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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


23 shot, 2 fatally, in Chicago from Saturday night into Sunday

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CHICAGO — At least 23 people, including a woman asleep in her South Shore bed and six people in a mass shooting, were shot in Chicago between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Two people were killed.

Six people were injured in a mass shooting in the Lawndale neighborhood shortly after 2:50 a.m. A group of people was standing outside in the...Read more

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

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Hurricane Sam, a powerful Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, is expected to begin a slow weakening in the next couple of days, while retaining its status as a major hurricane, forecasters said.

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

J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

CDC director warns of 'dire straits' in COVID-hit areas of US

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WASHINGTON — Parts of the U.S. health system “are in dire straits,” as the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant forces some states to prepare for rationed medical care, said Rochelle Walensky, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“That means that we are talking about who is going to get a ventilator, who is ...Read more

Iceland elects Europe's first female-majority legislature

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Iceland elected Europe’s first female-majority legislature in a ballot where the centrist ruling coalition added to its majority after steering the nation through the pandemic.

Some 33 of 63 seats, or 52%, in Iceland’s parliament, the Althingi, were won by women in Saturday’s ballot.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s bloc, which ...Read more

Christian Marquardt/Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

German election race is too close to call, exit polls show

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Germany’s Social Democrats and the conservatives are locked together in the national election exit polls, leaving the decision over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor hanging in the balance.

Olaf Scholz’s SPD, the front-runner over the final weeks of the campaign, had 25% of the votes, according to exit polls from broadcaster ARD on ...Read more

PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mayorkas says US won't protect southern border with wall

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WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the Biden administration won’t build walls on the border despite a pickup in crossings.

“We have seen large numbers of individuals encountered at our border making a claim for asylum, for humanitarian relief,” Mayorkas said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” ...Read more

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

Lower temperatures help firefighters boost containment of Fawn fire

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LOS ANGELES — Milder temperatures helped firefighters battling the Fawn fire north of Redding boost containment of the blaze significantly by Sunday as crews try to make the most out of what’s expected to be a short-lived cooling trend.

The Fawn fire had burned 8,537 acres and was 35% contained as of Sunday morning, up from 10% a day ...Read more

Mother and child die after fall at Petco Park before Padres game

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SAN DIEGO — A woman and her 2-year-old son died late Saturday afternoon after they fell from the third level of Petco Park, just as thousands of baseball fans were heading inside for a Padres game, San Diego police said.

The woman, 40, and the boy were pronounced dead at 4:11 p.m., about 20 minutes after police were alerted to the incident, ...Read more

Hurricane Sam at Category 4 strength; forecasters watching 3 other areas for potential development

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Hurricane Sam, a powerful Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, is expected to begin a slow weakening in the next couple of days, while retaining its status as a major hurricane, forecasters said.

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

Low wages and pandemic gut staffing support for those with disabilities

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Ernestine “Erma” Bryant likes her job, but the pay is a problem.

She works in a caregiver role as a “direct support professional” in Tifton, Georgia, helping people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities with basic functions such as dressing, bathing and eating.

Bryant said it’s fulfilling work. “You can help people ...Read more

Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Mask debates are roiling Illinois communities, including bucolic Genoa

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GENOA, Ill. — In many ways, the golden cornfields, sleepy country roads and tidy Main Street in Genoa, Illinois, population 5,200, seems plucked from the pages of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.”

A close-knit community that voted red in the 2020 presidential election, Genoa has recently become a work-from-home haven for frazzled former ...Read more

Andy Miller/KHN/TNS

Mounting COVID deaths fuel school bus drivers' fears

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GRIFFIN, Ga. — Natalia D’Angelo got sick right after school started in August.

She was driving a school bus for special education students in Griffin-Spalding County School System about 40 miles south of Atlanta and contracted COVID-19.

One of her three sons, Julian Rodriguez-D’Angelo, said his mother, who was not vaccinated against the ...Read more

Elle Moxley/Elle Moxley/TNS

Biosimilar drugs are cheaper than biologics. Are they similar enough to switch?

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It took years for Elle Moxley to get a diagnosis that explained her crippling gastrointestinal pain, digestion problems, fatigue, and hot, red rashes. And after learning in 2016 that she had Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, she spent more than four years trying medications before getting her disease under control...Read more

Brittany Murray/Getty Images North America/TNS

More Central American children could rejoin parents in US

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An unprecedented number of unaccompanied migrant children have been placed with sponsors in states across the country this year, despite some Republican governors’ attempts to block them. Now, thousands more could arrive under a new federal program aimed at providing a path for children left behind in Central America to join immigrant parents ...Read more


To reach vaccine holdouts, scientists take a page from digital marketing

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Public-health researchers seeking new ways to persuade vaccine holdouts to take coronavirus shots are turning to the strategies of the digital marketing industry to figure out how to win over the reluctant.

Companies that use online ads to sell products try out various colors, phrases, typefaces and a whole host of other variables to determine ...Read more

Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images North America/TNS

More tropical storms are making US landfall, and Philly region is feeling the fallout

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PHILADELPHIA — Tropical storms are like so many lottery balls bobbing in the sea, with all the sense of direction one might expect from things that spend their careers spinning in circles.

So what has been happening the last two years is rather extraordinary, and it helps explain why the Philadelphia region has been affected significantly by ...Read more

Hailey Branson-Potts/Los Angeles Times/TNS

A crowded park, worsening wildfire danger sparks battle: 'I don't feel safe there anymore'

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LOS ANGELES — The Auburn State Recreation Area occupies 40 miles of steep river canyons and rugged terrain in drought-stricken El Dorado and Placer counties.

The counties, which stretch from the Sacramento suburbs into the Sierra, are two of the fastest growing in California, experiencing a population boom that was hastened during the COVID-...Read more

LARS HAGBERG/Getty Images North America/TNS

China releases two Canadian men from prison, PM Trudeau says

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Two men who were imprisoned in China for nearly three years have returned home to Canada.

“These two men have gone through an unbelievable difficult ordeal for the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance and grace and we are all inspired by that,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a late Friday night news conference ...Read more

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS

As COVID infections continue to decline, LA County approaches 26,000 deaths

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LOS ANGELES — Infections, hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 have continued to decline in Los Angeles County.

It’s a far cry from last fall, when residents faced a new wave of coronavirus cases that led to a huge winter surge. Despite the improvements, which officials have largely pegged to vaccination rates, an imminent death ...Read more