The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — Black lawmakers walked out in protest Friday and withheld their votes as the Mississippi Senate passed a bill that would ban schools from teaching critical race theory.

The state superintendent of education has said critical race theory is not being taught in Mississippi schools and legislators have offered no evidence to show it is.

Republicans said the theory teaches "victimhood," while Democrats said the ban could squelch discussion of Mississippi's racist history.

Updated January 22, 2022 at 12:53 PM ET

BIG SUR, Calif. — A wind-driven wildfire broke out late Friday in the rugged mountains above Big Sur, forcing residents to evacuate from their homes and authorities to shut down a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway.

Updated January 22, 2022 at 12:03 PM ET

NORFOLK, Va. — A layer of ice and a blanket of snow covered coastal areas stretching from South Carolina to Virginia Saturday after a winter weather system brought colder temperatures and precipitation not often seen in the region.

Authorities urged drivers to stay off the roads and highways, which forecasters said are slick and snow-packed in the storm's aftermath. They also warned of black ice.

Updated January 21, 2022 at 8:42 PM ET

HANOI, Vietnam — Thich Nhat Hanh, the revered Zen Buddhist monk who helped pioneer the concept of mindfulness in the West and socially engaged Buddhism in the East, has died. He was 95.

A post on the monk's verified Twitter page attributed to The International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism said that Nhat Hanh, known as Thay to his followers, died at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam.

RIO DE JANEIRO — The world-famous Carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro will be held in late April rather than the final weekend of February, as the number of coronavirus cases in Brazil spikes and the omicron variant spreads across the country.

PARIS — Total Energies and Chevron, two of the world's largest energy companies, said Friday they were stopping all operations in Myanmar, citing rampant human rights abuses and deteriorating rule of law since the country's military overthrew the elected government in February.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Intel will invest $20 billion in a new computer chip facility in Ohio amid a global shortage of microprocessors used in everything from phones and cars to video games.

After years of heavy reliance on Asia for the production of computer chips, vulnerability to shortages of the crucial components was exposed in the U.S. and Europe as they began to emerge economically from the pandemic.

BEIJING — China is limiting the torch relay for the Winter Olympics to only three days amid coronavirus worries, organizers said Friday.

The flame will be displayed only in enclosed venues that are deemed "safe and controllable," according to officials.

No public transit routes would be disturbed and normal life would continue for the 20 million residents of the capital, where a handful of new COVID-19 cases have been recorded over recent days.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The tranquil resort in Tonga sat behind a lagoon and reef break that was perfect for snorkelers and surfers alike. Guests who had never met before would sit together to eat delicious communal meals cooked by owner Moana Paea and her staff, or relax in rustic cabins tucked in the trees.

Then came the massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, which killed at least three people and left dozens more homeless. The waves swallowed up the Ha'atafu Beach Resort.

Updated January 21, 2022 at 10:49 AM ET

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A Saudi-led airstrike targeting a prison run by Yemen's Houthi rebels killed and wounded over 100 detainees on Friday, rescuers said, part of a pounding aerial offensive that hours earlier saw another airstrike take the Arab world's poorest country off the internet.

TOKYO — Restaurants and bars will close early in Tokyo and a dozen other areas across Japan beginning Friday as the country widens COVID-19 restrictions due to the omicron variant causing cases to surge to new highs in metropolitan areas.

The restraint, which is something of a pre-state of emergency, is the first since September and is scheduled to last through Feb. 13. With three other prefectures — Okinawa, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi — under similar measures since early January, the state of restraint now covers 16 areas, or one-third, of the country.

NEW YORK — U.S. prosecutors charged four Belarusian government officials on Thursday with aircraft piracy for diverting a Ryanair flight last year to arrest an opposition journalist, using a ruse that there was a bomb threat.

Updated January 20, 2022 at 11:12 AM ET

The first aid flights to arrive since a massive volcano hit the Pacific island nation of Tonga last week landed in the capital Thursday, bringing bottled water, shelters, generators and communications equipment.

LONDON — Some Conservative lawmakers in Britain are talking about ousting their leader, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been tarnished by allegations that he and his staff held lockdown-breaching parties during the coronavirus pandemic.

If Johnson does not heed calls to resign — and he insists he won't — he could be toppled through a no-confidence vote.

Here's how the Conservative Party goes about challenging and changing leaders.

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A proposal to overhaul New Mexico's social studies standards has stirred debate over how race should be taught in schools, with thousands of parents and teachers weighing in on changes that would dramatically increase instruction related to racial and social identity beginning in kindergarten.

The revisions in the state are ambitious. New Mexico officials say they hope their standards can be a model for the country of social studies teaching that is culturally responsive, as student populations grow increasingly diverse.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand is among the few remaining countries to have avoided any outbreaks of the omicron variant — but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday an outbreak was inevitable and the nation would tighten restrictions as soon as one was detected.

But she also said that New Zealand would not impose the lockdowns that it has used previously, including for the delta variant.

Starbucks is no longer requiring its U.S. workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reversing a plan it announced earlier this month.

In a memo sent Tuesday to employees, the Seattle coffee giant said it was responding to last week's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 6-3 vote, the court rejected the Biden administration's plan to require vaccines or regular COVID testing at companies with more than 100 workers.

NEW YORK — Cardi B has offered to pay the burial costs for all 17 people killed in a fire that ripped through a New York City high-rise.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday that the Grammy-winning rapper had offered the financial relief for victims of the fire in the Bronx, where she grew up.

LIMA, Peru — An oil spill on the Peruvian coast caused by the waves from an eruption of an undersea volcano in the South Pacific nation of Tonga prompted dozens of fishermen to protest Tuesday outside the South American country's main oil refinery.

Updated January 19, 2022 at 12:08 PM ET

The University of Michigan has agreed to a $490 million settlement with more than 1,000 people who say they were sexually assaulted by a former sports doctor during his nearly four-decade career at the school, the university and those involved in the settlement announced Wednesday.

KYIV, Ukraine — As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Ukraine, the Biden administration said Wednesday it's providing an additional $200 million in defensive military aid to the country amid soaring fears of a Russian invasion.

DALLAS — The gunman who took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue in a 10-hour standoff that ended in his death was checked against law enforcement databases before entering the U.S. but raised no red flags, the White House said.

Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British citizen, arrived in the U.S. at Kennedy Airport in New York on a tourist visa about two weeks ago, officials said. He spent time in Dallas-area homeless shelters before the attack Saturday in the suburb of Colleyville.

NEW YORK — The New York attorney general's office late Tuesday told a court that its investigators had uncovered evidence that President Donald Trump's company used "fraudulent or misleading" asset valuations to get loans and tax benefits.

The court filing said state authorities haven't yet decided whether to bring a civil lawsuit in connection with the allegations, but that investigators need to question Trump and his two eldest children as part of the probe.

Trump and his lawyers say the investigation is politically motivated.

NEW YORK — André Leon Talley, the towering former creative director and editor at large of Vogue magazine, has died. He was 73.

Talley's literary agent David Vigliano confirmed Talley's death to USA Today late Tuesday, but no additional details were immediately available.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A judge refused on Tuesday to lower the $7 million bail for prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, who is charged with stealing millions of dollars from vulnerable clients.

Murdaugh's lawyers had unsuccessfully argued that the high amount was like no bail at all, saying their client was so broke he was unable even to pay his phone bill.

MINNEAPOLIS — A coalition of media groups says restrictions on access to the federal civil rights trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death amount to an unconstitutional closing of the courtroom.

DETROIT — California prosecutors have filed two counts of vehicular manslaughter against the driver of a Tesla on Autopilot who ran a red light, slammed into another car and killed two people in 2019.

The defendant appears to be the first person to be charged with a felony in the United States for a fatal crash involving a motorist who was using a partially automated driving system. Los Angeles County prosecutors filed the charges in October, but they came to light only last week.

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday denied misleading Parliament about lockdown-breaching parties, as senior government ministers said he would have to resign if he is proven to have lied.

Former Johnson aide Dominic Cummings has said he is willing to "swear under oath" that the prime minister was warned in advance that a May 2020 garden party for Downing Street staff would violate coronavirus restrictions.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Thick ash on an airport runway was delaying aid deliveries to the Pacific island nation of Tonga, where significant damage was being reported days after a huge undersea volcanic eruption and tsunami.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday appear to show the aftermath of a fatal attack on an oil facility in the capital of the United Arab Emirates claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

The images by Planet Labs PBC analyzed by the AP show smoke rising over an Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. fuel depot in the Mussafah neighborhood of Abu Dhabi on Monday. Another image taken shortly after appears to show scorch marks and white fire-suppressing foam deployed on the grounds of the depot.

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