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John J. Kim/TNS

Vaccinated people can get 'breakthrough' infections: How worried should we be?

Current News / News & Features /

LOS ANGELES — With coronavirus cases spreading rapidly throughout the nation, reports of infections among those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are increasingly drawing attention.

But while these “breakthrough” cases are sometimes highlighted as a precautionary tale — a signal of the shots’ shortcomings — the reality is that ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Critical race theory debate is fiercely dividing the Christian church, Texas pastors say

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FORTH WORTH, Texas — At a packed Fort Worth school board meeting in mid-June, 48 speakers walked to the front of the auditorium and argued against what they called “critical race theory,” which included the school district’s racial equity work.

Of those 48 speakers, nearly a quarter invoked a powerful persuasive tool: God.

As the ...Read more

Thierry Monasse/ABACA PRESS/TNS

How LGBTQ rights forced Hungary into a moment of reckoning

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — It started with a book of kid’s fairytales, and is culminating in a defining test of a nation’s democracy and even its future in the European Union.

Hungary’s weaponization of gay rights has led to a showdown rarely seen between the bloc and a member state. Brussels is threatening action over an LGBTQ law that could...Read more

Thousands of Central Valley farmers may lose access to surface water amid worsening drought

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As California endures an increasingly brutal second year of drought, state water regulators are considering an emergency order that would bar thousands of Central Valley farmers from using stream and river water to irrigate their crops.

On Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board released a draft “emergency curtailment” order for the...Read more

Nelvin C. Cepeda/TNS

Appeals court ruling: California's school closure rules violated private school families' rights

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SAN DIEGO — An appeals court Friday ruled that state leaders violated the rights of parents by forcing private schools to stay closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However the 9th Circuit appeals court essentially upheld the state's decision to keep public schools closed to in-person instruction during the pandemic.

The appeals court ruling ...Read more

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/TNS

Border officials cancel entry appointments for vulnerable asylum seekers in Tijuana

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego Customs and Border Protection officers are canceling appointments meant to allow particularly vulnerable asylum seekers into the United States while pandemic border policies continue to limit who can enter the country.

For some migrants who were initially scheduled to enter the United States this week, the last-minute ...Read more

Fire rescue crews leave site of Surfside condo collapse after monthlong response

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MIAMI — Miami-Dade County announced on Friday that fire rescue crews who have been at the site of the Surfside condo collapse since the night of the tragedy will be handing over the remainder of the recovery effort to Miami-Dade Police.

Search and rescue workers from multiple departments across South Florida have been mobilized for a month ...Read more

Great Barrier Reef not granted endangered status after Australia lobbied against it

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia succeeded in efforts to prevent the Great Barrier Reef from being listed as endangered by a United Nations organization after a diplomacy blitz.

Members of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization committee on Friday voted against proposals to add the landmark to a list of at-risk ...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

LA County exceeds 3,000 daily coronavirus cases as surge worsens

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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County reported 3,058 new coronavirus cases Friday, as a troubling surge of the delta variant continued to worsen and officials urged people to take precautions.

New infections have exceeded 2,500 each of the past three days, levels the county has not seen since the winter surge in February. Officials said Friday the...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/TNS

Prosecutors seek to bring in new evidence of R. Kelly's alleged abuse of girls at upcoming trial

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CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors filed a motion late Friday seeking to admit evidence of uncharged crimes at singer R. Kelly’s upcoming trial in New York, including new allegations of abuse involving at least 10 girls dating back to 1991 in Chicago.

Kelly, 54, is scheduled to go on trial in Brooklyn Aug. 9 on racketeering charges alleging he ...Read more

MATIAS J. OCNER/TNS

Records show web of payments involving players in probe into sham Florida state Senate candidate

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A young Republican political operative who is also the subject of a public corruption investigation into former Republican state Sen. Frank Artiles made an offer to a recent college graduate last September: He would pay her $1,500 to chair a political committee and in exchange, she would have to do nothing.

At the time, 25...Read more

Aaron Lavinsky/20064483C/TNS

Woman who was in Winston Smith's car sues local agencies, officers

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MINNEAPOLIS — Attorneys for Norhan Askar, the woman who was with Winston Smith in his car when he was killed by federal task force officers in June, have sued Hennepin and Ramsey counties, their sheriff's departments, and the two officers who fired the shots into Smith's car.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Hennepin County District Court, claims...Read more

UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography/TNS

California gives UC San Diego $35 million to build a coastal research ship

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SAN DIEGO — The state has given the University of California, San Diego $35 million to build a coastal research vessel that will focus on such pressing topics as sea-level rise, the health of marine fisheries, ocean acidification, El Nino and the atmospheric rivers that periodically bring damaging storms to California.

The university's ...Read more

U.S. District Court/TNS

US prosecutors move to drop cases against Chinese researchers

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The Justice Department moved in recent days to drop charges against four researchers at California universities accused of hiding their ties to the Chinese military, a blow to U.S. efforts to battle Beijing’s efforts to steal U.S. national security and business secrets.

On Thursday, federal prosecutors in Sacramento, California, asked a judge...Read more

Senate unanimously confirms 2 LGBTQ women to top military positions

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The U.S. Senate has unanimously confirmed two LGBTQ women to top military positions.

“President Biden nominated two historic #LGBTQ+ nominees for key roles” at the Department of Defense,” White House Senior Adviser on LGBTQ+ Engagement Reggie Greer wrote on Twitter.

On Thursday, Gina Ortiz Jones was confirmed to be the next ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Body of Texas firefighter is found in bathroom window in Cancun, Mexican authorities say

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FORT WORTH, Texas — An investigation is underway into how Texas firefighter Elijah Snow died Monday while vacationing in Cancun, according to Mexican authorities.

On Twitter, Mexican authorities said an “investigation folder” has been started in the death of a man from Texas in the municipality of Benito Juárez in the Mexican state of ...Read more

Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Lin Wood tells judge he can't be sanctioned because he never 'broadcast' video against court rules

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DETROIT — A federal judge in Detroit cannot punish Lin Wood because the election conspiracy-peddling attorney has never practiced in her jurisdiction and technically did not meet the dictionary definition of "broadcast" when he shared a video of a recent court hearing in a way that would violate local rules, Wood's attorney wrote in a filing ...Read more

News briefs

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Jewish group asks Florida grocers to stop selling Ben & Jerry’s products

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Jewish Federation of Broward County has called on all supermarket chains doing business in South Florida to discontinue carrying Ben & Jerry’s products in reaction to the ice cream company’s decision to halt sales in the West Bank and ...Read more

Kristen Zeis/TNS

Virginia Beach officers receive congressional medal for response to mass shooting

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — More than 80 people sat in the middle section of the Sandler Center’s theater to recognize four officers for their involvement in responding to the mass shooting two years ago in Virginia Beach.

For the first time since the shooting, city and state officials publicly recognized sergeants Peter Koepp and Mark Laino, ...Read more

John J. Kim/TNS

AG Merrick Garland discusses new gun trafficking strike force with Chicago police

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CHICAGO — In the second day of his Chicago visit, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland met with top law enforcement officials Friday morning to discuss how they’re going to use a new team of federal agents and local police to curb gun trafficking in a city where gun violence has persisted.

“I’m not here from Washington to tell you what...Read more