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MOSCOW — Russia’s top diplomat angrily rejected U.S. allegations that Moscow was preparing a pretext to invade Ukraine, as Russian troops that are amassed near the Ukraine border launched more drills Monday.

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RICHMOND, Va. — History-making Republican Winsome Earle-Sears began her tenure presiding over the Virginia Senate on Monday as the state’s first woman to serve as lieutenant governor and the first Black woman to hold statewide office.

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Just over a year ago, millions of energized young people, women, voters of color and independents joined forces to send Joe Biden to the White House. But 12 months into his presidency, many describe a coalition in crisis.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic’s effort to play in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19 moved to a higher court Saturday as the No. 1-ranked tennis player appealed the second cancellation of his visa.

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WASHINGTON — The late Sen. Harry Reid was remembered Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol as a “legendary leader,” a hardscrabble Democrat who rose from poverty in a dusty Nevada mining town to deliver landmark legislation from the Senate’s most powerful position.

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BRUSSELS  — The United States and NATO rejected key Russian security demands for easing tensions over Ukraine but left open Wednesday the possibility of future talks with Moscow on arms control, missile deployments and ways to prevent military incidents between Russia and the West.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to meet with Senate Democrats at the Capitol on Thursday, a visit intended to deliver a jolt to the party's long-stalled push for voting and elections legislation.

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The U.S. Army, for the first time, is offering a maximum enlistment bonus of $50,000 to highly skilled recruits who join for six years, The Associated Press has learned, as the service struggles to lure soldiers into certain critical jobs during the continuing pandemic.

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is redoubling its efforts to expand supply and accessibility of COVID-19 testing as it faces mounting criticism over long lines and supply shortages for testing nationwide and confusion about when to get tested amid the omicron surge.