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Cuba COVID-19 cases reach a daily record of 9,323. Did it reopen too soon?

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Over the past month, the daily number of COVID-19 cases in Cuba has tripled to 9,323, a record since the start of the pandemic. Deaths from the virus, which had averaged around 10 per day between April and June, spiked to 20 in early July and steadily rose to 68 on Thursday.

The record was set the same day that Cuba announced it had vaccinated ...Read more

Myung J. Chun/TNS

Wary of blackouts, Gov. Newsom offers cash for conservation as California faces energy squeeze

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Acknowledging the risk of rolling blackouts as California's hot summer drags on, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a state-funded cash-incentive program Friday to encourage big industrial customers to curtail electricity consumption during crunch times.

The governor signed an emergency proclamation that directs the state to ...Read more

Carl Juste/Miami Herald/TNS

The Surfside death toll: Why didn't the numbers add up?

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The final number of dead in the Surfside condo collapse was devastating: 98 lives lost. But at one point it seemed the number could go much higher.

On June 29, five days after the collapse, the number of missing was pegged at more than 150 people. It appeared likely that most would be found dead in the rubble.

A ...Read more

Monica Schipper/Getty Images North America/TNS

UNC emails reveal extent of donor, trustee involvement in Hannah-Jones tenure case

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Hundreds of emails released by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on Friday shed more light on the behind-the-scenes battle over a tenure package for acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who ultimately decided to go elsewhere.

The emails show the efforts of megadonor Walter Hussman to dissuade UNC-CH trustees ...Read more

Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Damaged Hyperion plant is releasing partially treated sewage into Santa Monica Bay

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LOS ANGELES — More than two weeks after a flood of raw sewage inundated the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant and triggered a massive discharge into Santa Monica Bay, the damaged facility has continued to release millions of gallons of partially treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, in violation of its environmental permit, the Los Angeles...Read more

News briefs

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Leading lawyer for Jussie Smollett can remain on case, judge rules

CHICAGO — A top defense lawyer for Jussie Smollett will be allowed to stay on the actor’s defense team but cannot cross-examine two key witnesses against him, a Cook County judge has ruled.

In a written order, Judge James Linn said the evidence “clearly and convincingly�...Read more

Matthew Cavanugh/Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

Ruth Pearl, mother of slain journalist who turned her grief into activism, dies at 85

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LOS ANGELES — Ruth Pearl, the mother of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl who turned the profound and lasting agony of losing a son into a life of activism, outreach and bridging cultural divides, has died at her home in Los Angeles.

Pearl, who died July 20, had been suffering from pulmonary difficulties. She was 85.

After ...Read more

Alyssa Pointer/TNS

Georgia Republicans take key step in Fulton elections takeover bid

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ATLANTA — Georgia Republican lawmakers took a key step Friday in a long and untested process that could trigger an extraordinary takeover of the elections system of one of the state’s biggest Democratic strongholds.

State Rep. Jan Jones and four other House Republican legislators sent a letter Friday demanding a review of Fulton County’s ...Read more

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images North America/TNS

Justice Department tells Treasury to turn over Trump tax records to House

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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department told the Treasury Department on Friday that it must turn over former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and information to the House Ways and Means Committee — although a legal fight could remain.

The opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel reverses course from the DOJ’s 2019 opinion, during the ...Read more


CDC director blames COVID setbacks in spread of delta variant on unvaccinated people

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WASHINGTON — Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Friday firmly blamed recent setbacks in preventing the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus squarely on unvaccinated Americans who have defied federal guidance to continue wearing masks.

With the highly contagious delta variant of ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

California drought: Dozens of communities are at risk of running out of water

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — In Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast, city leaders are rushing to install an emergency desalination system. In Healdsburg, lawn watering is banned with fines of up to $1,000. In Hornbrook, a small town in Siskiyou County, faucets have gone completely dry, and the chairman of the water district is driving 15 miles each way to...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

For Ed Buck's victims, being believed was the first mountain to climb

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LOS ANGELES — Before he testified in federal court about Ed Buck injecting him with methamphetamine, one man's anxiety sent him to the hospital.

Others who had planned to testify against Buck, who was convicted this week in the overdose deaths of two Black men in his apartment, couldn't bring themselves to do it. Some wept on the witness ...Read more


How will legal system look at group who stoned a gunman in Texas? Experts weigh in

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FORT WORTH, Texas — The people who stoned a man to death as he opened fired on them are unlikely to face charges, according to legal experts, because their actions appear to fit within all the legal parameters of self-defense.

Partygoers chased a gunman and hurled landscaping bricks at him after he shot at least one person at a party Monday ...Read more

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images North America/TNS

Newsom asks Biden to ensure Pentagon OKs use of satellite data for wildfire program

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WASHINGTON — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday publicly asked President Joe Biden to ensure California can continue to access the Pentagon’s sensitive military satellite information as part of a program to help spot and track wildfires.

The 2-year-old program, called FireGuard, relies on access to the military’s infrared satellites that ...Read more

Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Leading lawyer for Jussie Smollett can remain on case, judge rules, but can't question 2 key witnesses

Current News / News & Features /

CHICAGO — A top defense lawyer for Jussie Smollett will be allowed to stay on the actor’s defense team but cannot cross-examine two key witnesses against him, a Cook County judge has ruled.

In a written order, Judge James Linn said the evidence “clearly and convincingly” shows that attorney Nenye Uche had spoken with those witnesses ...Read more


Northern California's Dixie fire swells beyond 240,000 acres, swallowing homes

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The Dixie fire continues its destructive tear through Northern California and now claims the rank of the state’s 11th largest wildfire in recorded history after growing roughly 20,000 acres.

The fire jumped from the No. 13 spot overnight Thursday.

Now burning into its third week, the massive wildfire has seared 240,595 acres across a quartet...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

CDC scaled back hunt for breakthrough cases just as the delta variant grew​​​​​​

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The U.S. agency leading the fight against COVID-19 gave up a crucial surveillance tool tracking the effectiveness of vaccines just as a troublesome new variant of the virus was emerging.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped comprehensively tracking what are known as vaccine breakthrough cases in May, the consequences of...Read more


Biden to announce more Cuba sanctions, details on internet, remittances and embassy plans

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President Joe Biden will announce further sanctions on Cuban organizations and officials responsible for the violent crackdown on anti-government protesters and more details on U.S. efforts to provide internet to Cubans ahead of a meeting Friday afternoon with Cuban Americans at the White House.

The administration will use the Global Magnitsky ...Read more

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images North America/TNS

Newsom asks Biden for more 'boots on the ground' in fighting California wildfires

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WASHINGTON — California Gov. Gavin Newsom pleaded with President Joe Biden for more federal support in combating forest fires Friday during a virtual White House meeting with Western governors.

Following the governors of Montana and Washington, Newsom offered some of the most pointed criticism of the federal government’s handling of the ...Read more


Number in custody in Haiti over President Moïse's assassination surpasses 44

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More than 44 individuals have been arrested in the ongoing investigation into who killed Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Haiti National Police said Friday.

Among those taken into custody were a dozen police officers, including four who accompanied Colombian commandos say accompanied them as they entered Moïse’s hilltop home in the middle ...Read more