The Los Angeles Unified School District and union leaders say they have reached a deal on a new contract for workers after a strike that shut down the nation’s second-largest school system for three days. The agreement includes a pay raise for workers such as bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, special education assistants and other support staff. Union leaders from Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union say that will raise the average pay for those workers significantly. The deal must still be voted on by the full union. The roughly 30,000 workers represented by the union walked off the job from Tuesday to Thursday amid stalled contract talks. Classes resumed Friday.
A three-day strike by workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District has wrapped up. But it wasn't immediately clear Thursday if any progress has been made in negotiations for higher pay for teachers’ aides, bus drivers, custodians and other support staff in the nation’s second-largest school system. Teachers joined the picket lines in solidarity, shutting down instruction for the district’s half-million students during the walkout by members of Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 30,000 of the lowest-paid school workers. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass stepped in as mediator on Wednesday.
Indian police are searching for a Sikh separatist leader who has revived calls for an independent homeland, stirring fears of violence in northwestern Punjab state. Police accuse Amritpal Singh and his aides of creating discord in the state, which is still haunted by the memories of a 1980s insurgency for an independent Sikh state called Khalistan. The separatist movement prompted a military crackdown that killed thousands, according to official estimates. Singh’s speeches have become increasingly popular among supporters of the movement, which is banned in India as a national security threat. Police meanwhile removed temporary security barricades outside the British High Commission in New Delhi, apparently after Sikh separatists pulled down the Indian flag from its London mission.
Pay is notoriously low for school support staff who shuttle America’s children to schools, feed them in cafeterias and provide classroom assistance to students who need the most help. School support staffers earn, on average, about $25,000 a year in Los Angeles, barely enough to get by in one of the expensive cities in America. The pay is a driving factor behind a three-day strike that has shut down the entire Los Angeles school system and put a spotlight on the paltry pay of support staff that serves as the backbone of schools nationwide.
Women's college basketball has displayed an odd mix this season and now there's the rare combination of South Carolina's undefeated dominance alongside parity in the Sweet 16. Just two of the four No. 1 women's seeds advanced through the first two rounds, which hadn't happened since 1998. The Gamecocks are one of them looking to continue their perfect season against No. 4 seed UCLA on Saturday. Virginia Tech is the other No. 1 seed advancing. South Carolina coach Dawn Staley says her team's success comes from a singular focus on the game and its next task.
U.S. cases of a dangerous fungus tripled over just three years, and more than half of states have now reported it. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote about the infections. They say the COVID-19 pandemic is likely part of the reason for the spread. Hospital workers were strained by coronavirus patients, and that likely shifted their focus away from disinfecting some other kinds of germs. The fungus is called Candida auris. It's a form of yeast that is usually not harmful to healthy people but can be a deadly risk to fragile hospital and nursing home patients. Some strains are so-called superbugs that are resistant to antibiotic drugs.
Health experts proposed detailed plans for a gradual end to anti-virus controls, but the Chinese government rebuffed them and dropped restrictions in December with no preparations to cope with the chaotic aftermath, The Associated Press has found. Over a year ago, scientists called on authorities to begin preparations for reopening. But Beijing took none of the steps experts said were needed before dropping controls. Millions of older people weren't vaccinated, and hospitals weren't reinforced for a possible surge in cases. Experts and scientific models estimate China's lack of preparation led to hundreds of thousands of deaths that could have been avoided.
The Biden administration is stressing to China unofficial stopovers to the U.S. by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen should not be used as pretext by Beijing to increase aggressive activity in the Taiwan Strait. Recently, senior U.S. officials in Washington and Beijing have underscored to their Chinese counterparts transit visits through the U.S. during broader international travel by Tsai has been routine. Beijing sees American contact with Taiwan as encouragement to make the island’s decades-old de facto independence permanent. Taiwan's government said Tuesday that Tsai plans to stop in New York and Los Angeles. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the planned stopovers are “business as usual” and consistent with longstanding U.S. policy.
The failures of two U.S. banks this month meant losses for U.S. public-sector pension systems that invested in them. Experts don't see the holdings in Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank as especially risky for the funds, which provide retirement incomes for teachers, firefighters and other public workers. But there are worries that the funds have too many risky holdings. More aggressive investing is one way funds have narrowed funding gaps over the last decade. After years of benefit increases and funding contribution cuts in the early 2000s, funds were hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis.
The mystery to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic now has some new clues. International scientists have found raccoon dog DNA commingled with the virus in previously unavailable genetic data. It came from samples collected in early 2020 at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, China, shortly after the first human cases were detected in the city. It could mean that the pandemic originated from animals, not one of the labs near the market. But their analysis has not been reviewed for publication and other scientists say how the virus began sickening people remains to be determined.
Willem Dafoe has said that, for him, the process of making a movie always eclipses the finished product. But after more than 130 film credits, the 67-year-old actor has finally found a project whose final form is on par with the experience of creating it. “Inside” follows an art thief named Nemo who gets trapped inside a collector’s apartment during a botched heist. More than just a psychological thriller, “Inside” considers the ways in which art rescues humans from an isolated existence – a way out from being trapped inside of ourselves. “Inside” hits theaters March 17.
Tens of thousands of workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District will strike for three days next week over stalled contract talks and teachers will join them, likely shutting down the nation’s second-largest school system. The strike will begin Tuesday. It was announced Wednesday at a rally by leaders of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 30,000 teachers’ aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other support staff. The union representing 35,000 teachers, counselors and other staff says teachers will join support staffers on the picket lines has advised its members to honor picket lines. The district says that probably will force it to close the schools for safety reasons.
A sharp drop in illegal border crossings that started in January after the Biden administration announced stricter immigration measures continued in February. Data released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection paints a picture of who is attempting to enter the country at a time of intense political controversy over immigration. Republicans are accusing President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of not doing enough to secure the southern border. U.S. Border Patrol officials encountered nearly 130,000 people trying to cross the border in February between the legal border crossings. That’s about the same as January’s number, and the agency says it's the lowest number of encounters per month since February 2021.
The Senate has confirmed former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the next ambassador to India, more than a year and a half after he was initially selected for the post. Garcetti secured the 52-42 confirmation Wednesday despite a break in support among his fellow Democrats. He was able to win over a handful of Republicans. The vacancy in the India ambassadorship has been a major diplomatic gap for the Biden administration at a time of rising global tensions. President Joe Biden first nominated Garcetti for the post in July 2021. The vote came amid continuing fallout from a sexual harassment scandal involving a former top adviser at Los Angeles City Hall.
Three years after the COVID-19 health crisis sent the nation into emergency response, San Mateo County officials reflected on recovery efforts with hopes of learning from successful interventions to continue pushing for equitable improvements.
Prosecutors say a Southern California residential care home company and three of its managers have been charged in connection with 14 COVID-related deaths at one of its facilities three years ago. The criminal complaint alleges Silverado Senior Living Management failed to follow appropriate safety procedures when admitting a new resident to its Beverly Place facility in Los Angeles in March 2020. Prosecutors say an outbreak that was preventable led to the deaths of 14 people and sickened 45 employees and 60 residents. Silverado issued a statement denying the charges, saying they’re baseless “and egregiously contradict the facts.”
Mexico is a year away from electing its next head of state and the potential candidate getting the most attention is an environmental scientist who could become the first female leader of Latin America’s second-largest economy. Polls show Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum nearly 20 points ahead of her closest rival in their party, which has an unrivaled political machine. A globally recognized scientist, Sheinbaum, 60, shares the leftist ideals of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but the leaders would diverge on their approach.
Authorities say at least eight people were killed when two migrant smuggling boats overturned off the coast of San Diego. It is one of the deadliest maritime smuggling events off U.S. shores. Authorities say a Spanish-speaking woman on one of the panga-style boats called 911 late Saturday off the treacherous waters off Black’s Beach. The surf was modest but rip currents were fierce and it was foggy and dark. Crews pulled the bodies of eight adults from the water. No other bodies were accounted for. Authorities say the remaining passengers may have escaped on land.
The metaphysical multiverse comedy “Everything Everywhere All at Once” wrapped its hot dog fingers around Hollywood’s top prize Sunday, winning best picture at the 95th Academy Awards, along with awards for Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis. The film won seven Oscars in all. Yeoh the first Asian woman to win best actress. Brendan Fraser won best actor. The German-language WWI epic “All Quiet on the Western Front” also took four awards as the academy heaped honors on the craft of the harrowing anti-war film. Only two other films in Oscar history — “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Network” — have won three acting Academy Awards.
The 95th Academy Awards are here. With the ceremony well underway, here's what you can expect from the Oscars Sunday night. Three-time host Jimmy Kimmel will certainly mention The Slap in his opening monologue. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “All Quiet On the Western Front” are having a big night. The biggest prize is still yet to come. The telecast airs live on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific. Through it all, from the decidedly not red carpet to the show, The Associated Press will keep you updated.
Hollywood is gearing up for the 95th Academy Awards, where “Everything Everywhere All at Once” comes in as the lead nominee and the film industry will hope to move past “the slap” of last year’s ceremony. Here's a few key details to know about the upcoming ceremony. The Oscars will be held Sunday, March 12, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The ceremony is set to begin at 8 p.m. EDT and be broadcast live on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel will host for the third time and his first time since 2018. Don't expect to see Will Smith, who was banned from the show for 10 years.
It's been three years since the World Health Organization's first called COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The anniversary on Saturday has health experts taking stock of successes and failures. The coronavirus has killed nearly 7 million worldwide and appears here to stay. It spreads ea…
The House has voted unanimously to declassify U.S. intelligence information about the origins of COVID-19. The 419-0 vote Friday was a sweeping show of bipartisan support near the third anniversary of the start of the deadly pandemic. It was final approval of the bill, sending it to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law. Debate was brief and to the point: Americans have questions about how the deadly virus started and what can be done to prevent future outbreaks. Congressman Michael Turner says the American public "deserves answers to every aspect" of the pandemic. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
A sharp drop in illegal border crossings since December may be blunting a Republican point of attack against President Joe Biden as the Democratic leader moves to reshape a broken asylum system that has dogged him and his predecessors. A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research indicates that voters support adjusting the number of immigrants and asylum-seekers allowed into the country. About 4 in 10 U.S. adults say the level of immigration and asylum-seekers should be lowered, while about 2 in 10 say they should be higher. About a third want the numbers to remain the same.
Cartoonists are pushing back against racist remarks made by “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, with one artist even using his own strip this week to lampoon the disgraced cartoon. Pulitzer winner Darrin Bell has transformed his strip “Candorville” into a way to address Adams’ racism by mimicking the style of “Dilbert,” complete with wayward necktie. Other cartoonists have stepped forward to denounce Adams, like Bill Holbrook, who creates “On the Fastrack” and Bianca Xunise, who co-authors the strip “Six Chix” and is the second Black woman in comics history to be nationally syndicated.