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1. CIA creates working group on China as threats keep rising -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CIA said Thursday it will create a top-level working group on China as part of a broad U.S. government effort focused on countering Beijing's influence.

The group will become one of fewer than a dozen mission centers operated by the CIA, with weekly director-level meetings intended to drive the agency's strategy toward China. The CIA also announced that it would ramp up efforts to recruit Chinese speakers and create another mission center focusing on emerging technologies and global issues such as climate change and global health.

2. White House says Biden, Xi expected to meet virtually -

ZURICH (AP) — President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to hold a virtual working meeting before year's end, according to a senior Biden administration official.

The agreement for a more formal leaders' meeting came as White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi met Wednesday in Zurich for six hours of talks amid rising tensions between the global powers.

3. Milley defends calls to Chinese as effort to avoid conflict -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer on Wednesday defended the phone calls he made to his Chinese counterpart in the turbulent final months of Donald Trump's presidency, saying the conversations were intended to convey "reassurance" to the Chinese military and were in line with his responsibilities as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

4. Blinken defense of Afghan policy clouded by al-Qaida warning -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday sought to parry bipartisan congressional criticism of the Biden administration's Afghanistan withdrawal, as new intelligence estimates warned that al-Qaida could soon again use Afghan soil to plot attacks on the United States.

5. Hagerty accused of doing 'Trump's bidding' in infrastructure stall -

WASHINGTON (AP) — One by one, Democrats and Republicans  trekked to the Senate floor on Sunday touting a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal and argued that, after months of haggling, it was time for a final vote on the measure.

6. AP source: Biden looks to increase staffing of Cuba embassy -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday ordered the State Department to create a working group to review U.S. remittance policy to ensure that money that Cuban Americans send home makes it directly into the hands of their families without the regime taking a cut.

7. Biden bids Merkel farewell: Friends — with disagreements -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Welcoming Angela Merkel to the White House for a final time, President Joe Biden renewed his concerns to the German chancellor Thursday about a major, nearly complete Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline but said they agreed Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon.

8. Child tax credit starts hitting US families' bank accounts -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The child tax credit had always been an empty gesture to millions of parents like Tamika Daniel.

That changed Thursday when the first payment of $1,000 hit Daniel's bank account — and dollars started flowing to the pockets of more than 35 million families around the country. Daniel, a 35-year-old mother of four, didn't even know the tax credit existed until President Joe Biden expanded it for one year as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that passed in March.

9. Pressing German-US issues as Merkel meets with Biden -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Angela Merkel's farewell visit to the White House was shadowed Thursday by pressing issues as well as good will, as she met with Joe Biden to discuss differences over a major Russian pipeline and their nations' views on China as a rising global power.

10. Cuba, Haiti stir fresh political pressures for US president -

WASHINGTON (AP) — They are two tiny Caribbean states whose intractable problems have vexed U.S. presidents for decades. Now, Haiti and Cuba are suddenly posing a growing challenge for President Joe Biden that could have political ramifications for him in the battleground state of Florida.

11. Biden calls Cuba 'remarkable' protests a 'call for freedom' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday called protests in Cuba "remarkable" and a "clarion call for freedom," praising thousands of Cubans who took the streets to protest food shortages and high prices amid the coronavirus crisis — one of the island's biggest antigovernment demonstrations in recent memory.

12. WH aims to help consumers with order on big business regs -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is preparing an executive order to improve opportunities for consumers and small businesses by stepping up oversight of areas of the economy that are dominated by a select few companies, such as meatpacking and internet service providers.

13. Demings plans to challenge Rubio in Florida Senate race -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Val Demings is planning to challenge Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, giving Democrats a boost in a competitive 2022 race that could decide control of the Senate, according to two people with knowledge of the plans.

14. No. 2 House Republican says GOP would act against Gaetz -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The No. 2 House Republican leader said Wednesday that party leaders would "take action" against Rep. Matt Gaetz if the Justice Department formally moves against the Florida lawmaker, who is under federal investigation for alleged sex trafficking.

15. Black Lives Matter backs Amazon union push in Alabama -

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers trying to form the first union at an Amazon warehouse are getting support from another big name: Black Lives Matter.

The group plans to hold an event Saturday near the warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, making it the latest high-profile supporter of the union push, which is the biggest in Amazon's nearly 30-year history.

16. Child tax credit expansion sets up showdown with GOP -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The massive coronavirus relief plan making its way to President Joe Biden's desk includes a plan to temporarily raise the child tax credit that could end up permanently changing the way the country deals with child poverty.

17. Analysis: Biden aims to manage expectations with pandemic -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden doesn't just have to manage the coronavirus pandemic — he also has to manage people's expectations for how soon the country will come out of it.

And on the latter task, projecting too much optimism can be as risky as offering too little, requiring what one public health expert calls a "necessarily mixed message."

18. Ivanka Trump tells Rubio she won't run for his Senate seat -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ivanka Trump will not be running for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat in 2022 as she settles into life after Washington.

19. US still unraveling 'sophisticated' hack of 9 gov't agencies -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. authorities are still working to unravel the full scope of the likely Russian hack that gave the "sophisticated" actor behind the breach complete access to files and email from at least nine government agencies and about 100 private companies, the top White House cybersecurity official said Wednesday.

20. Trump's sway over GOP tested as impeachment heads to Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The impeachment case  against Donald Trump is heading toward a historic Senate trial, but Republican senators are easing off their criticism of the former president and shunning calls to convict him over the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

21. Las Vegas Sands founder, CEO, GOP megadonor Adelson dies -

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire mogul and power broker who built a casino empire spanning from Las Vegas to China and became a singular force in domestic and international politics has died after a long illness.

22. Pelosi says House will impeach Trump, pushes VP to oust him -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will proceed with legislation to impeach President Donald Trump as she pushes the vice president and the Cabinet to invoke constitutional authority to force him out, warning that Trump is a threat to democracy after the deadly assault on the Capitol.

23. Trump doesn't ask backers to disperse after storming Capitol -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump encouraged supporters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday in protest of his reelection defeat to "remain peaceful," but he did not call for them to disperse.

24. Rare GOP rebuff of Trump in last days of chaotic Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is ending a chaotic session like few others, a two-year political firestorm that started with the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history, was riven by impeachment and a pandemic, and now closes with a rare rebuff by Republicans of President Donald Trump.

25. Trump push on $2K checks flops as GOP-led Senate won't vote -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all but shut the door on President Donald Trump's push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks, declaring Congress has provided enough pandemic aid as he blocked another attempt by Democrats to force a vote.

26. Trump's $2,000 checks all but dead as GOP Senate refuses aid -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's push for $2,000 COVID-19  relief checks all but died Wednesday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed an alternative approach of loading up the bill with other White House priorities that appeared destined to fail.

27. Senate GOP blocks swift vote on Trump's $2K checks -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blocked Democrats' push to immediately bring President Donald Trump's demand for bigger $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks up for a vote, saying the chamber would "begin a process" to address the issue.

28. High court agrees to hear NCAA athlete compensation case -

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in more than three decades, the Supreme Court will hear a case involving the NCAA and what it means to be a college athlete.

The high court on Wednesday agreed to review a court decision in an antitrust lawsuit the NCAA has said blurred "the line between student-athletes and professionals" by removing caps on compensation that major college football and basketball players can receive.

29. GOP objects to Biden nominees, a sign of what's to come -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet picks are quickly running into the political reality of a narrowly controlled Senate that will leave the new Democratic administration dependent on rival Republicans to get anything done.

30. Analysis: Biden prioritizes experience with Cabinet picks -

NEW YORK (AP) — Competence is making a comeback.

President-elect Joe Biden has prized staying power over star power when making his first wave of Cabinet picks and choices for White House staff, with a premium placed on government experience and proficiency as he looks to rebuild a depleted and demoralized federal bureaucracy.

31. Biden seeks swift Cabinet votes, but GOP Senate stays silent -

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President-elect Joe Biden started rolling out his administrative team, one voice has been notably silent: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Republicans will hold great sway in confirming or denying Biden's Cabinet nominees, regardless of which party controls the narrowly split Senate after runoff elections. But key Republican senators, including the GOP leader, are keeping quiet, for now, choosing their battles ahead.

32. 'America is back': Biden pushes past Trump era with nominees -

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Declaring "America is back," President-elect Joe Biden introduced his national security team, his first substantive offering of how he'll shift from Trump-era "America First" policies by relying on experts from the Democratic establishment to be some of his most important advisers.

33. Analysis: Biden prioritizes experience with Cabinet picks -

NEW YORK (AP) — Competence is making a comeback.

President-elect Joe Biden has prized staying power over star power when making his first wave of Cabinet picks and choices for White House staff, with a premium placed on government experience and proficiency as he looks to rebuild a depleted and demoralized federal bureaucracy.

34. 'America is back': Biden pushes past Trump era with nominees -

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Declaring "America is back," President-elect Joe Biden introduced his national security team on Tuesday, his first substantive offering of how he'll shift from Trump-era "America First" policies by relying on experts from the Democratic establishment to be some of his most important advisers.

35. GOP increasingly accepts Trump's defeat — but not in public -

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Kamala Harris returned to the Senate this week for the first time as vice president-elect, her Republican colleagues offered their congratulations and Sen. Lindsey Graham greeted her with a fist bump.

36. GOP increasingly accepts Trump's defeat — but not in public -

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Kamala Harris returned to the Senate this week for the first time as vice president-elect, her Republican colleagues offered their congratulations and Sen. Lindsey Graham greeted her with a fist bump.

37. Dems, GOP take different approaches on Georgia Senate blitz -

ATLANTA (AP) — Jon Ossoff took the stage in Columbus and looked out over a parking lot filled with cars, with supporters blaring their horns in approval as he declared that "change has come to Georgia."

38. Dems, GOP take different approaches on Georgia Senate blitz -

ATLANTA (AP) — Jon Ossoff took the stage in Columbus and looked out over a parking lot filled with cars, with supporters blaring their horns in approval as he declared that "change has come to Georgia."

39. Hagerty, longtime GOP hand, looks to Trump in Senate bid -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Bill Hagerty was vacationing with his family last year in northern Japan, where he was U.S. ambassador to the country, when a friend called and said: "Look at your Twitter account."

40. Trump's task: Resetting campaign that GOP fears is slipping -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is running out of time to recover from a series of self-inflicted setbacks that have rattled his base of support and triggered alarm among Republicans who fear the White House is on the verge of being lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

41. Pence takes lead role in campaign with Trump travel stopped -

WASHINGTON (AP) — With President Donald Trump ill with COVID-19, Vice President Mike Pence took the lead role in campaigning Monday, starting a swing through key states to bolster the president's chance for reelection.

42. Trump's defender: Pence's campaign role grows at key moment -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is in a familiar spot: standing by President Donald Trump.

With Trump hospitalized with a virus that he spent months downplaying, his ever-loyal No. 2 will play an increasingly prominent role in the weeks ahead.

43. Trump's tax revelation could tarnish image that fueled rise -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The bombshell revelations that President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for office and paid no income taxes at all in many others threaten to undercut a pillar of his appeal among blue-collar voters and provide a new opening for his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, on the eve of the first presidential debate.

44. In reversal, intelligence panels to get election briefings -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has agreed to provide in-person briefings on threats to the November election to key members of Congress, backing down from a decision last month to provide that information only in writing.

45. Trump not ready to OK TikTok deal, admits US won't get cut -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he expects to get a report Thursday about Oracle's bid for the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok and admitted there is no legal path to letting the U.S. Treasury get a cut of the deal — a proposition experts had criticized as unprecedented and possibly illegal.

46. Dems seeking to compel in-person election security briefings -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Racing the political clock, frustrated Democrats on Sunday searched for a way to force the Trump administration to continue briefing Congress in person about foreign attempts to interfere in the November election.

47. Trump campaign's Russia contacts 'grave' threat, Senate says -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump campaign's interactions with Russian intelligence services during the 2016 presidential election posed a "grave" counterintelligence threat, a Senate panel concluded Tuesday as it detailed how associates of Donald Trump had regular contact with Russians and expected to benefit from the Kremlin's help.

48. Senate report: Trump campaign's Russia contacts 'grave' threat -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump campaign's interactions with Russian intelligence services during the 2016 presidential election posed a "grave" counterintelligence threat, a Senate panel concluded Tuesday as it detailed how associates of Donald Trump had regular contact with Russians and expected to benefit from the Kremlin's help.

49. Stocks rise on Wall Street; S&P 500 within 1% of record -

U.S. stock indexes closed mostly higher Monday, nudging the S&P 500 within striking distance of its all-time high set in February.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% after wavering between small gains and losses in the early going. The benchmark index is now within 1% of its last record high.

50. Trump, McConnell huddle with virus talks at risk of collapse -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and the Senate's top Republican huddled Thursday over a huge COVID-19 rescue package, but hopes on Capitol Hill for a deal are souring and there's increasing worry that bipartisan congressional negotiations might collapse.

51. Capitol negotiators still stuck, still trying on virus aid -

WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than a week's worth of meetings, at least some clarity is emerging in the bipartisan Washington talks on a huge COVID-19 response bill. Negotiators are still stuck but still trying.

52. Trump encourages mail voting in Florida but sues in Nevada -

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an abrupt reversal, President Donald Trump is encouraging voters in the critical swing state of Florida to vote by mail after months of criticizing the practice — and while his campaign and the GOP challenge Nevada over its new vote-by-mail law.

53. Republicans quickly rebuff Trump after his vote delay idea -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's suggestion of postponing the November election drew condemnation from Republican officials in the states and on Capitol Hill as they tried to bat away questions their own party leader had raised about the legitimacy of that upcoming vote.

54. Trump floats idea of election delay, a virtual impossibility -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, lagging in the polls and grappling with deepening economic and public health crises, on Thursday floated the startling idea of delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election. The notion drew immediate pushback from Democrats and Republicans alike in a nation that has held itself up as a beacon to the world for its history of peaceful transfer of power.

55. White House, GOP agree on virus testing in new aid bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans and the White House reached tentative agreement for more testing funds in the next COVID-19 relief package, but deep disagreements over the scope of the $1 trillion in federal aid remain ahead of Thursday's expected roll out.

56. White House drops payroll tax cut as GOP unveils virus aid -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has reluctantly dropped a bid to cut Social Security payroll taxes as Republicans unveil a $1 trillion COVID-19 rescue package on Thursday, ceding to opposition to the idea among top Senate allies.

57. Senate Democrats seek aid for Black Americans in virus bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Senate Republicans prepare to roll out their next COVID-19 aid bill, the top Democrat said Thursday that he wants to shift $350 billion from an untapped Treasury Department virus relief program to help Black Americans and other people of color during the pandemic and beyond.

58. Undaunted, US global media chief plows ahead with changes -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a barrage of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, the new chief of U.S. global media is plowing ahead with changes to the Voice of America and other international broadcasters that are heightening concerns about their future as independent news organizations.

59. In risky bid, Trump stokes racial rancor to motivate voters -

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump is wielding America's racial tensions as a reelection weapon, fiercely denouncing the racial justice movement on a near-daily basis with language stoking white resentment and aiming to drive his supporters to the polls.

60. Small business aid went beyond hard-hit companies, data show -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government on Monday identified roughly 650,000 mostly small businesses and nonprofits that received taxpayer money through a federal program that was designed to soften job losses from the coronavirus but also benefited wealthy, well-connected companies and some celebrity owned firms.

61. Small business aid went beyond hard-hit companies, data show -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government on Monday identified roughly 650,000 mostly small businesses and nonprofits that received taxpayer money from a program that was designed to soften job losses from the coronavirus but also benefited some politically connected firms.

62. Congress extends relief program for COVID-slammed businesses -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Wednesday easily passed a temporary extension of a subsidy program for small businesses slammed by the coronavirus, speeding the measure to President Donald Trump.

Approval by voice vote without debate came after Democrats pushed the legislation through the GOP-controlled Senate late Tuesday as spikes in coronavirus cases in many states led to renewed shutdowns of bars and other businesses.

63. Trump allies take aim at his global media chief for firings -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven U.S. senators, including two strong allies of President Donald Trump, harshly criticized Trump's new chief of U.S.-funded global media on Wednesday for firing the heads of several international broadcasters without consulting Congress. They expressed concern that the independent agency may become politicized.

64. Trump faces pressure on Russian bounties to kill US troops -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday came under growing pressure to respond to allegations that Russia offered bounties for killing American troops in Afghanistan, with Democrats demanding answers and accusing Trump of bowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the risk of U.S. soldiers' lives.

65. Nominee to be CIA watchdog says he'll stand up to Trump -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to be the CIA's chief watchdog is pledging independence, saying he will perform his role "in an unbiased and impartial manner, free of undue or inappropriate influences" by Trump or anyone else.

66. Watchdogs: Treasury too secretive on small business loans -

NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration has relented to public pressure and pledged to provide more details about which small businesses received loans from a $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program. But government watchdogs say even more transparency is needed to get an accurate picture of who was helped, and who was left out.

67. Trump global media chief faces GOP backlash over firings -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The new chief of U.S.-funded global media is facing a conservative backlash over his decision to fire the heads of two international broadcasters, adding to concerns about the direction of the agency, which oversees the Voice of America and other outlets.

68. Watchdogs warn of strain on agencies from pandemic response -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new oversight board is warning about the strain of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. government and calling into question Washington's ability to effectively manage trillions of dollars in aid and keep federal workers safe.

69. Watchdogs say Trump admin limiting oversight of virus aid -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government watchdogs are warning that a legal determination by the Trump administration could severely limit their ability to oversee more than $1 trillion in spending related to the coronavirus pandemic.

70. Senate passes fix for small-business coronavirus relief -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to make it easier for businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic to take advantage of a payroll subsidy program that's been a central part of Washington's response to the corresponding economic crisis.

71. Senate passes fix for small-business coronavirus relief -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to make it easier for businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic to take advantage of a payroll subsidy program that's been a central part of Washington's response to the corresponding economic crisis.

72. Congress shifts attention to overhauling small-business aid -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Deadlocked over the next big coronavirus relief bill, Congress is shifting its attention to a more modest overhaul of small-business aid in hopes of helping employers reopen shops and survive the pandemic.

73. Rubio warns of foreign actors amplifying virus conspiracies -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Marco Rubio, the new Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is warning that foreign actors will seek to amplify conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and find new ways to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

74. Committee approves Ratcliffe for DNI, sends to full Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe to be director of national intelligence, sending the nomination to the Senate floor for his likely confirmation.

75. SBA leaves businesses still hoping for more leeway on loans -

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses hoping for more leeway in using coronavirus loan money were disappointed as the government released instructions for seeking forgiveness for the loans.

Forms the Small Business Administration released late Friday didn't address two concerns shared by many owners about the $659 billion Paycheck Protection Program. According to the instructions, loans can still be forgiven in full only if the money is spent within eight weeks of receiving it. And businesses must use at least 75% of it for workers' pay, with the remaining amount limited to rent, mortgage interest and utility expenses.

76. Burr steps aside as Senate intelligence chair amid FBI probe -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Richard Burr temporarily stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday after the FBI served a search warrant for his cellphone as part of an investigation into a well-timed sale of stocks tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

77. Hurry up and wait? Why relief to small businesses has lagged -

NEW YORK (AP) — Speed is of the essence if a federal relief program for small businesses is going to be effective in combating the damage wrought by the coronavirus lockdowns.

Yet, days into the program, many Main Street businesses are still waiting for the cash infusion necessary to stay alive. Others say they haven't even been able to apply for loans under what's called the Paycheck Protection Program.

78. Hurry up and wait? Why relief to small businesses has lagged -

NEW YORK (AP) — Speed is of the essence if a federal relief program for small businesses is going to be effective in combating the damage wrought by the coronavirus lockdowns.

Yet, days into the program, many Main Street businesses are still waiting for the cash infusion necessary to stay alive. Others say they haven't even been able to apply for loans under what's called the Paycheck Protection Program.

79. Treasury proposal: Deliver $500B to Americans starting April -

WASHINGTON (AP) — By a sweeping bipartisan tally, the Senate on Wednesday approved a $100 billion-plus bill to boost testing for the coronavirus and guarantee paid sick leave for millions of workers hit by it — and President Donald Trump quickly signed it. But lawmakers and the White House had already turned their focus to the administration's far bigger $1 trillion plan to stabilize the economy as the pandemic threatens financial ruin for individuals and businesses.

80. Next up: Trump's $1T plan to stabilize economy hit by virus -

WASHINGTON (AP) — By a sweeping bipartisan tally, the Senate approved a $100 billion-plus bill to boost testing for the coronavirus and guarantee paid sick leave for millions of workers hit by it — and President Donald Trump quickly signed it.

81. Trump, GOP allies move quickly to discredit, attack Biden -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his allies are planning sustained personal and reputational attacks against Joe Biden, casting him as ill-equipped for the presidency and pushing unsubstantiated claims of corruption as he emerges as the favorite for the Democratic nomination.

82. Trump order expected on medical supplies amid outbreak -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is expected to announce an executive order Wednesday insisting on American-made medical supplies and pharmaceuticals in response to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a person familiar with the plan.

83. Lawmakers close in on $7.5B measure to battle coronavirus -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are finalizing a $7.5 billion emergency bill to fund the government's response to the coronavirus outbreak,  even as fear is growing that the rapid spread of the virus is a shock to the economy and will lead to significant disruption in people's everyday lives.

84. Analysis: Sanders win ups pressure on moderates to coalesce -

WASHINGTON (AP) — For Bernie Sanders, not all victories are created equal.

In 2016, Sanders carried New Hampshire by 22 points, pummeling Hillary Clinton and setting the stage for a protracted fight over the Democratic presidential nomination. On Tuesday, he won the state's primary by less than 2 points, raising questions about his ability to broaden his coalition beyond his most loyal supporters.

85. Sanders' narrow win ups pressure on moderates to coalesce -

WASHINGTON (AP) — For Bernie Sanders, not all victories are created equal.

In 2016, Sanders carried New Hampshire by 22 points, pummeling Hillary Clinton and setting the stage for a protracted fight over the Democratic presidential nomination. On Tuesday, he won the state's primary by less than 2 points, raising questions about his ability to broaden his coalition beyond his most loyal supporters.

86. McConnell remaking Senate in age of Trump, impeachment -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long before Donald Trump's impeachment landed in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had one piece of advice for the president: Focus on the House.

Gin it up. Use maximum effort. Make sure Republicans are united. And leave the Senate to him.

87. Senate: Obama officials hamstrung by Russia election attack -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration was ill-prepared to handle and failed to respond effectively to Russian interference during the 2016 election, according to a bipartisan congressional report released Thursday. It noted officials feared getting caught up in a heavily politicized environment and undermining public confidence in the electoral process.

88. Trump trial closing arguments aim at voters, history -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Closing arguments Monday in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial were directed  more toward history than to sway the outcome, one final chance to influence public opinion and set the record ahead of his expected acquittal in the Republican-led Senate.

89. Reporters getting 1st taste of impeachment restrictions -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump has barely started and already journalists are getting a glimpse of how hard it will be cover the event under harsh new media restrictions imposed by the Senate.

90. Trump dismisses US stakes in Syria: "We're 7,000 miles away" -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washing his hands of America's presence in Syria, President Donald Trump declared Wednesday the U.S. has no stake in supporting the Kurdish fighters who died by the thousands as U.S. partners against Islamic State extremists.

91. White House, Democrats fight over rules for impeachment -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Constitution gives the House "the sole power of impeachment" — but it confers that authority without an instruction manual.

Now comes the battle royal over exactly what it means.

92. Whistleblower probe tests Republicans' alliance with Trump -

WASHINGTON (AP) — One Republican hadn't read the whistleblower's complaint. Another called President Donald Trump's conversation with the Ukraine leader "thin gruel" for any impeachment effort. A third said the whole thing was "blown way out of proportion."

93. White House attorneys directed sealing of phone transcript -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Friday confirmed a key detail in the intelligence whistleblower's complaint alleging that President Donald Trump abused the power of his office.

A senior administration official acknowledged that the rough transcript of Trump's July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was moved to a highly classified system maintained by the National Security Council at the direction of attorneys. The motivation and timing of the move remained unclear.

94. Whistleblower gives Democrats a 'roadmap' for Trump probe -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The explosive details of a whistleblower's complaint against President Donald Trump provided Democrats on Thursday with a roadmap for their impeachment inquiry but left Republicans straining under the most serious test yet of their alliance with the White House.

95. Mayors urge Senate to return to Washington for gun bill vote -

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 200 mayors, including two anguished by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, are urging the Senate to return to the Capitol to act on gun safety legislation amid criticism that Congress is failing to respond to back-to-back shootings that left 31 people dead.

96. Mayors urge Senate to return to Washington for gun bill vote -

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 200 mayors, including two anguished by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, are urging the Senate to return to the Capitol to act on gun safety legislation amid criticism that Congress is failing to respond to back-to-back shootings that left 31 people dead.

97. Bipartisan 'red flag' gun laws plan has support in Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite frequent mass shootings, Congress has proved to be unable to pass substantial gun violence legislation, largely because of resistance from Republicans.

But a bipartisan proposal by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is gaining momentum following weekend mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that left 31 people dead. The emerging plan would create a federal grant program to encourage states to adopt "red flag" laws to take guns away from people believed to be dangers to themselves or others.

98. Coal billionaire Cline killed in helicopter crash -

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Billionaire coal entrepreneur Chris Cline, who worked his way out of West Virginia's underground mines to amass a fortune and become a major Republican donor, was killed in a helicopter crash along with six other Americans, his lawyer's office confirmed on Friday.

99. Huawei warns US patent curbs would hurt global tech -

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Chinese tech giant Huawei warned Thursday a U.S. senator's proposal to block the company from pursuing damages in patent courts would be a "catastrophe for global innovation."

100. China rejects threats, tariffs as way to resolve trade war -

BEIJING (AP) — China warned Thursday that threats and tariffs will not resolve trade tensions between the two biggest economies and blasted Republican Sen. Marco Rubio for his criticism of technology giant Huawei over patents.