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Rising star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II self-identifies as a dreamer
12/23/2020 10:23:48 PM

By Gary Gerard Hamilton   NEW YORK (AP)—If Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was told nearly a decade ago that he'd trade in reading blueprints for movie scripts while he worked as a city planner in the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community, he'd start checking his watch. “I've always believed that I could have multiple lives and that I was supposed to do something bigger than whatever it is that I was doing... I was always a dreamer,” said the 34-year-old. “I would be excited about it—I'd have no idea how it was going to...

One family's virus nightmare reflects deepening U.S. crisis
12/23/2020 10:21:27 PM

By Alana Durkin Richer First, Theresa Pirozzi's 85-year-old dad got sick and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. Days later, her mom was so weak she could barely walk. Now, instead of getting ready for Christmas, Pirozzi is anxiously awaiting updates from the hospital where both of her parents are in intensive care with the coronavirus. ``I'm not putting up decorations in here. It's just not right, right now,'' Pirozzi said from her parents' home in Oak Park, California. ``I'm physically ill from worry.`` The couple is emblematic of the crisis...

Scientists focus on bats for clues to prevent next pandemic
12/23/2020 10:19:18 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP)—Night began to fall in Rio de Janeiro's Pedra Branca state park as four Brazilian scientists switched on their flashlights to traipse along a narrow trail of mud through dense rainforest. The researchers were on a mission: capture bats and help prevent the next global pandemic. A few meters ahead, nearly invisible in the darkness, a bat made high-pitched squeaks as it strained its wings against the thin nylon net that had ensnared it. One of the researchers removed the bat, which used its pointed teeth to bite her gloved fingers. The November nighttime...

The concept of enough
12/23/2020 10:09:07 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   In Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote about Dr. Kirtley Mather’s 1944 book Enough and to Spare. Dr. King said Enough and to Spare “set forth the basic theme that famine is wholly unnecessary in the modern world. Today, therefore, the question on the agenda must read: Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of...

Artists, activists rush to save Black Lives Matter murals
12/16/2020 7:22:30 PM

By Christine Fernando   INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Neither woman could bring themselves to watch the video of George Floyd's final moments, his neck pinned under a Minneapolis police officer's knee. But as their city grieved, Leesa Kelly and Kenda Zellner-Smith found much-needed comfort in the messages of anguish and hope that appeared on boarded-up windows as residents turned miles of plywood into canvases. Now, they're working to save those murals before they vanish. “These walls speak,” said Zellner-Smith, who said she was too numb to cry after...

Charley Pride overcame racial barriers as country music star
12/16/2020 7:20:50 PM

By Kristin M Hall   NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Charley Pride wasn't country music's first Black artist, but he reached heights that had not been available to early Black singers and musicians in the genre. And he did it by winning over millions of country music fans. While Pride's career path was paved by artists like Opry pioneer DeFord Bailey, the Grammy-winner's success put him on par with his white peers, including Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell and Merle Haggard, in a way that had never been afforded to Black artists before. Pride, whose hits include...

Utah senator blocks national museums for Latinos, women
12/16/2020 7:18:14 PM

By Mary Clare Jalolnick   WASHINGTON (AP)—A lone senator from Utah has singlehandedly blocked the bipartisan approval of two new national museums to honor American Latinos and women, arguing that “last thing we need is to further divide an already divided nation.” Republican Sen. Mike Lee objected Thursday to the creation of the two proposed Smithsonian museums, stalling two projects that have been in the making for decades and enjoy broad bipartisan support. Senate approval would have sent the legislation approving the Latino museum to President Donald Trump for...

‘Relieved’: U.S. health workers start getting COVID-19 vaccine
12/16/2020 7:11:49 PM

By Lauran Neergaard   The biggest vaccination campaign in U.S. history kicked off Monday as health workers rolled up their sleeves for shots to protect them from COVID-19 and start beating back the pandemic — a day of optimism even as the nation’s death toll closed in on 300,000. “I feel hopeful today. Relieved,” critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay said after getting a shot in the arm at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. “I feel like healing is coming.” With a countdown of “3-2-1,” workers at Ohio State...

COVID-19 vaccine shipments begin in historic U.S. effort
12/16/2020 7:10:21 PM

By Matthew Perrone, Mike Stobbe and Morry Gash   KALAMAZOO, Michigan (AP)—The first shipments of a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States headed Sunday from Michigan to distribution centers across the country, with the first shots expected to be given in the coming week to health care workers and at nursing homes. Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine will set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history at a critical juncture of the pandemic that has killed 1.6 million and sickened 71 million worldwide. Initially, about 3 million doses were...

2,800 local families treated to Thanksgiving dinner by Northgate Gonzales Market-led group
12/9/2020 4:58:49 PM

ANAHEIM—For Northgate Gonzalez Market, giving back does not only happen on Giving Tuesday. Since the start of the pandemic, the 40-year-old grocery store chain has donated more than $500,000 to local food banks and other charitable organizations. This past Thanksgiving, Northgate Market partnered with Oportun, Hyundai Motor America and the Reynoso González Family Foundation to donate more than 2,800 turkey vouchers, providing some much-needed relief and holiday cheer for local families. Some of the organizations receiving the turkey vouchers included Thriving Cities, Love...