Investigators narrow search for origin of Colorado wildfire
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Investigators looking for the cause of the Colorado wildfire that destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and buildings have narrowed their search to a sparsely populated neighborhood near Boulder. Authorities say it’s the same area where a passer-by captured video of a burning shed on the day the fire began. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle says it could be weeks before authorities release details on the investigation. Experts from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Forest Service are helping the probe. Meanwhile, teams continued searching Monday for two people who were still missing, and survivors sorted through the charred remnants of their homes to find whatever was left.
Schumer: Senate to vote on filibuster change on voting bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the Senate will vote soon on easing filibuster rules in an effort to advance stalled voting rights legislation. Schumer says in a letter to colleagues that the Senate “must evolve” on the rules. Pointing to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the New York Democrat says the rule changes are needed to protect the nation’s democracy. Schumer says the Senate will “debate and consider” the rule changes on or before Jan. 17, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In the 50-50 Senate, Democrats are trying to overcome the 60-vote threshold needed to turn back a Republican filibuster blocking their election law package.
1st Cambodian American mayor in US takes office
BOSTON (AP) — A refugee who survived the Khmer Rouge’s brutal regime has become the first Cambodian American mayor in the United States. Lowell City Councilor Sokhary Chau also became his city’s first Asian American mayor, following a council vote and inauguration Monday. In his inaugural remarks, Chau reflected on his family’s escape from Cambodia and Lowell’s immigrant roots. The former industrial city is home to the nation’s second-largest Cambodian community. Chau’s election follows the ascendance of Michelle Wu as Boston’s first woman and first person of color elected mayor. He’s also among the growing ranks of Cambodian American officeholders in Massachusetts.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NURSES STRIKE
Nurses ratify new contract, end nearly 10-month strike
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Nurses at a Massachusetts hospital have voted to ratify a new four-year contract with management that ends what their union calls the longest nurses strike in state history. The deal was ratified during an all-day vote Monday. The tentative agreement between about 700 nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester and hospital owner Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare was announced on Dec. 17 after an all-day bargaining session. The strike started on March 8. The deal includes staffing improvements, pay and health insurance boosts, and gives striking nurses the right to return to their old jobs.
Activists urge Tesla to close new Xinjiang showroom
BEIJING (AP) — American-based activists are appealing to Tesla Inc. to close a new showroom in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, where officials are accused of abuses against mostly Muslim ethnic minorities. The appeals add to pressure on foreign companies to take positions on Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan and other politically charged issues. The ruling Communist Party pressures companies to adopt its positions in their advertising and on websites. It has attacked clothing and other brands that express concern about Xinjiang. Tesla on Friday announced the opening of its showroom in Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital. The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Tesla to close the showroom and “cease what amounts to economic support for genocide.”
Hawaii upholds order requiring Navy to drain fuel tanks
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s Department of Health is upholding the governor’s order requiring the Navy to drain massive World War II-era fuel tanks after oil leaking from the facility contaminated Pearl Harbor’s tap water. The department’s deputy director says she agrees with the conclusions of an official appointed by the department to review the facts of the case. A Navy spokesperson says the Navy is reviewing the decision. Hawaii law allows parties to appeal such decisions in the court system. The official who reviewed the case for the department concluded the tanks pose “an imminent threat to human health and safety or the environment.”
Marine officer faces discharge over deadly training mishap
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) — A Marine Corps panel is convening to decide if an officer should be discharged over the sinking of an amphibious assault vehicle in the ocean off Southern California that killed nine service members. Lt. Col. Michael J. Regner was relieved of his command shortly after the mishap off the coast of San Clemente Island in July 2020. The hearing at Camp Pendleton is scheduled to last up to four days. A Marine Corps investigation found that inadequate training, shabby maintenance and poor judgment by leaders led to one of the deadliest Marine training accidents in decades.
Troubled Chinese developer told to demolish resort
BEIJING (AP) — A troubled Chinese real estate developer that is struggling with $310 billion in debt has suffered a new blow after it was ordered to demolish a 39-building resort complex. Evergrande Group was found to have improperly built the project in Danzhou, a city on the island province of Hainan in the South China Sea, according to an order reported by Chinese media. It said the company was given 10 days to demolish it. Evergrande Group asked Monday for trading of its shares in Hong Kong to be suspended pending an announcement. Evergrande, the global real estate industry’s most-heavily-indebted developer, warned last month it might run out of cash to keep up with debt payments.
AT&T, Verizon delay new 5G service after Buttigieg request
AT&T and Verizon say they will delay new 5G wireless service for two weeks, putting off a planned start this Wednesday. The company says it’s delaying the launch after a request from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and concern about possible interference with systems on board planes. AT&T and Verizon had planned to launch the new 5G service on Wednesday in many U.S. cities. Last week, a trade group for the airline industry asked the Federal Communications Commission to delay the so-called C-Band 5G service around airports.
Former Theranos CEO Holmes convicted of fraud and conspiracy
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Elizabeth Holmes has been convicted of duping investors into believing her startup Theranos had developed a revolutionary medical device that could detect a multitude of diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood. The case exposed Silicon Valley’s culture of hubris and hype. A jury convicted the 37-year-old on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud after seven days of deliberation. The verdict followed a three-month trial featuring dozens of witnesses — including Holmes herself. She now faces up to 20 years in prison for each count, although legal experts say she is unlikely to receive the maximum sentence.
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