National News

US case of monkeypox reported in Massachusetts man

Massachusetts has reported a case of monkeypox in a man who recently traveled to Canada. Health officials said Wednesday they are looking into whether the case is connected to small outbreaks in Europe. Monkeypox is typically limited to Africa and the rare cases in the U.S. and elsewhere are usually linked to travel there.  A small number of confirmed or suspected monkeypox cases have been reported this month in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain. Health officials said the U.S. case poses no risk to the public. The Massachusetts resident is hospitalized but in good condition. Last year, Texas and Maryland each reported a case in people who traveled to Nigeria.

US Soccer equalizes pay in milestone with women, men

The U.S. Soccer Federation has reached milestone agreements to pay its men’s and women’s teams equally. That makes the American national governing body the first in the sport to promise both sexes completely matching compensation. The federation has announced separate collective bargaining agreements through 2028 with the unions for both national teams. The move ends years of often acrimonious negotiations. One of the main sticking points was World Cup prize money. The unions agreed to pool FIFA’s payments for the men’s World Cup this year and next year’s Women’s World Cup. It will also pool the 2026 and 2027 tournaments.

S. Korea Blue House opens to public for 1st time in 74 years

For many South Koreans, the former presidential palace in Seoul was a little-visited, heavily secured mountainside landmark. Now, thousands are being allowed to look inside for the first time in 74 years. The Blue House, whose name in Korean means building with blue roof tiles, opened to the public earlier this month to mark the new South Korean president’s official inauguration. A maximum of 39,000 people a day are being allowed to visit. The opening is part of new South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s pledge to abandon the palace and establish his offices at the Defense Ministry compound in the Yongsan district, about 3 miles away.

Alleged church shooter sent diary to newspaper before attack

The man accused of opening fire on a Southern California church congregation of mainly elderly people because of his political hatred for Taiwan sent a newspaper a seven-volume diary before the attack. The Chinese-language World Journal bureau in the Los Angeles area said it received the stacks of photocopied pages and a flash drive on Monday — a day after David Chou allegedly opened fire on people at a luncheon at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods. The paper didn't report details of what was in the handwritten Chinese pages but the title referred to a “destroying angel" opposed to Taiwan's independence from China. The documents were turned over to police. Chou is charged with killing one man and wounding seven other people. He has not yet entered a plea.

Oregon primaries set up competitive governor's race

Oregon’s November gubernatorial election, which is usually a one-sided victory for the Democratic party, is setting up to be a competitive and contentious three-way race. Former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek won the Democratic nomination for Oregon governor on Tuesday. In November she will face former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan, who won the GOP gubernatorial primary, as well as nonaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson. As a nonaffiliated candidate, Johnson did not need to run in a primary race to make the fall ballot.

Doctor who fought church gunman remembered as kind protector

Friends and colleagues of Dr. John Cheng say they were not surprised the quiet, kind and calm sports medicine physician saved others by rushing a gunman firing on a Southern California church luncheon. The 52-year-old father who was raised in East Texas was known for doing all he could to protect people. He even had taken courses to prepare for such a horrific event, concerned about the growing number of mass shootings. Active shooter experts say that preparedness combined with Cheng’s serene disposition likely gave him a proclivity for acting heroically. Cheng was killed and five were wounded in Sunday's shooting. Authorities credit him for saving perhaps dozens of lives.

Blurry ballot barcodes delay Oregon House primary results

Issues with counting ballots in Oregon’s third-largest county could delay for days a definitive result in a key U.S. House primary. Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader faces a strong challenge from progressive candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner. Schrader was trailing in early returns Tuesday in the 5th District race. It was too close to call in part because of a printing issue with tens of thousands of ballots in Clackamas County. Meanwhile a cryptocurrency billionaire-backed political newcomer conceded to a state lawmaker in Oregon’s new 6th District, which was one of the nation’s most expensive Democratic congressional primaries.

Ex-judge to head office probing Washington police shootings

A former judge and prosecutor is being appointed to oversee Washington state's new independent office to review cases in which police use deadly force — the first such agency in the United States. Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday that Roger Rogoff, who spent nearly two decades as a deputy King County prosecutor and assistant U.S. attorney before becoming a county Superior Court judge, will head the Office of Independent Investigations. The Legislature created the office as part of an ambitious package of police reform legislation last year. Community groups have long called for independent investigations of killings by police.

Stocks fall sharply as Target's woes renew inflation fears

Stocks closed sharply lower on Wall Street Wednesday as dismal results from Target renewed fears that inflation is battering U.S. companies. The S&P 500, the benchmark for many index funds, fell 4%. Target lost a quarter of its value, dragging other retailers down with it, after saying its profit fell by half in the latest quarter as costs for freight and transportation spiked. That comes a day after Walmart cited inflation for its own weak results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1,164 points, or 3.6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq pulled back 4.7%. Treasury yields fell as investors sought safer ground.

Prosecutor: Officer who shot armed motorist was justified

A prosecutor says a southern Indiana police officer who fatally shot a stranded motorist who opened fire on him was justified in doing so. , the News and Tribune reports Harrison County Prosecutor Otto Schalk said during a news conference Wednesday that the Palmyra reserve police officer nearly was struck by a shotgun blast fired by 31-year-old Justin Moore of Owensboro, Kentucky. Indiana State Police on Wednesday identified the officer as Reserve Officer Zachary Holly of the Palmyra Police Department. The shotgun blast Monday night killed a volunteer firefighter who had stopped to help, 24-year-old Jacob Tyler McClanahan of Corydon.

California tree trimmer guilty in deadly throat-slashings

Prosecutors say a tree trimmer in rural Northern California was found guilty in a series of throat-slashing attacks that left three people dead. The Tehama County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday that a jury in Butte County on Tuesday found 37-year-old Ryan Scott Blinston guilty of murder, attempted murder and arson. Blinston, of Oroville, faces a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors say Blinston was working for a tree-trimming service when in 2020 he returned to the clients’ homes in Butte and Tehama Counties, north of Sacramento, after the work was completed and slashed the throats of the residents.

Buffalo shooter let some people see plans just before attack

Shortly before police say he opened fire, the white gunman accused of killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket allowed a small group of people to see his long-simmering plans for the attack, which he had been chronicling for months in a private, online diary. Discord, the chat platform where 18-year-old Payton Gendron kept the diary, confirmed Wednesday that an invitation to access his private writings was sent to the group about a half-hour before Saturday’s attack at Tops Friendly Market, which he live-streamed on another online service, and that some of them accepted.

Gun in 8-year-old's backpack goes off at school, mom charged

Chicago police say a mother has been charged with child endangerment after a gun in her second grader’s backpack accidentally discharged at school, injuring a 7-year-old classmate. The 28-eight-year-old woman appeared in court on Wednesday on three misdemeanor child endangerment counts. A judge ordered her release from jail on $1,000 bond. Prosecutors say the 8-year-old boy found the gun under his mother's bed and took it to school Tuesday morning. They say the gun discharged inside the boy's backpack and that the bullet ricocheted off the floor and grazed the classmate. The child was taken to a hospital in good condition.

EXPLAINER: Why is Wall Street close to a bear market?

The bears are rumbling toward Wall Street. The stock market’s skid this year has pulled the S&P 500 close to what’s known as a bear market. Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine and a slowdown in China’s economy have caused investors to reconsider the prices they’re willing to pay for a wide range of stocks, from high-flying tech companies to traditional automakers. A bear market is a term used by Wall Street when a market index has fallen 20% or more from a recent high. The S&P 500 is now down 18.2% from the record high set on Jan. 3.

'This Is Us' to end with a 'meditative day,' creator reveals

After lots of TV audience tears, NBC's family drama “This Is Us” is ending its run. The show's creator says he wanted to stick to his decision to end the show after six seasons. The series remains popular, but Dan Fogelman says it's the right time creatively to wrap. “This Is Us” follows Jack and Rebecca Pearson and their extended family over four decades, jumping back and forth in time. The show's creator says that with story lines largely resolved, the finale is a chance to “sit with this family" on a meditative day. The last episode of “This Is Us” airs May 24.

Live updates | Russia has fired more than 2K missiles in war

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russia has already fired more than 2,000 missiles during its attack on Ukraine, which he said was a large part of its arsenal. Zelenskyy says the majority of the missiles hit civilian infrastructure and brought no strategic military benefit. In his nightly video address to the nation Wednesday, Zelenskyy said Russian missiles hit the southern cities of Mikolaiv and Dnipro in the past day. He noted Russia’s claims on Wednesday to have deployed new laser weapons in Ukraine. Zelenskyy says this reflected a desire to find an alternative to its missiles. A senior American defense official says the U.S. has seen nothing to corroborate Russia’s claims that it has used laser weapons in Ukraine.

Buffalo supermarket shooting: What do we know so far?

The massacre at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, is still under investigation, but here are the basics. A white gunman in body armor killed 10 Black shoppers and workers and wounded another Black person and two white people. Federal officials are investigating the shooting as a hate crime. Police said the 13 victims, including the wounded, ranged in age from 20 to 86. The accused gunman, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Hawaii hurricane season forecasted to be slow with La Nina

Federal forecasters say Hawaii and the Central Pacific basin should expect two to four hurricanes, tropical depressions or tropical storms this year. The annual National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration outlook predicts there is about a 60% chance of a below-average season. The Central Pacific region sees about four to five tropical cyclones on average annually. Hurricane season in Hawaii lasts from June 1 until the end of November. August and September are historically active months. Officials said below-average sea temperatures associated with La Nina east of Hawaii where storms form factored into this year’s prediction. The last major hurricane to strike the state was Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Live updates | UN Chief: War in Ukraine driving world hunger

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday he's in “intense contacts” with Russia and other countries to stop escalating global hunger exacerbated by the war in Ukraine by allowing the export of grain stored in Ukrainian ports and ensuring Russian food and fertilizers have unrestricted access to world markets. Guterres said Ukraine and Russia together produce almost a third of the world’s wheat and barley and half of its sunflower oil. Russia and its ally Belarus are the world’s number two and three producers of potash, a key fertilizer ingredient. He said the number of people facing severe food insecurity doubled in two years.

Missouri governor OKs new US House map favoring Republicans

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed new U.S. House districts into law to be used beginning with this year's elections. The new districts are expected to continue Republicans' 6-2 advantage over Democrats in the state's congressional delegation. The plan attempts to shore up Republican strength in the 2nd District in suburban St. Louis — the only relatively competitive district. Missouri is one of the final few states to enact new congressional districts based on the 2020 census. That's because Republicans who control the Legislature had squabbled among themselves over how aggressively to try to draw the map in their favor.

Feds: National Guard members on state duty can join unions

The Department of Justice has given the green light to National Guard members on active state duty across the country to join labor unions. The agreement comes despite a 1978 U.S. law that makes it a felony for military personnel on active federal duty to unionize. The Justice Department approval came in a lawsuit settlement finalized Tuesday in federal court in Connecticut. Labor unions sued the department and Attorney General Merrick Garland seeking collective bargaining rights for Connecticut National Guard members. The Justice Department says the federal ban doesn't apply to Guard members on state duty.