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US won't rule out military action against Houthis in Yemen, official says

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WASHINGTON — A top White House official said the U.S. won’t rule out the possibility of strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen, which have been blamed for targeting commercial ships, while it focuses now on sanctions and security at sea.

“We have certainly not ruled out the possibility of taking military action — we reserve that right,�...Read more

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Not getting a COVID-19 vaccine could lead to preterm birth in pregnant women, new study shows

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COVID-19 infection can lead to preterm birth, a study published last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows, but getting vaccinated protects against it.

Researchers found a serious adverse effect on preterm birth from COVID infection during pregnancy, a risk that had plummeted to zero by fall 2022, following ...Read more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Statue of controversial USC founder removed from campus

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LOS ANGELES — A statue of a University of Southern California founder whose connection to groups that carried out extralegal lynchings raised questions about the statue's placement was removed last month for routine maintenance, university officials said.

Judge Robert Widney was one of the USC's founders, and since 2014 an 8-foot bronze ...Read more


Netanyahu threatens to devastate Beirut if Hezbollah enters war

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened devastation in Beirut and southern Lebanon if Hezbollah opens a second front in Israel’s war with Hamas.

“If Hezbollah decides to open an all-out war, then with its own hands it will turn Beirut and southern Lebanon, which are not far from here, into Gaza and Khan Yunis,” Netanyahu said.

...Read more

K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

UNLV gunman had 'target list,' sheriff says

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LAS VEGAS — Police identified a former business professor unaffiliated with UNLV as the gunman who opened fire on the university’s campus, killing three faculty members and injuring a fourth.

Anthony Polito, 67, had been turned down multiple times from positions at Nevada universities, Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill said during a press...Read more

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff/ZUMA Wire/TNS

Inmate who allegedly stabbed Paul Flores in prison is charged with attempted murder

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The inmate who stabbed Paul Flores, the convicted killer of Kristin Smart, has been charged with attempted murder and assault, according to a news release from the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.

On Aug. 23, Flores, 46, was sent to the hospital in “serious condition” after he was stabbed in the neck ...Read more

Tyger Williams/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Former Philly labor leader John Dougherty found guilty in embezzlement trial, his second felony conviction in as many years

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PHILADELPHIA — A federal jury on Thursday found John Dougherty guilty on embezzlement charges, delivering his second felony conviction in as many years and casting a devastating blow to his legacy as one of the region’s most transformative labor leaders.

The panel of seven women and five men took roughly 14 hours over three days to conclude...Read more

Eileen T. Meslar/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Debate over controversial homeless encampment boils over in wake of fatal shooting

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CHICAGO — After weeks of the ward’s alderman asking Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration to remove a West Loop homeless encampment struggling with safety issues, a man was shot and killed Thursday, adding fuel to an already contentious debate.

Officers responded to the intersection of North Clinton Street and West Lake Street at 12:50 a...Read more


Lori Vallow Daybell, convicted of killing her children in Idaho, pleads not guilty to Arizona charges of conspiracy to kill ex-husband and other relative

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“Doomsday Mom” Lori Vallow Daybell pleaded not guilty Thursday to two charges in Arizona, including conspiracy to kill her ex-husband.

Vallow Daybell, 50, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in Idaho for killing her two children and conspiring to kill her current husband’s ex-wife.

In Arizona, she’s accused of scheming with ...Read more

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Hunter Biden charged with tax crimes in LA

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LOS ANGELES — Hunter Biden, the president’s son, was indicted Thursday in Los Angeles on several federal tax charges, marking the start of a second criminal case that will proceed during his father’s reelection campaign.

Biden, who resides in Malibu, was accused of failing to timely pay his taxes from 2016 to 2019, one count of tax ...Read more

News briefs

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Congress takes holiday decorating seriously. This year it caused an outcry

Since its inception in 2019, the holiday decorating contest in the Longworth House Office Building has been plagued by “skullduggery” and “holiday espionage,” to borrow phrases from two of its founders.

From stolen nutcrackers to deflated snowmen, members of ...Read more

Shots fired at Temple Israel synagogue in Albany, suspect in custody

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NEW YORK — Bullets were fired on the grounds of the Temple Israel synagogue in Albany on Thursday, but no one was killed or wounded by the gunfire, authorities said.

A 28-year-old man was immediately detained in connection with the shooting, which came hours before the start of Hanukkah at sundown.

The suspect told both a bystander and ...Read more

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Congressional committee opens investigation into University of Pennsylvania after president's testimony on antisemitism

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The congressional committee that held the hearing on antisemitism on college campuses Tuesday has opened an investigation into the University of Pennsylvania’s policies and disciplinary procedures following President Liz Magill’s testimony.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce also intends to investigate Harvard and the ...Read more

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Hunter Biden charged with tax crimes in LA

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LOS ANGELES — Hunter Biden, the president’s son, was indicted Thursday in Los Angeles on several federal tax charges, marking the start of a second criminal case that will proceed during his father’s reelection campaign.

Biden, who resides in Malibu, was accused of failing to pay his taxes from 2016 to 2019, one count of tax evasion, and ...Read more

Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Cuba leader meets Iran's supreme leader, opens up the island to Iranian investors

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At a time of heightened tension in the Middle East, Cuba’s handpicked president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, met with Iranian leaders in Tehran and signed half a dozen cooperation agreements in another signal that Havana is strengthening its alliance with anti-Western regimes.

Díaz-Canel traveled to Iran on Sunday and met with Iran’s supreme ...Read more

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images North America/TNS

Trump returns to NYC fraud trial as spectator, slams Judge Engoron and NY Attorney General James again

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NEW YORK — Donald Trump was back at his Manhattan Supreme Court fraud trial Thursday to see his legal team wind down their defense case.

The former president told reporters he’d returned after a weeks-long hiatus for NYU accounting professor Eli Bartov’s testimony, lauding him as “one of the great experts in the country.”

Bartov was ...Read more

Luke Johnson/The Seattle Times/TNS

Hundreds pack Seattle meeting to oppose playground at LGBTQ+ nude beach

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SEATTLE — Hundreds of people packed a Seattle community meeting Wednesday night to oppose a proposal by the city to build a kids playground at a beach park known for decades as a nude hangout, especially for LGBTQ+ folks.

People who swim and sunbathe at Denny Blaine Park, and who view the $550,000 plan initiated by an anonymous donor as an ...Read more


4 killed in potential hostage situation in Colorado's El Paso County

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DENVER — El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies found four adults killed in a Wednesday night shooting after sending in a SWAT team to investigate the scene, the office said in a release Thursday afternoon.

According to the release, deputies initially contacted a man who had injuries that were not life-threatening after responding to the scene ...Read more

Trent Sprague/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Northern sea otter pup rescued in Alaska finds new home at Shedd Aquarium

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CHICAGO — In late October, a young sea otter pup was found in the remote coastal town of Seldovia, Alaska, stranded and calling out in distress with no mother in sight. After being rehabilitated, fed and healed, the tiny otter — barely over a month old — began a cross-country trip to his new home in Chicago.

After being rescued by the ...Read more

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS

UNLV shooter wrote about Zodiac killer, missing Malaysia Airlines flight and conspiracy theories

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LAS VEGAS — One day after a mass shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, left three people and the gunman dead, a picture emerged of a quiet, lonesome academic with obsessive tendencies who was upset by being rejected for a position at the university, according to law enforcement sources, neighbors and the man’s personal website.

...Read more