GOP filibuster blocks Democrats’ big voting rights bill

WASHINGTON — The Democrats’ sweeping attempt to rewrite U.S. election and voting law suffered a major setback in the Senate Tuesday, blocked by a filibuster wall of Republican opposition to what would be the largest overhaul of the electoral system in a generation.

Pelosi signals new panel to investigate Jan. 6 Capitol riot

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is signaling that she is poised to create a new committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, pushing closer to a partisan investigation of the attack after Senate Republicans blocked the creation of an independent probe.

US gives more asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico another shot

SAN DIEGO — Asylum-seekers whose claims were dismissed or denied under a Trump administration policy that forced them to wait in Mexico for court hearings will be allowed to return for another chance at humanitarian protection, the U.S. Homeland Security Department said Tuesday in a move that could benefit tens of thousands of hopefuls.

Biden urges shots for young adults as variant concern grows

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to get younger Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 as the White House acknowledges it will miss two key vaccination benchmarks and as concern grows about the spread of a new variant that threatens to set the country back in the months ahead.

Help wanted: Labor crisis plagues US restaurant industry

LOS ANGELES — Sherry Villanueva’s family of Santa Barbara restaurants employed 350 people before the pandemic took hold and darkened dining rooms across California. Now, with the state’s economy officially reopened, about 250 workers are back on the job.

Watchdog: Nursing home deaths up 32% in 2020 amid pandemic

WASHINGTON — Deaths among Medicare patients in nursing homes soared by 32% last year, with two devastating spikes eight months apart, a government watchdog reported Tuesday in the most comprehensive look yet at the ravages of COVID-19 among its most vulnerable victims.

In Senate vote, Biden sees ‘step forward’ for elections bill

WASHINGTON — The White House said Monday it views the Senate’s work on an elections bill overhaul and changes being offered by Sen. Joe Manchin as a “step forward,” even though the Democrats’ priority legislation is expected to be blocked by a Republican filibuster.

GOP needs new health care target; ‘Obamacare’ survives again

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s latest rejection of a Republican effort to dismantle “Obamacare” signals anew that the GOP must look beyond repealing the law if it wants to hone the nation’s health care problems into a winning political issue.

After causing 14 deaths, Claudette heads out to sea

CAMP HILL, Ala. — Claudette regained tropical storm status and headed out to sea from the North Carolina coast Monday, less than two days after the system killed 14 people in Alabama, including nine children who died in a highway crash.

US hits encouraging milestones on virus deaths and shots

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have dipped below 300 a day for the first time since the early days of the disaster in March 2020, while the drive to put shots in arms hit another encouraging milestone Monday: 150 million Americans fully vaccinated.

Biden outlines vaccine plan, set to miss global-sharing goal

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to fall short of his commitment to shipping 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad by the end of June because of regulatory and other hurdles, officials said as they announced new plans Monday for sharing the shots globally.