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Wash. state planning commissioner resigns over anti-LGBTQ+ comments

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SEATTLE — A Sammamish planning commissioner who said LGBTQ+ people are "poisoning our kids," among other statements, has resigned amid condemnation from the city and residents.

Wassim Fayed said in comments that drew fire after a Thursday meeting that LGBTQ+ people "spread diseases" and "are not a minority people who are disenfranchised." His...Read more

Michael Pierson/Oceanic Society/TNS

Two dozen killer whales spotted celebrating a hunt off the San Francisco coast

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Michael Pierson, a naturalist for the nonprofit eco-tourism organization Oceanic Society, has traveled from the San Francisco coast to the Farallon Islands many times during peak whale-watching season.

But on May 7, he decided to deviate from the usual course.

"It really worked in our favor," Pierson said.

Pierson and others spotted a few ...Read more

STL County prosecutor Bell launches campaign against Hawley, would be MO's first Black senator

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St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell on Wednesday launched a campaign for U.S. Senate in Missouri as a Democrat, attempting to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Josh Hawley in 2024.

Bell, 48, the first Black county prosecuting attorney in St. Louis County history, would be the first Black senator from Missouri if elected. He will ...Read more

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Missouri woman accused of violating probation in Jan. 6 case released from DC jail

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A Springfield, Missouri woman being held without bond in a Washington, D.C., jail for allegedly violating probation in her Capitol riot case was released this week and ordered to be returned to Missouri.

Mahailya Pryer was to be taken immediately to a facility in Springfield to attend an inpatient substance abuse program, a federal judge ...Read more


Storm alert: Hurricane center tracking low-pressure system in the Atlantic

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The National Hurricane Center is tracking a new system in the far northeastern Atlantic.

Here are the details:

Where is the storm?

Location: The system being monitored is a non-tropical area of low pressure. As of the 8 a.m. Wednesday advisory, it was midway between the eastern Azores and Madeira Island.

How strong is the system and will it ...Read more

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Protesters tell Pa. officials not to bus homeless out of town

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PHILADELPHIA — In the wake of a controversy about how Norristown, Pennsylvania, officials are treating people in homeless encampments, a small and quiet group of protesters gathered at a borough council meeting Tuesday night.

Some of them, subdued but pointed, were critical of Council President Thomas Lepera, who has told people he'd planned ...Read more

Ben Smegelsky/NASA/TNS

NASA on track for Psyche launch on Falcon Heavy after missteps forced delay

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Fallout from last year’s delay to the launch of the Psyche asteroid probe led to an independent review of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and its handling of the mission. The leader of that review says the team has been impressed with NASA’s reaction as the launch is back on track for an October liftoff on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy from ...Read more

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Haze from wildfires raises asthma, heart and other health concerns in US Northeast

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Health officials across the U.S. Northeast are warning residents to take precautions after wildfire smoke traveling south from Canada unleashed unhealthy air quality levels that pose a risk to the sick, elderly and young children.

New York City officials canceled outdoor school recess and suggested the most vulnerable wear high quality masks ...Read more

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Missouri enacts ban on trans athletes in women's sports as Parson signs two anti-LGBTQ bills

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- College and K-12 transgender student athletes in Missouri will be banned from competing in women’s sports when school starts again in the fall.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bans both public and private schools, including colleges, from allowing students to compete in sports that ...Read more

Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS

Recommendation to reprimand Parkland judge deviates from earlier cases

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The question of whether to formally discipline Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer’s handling of the Parkland high school mass shooting trial has turned out to be, consistently with the rest of the case, anything but routine.

Broward County has seen its share of judges facing censure for conduct on and off the bench, from public ...Read more

Opponents want to put Atlanta's public safety training center on ballot

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A group of organizers against Atlanta’s planned public safety training center are taking an initiative they hope will lead to the controversial project being placed on ballots in the November election.

The “Vote to Stop Cop City” coalition has launched a referendum campaign, just one day after Atlanta City Council voted in the early ...Read more

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Pope Francis hospitalized for another abdominal surgery

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Pope Francis was again admitted to a Roman hospital Wednesday, this time for another abdominal operation, the Vatican announced.

The 86-year-old pontiff was scheduled Wednesday afternoon to undergo a “laparotomy and abdominal wall surgery” at the A. Gemelli University Hospital, where he’s expected to remain for several days, according to ...Read more

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Sacramento embraces surprise arrival of migrants stuck in national political feud

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On the same day that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration took responsibility for sending dozens of migrants seeking asylum to California, the volunteers and organizers inside the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral of Sacramento refused to say the Republican politican's name.

Instead, they wanted to talk about the 36 men ...Read more

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Rep. Jimmy Gomez launches Renters Caucus to fight housing crisis

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Rep. Jimmy Gomez, a Democrat who represents urban areas of Los Angeles where more than three-quarters of households are renters, on Wednesday launched a caucus focused on renters to address affordability, bureaucratic barriers and lack of housing stock.

It’s a time of crisis that could have economy-wide impacts, Gomez said, calling for the ...Read more


Lack of oxygen in cockpit eyed in mysterious Virginia jet crash

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Crash investigators face a difficult task dissecting what happened aboard the private jet that cruised up and down the US East Coast on Sunday with an incapacitated pilot, especially if the cause was a lack of oxygen.

The Cessna 560 Citation V carrying a Hamptons real estate agent, her daughter and a nanny flew for about two hours without ...Read more

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LAPD officer's alleged killer stands trial again after conviction in 1983 case was tossed

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LOS ANGELES -- A little more than four decades have passed since Paul Verna's final day as a police officer.

The 35-year-old motorcycle cop thought he was making a routine traffic stop on June 2, 1983, prosecutors said. But he had pulled over a vehicle occupied by four people who'd committed a string of armed robberies in the San Fernando ...Read more

Gardiner Anderson/New York Daily News/TNS

New York City air quality reaches hazardous levels due to Canadian wildfires; risk high Wednesday afternoon

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NEW YORK -- Canadian wildfires have created dangerous air quality conditions in New York City as an orange sun and smoggy cloud layer has descended on the Big Apple.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation issued an air quality health advisory for New York, Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond counties as well as surrounding suburbs ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Report: Four of California's prisons ranked worst at handling COVID, care for inmates

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LOS ANGELES — More than three years after the pandemic started sweeping through the California prison system, a report from UCLA offers a new measure of just how bad it was — and which prisons handled it the worst.

After analyzing nearly 300 letters and interviews from people in prison, a team of law students ranked which facilities had the...Read more

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Dam destroyed in the dead of night upstages Ukraine's counteroffensive

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The 24 hours before Tuesday’s flooding of the Dnipro River basin were already dramatic, as Ukraine appeared on the cusp of a counteroffensive that many in Kyiv see as their best chance to defeat Russia’s invasion.

U.S. President Joe Biden, just hours earlier, gave a fingers-crossed sign in response to a question on the Ukrainian campaign’...Read more

Peaches are a minor part of Georgia's economy, but they're central to its mythology

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The 2023 Georgia peach harvest is looking bad, although the details are sketchy. By some accounts, it’s the worst since 1955. Or maybe since 2017. There are estimates that a mild winter and late spring frost have cost Georgia growers 50% of their crop. Or perhaps 60%, or 85% to 95%. Consumers, say the growers, should expect less fruit, ...Read more