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Californians aged 50-64 rush to get vaccine before expansion
4/1/2021 6:53:57 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Before California throws open its coronavirus vaccine program to all adults on April 15, there will be a two-week window when millions of people between the ages of 50 and 64 can get their shot. The rollout for this age group, who become eligible on Thursday, has prompted an uptick in appointment requests and has raised concerns about whether two weeks is enough to get to everybody when there is uncertainty about supply levels as well as lingering questions about accessibility. The California Department of Finance, which monitors population data, projects that...

Did COVID-19 stress, uncertainty stall anti-smoking push?
4/1/2021 6:52:34 PM

By Matthew Perrone   WASHINGTON (AP)—A year after COVID-19 upended life for millions of Americans, there are troubling signs that the coronavirus may have also slowed progress against another deadly health threat: smoking. Fewer smokers called quit-smoking hotlines last year and some smoked more, contributing to an unusual bump in cigarette sales—all in the middle of the stress, anxiety and uncertainty from the pandemic. “It's hard for folks to quit using tobacco in the best of times, so what happens when life is suddenly turned upside down?” said...

A much deserved recognition of my big brother Harry
4/1/2021 6:43:52 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   The Herald-Advocate in Bennettsville, S.C., recently published this wonderful tribute to my brother on his birthday, and I wanted to share it with you: The Rev. Dr. Harry S. Wright celebrated his 90th birthday this week. The former pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church on Cheraw Street (1957-1967), he was born on February 23, 1931 in the family home at 119 Cheraw Street with the aid of a family friend and midwife. Son of Rev. Arthur J. and Mrs. Maggie B. Wright, then pastor and first lady of the Shiloh Baptist Church,...

Ringo calling! If he wants you to sing, who could say no?
3/24/2021 1:52:11 PM

By Marcela Isaza   LOS ANGELES (AP)—If Ringo Starr calls to ask if you'll sing on a song for him, who could possibly say no? The beloved Beatle dug into his contacts for help on the chorus of “Here's to the Nights,” his most recent song written by Diane Warren, and he recruited quite a choir. Paul McCartney. Sheryl Crow. Dave Grohl. Lenny Kravitz. Joe Walsh. Ben Harper. Finneas. Chris Stapleton. Yola. Jenny Lewis. Corinne Bailey Rae. Eric Burton (of the Black Pumas). Steve Lukather. “Here's to the nights we won't remember, with the...

Marvel's 'Falcon' promises action, explores race, patriotism
3/24/2021 1:50:34 PM

By John Carucci   NEW YORK (AP)—When Steve Rogers handed Sam Wilson his Captain America shield at the end of Marvel's massive 2019 event “Avengers: Endgame,” Wilson tried it on for a beat. “How does it feel?” the wrinkled Rogers asked. “Like it's someone else's,” Wilson responded. That reluctance and skepticism is front-and-center as Wilson's story continues in “The Falcon and the Winter Solder,” a new six-episode Disney+ series that promises an exploration of patriotism and race alongside its shootouts and...

Alexi McCammond parts ways with Teen Vogue over past tweets
3/24/2021 1:47:48 PM

By Leanna Italie   NEW YORK (AP)—Saying her past anti-Asian and homophobic tweets have overshadowed her work, Alexi McCammond said Thursday that she and publisher Conde Nast have decided to part ways at Teen Vogue. “I should not have tweeted what I did and I have taken full responsibility for that,” the journalist said in a statement posted on social media. “I look at my work and growth in the years since, and have redoubled my commitment to growing in the years to come as both a person and as a professional.” McCammond, who is Black, was tapped...

Even as virus slows, hunger remains big issue in low-income communities
3/24/2021 1:44:44 PM

By Mary Jane Skala   KEARNEY, Neb. (AP)—Vaccinations may be slowing the spread of COVID-19, but not the spread of hunger. Many people still are struggling with lost or reduced paychecks as the year-old pandemic drags on. Thanks to Dick Cochran, founder and president of Hot Meals USA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers to Families food program is assisting hungry people. The program is part of a $3 billion effort that distributes surplus produce, dairy and meat products to food-insecure people. Last week, cars drove slowly into the Ag building at the Buffalo...

High school football player dies after collapse during game
3/24/2021 1:40:10 PM

SACRAMENTO (AP)—A high school football player who collapsed during a game died Saturday, the Sacramento City Unified School District said. The Kennedy High School player, identified as Emmanuel Antwi, fell to the ground during the game about 8:20 p.m. Friday, KCRA TV reported. Medical personnel took him to a nearby hospital. School officials canceled the game and cleared out the limited fans in attendance at the stadium. “Today we learned that Emmanuel Antwi, a John F. Kennedy senior athlete, died after a medical emergency during Friday night's football game,”...

Gun owners urged to participate in anonymous gun buyback program Saturday
3/17/2021 2:00:45 PM

LOS ANGELES—With an increase in gun violence and homicides during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Eric Garcetti Monday urged gun owners to take part in the city's anonymous gun buyback program to help get firearms off the city's streets. The annual program will take from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and gun owners can bring their unwanted firearms to the Van Nuys Masonic Building Association, at 14750 Sherman Way, or the Volunteers of America Los Angeles, at 5200 S. Central Ave., in South Los Angeles, Garcetti said. Los Angeles Police Department personnel will assign a value to...

A by-the-numbers look at a year of Oscar diversity, firsts
3/17/2021 1:59:08 PM

By Andrew Dalton   LOS ANGELES (AP)—A look, by the numbers, at notable facts, figures and trivia from the nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards: 11—First-time acting nominees. With the pandemic prompting Hollywood to hold back most of its major motion pictures in 2020, pulling big stars from the competition, newbies became the norm in the four acting categories. First-timers include Amanda Seyfried for “Mank,” Andra Day for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and Paul Raci for “Sound of Metal.” The best director category has...