Latest Religion and politics News

In this image from video, Vice President Kamala Harris swears in Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., on the floor of the Senate Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Senate Television via AP)

Senate confirms Biden 1st Cabinet pick as Democrats control

Jan. 21, 2021 2:31 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three new senators were sworn into office after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed...

Doug Emhoff, left, Vice President Kamala Harris, President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden, stand during a performance of the national anthem during a virtual Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Biden, Harris urged to 'repair the breach' in prayer service

Jan. 21, 2021 1:56 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris heard from leaders from a wide array of religious traditions Thursday in the National Prayer Service, a day after they were sworn into office to lead a sharply polarized country. An inaugural tradition that went online this year due to...

A nurse sorts pharmacy supplies just delivered at a new field hospital set up in a sports hall in Lisbon, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Portugal's new daily COVID-19 cases have jumped to more than 14,600 to set a new national record. The pandemic has gained momentum in Portugal since Christmas, when restrictions on gatherings and movement were eased for four days. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Portugal shuts schools, blames variant for COVID-19 surge

Jan. 21, 2021 10:28 AM EST

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s government on Thursday ordered the closure of schools for two weeks amid a surge in COVID-19 infections that the prime minister blamed on the rise of a more contagious variant. “The risk of this virus spreading through society has increased,” Prime...

Pakistan seeks to block US-based website of minority Ahmadis

Jan. 21, 2021 8:48 AM EST

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan has ordered a U.S.-based website propagating the faith of Pakistan's minority Ahmadis shut down over allegedly blasphemous content, one of the site's managers said Thursday. Harris Zafar said Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority earlier this month issued a legal notice...

President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden walk in a parade during the Presidential Escort, part of Inauguration Day ceremonies, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Biden inaugural: Abrupt pivot to civility in post-Trump era

Jan. 21, 2021 12:09 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington couldn’t turn the page quickly enough from Donald Trump to President Joe Biden. Trump's voice faded from the capital he had animated and antagonized since 2017 as he flew to private life in Florida, with his last trip on Air Force One tuned in to Biden's inauguration on...

President Joe Biden pauses as he signs his first executive orders in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden bets big on immigration changes in opening move

Jan. 20, 2021 11:10 PM EST

SAN DIEGO (AP) — For the opening salvo of his presidency, few expected Joe Biden to be so far-reaching on immigration. A raft of executive orders signed Wednesday undoes many of his predecessor’s hallmark initiatives, such as halting work on a border wall with Mexico, lifting a travel ban on people...

President Joe Biden signs his first executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Day One, Biden targets Trump policies on climate, virus

Jan. 20, 2021 10:35 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is moving swiftly to dismantle Donald Trump's legacy on his first day in office, signing a series of executive actions that reverse course on immigration, climate change, racial equity and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The new president signed the orders...

The Latest: Fireworks light up sky to celebrate inauguration

Jan. 20, 2021 10:18 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Joe Biden's presidential inauguration (all times local): 10:15 p.m. Fireworks lit up the sky behind the Washington Monument to mark the end of Inauguration Day for President Joe Biden. Biden and first lady Jill Biden watched the end of the day’s events from a balcony...

Isaac Smith, of Boston, speaks to a reporter near the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston about the new incoming administration, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Smith, a 21-year-old Harvard University student, said he voted for Biden and was excited for what's to come.

Americans who live, work near capitols see peace, new hope

Jan. 20, 2021 9:04 PM EST

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Normally quiet streets around U.S. state capitol buildings have looked more like battlegrounds recently, putting those who live and work there on edge. More than most people, these Americans will have front-row seats on whether the change of leadership Wednesday in the White House will...

Missouri Republicans move to limit health officials' power

Jan. 20, 2021 6:41 PM EST

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Republican senators in Missouri on Wednesday debated ways to check health officials' power in response to their handling of the coronavirus pandemic. One proposal would ensure there are no government-imposed occupancy limits on churches and other places of worship during public...