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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will be trying to connect with blue-collar workers Wednesday when he travels to a truck factory in Pennsylvania to advocate for government investments and clean energy as ways to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The state of California. New York City. Hospitals and nursing homes. Colleges and universities. Employers are putting COVID-19 vaccine mandates into place and it's getting attention.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The signs and banners are dotted along suburban commercial strips and hanging in shop windows and restaurants, evidence of a new desperation among America's service-industry employers: “Now Hiring, $15 an hour.”

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NEW YORK (AP) — Celebrity chef Mario Batali, his business partner and their New York City restaurant company have agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve a four-year investigation by the state attorney general’s office into allegations that Batali, restaurant managers and other workers sexually harassed employees.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The top health official in Los Angeles County on Thursday implored residents to get vaccinated as the LA area sees a coronavirus surge similar to last summer’s, while authorities in three San Francisco Bay Area counties urged employers to enforce mask-wearing for any workers who haven’t received shots.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration on Thursday announced a major change in how the state pays unemployment benefits, potentially unlocking payments for up to 100,000 people who have gone weeks or months without assistance.

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Eight women's college basketball players and a manager were kicked off the team at a private North Carolina university because they organized symposiums to discuss racism and social justice, a lawsuit says.

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As the remaining rubble from the collapse of a 12-story oceanfront condominium was cleared away Wednesday, a Florida judge said victims and families who suffered losses will get a minimum of $150 million in compensation initially.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is nominating Victoria Kennedy, an attorney and the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, to serve as his ambassador to Austria. He's naming a top political fundraiser — Comcast executive David Cohen -- to serve as his ambassador to Canada, the White House said Wednesday.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A group that runs a Tennessee shelter for unaccompanied immigrant youth has sued the state over its decision to suspend the facility's license after an employee was arrested following abuse allegations.

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