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A Colorado judge has found that former President Donald Trump engaged in insurrection related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol but rejected an effort to keep him off the state’s primary ballot because it’s unclear whether a Civil War-era Constitutional amendment applies to the presidency. The ruling Friday by District Judge Sarah B. Wallace rejected the attempt to bar the former president under a part of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment that prohibits someone from holding office who had “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” Wallace’s ruling was the third one this month against the 14th Amendment cases.

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he plans to publicly release hours of footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Johnson said the first tranche of security footage, around 90 hours, will be released on a public committee website Friday. The rest of the 44,000 hours are expected to be posted over the next several months. The videos show some of the fighting up close and give a bird’s eye view of the Capitol complex as hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the building, violently attacking police officers and breaking in through windows and doors.

The federal government is delaying a new rule that could make it easier for millions of workers to unionize after business groups sued. The National Labor Relations Board says the rule, which was scheduled to go into effect next month, will now be effective Feb. 26 to give it time to resolve legal challenges. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups sued the NLRB last week over the so-called “joint employer” rule. The rule could potentially require companies like McDonald's or Amazon to bargain with workers, even though those workers are employed by franchisees or independent contractors.

The chairman of the House Ethics Committee has filed a resolution to force a vote on expelling Republican Rep. George Santos from Congress. The resolution was announced one day after the Ethics Committee issued a withering report detailing evidence that Santos of New York converted campaign donations for his own personal use, such as trips to Atlantic City and the Hamptons. Santos easily survived an expulsion vote this month as lawmakers stressed the need for due process. But the completion of the committee’s report has generated new momentum for ousting the scandal-plagued freshman. Santos announced this week that he would not seek reelection.

The Virginia Democrat whose legislative campaign was rocked by the disclosure that she had livestreamed sex acts with her husband lost this year's race but isn't giving up on politics. Susanna Gibson spoke with The Associated Press about her race, the videos and her plans. It was the first interview she's granted since news outlets reported on the existence of the videos in September. Gibson she says she is the victim of a sex crime and was the target of wildly inappropriate media coverage. She says the livestreaming was never meant to be recorded.

The Republicans battling to be the alternative to former President Donald Trump are coming together for what an influential Christian organization in Iowa is billing as a friendly conversation on politics and their world views. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy will appear at the roundtable “family discussion” in Des Moines Friday, Trump is not expected to make an appearance, though he was invited. The field around Trump is winnowing with less than two months before the Iowa caucuses kick off the GOP nominating calendar. In a sign of the urgency the field faces, many of his rivals are going after each other more frequently with jabs that have often turned personal.

Republican Congressman George Santos of New York says he won't run for reelection in 2024 after a scathing House Ethics Committee report on his conduct cited “overwhelming evidence” of lawbreaking. The Ethics panel says it has referred its findings about Santos to the Justice Department. Shortly after the panel’s report was released, Santos blasted it in a tweet on X as a “disgusting politicized smear” but said he would not be seeking reelection to a second term. A renewed effort to expel him has been launched. The committee said Thursday that Santos’ conduct warrants public condemnation, is beneath the dignity of the office, and has brought severe discredit upon the House.

National Democrats this year have insisted the party is united and ready to rally around President Joe Biden heading into next year’s election. But a protest outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters signals growing tension within the coalition. Clashing with police Wednesday night were demonstrators calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and criticizing Biden’s support of Israel’s offensive following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. Inside the building were Democrats organizing to try to take back the U.S. House next year, including moderates from swing states Biden flipped from former President Donald Trump. Both the protesters and the members of Congress say they are shaken and angry at the other side.

An Ohio man who repeatedly attacked police officers at the U.S. Capitol during a mob's riot on Jan. 6, 2021, has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich on Thursday sentenced 41-year-old Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas to four years and 10 months behind bars. Body camera video captured Thomas charging at police and shoving officers in the chest. Prosecutors had recommended a prison term of over nine years for Thomas. In June, a jury convicted Thomas of assault charges and other offenses.

A New York appeals court judge has paused a gag order that barred Donald Trump from commenting on court staffers in his civil fraud trial. The trial judge had imposed the gag order last month and later fined Trump $15,000 for violations after the former president made a disparaging social media post about a court clerk. In his decision Thursday, Judge David Friedman of the state’s intermediate appeals court cited constitutional concerns about restricting Trump’s free speech. He issued a stay of the gag order, allowing Trump to comment freely about court staff while a longer appeals process plays out.

China has agreed to curtail shipments of the chemicals used to make fentanyl, the drug at the heart of the U.S. overdose epidemic. Experts say it's an essential step, but it's not the only thing needed to be done to stem the crisis. The potent lab-produced opioid has replaced heroin in some parts of the U.S., is also used to make counterfeit pills, and is also laced with drugs such as cocaine. It's largely made in Mexico with chemicals from China. Scholars fear that cartels will find new synthetic drugs — that may be even deadlier. Their solution: Better prevention and treatment programs.

Major League Baseball will play its 2025 All-Star Game in Atlanta, four years after moving the game from Truist Park to Denver’s Coors Field over objections to changes in Georgia’s votings rights laws. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement Thursday following an owners’ meeting. Atlanta was awarded the 2021 All-Star Game in May 2019, but MLB moved it in April 2021, just three months before the game was played.

The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is calling for the renewal of a key U.S. government surveillance tool while also proposing a series of changes aimed at safeguarding privacy. The proposals announced Thursday by Rep. Mike Turner are part of a late scramble inside Congress and the White House to guarantee the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act., which allows spy agencies to collect emails and other communications. They are expected to form the basis of a legislative package that Turner hopes can be passed before Section 702 expires at the end of the year.

The Indian manufacturer of more than a number of eyedrops subject to a U.S. safety warning has officially recalled the products. The drops were sold by CVS Health, Target, Rite Aid and other retailers. Kilitch Healthcare India of Mumbai issued the recall earlier this week. The action is mainly a formality, since the FDA had already alerted U.S. stores last month to stop selling the over-the-counter drops. The FDA said last month that its inspectors found unsanitary conditions and bacterial contamination at the facility where the drops were manufactured. Consumers shouldn't use them due to the risk of vision loss or blindness

Perhaps just shaking hands and sitting down together can be enough sometimes. At their meeting Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping didn’t resolve any of the major geopolitical issues dividing the world’s two largest economies and chief rivals for influence, particularly among developing nations. But it did seem to put a floor beneath a relationship that had been in free-fall over issues from trade to investment to U.S. support for Taiwan, along with human rights in regions from Tibet to Sichuan and the Asian financial hub of Hong Kong, which China administers as a semi-autonomous region while gutting its civil liberties handed over from the former British administration.

Congress has ended the threat of a government shutdown until after the holidays. The Senate gave final approval to a temporary government funding package Wednesday night and sent it to President Joe Biden for his signature. The bill sets up a final confrontation on the government budget in the new year. The Senate worked into the night to pass the bill with days to spare before government funding expires Saturday. The spending package keeps government funding levels at current levels for roughly two more months while a long-term package is negotiated.

President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to restore some military-to-military communications between their armed forces. Biden and Xi met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco on Wednesday. A key goal was to forge an agreement to revive the regular talks. U.S. military leaders have expressed repeated concerns about the lack of communications with China, particularly as the number of unsafe or unprofessional incidents between the two nations’ ships and aircraft has spiked in the region. The U.S. has consistently viewed military relations with China as critical to avoiding any missteps and to maintaining a peaceful Indo-Pacific region.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin says if U.S. voters give former President Donald Trump another term in the White House, “he will destroy democracy in America.” The comments come amid speculation that the West Virginia Democrat is eyeing his own third-party run for the nation’s high office. He says he doesn't want to be a spoiler who contributes to electing someone else. Trump won every West Virginia county in two presidential elections. Manchin also had criticism for Democratic President Joe Biden, saying he has been pushed too far to the left during his term in office.

FBI Director Christopher Wray is making a fresh push to Congress to authorize a spy program that Biden administration says is vital to preventing terrorism, catching spies and disrupting cyberattacks. The tool is called Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It's set to expire at the end of December unless the White House and Congress can cut a deal. Wray asked lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday to imagine what would happen if an attack occurred on U.S. soil that the FBI had not been able to disrupt because it didn't have the proper intelligence. Civil liberties advocates insist that changes are needed before the program is reauthorized.

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are heading into their big meeting at a country estate in California on Wednesday hoping to stabilize U.S.-China relations after a period of tumult. But the White House says the U.S. president also is prepared to confront his counterpart on difficult issues such as trade, Beijing’s burgeoning relationship with Iran and human rights concerns. The two leaders last spoke a year ago. Since then, fraught ties between the two economic superpowers have been further strained by the U.S. downing of a Chinese spy balloon an over differences on the self-ruled island of Taiwan, China’s hacking of a Biden official’s emails and other incidents.

The House has voted overwhelmingly to prevent a government shutdown. New Republican Speaker Mike Johnson was forced to reach across the aisle to Democrats when hard-right conservatives revolted against his plan to keep the government funded into the new year. Johnson was willing to leave his right flank Republicans behind and work with Democrats on Tuesday to keep the government open. It’s the same political move that cost Kevin McCarthy, the former House speaker, his job. This time, Johnson appears on track for a better outcome. The Senate would act next, ahead of Friday’s shutdown deadline. But Johnson is facing the same political problem that led to McCarthy’s ouster as hard-right conservatives oppose his leadership. That could spell trouble ahead when funding runs out again in January.

A Michigan judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump will remain on the state’s primary ballot. Court of Claims Judge James Robert Redford said in an order released Tuesday that Trump has followed state procedure to qualify for the ballot and that a clause in the Constitution can’t be used to disqualify him. Activists had sued to force Michigan’s secretary of state to bar Trump from the ballot. They pointed to a section of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment that prohibits a person from running for federal office if they have engaged in insurrection. Liberal groups have filed similar lawsuits in other states, portraying Trump as inciting the violent Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

A fight seems to have nearly broken out a congressional hearing. The Tuesday hearing in the Senate devolved into an angry confrontation between Sen. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma and International Brotherhood of Teamsters President Sean O’Brien. Mullin challenged the Teamsters leader to “stand your butt up” and settle longstanding differences right there in the room. Committee chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont had to yell at Mullin to sit down after he challenged O’Brien to a fight. Mullin and O'Brien never came face to face in the room. But they hurled insults at each other for around six minutes.

A former fundraiser for U.S. Rep. George Santos has pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge. Sam Miele admitted Tuesday that he impersonated a high-ranking congressional aide while trying to rake in campaign cash for Santos, the embattled New York Republican. The plea came during a hearing in federal court on Long Island, New York. Santos has said Miele solicited donations to his campaign using the name Dan Meyer, who was then chief of staff for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, when the former House speaker was the Republican minority leader in 2021. Last month, Santos' former treasurer pleaded guilty to a fraud charge. Santos himself faces a 23-count federal fraud indictment.

House Speaker Mike Johnson has endorsed Donald Trump for president, a move that was a symbolic departure from his ousted predecessor leading the House. Johnson is an ally and defender of the former president. He said in an interview on CNBC Tuesday morning, “I have endorsed him wholeheartedly.” His predecessor Kevin McCarthy was a longtime Trump ally but stopped short of formally backing Trump’s third White House bid. McCarthy was ousted by a hard-right band of fellow Republicans late last month. Johnson became McCarthy's eventual successor and his formal endorsement of front-runner Trump charts the course for other House Republicans.

The United States says it has imposed a third round of sanctions on a group of Hamas officials, members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad who work to transfer money from Iran to Gaza, and a Lebanese money exchange service that facilitates the transfers. The Treasury Department sanctions announced Tuesday come in response to Hamas' surprise Oct. 7 attack on Israel and were coordinated with the United Kingdom. The sanctions block access to U.S. property and bank accounts and prevent the targeted people and companies from doing business with Americans. The Treasury Department says the sanctions are aimed at protecting the international financial system from abuse by Hamas militants and their enablers.

Defense attorneys for David DePape will call witnesses Tuesday to make their case that he is not guilty of charges stemming from an attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. DePape's attorney says she won't argue DePape did not commit the crime but will shed light on his motivations to argue the charges don't fit. He has pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a public official. Paul Pelosi testified on Monday. It's the first time he has publicly recounted the attack.

Inflation in the United States likely remained high last month, a trend that if sustained could raise concerns at the Federal Reserve, which is considering whether to raise interest rates again. Still, cheaper gas might have slowed a broad measure of overall inflation in October. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, core inflation is forecast to have risen 0.3% from September to October for a third straight month. Monthly increases at that pace would be too high to meet the Fed’s 2% annual inflation target. Economists pay particular attention to core prices, which are believed to provide a good signal of inflation’s likely future path.

The Republican Party’s once-crowded 2024 presidential primary field has suddenly shrunk to just a handful of viable candidates, but it's unclear if the GOP is any closer to coalescing behind a clear alternative to former President Donald Trump. A day after South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott stunned many of his own staff by suspending his campaign, the fight between Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis for a distant second place appears to be intensifying. And some lower-tier candidates insist on battling for relevance, despite growing pressure to bow out of the race altogether. Meanwhile, Trump’s team is cheering on the muddle for second place with Iowa’s Jan. 15 kickoff caucuses just two months away.

President Joe Biden honored the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights in a ceremony at the White House. The visit came in the midst of Biden dealing with the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and before he heads to San Francisco for a meeting later this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Golden Knights' visit to the White House is a return of an NHL tradition after the 2022 champion Colorado Avalanche were unable to make it work amid scheduling conflicts. The last hockey team honored by Biden was the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrating back-to-back titles in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic.

Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign will reserve $10 million in advertising across Iowa and New Hampshire starting in December. It's a major investment designed to give the former United Nations ambassador an advantage over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The GOP nomination fight is at a critical moment. With Iowa's first caucuses on Jan. 15, Haley and DeSantis are fighting to emerge as the clear Republican alternative to former President Donald Trump. Rival campaigns are betting that they can emerge as the alternative to Trump if they can consolidate enough support. Details of Haley's plans were provided first Monday to The Associated Press.

International students attended U.S. universities in surging numbers last year, rebounding from a pandemic slump with the help of a 35% jump in students coming from India. A new study from the State Department and the Institute of International Education finds that international students in the U.S. grew by 12% in the 2022-23 academic year, the largest jump in more than 40 years. More than 1 million students came from abroad, the most since the 2019-20 school year. American colleges enrolled nearly 269,000 students from India, more than ever and second only to China. Most came for graduate programs, often in science, technology and business fields.

President Joe Biden's team is raising the Democratic sweep of this month's key elections as proof that he's in good position to win a second term. Yet many Democrats are fearful that there is a serious disconnect between the popularity of Biden’s agenda and the president himself. Biden's approval ratings remain stubbornly low and voters continue to register concerns about his age. Biden advisers argue their policies and positions are popular with the American public even if the president isn't. And last Tuesday's elections were centered on abortion rights, which majorities of Americans support and Democrats focused on heavily as key to victory.

The United States is hosting the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference this week for the first time since 2011. Leaders from the 21-member APEC group will gather in San Francisco to talk about how to better spur trade and economic growth across the Pacific region. But the main event will actually play out on the sidelines as President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meet face-to-face. The conference is happening against the backdrop of the frosty relationship between China and the U.S., and global turmoil from the Israel-Hamas war and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie is visiting Israel on a mission to express solidarity in its war against Hamas. Christie toured a kibbutz that was ravaged in the Oct. 7 rampage by Hamas militants that triggered the war. The former New Jersey governor is the first candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination to visit Israel. Christie says he came to the country because he wanted to see things for himself and that Americans should stand “shoulder to shoulder” with Israel. Republican candidates have all lined up behind Israel, despite growing criticism of the heavy civilian death toll from its offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott has announced that he was dropping out of the 2024 race, about two months before the start of voting in Iowa’s leadoff caucuses. The South Carolina senator made the surprise announcement on “Sunday Night in America” with Trey Gowdy. His campaign spokesperson Nathan Brand confirmed the news to The Associated Press.

One of the more recognizable figures in the U.S. Capitol riot apparently wants to run for Congress. Online paperwork shows 35-year-old Jacob Chansley filed a candidate statement of interest Thursday, indicating he wants to run as a Libertarian next year in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District race. Chansley was the spear-carrying rioter in horned fur hat and face paint during the 2021 Capitol assault. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding and served about 27 months in prison. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t bar felons from holding federal office. But Arizona law prohibits felons from voting until they've completed their sentence and had their civil rights restored.

Marianne Williamson has kept barnstorming for months across America in a demanding schedule of appearances and speeches in her second tenacious run for the presidency. The bestselling spiritual author and one time advisor to Oprah Winfrey didn’t make it to the 2020 primaries in a wide-open Democratic field. She admits the emotional bruising from a barrage of unflattering characterizations is grueling. Now she is running against a sitting president from her own party, and the Democratic establishment has closed ranks behind Joe Biden. Even some of her most devoted followers doubt she can be elected. So why is she even running? She says it’s the faith she has in herself and the American people.

Donald Trump is already laying a sweeping set of policy goals should he win a second term as president. Priorities on the Republican's agenda include a mass deportation operation, a new Muslim ban and tariffs on all imported goods. If his plans were to make it into place, they would represent a dramatic overhaul of government arguably more consequential than that of his first term on issues ranging from immigration and homelessness to education and crime. Some of his current ideas would probably end up in court or impeded by Congress. Trump’s campaign and allied groups are assembling policy books with detailed plans.

President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping’s have no shortage of difficult issues to discuss when they meet Wednesday in the San Francisco area. It will be the first conversation in a year between the leaders of the world's biggest economies. Expectations are low for major breakthroughs. Still, both leaders are looking to bring a greater measure of stability to the relationship that's being defined by differences over export controls, tensions over Taiwan, the wars in the Middle East and Europe, and more. The two leaders will be meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.

President Joe Biden has a lot of unfinished business from his first term that he intends to continue if he's reelected next year. It's a far different vision for the country from what Republican front-runner Donald Trump has outlined during his own campaign. Biden wants to expand child care, community college and prescription drug benefits for Americans. The Democrat also is pushing to protect voting rights and restore nationwide access to abortion. If Biden is wins in 2024, he probably will face some of the same political headwinds as he's had to deal with in his first term, including firm Republican opposition on Capitol Hill.

The United States and China are the two global economic heavyweights. Combined, they produce more than 40% of the world’s goods and services. So when Washington and Beijing do economic battle, as they have for five years running, the rest of the world suffers, too. And when they hold a rare high-level summit, as Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will this week, it can have global consequences. The world’s economy could surely benefit from a U.S.-China détente. Since 2020, it’s suffered one crisis after another — the COVID-19 pandemic, soaring inflation, surging interest rates, violent conflicts. Hopes have risen that Washington and Beijing can at least cool some of their economic tensions at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Joe Manchin’s impending departure from the Senate marks the end of an era for powerful West Virginia Democrats who wielded considerable power as advocates for the state's coal interests.  His decision not to seek reelection in 2024 is the  latest sign of the party’s steady decline in the state that often has paralleled the demise of Appalachian coal. All along, Manchin has worked to cast himself as the reasonable man in the middle. But as national Democrats moved away from fossil fuels in an effort to combat climate change, Manchin struggled to find middle ground that would keep him politically viable back home.

Vivek Ramaswamy's Republican presidential campaign has seemingly mirrored his meteoric rise as a biotech entrepreneur. The political novice from Ohio has taken the route of a self-described outsider. As he puts it, “I stand on the side of revolution.” But in both the business and political worlds, Ramaswamy has run into skeptics and sometimes hard facts that threaten to derail his ambitions. While he's wowed many audiences with his rapid-fire, wide-ranging talk, even some Republican voters who come away impressed aren't backing him. Recent polls suggest Ramaswamy is part of the rest of the GOP pack who trail former President Donald Trump and generally fall behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in national polls.

Republicans are increasingly focused on President Joe Biden's brother, Jim Biden, as they dig for evidence that could be used for impeachment proceedings. They haven't turned up any proof of wrongdoing by the president. However, they recently subpoenaed Jim Biden and others as part of their investigations. Jim Biden's business ventures, some of which have ended with debts and acrimony, have shadowed his brother's political career for decades. Most recently, Jim Biden's work with a failed healthcare startup called Americore has faced fresh scrutiny from Republicans. His lawyer says, "Jim Biden has never involved his brother in his business dealings.”

Government agencies and nonprofits around the country have long been working to reduce the numbers of homeless veterans. And they've had notable success. According to a government count, the numbers of homeless veterans have gone down 55% over the past 13 years. But there are still more than 33,000 homeless veterans in the U.S. Kathryn Monet is the CEO of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Monet says that just as people are moving out of homelessness, others are becoming unhoused every day. In order to fix the issue, Monet says there needs to be both an adequate supply of affordable housing and strong partnerships between local organizations and officials to help at-risk populations.

The Republican congressman who leads the House GOP's investigation of the origins of COVID-19 says he won't seek reelection next year. Rep. Brad Wenstrup represents Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District and was first elected to the House in 2012. He said in a video Thursday that he would be stepping down to spend more time with his family. Wenstrup’s announcement came the same day another congressman also said he wouldn't seek reelection. Democrat Derek Kilmer represents Washington state's 6th District and also cited a desire to spend more time with his family. They are among nearly two dozen House members to announce they won’t be running again in 2024.

Threatening letters sent to local election offices in at least five states, some including fentanyl, are the latest concern for local election workers around the country. They already have faced harassment and even death threats since the 2020 presidential election. An environment of fear and exhaustion has led to staff turnover, which has sparked concern over how prepared local offices will be heading into what is shaping up as a highly volatile election year. Despite the worries, election directors say they and their staffs are resilient and more committed than ever to run secure elections in 2024.

New House Speaker Mike Johnson is facing his first big test as he tries to win House Republican support for a short-term funding plan to avert a government shutdown. The task looks increasingly difficult. Federal agencies are making plans for a shutdown that would shutter government services and halt paychecks for millions of federal workers and military troops. It’s a disruption that Johnson has said he wants to avoid. But House lawmakers left Washington without a plan after a week of setbacks. Republicans who were granted anonymity to discuss internal deliberations say Johnson is still sounding out support among Republicans and is expected to unveil the legislation over the weekend.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been increasingly isolated on foreign policy among his GOP colleagues, a growing number of whom have distanced themselves as a matter of course from U.S. involvement abroad -- and particularly on Ukraine. Their sentiment has partially been shaped by former President Donald Trump, who railed against “forever wars." The Republican dissension over the issue has become a pivotal moment in U.S. politics that has put the Ukraine aid and America’s role in the world in doubt. The White House is pushing Congress to pass a massive foreign aid package for both Ukraine and Israel’s war against Hamas. Failing to pass the aid would be “a disaster for Ukraine and disaster for us,” McConnell said.

The futuristic B-21 Raider warplane has taken its first flight, moving it closer to becoming the nation’s next nuclear weapons stealth bomber. The Raider on Friday flew out of Palmdale, California, where it has been under testing and development by Northrop Grumman. The Air Force plans to build 100 of the warplanes, which have a flying wing shape much like their predecessor the B-2 Spirit. But the Raider will incorporate advanced materials, propulsion and stealth technology to make it more survivable in a future conflict. The plane is planned to be produced in variants with and without pilots.

A federal judge in Florida has declined for now to postpone former President Donald Trump’s classified documents trial. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon pushed back several pretrial deadlines in a ruling Friday but left the May 2024 trial date intact. Trump faces four criminal cases unfolding in different cities as he seeks to reclaim the White House next year. The Florida felony charges accuse the Republican ex-president of illegally retaining classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate and hiding them from government investigators. Trump denies wrongdoing.

President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a long-anticipated meeting Wednesday in the San Francisco Bay area. That's according to two senior Biden administration officials. Biden and Xi have no shortage of difficult issues to address in their first engagement in nearly a year. Taiwan’s upcoming election, differences over U.S. export controls on advanced technology, North Korea, the Israel-Hamas war and more are expected to be on the agenda. Biden and Xi will be in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The two senior Biden administration officials spoke about the meeting on the condition of anonymity on Friday under ground rules set by the White House.

Democratic operatives believe that Joe Manchin’s decision not to seek reelection virtually ensures the party will lose his Senate seat in deep-red West Virginia next year. At the same time, some Democratic officials are concerned that Manchin’s announcement frees him to pursue a third-party presidential bid. Some think Manchin might ultimately undermine President Joe Biden’s reelection. Overall, Manchin's announcement injects a new layer of uncertainty for Democratic leaders already anxious about the party’s prospects in 2024. Biden is seeking a second term despite persistent concerns about his age and economic leadership. And Democrats are clinging to a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

A project to build a first-of-a-kind small modular nuclear reactor power plant was terminated Wednesday. It is a blow to the Biden administration’s clean energy agenda following cancellations last week of two major offshore wind projects. Oregon-based NuScale Power has the only small modular nuclear reactor design certified for use in the United States. For its first project, it was working with a group of Utah utilities to demonstrate a six-module plant at the Idaho National Laboratory. It was a way to launch the commercial development of the new nuclear technology to help transition away from fossil fuels.

People in Mississippi’s largest county are demanding answers about why some polling places ran out of ballots and voters had to wait for them to be replenished on the day the state was deciding its most competitive governor’s race in a generation. It’s unclear how many people left without voting Tuesday. Activists say election officials’ failure is shocking, especially in a state where civil rights leaders were beaten or killed in the 1960s and earlier to secure voting rights for Black residents. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves defeated Democratic challenger Brandon Presley in Mississippi’s most expensive gubernatorial race.

A former top prosecutor for the city of Baltimore has been convicted on Thursday of charges that she lied about the finances of a side business to improperly access retirement funds during the COVID-19 pandemic, using the money to buy two Florida homes. Former Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby was charged with two counts of perjury. A federal grand jury indicted her on perjury charges before a Democratic primary challenger defeated her last year. Mosby was the prosecutor against Baltimore police officers after Freddie Gray, a Black man, died in police custody in 2015. His death led to riots and protests in the city. None of the officers were convicted.

The White House says Israel has agreed to put in place four-hour daily humanitarian pauses in its assault on Hamas in northern Gaza. The Biden administration says it has secured a second pathway for civilians to flee fighting. President Joe Biden had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to institute the daily pauses during a Monday call. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says the first humanitarian pause will be announced Thursday and the Israelis have committed to announcing each four-hour window at least three hours in advance. Biden says he asked the Israelis for a pause of at least three days during negotiations over the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he won’t seek reelection in 2024, giving Republicans a prime opportunity to pick up a seat in the heavily GOP state. The 75-year-old Manchin revealed the news Thursday in a statement, saying he had made the decision “after months of deliberation and long conversations” with his family. Manchin's decision to retire severely hampers Democratic hopes of holding on to the coal-country seat. For the last few years, Manchin has been the only Democrat elected to statewide office in West Virginia, a longtime politician who has served as governor, secretary of state and state legislator.

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From Hollywood to auto production lines, U.S. labor unions are once again in the national spotlight. But despite historic strikes and record contract negotiations seen this year, there’s still a lot stacked against organizing today — particularly for those who aren't part of larger, more established unions in sectors with stronger organizing roots. Rates of union membership have been falling for decades. More than 35% of private-sector workers were unionized 1953. Today, it's about 6%. Labor experts point to changes in the U.S. economy, ample employer opposition and growing political partisanship in recent decades. And, under current federal and state labor laws, desires to organize can only go so far without policy change.

Donald Trump’s lawyers are urging a judge to put an immediate end to the New York civil fraud trial that threatens his real estate empire. They argued on Thursday that lawyers for the state have failed to prove that the former president intended to dupe banks, insurers and others by inflating his wealth on financial statements. Trump’s lawyers are seeking a directed verdict, asking Judge Arthur Engoron to clear the 2024 Republican front-runner, his namesake company and other defendants of wrongdoing at the halfway point of the trial in state Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit.

The FBI director has told staff in an internal message that he's concerned about a “potential conflict of interest” in the process used by the Biden administration to select a Maryland site for the bureau’s new headquarters. Christopher Wray says in an email obtained by The Associated Press that Congress may review the matter. There's been a contentious competition among jurisdictions in the national capital region to land America’s premier law enforcement agency. The government confirmed on Wednesday it had picked Greenbelt, Maryland, a Washington suburb, as the home to replace the crumbling J. Edgar Hoover Building blocks from the White House. Wray said his objections were about the process rather than the new site itself.

Authorities are investigating after letters filled with fentanyl or other substances appear to have been sent to local election offices in at least two states, the latest instance of threats faced by election workers around the country. An advisory obtained by The Associated Press says one of the offices that may have been targeted was Fulton County in Georgia, which includes Atlanta and is the largest voting jurisdiction in one of the nation’s most important presidential swing states. The potential Georgia connection surfaced a day after authorities in Washington state said four county election offices had to be evacuated as election workers were processing ballots cast in Tuesday’s election, delaying vote-counting.