The Great Grift: How billions in COVID-19 relief aid was stolen or wasted

WASHINGTON (AP) - Much of the theft was brazen, even simple. Fraudsters used the Social Security numbers of dead people and federal prisoners to get unemployment checks. Cheaters collected those benefits in multiple states. And federal loan applicants weren't cross-checked against a Treasury Department database that would have raised red flags about sketchy borrowers. Criminals and gangs grabbed the money. But so did a U.S. soldier in Georgia, the pastors

Latvian Parliament elects foreign minister as new president

HELSINKI (AP) - Latvian lawmakers on Wednesday picked the country's long-serving and popular foreign minister, a strong backer of Ukraine, as its new head of state in a tight vote. The 100-seat Saeima legislature elected Edgars Rinkevics, the country's top diplomat since 2011, as president to serve for a four-year term. He received 52 votes, one vote more than required to win. Incumbent Egils Levits, Latvia's head of state since

DEA’s failure to punish distributor blamed in opioid crisis raises revolving door questions

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed one of the nation's largest wholesale drug distributors to keep shipping highly addictive painkillers for nearly four years after a judge recommended it be stripped of its license for its "cavalier disregard" of thousands of suspicious orders fueling the opioid crisis. The DEA did not respond to repeated questions from The Associated Press about its handling of the case

Do not call: States sue telecom company over billions of robocalls

PHOENIX (AP) - Attorneys general across the U.S. joined in a lawsuit against a telecommunications company accused of making more than 7.5 billion robocalls to people on the national Do Not Call Registry. The 141-page lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix against Avid Telecom, its owner Michael D. Lansky and company vice president Stacey S. Reeves. It seeks a jury trial to determine damages. The lawsuit

Reemployment bonus idea advanced by NC Senate committee

By GARY D. ROBERTSON With employers struggling to fill positions as post-pandemic restrictions end, North Carolina state senators advanced a proposal Wednesday giving $1,500 bonuses to unemployment benefit recipients who return to work this summer. The Senate Commerce Committee gave bipartisan support to the measure, which would offer bonuses, but only if federal labor officials allow the state to use money coming from Washington that’s made unemployment benefits more generous

The Black community has yet to benefit in this Joe Biden economy

“So far, the Black community has gotten a lot of empty rhetoric, broken promises and mixed messages from the Biden Administration resulting in policies that are not empowering, uplifting or truly helping Black Americans thrive and survive economically during this global pandemic.” -Paris Dennard, RNC National Spokesperson and Director of Black Media Affairs  The Black unemployment rate INCREASED in February  The Biden’s contribution to Black History month was more Black Americans losing their