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Senators race to seal infrastructure deal as pressure mounts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators are racing to seal a bipartisan infrastructure deal as soon as Monday, as pressure is mounting on all sides to show progress on President Joe Biden's top priority. Heading into a make-or-break week, key senators and staff spent the weekend trying to reach a final agreement. One major roadblock is how much money should go to public transit. But spending on highways, water projects, broadband and others areas remains unresolved, as is whether to take unspent COVID-19 relief funds to help pay for the infrastructure. Late Sunday, the Democrats and the White House sent a “global” offer to...

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Noem’s border visit comes with political opportunities

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Photo ops with the troops. Political points on an issue sure to loom large in 2024 presidential debates. Another chance to tout a tough-on-illegal immigration stance that comes rarely for a governor whose state is closer to Canada than Mexico. There's plenty of reasons for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's Monday visit to National Guard troops...

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First openly transgender Olympians are competing in Tokyo

TOKYO (AP) — For Quinn, a midfielder for the Canadian women's soccer team, the opening match of the Tokyo Games carried more emotional weight than their previous Olympic appearances. Quinn became the first openly transgender athlete to participate in the Olympics when they started on Wednesday night in Canada's 1-1 draw with Japan in Sapporo. Quinn, who is nonbinary and...

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Sparked by pandemic fallout, homeschooling surges across US

Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They're now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes. The specific reasons vary widely. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs; others seek a faith-based...

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Beware of budget gimmicks in push for massive spending deals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators fashioning a pair of colossal bills that would deliver more than $4 trillion for infrastructure, health care, environment and other initiatives insist they will fully pay for both plans. Will they? In a Washington ritual as reliable as panic-buying when light snow is forecast, both parties have long relied on toothless budget gimmicks to help finance...

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Thousands protest lockdown in Sydney, several arrested

SYDNEY (AP) — Thousands of people took to the streets of Sydney and other Australian cities on Saturday to protest lockdown restrictions amid another surge in cases, and police made several arrests after crowds broke through barriers and threw plastic bottles and plants. The unmasked participants marched from Sydney’s Victoria Park to Town Hall in the central business district, carrying...

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Groups worry about tapping COVID relief for infrastructure

WASHINGTON (AP) — Organizations representing long-term care facilities on Friday urged lawmakers working on a bipartisan infrastructure plan to avoid dipping into COVID-relief funds to help pay for the roughly $600 billion in new spending sought for the public works buildout. The request comes as lawmakers are struggling to finish up negotiations over the package amid stubborn disagreements over how...

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