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Black mom sues LA Unified over cotton-picking project at elementary school, lawsuit says

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LOS ANGELES — A Black parent filed a civil rights lawsuit last week against the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Board of Education, saying that a cotton field was set up at an elementary school in 2017 that was intended to teach students about the experiences of slaves.

Rashunda Pitts said her 14-year-old daughter, who is ...Read more

Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office/Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office/TNS

FBI's 'Rust' shooting analysis leaves key questions unresolved

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A long-awaited FBI report, including an analysis of the weapon Alec Baldwin fired last October on the New Mexico set of "Rust," resolved some issues but left untouched key questions surrounding the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The FBI did not draw any conclusions about where live ammunition came from but it concluded that the ...Read more

ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/Getty Images North America/TNS

Superior Court judge lets Georgia's abortion law stand during state challenge

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ATLANTA — A Fulton County Superior Court judge on Monday said the state can continue enforcing Georgia’s new abortion law while a challenge of the law makes its way through the courts.

Abortion rights advocates and providers had asked Judge Robert McBurney in a hearing last week to grant a temporary restraining order that would block the ...Read more

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Rudy Giuliani named a target of investigation into Georgia's 2020 election, attorney says

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ATLANTA — Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney to former President Donald Trump, was informed by Fulton County prosecutors Monday that he is a target of the ongoing criminal investigation into Georgia’s 2020 elections, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

Attorney Bill Thomas, who is representing Giuliani in Atlanta, was called ...Read more

Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Judge excuses 16 potential jurors in R. Kelly's federal trial, many who said they would have trouble being impartial

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CHICAGO — Jury selection in R. Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago got underway Monday with the judge questioning 30 potential jurors about what they know about the indicted R&B star and the charges against him.

Shortly before court began, Kelly, dressed in a gray suit and tan shirt, was brought into the large ceremonial courtroom at the ...Read more

TOM GRALISH/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy ends COVID testing mandate for teachers, child care workers, state contractors

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday signed an executive order lifting the mandate that teachers and school workers, people who work in child care facilities and state contractors who are unvaccinated must undergo routine COVID testing.

The change takes effect immediately for school districts and child care facilities, and will take effect ...Read more

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Rudy Giuliani named a target of investigation into Georgia's 2020 election, attorney says

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ATLANTA — Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney to former President Donald Trump, was informed by Fulton County prosecutors Monday that he is a target of the ongoing criminal investigation into Georgia’s 2020 elections, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

Attorney Bill Thomas, who is representing Giuliani in Atlanta, was called ...Read more

Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Attorneys for Mercedes driver accused of killing 5 deny she has history of crashes

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LOS ANGELES — Attorneys for the nurse accused of causing the Windsor Hills crash that killed five denied Monday that their client has an extensive history of car accidents.

"It's been reported extensively and it's not true," said Halim Dhanidina, who represents Nicole Lorraine Linton, a travel nurse who was working at Kaiser Permanente's West...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Second effort to force LA District Attorney George Gascón into recall election fails

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LOS ANGELES — A second effort to force Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón into a recall election fizzled out Monday after officials determined the campaign to boot him from office failed to gain enough valid signatures.

To force Gascón into a recall race, the campaign seeking his ouster needed to gather 566,857 valid ...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Second effort to force LA District Attorney George Gascón into recall election fails

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LOS ANGELES — A second effort to force Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón into a recall election fizzled out Monday after officials determined the campaign to boot him from office failed to gain enough valid signatures.

To force Gascón into a recall race, the campaign seeking his ouster needed to gather 566,857 valid ...Read more

Maria Itina/Dreamstime/TNS

Following the collapse of NYC carriage horse, a witness, councilman and animal rights activists call on DA to probe industry

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NEW YORK — Animal rights activists and City Councilman Bob Holden are demanding that the Manhattan D.A. launch a criminal investigation into the carriage horse industry after a horse collapsed last week in Hell’s Kitchen.

One activist said that the collapse of the horse, Ryder, wasn’t a “spontaneous tragedy with any warnings,” but an ...Read more

Chloe Jones/San Luis Obsipo Tribune/TNS

Kristin Smart trial: Handler says cadaver dog signaled in Paul Flores' dorm during search

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The murder trial for the men accused in connection with the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart continued Monday with testimony from a cadaver dog handler.

Paul Flores is accused of killing Smart after leaving an off-campus Cal Poly party in May 1996. His father, Ruben Flores, is accused of helping hide her body. The two ...Read more

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Pennsylvania man arrested for threatening to slaughter FBI agents and 'water the trees of liberty' with their blood

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PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania man who threatened to slaughter FBI agents and “water the trees of liberty” with their blood on social media last week after the search of former President Donald Trump's Florida estate was arrested by federal authorities on Monday.

Adam Bies, 46, of Mercer, faces one count of influencing, impeding or ...Read more

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS

Releasing Mar-a-Lago affidavit would 'irreparably harm' Trump probe, Justice Dept. says

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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has asked a court to keep an affidavit that led to the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last week under seal, warning that its disclosure could cause “significant and irreparable damage” to its ongoing criminal investigation.

Media outlets and conservative organizations...Read more

Rob Dicker/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Shock, confusion at Six Flags after shooting wounds two teens

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When Aisha Tahir went to buy her kids funnel cake at the end of a long day at Six Flags Great America, she saw things scattered about the food hut’s kitchen. People were hiding under the windows.

They feared for their lives after a gunman shot two people in the Gurnee, Illinois, amusement park’s parking lot Sunday night.

“The way people ...Read more

News briefs

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House Republicans ramp up pressure over Afghanistan exit

WASHINGTON — One year after the United States’ chaotic exit from Afghanistan last August, Republican lawmakers are putting renewed pressure on the Biden administration to answer questions about the withdrawal.

In a new report from the House Foreign Affairs Committee minority, ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Baltimore prosecutors drop cases of 25 state corrections officers charged under gang statute with using excessive force

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BALTIMORE — Baltimore prosecutors have dropped the charges against 25 state correctional officers accused in 2019 of using excessive force against inmates and functioning as a criminal enterprise in jails around the city.

Several defense attorneys representing the officers, all of whom were part of a specialized tactical unit, questioned how ...Read more

Rich Fury/Getty Images North America/TNS

When did Anne Heche die? Divided media reveal a split in the definition of 'dead'

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LOS ANGELES — Reports of Anne Heche’s death rolled out in waves — from Friday morning through Sunday evening, depending on the media outlet — prompting some in the news industry to reexamine their nuanced definition of the word “dead” and in some cases to reconsider policies on whether an obituary gets published while a subject ...Read more

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images North America/TNS

Trump executive Weisselberg in plea talks to resolve tax case

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NEW YORK — Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, is in plea talks with state prosecutors to resolve tax fraud charges and avoid an October trial, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were charged last year, accused of conspiring to avoid income taxes...Read more

Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Jury selection in R. Kelly's federal trial begins with judge dismissing many who said they would have trouble being impartial

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CHICAGO — Jury selection in R. Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago got underway Monday with the judge questioning more than 60 potential jurors about what they know about the indicted R&B star and the charges against him.

By the end of the day, a total of 34 jurors had made it past the first round of questioning — about six shy of where the ...Read more