Author: chicagoinquirer

by Mary Clare Jalonick and Seung Min Kim WASHINGTON  — They are now among the most powerful women in Congress. But when they were first elected in the 1990s, they were often overlooked, or even talked down to. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, remembers that men would avoid asking her questions, addressing other men in the room instead. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., says a male colleague once challenged her at a hearing to describe a military tank engine produced in her district without looking at her notes. (She shot back: “Damn straight I can!”) Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, says that one…

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by Nicole Winfield VATICAN CITY  — Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an exclusive interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against LGBTQ people, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of “sin.” But he attributed such attitudes to cultural backgrounds, and said bishops…

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by Fatima Hussein CHONGWE, Zambia  — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled from a small farm on a rural red clay road to a ramen noodle manufacturing plant in Zambia’s bustling capitol of Lusaka on Tuesday to showcase Africa’s potential to help solve the world’s problems with food shortages. Yellen, midway through a 10-day tour of Africa, devoted her day to highlighting the agricultural investment potential of underdeveloped African nations, especially as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated worldwide hunger and the cost of food. “As we tackle acute needs now, we must also take a longer view and scale…

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by Eric Tucker and Barbara Ortutay WASHINGTON  — The Justice Department and eight states sued Google on Tuesday, alleging that its dominance in digital advertising harms competition. The government alleges that Google’s plan to assert dominance has been to “neutralize or eliminate” rivals through acquisitions and to force advertisers to use its products by making it difficult to use competitors’ products. The antitrust suit was filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Attorney General Merrick Garland was expected to discuss it at a news conference later Tuesday. The department’s suit accuses Google of unlawfully monopolizing the way ads are served…

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by Lisa Mascaro WASHINGTON  — The debate around raising the debt ceiling sounds eerily similar: Newly elected House Republicans, eager to confront the Democratic president in the White House, refused to raise the debt limit without cuts to federal spending. Negotiations over the debt ceiling consumed Washington in 2011, a high-stakes showdown between the Obama White House and the new generation of “tea party” House Republicans. “Now we’re getting down to the real hard stuff: I’ll trade you my bicycle for your golf clubs,” the chief negotiator, Vice President Joe Biden, said at the time. But weeks of tense talks…

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by Patrick Rose CHICAGO  — DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points in his 1,000th career game, Nikola Vucevic added 14 points and 17 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks 111-100 on Monday night. The Bulls (22-24) returned to Chicago after a 126-108 win over the Pistons in Paris on Thursday and matched their season high with a third straight victory. “The second half of the season, you can’t give games back. Everything matters from here in and out,” DeRozan said. “You got to be the desperate ones. You got to go out there and compete.” Trae Young had…

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by Terry Spencer and Anthony Izaguirre FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.  — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reiterated Monday the state’s rejection of a proposed nationwide advanced African American studies course, saying it pushes a political agenda — something three authors cited in the state’s criticism accused him of doing in return. DeSantis said his administration rejected the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American Studies course because “we want education, not indoctrination.” It was revealed last week that the Florida Department of Education recently told the College Board it would bar the course unless changes are made. The state then issued a chart…

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by Mathew Perrone WASHINGTON  — U.S. health officials want to make COVID-19 vaccinations more like the annual flu shot. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday proposed a simplified approach for future vaccination efforts, allowing most adults and children to get a once-a-year shot to protect against the mutating virus. This means Americans would no longer have to keep track of how many shots they’ve received or how many months it’s been since their last booster. The proposal comes as boosters have become a hard sell. While more than 80% of the U.S. population has had at least one vaccine…

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by Fatima Hussein GOREE ISLAND, Senegal — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen paid a solemn visit Saturday to the salmon-colored house on an island off Senegal that is one of the most recognized symbols of the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade that trapped tens of millions of Africans in bondage for generations. Yellen, in Senegal as part of a 10-day trip aimed at rebuilding economic relationships between the U.S. and Africa, stood in the Gorée Island building known as the House of Slaves and peered out of the “Door of No Return,” from which enslaved people were shipped across…

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by Jessica Greeks and Mark Sherman WASHINGTON  — Eight months, 126 formal interviews and a 23-page report later, the Supreme Court said it has failed to discover who leaked a draft of the court’s opinion overturning abortion rights. The report released by the court Thursday is the apparent culmination of an investigation ordered by Chief Justice John Roberts a day after the May leak of the draft to Politico. Notably the report did not indicate whether the justices themselves had been questioned. On Friday, seemingly in response to widespread questions from the media and legal community, the head of the…

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