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Fourth of July fireworks canceled and delayed due to worker shortage

The Fourth of July is a holiday with a lot of sensory experiences.

For some, that means going for a swim at the beach or pool, hosting a barbecue and enjoying a burger, or perhaps, most importantly, sitting under the night sky and watching celebratory fireworks crackle and boom overhead.

This year's celebrations might look and sound a bit different for many Americans, though. That's because there's a nationwide shortage of pyrotechnicians, otherwise known as the people who are qualified to safely coordinate and oversee fireworks shows.

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5 protest songs that have taken on new meaning post-Roe

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, many have turned to music to express the emotion that has overwhelmed them in this moment.

It's no surprise. Musicians have long provided the soundtrack to these kinds of dramatic shifts, using their artform as a means of political expression. Some songs find new relevance, while others seem to have lyrics that speak for the mood of a generation.

Johnny Navarro

Monthly car payments have crossed a record $700. What that means

Cars have long had their own special place in America.

The wide open roads, the wind in your hair, the feeling of freedom when you drive. Cars have been celebrated in movies and eternalized in songs for evoking all that.

And right now, that feeling of freedom comes with a pretty hefty price tag. The average monthly car payment crossed $700 a month earlier this year, the highest on record, according to Cox Automotive/Moody's Analytics.


She tried to avoid plastic while grocery shopping for a week. Here's how it went

I didn't see the thin plastic thread running between one leaf on my pineapple and its tag when I put the pineapple in my shopping cart, when I checked out or when I unpacked groceries at home. It wasn't until I chopped off the top and tug on the tag that it hit me.

I'd broken the rules again.

That damn plastic tag tie joins the long list of mistakes I made in just one week of trying to eat plastic-free.


A strong earthquake has killed at least 5 in southern Iran

TEHRAN, Iran — Five people were killed and 44 others injured in a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in southern Iran on Saturday, state television reported.

Rescue teams were deployed near the epicenter, Sayeh Khosh village, which is home to around 300 people in Hormozgan province, some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of the capital, Tehran, the report said.

People went into the streets as aftershocks continued to jolt the area after the early morning quake, which also damaged buildings and infrastructure.


A Biden administration offshore drilling proposal would allow up to 11 sales

NEW ORLEANS — President Joe Biden's administration on Friday proposed up to 10 oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one off the Alaska coast over the next five years — going against the Democrat's climate promises but scaling back a Trump-era plan that called for dozens of offshore drilling opportunities including in undeveloped areas.


The Texas Supreme Court has blocked an order that resumed abortions in the state

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Texas Supreme Court late Friday night blocked a lower court order that said clinics could continue performing abortions, just days after some doctors had resumed seeing patients following the fall of Roe v. Wade.

The ACLU said the order for now does not allow criminal enforcement of a virtual abortion ban in Texas, but does clear the way for civil enforcement. It was not immediately clear whether Texas clinics that had resumed seeing patients this week would halt services again. A hearing is scheduled for later this month.


Airlines brace for huge July Fourth weekend crowds

The July Fourth holiday weekend is off to a booming start with airport crowds crushing the numbers seen in 2019, before the pandemic.

Travelers across the United States experienced hundreds of canceled flights and a few thousand delays on Friday, much as they did earlier this week.

Patricia Carreno arrived with friends at Los Angeles International Airport only to learn that their Alaska Airlines flight to Mazatlan, Mexico, had been canceled.


TikTok says it's putting new limits on Chinese workers' access to U.S. user data

TikTok is working on a deal with the Biden administration that would "fully safeguard" the app in the U.S. and quell fears about the Chinese government's accessing Americans' data, according to a letter TikTok sent to nine Republican senators that was released on Friday.

Shou Zi Chew, TikTok's chief executive, wrote that the company is nearing a final agreement with the U.S. government to ensure its data-sharing practices do not raise national security concerns.

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Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (July 1)

As Friday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:

Russian missiles hit residential areas near Odesa, killing at least 21 people. Fierce fighting has continued in the area, in southern Ukraine, for weeks.