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Pfizer's COVID vaccine for younger kids wins FDA panel's backing

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The benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine for young children made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE exceed its risks, according to a panel of U.S. experts, putting a shot for the youngest school-age children on track for a likely clearance.

The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccines advisory committee voted 17-0, with one abstention, to back the ...Read more

Yana Paskova/Getty Images North America/TNS

NYPD cop admits felony charge against Eric Garner after chokehold death was 'total mistake'

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NEW YORK — One of the officers who wrestled Eric Garner to the ground during his fatal 2014 arrest testified Tuesday to falsely charging the Staten Island man with a felony after riding with his lifeless body in an ambulance.

NYPD Officer Justin D’Amico also claimed he never heard Garner utter his infamous pleas: “I can’t breathe.”

...Read more

Courtesy North Port Police Department/TNS/TNS

Authorities admit mistaking Brian Laundrie's mother for him during surveillance into Gabby Petito's disappearance

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Investigators seeking Brian Laundrie as a “person of interest” in his girlfriend’s strangulation murder mistook his mother for the 23-year-old man while surveilling his parents’ house, they acknowledged Monday.

But they said he had probably already been dead by the time that happened.

“Other than confusion, it likely changed nothing,...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Miami lawmakers demand answers from Fauci over puppy experiments

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WASHINGTON — Two Miami lawmakers joined a bipartisan group demanding answers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases after an advocacy group revealed that taxpayer funds paid for research that involved infecting beagle puppies with parasites to test experimental drugs.

Republican U.S. Reps. Carlos Gimenez and Maria ...Read more

Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Hundreds of Americans remain in Afghanistan, Pentagon official says

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WASHINGTON — Almost two months after the U.S. withdrew all of its troops, the State Department is in touch with hundreds of Americans who want to leave Afghanistan, the Pentagon’s top policy official said Tuesday.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of Defense for policy, told lawmakers that...Read more

Will hurricane season end with a whimper? Watch La Nina, scientists warn

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TAMPA, Fla. — There hasn’t been much happening in the tropics since Hurricane Sam dissipated on Oct. 5.

This is rare for the Atlantic in October. It’s just the third time since 1995 the tropical Atlantic did not have a single active storm from Oct. 6 to Oct. 27, according to Colorado State Researcher Phil Klotzbach. It’s also great news...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Lawsuit by Chicago workers challenging vaccine mandates heads to federal court today

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CHICAGO — A federal judge on Tuesday is scheduled to take up an emergency request by more than 100 Chicago firefighters and other city employees seeking a freeze on vaccine mandate orders by both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court was the latest seeking court intervention to try to ...Read more

JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/TNS/TNS

Pfizer says lower-dose vaccine for small kids could also work for older children

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Pfizer Inc.’s lower-dose COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 appears to offer protection across the board, company officials said, and the drug giant may look into offering lower doses for teens who now get the adult dose.

A scientific advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration is deliberating Tuesday on whether to recommend the ...Read more

Lynda M. Gonzalez/TNS

Voting rights lawsuit seeks to overturn Texas' new congressional districts

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AUSTIN, Texas — An organization affiliated with Eric Holder, who was attorney general in the Obama administration, has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's GOP-drawn redistricting map for Congress on behalf of a Latino-rights group and 13 Texas voters.

Filed Monday in Austin federal court, the lawsuit claims mapmakers in ...Read more

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images North America/TNS

Georgia to challenge federal vaccine mandate in court this week

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ATLANTA — Georgia’s top Republican officials plan to file a lawsuit this week that challenges President Joe Biden’s mandate that requires federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr are set to file the lawsuit by Friday, according to two people with direct knowledge...Read more

PALM BEACH POST FILE PHOTO/Palm Beach Post/TNS

Jeffrey Epstein concealed sex crimes when he sold charter jet company to Georgia man, lawsuit says

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ATLANTA — Deceased millionaire Jeffrey Epstein became infamous for an alleged pedophilia ring enabled by his fleet of private planes.

Just weeks before he was arrested for sex trafficking underage girls in 2019, he sent one of his luxury jets to Georgia.

The tycoon showed off his Gulfstream G-IV to Thomas Huff, a Cobb County aviator ...Read more

FBI/U.S. Attorney's Office/TNS/TNS

South Carolina man charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot wants trial, rejects initial plea deal

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina man who arrested by the FBI in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots rejected an initial plea offer Tuesday from federal prosecutors.

William “Robbie” Norwood III, who attended a Tuesday afternoon hearing by a virtual connection, is for the present choosing to go to trial, said his lawyer, Peter Cooper...Read more

Sergio Flores/Getty Images North America/TNS

Sandy Hook parents seek more court-ordered sanctions against Alex Jones

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AUSTIN, Texas — The parents of two children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting have asked a Travis County judge to impose additional sanctions against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for continued obstruction of their lawsuits.

Jones has already been assessed almost $150,000 in court-ordered penalties for failing to give the parents...Read more

Governor's Office photo/Governor's Office photo/TNS

Florida surgeon general says he didn't wear mask while meeting with state senator because he can't 'communicate clearly' with one on

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Tuesday wrote on Twitter about his refusal to wear a mask while meeting with state Sen. Tina Polsky, who has breast cancer, saying he can’t “communicate clearly and effectively” with his face covered.

“Having a conversation with someone while wearing a mask is not something ...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

edited//Lawsuit by Chicago workers challenging vaccine mandates heads to federal court today

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CHICAGO — A federal judge on Tuesday is scheduled to take up an emergency request by more than 100 Chicago firefighters and other city employees seeking a freeze on vaccine mandate orders by both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court was the latest seeking court intervention to try to ...Read more

Mark Hume //Chicago Tribune/TNS

Conservative group alleges voter fraud in Illinois' DuPage County, but experts say evidence is weak

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CHICAGO — The national furor over alleged voter fraud has come to DuPage County, with a group fronted by Republican politician Jeanne Ives claiming that more than 1,000 people voted in the November 2020 election using DuPage addresses where they no longer lived.

Ives said her organization, Breakthrough Ideas, compared voter records against ...Read more

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS

National Juneteenth Museum to be built in Fort Worth beginning in spring 2022

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Fort Worth will soon become home to the National Juneteenth Museum, which will not only contain and educate about the history behind the holiday, but will also host seminars and lectures about freedom and its historical perspectives.

Sable Brands, a Fort Worth-based public affairs and marketing firm, announced Tuesday that...Read more

Sally Good/Chicago Tribune/TNS

'Our hearts are heavy,' relatives say as new John Wayne Gacy victim is identified as North Carolina man

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The family knew him as “Wayne,” and the last they saw him, he was a young man in the mid-1970s — with his hair slicked-back and grinning beneath a wide mustache.

Four days ago, the North Carolina family learned that Francis Wayne Alexander died 45 years ago in one of the country’s most infamous string of murders, one...Read more

Maria Dryfhout/Dreamstime/TNS

Michigan Senate votes to block school mask, vaccines requirements

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LANSING, Mich. — The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate approved bills Tuesday that would attempt to block broad requirements for students to wear masks or to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The four-proposal package passed in party-line votes of 19-15 as federal regulators consider whether to authorize vaccines for children under the age ...Read more

Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/TNS

Senators hit Pentagon's 'lax' response to sexual assault

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WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators criticized the Defense Department on Tuesday for moving too slowly to combat sexual assault in the ranks.

The group of eight senators, including three who serve on the Armed Services Committee, made their views known in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III that was obtained by CQ Roll ...Read more