WASHINGTON (AP) — Approval of President Joe Biden has dipped slightly since a month ago to 38%. That’s nearly the lowest point of his presidency, and comes as his administration tries to project a sense of stability while confronting a pair of bank failures and stubbornly high inflation. The new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows there have been modest fluctuations in support for Biden over the past several months. In February, 45% said they approved of him. His ratings hit their lowest point of his presidency last July, at 36%, as the full weight of rising gasoline, food and other costs began to hit U.S. households.
Denver high school shooting suspect dead, coroner confirms
DENVER (AP) — A coroner’s office says a body found in the Colorado woods near an abandoned car was that of a 17-year-old student accused of wounding two administrators in a shooting at his Denver high school. Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said the body was discovered Wednesday not far from the student’s car in a remote mountain area about 50 miles southwest of Denver, near the small town of Bailey, in Park County. Earlier in the day, Denver police identified the suspect in the shooting at East High School as Austin Lyle. The Park County coroner’s office confirmed in a Facebook post that the body was that of Lyle’s. Cause of death wasn’t released, pending the completion of an autopsy.
DeSantis to expand ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law to all grades
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is moving to forbid classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades. The proposal is scheduled for a vote next month before the state Board of Education and has been put forth by state Education Department, both of which are led by appointees of the governor. The rule change would ban lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity from grades 4 to 12, expanding the current law critics call “Don’t Say Gay.” DeSantis has leaned heavily into cultural divides on his path to an anticipated White House bid.
Launch debut of 3D-printed rocket ends in failure, no orbit
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A rocket made almost entirely of 3D-printed parts has finally taken flight, but didn’t last long. The second stage failed three minutes after liftoff from Florida late Wednesday, and the mission failed to reach orbit. Relativity Space’s rocket carried nothing on board except for the company’s first metal 3D print from six years ago. Most of the 110-foot rocket, including its engines, came out of the startup’s huge 3D printers in California. The rocket blasted off from an old missile pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Relativity Space says 3D-printed metal parts made up 85% of the rocket and larger versions of the rocket will have even more in the future.
Prosecutors reveal planned Proud Boys witness was informant
WASHINGTON (AP) — A lawyer for one of the former Proud Boys leaders charged with seditious conspiracy says federal prosecutors have revealed that a defense witness was secretly acting as a government informant for nearly two years after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Defense attorney Carmen Hernandez on Wednesday asked a judge to schedule an emergency hearing so the defense can learn more about the prosecutors’ use of the informant. The judge ordered prosecutors to file a response to the defense filing by Thursday afternoon and scheduled a hearing for the same day, putting testimony in the case on hold until Friday. The U.S. attorney’s office did not immediately comment on the filing.
Why TikTok’s security risks keep raising fears
The battle between the U.S. and China over TikTok will come into full view when the social media platform’s CEO testifies before Congressional lawmakers. Shou Zi Chew’s hearing is happening at what he’s called a “pivotal moment” for the hugely popular short video sharing app. TikTok is owned by parent company ByteDance, which has offices in Beijing. The platform has 150 million American users but it’s been dogged by persistent claims that it threatens national security and user privacy, or could be used to promote pro-Beijing propaganda and misinformation. Chew will attempt to persuade lawmakers not to pursue a ban on the app or force its sale to new owners.
Ford says EV unit losing billions, should be seen as startup
DETROIT (AP) — Ford’s electric vehicle business has lost $3 billion before taxes during the past two years and will lose a similar amount this year as the company invests heavily in the new technology. The figures were released Thursday as Ford rolled out a new way of reporting its financial results. The new business structure separates electric vehicles, the profitable internal combustion and commercial vehicle operations into three operating units. Company officials said the electric vehicle unit will be profitable before taxes by late 2026 with an 8% profit margin. Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said Model e should be viewed as a startup company within Ford.
Library association reports record book ban attempts in 2022
NEW YORK (AP) — A new report from the American Library Association says attempted book bannings and restrictions at school and public libraries continue to surge, setting a record in 2022. The report being released Thursday says more than 1,200 challenges were recorded by the association in 2022, nearly double the then-record total from 2021. Deborah Caldwell-Stone is the director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. She says she has “never seen anything like this,” and calls the past two years “exhausting, frightening, outrage inducing.” Librarians around the country have told of being harassed, and threatened with violence or legal action.
AP source: Blackhawks will not wear Pride-themed jerseys
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks will not wear Pride-themed warmup jerseys before Sunday’s Pride Night game against Vancouver because of security concerns involving a Russian law that expands restrictions on activities seen as promoting LGBTQ rights in the country. The decision was made by the NHL organization following discussions with security officials within and outside the franchise, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the move. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in December that significantly expands restrictions on activities seen as promoting LGBTQ rights in the country.