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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MST

  • Navajo Nation: No COVID-19 deaths for 25th time in 40 days

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Monday reported 39 more COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the 25th time in the past 40 days. The latest numbers pushed the tribe's totals to 37,455 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll remains at 1,498. Based on cases from Oct. 22-Nov. 4, the Navajo Department of Health on Monday issued an advisory for 56 communities due to an uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. The tribe's reservation is the country's largest at 27,000 square miles and covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.    

  • New Mexico considers hourly $15 minimum for state workers

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Momentum appears to be building behind proposals to lift minimum pay in New Mexico state government to $15 an hour for at least 1,200 public workers who make less than that, amid a state budget surplus and national trends toward higher wages. State Personnel Office Director Ricky Serna confirmed that efforts are underway to increase bottom-tier state salaries and boost overall state government payroll for rank-and-file employees at executive agencies. His agency oversees compensation guidelines for nearly 17,000 employees at executive agencies. Lead House budget negotiator Patricia Lundstrom said Monday that bottom-rung pay is hurting state recruitment and retention.

  • Asian Americans push for representation via redistricting

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Activists are pushing states to ensure growing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities can be equally represented in government during the redistricting process. They're asking lawmakers to draw districts in a way that accounts for population growth and doesn't dilute their political power. Surveys point to some consensus among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters on issues such as taxes, health care and guns. In Nevada, questions over whether to protect incumbents or draw majority AAPI districts may challenge the Democratic-controlled statehouse, where non-Asian members represent districts where the AAPI population is concentrated.

  • Albuquerque man's shooting death marks city's 101st homicide

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The city of Albuquerque has now surpassed 100 homicides since the start of the year. The Albuquerque Journal reports a man officers found dead with a gunshot wound to the head Sunday night is the city's 101st homicide victim. Several hours earlier around 1 a.m. police responded to a shooting at an Albuquerque food market that left one man dead and another wounded. Albuquerque is now at its its highest homicide total and rate in recorded history. Police Chief Harold Medina says the department is devoting resources to the increase in homicides. Mayor Tim Keller signed an executive order last month creating a task force to focus on gun violence. 

  • Navajo Nation reports 60 more COVID-19 cases, no deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported 60 more COVID-19 cases but no new deaths. The latest numbers released Sunday pushed the tribe's totals to 37,411 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The known death toll remains at 1,498. Tribal officials still are urging people to get vaccinated, wear masks while in public and minimize their travel. All Navajo Nation executive branch employees had to be fully vaccinated against the virus by the end of September or submit to regular testing. The tribe's reservation is the country's largest at 27,000 square miles and covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.  

  • US reopens to international travel, allows happy reunions

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Parents held children born while they were stuck abroad. Long-separated couples kissed, and grandparents embraced grandchildren who had doubled in age. The happy reunions played out Monday as the U.S. fully reopened to many vaccinated international travelers. The easing of pandemic restrictions allowed families and friends to reunite for the first time since the coronavirus emerged. It also offered a boost to the travel industry decimated by the pandemic. American citizens and permanent residents were always allowed to enter the U.S., but the travel bans grounded tourists, thwarted business travelers and often keep relatives far apart. Travelers must have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test.

  • US ex-diplomat defends private mission to troubled Myanmar

BANGKOK (AP) — Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson acknowledges criticism of his humanitarian visit to Myanmar, but he tells The Associated Press he feels his trip was constructive. Richardson is the highest-profile American to visit the Southeast Asian nation since its military seized power in February. He traveled there last week to discuss delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, medical supplies and other public health needs. The U.S. government shuns Myanmar's military-installed government and urges a return to democracy. Opponents of the government who are conducting a militant civil disobedience campaign want the outside world to treat the generals as pariahs, so Richardson ran into a storm of online criticism for engaging with the government.

  • Air-scrubbing machines gain momentum, but long way to go

NEW YORK (AP) — Leading scientific agencies say even if the world manages to stop producing harmful emissions, that won't be enough to stop a climate catastrophe. They say we need to suck massive amounts of carbon dioxide out of the air and put it back underground. Just a few years ago, this technology, known as "direct air capture," was seen by many as an unrealistic fantasy. But the technology has evolved to where people consider it a serious tool in fighting climate change.