Trump calls for GOP unity, says he won’t start another party

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Taking the stage for the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump on Sunday called for Republican Party unity in a speech at a conservative political conference, even as he exacerbated its divisions and made clear he intended to remain a dominant force in the party. Trump used his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he has been hailed as a returning hero, to blast his successor, President Joe Biden, and try to cement his status as the party’s undisputed leader despite his loss in November. “Do you miss me yet?” Trump said after taking the stage, where his old rally soundtrack had been playing. “I stand before you today to declare

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Trump calls for GOP unity, says he won’t start another party

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Taking the stage for the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump on Sunday called for Republican Party unity in a speech at a conservative political conference, even as he exacerbated its divisions and made clear he intended to remain a dominant force in the party. Trump used his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he has been hailed as a returning hero, to blast his successor, President Joe Biden, and try to cement his status as the party’s undisputed leader despite his loss in November. “Do you miss me yet?” Trump said after taking the stage, where his old rally soundtrack had been playing. “I stand before you today to declare

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Crisis deepens for Cuomo; AG wants to lead harassment probe

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The crisis enveloping Gov. Andrew Cuomo deepened Sunday as the state’s attorney general demanded he grant her the authority to investigate claims he sexually harassed at least two women who worked for him. Democrats statewide appeared to be abandoning Cuomo in large numbers as Attorney General Letitia James rejected two proposals by the governor for an investigation of his conduct. Under the governor’s first plan, announced Saturday evening, a retired federal judge would have reviewed his workplace behavior. In the second proposal, announced Sunday morning in an attempt to appease legislative leaders, Cuomo said he had asked James and the state’s chief appeals court judge, Janet DiFiore, to jointly appoint a lawyer to investigate the claims

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Crisis deepens for Cuomo; AG wants to lead harassment probe

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The crisis enveloping Gov. Andrew Cuomo deepened Sunday as the state’s attorney general demanded he grant her the authority to investigate claims he sexually harassed at least two women who worked for him. Democrats statewide appeared to be abandoning Cuomo in large numbers as Attorney General Letitia James rejected two proposals by the governor for an investigation of his conduct. Under the governor’s first plan, announced Saturday evening, a retired federal judge would have reviewed his workplace behavior. In the second proposal, announced Sunday morning in an attempt to appease legislative leaders, Cuomo said he had asked James and the state’s chief appeals court judge, Janet DiFiore, to jointly appoint a lawyer to investigate the claims

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The Latest: US panel endorses 3rd vaccine option from J&J

WASHINGTON — A U.S. advisory panel has endorsed the new one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson as a third option to bolster the national effort against the coronavirus pandemic. Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted overwhelmingly to recommend the vaccine for adults 18 years old and up. The ruling followed emergency clearance of the vaccine by U.S. regulators a day earlier. Members of the group emphasized that all three vaccines now available in the U.S. are highly protective against the worst effects of the virus, including hospitalization and death. J&J plans to ship several million vaccine doses to states in the coming week, delivering a total of 20 million shots by the end of March.

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Fraud overwhelms pandemic-related unemployment programsBy GEOFF MULVIHILL and ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINSFebruary 28, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — With the floodgates set to open on another round of unemployment aid, states are being hammered with a new wave of fraud as they scramble to update security systems and block scammers who already have siphoned billions of dollars from pandemic-related jobless programs. The fraud is fleecing taxpayers, delaying legitimate payments and turning thousands of Americans into unwitting identity theft victims. Many states have failed to adequately safeguard their systems, and a review by The Associated Press finds that some will not even publicly acknowledge the extent of the problem. ADVERTISEMENT The massive sham springs from prior identity theft from banks, credit rating agencies, health care systems and retailers. Fraud perpetrators, sometimes in China, Nigeria or

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Fraud overwhelms pandemic-related unemployment programsBy GEOFF MULVIHILL and ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINSFebruary 28, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — With the floodgates set to open on another round of unemployment aid, states are being hammered with a new wave of fraud as they scramble to update security systems and block scammers who already have siphoned billions of dollars from pandemic-related jobless programs. The fraud is fleecing taxpayers, delaying legitimate payments and turning thousands of Americans into unwitting identity theft victims. Many states have failed to adequately safeguard their systems, and a review by The Associated Press finds that some will not even publicly acknowledge the extent of the problem. ADVERTISEMENT The massive sham springs from prior identity theft from banks, credit rating agencies, health care systems and retailers. Fraud perpetrators, sometimes in China, Nigeria or

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Some GOP state lawmakers help spread COVID-19 misinformation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Many Republican lawmakers have criticized governors’ emergency restrictions since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Now that most legislatures are back in session, a new type of pushback is taking root: misinformation. In their own comments or by inviting skeptics to testify at legislative hearings, some GOP state lawmakers are using their platform to promote false information about the virus, the steps needed to limit its spread and the vaccines that will pull the nation out of the pandemic. In some cases, the misstatements have faced swift backlash, even getting censored online. That’s raised tough questions about how aggressively to combat potentially dangerous misinformation from elected officials or during legislative hearings while protecting free speech and

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UN Human Rights Office says 18 killed in Myanmar crackdownFebruary 28, 2021 GMT

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Security forces in Myanmar opened fire and made mass arrests Sunday as they sought to break up protests against the military’s seizure of power, and a U.N. human rights official said it had “credible information” that 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded. That would be the highest single-day death toll among protesters who are demanding that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power after being ousted by a Feb. 1 coup. “Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku,” the U.N. Human Rights Office said in a statement referring to several cities, adding that the forces also

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Biden team readies wider economic package after virus reliefBy KEVIN FREKING, HOPE YEN and JOSH BOAKFebruary 28, 2021 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking beyond the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, President Joe Biden and lawmakers are laying the groundwork for another top legislative priority — a long-sought boost to the nation’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure that could run into Republican resistance to a hefty price tag. Biden and his team have begun discussions on the possible outlines of an infrastructure package with members of Congress, particularly mindful that Texas’ recent struggles with power outages and water shortages after a brutal winter storm present an opportunity for agreement on sustained spending on infrastructure. ADVERTISEMENT Gina McCarthy, Biden’s national climate adviser, told The Associated Press that the deadly winter storm in Texas should be a “wake-up call” for the need

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