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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal prosecutors said Friday that they have charged three Southern California women with using prison inmates' names to bilk a state agency out of a combined nearly $1.25 million in coronavirus-related unemployment benefits, the latest allegations in an ongoing scandal that has cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Friday a $7.4 billion general fund spending plan for the coming fiscal year that boosts state funding for public education, early childhood services and more — while using her veto pen to assert sole authority over $1.6 billion in new federal pandemic relief funding.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers took the unusual step Friday of ordering workers to remove all concrete slabs hanging over the entrances and exists of the University of Wisconsin System headquarters building, days after two slabs fell off the facade and crashed to the sidewalk outside the building's main doors.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed three education bills on Friday to help address learning loss incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and expand access to in-state tuition for military dependents whose parents were reassigned to another location.

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ROME (AP) — Italian prosecutors have accused a top World Health Organization official of lying to them about a spiked WHO report into Italy’s coronavirus response, revealing private communications Friday that are likely to embarrass the U.N. health agency.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will authorize $536 million toward forest management projects and efforts to reduce wildfires before the worst of the fire season strikes later this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders said Thursday.

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In the largest program of its kind, New York lawmakers have created a $2.1 billion fund to aid workers who lost jobs or income during the coronavirus pandemic but were excluded from other government relief programs because of their immigration status.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A union complaint about whether an Oklahoma meatpacking plant is doing enough to protect workers from the coronavirus could test the industry's response to the pandemic because Seaboard Foods says it is following recommendations from the government and trade groups.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has led the nation’s most populous state through the pandemic using complicated metrics, county-by-county rules and a color-coded tier system dictating what people and businesses can do.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Republican attorneys general of Kentucky and Tennessee have added their voices to those in several other states who are objecting to a provision in the $1.9 trillion pandemic aid plan that bars states from using relief money to offset tax cuts.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The COVID-19 vaccination center at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison will be able to increase the number of doses delivered by 2,100 a week thanks to new staffing support from the federal government starting on Wednesday, Gov. Tony Evers announced.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and vast sums of government aid will accelerate global economic growth to a record high this year in a powerful rebound from the pandemic recession, the International Monetary Fund says in its latest forecast.

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has approved $4.7 billion in state aid for national carrier Air France as it struggles through the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision the French government welcomed as “good news.”

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell downplayed a new infusion of federal relief for his home state's government, questioning the need Monday as the economy looks to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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