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Divas Who Win Freedom Center/TNS

$248.3 million sought to fight deadly opioid epidemic in Georgia

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ATLANTA — A community service board wants to build a detox center for youths in the Fort Oglethorpe area. An Athens nonprofit has proposed buying two vans so it can get the vulnerable women it serves to their addiction treatment appointments. And Emory University aims to prevent burnout among police officers and other first responders on the ...Read more


States struggle to help patients navigate insurance hurdle known as 'step therapy'

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Cassidy Yermal, 32, began experiencing debilitating migraines when she was 17 years old. As a teenager growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania, she saw numerous neurologists and tried a variety of medications before finding one that provided relief.

In 2022, her new insurer asked her to prove it.

Yermal now lives in Marlboro, Maryland, where ...Read more

Matt Stone/Boston Herald/TNS

'Time for phase two': Boston's South End residents call for help with extended Mass and Cass crisis

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BOSTON — Months after the city shut down tent encampments at Mass and Cass, community members called for an immediate plan to address the way the homelessness and drug use crisis has been pushed out into the surrounding neighborhoods.

“The message is that the Mass and Cass Atkinson Street effort, designed to address the public safety ...Read more

Zuzana Lhotska/Dreamstime/TNS

Backlash against DEI spreads to more states

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SALT LAKE CITY — Shortly after taking office in 2023, Republican state Rep. Katy Hall heard from constituents complaining about how their adult children were required to write diversity, equity and inclusion statements while applying for medical and dental schools and other graduate programs in Utah.

“It doesn’t seem right,” Hall said. ...Read more

Handout/California Legislative Black Caucus/TNS

California could end forced prison labor. Will lawmakers send this measure to the ballot?

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers have revived a proposal that could ask voters to ban involuntary servitude from the state Constitution, a measure they rejected two years ago amid concerns over the cost of paying prisoners higher wages for the work they do behind bars.

The new version of the proposal would make prison work optional ...Read more

Jessica Plance/KFF Health News/TNS

Montana creates emergency 'drive-thru' blood pickup service for rural ambulances

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Crystal Hiwalker wonders if her heart and lungs would have kept working if the ambulance crew had been able to give her a transfusion as the blood drained from her body during a stormy, 100-mile ride.

Because of the 2019 snowstorm, it took 2.5 hours to drive from her small town of Lame Deer, Montana, to the advanced trauma center in Billings.

...Read more

Elaine S. Povich/Stateline/TNS

For child care workers, state aid for their own kids' care is 'life-changing'

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Child care worker Marci Then, 32, looked over at two 4-year-olds in her care who were tussling over a toy plate in a model kitchen set. “Are we sharing?” she gently asked them. They both let go.

Then works at Little Learners Academy child care center near Providence, Rhode Island. Her daughter, Mila, 4, is enrolled ...Read more


Vietnam greets Putin in boost to ties, ignoring US criticism

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Vietnam welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin, underlining its decades-old relationship with Moscow in the face of U.S. criticism over the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Putin arrived in Hanoi on Thursday from North Korea, where he signed a comprehensive strategic partnership with Kim Jong Un, who vowed to “unconditionally” support ...Read more

Charly Triballeau/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mob of teens hurl traffic cones, bottles at Jewish man on Brooklyn street: NYPD

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NEW YORK — A mob of teens threw traffic cones and bottles at a Jewish man on a Brooklyn street, police said Wednesday.

The 41-year-old victim, dressed in Orthodox Jewish garb, was walking near the corner of Lorimer and Meserole Sts. in Williamsburg around 11:45 p.m. on June 6 when the kids began to shout antisemitic statements at him as he ...Read more

AlertCalifornia/Cal Fire/TNS

High heat to clash with dry, windy conditions as Northern California wildfires rage

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California’s fire season began this week with a ferocious start in some Northern California counties as crews contend with dry, windy conditions causing favorable fire conditions ahead of a punishing temperatures scheduled to smother the state this weekend.

The largest conflagration in Northern California — which is poised to grow larger ...Read more

Claudio Cruz/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Sheinbaum sees Mexico's deficit possibly wider than forecast

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MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s deficit in 2025 could reach as much as 3.5% of gross domestic product, the nation’s president-elect said, an indication that she won’t necessarily hold herself to an earlier government forecast of around 3%.

The country will maintain responsible public finances, reduce the deficit and hold off on starting major ...Read more


China has no favorite in Biden-Trump race, US intelligence finds

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WASHINGTON — U.S. spies believe China’s leaders see little or no upside to the looming electoral showdown between President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump.

Ahead of next week’s first debate of the presidential campaign, U.S. intelligence agencies assess that China has no clear preference between the two candidates, according ...Read more


Prosecutors say 5 now are charged with stealing from Minnesota Medicaid to buy luxury goods

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Five people accused of defrauding Minnesota’s Medicaid program out of more than $10 million now face prosecution by Attorney General Keith Ellison.

In charges filed in Hennepin County Wednesday, the state attorney general alleged Medicaid fraudsters provided false documentation, overbilled for services, billed for services...Read more

Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group/TNS

San Jose approves sanctioned encampment plan to move 500 homeless people away from waterways

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The San Jose City Council has agreed to an ambitious plan to move about 500 homeless people living along waterways to sanctioned encampment sites throughout the city by the middle of next year — but it’s already gotten pushback from community members about its choice of locations.

At the direction of state regulators pushing the city to ...Read more


Targeting vaping 'epidemic,' NC lawmakers could remove hundreds of products from stores

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Proposed new vaping rules could block hundreds of e-cigarette products from being sold in North Carolina.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee backed legislation on Wednesday to create a vaping registry that allows only federally authorized vaping products to be sold in North Carolina. Most vaping products on the shelves have not been ...Read more

News briefs

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Activist groups sue LA schools seeking data on app used to report suspicious behavior

LOS ANGELES — More than a year after the Los Angeles Unified School District rolled out an anonymous reporting app in an effort to make its campuses safer, advocacy groups are suing the district for creating "a culture of mass suspicion."

The Los Angeles ...Read more

E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Illinois Republican Chairman Don Tracy resigns just weeks before RNC in Milwaukee

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Embattled Illinois state GOP Chairman Don Tracy resigned Wednesday, ending his more than three-year run and furthering a chaotic period of leadership for a political organization bordering on irrelevancy just weeks before Republicans gather in nearby Milwaukee to renominate former President Donald Trump at their national convention.

Tracy’s ...Read more

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS

12 weeks after Key Bridge collapse, Dali crew still on board. Now a deal means some could be leaving

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They’ve been stuck aboard the Dali container ship for more than 12 weeks now: as the vessel crashed into and destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge, as divers recovered the bodies of six road workers who were killed while filling potholes on the span, as a massive, floating salvage operation sprang up around them to clear the debris.

The crew...Read more

Juli Leonard/The News & Observer/TNS

As NC House moves its budget forward, Senate releases its own proposal

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After talks between the state House and Senate GOP appeared to stall, Republicans in both chambers are moving forward with their own proposals to make adjustments to the state’s two-year budget.

The N.C. House gave initial approval to its budget proposal Wednesday evening in a party-line vote, following hours of debate that included ...Read more

Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Emerson College announces coming layoffs, links declining enrollment to protests

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BOSTON — Emerson College is facing staff and possible faculty cuts in the coming year following a decline in enrollment the college president linked to “negative” messaging from pro-Palestine protestors and hiccups in the FAFSA process this year, an internal email stated.

“Now that the College’s enrollment deposit deadline for this ...Read more