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Drug overdoses climb during COVID-19 pandemic

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WASHINGTON -- Drug overdoses have risen in some areas during the COVID-19 pandemic, less than a year after the Trump administration touted decreases in the nation's overdose epidemic.

From Memphis to Milwaukee, a range of cities and counties across the country are reporting spikes in fatal and nonfatal overdoses.

Last year, Trump ...Read more

ICE admits to transferring detainees with COVID-19, says it can't test everybody

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MIAMI -- U.S. immigration officials admitted during a federal court hearing Wednesday that they are not conducting COVID-19 testing on every detainee who gets transferred from one detention center to another, saying they don't have enough tests to do so.

Instead, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it is only testing people who have ...Read more

Feds claim government cartel in Venezuela conspired with Hezbollah to attack the US

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Federal prosecutors in New York accused a former Venezuelan lawmaker on Wednesday of participating in narcoterrorism, in an indictment claiming that a cartel headed by top government leaders conspired with the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas to commit attacks against the U.S.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan accused Adel El Zabayar,...Read more

Stanford University forecasts staggering financial losses, workforce reductions

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Stanford president Marc Tessier-Lavigne wrote a letter to the university community Wednesday outlining current financial challenges and staggering projected losses in the months ahead.

Tessier-Lavigne wrote that Stanford is forecasting a "$267 million negative financial impact from COVID-19" between March 1 and Aug. 31, 2020...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Police report possible sightings of Connecticut homicide suspect as manhunt continues

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Police in Pennsylvania say they believe University of Connecticut senior Peter Manfredonia, wanted for two homicides in Connecticut, was spotted in Chambersburg, Pa., Tuesday morning and then used a rideshare service to continue onto ...Read more

My mother died of the coronavirus. It's Time She Was Counted

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We recently received the death certificate for my mother, who died May 4 in an assisted living facility near New York City. "Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome" was the primary cause. And the secondary -- no surprise -- was "suspected COVID-19."

The White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the states are debating the ...Read more

Keeping jurors 6 feet apart is a challenge for courts to reopen

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As the world's courthouses prepare to reopen, many are installing plexiglass "sneeze barriers" and instituting face-mask requirements for litigants and court staff. But one especially vexing problem remains: how to bring back the jury and where to put them.

Consider the plight of Minnesota's Hennepin County, where courts are planning to start ...Read more

Cuba pockets $70 million for its doctors in Algeria, but has not paid them salaries since March

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The Algerian government pays Cuba $70 million a year for the services of nearly 900 doctors. Still, the island's government has not paid their salaries since March, several Cuban doctors in that country told el Nuevo Herald.

The allegations come just after Algeria made public the agreement with the Cuban government to hire doctors. The export ...Read more

Kansas soldier stopped active shooter on Leavenworth bridge, police say

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Fort Leavenworth soldier was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon in a shooting on Centennial Bridge in Leavenworth, Kan., and a suspect was taken into custody after another soldier intervened, according to the police chief.

Leavenworth police had been called to investigate a report of a person firing shots on the bridge....Read more

Preliminary hearing set for 3 suspects in Ahmaud Arbery shooting case

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ATLANTA -- A preliminary hearing will be held June 4 for the three suspects accused in the shooting death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.

Attorneys for Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan filed motions for the hearing, which will be held at the Glynn County courthouse. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to ...Read more

US coronavirus deaths pass 100,000 mark in under four months, leading the world

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WASHINGTON -- The nation's coronavirus death toll surpassed 100,000 in less than four months on Wednesday, a heart-rending inflection point in a pandemic that has profoundly altered Americans' daily lives, ravaged the U.S. economy and put the country's bare-knuckle political disunity on display for all the world to see.

The first U.S. death was...Read more

Joe Biden backs new California labor law as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash try to undo it

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Joe Biden has declared himself firmly against the California initiative to overturn the new state law requiring companies to provide more benefits to app-based workers for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and others.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee made his view clear in a tweet posted on the same day he got the enthusiastic endorsement of ...Read more

Engine failed before deadly Miramar plane crash, instructor tells investigators

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A flight instructor blamed engine failure for a plane crash in Miramar this month that killed a 25-year-old pilot in training, a new federal report shows.

But inspectors with the National Transportation Safety Board so far haven't found evidence of the plane failing or malfunctioning. They haven't specified what caused ...Read more

2 exonerated men file federal suits claiming prosecutors, Chicago police framed them for murder as teens

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CHICAGO -- Two men exonerated of a 2003 murder have sued Chicago police and Cook County prosecutors in federal court, alleging they manipulated photo evidence, physically abused the pair and fabricated their supposed confessions out of whole cloth.

John Fulton and Anthony Mitchell were arrested as teenagers, then spent nearly half their lives ...Read more

SpaceX launch of NASA astronauts scrubbed, rescheduled for Saturday

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SpaceX and NASA planned to launch astronauts Wednesday from the U.S. for the first time since 2011 -- but Florida weather didn't cooperate.

The launch was set for 4:33 p.m. Eastern time, but has been pushed back to Saturday at 3:22 p.m. Eastern time.

The inclement weather plagued launch preparations all day. Two hours before launch, the ...Read more

Bring your own sanitizer, pen: Texas sets safety standards for in-person voting

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AUSTIN, Texas -- With Texas Republican leaders fighting efforts to expand mail-in voting during the pandemic, the state's top election official has issued guidelines designed to improve the safety of polling places, voters and election workers.

Voters were advised to bring their own pen to sign documents as well as hand sanitizer to disinfect ...Read more

California coronavirus milestone: 100,000 cases. 'It hasn't ended'

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LOS ANGELES -- The number of coronavirus infections in California surpassed 100,000 Wednesday, marking a milestone that comes as the state is rapidly reopening its economy.

California is the fourth state to surpass 100,000 confirmed cases. New York leads with more than 300,000 cases. California has recorded more than 3,800 deaths, far fewer ...Read more

Whitmer expands mid-Michigan flood disaster area, adds Iosco County

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DETROIT -- Mid-Michigan's emergency disaster area from last week's flooding got bigger Wednesday, with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer adding Iosco County to Saginaw, Midland, Gladwin and Arenac counties.

Days of rainfall, followed by the failure of both the Edenville and Sanford dams, led to the evacuation of 10,000 Michiganders and the destruction of ...Read more

Canadian court rules for Huawei executive extradition case to proceed

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MONTREAL -- In a decision likely to place further strain on Ottawa's tense relations with Beijing, a Canadian court ruled on Wednesday that the case concerning the extradition of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States can proceed.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia said Meng can be extradited to the U.S. because the...Read more

FBI says Zoom is the newest way child sex abuse is being shared

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Those choosing to share graphic videos of sexual abuse involving children are now using a new platform, according to the FBI. Zoom.

The coronavirus pandemic forced many organizations, companies and schools to use the online platform to hold "virtual" meetings, classes and events. And some of those events have been public, the FBI said.

In ...Read more