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CARL JUSTE/Miami Herald/TNS

Carrie Meek, pioneering Miami congresswoman and champion of Black communities, dies at 95

Current News / News & Features /

Former U.S. Congresswoman Carrie Pittman Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction and a fierce advocate for South Florida’s Black communities, Haitian immigrants and the working poor, died Sunday at her home in Miami after a long illness, her family said. She was 95.

Meek, said her...Read more

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images North America/TNS

New York City may be at start of winter surge of COVID-19

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New York City may already be seeing signs of a winter spike in COVID-19 even though holiday travel, gatherings and colder weather are just getting started.

The city’s positive test rate rose to a two-month high as hospitals admitted more than 100 new virus patients on Friday, contributing to a 25% jump in hospitalizations in just two weeks. ...Read more

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS

Indian farmers pressure Modi for more after forcing his retreat

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will push to repeal controversial farm laws when parliament reconvenes Monday to quell protests from a crucial vote bank that show little sign of abating with key state elections due next year.

As lawmakers debate this bill and other legislation, including a ban on private cryptocurrencies ...Read more

Andrew Parsons / Avalon/Zuma Press/TNS

UK to tighten rules Tuesday as omicron forces Johnson's hand

Current News / News & Features /

Tougher U.K. pandemic rules are set to take effect this week as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government seeks to buy scientists “precious weeks” to determine the risks posed by COVID-19’s omicron strain.

All travelers arriving in the U.K. starting at 4 a.m. on Nov. 30 must take a PCR coronavirus test on or before the second day of ...Read more

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

WHO urges caution as South Africa calls omicron 'mild'

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The World Health Organization is urging caution after two South African health experts, including the doctor who first sounded the alarm about the omicron variant, indicated that symptoms linked to the coronavirus strain have been mild so far.

The initial reported infections were among university students, the WHO said, adding that younger ...Read more

GREG NASH/AFP/TNS

Fauci says omicron likely more contagious so get vaccinated

Current News / News & Features /

COVID-19’s omicron variant appears to be more transmissible, reinforcing the need for Americans to get vaccinations or booster shots, U.S. health officials said.

Omicron “is a clarion call” for people to be vaccinated, Anthony Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Infections in ...Read more

Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News/TNS

New York state trooper opens fire when he's struck by vehicle

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NEW YORK — A New York state trooper opened fire when he was struck by a vehicle on the Triborough Bridge on Sunday, officials said.

The trooper was struck on the bridge that connects Manhattan with Queens and the Bronx just before 1 p.m., according to a state police statement. Nobody was struck when he opened fire in response, but an Acura ...Read more

Craig Barritt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh dead at 41 after private battle with cancer

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Virgil Abloh, the trailblazing fashion designer who came up on the streets of Chicago and peaked as the artistic director for Louis Vuitton’s men’s line, died Sunday.

He was 41.

Known as one of the most influential designers of his generation, Abloh had been battling cancer “privately for several years” before succumbing to the disease...Read more

6 small earthquakes reported in a week in North Carolina county, geologists say

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Another small earthquake shook North Carolina near Winston-Salem early on Saturday, geologists said.

The 1.9 magnitude quake hit at about 7:55 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Its epicenter was located about three miles southwest of Winston-Salem, which is in Forsyth County and about 100 miles west of Raleigh.

The USGS said it ...Read more

Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

Biden's travel curbs criticized as ineffective by former advisers

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WASHINGTON — Former advisers to President Joe Biden said travel restrictions will do little to stop the spread of new COVID-19 variants, and the U.S. and other nations would be better off increasing vaccine deliveries to Africa.

Biden last week imposed a broad entry ban on people who have been in South Africa and seven nearby countries, ...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Jussie Smollett to go on trial in alleged hoax attack that once captivated Chicago

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CHICAGO — Thirty-three months, one mayor and two police superintendents ago, before Chicago joined a nationwide reckoning on race and suffered through a deadly pandemic, the city’s attention was captivated by one man.

Jussie Smollett.

The alleged racial and homophobic attack on the then-“Empire” actor on a frigid night in January 2019 ...Read more

South Africa eschews strict virus curbs, assesses variant impact

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South Africa’s government said it would be premature to reimpose stringent curbs following the emergence of a new coronavirus strain because its impact still needs to be properly assessed.

The country will remain on virus alert level 1, the lowest, with alcohol bans, curfew hours and other measures to be reviewed in a week’s time, ...Read more

Iran wants verifiable sanctions removal, envoy says before talks

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Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator said world powers must secure full, guaranteed and verifiable sanctions removal for Tehran when they resume talks on Monday aimed at reviving a landmark 2015 deal and ending a standoff with the U.S.

“The West needs to pay a price for having failed to uphold its part of the bargain,” Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran�...Read more

Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh dead at 41 after secret cancer battle

Current News / News & Features /

Virgil Abloh, the fashion designer who came up on the streets of Chicago and peaked as the artistic director for Louis Vuitton’s men’s line, died Sunday.

He was 41.

Abloh had been battling cancer “privately for several years” before succumbing to the disease, according to his company.

A statement posted on his personal Instagram ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Dismembered body found on Long Island Expressway in Queens

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NEW YORK — A man’s body parts were found scattered across a stretch of the Long Island Expressway in Queens and authorities are unsure if he was struck by a hit-and-run driver or if his dismembered corpse was dumped there, police sources said Sunday.

When officers arrived at the scene near the Meadow Lake Bridge about 3:30 p.m. Saturday ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Dismembered body found on Long Island Expressway in Queens

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NEW YORK — A man’s body parts were found scattered across a stretch of the Long Island Expressway in Queens and authorities are unsure if he was struck by a hit-and-run driver or if his dismembered corpse was dumped there, police sources said Sunday.

When officers arrived at the scene near the Meadow Lake Bridge about 3:30 p.m. Saturday ...Read more

Rob Kim/Getty Images North America/TNS

As Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial begins, one Jeffrey Epstein accuser is filled with dread

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NEW YORK — The first woman to say she was assaulted by Jeffrey Epstein is bracing for a moment she’s long dreaded: the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell.

Opening arguments begin Monday in the closely watched trial of Maxwell, the Oxford-educated British socialite accused of serving as Epstein’s chief recruiter. But Maria Farmer, who in 1996 ...Read more

NY State Sex Offender Registry/NY State Sex Offender Registry/TNS

Jeffrey Epstein's accusers finally get to see someone face a trial: Ghislaine Maxwell

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NEW YORK — Victims of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein are finally getting their day in court. The long-awaited trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell begins Monday in Manhattan.

Prosecutors allege that Maxwell, 59, was a central figure in Epstein’s sex criminal enterprise, helping him recruit and sexually abuse girls in the late 1990s ...Read more

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Facing new omicron variant, LA County urges mask wearing, testing, vaccinations

Current News / News & Features /

LOS ANGELES — Amid growing concerns about the new omicron variant, Los Angeles County health officials are urging the public to wear masks in indoor public settings and at outdoor “mega events” and be vaccinated as the best way to protect against another winter surge.

The variant, first identified in South Africa amid a spike in ...Read more

Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

Health officials stress need for vaccination and boosters to thwart omicron spread

Current News / News & Features /

COVID-19’s omicron variant appears to be more transmissible, reinforcing the need for Americans to get vaccinations or booster shots, U.S. health officials said.

Omicron “is a clarion call” for people to be vaccinated, Anthony Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Infections in ...Read more