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Angelina Katsanis/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Racial disparities in child protection prompt Minnesota legislation, federal complaint

Current News / News & Features /

MINNEAPOLIS — Layla Jackson never returned to her mother.

The cheerful, observant 17-month-old was murdered by her foster father in 2018.

Latasha Bacon said child protection workers should not have removed her daughter from her care after the girl returned from a babysitter's with a broken leg. Bacon, who is Black and Native American, is ...Read more

Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS

Abortion in Missouri: A look at key claims in the 'decline to sign' effort

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — With two weeks left for advocates to gather enough signatures to put abortion-rights on the Missouri ballot this year, opponents are urging people not to sign the petition, saying the proposed constitutional amendment would allow for a radical and unregulated expansion of the procedure.

Among the opponents' claims: the ...Read more

Sallyeva/Dreamstime/TNS

Amazon sold a chemical that led to 15 deaths. Who is responsible?

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SEATTLE -- In December 2020, 15-year-old Tyler Schmidt took a deadly chemical to a wooded area near his home in Camas, Clark County, Washington.

His body was found two days later. The chemical was determined to be his cause of death.

That year, four more individuals died the same way. In 2021 and 2022, 10 more died after ingesting the same ...Read more

Barbara Barret/Stateline/TNS

As consumers lose millions to gift card scams, lawmakers pressure businesses

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When Denise Brown peruses the tightly packed gift card display at her local CVS in Harlem, New York, she sees the perfect present for her grandson: a Sony PlayStation gift card.

Others, acting in bad faith, see these gift card displays as easy money in one of the country’s costliest and most common consumer scams: card draining.

Scammers ...Read more

Paul Faith/AFP/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS

What migration is really doing to politics and economies worldwide

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In a year of elections, populist leaders from Europe to the Americas are pushing a narrative that migration is out of control.

Yet for all the hysteria, the number of international migrants worldwide according to the latest United Nations estimate remains a small minority of the total population. Movement within national borders is still “...Read more

TNS

8-year-old girl, 5-year-old boy dead after car crashes into birthday party in Michigan

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BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A driver crashed her vehicle through a building where a children's birthday party was taking place Saturday afternoon, killing an 8-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother while injuring more than a dozen others at a boat club in Monroe County's Berlin Township.

The incident occurred at approximately 3 p.m. at the ...Read more

TNS

TikTok set to remove executive tasked with fending off US claims, sources say

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WASHINGTON — TikTok is preparing to remove a key executive responsible for convincing the U.S. government that the company was doing enough to stave off national security concerns about its connections to China, according to people familiar with the matter.

Erich Andersen, the U.S.-based general counsel for TikTok and its Chinese parent ...Read more

Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Penn shuts down pro-Palestinian student group

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PHILADELPHIA — The University of Pennsylvania effectively has banned from campus Penn Against the Occupation, a pro-Palestinian group, by revoking its status as a registered student organization.

Friday’s action was the latest clash in a turbulent wave of activism inspired by the war between Israel and Hamas that has swept American ...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

LAPD's recruiting woes laid bare: Only 31 officers per class in last 10 classes, analysis shows

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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department has graduated an average of 31 recruits in its past 10 academy classes, a Los Angeles Times review shows, about half the number needed to keep pace with Mayor Karen Bass’ ambitious plan to reach 9,500 officers.

The smaller-than-hoped-for classes — coupled with the number of experienced ...Read more

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images North America/TNS

House passes $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

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WASHINGTON — Six months after President Joe Biden first asked for it, the House passed a tweaked version of his emergency aid package for key U.S. allies with strong bipartisan support, sending it back to the Senate for a final vote.

The $95.3 billion supplemental spending measure passed under an unusual procedure in which lawmakers voted on ...Read more

Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Nearly month after Key Bridge collapse, recreational boats can use temporary channel on Sunday

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BALTIMORE — Recreational boats will again be allowed to pass the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, this time on Sunday, marking the second opportunity for boaters since the bridge fell three weeks ago.

The Coast Guard said recreational vessels will be able to use the Sollers Point Alternate Channel again, but this time officials ...Read more

Michelle Marchante/Miami Herald/TNS

Cannabis cocktails at the club? How the marijuana industry may change in Florida

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MIAMI — What’s the future of marijuana in Florida?

First, a ballot issue in November that will ask voters whether they want to legalize recreational use.

Then there is the business.

Cannabis company CEOs say they’re preparing for increased demand for cannabis products and accessories if recreational pot is legalized. Giving the OK to ...Read more

MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Meteor shower to peak soon. Here's when and the best way to watch

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One of the oldest known meteor showers is streaking through the sky above California.

The Lyrid meteor shower was first recorded in 687 B.C. and has been studied for more than 2,000 years, according to NASA.

The meteor shower occurs every April, peaking this year on Monday.

Here’s the best way to catch a glimpse of this celestial event.

...Read more

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images North America/TNS

US House passes $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed $61 billion in fresh aid for Ukraine on Saturday, ending a six-month political impasse during which Kyiv’s stockpiles dwindled in its war against Russia.

The Ukraine aid will be combined with funding for Israel and Taiwan, for a foreign assistance package totaling $95 billion.

Speaker Mike Johnson ...Read more

Lezlie Sterling/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

California reparations bills clear first state Senate hearings. 'It's what is owed'

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SACRAMENTO — Reparations bills to fund reparations policy and tackle past racially motivated eminent domain that took property from and displaced Black Californians sailed through their first hearings this week at the state Capitol.

The bills are part of the historic 2024 Reparations Priority Bill Package introduced in February by the ...Read more

Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Maryland board to vote on $2.9 million in compensation for wrongfully convicted Baltimore man

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BALTIMORE — The Maryland Board of Public Works will vote on whether to award $2.9 million in compensation to a Baltimore man who served 31 years in prison before he was exonerated.

Gary Washington, 63, was convicted of first-degree murder and use of a handgun in a crime of violence in the 1986 fatal shooting of Faheem Ali and sentenced to ...Read more

TNS

TikTok divest-or-ban bill expected to become US law in days

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Saturday put legislation forcing TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance Ltd. to divest its ownership stake on a fast track to become law, tying it to a crucial aid package for Ukraine and Israel.

A massive lobbying effort led by TikTok Chief Executive Officer Shou Chew failed to overcome a bipartisan coalition ...Read more

Jabin Botsford/Getty Images North America/TNS

In case you missed Donald Trump's hush money trial, here are this week's highlights

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NEW YORK — The historic first criminal trial of a former U.S. president got off to a wild start.

Between Donald Trump nodding off, jurors being selected only to drop out, and Trump’s alleged repeat violations of a gag order prohibiting him from speaking publicly about trial participants, it’s clear the six-week trial will be an ...Read more

David M Warren/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

NJ rabbi found dead in prison decades after hiring hit men to kill his wife

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A New Jersey rabbi behind bars for hiring hitmen to kill his wife — so he could pursue an affair with a Philadelphia radio personality — was discovered dead in the prison where he’d been serving a life sentence for murder.

Fred Neulander, a former senior rabbi at a synagogue in Cherry Hill, was found unresponsive earlier this week inside ...Read more

Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

New Iran oil sanctions passed by US House in foreign aid package

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed new sanctions on Iran’s oil sector set to become part of a foreign-aid package, putting the measure on track to pass the Senate within days.

The legislation would broaden sanctions against Iran to include foreign ports, vessels, and refineries that knowingly process or ship Iranian crude in violation of ...Read more