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With state approval, city in California to fast-track landslide mitigation

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With continued winter rains accelerating land movement in Rancho Palos Verdes, the city appealed to the governor for help. Officials wanted to expedite fixes aimed at stabilizing sliding land that has threatened crucial infrastructure and hundreds of homes.

But they already have the necessary green light, state officials said Monday. Some ...Read more

'What is this, "The Handmaid's Tale"?' Exploring moral questions posed by controversial IVF ruling

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Is a frozen embryo a child?

The Alabama Supreme Court says yes. In ruling this month that three couples who lost frozen embryos in a storage facility accident could sue for wrongful death of a minor child, the court wrote that the "natural, ordinary, commonly understood meaning" of the word "child" includes an "unborn child" — whether that's ...Read more

Israel is counting on Middle East neighbors to help rebuild Gaza

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Israel will seek help from countries including the United Arab Emirates to rebuild Gaza when the conflict against Hamas ends, an effort that may face resistance from regional powers in the absence of a breakthrough in establishing a Palestinian state.

“Right now we’re focusing on winning the war,” Nir Barkat, Israel’s economy and ...Read more

Trump's $540 million court fine tests his 'King of Debt' title

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Donald Trump dubbed himself the “King of Debt” when boasting about how his business empire survived hard times, but a pair of big trial court losses this year are putting that moniker to the test.

The former president owes about $540 million from two recent verdicts, a number that exceeds even some of the biggest loans he’s taken out for ...Read more

Sewage could be California's next tool in fighting the opioid epidemic

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A California legislator is proposing a new law that would require routine tests of statewide wastewater for illicit drugs to better inform public health and law enforcement officials.

Propelled by the success of epidemiological sewage testing during the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have continued to build on ways that wastewater ...Read more

What the ancient Indian text Bhagavad Gita can teach about not putting too much of our identity and emotions into work

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A 2023 Gallup poll found that U.S. employees are generally unhappy at work. The number of those who feel angry and disconnected with their organization’s mission is climbing.

An analysis of data from 60,000 employees by BambooHR, an HR software platform, also found that workplace morale was getting worse: “Employees aren’t ...Read more

Yulia Navalnaya, widow of Alexei Navalny, steps forward to lead the Russian opposition – 3 points to understand

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Alexei Navalny, one of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s biggest critics and the country’s de facto opposition leader, died under suspicious circumstances in an Arctic prison on Feb. 16, 2024.

Hours after his death was announced, Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, appeared in a video on social media and said, “I want to live in a ...Read more

Belief in the myth of outlaw heroes partly explains Donald Trump’s die-hard support

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Before Donald Trump likened himself to Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, the former president frequently compared himself with a completely opposite personality – Chicago organized crime boss Al Capone.

During a speech in Nevada in December 2023, Trump painted himself as the victim of overzealous prosecutors who have treated him ...Read more

E-bike incentives are a costly way to cut carbon emissions, but they also promote health, equity and cleaner air

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E-bikes have captured widespread attention across the U.S., and for good reason. They are the most energy-efficient way to move from place to place, providing exercise in the process, and offer enough assistance while pedaling uphill or into headwinds to make them usable for many types of riders.

Greenhouse gas emissions from e-bikes ...Read more

Hundreds of thousands of US infants every year pay the consequences of prenatal exposure to drugs, a growing crisis particularly in rural America

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Nearly 1 in 12 newborns in the United States in 2020 – or about 300,000 infants – were exposed to alcohol, opioids, marijuana or cocaine before they were born. Exposure to these substances puts these newborns at a higher risk for premature birth, low birth weight and a variety of physical and mental disabilities.

These substances ...Read more

Vincent Alban/Chicago Tribune/TNS

The new FAFSA: Here's what you need to know before applying for federal student aid for the 2024-25 academic year

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After a delayed launch that set the timeline back by months, the overhauled Free Application for Federal Student Aid is off to a complicated start.

The FAFSA, which typically opens in October, didn’t become available until Dec. 31, after the government revised the form and changed the formula for student aid in an attempt to make it easier to...Read more

Tom Hirtreiter/Dreamstime/TNS

The science behind why we snack, and how to do it better

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From boredom to corporate marketing, there are a lot of reasons people snack. And not all snacks are the same. Some can boost your diet, while others can leave you feeling bloated and tired. In America, many snackers are having more of the latter.

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the most common snacks in U.S. ...Read more

Samuel Corum/Getty Images North America/TNS

Analysis: Data suggests Biden or Trump may struggle with Congress in second term

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WASHINGTON — No matter who wins their expected rematch, President Joe Biden and Donald Trump should not expect much from Congress during a second term as far as legislation goes.

CQ Roll Call data suggests both Biden and Trump would struggle to shepherd bills through both chambers, and especially the House. Despite that history, lawmakers ...Read more

Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Some California D.A.s are fighting fentanyl with murder charges. Why San Francisco will join them

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SAN FRANCISCO — County by county in California, as fentanyl overdoses escalate, local prosecutors are turning to a novel legal strategy to stem the spiraling death toll: charging drug dealers with murder.

In July, Placer County reached a landmark plea deal that sent a man to prison for 15 years-to-life on charges of second-degree murder after...Read more

Vitali Michkou/Dreamstime/TNS

Health care workers push for their own confidential mental health treatment

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States are redefining when medical professionals can get mental health treatment without risking notifying the boards that regulate their licenses.

Too often, health care workers wait to seek counseling or addiction treatment, causing their work and patient care to suffer, said Jean Branscum, CEO of the Montana Medical Association, an industry ...Read more

Oona Tempest/KFF Health News/TNS

Lawsuits claim South Carolina kids underwent unnecessary genital exams during abuse investigations

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Warning: Some readers may find graphic details in this article to be offensive or disturbing.

CAMDEN, S.C. — Three ongoing federal lawsuits filed in South Carolina accuse the state of forcing boys and girls to undergo traumatic genital exams during child abuse investigations, even when no allegations of sexual abuse have been raised.

One 14...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Bail clampdowns don't match what research says about suspects, experts say

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Crime is shaping up as a potent election issue, and one of the key points of debate is over bail: Which suspects should be jailed before trial, and which ones should be released on bond — and for how much money?

Some conservatives argue that lenient bail policies put suspects who are likely to commit crimes before their upcoming court ...Read more

Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS

Hungary elects Sulyok as president after sex-abuse scandal ousts predecessor

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungarian lawmakers elected the chief of the nation’s constitutional court to be the next president after a child-abuse scandal toppled the head of state this month and threatened to sap support for longtime Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Tamas Sulyok, a 67-year-old jurist who has led a highly politicized top court under ...Read more

Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News/TNS

'Bling Bishop' Lamor Whitehead fraud trial starts as feds say he swindled parishioners

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NEW YORK — Brooklyn’s “Bling Bishop” Lamor Whitehead abused his parishioners’ trust and lied about having “the key to the city” from his pal Mayor Eric Adams to pad his wallet with stolen cash and his closet with Louis Vuitton, federal prosecutors alleged Monday in opening statements.

“During this trial, you’ll learn that the ...Read more

Janos Kummer/Getty Images North America/TNS

Sweden clears final hurdle to join NATO with Hungary vote

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Sweden cleared the final obstacle to gaining NATO membership in a move that will solidify the alliance’s grip over Northern Europe and the Baltic region.

The approval by Hungary’s parliament Monday came 21 months after the Nordic country submitted its membership bid jointly with Finland in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

With ...Read more