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Booze by the ballot: Pa. Republicans look toward referendum to privatize wine, liquor sales

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Hoping to bypass the veto of a Democratic governor who’s already used it before on a similar proposal, Republicans in Harrisburg are considering the use of a constitutional amendment to privatize the state-run liquor system.

Republicans have been trying to hand over the wine and spirits business to the private sector for years, and their ...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

LA County seeing more fatalities from omicron as COVID-19 deaths climb

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LOS ANGELES — Deaths from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County have soared over the last week, with officials saying most of the recent fatalities appear to be from the omicron variant.

The spread of the latest coronavirus variant has moved with unprecedented speed since December, although officials have said people who get infected with omicron ...Read more

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Florida reaches highest seven-day average for COVID deaths since November

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MIAMI — Florida on Monday reported 44,010 COVID-19 cases and 426 new deaths to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Miami Herald calculations of CDC data.

The CDC backlogs cases and deaths for Florida on Mondays and Thursdays, when multiple days in the past had their totals changed. In August, Florida began reporting ...Read more

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Harlem gunman who shot 2 NYPD cops dies at hospital

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NEW YORK — The 47-year-old ex-con who ambushed two NYPD officers in his mother’s Harlem apartment, killing one and gravely wounding the other before a third cop shot him, died Monday afternoon, a police official confirmed.

Lashawn McNeil died at Harlem Hospital at 1:38 p.m.

He was shot Friday night in the head and right arm by rookie ...Read more

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Avenatti was 'desperate for money' when he swiped $300,000 from porn star Stormy Daniels, prosecutors tell jury

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NEW YORK — Disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti was so strapped for cash in 2018 that he stole from the client who put him on the map: porn star Stormy Daniels, federal prosecutors told a Manhattan jury Monday.

“This is a case about a lawyer who stole from his client ,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Rohrbach said during opening arguments....Read more

Indonesia sets date for 2024 election, ending Jokowi speculation

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia will hold its next general election on Feb. 14, 2024, easing speculation that President Joko Widodo would seek to extend his second term in the world’s largest Muslim democracy.

Parliament agreed with the government and the election committee on the date, Home Minister Tito Karnavian said at parliament late on...Read more

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GOP lawmakers look to crack down on companies that bring migrants to Florida

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Republicans in a Florida Senate committee on Monday pushed through a bill that would bar the state from doing business with companies that transport undocumented migrants into the state, giving a nod to a controversial but key part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ election-year agenda.

The measure, approved by the Senate Judiciary ...Read more

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In South Florida, Donald Trump proposes luxury condos and hotels -- but with his name on them?

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MIAMI — The new Doral real estate venture launched by former president Donald Trump includes the traditional trappings of his promotional playbook: luxury amenities, access to high-end golf and a swaggering statement from Trump himself touting it as “perhaps the most exciting development in the Country.”

But as described in an application...Read more

U.S. Navy/TNS

7 sailors injured as F-35 crashes on carrier Carl Vinson

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SAN DIEGO — An F-35C jet crashed while attempting to land on the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson Monday, injuring seven sailors, the Navy said in a statement.

Three of the injured sailors were flown to a hospital in Manila, Philippines, and are in stable condition. Four injured sailors received treatment onboard the ship.

The pilot safely ...Read more


Guaranteed income is linked to higher brain activity in infants in new study

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Infants in households that receive some kind of basic or guaranteed income payment may benefit on a neurological level from the support, a new study suggests.

The study randomly divided a group of 1,000 mothers and their infants into two groups: one received $333 a month, the other $20, according to a report published Jan. 24 in the ...Read more

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US, NATO step up war footing in crisis over possible Russian invasion of Ukraine

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WASHINGTON — With the crisis over a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine intensifying on Monday, U.S. officials placed thousands of troops on “high alert” and NATO took steps to position personnel and war machinery in Eastern Europe, further signs that a diplomatic solution to the standoff was nowhere within reach.

Biden administration ...Read more

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New York mask mandate ruled unconstitutional by state judge

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New York’s mask mandate for schools and other public places was struck down by a Long Island judge who said it’s an illegal end-run around the constitution.

The mask-wearing rule was issued Dec. 10 by the state’s health commissioner, at the urging of Governor Kathy Hochul, at the start of the omicron surge of the coronavirus pandemic. A ...Read more

Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

3 firefighters killed, 1 badly injured while battling Baltimore rowhouse fire

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BALTIMORE — Three Baltimore firefighters were killed and a fourth remains on life support after being trapped in a blaze inside a vacant home Monday that is one of the deadliest in the city’s history.

The firefighters were inside a rowhouse in the city’s New Southwest/Mount Clare neighborhood when it partially collapsed.

Two firefighters...Read more

News briefs

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FDA halts use of 2 treatments found to be ineffective against omicron

WASHINGTON — U.S. regulators restricted the use of a pair of COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapies after scientific evidence suggested they are unlikely to be effective against the omicron variant.

The Food and Drug Administration said in a statement on Monday that it had...Read more

The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Congressional committees call for investigation into alleged Border Patrol cover-up team

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Members of Congress from both the House and Senate on Monday called for an investigation into the workings of special Border Patrol teams after human rights advocates raised concerns about evidence tampering.

In a letter sent to the Government Accountability Office, the chairs of the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees, House and ...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Coronavirus test provider says it plans to sue LA County Sheriff Villanueva over China claims

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LOS ANGELES — The company that provides Los Angeles County with coronavirus testing said it plans to sue Sheriff Alex Villanueva for defamation over claims the sheriff made alleging the company has links to the Chinese government.

Fulgent Genetics, the Temple City company contracted to administer tests and track the vaccination status of ...Read more

Cindy Krischer Goodman/Sun Sentinel/TNS

FDA halts use of 2 treatments found to be ineffective against omicron

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WASHINGTON — U.S. regulators restricted the use of a pair of COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapies after scientific evidence suggested they are unlikely to be effective against the omicron variant.

The Food and Drug Administration said in a statement on Monday that it had decided to limit access to the treatments, which are made by Eli Lilly...Read more

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Biden insults Fox News reporter Peter Doocy on hot mic

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President Joe Biden called Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy a “stupid son of a bitch” after Doocy shouted a question the president found ridiculous.

“Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?” Doocey asked Monday at the end of a news conference.

The president, seemingly not noticing he was ...Read more


Can cannabis compound CBD block COVID? Maybe, but not what's in stores, study finds

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One active ingredient in the cannabis plant – cannabidiol (CBD) – could potentially block COVID-19 infection, a new study suggests.

If you’re wondering if this means you’ll be protected from the virus by smoking weed or vaping CBD, the answer is no. Here’s what the research means:

You might’ve seen products with the non-...Read more

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Idaho activates crisis standards of care again as omicron surges in parts of state

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BOISE, Idaho — As Idaho deals with the highest COVID-19 cases and positive test numbers seen so far, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has now activated crisis standards of care throughout Southern Idaho.

The action was placed on three local public health districts, including Central District Health — which encompasses Ada, Elmore,...Read more