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Chicago Police Department/Chicago Police Department/TNS

Jury to hear bizarre case of former Northwestern professor accused of sexual thrill-killing

Current News / News & Features /

CHICAGO — The accusations tell a sordid tale that seems straight from a supermarket tabloid: The story of the genius scientist who stabbed his boyfriend to death as part of a violent sex fetish, then led police on a nationwide manhunt, sending his family a chilling video confession along the way.

But, prosecutors allege, it was all too real. ...Read more

Man armed with untraceable 'ghost gun' shoots four bar patrons before being shot by NYPD sergeant

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NEW YORK — A man armed with an untraceable “ghost gun” shot four men during a fight that spilled out of a Manhattan bar early Monday — before he was shot and wounded by an NYPD sergeant, police said.

The uniformed sergeant and an officer pulled up to 11:11 Restaurant & Lounge on 10th Ave. near W. 211th St. about 4 a.m. to try to quell a...Read more

Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS

The bursting 'Ka-bubble': Taliban extremism is remaking a once-cosmopolitan Kabul

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KABUL, Afghanistan — What was the “Ka-bubble”? Was it Kabul’s party behind the blast walls, fueled by a mix of diplomats, military contractors, journalists and war tourists? Or was it the madcap real estate market, with staggeringly high rents in a country where most Afghans barely made $2 a day?

Some would say it was less a place than ...Read more

Hurricane Sam remains category 4; forecasters track 3 other systems

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Hurricane Sam continued dancing Monday morning as a powerful category 4 storm and seems to have partners joining it on the Atlantic basin dance floor in the forms of three other disturbances.

The seventh hurricane of the year has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and is crawling northwest at 8 mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre’...Read more

Scholz begins German coalition push as Laschet's hopes fade

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Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democrats appealed to potential partners to join him in a new German government as soon as possible as his conservative opponent’s rival claim on the chancellery ran into the sand.

At party headquarters in Berlin on Monday, Scholz appealed to the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats to back a three-...Read more

TNS

The Dixie fire threatened to pass 1 million acres, then was stopped in its tracks. Here's how

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When the Dixie fire sparked in Plumas County on a warm afternoon in July, few could have known that it would morph into the monster it soon became. A downed tree, a blown power line fuse and a small ring of fire were all it took to create the second-largest wildfire in California history.

In the days and weeks after the fire began, it produced ...Read more

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jacob Frey faces new scrutiny in 2nd run for Minneapolis mayor

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A large banner supporting Jacob Frey hung above the entrance to the Karmel Mall as he strode in recently to campaign for a second term as Minneapolis mayor.

The embattled leader told voters that no one is better positioned to create a more diverse police force, more affordable housing and greater economic opportunity for all as the city emerges...Read more

TNS

Facebook rebuts report calling Instagram 'toxic' for teen girls

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Facebook Inc. said body image was the only area out of 12 categories in its research into well-being issues where more teenage girls felt Instagram made things worse instead of better.

The social media giant was rebutting a Wall Street Journal report last week that called the photo-sharing app “toxic” for the group, citing a March 2020 ...Read more

PHILIP FONG/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Polling shows premier vote set for runoff: Japan election

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Voting to elect the leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is almost certain to go to a second round, with no candidate expected to reach the initial majority needed to avoid a runoff, national broadcaster NHK said.

The four lawmakers seeking to replace outgoing Yoshihide Suga as party leader, and thus premier, have two days to ...Read more

FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images North America/TNS

WHO investigators seeking COVID-19's origins heading back to China: report

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The World Health Organization is launching a new investigation into the origins of COVID-19, months after an earlier probe ended without drawing firm conclusions, according to a report published on Sunday.

The WHO is putting together a team of some 20 scientists who will be charged with finding new evidence in China and other locales, the Wall ...Read more

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/TNS

Biden says Germany's projected election winner is 'solid' party

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President Joe Biden hadn’t heard Germany’s election results when he returned to Washington from his weekend retreat on Sunday, but he complimented the projected winner.

“I’ll be darned,” Biden said when a reporter told him that the Social Democrats were ahead in the election, which will determine who replaces Angela Merkel as German ...Read more

Kenny Tong/Dreamstime/TNS

Austin police weigh dispatching civilians, not officers to some nonemergency calls

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Austin Police Department officials are finalizing plans to dispatch civilians instead of police officers to certain types of calls that do not involve emergencies as a way to maximize patrol staffing and respond to reformers' demands for change.

Interim Police Chief Joe Chacon hinted at his plan Wednesday during an announcement that he would ...Read more

National Hurricane Center/TNS/TNS

Hurricane Sam still at Category 4 strength; 2 tropical depressions could form this week

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Hurricane Sam, a Category 4 with maximum winds of 150 mph, is expected to slowly weaken over the next couple of days, while remaining a major hurricane, forecasters said Sunday.

Sam’s intensity is expected to drop as it encounters storm-shredding wind shear this week, but it’s expected to remain a major hurricane, ...Read more

Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS

Miami police chief compares actions of some commissioners to Cuba's Communist regime

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On the eve of an emergency commission meeting that threatens to shorten his already brief tenure in Miami, Police Chief Art Acevedo broke a brief silence and penned a scathing eight-page memo that is likely to play a big part in Monday’s showdown.

The chief, sworn in only last April — and who has spoken very little publicly since Monday’s...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Debt limit fight as much about 2022 politics as fiscal policy

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The U.S. is heading to the precipice of a debt default as much for the sake of campaign ads and political branding as fiscal philosophy.

While agreeing that the statutory limit on U.S. borrowing must be raised before it’s breached sometime next month, Republicans and Democrats are completely at odds over who should act.

Senate GOP leader ...Read more

Stephen M. Katz/Newport News Daily Press/TNS

NASA wants to harvest water on moon and Mars, and students think they can help

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HAMPTON, Va. — Deep beneath Mars’ red clay surface lie ancient oceans now frozen into ice sheets. Earth’s moon has hidden water deposits, too — pockets embedded deep inside its rocks.

It’s the kind of liquid treasure scientists at NASA hope to one day mine using specialized drilling tools on the moon or Mars.

As NASA looks for new ...Read more

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office/Douglas County Sheriff’s Office/TNS

Palo Alto scientist pleads not guilty to setting Shasta fire that has claimed 41 homes

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — A Palo Alto woman has been charged with arson in connection with Shasta County’s Fawn fire that has destroyed 41 homes and 90 smaller structures and is threatening thousands more.

Alexandra Souverneva, a 30-year-old graduate of the California Institute of Technology and former Bay Area biotech employee, pleaded not guilty...Read more

Steffi Loos/Getty Images North America/TNS

Scholz has edge after German election leaves outcome undecided

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Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats inched ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in an unprecedentedly tight election that is still to decide who will lead Europe’s biggest economy.

Scholz’s SPD, the front-runner over the final weeks of the campaign, is set to win 26% of the votes, according to a projection by ZDF on Sunday, ...Read more

Switzerland overwhelmingly votes to legalize same-sex marriage

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Swiss voters voted to allow same-sex couples to marry, 20 years after the Netherlands became the first country to do so. A separate proposal for a tax hike was rejected easily.

Some 64% of voters backed liberalization of the marriage law; polls had signaled that public support for the change was broad based.

While Switzerland introduced ...Read more

Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Jurors weigh complex racketeering case against R. Kelly in New York as the superstar singer awaits his legal fate

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NEW YORK — For six weeks, while attorneys sparred and accusers gave emotional testimony about the disgraced R&B superstar at the defense table, the jurors who will determine R. Kelly’s fate have watched in silence.

Now, after 50 witnesses and hours of arguments, their work has begun.

The jurors will have far more complicated decisions to ...Read more