Words in the PBS NewsHour, the Houston Chronicle, the Arizona Republic/azcentral,  the Associated Press and more.

Will an 18-year-old pop star convince young people that the COVID-19 vaccine is good 4 u?

Young Americans are trying to return to the normalcy they’ve long yearned for since the pandemic started. And, well? Things are shaping up to be a little brutal out here. Americans between 12 and 29 are contracting COVID-19 at the highest rates while being the least protected — only 38 percent are vaccinated against the virus as of May 22, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. The vaccine is now available in every state for people 12 and older, but Gen Z and younger m

Why can’t Olympians smoke weed?

Sha’Carri Richardson, once poised for Olympic gold, will not be running in Tokyo this summer. The news has drawn a sense from supporters that this young, Black track phenom has been wronged by sporting rules on pot that are overdue for a change. USA Track and Field announced that she had not been selected for the U.S. relay team on Tuesday, after she was disqualified earlier from the 100-meter race due to a positive test for THC. Her chances dashed at an Olympic debut, fellow elite athletes hav

What’s causing the drought in the West — and why it’s so bad

Several Western states, including Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and parts of Oregon and Colorado, are in the grips of a historic drought that has depleted key water sources to a frightening level as temperatures rise and wildfire risk increases. Many scientists are ringing alarm bells that it could mark a tipping point in the water crisis that threatens life in the West as we know it, particularly agriculture. “The word drought just doesn’t do it anymore,” said John Fleck, a pro

7 takeaways from NewsHour’s investigation into harassment Black women in politics face

Black women in politics face a harrowing reality: Harassment, abuse and death threats for doing their jobs as Black women. To better understand their experiences, the PBS NewsHour requested interviews with more than 61 Black women who have held office or run for office at various levels of government and across the political spectrum Eighteen women, 16 of them Democrats, shared their stories. Here’s what they described. Black women are harassed differently than their white or male colleagues. M

More Black women are being elected to office. Few feel safe once they get there

Every day for more than four years, Kiah Morris lived in fear. She developed a safety routine for her family with the help of an international security expert, installed security cameras outside their home and received firearms training. When Morris took office as a Democratic state representative in Vermont in 2015, she was the first Black woman elected to the state’s legislature in 26 years. Her district was located in a county with an estimated population of 36,589 that was about 96 percent

21 lesbian bars remain in America. Owners share why they must be protected

Rachel and Sheila Smallman spent the summer of 2016 traveling the Gulf Coast, trying to find the best place to open a lesbian bar. There were queer bars along the coast, but they largely catered to cisgender gay men. The Smallmans visited at least five cities in four states. On one night, the Smallmans met a friend at a New Orleans gay bar. They were there for about three minutes before some of the patrons and employees started yelling at them to leave because they were women. The couple and t

'It feels like freedom,' 8 people describe getting their COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine cards are record-keeping necessities. Slightly smaller than an index card, the white piece of paper pinpoints when and where you were vaccinated. But it doesn’t capture the wide range of life experiences that led to that moment. As the Biden administration and local governments expand the availability of vaccinations across the country, that little piece of paper has taken on added weight. Many have shared selfies of themselves after getting the vaccine at a school gymnasiu

After record 2020 election turnout, states look to limit voting options

State legislative sessions often see an uptick in the introduction of restrictive voting bills following an election year, but legislation that aims to limit who can vote, where, when and how has reached unprecedented levels this year. The Brennan Center, an independent nonpartisan law and policy organization in New York, found that more than 253 restrictive voting bills had been introduced in legislatures across 43 states just this year through Feb. 23 — up from 35 bills across 15 states in al

How to help Texas during winter storm blackouts

An unprecedented winter storm and unprepared electrical grid has left millions of Texans without reliable power and water and has killed at least 20 people since Monday. Rolling blackouts stretched into days, with more than 400,000 households still without power Feb. 18 as another storm looms Thursday. The incoming storm is expected to have devastating effects, particularly in counties southwest of San Antonio where COVID-19 cases are already spreading significantly. About seven million people

Arizona lawmakers renew push to criminalize abortions in latest challenge to Roe v. Wade

Abortion has been at the forefront of conservative politics since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, in which the court ruled that the Constitution protects a woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. Now, with a 6-3 conservative majority in the nation’s highest court, reproductive rights advocates are worried that right will be chipped away as anti-abortion politicians push legal boundaries to challenge the decision. An Arizona bill pr

'No wrong way to be queer': Phoenix nonprofit One n Ten empowers LGBTQ+ youth

'No wrong way to be queer': Phoenix nonprofit One n Ten empowers LGBTQ+ youth One n Ten’s mission is simple: empower LGBTQ+ youth and young adults and help cultivate a world where they are accepted and loved for who they are. The nonprofit provides housing for homeless youth, life skills training, educational programs, youth centers, a summer camp and a community in Phoenix. One n Ten served nearly 1,200 youth and young adults in 2019 and have continued to serve youth online through the COVID

The data behind 9 big challenges facing Biden

President Joe Biden takes office with some important advantages — namely Democratic control of the House and Senate to help him push his administration’s agenda forward. But that doesn’t make the confluence of crises he faces any less daunting: a raging pandemic, economic upheaval, years lost in the effort to combat climate change, persisting racial inequities and the internal threat of domestic extremism. “The state of the nation today, [there’s] no time to waste … get to work immediately,” Bi

The other pandemic: Loneliness

PHOENIX – The pandemic has affected different people in different ways, causing financial stress due to job loss, sliding grades, relationship pressures and worries that vulnerable loved ones could contract COVID-19. But one factor that has affected Americans across the country is the loss of social connectedness. Even before the pandemic shuttered schools, restaurants and workplaces last spring, an estimated 3 in 5 Americans reported a growing sense of loneliness, according to Cigna’s 2020 Lon

What is the 25th Amendment and what could it mean for Trump?

Following the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday by a violent pro-Trump mob, a number of Democratic lawmakers, including soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and some Republicans have called for the president to be removed from office, either through impeachment or use of the 25th Amendment after they say he incited the violence perpetrated by his supporters on Jan. 6. The 25th Amendment has rarely been used since its ratification in 1967, following John F. Kennedy’s assa

Man arrested after road rage incident where he hit another man with his car

Man arrested after road rage incident where he hit another man with his car A man has been arrested and charged with four counts, including aggravated assault, following a "road rage" argument Saturday where he intentionally hit a person, according to a statement from the Phoenix Police Department. Phoenix police said officers were called to the intersection of 43rd and Peoria avenues around 12:45 p.m. to respond to an aggravated assault over a traffic dispute between two men. A video shared

Man dies after argument leads to shooting on New Year's Eve in west Phoenix

Man dies after argument leads to shooting on New Year's Eve in west Phoenix A man died after an argument ended with gunfire on New Year's Eve in west Phoenix, police officials said. Officers responded to a report of a shooting near 87th and Glenrosa avenues shortly before 9 p.m. on Thursday. They found a man with a gunshot wound, and Phoenix fire personnel pronounced him dead. Police said the man had arrived at the suspect's house with a gun. The man and the suspect had an argument, and durin

Person dies after running onto Interstate 17 in north Phoenix near SR 303; traffic diverted

Person dies after running onto Interstate 17 in north Phoenix near SR 303; traffic diverted A person died after running onto the southbound lanes of Interstate 17 in north Phoenix early Friday morning, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. DPS officials said troopers responded to a report of a pedestrian running onto the freeway near the State Route 303 interchange around 2 a.m.. The person was hit by a car and was pronounced dead at the location. Information about the person

Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one has yet succeeded

Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one has yet... HOUSTON — Nearly a decade ago, two U.S. cities with large homeless populations tried to solve their problem by adopting a strategy that prioritized giving people housing and help over temporary shelter. But Houston and San Diego took fundamentally different approaches to implementing that strategy, known as Housing First. Houston revamped its entire system to get more people into housing quickly, and it cut homelessness by more than hal

1 child dead, many people injured in 4-vehicle crash on I-10 near Eloy

1 child dead, many people injured in 4-vehicle crash on I-10 near Eloy A four-vehicle crash near Eloy left one child dead and multiple people injured on Thursday evening, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Around 7 p.m. a man driving a car with a woman and two children crossed over from the I-10 eastbound lanes to the westbound lanes and crashed with three cars at milepost 211 between Eloy and Picacho. All four people in the car that crossed over were taken to the hospital,

Jackknifed Amazon truck blocking I-10 lanes near Chandler Blvd.

A jackknifed Amazon semi-truck crashed near Chandler Boulevard and the I-10 freeway around 11 a.m. on Friday, according the Arizona Department of Transportation. The crash is currently blocking two westbound lanes, including the HOV. There were multiple vehicles involved, but no injuries, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said. Get in touch with breaking news reporter Chloe Jones at and find her on Twitter at @chloeleejones
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