Court paves way for NYC outdoor dining to become permanent

The sheds are coming out ahead. A New York court ruled on Tuesday in favor of the outdoor dining structures lining Big Apple streets, dismissing the lawsuit and paving the way for the pandemic-era fixtures to become a permanent part of city life. Restaurant owners cheered the decision, but it left a bad taste in … Read more

Mayor: 5 shot dead in Central Texas neighborhood

McGREGOR, Texas — Five people were shot dead in a Central Texas residential neighborhood Thursday, officials said. The incident happened at about 7:30 am Thursday morning in McGregor, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Waco. An armed man shot at police officers who arrived at the scene, McGregor Mayor Jimmy Hering told KCEN-TV. Officers … Read more

What is required to travel to Hong Kong? Many, many tests

Travelers headed to Hong Kong no longer need to quarantine in a hotel upon arrival. But they will have to submit to a barrage of Covid tests. They can go to work, take public transportation and go to supermarkets, but for the first three days, travelers can’t go into “high-risk premises” such as restaurants, bars … Read more

Jewish pilgrims gather in Ukraine despite the perils of war

UMAN, Ukraine (AP) — Thousands of Hasidic Jewish pilgrims flocked to central Ukraine to mark the Jewish new year Sunday, ignoring international travel warnings as Russia struck more targets from the air and mobilized its citizens to stem losses in the war that has entered its eighth month. The pilgrims, many traveling from Israel and … Read more

California governor urges overhaul of Democrats’ strategy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom called for an overhaul of Democrats’ political strategy on Saturday, saying the party is “getting often crushed” by Republicans in part because they are too shy, forced to play defense while Republicans “dominate with illusion.” Speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Texas — the territory … Read more

Russian men join exodus, fearing call-up to fight in Ukraine

ISTANBUL (AP) — Military-aged men fled Russia in droves Friday, filling planes and causing traffic jams at border crossings to avoid being rounded up to fight in Ukraine following the Kremlin’s partial military mobilization. Queues stretching for 10 kilometers (6 miles) formed on a road leading to the southern border with Georgia, according to Yandex … Read more

Passenger arrested after seen punching a flight attendant

FORT WORTH, Texas — A man who was apparently caught on video slugging a flight attendant in the back of the head during an American Airlines flight was arrested after the plane landed in Los Angeles. Authorities charged Alexander Tung Cuu Le on Thursday with interfering with a flight crew. Le, of Westminster, California, faces … Read more

US: 48 exploited pandemic to steal $250M from food program

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal authorities charged 48 people in Minnesota with conspiracy and other counts in what they said Tuesday was the largest pandemic-related fraud scheme yet, stealing $250 million from a federal program that provides meals to low-income children. Prosecutors say the defendants created companies that claimed to be offering food to ten of … Read more

Baltic nations close borders to Russians over Ukraine war

WARSAW, Poland — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania closed their borders Monday to most Russian citizens in response to the wide domestic support in Russia for the war in Ukraine. Under the coordinated travel ban, Russians wishing to travel to the Baltic countries or Poland as tourists or for business, sports or cultural purposes will not … Read more

How much does it cost to visit Bhutan? $200 a day plus travel costs

The Kingdom of Bhutan is reopening to tourists on Friday with a hefty hike to its daily tourist tax. Before the country closed its borders in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, travelers to Bhutan were required to pay a minimum daily package rate of $200-$250 — depending on the time of year. … Read more