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Trump EPA Chief Wheeler scraps Taiwan visit after scrutiny over cost

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WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler is canceling a planned trip to Taiwan next month that had threatened to stoke anger with Beijing, after concerns were raised about the costs of the travel near the end of the Trump administration.

"Due to pressing domestic priorities at home, Administrator Wheeler's visit to ...Read more

Carline Jean/Sun Sentinel/TNS

State confirms wider investigation into Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida's top law enforcement agency confirmed Tuesday that it is investigating Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony over a wider range of issues than it acknowledged six months ago.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in May that it was conducting a "preliminary investigation" into allegations that Tony lied...Read more

Drew Perine/Tacoma News Tribune/TNS

Federal judge knocks down 2 permits needed for proposed $2 billion Kalama methanol plant

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SEATTLE — A U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma struck down Army Corps of Engineers permits for a proposed $2 billion methanol plant in Kalama, Cowlitz County, because they were not the result of a full review of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts, according to a ruling released Monday.

The loss of the two federal ...Read more


OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to federal crimes

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The company responsible for thousands of overdose deaths at the hands of its drug OxyContin pleaded guilty to federal crimes Tuesday.

Purdue Pharma, owned and operated by the Sackler family while it pushed the painkilling opioid to addicts, formally admitted to the federal charges as part of a plea agreement signed in October.

The settlement ...Read more

Mark Makela/Getty Images North America/TNS

Biden picks a Goldilocks Cabinet, neither too left or right

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WASHINGTON — During the presidential campaign, Democrats expressed persistent anxiety that Joe Biden's coalition would collapse as soon as it ousted President Donald Trump from the White House — it felt too ideologically conflicted, too polarized, too tenuous to hold.

But Biden's initial Cabinet selections and other senior appointments have...Read more

Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Reports detail domestic incident allegedly involving former Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson

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CHICAGO — On the night Chicago police responded to a domestic incident at the home of former Superintendent Eddie Johnson last month, his wife told officers Johnson had set some of her clothing on fire and had been physical with her in the past, according to police reports obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

The reports, released Tuesday through...Read more

Deadly shooting bumps Atlanta's homicide count to highest since 2003

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ATLANTA — Atlanta recorded its 130th homicide Tuesday, making 2020 the deadliest year on record in nearly two decades with more than a month to go.

City officials have struggled to curb the spike in violence this year, which surged over the summer with several high-profile deaths — including those of Rayshard Brooks and 8-year-old Secoriea ...Read more

Mark Makela/Getty Images North America/TNS

Blinken carries Biden's confidence into role as top US envoy

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WASHINGTON — Antony Blinken, tapped by President-elect Joe Biden to serve as America's 71st secretary of state, would carry the most valuable asset a diplomat can have when meeting other world leaders: the confidence of the U.S. president.

Biden and Blinken's history of working together since the early 2000s means America's allies and rivals ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Biden-Harris ticket surpasses 80 million votes

The 2020 Democratic president ticket made history for several reasons and now can claim the most number of votes in a presidential election.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have 80,033,996 votes with as many as millions more still to tally, according to a running ...Read more

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YouTube suspends OAN, a Trump favorite, for touting COVID-19 cure

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YouTube is temporarily banning One America News Network for breaking rules about COVID-19 claims, shuttering the right-wing cable outlet on the world's largest video site for a week.

"After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content ...Read more


Florida reports more than 8,500 new cases of COVID-19 and 73 new deaths

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida reported 8,555 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, continuing an upward trend in the spread of the virus this month ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The state also reported 73 new deaths on Tuesday.

Since the pandemic began, 953,300 Florida residents and non-residents have been infected with COVID-19. The ...Read more

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'That is a lucky bird': Trump pardons Corn, the Thanksgiving turkey

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Pardoning season is upon us.

President Donald Trump, who's rumored to be considering pardons for a handful of humans before he leaves office, extended the executive reprieve to a turkey at the White House on Tuesday and gushed about how "lucky" the Thanksgiving fowl was.

Playing along with the decades-old Thanksgiving tradition, Trump pardoned...Read more

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

San Francisco will keep outdoor dining for now despite COVID-19 surge

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SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco will keep restaurants open for outdoor dining when the city moves into the most restricted coronavirus tier, possibly later this week, a city official said Tuesday.

Joaquin Torres, director of San Francisco's Office of Economic and Workforce Development, said during an online news conference that gyms, movie ...Read more

Alex Slitz/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS

Gov. Beshear announces 2,690 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky, makes last-ditch plea about Thanksgiving

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Before making a last-ditch plea for Kentuckians to avoid big gatherings on Thanksgiving, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 2,690 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky on Tuesday — the second highest single-day increase ever reported on a Tuesday — and 17 more deaths.

"As we have shown you, we are in exponential growth in our cases ...Read more

Michigan adds 6,290 COVID-19 cases, 145 more deaths

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DETROIT — Michigan added 6,290 cases and 145 more deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday as cases continue to surge across the state.

Of the Tuesday deaths, 51 were identified during a delayed records review, the state said.

The latest additions bring the state's total of confirmed cases to 320,506 and deaths to 8,688 since the virus was first ...Read more

Mark Makela/Getty Images North America/TNS

Trump gives Biden access to daily intelligence briefings

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WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden will begin to get the nation's most classified intelligence after the White House signed off Tuesday on providing him the Presidential Daily Briefing as the transition moves forward.

The incoming president getting access to the top-secret briefing is the most high-profile part of the transition and seen ...Read more

Greg Lovett/Palm Beach Post/TNS

Florida adds 8,555 coronavirus cases, with nearly 2,000 in Miami-Dade County

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MIAMI — Florida's Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed 8,555 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's known total to 953,300. Also, 72 new resident deaths were announced, bringing the resident toll to 18,157.

One new nonresident death was also announced, bringing the nonresident toll to 226, according to Florida's COVID-19 Data...Read more

Elizabeth Flores/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

38 COVID-19 deaths, 6,423 new infections reported in Minnesota

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MINNEAPOLIS — Daily COVID-19 case numbers have leveled off in recent days — with the Minnesota Department of Health reporting another 6,423 infections on Tuesday along with 38 deaths — but state health officials said it is too soon to conclude that the latest wave in the pandemic has peaked.

The Minnesota Department of Health has reported...Read more

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Ghislaine Maxwell complains that NYC jail staff shine flashlight in her cell every 15 minutes

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NEW YORK — Ghislaine Maxwell, in quarantine in a Brooklyn federal jail due to coronavirus exposure, has endured a flashlight shined in her cell every 15 minutes while she sleeps, according to her defense attorney.

The new details from Maxwell's lawyer Bobbi Sternheim came in response to the government's claim the British socialite was still ...Read more

Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Michigan AG confirms investigation into threats against Wayne County canvassers

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LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office is "actively investigating threats" made against members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.

Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, two Republican board members, initially blocked the certification of results in Wayne County last week before agreeing to validate them and...Read more