U.S. & World News

Supreme Court deals big setback to labor unions

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court says government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor. The justices are scrapping a 41-year-old decision that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose…

17 states sue to force Trump to reunite families

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Seventeen states, including Washington, New York and California, are suing to force the Trump administration to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The states, all led by Democratic attorneys general, joined Washington, D.C., in filing the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday. It’s the first legal challenge by states…

Budget analysts give grim projections for record US debt

WASHINGTON (AP) – A budget scorekeeper for U.S. lawmakers projects that federal debt compared to the size of the economy will reach 78 percent this fiscal year, the highest level in nearly seven decades. The Congressional Budget Office predicts the debt will grow even as government revenue flattens out in the next few years. Meanwhile, spending on Social Security and…

Report: Gender discrimination ‘concerning’ at FBI, others

WASHINGTON (AP) – Women are underrepresented in the ranks of criminal investigators and leadership roles at four of the nation’s top federal law enforcement agencies. And those agencies have only taken “limited actions” to recruit more women for those positions. That’s according to a new report by the Justice Department’s inspector general examining the workforce at the FBI, Drug Enforcement…

Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority. The 5-4 decision Tuesday is the court’s first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy. President Donald Trump is tweeting “Wow!” after the Supreme Court upheld his travel ban…

Supreme Court voids part of crisis pregnancy center law

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court says a California law that forces anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to provide information about abortion probably violates the Constitution. The 5-4 ruling Tuesday also casts doubts on similar laws in Hawaii and Illinois. The California law took effect in 2016. It requires centers that are licensed by the state to tell clients about the…

Trump denies he’s to blame for Harley-Davidson decision

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is denying that his trade policy is responsible for Harley-Davidson’s decision to shift some motorcycle production overseas. The company says it’s doing so because of tariffs it’s facing in a trade dispute between the U.S. and the European Union. But Trump says that’s an excuse. Trump says in tweets Tuesday that the company had…

Sessions defends US immigration policies

EL PASO, Texas (AP) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended Trump administration immigration policies during a speech at a conference in Nevada while hundreds of protesters rallied outside. Sessions told a convention sponsored by the National Association of School Resource Officers in Reno on Monday that the controversy over immigration is a “difficult and frustrating situation” that requires Congress…

Medical milestone: US OKs marijuana-based drug for seizures

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. health regulators have approved the first prescription drug made from marijuana, a milestone that could spur more research into a drug that remains illegal under federal law. The Food and Drug Administration approved the medication from GW Pharmaceuticals on Monday to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. The strawberry-flavored syrup is a purified form of…

Harley, stung by tariffs, shifts some production overseas

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Wisconsin’s top Republican leaders are not criticizing President Donald Trump’s trade policy or Harley-Davidson’s decision to shift the production of motorcycles headed for Europe from the U.S. to factories overseas. The Milwaukee-based company said Monday it’s making the move because of a spike in European Union tariffs on its motorcycles exported from the U.S. A spokeswoman for…

Trump declares NKorea still poses “extraordinary threat”

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has declared that North Korea still poses an “extraordinary threat” to the United States. In an executive order Friday, the president extended for one year the so-called “national emergency” with respect to the authoritarian, nuclear-armed nation, authorizing economic restrictions against it. While expected, the declaration comes just nine days after Trump tweeted, “There is…

Supreme Court adopts new rules for cellphone tracking

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court says police generally need a search warrant if they want to track criminal suspects’ movements by collecting information about where they’ve used their cellphones. The justices’ 5-4 decision Friday is a victory for privacy in the digital age. That’s a big change from the old days when authorities could go to the phone company…

Shares in online retailers fall after tax ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) – Shares in online retailers dropped, and large chains with more stores traded higher following the Supreme Court sales tax ruling. Under the old rules, some companies did not collect sales tax on online purchases that were made in a state where the business did not have a physical presence, like a warehouse or office. The state of…

Minnesota, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) – Washington and more than a half-dozen other states say they plan to sue the Trump administration over a policy that separated immigrant families illegally entering the United States. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson made the announcement Thursday outside a federal prison in the city of SeaTac, south of Seattle, where about 200 immigration detainees have been…

House GOP postpones key immigration vote

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republican leaders abruptly postponed voting on a compromise immigration measure amid ongoing infighting between conservative and moderates. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office confirmed the decision. Voting that had been expected Thursday now would be held Friday instead. That’s according to aides who demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly. House Republicans…

First lady visits migrant children at Texas detention center

McALLEN, Texas (AP) – Melania Trump is visiting two Texas facilities housing some of the more than 2,300 migrant children sent by the U.S. government after their families entered the country illegally. The first lady’s visit to Upbring New Hope Children’s Center on Thursday comes after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating families. However,…