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Dreamstime/TNS

TikTok challenge leads to ransacking of suburban Chicago school bathrooms

Current News / News & Features /

CHICAGO — The so-called devious lick TikTok bathroom challenge that has lured teens nationwide to wreak havoc on school restrooms has arrived in suburban Chicago districts, where officials are warning the latrine marauders that videotaping their friends yanking soap dispensers off the wall is no laughing matter.

TikTok has now blocked users ...Read more

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images North America/TNS

Diving after a 50-year-old mystery: Was helicopter wreckage found off San Diego the famed Helo 66?

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SAN DIEGO — Deep-sea divers Brett Eldridge and Tyler Stalter enjoy exploring the wrecks of ships and airplanes deposited by destiny on the ocean floor — sunk by stormy weather, shredded by war, mugged by mechanical mishap.

They also share a passion for undiscovered historical hulks, those vessels lost to time and shifting sands. They know ...Read more

STR/AFP/AFP/TNS

As China's property giant Evergrande veers toward collapse, its unpaid debts spark protests

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SHENZHEN, China — They came from all over the country, dragging cheap suitcases and clutching file folders filled with records, chanting in front of the glassy skyscraper: “Evergrande, pay up!”

They were the owners of small lighting and plumbing and construction materials companies, suppliers for Evergrande, one of China’s largest ...Read more

Ronen Zilberman/Getty Images North America/TNS

Colorado man working to get USS Arizona unknowns identified

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado man is determined that human remains from the USS Arizona are DNA tested and identified after a Pentagon agency in February suggested exhuming 85 gravesites marked “unknown” and entombing the dead in the sunken battleship at Pearl Harbor.

Randy Stratton — son of Donald Stratton, who survived the ...Read more

PAUL RATJE/AFP/AFP/TNS

Facing surge of Haitian migrants in Texas, Biden administration will 'accelerate' removal

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Saturday it would send hundreds of border agents to Texas and “accelerate” efforts to remove Haitian migrants who surged recently at the border crossing and return them to the Caribbean country.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will within 24 to 48 hours deploy 400 additional ...Read more

Idaho charter school principal, dad of 7, dies of COVID

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An Idaho charter school principal and father of seven has died after reportedly contracting COVID-19.

“It is with shock and deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Javier Castaneda,” read a letter Heritage Community Charter School posted to students’ parents.

“We know that this announcement will be very difficult for you and ...Read more

Christina House/Los Angeles Times/TNS

COVID-19 vaccination rates lag in younger Black and Latino residents in L.A. County

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LOS ANGELES — COVID-19 vaccinations are lagging the most in younger Black and Latino residents of Los Angeles County.

Vaccination rates among L.A. County’s Black residents up to age 49 remain below 50%, and among Latino residents in the same age group, remain below 60%, health officials said this week.

These are rates far below that of ...Read more

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Dozens of protesters gather for anti-vaccine rally in front of L.A. City Hall, no problems reported

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LOS ANGELES — Dozens of anti-vaccination protesters gathered for a rally Saturday in front of Los Angeles City Hall, but unlike previous gatherings no counter-demonstrators turned out and things remained mostly peaceful.

Some of those attending the “World Wide Rally for Freedom” carried American flags and signs that read “COVID 1984,”...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Impossible choices inside Alaska's inundated hospitals

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Dr. Gina Wilson-Ramirez worked in the Providence Alaska Medical Center emergency room Sunday night, hours after the state’s largest hospital declared crisis standards allowing doctors to ration care.

Wilson-Ramirez worked as an urban search and rescue worker at the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks. Twenty years ago, after...Read more

Bethany Mollenkof/Los Angeles Times/TNS

LA County juvenile halls are 'unsuitable for the confinement of youth,' state board finds

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LOS ANGELES — Both of Los Angeles County’s juvenile halls are unsuitable to house young people, a state agency that monitors such facilities has found.

The unanimous vote Thursday by the Board of State and Community Corrections gives the county 60 days to either remediate the violations or remove young people from the Barry J. Nidorf ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Harriet Tubman Highway sign unveiled, marking replacements around South Florida

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MIAMI — Harriet Tubman Highway finally saw the light of day in South Florida on Saturday after years of local voices calling for the removal of the name Dixie Highway, one of the state’s most well-known roads.

At the renaming ceremony near Vizcaya Metrorail Station, Florida members of Congress and local commissioners and council members ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Texas tourists accused of roughing up hostess at Carmine's were racially profiled: attorney

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Three Texas tourists accused of attacking a hostess at an Upper West Side restaurant for questioning their COVID-19 vaccination cards claim they were racially profiled and demand the hostess — who they say was the aggressor — be fired.

“This hostess clearly has some anger management issues and unfortunately her aggression and her violence...Read more

Joe Burbank/TNS

4 civilians home safe after SpaceX mission Inspiration4 splashes down off Florida coast

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ORLANDO, Fla. — A few dozen sunrises were enough for the crew of Inspiration4, which returned to Earth nearly three days after lifting off from Kennedy Space Center becoming the first all-civilian crew to launch into orbit.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience and its four passengers splashed down at 7:06 p.m. in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast...Read more

JEREMY SELWYN/POOL/AFP/AFP/TNS

Johnson has a chance to build on submarine coup with Biden talks

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LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson will land in the U.S. on his first trip outside of Europe since the start of the pandemic with his most critical relationship — with President Joe Biden — at a delicate juncture.

A three-way deal to supply nuclear submarines to Australia announced this week has reinforced the idea of a special bond, ...Read more

Carolina Cabral/Getty Images South America/TNS

Maduro's surprise arrival triggers clash at Mexico summit

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The unexpected last-minute appearance in Mexico City of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at a regional summit triggered a clash with leaders allied to the U.S. and revived the ideological split between governments in Latin America.

Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benitez opened his speech at the meeting of the Community of Latin American ...Read more

National Park Service/Handout/TNS

Fighting fire with fire: How prescribed burns could help save the world's largest trees

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As the growing KNP Complex fire creeps toward California’s ancient groves of sequoia trees, firefighters are hoping a delicate and specialized tool will help protect the beloved behemoths: more fire.

Experts say prescribed burns, also known as controlled burns, are becoming increasingly important as California faces a new breed of hotter, ...Read more

North Port Police Department/TNS

Manhunt on for Brian Laundrie, the now-missing boyfriend of vanished Gabby Petito, as investigation takes bizarre turn

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The boyfriend identified as a “person of interest” after last month’s disappearance of his longtime girlfriend during a cross-country road trip for two has now bizarrely gone missing as well, Florida authorities said Saturday.

The search for Brian Laundrie, 23, focused on the 25,565-acre Carlton Reserve, a sprawling wildlife preserve in ...Read more

Yuri Gripas/Yuri Gripas/TNS

Police flood Capitol Hill for right-wing rally over Jan. 6; about 400 protesters show

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A muscular police presence met a sparse crowd of right-wing protesters who headed to Capitol Hill on Saturday to support suspects in the deadly Jan. 6 assault on Congress.

Cops in heavy riot gear stood guard as around 400 people gathered on a grassy field at the foot of the Capitol. A podium above the crowd hosted far-right speakers, who ...Read more

PAUL RATJE/AFP/AFP/TNS

Facing surge of Haitian migrants in Texas, Biden administration will 'accelerate' removal

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Saturday it would send hundreds of border agents to Texas and “accelerate” efforts to remove Haitian migrants who surged recently at the border crossing and return them to the Caribbean country.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will within 24 to 48 hours deploy 400 additional ...Read more

Tropical Storm Odette moves away from the US; Peter likely to form while Nicholas fizzles

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Tropical Storm Odette, which formed Friday evening off the mid-Atlantic coast, is forecast to bring strong winds to the northeast U.S. and Canada as a post-tropical cyclone later today, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 11 a.m., Odette was located 235 miles southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and 460 miles southwest...Read more