National

Griner sends letter to President Biden pleading for his help

Brittney Griner made an appeal to President Joe Biden in a letter passed on to the White House through her representatives saying she feared she may never return home and asking that he not “forget about me and the other American Detainees.” Griner's agent says the letter was delivered on Monday. The Phoenix Mercury All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist is in the midst of a trial in Russia that began last week after she was arrested on Feb. 17 on charges of possessing cannabis oil while returning to play for her Russian team. The trial will resume Thursday.

Holiday-travel chaos: Airlines brace for huge weekend crowds

The fireworks are still a few days away, but travel for the July Fourth weekend is off to a booming start. The Transportation Security Administration said Friday that it screened more people on Thursday than it did on the same day in 2019, before the pandemic. Travelers so far seem to be experiencing fewer delays and canceled flights than they did earlier this week. But it's still early. Leisure travel has bounced back this year, offsetting weakness in business travel and international flying. Still, the total number of people flying has not quite recovered fully to pre-pandemic levels.

Kohl's takes down the 'for sale' sign

The department store announced Friday that it has ended its strategic review process and will no longer consider selling itself to Franchise Group, a holding company that owns The Vitamin Shoppe and other retail brands.

US economy slipped 1.6% to start year; return to growth eyed

The U.S. economy shrank at a 1.6% annual pace in the first three months of the year even though consumers and businesses kept spending at a healthy pace, the government reported Wednesday in a slight downgrade from its previous estimate for January-March quarter. It was the first drop in gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic output — since the second quarter of 2020, in the depths of the COVID-19 recession, and followed a strong 6.9% expansion in the final three months of 2021. Still, the negative number probably doesn’t signal the start of a recession, and economists expect growth to resume later this year.

Aide: Trump dismissed Jan. 6 threats, wanted to join crowd

The latest testimony about the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has Donald Trump rebuffing his own security’s warnings about armed protesters in the crowd gathering for a rally near the White House. A former White House aide also tells the House committee investigating the attack that Trump desperately attempted to join his supporters as they marched to the Capitol. In her testimony Tuesday, Cassidy Hutchinson described an angry, defiant president who grabbed at the steering wheel of the presidential SUV when the Secret Service refused to allow him go to the Capitol. Trump has dismissed her as “a total phony.”

51 migrants die after trailer abandoned in San Antonio heat

Desperate families of migrants from Mexico and Central America are seeking word of their loved ones as authorities begin identifying 51 people who died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer without air conditioning in the sweltering Texas heat. It was the deadliest tragedy to claim the lives of migrants smuggled across the border from Mexico. U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas told The Associated Press that the driver of the truck and two other people were arrested. The bodies were discovered Monday afternoon on the outskirts of San Antonio when a city worker heard a cry for help from a truck parked on a lonely back road.