Garland says Justice Dept. must be politically independent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general, vowed on Monday to prioritize civil rights, combat extremist attacks and ensure the Justice Department remains politically independent. Garland appeared Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee and faced questions about the investigation of Biden’s son Hunter as well as the fallout from the…

Biden to visit Mich. vaccine plant as winter throws a curve

WASHINGTON (AP) — Extreme winter weather is dealing the first major setback to the Biden administration’s planned swift rollout of coronavirus vaccines just as the national vaccination campaign was hitting its stride. The disruptions caused by frigid temperatures, snow and ice left the White House scrambling to work with states to make up “lost ground.”…

COVID-19 Bill would Scale up Ability to Spot Virus Mutations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists would gain vastly expanded capabilities to identify potentially deadlier mutations of the coronavirus under legislation advancing in Congress. The U.S. now maps only the genetic makeup of a minuscule fraction of positive virus samples, a situation some experts liken to flying blind. It means the true domestic spread of problematic mutations…