Associated Press

US consumer confidence falls in November to nine-month low

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence fell to a nine-month low in November, clipped by rising prices and lingering concerns about the coronavirus. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index dropped to a reading of 109.5, down from 111.6 in October. It was the lowest reading since the index stood at 95.2 […]
15 hours ago

Russian coronavirus-denying monk given prison sentence

MOSCOW (AP) — A rebel Russian monk who castigated the Kremlin and denied that the coronavirus existed was convicted Tuesday on accusations of encouraging suicides and given a 3½-year prison sentence. The monk, Father Sergiy, was arrested in December 2020 on charges of inciting suicidal actions through sermons in which he urged believers to “die […]
15 hours ago

Epstein pilot resumes testimony at Ghislaine Maxwell trial

NEW YORK (AP) — A longtime pilot for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein resumed his testimony at Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial Tuesday, saying that the British socialite charged with helping the financier find teenage girls to sexually abuse was “Number 2” in the hierarchy of Epstein’s operations. Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr. is the first […]
15 hours ago

UN agency for Palestinian refugees faces funding crisis

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The head of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday it was unable to pay its 28,000 employees on time this month because of a major funding crisis, warning of potential cuts in vital services to millions of people amid a global pandemic. UNRWA runs schools, clinics and food distribution […]
15 hours ago

Putin warns West: Moscow has ‘red line’ about Ukraine, NATO

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday sternly warned NATO against deploying its troops and weapons to Ukraine, saying it represents a red line for Russia and would trigger a strong response. Commenting on Western concerns about Russia’s alleged intention to invade Ukraine, he said that Moscow is equally worried about NATO drills […]
15 hours ago

Man accused of using relief funds on Lamborghini gets prison

HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston man has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison after he was accused of using federal COVID-19 relief funding on a Lamborghini, a Rolex watch and trips to strip clubs, federal prosecutors said. Lee Price III, 30, was sentenced Monday to 110 months in prison. Price pleaded guilty […]
16 hours ago

Mercedes, Stellantis to work with US firm on new batteries

BERLIN (AP) — Automakers Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis announced agreements with U.S. company Factorial Energy on Tuesday to help develop solid-state battery technology that they hope could make electric cars more attractive to a mass market. Mercedes-Benz, part of Daimler AG, said it is joining forces with Factorial, based in Woburn, Massachussetts, to jointly develop batteries […]
16 hours ago

EU set to unveil massive worldwide infrastructure plan

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Wednesday is set to unveil a multibillion-euro plan aimed at bolstering the 27-nation bloc’s worldwide infrastructure and influence. The program is expected to mobilize up to 300 billion euros ($341 billion) in public and private funds by 2027. Although the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, does not […]
16 hours ago

Final US hurdle for Merck’s COVID-19 pill: FDA panel review

WASHINGTON (AP) — An experimental COVID-19 drug that could soon become the first U.S.-authorized pill to treat the coronavirus faces one final hurdle Tuesday: A panel of government experts will scrutinize data on the medication from drugmaker Merck. The Food and Drug Administration is asking its outside experts whether the agency should authorize the pill, […]
16 hours ago

US home prices register 19.1% annual gain in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose briskly in September, another sign that the housing market is booming in the aftermath of last year’s coronavirus recession. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price climbed 19.1% in September from a year earlier. The strong price gains marked a deceleration from August’s 19.6% year-over-year increase. Still, September […]
16 hours ago

US tracking of virus variants has improved after slow start

After a slow start, the United States has improved its surveillance system for tracking new coronavirus variants such as omicron, boosting its capacity by tens of thousands of samples per week since early this year. Viruses mutate constantly. To find and track new versions of the coronavirus, scientists analyze the genetic makeup of a portion […]
16 hours ago

NBC hopes the sun will come out as it mounts ‘Annie Live!’

NEW YORK (AP) — There’s a famous saying in showbiz: “Never work with children or animals.” NBC is wisely ignoring that as it mounts a live version of the hit Broadway musical “Annie.” The tale of the spunky young orphan with her dog Sandy set during the Depression will be NBC’s first live musical since […]
16 hours ago

EU wants ‘verifiable proof’ Chinese tennis player is safe

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Tuesday that it wants China to release “verifiable proof” that tennis player Peng Shuai is safe and to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into her sexual assault allegations. Peng, a three-time Olympian and former top-ranked doubles player, dropped out of public view after accusing a former Communist […]
16 hours ago

New lead testing method could reveal higher levels in water

ST. LOUIS (AP) — For years, testing of the tap water in an upscale Detroit suburb showed the city was in the clear. Then residents got a notice seemingly out of the blue: Their water could be contaminated with elevated levels of lead. The city of Royal Oak had not made drastic changes to its […]
16 hours ago

Space junk forces spacewalk delay, too risky for astronauts

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA called off a spacewalk Tuesday because of menacing space junk that could puncture an astronaut’s suit or damage the International Space Station. Two U.S. astronauts were set to replace a bad antenna outside of the space station. But late Monday night, Mission Control learned that a piece of orbiting […]
17 hours ago

Greece mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for residents over 60

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Residents in Greece over 60 years old will have to undergo mandatory vaccinations against coronavirus or face monthly 100-euro ($114) fines beginning next year, the prime minister announced Tuesday, declaring the country’s first general inoculation mandate. The Greek government decided upon the measure in response to a surge in new daily […]
17 hours ago

India’s economy grows by 8.4% amid signs of recovery

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s economy grew by 8.4% in the July-September quarter from the same period a year earlier, the government announced Tuesday, raising hopes of a recovery after the country suffered historic contractions sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. India, Asia’s third-largest economy, suffered one of the biggest setbacks among major economies in the […]
17 hours ago

Hungary’s parliament approves referendum on LGBT issues

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s parliament authorized the government Tuesday to call a national referendum on LGBT issues, the latest in a series of steps by the country’s nationalist leaders that critics say are intended to limit minority rights. Lawmakers from the governing Fidesz party approved four referendum questions pertaining to sex education programs in […]
17 hours ago

Military helicopter crash in Azerbaijan kills 14

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — A military helicopter crashed in Azerbaijan during a training flight on Tuesday, killing 14 people and wounding two more, Azerbaijani authorities said. The helicopter of Azerbaijan’s State Border Guard service crashed on Tuesday morning during a flight over the Garaeybat training ground in the east of Azerbaijan, according to a joint […]
17 hours ago

Face masks again mandatory in England to combat omicron

LONDON (AP) — England imposed new restrictions to combat the omicron variant on Tuesday, with face masks again compulsory in shops and on public transport. Beginning Tuesday morning, all travelers returning to the U.K. must also take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Previously they had been able to take […]
17 hours ago

Warm and welcoming: Outdoor decorating ideas for your home

Home, as we know, has become more central to many of us during the pandemic, and that means outdoors as well as in. This holiday season, designers and retailers have suggestions for updating window, door and yard decorations. Trends include sustainability, naturalness and coziness. NATURE SHOW New York interior designer John Douglas Eason appreciates a […]
17 hours ago

Live updates: Spain bans routes from some African countries

MADRID — Spain’s government has banned flights connecting air routes from South Africa and six neighboring countries to the European country due to fears of the new omicron coronavirus variant. The order affects any connecting flights from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Spain has no direct flights to southern Africa. The […]
17 hours ago

German police smash cocaine ring accused of smuggling tons

BERLIN (AP) — German investigators said 14 suspects were arrested Tuesday in an investigation of a gang accused of bringing nearly five metric tons (5.5 U.S. tons) of cocaine from South America to Germany. The investigation was triggered by the seizure in a shipping container in Santos, Brazil, in November 2018 of 690 kilograms (1,521 […]
17 hours ago

Germany: Burglars knock hole in wall to steal Lego bricks

BERLIN (AP) — German police are looking for witnesses after burglars broke through the wall of a toy store to steal dozens of Lego sets. Police said Tuesday that the theft took place over the weekend in the western town of Lippstadt. The burglars left about 100 empty cardboard boxes behind, German news agency dpa […]
17 hours ago