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The Associated Press (“AP”) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from the AP. Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.

Updated June 12, 2021 at 9:44 AM ET

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Someone opened fire in a busy entertainment district in downtown Austin early Saturday, wounding 13 people, including two critically, before getting away, authorities said.

Job seekers at a 2009 employment fair. Some people expecting to receive unemployment checks from the state's Employment Security office may find them delayed by a couple of days due to computer work that's taken longer than expected.
The Associated Press file

State officials say people in Washington collecting unemployment benefits will again be required to actively search for work to keep those benefits, starting July 4.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, left, greets a worker at a volunteer check-in station, on the first day of operations at a mass COVID-19 vaccination site at the Lumen Field Events Center in Seattle on March 13.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Wednesday that 70% of city residents ages 12 and up have been fully vaccinated, which she said makes Seattle the first major U.S. city to hit the COVID-19 milestone.

Cami Feek is the new commissioner of Washington's Employment Security Department.
Employment Security Department / via AP

Gov. Jay Inslee named Cami Feek as commissioner of the state’s Employment Security Department on Wednesday. The department has been under scrutiny since it had to temporarily suspend unemployment benefits payments last year after discovering that criminals had used stolen Social Security numbers and other personal information to file fraudulent claims.

A man smokes a marijuana joint at a party celebrating weed on April 20, 2016, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press file

Licensed marijuana stores in Washington state can offer free joints to promote on-site COVID-19 vaccine clinics, officials said Monday.

A train carrying crude oil derailed in Whatcom County on Dec. 22, 2020.
Washington State Department of Ecology

A rail union official reportedly told investigators that a fiery oil car train derailment in Whatcom County late last year was caused by sabotage.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The U.S. will give Taiwan 750,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, part of President Joe Biden's move to share tens of millions of jabs globally, three American senators said Sunday, after the self-ruled island complained that China is hindering its efforts to secure vaccines as it battles an outbreak.

Regulators on Friday said a new version of a popular diabetes medicine could be sold as a weight-loss drug in the U.S.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Wegovy, a higher-dose version of Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug semaglutide, for long-term weight management.

In company-funded studies, participants taking Wegovy had average weight loss of 15%, about 34 pounds (15.3 kilograms). Participants lost weight steadily for 16 months before plateauing. In a comparison group getting dummy shots, the average weight loss was about 2.5%, or just under 6 pounds.

A man does maintenance work between razor wire-topped fences at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe in January 2016.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press file

A disciplinary panel has upheld a decision to indefinitely suspend the license of a former medical director at the Monroe prison.

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — An off-duty Los Angeles County firefighter fatally shot a fellow firefighter and wounded another at their small community fire station Tuesday before going to his nearby home, setting it on fire and apparently killing himself, authorities said.

A 44-year-old fire specialist died and a 54-year-old firefighter was shot when the gunman opened fire shortly before 11 a.m. at Fire Station 81, which is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, Fire Chief Daryl Osby told reporters. The wounded man was in critical but stable condition at a hospital.

Updated June 2, 2021 at 1:37 PM ET

Amazon will no longer test most job applicants for marijuana use in the latest sign of America's changing relationship with pot. Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the U.S., also says it now backs legalizing marijuana nationwide.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's Republican governor signed a bill Tuesday barring transgender females from playing on public school teams intended for student athletes born as girls, plunging the state into the national culture war over transgender rights.

"In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports," Gov. Ron DeSantis said as he signed the bill into law at a private Christian academy in Jacksonville that would not be subject to the law. "We're going to make sure that that's the reality."

In this Oct. 28, 2019, photo, amateur botanist David Benscoter, of The Lost Apple Project, picks an apple that may be of the Clarke variety in an orchard near Pullman.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

Seven apple varieties previously believed to be lost or extinct have been found in eastern Washington, including several on land near the communities of Pullman, Colfax and Moscow, Idaho.

JERUSALEM (AP) — The head of a small hard-line party on Sunday said he would try to form a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's opponents, taking a major step toward ending the 12-year rule of the Israeli leader.

In a nationwide address, Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett said he had decided to join forces with the country's opposition leader, Yair Lapid.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republicans in the Texas Senate muscled one of the most restrictive new voting laws in the U.S. to the cusp of the governor's desk early Sunday, approving fewer ways to cast a ballot and more criminal penalties after rushing the bill to the floor in the middle of the night.

HIALEAH, Fla. (AP) — Two people died and an estimated 20 to 25 people were injured in a shooting outside a banquet hall in South Florida, police said.

The gunfire erupted early Sunday at the El Mula Banquet Hall in northwest Miami-Dade County, near Hialeah, police told news outlets.

The banquet hall had been rented out for a concert. Three people got out of an SUV and opened fire on the crowd outside, police director Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III said. Authorities believe the shooting was targeted.

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) — A small jet carrying seven people crashed into a Tennessee lake on Saturday, and authorities indicated that no one on board survived.

The Cessna C501 crashed into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna after taking off from a nearby airport about 11 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Rutherford County rescue crews were still at the scene of the crash late Saturday and planned to work through the night, Rutherford County Fire Rescue Capt. Joshua Sanders said at a news conference. He indicated that there were no survivors.

B.J. Thomas, the Grammy-winning singer who enjoyed success on the pop, country and gospel charts with such hits as "I Just Can't Help Believing," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" and "Hooked on a Feeling," has died. He was 78.

Thomas, who announced in March that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer, died from complications of the disease Saturday at his home in Arlington, Texas, a statement released by his representatives said.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gavin MacLeod, the veteran supporting actor who achieved stardom as Murray Slaughter, the sardonic TV news writer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, before going on to even bigger fame as the cheerful Capt. Stubing on The Love Boat, has died. He was 90.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks about the coronavirus during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 3, 2020 in Washington.
Alex Brandon / The Associated Press

Washington Sen. Patty Murray says a family matter prevented her from voting on the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Passengers walk toward King Street Station after arriving in downtown Seattle on an Amtrak train from Portland, Ore., in 2013.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press file

In another hopeful sign that the travel industry is bouncing back in Washington after pandemic-induced lows last year, Amtrak says it will restore daily service on 12 long-distance routes across the country, including two that run through Seattle.

BEIJING (AP) — Twenty-one people running a mountain ultramarathon have died in northwestern China after hail, freezing rain and gale-force winds hit the high-altitude race, state media reported Sunday.

After an all-night rescue operation in freezing temperatures involving more than 700 personnel, rescuers were able to confirm that 151 people were safe, out of a total of 172 participants. Twenty-one had died, according to the official Xinhua News Agency, which said the runners suffered from physical discomfort and the sudden drop in temperature.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's parliament speaker said Sunday that international inspectors may no longer access surveillance images of the Islamic Republic's nuclear sites, escalating tensions amid diplomatic efforts in Vienna to save Tehran's atomic accord with world powers.

The comments by Iran's parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, aired by state TV, further underscored the narrowing window for the U.S. and others to reach terms with Iran. The Islamic Republic is already enriching and stockpiling uranium at levels far beyond those allowed by its 2015 nuclear deal.

Updated May 23, 2021 at 10:37 AM ET

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Move over sequins, disco beats and power ballads. A four-piece band of Italian rockers won the Eurovision Song Contest in the early hours of Sunday.

The music festival was cancelled last year amid the global pandemic but the event in Rotterdam's Ahoy arena with its regime of testing and strict hygiene protocols was seen as a step toward a post-COVID-19 return to live entertainment.

BEIJING (AP) — China's first Mars rover has driven down from its landing platform and is now roaming the surface of the red planet, China's space administration said Saturday.

The solar-powered rover touched Martian soil at 10:40 a.m. Saturday Beijing time (0240 GMT), the China National Space Administration said.

China landed the spacecraft carrying the rover on Mars last Saturday, a technically challenging feat more difficult than a moon landing, in a first for the country. It is the second country to do so, after the United States.

Updated May 20, 2021 at 4:29 PM ET

Tensions boil over in Jerusalem. Hamas fires rockets from Gaza into Israel. Israel unleashes its heavy firepower, causing casualties and destruction. Then it all repeats again and again. It is a familiar, devastating cycle of violence that has prompted protests around the world.

On Thursday, Israel's government announced a cease-fire after 11 days of fighting with Hamas. If the agreement holds, it will end the heaviest round of fighting since 2014.

The Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma in April 2020.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

Private prison corporation GEO Group has sued Washington state, saying a new law mandating the closure of the immigrant detention center it operates in Tacoma would unconstitutionally subvert federal authority.

Poet Carl Phillips appears at the 26th Annual Literary Awards Festival in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 2016. Poets & Writers announced that Phillips, 61, has won the Jackson Prize, a $75,000 honor for a body of work which displays “exceptional talent.”
Casey Curry / Invision/AP file

Poet Carl Phillips has received a $75,000 honor for a body of work which displays “exceptional talent.”

This photo shows a sign at the headquarters for Washington state's Employment Security Department Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

A Nigerian man suspected in Washington state’s $650 million unemployment fraud was arrested Friday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport by federal agents as he allegedly attempted to leave the country.

Updated May 16, 2021 at 12:37 PM ET

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, Palestinian medics said. Despite the heavy death toll and international efforts to broker a cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fourth war with Gaza's Hamas rulers would rage on.

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