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Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Judge rules Paul Flores and father to stand trial in 1996 Kristin Smart killing

Current News / News & Features /

LOS ANGELES — A San Luis Obispo County judge ruled that Paul Flores will be tried for murder in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart and that his father must also answer to charges that he was an accessory to the crime.

Judge Craig B. Van Rooyen on Wednesday made the decision there was probable cause to try both father and son after ...Read more

Governor's Office photo/Governor's Office photo/TNS

Florida's new surgeon general issues rule ending required school quarantines, says parents will decide

Current News / News & Features /

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida parents can now decide if their children should quarantine or stay in school after exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, according to an emergency rule the state’s new surgeon general signed Wednesday, the day after he was tapped for the job.

The new rule wipes out a previous one that required ...Read more

Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/TNS

COVID-19: Idaho adds 1,829 cases, 13 deaths Tuesday. Governor allots more relief funding

Current News / News & Features /

BOISE, Idaho — With some state hospitals on the brink of having to ration care because of an influx of COVID-19 patients, as they observe crisis standards of care protocols, Idaho added 1,829 new cases on Tuesday and 13 deaths, according to data from the Department of Health and Welfare.

Hospital beds and intensive care units are filling with...Read more

National Hurricane Center/National Hurricane Center/TNS

Next tropical depression has a 90% chance of forming; Peter and Rose weaken

Current News / News & Features /

A southeastern disturbance has a 90% chance of becoming the next tropical depression, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. update.

Meanwhile, tropical depressions Peter and Rose seemed to almost be joined together at the hip as they entered the Atlantic together, they degenerated together and they may dissipate together as well...Read more

Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS

St. Louis County Council wants embattled health director to answer questions about new mask mandate, July meeting

Current News / News & Features /

CLAYTON, Mo. — The St. Louis County Council on Tuesday delayed a vote to confirm Dr. Faisal Khan as county health director until after they meet with him to discuss a possible new mask mandate as well as fallout from a contentious public meeting in July where he lost his composure.

Khan, as acting health director, appeared before the council ...Read more

R. Kelly says he will not testify in sex trafficking trial

Current News / News & Features /

NEW YORK — Disgraced R&B superstar R. Kelly said Wednesday he will not take the stand in his own defense, setting the stage for closing arguments in his sex trafficking trial.

The “Sex Me” singer quietly told Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Ann Donnelly that he consulted with his lawyers and opted not to testify.

“And is it your decision ...Read more

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

SC poison control sees uptick in calls about controversial anti-parasitic ivermectin

Current News / News & Features /

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As misinformation spreads about the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin — which has not been approved as a viable treatment for COVID-19 — calls to the Palmetto Poison Center about the medication have increased, the center's director said.

As of Monday, seven South Carolina residents have called the Palmetto Poison Center — ...Read more

Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Patients flood emergency rooms at Chicago area children's hospitals, causing long wait times. Doctors urge parents not to bring kids to ERs unless necessary

Current News / News & Features /

CHICAGO — Chicago area doctors are pleading with parents not to bring their kids to hospital emergency rooms unless necessary, saying that an unusual surge in respiratory illnesses is flooding ERs with children and leading to long wait times.

University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital is seeing 79% more patients in its ER compared with...Read more

Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/TNS

Biden to pledge more vaccine doses to boost global inoculation rates

Current News / News & Features /

WASHINGTON — The United States will double the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses it is donating to the global inoculation effort, President Joe Biden plans to announce Wednesday.

The commitment will bring to more than 1 billion the total number of doses the U.S. has pledged to other countries in hopes of bringing the pandemic to a close and ...Read more

Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Biden ordered federal agencies to boost voter participation. He gets their plans this week

Current News / News & Features /

WASHINGTON — Federal agencies this week will submit plans to the White House on ways to increase voter registration and participation as the deadline approaches for one of President Joe Biden’s key voting rights initiatives.

The White House has been tight-lipped on the specific plans that federal agencies are developing, but voting rights ...Read more

Apu Gomes/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Breakthrough COVID-19 cases expected to become more common in coming months

Current News / News & Features /

WASHINGTON — Mild cases of COVID-19 among vaccinated individuals are becoming increasingly common as the highly contagious delta variant barrels through communities, but physicians and public health experts say that shouldn’t be a cause for significant concern.

A breakthrough case of COVID-19 occurs when a person contracts COVID-19 at least...Read more

Dirk Waem/Belga/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Remdesivir averts hospitalization in study of high-risk patients

Current News / News & Features /

Early treatment with Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir kept high-risk COVID-19 patients out of the hospital in a late-stage international trial that supports administering the medicine to individuals recovering at home.

A three-day course of the injectable antiviral, also known as Veklury, was associated with an 87% reduction in ...Read more

Boyzell Hosey/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

St. Petersburg gun violence may break records this year. Can this father end it?

Current News / News & Features /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — To deliver the message, he drove from his home in East Tampa, over the Howard Frankland Bridge and down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

The corner where Maress Scott stopped was unusually quiet that May afternoon. It’s known for blaring music and smoke spewing from the grill charring the “best food in town.”

...Read more

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images North America/TNS

Public health experts 'flabbergasted' that Biden still hasn't picked an FDA chief

Current News / News & Features /

President Joe Biden’s failure to name someone to lead the Food and Drug Administration, more than 10 months after the election, has flummoxed public health experts who say it’s baffling for the agency to be without a permanent leader during a national health crisis.

The pandemic has taxed the FDA, an 18,000-person agency whose chiefs have ...Read more

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/TNS

Moderate Democrats not monolithic about their budget concerns

Current News / News & Features /

WASHINGTON — A group of centrist House Democrats is united in ensuring their chamber won’t vote on a reconciliation package unless it can pass the Senate. But they have individual policy priorities that could divide them on the final product.

Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, for example, is reluctant to support a package that’s even half the ...Read more

Noam Galai/Getty Images North America/TNS

Melissa Barrera hopes addiction drama 'All the World Is Sleeping' humanizes the issue

Current News / News & Features /

Melissa Barrera hopes her movie “All the World Is Sleeping” serves as a wake-up call about substance abuse.

The “In the Heights” actress explores the depths of addiction in the new drama, starring as a young mother whose daily struggle with drugs jeopardizes her health and custody of her daughter.

Barrera’s character, Chama, is based...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

When will kids under 12 be approved for the COVID-19 vaccine? What parents need to know

Current News / News & Features /

CHICAGO — Many parents and children are eagerly awaiting news from vaccine manufacturers and the Food and Drug Administration on progress toward authorizing vaccines for children younger than 12.

Though children are generally less affected by COVID-19, they can still be vectors to transmit the virus in the community. They are key for ...Read more

Kaiser Health News/TNS

When COVID deaths are dismissed or stigmatized, grief is mixed with shame and anger

Current News / News & Features /

Months after Kyle Dixon died, his old house in Lanse, Pennsylvania, is full of reminders of a life cut short.

His tent and hiking boots sit on the porch where he last put them. The grass he used to mow has grown tall in his absence. And on the kitchen counter, there are still bottles of the over-the-counter cough medicine he took to try to ease...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Disinformation may be the new normal, election officials fear

Current News / News & Features /

As voting wound down last week during the California recall election, Natalie Adona, the assistant registrar of voters in Nevada County, got an irate phone call.

A voter, driven by disinformation that Republican politicians had pushed for weeks, berated Adona over the state’s lack of a photo ID law, saying election officials exposed the ...Read more

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/TNS

Stuart Rothenberg: The Democrats' deepening dilemma

Current News / News & Features /

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall victory aside, Democrats have had a difficult few weeks and now find themselves in an increasingly tricky political position.

No, I’m not referring to President Joe Biden’s job approval in national polls, which has dropped noticeably over the past few weeks. Those survey data reflect the impact of the...Read more