Biden's test: Can he show competence to avert banking chaos?

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is confronting a significant challenge as his administration grapples with the fallout from the second- and third-largest bank failures in history. He's doing so amid significant stakes for both the U.S. economy and his political future. Privately, Biden has been adamant that the government’s intervention would not be like that of 2008, when Congress authorized billions in taxpayer cash to rescue banks deemed too big to fail, a senior White House official says. But officials knew they had to act, given the economic risks and the potential impact on bank customers who did nothing wrong.

For Asian Americans, Yeoh, Quan's Oscar wins are theirs too

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ke Huy Quan’s comeback story from childhood star of ’80s flicks to win a best supporting actor Oscar, coupled with Michelle Yeoh’s historic win as the first Asian best actress winner ever had viewers of Asian descent shedding happy tears — and grinning. The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-stars, who won Sunday, bring the total number of Asians who earned Oscars for acting to just six in the awards’ 95-year history. For many Asian Americans, it feels like a watershed moment, and that Hollywood is moving past seeing them only in tropes. It represents an opportunity for optimism after three years of anti-Asian hate brought on by the pandemic.

McConnell released from hospital, headed to inpatient rehab

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been released from the hospital after treatment for a concussion and will continue to recover in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. McConnell’s office says his doctors discovered over the weekend that he had also suffered a “minor rib fracture” after he tripped and fell at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Washington last Wednesday evening. The Senate returns to Washington Tuesday evening after the weekend off and will be in session for the rest of March.

North Korea launches 2 missiles to sea as allies hold drills

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says North Korea has launched two ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters in its second show of force this week. The launches Tuesday morning came a day after the U.S. and South Korean began military drills that the North views as an invasion rehearsal. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff says the missiles were launched from the southwestern coast, flew across North Korea and landed in its waters. Japan's prime minister said no damage was immediately reported in Japanese waters. North Korea earlier test-fired two cruise missiles from a submarine. Pyongyang could further escalate its weapons tests in a tit-for-tat response to the U.S. and South Korea holding their largest drills in years.

California court rules for Uber, Lyft in ride-hailing case

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California appeals court has ruled companies like Uber and Lyft do not have to treat their drivers as employees. The ruling means app-based ride hailing and delivery companies do not have to provide certain worker protections and benefits. The state Legislature passed a law in 2019 requiring these companies to treat their drivers as employees. Companies like Uber and Lyft spent $200 million in 2020 on a campaign to convince voters to exempt them from that law. Voters agreed. In 2021 a state judge ruled the companies were not exempt from the law. Monday, a state appeals court overturned that decision.

Biden announces nuclear-powered submarines for Australia

SAN DIEGO (AP) — President Joe Biden and the leaders of Australia and the United Kingdom have announced that Australia will buy nuclear-powered attack submarines from the U.S. to modernize its fleet. The agreement comes as concerns grow about China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Biden flew to San Diego on Monday for talks with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak before they announced the submarine deal with Australia. Biden stressed that the submarines will not have nuclear weapons. The announcement is part of a three-day West Coast trip for Biden. He will stop in Monterey Park, California, and Las Vegas, before arriving back at the White House late Wednesday.

Alaska's Willow oil project is controversial. Here's why.

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Supporters say a major oil project President Joe Biden is OK'ing on Alaska’s petroleum-rich North Slope represents an economic lifeline for Indigenous communities while environmentalists say it runs counter to his climate goals. The decision on whether to approve ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Willow project in a federal oil reserve roughly the size of Indiana was revealed Monday. Houston-based ConocoPhillips says the project could produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day, about 1.5% of total U.S. oil production. There's widespread political support in Alaska for the project. Biden’s decision pits Alaska lawmakers against environmental groups and many Democrats in Congress.

Former Rep. Pat Schroeder, pioneer for women's rights, dies

WASHINGTON (AP) — A pioneer for women’s and family rights in Congress, former Colorado Rep. Pat Schroeder, has died at the age of 82. Schroeder’s former press secretary, Andrea Camp, says Schroeder suffered a stroke recently and died Monday night at a hospital in Florida, the state where she had been residing. Schroeder was the first woman elected to Congress from Colorado, and she went on to serve 12 terms. She became one of the most influential Democrats for two decades but never chaired a major committee. Schroeder was best known for getting a family leave bill passed, providing job protection for care of a newborn, sick child or parent.

Illinois enacts mandatory paid leave 'for any reason'

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois will become one of three states to require employers to offer paid time off for any reason. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law Monday instituting that requirement, which will take effect next year. Starting on Jan. 1, Illinois employers must offer workers paid time off based on hours worked, with no need to explain the reason for their absence as long as they provide notice in accordance with reasonable employer standards. Proponents say paid leave is key to making sure vulnerable workers can take time off when needed without fear of reprisal. Critics say the law will overburden small businesses already struggling in an era of high post-pandemic inflation.

HBO's 'The Last of Us' season finale draws in a series high

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “The Last of Us” fans set another rating high with the season one finale of the apocalyptic, mushroom-infected zombie video game adaptation. Despite airing against the Oscars Sunday night, HBO said the finale drew in 8.2 million viewers. Viewership for “The Last of Us” has consistently grown throughout the season. The series has not only won over gamers with high expectations but also critics and people who aren’t familiar with the game. The series premiere drew 4.7 million viewers in the U.S., based on Nielsen and HBO data, making for HBO’s second-largest debut, behind “House of the Dragon.”

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