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Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Say goodbye to clean energy's era of constantly falling prices

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The era of ever-cheaper clean power is over, giving a fresh jolt of uncertainty to global energy markets battered by one supply crisis after another.

Relentless price declines over the past decade made renewables the cheapest sources of electricity in much of the world. In the past year, though, prices for solar panels have surged more than 50...Read more

Apu Gomes/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Newsom has big plans to get rid of California's homeless camps. Will they work?

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After pouring an unprecedented $12 billion into homeless housing and services last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom now is turning to the massive tent camps, shanty-towns and make-shift RV parks that have taken over California's streets, parks and open spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a never-before-seen effort, the governor is doling out $50 ...Read more


Activists press companies on abortion with Roe v. Wade at stake

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Institutional investors with a combined $11.8 billion in assets launched a coordinated effort to pressure The Home Depot Inc. and more than a dozen other companies on the disparity between their public support for women in the workplace and contributions to lawmakers who want to restrict abortion access.

Fund managers including the Employees’...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

California kids 12 and older could receive COVID-19 vaccine without parent's OK

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ani Chaglasian spent much of last year trying to convince her parents that she should be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The 17-year-old said she laid out research showing it would safety protect her from being infected or passing the virus to others. She pleaded. She reasoned. She created a slideshow presentation. But, the ...Read more


Florida man charged with human smuggling after 4 freeze to death at Minnesota-Canada border

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MINNEAPOLIS — A Florida man faces a federal charge of human smuggling after an Indian family of four people, including a baby, were found frozen to death in a blizzard at the Minnesota-Canada border.

Steve Shand, 47, was charged Thursday in U.S. District Court. According to the criminal complaint, Shand was arrested Wednesday as he drove ...Read more

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images North America/TNS

New York AG James releases 'final' trove of transcripts, exhibits from Cuomo sex harass probe

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Attorney General Letitia James’ office released the final batch of transcripts and videotaped interviews related to her office’s sexual harassment investigation into former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Documents made public on Thursday include testimony from Cuomo detractors and defenders, offer new insight into the administration’...Read more

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images North America/TNS

FBI director, Colleyville rabbi, security experts speak about hostage standoff and healing

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FORT WORTH, Texas — In Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker’s first public meeting since Saturday’s hostage situation in Colleyville, he joined FBI Director Christopher Wray and the Anti-Defamation League’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and Central Division Vice President Cheryl Drazin in discussing antisemitism, further investigation into the standoff...Read more

Viorel Margineanu/Dreamstime/TNS

Florida sergeant in throat-grabbing video under criminal investigation and placed on leave, officials say

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SUNRISE, Fla. — The Sunrise Police sergeant who was recorded grabbing a fellow officer by her throat and walking her back toward a police cruiser has been placed on paid administrative leave and is now under a criminal investigation, officials said Thursday.

The video of Sgt. Christopher Pullease, a 21-year veteran, was recorded in November, ...Read more


Alaska Supreme Court upholds elections ballot measure, state will use ranked-choice voting

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The Alaska Supreme Court this week upheld the constitutionality of a new voter-approved elections system, ending the last legal challenge against it.

Alaska will become the second state to use ranked-choice voting, which asks voters to pick multiple candidates in order of preference. Alaska will use it in state and federal general elections but...Read more

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Biden's team says it's on alert for omicron disruptions in China

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is monitoring real-time data obtained from businesses operating in China to determine whether outbreaks of the omicron variant of coronavirus pose a risk to U.S. supply chains, an administration official said.

It’s too early to tell whether there will be any impact on the American economy from the ...Read more

Courtesy Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists/TNS/TNS

Doomsday Clock's hands remain at 100 seconds to midnight

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CHICAGO — Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the United States and Russia are trading versions of I-dare-you over Ukraine, the announcement Thursday that the Doomsday Clock’s hands won’t move this year could be seen as a hopeful sign.

As it has since 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Thursday the position of...Read more

Mark Hume/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Yosemite National Park may limit visitors this summer due to major construction projects

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Concerned about nightmarish traffic jams at Yosemite National Park from more than half a dozen major new construction projects, park leaders are drawing up plans that could limit the number of visitors this summer by requiring reservations for day visits.

“This summer is going to be a crazy construction season in Yosemite like you have never ...Read more

Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Council votes to fire 3 officers charged with killing 8-year-old girl in Pennsylvania

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PHILADELPHIA — The Sharon Hill Borough Council voted Thursday night to fire the three police officers charged with shooting and killing 8-year-old Fanta Bility at a football game in August.

The vote came during a standing room-only meeting in which some expressed support for the officers, while others voiced their outrage and called for ...Read more

Appeals court accusers' case against Church of Scientology can proceed

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LOS ANGELES — Four women who accused the actor Danny Masterson of rape can move forward with a harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, a California appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The suit was filed by women who said they were stalked and harassed by agents of the church after they reported to police that they had been raped by ...Read more

News briefs

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Omicron leaves testing labs overwhelmed, causing frustrating delays to get results

LOS ANGELES — As the omicron surge drives infection rates to record highs, testing has emerged as an essential tool for limiting its spread. But over the last month, laboratories and manufacturers have struggled to keep up with the demand.

In December, ...Read more

Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

DA in Georgia's Fulton County requests special grand jury for Trump probe

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ATLANTA — Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is requesting a special grand jury to aid in her investigation of former President Donald Trump and his efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results.

In a Thursday letter to Christopher S. Brasher, chief judge of Fulton County’s Superior Court, Willis said the move was needed ...Read more

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images North America/TNS

McConnell backs effort to overhaul electoral vote count law

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WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is backing efforts to rework a law on certifying electoral votes as a bipartisan group of senators considers changes aimed a preventing maneuvers deployed by some Republicans last year to challenge the 2020 election results.

McConnell told reporters the process for counting Electoral College...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Coronavirus transmission rates falling across California, bringing guarded optimism

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LOS ANGELES — After weeks of an unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases that challenged hospitals, schools and other institutions, there are growing indications that the surge spawned by the omicron variant is flattening and, in some parts of California, even beginning to wane.

Health officials in San Francisco said Thursday they believe ...Read more

'The quiet part out loud': Booker slams McConnell comment comparing Blacks to Americans

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WASHINGTON — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker of Kentucky pummeled Mitch McConnell for an answer to a question that implies that Black Americans aren’t Americans.

“Being Black doesn’t make you less of an American, no matter what this craven man thinks,” Booker blasted in a fundraising email on Thursday, flagging ...Read more

Corey Lowenstein/The News & Observer/TNS

Warrants outline evidence linking man to 2012 killing of UNC student Faith Hedgepeth

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The Durham man accused of killing Faith Hedgepeth was arrested after investigators linked DNA from a rape kit, a wine bottle and other evidence at the 2012 crime scene to his distant relatives, newly released court documents reveal.

Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares, 28, was charged with first-degree murder Sept. 16, about nine years after the ...Read more