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US rebukes Mexico for releasing evidence in drug case against former defense minister

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MEXICO CITY — The U.S. Department of Justice berated Mexico for releasing hundreds of pages of evidence in a drug trafficking case against a former Mexican defense minister, saying the publication of sensitive information shared in confidence violates a mutual aid treaty.

Mexico’s decision to make the documents public raises doubts about ...Read more

Michael Nigro/Sipa USA/TNS

Inauguration Day will come and go. Violent domestic extremism may be around for a while

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WASHINGTON — When it’s over, it won’t be over.

On alternative social media, self-styled militia and patriot websites and hate-group platforms like that of the Proud Boys, the message is the same: There are no plans to fade away after Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

“There’s no reason to believe that the problem we encountered in ...Read more

John Spink/AJC/TNS

Atlanta's deadliest year in decades has city on edge and demanding change

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ATLANTA — A teen selling water bottles killed over $10. A young man shot at a skate park. A child gunned down on the Fourth of July.

Their deaths were among the 157 homicides the Atlanta Police Department investigated in 2020, up from 99 in 2019 and the most in more than two decades.

“It’s ridiculous that now, even during this pandemic, ...Read more


How will Biden family, including President-elect Joe Biden's brother, spend Inauguration Day?

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PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Biden family is no stranger to presidential inaugurations. But the scene will be unlike any they, or any American alive today, has seen in Washington next week.

The clan will first gather together Jan. 19 for an inauguration event at the Lincoln Memorial, according to Palm Beach County resident Frank Biden, the ...Read more

Ringo Chiu/ZUMA Wire/TNS

California counties ‘flying the plane as we build it' in a plodding vaccine rollout

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In these first lumbering weeks of the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history, Dr. Julie Vaishampayan has had a battlefront view of a daunting logistical operation.

Vaishampayan is the health officer in Stanislaus County, an almond-growing mecca in California’s Central Valley that has recorded about 40,000 cases of COVID-19 and lost 700 ...Read more

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune / Pool/Chicago Tribune/Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune / Pool

Delicate COVID-19 vaccines slow rollout — leading to shots given out of turn or, worse, wasted

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For Heather Suri, a registered nurse in Virginia, the race to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19 has thrown up some unprecedented obstacles.

The vaccines themselves are delicate and require a fair bit of focus over time. Consider Moderna’s instructions for preparing its doses: Select the number of shots that will be given. Thaw the vials ...Read more

Andrew Burton/Getty Images North America/TNS

NY prosecutors subpoena records on Trump's Seven Springs estate

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New York City prosecutors, who are investigating President Donald Trump’s company for possible tax, bank and insurance fraud, have broadened their probe to include a sprawling property in Westchester County.

A lawyer for the town of Bedford said Friday the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. last month served the town with a...Read more

Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

Pelosi leaves Congress guessing on Trump Senate trial timing

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WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the impeachment of President Donald Trump as “urgent” but declined to say Friday when the House will send the single charge for inciting insurrection to the Senate to begin his trial.

Speaking to reporters two days after the House impeached Trump for encouraging his supporters who stormed ...Read more

US steps up claims COVID-19 may have escaped from Chinese lab

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WASHINGTON — The State Department on Friday said it had new information suggesting the COVID-19 pandemic could have emerged from a Chinese laboratory and not through contact with infected animals, the latest salvo in the Trump administration’s efforts to pressure Beijing over the virus’s origins.

Specifically, the U.S. said it had ...Read more

News briefs

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Trump-touted plasma therapy shows no benefit against virus, researchers say

A large, national study in the U.K. examining convalescent plasma as a therapy for COVID-19 was ended after a finding that the treatment touted by U.S. President Donald Trump doesn’t work.

The University of Oxford research was part of a clinical trial named Recovery ...Read more

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Biden to mount federal vaccination campaign, breaking with Trump approach

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WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden, inheriting responsibility for a pandemic that is unchecked and worsening after nearly a year, Friday detailed his plan to throw the weight of the federal government behind getting Americans vaccinated against COVID-19.

Biden, in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, five days before his inauguration, ...Read more

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images North America/TNS

Capitol rioters aimed to ‘capture and assassinate' officials, federal prosecutors allege

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WASHINGTON — The pro-Trump extremists who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week aimed to “capture and assassinate elected officials,” with one rioter leaving a note for Vice President Mike Pence warning “justice is coming,” federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing that provides the most detailed explanation yet for what the mob planned...Read more

State capitols fortify against armed threats before inauguration

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WASHINGTON — If any state knows the seriousness of the threats posed by domestic terrorists, it’s Michigan.

State lawmakers faced an armed invasion of the capitol in Lansing in May and a foiled plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in October. As President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration approaches — and with it the threat of more right-...Read more

Michael Nigro/Sipa USA/TNS

Some right-wing groups warning their members away from protests

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Some far-right groups are warning members to avoid the armed rallies planned before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, alleging that the federal government or rivals may be seeking to incite them to violence and entrap them.

“Groups would love for us to show up and get violent in order to push their own agenda — whether it be a ...Read more


One of the world's biggest vaccine campaigns starts in India

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NEW DELHI — India is launching one of the world’s largest coronavirus vaccination drives on Saturday, setting in motion a complex deployment plan aimed at stemming the wide spread of infections across a nation of more than 1.3 billion people.

At hospitals and vaccination centers across major Indian cities — from Mumbai to New Delhi — ...Read more

Pamela Wood/Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/Pamela Wood/Baltimore Sun

Hogan makes last-minute attempt to prevent Democratic gerrymander in Maryland

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Gov. Larry Hogan is making one last effort to stymie partisan gerrymandering in Maryland before the next decade's election maps are drawn.

The Republican governor announced this week the creation of the state's first-ever citizen-led redistricting commission to draft new congressional and state legislative maps. But final approval will ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

After a year of civil unrest, the US is running low on body armor and gas masks

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WASHINGTON — Just days before a new president enters the White House, promising to unify a dangerously divided country, the state of the union can perhaps be judged by this metric: America is facing a shortage of bulletproof vests, gas masks and ballistic helmets.

Some retailers of protective equipment have seen a five-fold increase in sales ...Read more

Kevin Moloney/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lawmakers condemn decision by Trump administration to move Space Command from Colorado

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The General Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a memorial to be sent to President-elect Joe Biden and others, asking him to reverse the Trump administration's decision to take the U.S. Space Command out of Colorado Springs, two days after the administration announced it would go against a decision by the Air Force ...Read more

KCNA/Xinhua via ZUMA Press/TNS

Kim Jong Un's missile tests may welcome Biden to White House

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Kim Jong Un has rolled out a lot of new missiles in recent months, including at least one more this week. The next step is for him to fire them into the air to get President-elect Joe Biden’s attention.

The North Korean leader paraded a new submarine-launched ballistic missile through central Pyongyang Thursday as part of a military pageant ...Read more

Win McNamee/Getty Images/Chicago Tribune/TNS

CVS and Walgreens under fire for slow pace of vaccination in nursing homes

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The effort to vaccinate some of the country’s most vulnerable residents against covid-19 has been slowed by a federal program that sends retail pharmacists into nursing homes — accompanied by layers of bureaucracy and logistical snafus.

As of Thursday, more than 4.7 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna covid vaccines had been ...Read more