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    Democrats have pushed their landmark climate and health care bill through Congress, handing an election-year victory to President Joe Biden. The House approved the bill over solid Republican opposition Friday, five days after the Senate did the same. The vote means a win for Biden that until late July seemed out of reach. The package is much smaller than Biden's original environment and social legislation that failed in Congress last year. But after long, bitter talks, Democrats agreed to a smaller but still substantive compromise. It includes Washington's biggest ever effort on climate change, pharmaceutical price curbs and tax boosts on big corporations, long-held party goals.

      Newspaper publisher Gannett Co. confirmed Friday that it’s laying off some of its newsroom staff as part of a cost-cutting effort to lower its expenses as its revenue crumbles amid a downturn in ad sales and customer subscriptions. The McLean, Virginia-based company declined to provide details about the number of people who were losing their jobs. Gannett, which owns USA Today and more than 200 other daily U.S. newspapers with print editions, ended last year with more than 16,000 employees worldwide, according to the company's annual report. The payroll included including more than 4,200 reporters, editors and photographers.

        Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, giving the S&P 500 its first 4-week winning streak since November. The benchmark index gained 1.7% Friday, and other indexes also rose. Technology stocks drove much the broad rally. Inflation cooled more than expected last month, sending stocks higher. Investors see a greater chance inflation may have peaked, allowing the Federal Reserve to be less aggressive with its rate hikes than it has been this year. Crude oil prices fell, while bond yields were mixed.

          Amazon-owned companies Ring and Hollywood studio MGM are partnering to create a TV show in the mold of “America’s Funniest Home Videos." MGM says the half-hour “Ring Nation” program will showcase viral footage from Ring’s doorbell and smart-home cameras. The series is the latest example of Amazon’s fusion of its various business arms. It also presents a branding and marketing opportunity for Amazon, which bought Ring in 2018. Since then, the company has dealt with rounds of privacy concerns around Ring and its relationship with police departments across the country. The show will be hosted by comedian Wanda Sykes and premier in syndication on September 26.

            A federal judge has reinstated a moratorium on coal leasing from federal lands that was imposed under former President Barack Obama and then scuttled under former President Donald Trump. Friday’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris requires government officials to complete a new environmental review of the leasing program before they can resume coal sales. Few leases were sold in recent years as coal demand shrank drastically, but coal from existing leases remains a major contributor of planet-warming emissions. The industry’s opponents had urged Morris to revive the Obama-era moratorium to ensure coal can’t make a comeback as wildfires, drought, rising sea levels and other effects of climate change worsen.

              California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to extend the life of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant by at least five to 10 years to maintain reliable power supplies in the climate change era. A draft bill obtained Friday by The Associated Press said the plan would allow the plant to continue operating beyond a scheduled closing by 2025. The draft proposal also includes a possible loan for operator Pacific Gas & Electric for up to $1.4 billion. The proposal was confirmed by Newsom spokesman Anthony York. The draft was obtained ahead of a California Energy Commission meeting on the state’s energy needs.

              An unprecedented drought is afflicting nearly half of Europe. It is damaging agriculture, forcing water restrictions, causing wildfires and threatening aquatic species. Water levels are falling on major rivers such as the Danube, the Rhine and the Po, endangering shipping. There hasn't been significant rainfall for almost two months in the continent's western, central and southern regions. Britain on Friday declared a drought across southern and central England amid one of the driest summers on record. Human-caused global warming is exacerbating conditions as hotter temperatures speed up evaporation and reduced snowfall limits fresh water supplies for irrigation. One French farmer has already started using his stores of winter fodder for his dairy cows as the grass turns brown.

              California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to extend the life of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant by at least five to 10 years to maintain reliable power supplies in the climate change era. A draft bill obtained Friday by The Associated Press said the plan would allow the plant to continue operating beyond a scheduled closing by 2025.The draft proposal also includes a possible loan for operator Pacific Gas & Electric for up to $1.4 billion. The proposal was confirmed by Newsom spokesman Anthony York. The draft was obtained ahead of a California Energy Commission meeting on the state’s energy needs.

              A ship has docked in a Ukrainian Black Sea port to begin loading wheat for hungry people in Ethiopia. That would be the first food delivery to Africa under a U.N.-brokered plan to unblock grain trapped by Russia’s war on Ukraine and bring relief to some of the millions worldwide on the brink of starvation. For months, fighting and a Russian blockade meant grain produced in Ukraine, known as the world’s breadbasket, piled up in silos. In recent days, several ships carrying grain have left Ukrainian ports under the new deal — but those shipments were animal feed and went to previous buyers. The ship named Brave Commander will carry its wheat to Djibouti, where it will be unloaded and sent on to Ethiopia.

              The head of Kenya's electoral commission says vote-tallying in the country's close presidential election isn’t moving fast enough. Meanwhile, parallel counting by local media dramatically slowed amid public concerns about censorship or meddling. With no clear winner emerging and perhaps days more to wait, social media is busy with unverified claims by both candidates’ supporters. Human rights groups call that dangerous in a country with a history of political violence. Kenya could see a runoff presidential election for the first time. One electoral expert says there shouldn't be a problem finishing the count by the constitutional deadline of seven days after Tuesday’s vote.

              Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says the state will award another $240 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to expand high-speed internet access. That's on top of $408 million in grants that Georgia awarded to 49 providers in February to serve rural parts of the state. Counting previous federal aid, utilities and others will have gotten nearly $1 billion to bring high-speed connections to Georgians who lack them. February's grants were supposed to link up 132,000 of the remaining 482,000 Georgia homes and businesses without broadband. Applications for the new grants open Monday. Guidelines call for applicants to consider affordability as part of their plan.

              A judge has ordered a gunman who took up to 10 hostages at a Beirut bank to force the release of his trapped savings to stay behind bars. It's apparently a bid to prevent copycats as desperation deepens over Lebanon’s economic meltdown. Relatives said Friday that keeping him in custody breaches an agreement that had him surrender after a seven-hour standoff in return for $35,000 and promises that he would be questioned then set free. It was the latest reminder of the pain created by Lebanon’s nearly three-year economic and financial crisis, described by the World Bank as one of the world's worst since the 1850s.

              The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation has opened an investigation into seat belt pretensioners on certain 2020-2022 Kia/Hyundai vehicles, saying that they may rupture or explode. A seat belt pretensioner is a part of the seat belt system that locks the seat belt in place during a crash. The ODI said that if the pretensioner ruptures it could release shrapnel, causing abrasions or other injuries. It is aware of three separate incidents of possible faulty seat belt pretensioners.

              Amid rising inflation, interest rates and recession worries, money is getting tighter for many folks — and probably for you. Yet there may be charitable organizations you want to support,…

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              Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

              Greece’s coast guard says a search and rescue operation is continuing for a third day for migrants reported missing after their boat capsized south of the Greek island of Rhodes. The coast guard says a Greek frigate and three merchant ships are searching areas south of Rhodes and southeast of Karpathos. A total of 29 male survivors were picked up by a merchant ship and a Greek air force helicopter in the early hours of Wednesday after the boat sank. Survivors initially indicated 60 to 80 people had been on board. But that figure was later revised and the coast guard said Friday that a total of 50 to 60 people were now believed to have been on board.

              Portugal’s prime minister says European authorities are considering a liquefied natural gas pipeline from Spain to Italy. That option would get around France’s opposition to a gas link-up across the Pyrenees between the Iberian peninsula and central Europe. Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa said Friday that his country and Spain could send a lot of the liquefied natural gas, or LNG, they receive from around the world to other European Union countries. EU countries have struggled to find ways of weaning the bloc off its reliance on Russian natural gas. Russia has weaponized gas exports to pressure the bloc into reducing its sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

              The Ford Foundation took the unprecedented step of issuing $1 billion in debt to help stabilize other nonprofits in June 2020. The move delighted investors and inspired several other large foundations to follow suit. Two years later, the foundations all stand by their decisions to take on long term debt. It allowed several to essentially double the amount they spent on grantmaking in response to what the MacArthur Foundation called the “twin pandemics” of COVID-19 and systemic racism. But the foundations say they are unlikely to repeat the bond issuance any time soon, even though they were attractive to investors who want more ESG investments.

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