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Facebook rebuts report calling Instagram 'toxic' for teen girls

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Facebook Inc. said body image was the only area out of 12 categories in its research into well-being issues where more teenage girls felt Instagram made things worse instead of better.

The social media giant was rebutting a Wall Street Journal report last week that called the photo-sharing app “toxic” for the group, citing a March 2020 ...Read more

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Polling shows premier vote set for runoff: Japan election

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Voting to elect the leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is almost certain to go to a second round, with no candidate expected to reach the initial majority needed to avoid a runoff, national broadcaster NHK said.

The four lawmakers seeking to replace outgoing Yoshihide Suga as party leader, and thus premier, have two days to ...Read more

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WHO investigators seeking COVID-19's origins heading back to China: report

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The World Health Organization is launching a new investigation into the origins of COVID-19, months after an earlier probe ended without drawing firm conclusions, according to a report published on Sunday.

The WHO is putting together a team of some 20 scientists who will be charged with finding new evidence in China and other locales, the Wall ...Read more

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Biden says Germany's projected election winner is 'solid' party

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President Joe Biden hadn’t heard Germany’s election results when he returned to Washington from his weekend retreat on Sunday, but he complimented the projected winner.

“I’ll be darned,” Biden said when a reporter told him that the Social Democrats were ahead in the election, which will determine who replaces Angela Merkel as German ...Read more

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Austin police weigh dispatching civilians, not officers to some nonemergency calls

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Austin Police Department officials are finalizing plans to dispatch civilians instead of police officers to certain types of calls that do not involve emergencies as a way to maximize patrol staffing and respond to reformers' demands for change.

Interim Police Chief Joe Chacon hinted at his plan Wednesday during an announcement that he would ...Read more

National Hurricane Center/TNS/TNS

Hurricane Sam still at Category 4 strength; 2 tropical depressions could form this week

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Hurricane Sam, a Category 4 with maximum winds of 150 mph, is expected to slowly weaken over the next couple of days, while remaining a major hurricane, forecasters said Sunday.

Sam’s intensity is expected to drop as it encounters storm-shredding wind shear this week, but it’s expected to remain a major hurricane, ...Read more

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

Miami police chief compares actions of some commissioners to Cuba's Communist regime

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On the eve of an emergency commission meeting that threatens to shorten his already brief tenure in Miami, Police Chief Art Acevedo broke a brief silence and penned a scathing eight-page memo that is likely to play a big part in Monday’s showdown.

The chief, sworn in only last April — and who has spoken very little publicly since Monday’s...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Debt limit fight as much about 2022 politics as fiscal policy

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The U.S. is heading to the precipice of a debt default as much for the sake of campaign ads and political branding as fiscal philosophy.

While agreeing that the statutory limit on U.S. borrowing must be raised before it’s breached sometime next month, Republicans and Democrats are completely at odds over who should act.

Senate GOP leader ...Read more

Stephen M. Katz/Newport News Daily Press/TNS

NASA wants to harvest water on moon and Mars, and students think they can help

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HAMPTON, Va. — Deep beneath Mars’ red clay surface lie ancient oceans now frozen into ice sheets. Earth’s moon has hidden water deposits, too — pockets embedded deep inside its rocks.

It’s the kind of liquid treasure scientists at NASA hope to one day mine using specialized drilling tools on the moon or Mars.

As NASA looks for new ...Read more

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office/Douglas County Sheriff’s Office/TNS

Palo Alto scientist pleads not guilty to setting Shasta fire that has claimed 41 homes

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — A Palo Alto woman has been charged with arson in connection with Shasta County’s Fawn fire that has destroyed 41 homes and 90 smaller structures and is threatening thousands more.

Alexandra Souverneva, a 30-year-old graduate of the California Institute of Technology and former Bay Area biotech employee, pleaded not guilty...Read more

Steffi Loos/Getty Images North America/TNS

Scholz has edge after German election leaves outcome undecided

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Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats inched ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in an unprecedentedly tight election that is still to decide who will lead Europe’s biggest economy.

Scholz’s SPD, the front-runner over the final weeks of the campaign, is set to win 26% of the votes, according to a projection by ZDF on Sunday, ...Read more

Switzerland overwhelmingly votes to legalize same-sex marriage

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Swiss voters voted to allow same-sex couples to marry, 20 years after the Netherlands became the first country to do so. A separate proposal for a tax hike was rejected easily.

Some 64% of voters backed liberalization of the marriage law; polls had signaled that public support for the change was broad based.

While Switzerland introduced ...Read more

Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Jurors weigh complex racketeering case against R. Kelly in New York as the superstar singer awaits his legal fate

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NEW YORK — For six weeks, while attorneys sparred and accusers gave emotional testimony about the disgraced R&B superstar at the defense table, the jurors who will determine R. Kelly’s fate have watched in silence.

Now, after 50 witnesses and hours of arguments, their work has begun.

The jurors will have far more complicated decisions to ...Read more


23 shot, 2 fatally, in Chicago from Saturday night into Sunday

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CHICAGO — At least 23 people, including a woman asleep in her South Shore bed and six people in a mass shooting, were shot in Chicago between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Two people were killed.

Six people were injured in a mass shooting in the Lawndale neighborhood shortly after 2:50 a.m. A group of people was standing outside in the...Read more

Hurricane Sam still at Category 4 strength; 2 tropical depressions could form this week

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Hurricane Sam, a powerful Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, is expected to begin a slow weakening in the next couple of days, while retaining its status as a major hurricane, forecasters said.

Sam’s intensity is expected to drop as it encounters storm-shredding wind shear this week, but it...Read more

J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

CDC director warns of 'dire straits' in COVID-hit areas of US

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WASHINGTON — Parts of the U.S. health system “are in dire straits,” as the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant forces some states to prepare for rationed medical care, said Rochelle Walensky, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“That means that we are talking about who is going to get a ventilator, who is ...Read more

Iceland elects Europe's first female-majority legislature

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Iceland elected Europe’s first female-majority legislature in a ballot where the centrist ruling coalition added to its majority after steering the nation through the pandemic.

Some 33 of 63 seats, or 52%, in Iceland’s parliament, the Althingi, were won by women in Saturday’s ballot.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s bloc, which ...Read more

Christian Marquardt/Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

German election race is too close to call, exit polls show

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Germany’s Social Democrats and the conservatives are locked together in the national election exit polls, leaving the decision over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor hanging in the balance.

Olaf Scholz’s SPD, the front-runner over the final weeks of the campaign, had 25% of the votes, according to exit polls from broadcaster ARD on ...Read more

PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mayorkas says US won't protect southern border with wall

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WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the Biden administration won’t build walls on the border despite a pickup in crossings.

“We have seen large numbers of individuals encountered at our border making a claim for asylum, for humanitarian relief,” Mayorkas said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” ...Read more

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office/Douglas County Sheriff’s Office/TNS

Lower temperatures help firefighters boost containment of Fawn fire

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LOS ANGELES — Milder temperatures helped firefighters battling the Fawn fire north of Redding boost containment of the blaze significantly by Sunday as crews try to make the most out of what’s expected to be a short-lived cooling trend.

The Fawn fire had burned 8,537 acres and was 35% contained as of Sunday morning, up from 10% a day ...Read more