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It all began five years ago, when Jennifer Hunsinger says her heart broke seeing the division between her neighbors during the heated 2016 presidential election.

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Most vending machines offer sodas or snacks. That's not the case in a machine at a school in Alaska, and this new kind of vending machine is a hit among students and teachers.

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Turning trash into art.  That's what a group of artists did with some items that might be in your trash can or recycle bin right now.

US and World News

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Organizers of the Boston Marathon are seeking to make amends for running the 125th edition on Indigenous Peoples Day by throwing the spotlight on a member of Rhode Island’s Narragansett tribe. Ellison “Tarzan” Brown won the race twice in the 1930s and inspired the name “Heartbreak Hill” to describe the most iconic section of the course. The Boston Athletic Association said Monday it will honor Brown's legacy at the pandemic-altered Oct. 11 running of the race. Brown was Boston champion in 1936 and 1939 and became a hero to Indigenous athletes worldwide. Read more

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An Amtrak train that derailed in rural Montana over the weekend was going just under the speed limit at about 75 mph (121 kph) when it went off the track along a gradual curve. That's according to federal investigators. They said Monday that the accident may have ejected some passengers. Three people died. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are studying video from the train and another locomotive that went over the same track a little over an hour earlier. The train derailed before a switch in the line, where one set of tracks turned into two. That stretch of track had been inspected just two days before. Read more

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President Joe Biden and the Senate's Republican leader have now had three COVID-19 shots each. The 78-year-old Biden and 79-year-old Mitch McConnell got their booster shots Monday. And they're urging Americans across the political spectrum to get vaccinated or plus up with boosters when eligible for the extra dose of protection. The boosters were administered on the first workday after federal agencies recommended a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for Americans 65 and older and approved them for others with preexisting medical conditions and high-risk work environments. Biden says boosters are important but the key to ending the pandemic is for vaccines to reach more people. Read more

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Hospitals and nursing homes around the country are bracing for worsening staff shortages as state deadlines arrive for health care workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. With such rules taking effect this week in states New York, California and Rhode Island, the fear is that some employees will quit or let themselves be fired or suspended rather than get the vaccine. In New York State, some hospitals have already begun suspending or otherwise removing holdouts. Read more

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R&B superstar R. Kelly faces the possibility of decades in prison after being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking in federal court in New York City. A jury found him guilty Monday after a trial in which several accusers testified he subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage. Kelly was accused of running a Chicago-based criminal enterprise that recruited his accusers for unwanted sex and mental torment. Sentencing is scheduled for May 4. He also has pleaded not guilty to sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota. Trial dates in those cases have yet to be set.  Read more

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Some hospitals and nursing homes in New York began removing workers Monday for failing to meet a state-mandated deadline to get a COVID-19 vaccine as Gov. Kathy Hochul pleaded with holdouts to get 11th-hour inoculations. It was not clear Monday if a wave of suspensions and terminations of healthcare workers who refused be inoculated would cause dramatic staff shortages. Hochul said workers had until the end of the day Monday to get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as required. Employees who refuse the shots face suspensions and termination.  Read more

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The British government has put dozens of soldiers on standby to help easy fuel supply problems caused by a shortage of truck drivers. The delivery problems have spurred panic buying of gasoline. The government said Monday that it was placing British army tanker drivers in “a state of readiness in order to be deployed if required to deliver fuel to where it is needed most.” The haulage industry says the U.K. is short as many as 100,000 truckers due to the coronavirus pandemic and an exodus of foreign workers following Brexit. The end result is empty supermarket shelves, shuttered gas pumps, panic buying and short tempers as some drivers wait for hours to get gas.   Read more

California will mail all registered voters ballots in future elections under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. His signature makes permanent a change adopted during the pandemic for the 2020 election and the recent recall. California will join other Western states including Oregon, Washington, Utah and Colorado that already mail every registered voter a ballot. The Democratic governor signed 10 other voting-related bills. He crafted his signature as part of a national push by Democrats to expand voting rights and access. Republicans have expressed skepticism about the security of mail-in voting, but there is no evidence of widespread fraud.  Read more

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A federal judge says the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan four decades ago can be released unconditionally from the restrictions he's been living under next year if he remains mentally stable. John Hinckley Jr. was 25 when he attacked the president. Jurors found him not guilty by reason of insanity. Now he's 66, and he's been living in Williamsburg, Virginia, since leaving a Washington hospital five years ago. Doctors oversee his medication and therapy. He can’t have a gun. And he can't travel far without informing his doctors. Hinckley's lawyer says he no longer poses a threat. U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman said Monday that he'll sign off on the plan this week.  Read more

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R. Kelly grew up in Chicago's housing projects and went on to have an illustrious musical career increasingly clouded by allegations of lurid behavior and sexual abuse. He was born in Chicago as the third of four children of schoolteacher Joann Kelly. Little is known about his father. He began singing in church at age 8, says he was a victim of sexual abuse, and was discovered by a record producer at a barbecue in 1990. Now a jury has found him guilty of sex trafficking at a trial in New York. Trial dates in Illinois and Minnesota cases remain to be set. Read more

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Both officials' financial disclosures sparked criticism from government watchdogs after they revealed extensive stock trading in 2020. Read more

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The Cleveland Indians won their last home game before they become the Guardians, beating the Kansas City Royals 8-3 to close a run that started in 1915 and will continue in 2022 with a new identity. Amed Rosario homered, drove in three runs and had four hits and Cal Quantrill pitched six strong innings to delight a Progressive Field crowd that came to see the Indians play one last time. Salvador Perez drove in two runs for the Royals. The home finale was the club’s final game in Cleveland as the Indians, ending a 106-year run in a city where the name will forever be attached to those of legendary players like Bob Feller, Larry Doby and Jim Thome. Read more

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Joey Votto homered twice and drove in four runs, and the Cincinnati Reds pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-1 to stay alive in the race for the second NL wild card. Nick Castellanos, rookie Jonathan India and Eugenio Suarez also connected as Cincinnati posted its fourth straight victory, clinching a second straight winning season. Castellanos had five RBIs, and India finished with four hits and scored four times. The Reds pulled within 5 1/2 games of idle St. Louis for the second wild card. The Cardinals need just one more win to secure the spot. Read more

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HONOLULU — New federal rules for international travelers are expected to help Hawaii’s crippled tourism industry. Read more

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Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour concert that featured performances from Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez, BTS and Elton John and dozens of other stars, raised $1.1 billion in commitments and pledges over the weekend to fight extreme poverty. Broadcasting from sites on six continents, including New York’s Central Park and in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Global Citizen also secured pledges from France for 60 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for developing countries and corporate pledges for planting 157 million trees around the world. Vaccine pledges, which also came from the governments of Croatia and Ireland, followed numerous pleas, including from Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, onstage at Central Park on Saturday. Read more

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Stocks wound up a mixed bag on Wall Street Monday as losses for several Big Tech companies checked gains elsewhere in the market. The S&P 500 fell 0.3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.5%. Microsoft fell 1.7% and Apple gave back 1.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2% and a measure of small-company stocks jumped 1.5%. Treasury yields continued to climb. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.49%, its highest level since late June. That helped send bank stocks mostly higher. Energy companies also rose as the price of U.S. crude oil climbed 2%.  Read more

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The pandemic and vaccination rates were the talk of the NBA on media day Monday. Media day is the annual precursor to the start of training camp. Practices can begin on Tuesday. There were some fun hijinks from the day like David Letterman questioning Kevin Durant about his nickname. But much of the day was spent discussing how the NBA will navigate a third season that will be affected by COVID-19. Some teams are fully vaccinated. Some stars like Bradley Beal say they're not. Read more

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The latest from NBA media day on Monday (All times EDT) Read more

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State Department spokesman Ned Price has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be self-quarantining for the next 10 days. Price says he tested positive for coronavirus Monday morning after returning from New York, where he attended the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week. Blinken tested negative for COVID on Monday. Price attended numerous events with Blinken in New York, including meetings with foreign ministers and senior officials from more than 60 countries. Blinken is due to travel this week to Pittsburgh and next week to Europe, California and Mexico. There is no indication either trip might be postponed. Read more

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The owner of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is selling the 3,000-room Las Vegas Strip hotel in a $5.65 billion deal. New York private equity firm Blackstone said Monday that the new owners will be the Cherng Family Trust, headed by Panda Express billionaires Andrew and Peggy Cherng; real estate investment firm Stonepeak Partners; and a Blackstone real estate fund. MGM Resorts will take over operations in a side deal. The transaction needs regulatory approval and is projected to close in the first half of 2022. Blackstone says it has agreements with unions for about 3,000 employees to keep their jobs. Read more

British police have charged a 36-year-old man with the murder of Sabina Nessa, a schoolteacher killed as she walked to meet a friend in London. The Metropolitan Police force said Koci Selamaj, from Eastbourne in southern England, faced one count of murder. He is due to appear in court on Tuesday. Nessa, who was 28, was found dead in Kidbrooke, southeast London, on Sept. 17. Her death just a few minutes' walk from her home fueled concerns that women aren’t safe on the streets of Britain’s capital. On Friday, hundreds of people held a candlelight vigil in her memory, demanding an end to violence against women. Read more

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The Taliban have banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from shaving or trimming beards, claiming their edict is in line with Shariah, or Islamic, law. The order in Helmand province was issued by the provincial Taliban government’s vice and virtue department to barbers in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. During their previous rule of Afghanistan, the Taliban adhered to a harsh interpretation of Islam. Since overrunning Kabul on Aug. 15 and again taking control of the country, the world has been watching to see whether they will re-create their strict governance of the late 1990s. Read more

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The latest in a series of U.S. satellites that has recorded human and natural impacts on Earth’s surface for decades has been launched into orbit from California to ensure continued observations in the climate change era. The Landsat 9 satellite was carried into space aboard a rocket that lifted off from foggy Vandenberg Space Force Base at 11:12 a.m. The satellite successfully separated from the rocket’s upper stage more than an hour later. Landsat 9 will work in tandem with Landsat 8 to extend a nearly 50-year record of land and coastal region observations that began with the launch of the first Landsat satellite in 1972. Read more

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An Illinois man unexpectedly won the Quad Cities Marathon this weekend when the two Kenyan runners who had far outpaced him were disqualified after being diverted off the course by a race volunteer bicyclist. The Quad-City Times reports that Tyler Pence crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 6 seconds to become the first U.S. runner since 2001 to win the race. The head track and cross-country coach at the University of Illinois-Springfield, Pence logged his fastest time ever with the win. It came after Elijah Mwangangi Saolo and Luke Kibet diverted from the course a little more than halfway to the finish line when the bicycle rider leading them mistakenly went straight when he should have turned. Read more

Azerbaijan and Armenia are marking the first anniversary of the start of their six-week war in which more than 6,600 people died and that ended with Azerbaijan regaining control of large swaths of territory. Soldiers carrying photographs of comrades killed in the war marched Monday through the center of the Azerbaijani capital, Baku. In Yerevan, the Armenian capital, thousands of people went to the Yerablur military cemetery to pay respects to soldiers buried there. The foreign ministries of each country issued statements blaming the other for starting the war over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Read more

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President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion government-shaping plan is hitting a tumultuous week. With Republicans solidly opposed, Democrats are rushing to trim the total and finish up the big package — an enormous undertaking with consequences  certain to shape Biden’s presidency and the lawmakers' own political futures. There's a lot in the bill: Free pre-kindergarten and child care subsidies for families with small children. Dental care and hearing aids for seniors with Medicare. Infrastructure improvements in every state. That's way too much, the Republicans say. And key Democrats want significant cuts, too. Read more

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China's Foreign Ministry says two Canadians detained in late 2019 who were allowed to return to Canada were released on bail for health reasons. A ministry spokesperson made the comment as Beijing sought to downplay the connection between their release and the return to China of a long-detained executive of Huawei Technologies. Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in December 2019, days after Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities. Meng fought the U.S. demand for extradition from Canada. She landed in China on Saturday after reaching a deal with the U.S. Justice Department. Read more

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A former assistant soccer coach at the University of Southern California testified Monday that she regularly created fake athletic profiles with exaggerated accomplishments and images she found on Google to help get unqualified students admitted. Laura Janke took the stand in U.S. District Court in Boston in the trial of former casino executive Gamal Abdelaziz and former Staples and Gap Inc. executive John Wilson. They are the first two people to go to trial in the nationwide college admissions scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues that ensnared dozens of wealthy and famous parents. They have denied all the charges. Read more

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French President Macron was hit on the shoulder by an egg thrown at him by a young man during an international food trade fair in the French city of Lyon. A video of the incident shows Macron walking through the crowd when an egg bounced off him without breaking. Lyon prosecutors said  the 19-year-old student who threw the egg has been immediately detained. An investigation opened for “assault on a person in a position of public authority” will seek to determine his motive. In June, Macron was slapped in the face by a man as he greeted the public in a small town in southeastern France. That slap prompted a wide show of support for Macron from politicians across the ideological spectrum. Read more

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Gucci has launched an e-commerce site featuring refurbished vintage Gucci pieces alongside capsule collections by young designers chosen by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele.  Michele said the project was born out of his life-long obsession with collecting fashion, including Gucci items before he ever joined the brand. It is just one example of the collaborations that are coming out of the pandemic as brands look beyond their traditional customer bases for new eyeballs on their products. In other fashion ventures, hatmaker Borsalino is collaborating with the French brand Ami Paris and the equestrian-inspired brand Acheval to find new customers. Read more