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WASHINGTON (AP) — A mysterious ailment has sickened and killed thousands of songbirds in several mid-Atlantic states since late spring. While scientists are still racing to confirm the cause, it seems juvenile birds may be most susceptible. The U.S. Geological Survey, which oversees responses to some natural hazards and risks, has recommended that people temporarily take down bird feeders and clean out bird baths to reduce places that birds could closely congregate and potentially spread disease. Read more

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The yearslong effort by state and local governments in the U.S. to force the pharmaceutical industry to help pay to fix a nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis took a major step forward Tuesday when lawyers for local governments announced they were on the verge of a $26 billion settlement with the nation’s three biggest drug distribution companies and the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson. Read more

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The Press & Journal, a weekly paper covering Middletown, a small town near Pennsylvania’s capital, folded in July 2020 because its ad revenue collapsed in the pandemic. Its publishers, Joe and Louise Sukle, decided there was no future for the paper, even after getting a $146,000 emergency small-business loan from the government and donations from the community while seeing its site traffic zoom up. Read more

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BLY, Ore. (AP) — Erratic winds and parched Oregon forests added to the dangers for firefighters on Monday as they battled the largest wildfire in the U.S., one of dozens burning across several Western states. The destructive Bootleg Fire was considered one of the largest in modern Oregon history and was burning more than 476 square miles (1,210 square kilometers), an area about the size of Los Angeles. The blaze just north of the California border was 25% contained. Read more

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