this week. The mayor declined to discuss his decision further. The chief’s suspension is a reversal of the mayor’s earlier stance. Mayfield previously said he would wait for results from a state police investigation before taking action. Police seized computers and cellphones during searches of the Marion County Record’s office and the home of its publisher last month.
Federal agency sues Chipotle after a Kansas manager allegedly ripped off an employee’s hijab
A federal agency has sued Chipotle, accusing it of religious harassment and retaliation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in its lawsuit that a manager at a Chipotle restaurant in Kansas forcibly removed a Muslim employee’s hijab in 2021. The complaint alleges that the manager repeatedly harassed the employee by asking her to show him her hair, despite her refusal. The lawsuit claims this created a hostile working environment based on religion. Chipotle’s chief corporate affairs officer, Laurie Schalow, said the company has no tolerance for discrimination and has fired the manager in question.
The Dianne Feinstein they knew: Women of the Senate remember a tireless fighter and a true friend
WASHINGTON (AP) — In tributes to Sen. Dianne Feinstein after her death, her female colleagues talked about her indomitable, fierce intelligence and how she had paved the way for so many women. But colleagues also mentioned their private times with the California Democrat that were at odds with Feinstein’s tough public persona. They spoke of how she would invite them out to dinners and sometimes give them the clothes off her back. Feinstein was the first female mayor of San Francisco, one of California’s first two female senators and the first female chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The 90-year-old Feinstein died on Thursday night at her home in Washington.
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