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23 people rescued from panga off San Diego

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SAN DIEGO — Twenty-three people were rescued off a suspected smuggling boat intercepted off the coast of Point Loma early Monday, officials said.

The boat was spotted shortly before 2:50 a.m. by a video surveillance system operated by the Border Patrol, officials said. The boat was drifting near rocks off Sunset Cliffs Boulevard near Osprey ...Read more

Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Cuomo says vaccinated New Yorkers can go mask-free, adopts CDC guidance

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Fully vaccinated New Yorkers can ditch their masks in most circumstances starting Wednesday as the Empire State adopts guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The seismic shift will come the same day that a majority of COVID-19 capacity limits are scrapped and New York takes a major step toward returning to normal,...Read more

Joshua Roberts/Getty Images North America/TNS

Giuliani being treated like 'a terrorist' by prosecutors, his attorney says

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NEW YORK — Manhattan federal prosecutors are treating Rudy Giuliani as if he were “the head of a drug cartel or a terrorist,” the former New York mayor's attorney complained in a newly unsealed letter over the FBI raid of his apartment and law office.

Giuliani attorney Robert Costello wrote that a review of materials seized during the ...Read more

ARUN SANKAR/AFP/TNS

The 'double mutant' coronavirus variant in India may be less scary than it might seem

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The so-called "double mutant" variant first identified in India can sound frightening at first glance.

But as more data are studied, some scientists say India's catastrophic COVID-19 surge this spring has less to do with this variant and more to do with the government's premature lifting of pandemic rules too quickly when only a tiny fraction ...Read more

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Many experts say to keep masks on, as pushback to CDC ruling intensifies

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A growing number of health experts vaccinated against COVID-19 said they'd keep their masks on in public settings as federal officials acknowledged that new relaxed mask recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention needed clarification.

The comments underscore a growing pushback in some quarters over the CDC's ...Read more

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/TNS

Arson suspect arrested in Pacific Palisades fire

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LOS ANGELES — A suspect has been arrested in the arson investigation into the Pacific Palisades fire, authorities said Monday.

An arson investigation led officials to at least two people, one of whom was released and the other of whom was questioned Saturday night, officials with the Los Angeles Fire Department said at a briefing. The person ...Read more

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS

Pipeline cybersecurity unmentioned in infrastructure plans

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WASHINGTON — Neither the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan nor the counterproposal from Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., explicitly mentions cyberattacks, a topic that surged into the public eye after the May 7 hack of a pipeline system that supplies fuel to much of the East Coast.

The White House’s proposal touches frequently...Read more

India boosting vaccination to prevent another wave of COVID infections

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India has scaled up vaccination for its 1.3 billion population, apart from boosting heath care infrastructure as it prepares for a third wave of coronavirus infections, Baijayant Panda, vice president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said.

“The biggest bet of course we are making is that our vaccination roll out has been scaled up ...Read more

Ethan Hyman/Raleigh/TNS

Europe's appetite for wood is clashing with Black communities in South Carolina

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Europe's effort to make energy from American wood pellets is drawing complaints from Black community leaders in South Carolina, where manufacturers are expanding to produce more of the tiny wood chips.

In Greenwood County, one large wood pellet factory is increasing the size of its operation and another mill is on the drawing board. A third ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Joel Greenberg pleads guilty in federal court after striking cooperation deal

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Joel Greenberg, the disgraced former Seminole County tax collector who resigned in June, appeared in federal court Monday morning and pleaded guilty to six felony crimes — including sex trafficking of a child — after striking a deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Greenberg was led into court by U.S. Marshals and ...Read more

Sean Rayford/Getty Images North America/TNS

SC Gov. McMaster signs execution bill into law, electric chair ready for use

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill into law Friday officially bringing back the electric chair and introducing the firing squad to perform executions of death row inmates.

"The families and loved ones of victims are owed closure and justice by law," McMaster tweeted Monday. "Now, we can provide it."

McMaster ...Read more

STEVEN M. FALK/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

15 shot, 8 stabbed: Philly's toll from another violent weekend

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PHILADELPHIA — At least 23 people were injured — one fatally — from guns and knives during another violent weekend in Philadelphia.

According to police reports covering Friday night into Sunday night, 15 people had been shot and eight stabbed, including one man at a city jail. The toll was expected to grow.

Officials have been at a loss ...Read more

Samuel Corum/Getty Images North America/TNS

Analysis: Cheney promises to fight on, while McCarthy covets the speakership

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WASHINGTON — Liz Cheney’s tenure as House Republican Conference chair ended on the order of her colleague and onetime ally, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Cheney took her principled stand, she said, to deny Donald Trump another shot at the presidency. McCarthy’s intolerance for that stand showed his single-minded focus is on becoming ...Read more

Capitol Police faced equipment shortage during Jan. 6 attack

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WASHINGTON – A Capitol Police officer who fought off rioters for hours in a Medieval-style battle at the Capitol on Jan. 6 returned home ready to crash. But before bed, the officer had to shower off all the chemical irritants the embattled officers were assaulted with that day.

“My body was burning,” the officer said. “The parts of your...Read more

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS

As California expands vaccine eligibility to adolescents, parents weigh the risks

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LOS ANGELES – Nearly every phase of California's COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been met with a mixture of enthusiasm and angst. But few groups have been as eager — or as concerned — as the latest to wrestle with the availability of vaccines: parents.

The state on Thursday expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to adolescents from the ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

French bulldog puppy stolen at gunpoint reunited with its owner

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LOS ANGELES – It took a car chase and the help of drones, but a French bulldog puppy has been reunited with its owner after Culver City, California, police apprehended the man suspected of stealing the animal, authorities said Sunday.

Officials say the suspect responded to an online advertisement listing the 10-month-old gray dog for sale. ...Read more

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Palisades fire marks early start to fire season, which some officials say never ended

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LOS ANGELES – Scott Ferguson could see the wildfire burning directly across the canyon as he looked out the window of his Topanga Canyon home Sunday afternoon.

The 30-year resident was monitoring two radios and a stream of Twitter feeds, 18 browser tabs open as he toggled back and forth between weather reports and emergency alerts.

The fire ...Read more

SAUL LOEB/AFP/AFP/TNS

Supreme Court agrees to hear major abortion case challenging Roe vs. Wade

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday it would hear a major challenge to the reach of the landmark Roe vs. Wade abortion ruling and decide whether states may bar nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of a pregnancy.

The justices said they had voted to hear an appeal from Mississippi that urges the court to “reconsider the bright-line ...Read more

Getty Images/Getty Images AsiaPac/TNS

Begging for air: India's oxygen crisis imperils its COVID-19 response

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MEERUT, India — The men stood shoulder to shoulder in the blazing heat, their chests leaning against empty oxygen cylinders lodged in the dirt.

They had come from all over to this makeshift oxygen tank-refilling center in a city 40 miles northeast of the Indian capital of New Delhi in a desperate bid to score what has become the most precious...Read more

Anna Almendrala/TNS

Latinos are the most eager to get vaccinated, survey shows -- but face obstacles

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Hispanics who have yet to receive a COVID-19 shot are about twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites or Blacks to say they’d like to get vaccinated as soon as possible, according to a survey released last week. The findings hint at fixable, though difficult, vaccine access problems for the population.

One-third of unvaccinated Hispanics say ...Read more