Current News



Parkland school shooter makes first live appearance in court

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Shackled and wearing a red jump suit, school shooter Nikolas Cruz made his first live appearance in a Broward County circuit court five days after he walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and fatally shot 17 people in the worst school shooting in Florida history.

Cruz, a slightly built teen, did not say anything and...Read more

Inyo County fire grows to 2,800 acres; evacuation orders still in place

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Evacuation orders were still in effect Monday morning as firefighters tried to gain ground on a wind-fueled, 2,800-acre blaze burning in rural Inyo County.

About 400 firefighters worked to contain the so-called Pleasant fire, which broke out Sunday afternoon near the Pleasant Valley Reservoir and Highway 395. But Monday's forecast -- ...Read more

Should National Guard patrol N.C. prisons? Lawmakers urge Gov. Cooper to consider it

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper should consider deploying the North Carolina National Guard to provide emergency help for the state's critically understaffed prisons, two lawmakers say.

A recent Observer investigation found that staff shortages in the state's prisons have climbed to dangerous levels over the past two years, ...Read more

White House: Trump 'supportive' of better background checks for gun buyers

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WASHINGTON -- The White House said Monday that President Donald Trump was "supportive" of efforts to improve the system of background checks for people who seek to buy guns in the United States.

In a statement, the White House said Trump spoke to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Friday to discuss a bipartisan bill Cornyn is co-sponsoring that ...Read more

Nikolas Cruz's defense team seeks to keep court filings sealed

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Defense lawyers for Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz attempted to keep documents sealed Monday, in a Fort Lauderdale court hearing held without the defendant's presence.

At issue was a motion filed under seal Friday by Cruz's defense team, two days after the shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas ...Read more

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia encouraged game of 'spin the bottle' among staffers, ex-employee says

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A former staffer to Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) said the lawmaker discussed vulgar topics in the office and once encouraged her aides to play "spin the bottle," according to a filing submitted to the state.

David Kernick alleged in a complaint to the state's Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing that he was terminated from his...Read more

Climate rulebook likely done this year — with or without US

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VIENNA -- The climate rulebook being drafted to keep a lid on Earth's rising temperatures should be finished by the end of the year -- with or without the U.S. government's help.

Countries that ratified the Paris climate agreement meet in Poland in December, where they're expected to put the finishing touches on transparency and verification ...Read more

Trump announces support for improved background check system for gun buyers

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President Donald Trump on Monday announced willingness to consider a modest gun-control proposal introduced last year to strengthen the federal background-check system.

The White House said Trump would consider backing a bill, which had not been opposed by the National Rifle Association, that would require states and federal agencies to produce...Read more

Spin the bottle game among newest allegations against California female lawmaker

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A former employee of Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia filed a complaint with the state on Saturday, seeking to sue the Bell Gardens Democrat for allegedly firing him after he refused to play "spin the bottle" with her.

In the complaint to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which was posted online Sunday...Read more

Weekend violence in Chicago: 6 killed, 21 wounded

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CHICAGO -- Six people were killed and 21 others were wounded in shootings across Chicago over the weekend, including three people who ran onto a CTA bus after being shot and a man who was slain while riding in an Uber car, according to police.

A 34-year-old man was riding in an Uber car on the South Side around 2:10 a.m. Monday when a tan car ...Read more

A cop was accused of helping run a drug ring. Why the case fell apart the day of his trial remains a mystery

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Under pressure to reveal why they suddenly dropped charges against a former Schaumburg, Ill., police officer accused of stealing and dealing drugs, DuPage County prosecutors told a defense attorney they would share the information privately, the lawyer said.

Publicly, the state's attorney's office has remained tight-lipped about why the case ...Read more

Group of 5 men robbing people in Loop subway pedestrian tunnels, Chicago police say

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CHICAGO -- A group of young men has surrounded and robbed people in downtown subway pedestrian tunnels at least three times in recent weeks, according to Chicago police who have released surveillance photos of four of the five robbers.

The string of attacks date to Jan. 30, according to a community alert. They have surrounded people in ...Read more

Minnesota man's plea means no prison for fatal shooting of girlfriend as she held baby

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MINNEAPOLIS -- A 32-year-old central Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of his girlfriend as she held their baby daughter.

Tyler J. Slagerman, of Clarissa, admitted in Todd County District Court last week to second-degree unintentional manslaughter in the death of 36-year-old Lacey Kuschel on Feb. 25, 2017, ...Read more

Rubber bullet grenades and pizza: How San Diego spent $50K for supplies prepping for Trump's border wall prototypes

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SAN DIEGO -- Warned of possibly violent protests over construction of border wall prototypes last fall, San Diego police bought an array of less than lethal weapons, newly released city records show.

Weeks before the project began the city purchased hundreds of rounds of pepper spray, as well as crowd-dispersing grenades and tear gas.

In all ...Read more

Threat of deportation hangs over wrongful firing lawsuit

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MINNEAPOLIS -- After a four-year court battle, Anibal Sanchez's lawsuit against his former employer hinges on a highly unusual request: His lawyer is asking a district judge to let Sanchez testify via live video because he fears immigration authorities could arrest him during the upcoming trial.

Sanchez sued Dahlke Trailer Sales in 2014, ...Read more

Poland says no apology needed for premier's Holocaust comments

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WARSAW, Poland -- Poland's government refused to apologize on Monday for Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's comments about "Jewish perpetrators" during World War II, escalating a row that's upended the country's relations with Israel and is alarming the U.S.

When confronted during a conference in Munich on Saturday over Poland's new law that ...Read more

Distraction, drinking among causes for high traffic death toll

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CHICAGO -- The traffic death toll in Chicago is growing, and the national count remains at historic highs, despite new car safety technology.

That means it's past time to slow down, stay sober and stop trying to multitask while you drive, according to traffic safety experts.

"We're really treading water in terms of roadway safety, which is ...Read more

Teen charged with making online death threat to Broward schools

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A teenager used social media to threaten to kill people at several Broward schools, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

The unidentified 15-year-old from Lauderhill was arrested Friday.

"The teen appeared to be remorseful and claimed his post was a joke aimed at scaring his cousin," the Sheriff's Office said in a news ...Read more

Pregnant woman missing for 2-plus weeks found dead in Minnesota woods

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MINNEAPOLIS -- A 27-year-old pregnant woman missing for more than two weeks has been found dead in the woods in northern Minnesota, authorities said Sunday.

The body of Kara Blevins was located about 8:15 p.m. in the Chippewa National Forest in Shingobee Township, not far from her hometown of Akeley, according to the Cass County Sheriff's ...Read more

Theresa May's vision starts to emerge for post-Brexit reality

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LONDON -- As Theresa May retreats to the countryside with her Cabinet to thrash out differences on Brexit, it's starting to become clearer what the prime minister wants the divorce to look like.

Some in Brussels will call it cherry-picking, but May wants to stay very close to the European Union in some areas, while breaking free in others. With...Read more