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Monday, January 18, 2021
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Phil Spector, famed music producer and murderer, dies at 81

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who...

Hell to pay: Arson shakes a Church of Satan community

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — Members of the Church of Satan are grieving the destruction of a historic “Halloween House” north of New York City...

Retail group: holiday sales up 8.3% amid big spending shift

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s largest retail trade group said Friday that holiday sales soared 8.3%, far exceeding its forecast even as the...

U.S. retail sales fell in December for 3rd straight month

NEW YORK (AP) — Retail sales fell for a third straight month as a surge in virus cases kept people away from stores during...

Poet Amanda Gorman, 22, will read at Biden inaugural

NEW YORK (AP) — At age 22, poet Amanda Gorman, chosen to read at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, already has a history...

Target continues to thrive in whirlwind retail environment

NEW YORK (AP) — Target's strong sales streak extended through a pandemic-shrouded holiday season after a hard push online and an increased effort to...

China pandemic control goes rural ahead of Lunar New Year

BEIJING (AP) — China is concentrating its pandemic prevention efforts in the rural areas as officials urge people to not travel home for the...

Indian partying hotspot Goa counts losses, braces for change

GOA, India (AP) — The sun’s golden rays fall on Goa’s smooth, sandy beaches every evening, magical as ever but strangely quiet and lonely....

Mexico sees holiday bump in tourism amid pandemic surge

TULUM, Mexico (AP) — The friends from Jackson, Mississippi, relaxed on lounge chairs dug into a white sand beach and romped in the turquoise...

South Africa struggles with post-holiday spike in COVID-19

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa is struggling to cope with a spike in COVID-19 cases that has already overwhelmed many hospitals, as people returning...

Village doctor in Ukraine faces coronavirus challenge

VERKHOVYNA, Ukraine (AP) — Riding a horse-drawn cart, Dr. Viktoria Mahnych trots along country roads to attend to her patients in several villages nestled...

Phoenix to honor late civil rights icon Calvin C. Goode

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix city officials, residents and prominent members of the Black community will honor late civil rights icon, city leader and longtime...

Hospital fined $43,000 for deadly post-holiday outbreak

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Kaiser Permanente has been fined $43,000 for failing to report a deadly coronavirus outbreak that may have been caused...

Lebanon begins new lockdown amid surge in coronavirus cases

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon began a 25-day nationwide lockdown Thursday to limit the spread of the coronavirus as infections hit a record high in...

Pandemic-era Mardi Gras: No big crowds, but plenty of cake

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A subdued Carnival season began Wednesday after the coronavirus pandemic put an end to the crowd-heavy balls and street parades...

Homebound viewers boost New Year’s Eve ratings; a CNN high

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stuck at home on a pandemic New Year's Eve, TV viewers turned to Ryan Seacrest, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen...

Some Orthodox Christians ignore COVID warnings on Epiphany

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers in Bulgaria on Wednesday ignored warnings issued by health authorities to abstain from mass gatherings...

Pandemic haunts new year as virus growth outpaces vaccines

LONDON (AP) — Despite growing vaccine access, January is looking grim around the globe as the coronavirus resurges and reshapes itself from Britain to...

One Good Thing: Theft leads to community giving in Miami

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Two days before Thanksgiving, on the eve of a turkey giveaway for dozens of jobless residents in an impoverished...

Alberta leader reverses course, punishes for pandemic travel

TORONTO (AP) — Alberta’s premier has reversed course and is now punishing members of his government for vacationing outside Canada despite government guidelines urging...

Costume could be link to deadly virus outbreak at hospital

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A Kaiser Permanente employee died and dozens of workers were infected with the coronavirus after a staffer appeared at...

Greek Church tells priests to ignore pandemic closure order

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's powerful Orthodox Church is rebelling against a government order to briefly close places of worship under a weeklong drive...

Police officer pays for shoplifting suspects’ holiday dinner

SOMERSET, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police officer declined to charge two women accused of trying to steal groceries for the children — and...

The Latest: S Korea extends distancing rules for 2 weeks

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is extending stringent distancing rules for two more weeks as authorities seek to suppress a viral resurgence, while...

Once a model, California now struggles to tame COVID-19

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ambulances waited hours for openings to offload coronavirus patients. Overflow patients were moved to hospital hallways and gift shops, even...

VIRUS TODAY: California struggles to tame COVID-19

Here’s what’s happening Friday with the pandemic in the U.S.: ...

Reports: 8 dead in New Year’s Eve carbon monoxide poisoning

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Several people have been found dead in a cottage in southwestern Bosnia, police said Friday. Local media reported that eight...

Bomb-sniffing dogs? Check. Times Square crowd? Not this year

NEW YORK (AP) — Gone were the revelry and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds that typify Times Square on New Year's Eve, replaced by empty streets and...

New Year’s revelries muted by virus as curtain draws on 2020

This New Year’s Eve is being celebrated like no other in most of the world, with many bidding farewell to a year they’d prefer...

Ontario finance minister resigns after tropical vacation

TORONTO (AP) — The finance minister for Canada's most populous province resigned Thursday after going on a Caribbean vacation during the pandemic and seemingly...

New Year’s fireworks could degrade Southern California air

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An advisory for likely pollution from New Year’s Eve fireworks went into effect Thursday in a large portion of Southern...

Back pain causes pope to skip Vatican New Year’s ceremonies

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A back condition has forced Pope Francis to skip New Year’s ceremonies at St. Peter's Basilica, a Vatican spokesman said...

Trump to return to White House early from Florida vacation

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump is cutting short his Florida holiday vacation and returning to Washington on Thursday, one day...

After a year like this, expect a strange New Year’s Eve

NEW YORK (AP) — If ever a year's end seemed like cause for celebration, 2020 might be it. ...

Amid virus fears, China urges workers to skip holiday travel

BEIJING (AP) — China is encouraging tens of millions of migrant workers not to travel home during next February’s Lunar New Year holiday to...

Kamara’s 6 TDs tie NFL record; Saints beat Vikings 52-33

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Alvin Kamara expects a fine for wearing a pair of Christmas-themed shoes that, as it turned out, would also be...

Asia Today: Thailand reports 250 new coronavirus cases

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand has reported 250 new cases of the coronavirus, including 241 local transmissions, as the country grapples with an intensifying outbreak...

1st reported US case of COVID-19 variant found in Colorado

DENVER (AP) — The first reported U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant that's been seen in the United Kingdom has been discovered in Colorado,...

A record 39 holiday songs dominate Billboard Hot 100 chart

NEW YORK (AP) — Tis the season to be jolly: A record 39 holiday songs have dominated this week's Billboard Hot 100 chart, including...

‘Surge on top of a surge’ to challenge California hospitals

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coronavirus hospitalizations are stabilizing in parts of California, but patients are still overwhelming hospitals in a large swath of the...

The Latest: S Korea reports biggest daily death toll so far

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea says 40 more coronavirus patients have died in the past 24 hours, the highest daily number since the...

US officials: Suspect in Nashville explosion died in blast

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The man believed to be responsible for the Christmas Day bombing that tore through downtown Nashville blew himself up in...

Parts of California likely to have lockdown orders extended

LOS ANGELES (AP) — State officials are expected to extend the strictest stay-at-home orders in central and Southern California as hospitals there are quickly...

Workers install 192 crystals on Times Square New Year’s ball

NEW YORK (AP) — Workers installed 192 glittering Waterford crystal triangles on Times Square’s New Year’s Eve ball Sunday in preparation for a pandemic-limited...

Bus crash in western Cameroon kills 37, injures 18

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — More than 37 people are dead and 18 others seriously injured after a bus crash in Cameroon’s western village of...

Holiday sales tick up as shoppers invest in their homes

NEW YORK (AP) — Retail sales increased a modest 3% during a longer holiday season this year, as homebound shoppers spent more on furnishing...

The Latest: Japan sharply tightens ban on foreign visitors

TOKYO — Japan’s government will temporarily ban entry of all nonresident foreign nationals as a precaution against a new and potentially more contagious coronavirus...

Health inspectors scrutinize crowding at Los Angeles malls

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Health inspectors and authorities stepped up enforcement at restaurants and shopping malls over the post-Christmas weekend as they desperately seek...

Downtown Nashville explosion knocks communications offline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A recreational vehicle parked in the deserted streets of downtown Nashville exploded early Christmas morning, causing widespread communications outages that...

The Latest: France confirms case of new virus variant

PARIS — French health authorities have confirmed the country’s first case of the virus variant that prompted strict new lockdown measures in Britain and...

A pandemic Christmas: Services move online, people stay home

ROME (AP) — Families that usually reunite on Christmas over a hearty, lingering meal celebrated apart Friday, services shifted online, and gift exchanges were...

Experts say experience convinced Midwest of virus dangers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — As much of the country experiences spiking virus rates, a reprieve from a devastating surge of the coronavirus in...

‘Unprecedented’ mail volume delays Christmas gifts

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Some who mailed holiday presents weeks early this year found they didn't act early enough as Christmas arrived with...

California deaths spur pleas to stay home for Christmas

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California's deadly Christmas was marked by pleas to avoid holiday gatherings outside the home and indoor church services in what...

Pope on Christmas: Vaccines for all; needy, vulnerable first

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis made a Christmas Day plea for authorities to make COVID-19 vaccines available to all, insisting that the first...

South Africa’s virus variant drives holiday surge of cases

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's normally joyful and lively Christmas celebrations have been dampened by the spike in new cases and deaths driven by...

Virus magnifies the solitude for the elderly at Christmas

Rosa Otero prepares her dinner for another nightly meal in solitude. ...

The Latest: China tests millions in port over virus cluster

BEIJING — Authorities in China’s northeastern port city of Dalian are testing millions of residents after seven new coronavirus cases were reported there in...

California COVID-19: 2 million confirmed cases and counting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California became the first state to record 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases, reaching the milestone on Christmas Eve as nearly...

Coronavirus dampens Christmas joy in Bethlehem and elsewhere

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Bethlehem on Thursday ushered in Christmas Eve with a stream of joyous marching bands and the triumphant arrival of...

Dark days: Experts fear the holidays will fuel the US crisis

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hard-hit California eclipsed 2 million coronavirus cases on Christmas Eve as the U.S. headed into a holiday season of travel...

Sorry, Grinch. Virus won’t stop NORAD from tracking Santa

WASHINGTON (AP) — Children of the world can rest easy. The global pandemic won't stop them from tracking Santa Claus' progress as he delivers...

Italy enters Christmas lockdown amid signs of resurgence

ROME (AP) — Police in Italy enforced new COVID-19 travel restrictions aimed at limiting Christmas get-togethers involving far-flung family members as public health officials...

Anti-virus controls strand merchant sailors aboard ships

BEIJING (AP) — The crew of the U.S.-owned Horizon Spirit expect to spend Christmas looking after their 800-foot (240-meter) long container ship in a...

Nurses fear what’s to come: ‘Walk down our unit for a day’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nurses of California are afraid. ...

Christmas in Florida: Chilly forecast, falling iguanas

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — With unexpectedly cold weather in the forecast and pandemic-related curfews in some places, Florida is about to have a Christmas...

Truckers finally leave UK after days of virus gridlock

DOVER, England (AP) — Truckers and travelers stuck in a days-long gridlock at the English port of Dover started heading to France on Thursday...

Worried Morocco bans parties to stem holiday virus spread

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco has imposed a curfew, closed restaurants in major cities and banned public and private gatherings for three weeks —...

France’s Macron leaving isolation after week with the virus

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron no longer has virus symptoms and was leaving isolation Thursday after a week with COVID-19, but is...

Santa’s ‘grandchildren’ spread joy in Italian nursing homes

ALZANO LOMBARDO, Italy (AP) — Emotions are running high this holiday season at the Martino Zanchi Foundation nursing home in northern Italy near Bergamo...

Historic heart of Los Angeles on life support from COVID-19

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For nine nights culminating on Christmas Eve, the oldest street in Los Angeles typically comes alive with a festive re-enactment...

In France, a pandemic dilemma over holiday rights for elders

PARIS (AP) — Not once in the long months since the pandemic struck has 74-year-old Jean-Francois been able to leave his nursing home in...

‘Mom’s worth it’: US holiday travel surges despite outbreak

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Some are elderly and figure they don’t have many Christmases left. Others are trying to keep long-distance romance alive. Some...

Christmas unites community after fire guts historic church

NEW YORK (AP) — At Christmases past, parishioners at Middle Collegiate in New York City rejoiced over gospel hymns, carols and soul tunes played...

Global virus rules for Christmas: Tough, mild or none at all

In Peru, you can’t drive your car on Christmas. In Lebanon, you can go to a nightclub, but you can’t dance. In South Africa,...

WH virus coordinator Deborah Birx says she will retire

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, said Tuesday she plans to retire, but is willing to first...

Christmas treat: Overnight at FAO Schwarz for one NYC family

NEW YORK (AP) — It's like getting a peek at Santa's workshop. ...

Christmas in the ICU: Decorations, lights and many tears

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — A Christmas tree stands outside the intensive care room where a man stricken by COVID-19 lies unconscious, a machine breathing...

‘Charlie Brown’ Christmas trees lift school, spirits

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Frank Pichel’s Christmas trees will probably never be chosen to light up New York’s Rockefeller Center. They look more like...

Asia Today: South Korea to curb social gatherings nationwide

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea will prohibit private social gatherings of five or more people and shut down ski resorts and major...

The Latest: S Korea tightens pandemic rules over virus surge

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea will limit private social gatherings to fewer than five people and shut down ski resorts and major tourist...

Virus rules not enforced. Grieving Texas family asks: Why?

ABILENE, Texas (AP) — In the weeks that Mark Riggs went from feeling worn down before Thanksgiving to dying of COVID-19 last Monday, only...

Cut off: Britain hit with travel bans over new virus strain

LONDON (AP) — Trucks waiting to get out of Britain backed up for miles and people were left stranded at airports Monday as dozens...

New this week: ‘Soul,’ a Tom Hanks film & ‘Bridgerton’ on TV

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. ...

Virus rules not enforced. Grieving Texas family asks: Why?

ABILENE, Texas (AP) — In the weeks that Mark Riggs went from feeling worn down before Thanksgiving to dying of COVID-19 last Monday, only...

Asia Today: Seoul area curbing public gatherings

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Gatherings of more than five people will be banned in South Korea’s capital region as an elevated step to...

More EU nations ban travel from UK, fearing virus variant

BERLIN (AP) — A growing list of European Union nations and Canada barred travel from the U.K. on Sunday and others were considering similar...

The Latest: Tenn. governor enacts new virus restrictions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has announced new social gathering restrictions while still refusing to implement a mask mandate despite pleas from...

Birx travels, family visits highlight pandemic safety perils

WASHINGTON (AP) — As COVID-19 cases skyrocketed before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, warned Americans...

Alabama to meet Notre Dame in relocated CFP semifinal game

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Top-ranked Alabama will face No. 4 Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff semifinal originally scheduled to serve as the...

US airport traffic rising despite holiday travel warnings

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — More than 1 million people have passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints in each of the past two days...

UK nixes Christmas gatherings, shuts London shops over virus

LONDON (AP) — Millions of people must cancel their Christmas get-togethers and most shops have to close in London and much of southern England,...

Holiday traffic clogs Balkan borders despite virus warnings

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Balkan citizens leaving Western Europe to go home for the holidays created huge traffic jams at border crossings Saturday despite...

‘Hurting for hope,’ South Dakota rural churches mark Advent

CANTON, S.D. (AP) — The Nativity stable at Canton Lutheran Church will be silent this year, breaking from a community tradition of gathering for...

Winter travel raises more fears of viral spread

Tens of millions of people are expected to travel to family gatherings or winter vacations over Christmas, despite pleas by public health experts who...

Shut down by corona, Berlin restaurant opens for homeless

BERLIN (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t made life on the streets of Berlin any easier for Kaspars Breidaks. ...

UK braces for holiday COVID-19 surge, tighter restrictions

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. entered the final week before Christmas with the country bracing for post-celebration coronavirus fallout and Prime Minister Boris Johnson...

The Latest: Coronavirus vaccine provided to US Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — The justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are being provided with doses of the coronavirus vaccine. ...

Demand for deliveries pushes FedEx 2Q profit to $1.2 billion

FedEx Corp. more than doubled its profit in the latest quarter, as holiday packages were being stuffed into delivery trucks alongside everyday goods that...

Snow days, virtual opera: The office holiday party goes on

NEW YORK (AP) — An online murder mystery. Law-themed opera arias. A snowman-building competition. ...

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