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Biden orders US troops back to Somalia

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. will reestablish a permanent troop presence in Somalia to counter the al-Shabab terrorist group, reversing a decision by former President Donald Trump to withdraw the roughly 750 special operations troops who were previously stationed there.

President Joe Biden approved a plan, presented to him by Defense Secretary Lloyd...Read more


4 Florida men charged with conspiracy to commit crimes dressed as police officers, DOJ says

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Four Florida men face life in prison after authorities arrested them for committing crimes dressed as police officers.

Officials charged Reginald Roberts, 22, of Lakeland; Nathaniel Carr, 28, of Lakeland; Daniel Jackson, 29, of Winter Haven; and Chrishawn Butler, 22, of Bartow, on May 13, according to the Department of Justice...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

1 in 9 COVID hospital patients die or get readmitted within 30 days, study finds

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One in 9 hospitalized COVID-19 patients die or get readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being sent home, a new study has found.

Deaths were observed more often in men, older individuals, those with comorbidities and people who had a history of prior hospital stays, according to the peer-reviewed research published Monday in the Canadian...Read more

Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

In a first, US government greenlights American investment in private business in Cuba

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MIAMI — In what appears to be a first in more than six decades, the U.S. has authorized an American company to finance and invest in a private business in Cuba, an unprecedented move that could open the gate to American investment to help Cubans on the island gain economic independence from the state.

The U.S. embargo on Cuba, in place since ...Read more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Laguna Woods church shooting 'politically motivated hate crime' targeting Taiwanese, sheriff alleges

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LOS ANGELES — The suspect in the Laguna Woods church shooting Sunday appeared to be motivated by political hatred directed at the Taiwanese community, Orange County sheriff’s officials said Monday.

While investigators provided few details, they said their investigation suggests the deadly attack was a “politically motivated hate crime.”...Read more

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Climate change is heating up Florida. That could bring more wildfires, new report warns

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MIAMI — When Hurricane Michael tore through North Florida in 2018 as a Category 5 storm, it left more than 3 million acres of felled trees in its wake.

Those largely untouched trees were the perfect fuel for three simultaneous wildfires that raged through the region in March. The Chipola Complex fires turned the skies smoky and blood red, ...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

US reaches 1 million COVID deaths -- and the virus isn't done with us

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David Dowdy hunches in front of his laptop at his kitchen table as he watches COVID-19 data trickle in. One death. Then another. And another. And another.

That’s a typical day for the Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist, his screen propped up on board game boxes and magazines, the clock progressing through another 12-hour day.

Dr. Dowdy ...Read more

Willie J. Allen Jr./Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Florida will likely take over Disney World's Reedy Creek, DeSantis says

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SANFORD, Fla. — The state will likely assume control of Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, rather than local governments absorbing it, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday.

DeSantis said he is working on a proposal that likely will be considered by the Legislature after the November elections.

Reedy Creek, which encompasses Disney ...Read more

Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images North America/TNS

FDA chief says shuttered baby formula plant could reopen soon, offering hope to ease shortage

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The head of the Food and Drug Administration said Monday that a shuttered baby formula factory should reopen within two weeks, potentially easing a serious nationwide shortage.

FDA Director Robert Califf said he was “comfortable” with Abbott Nutrition’s prediction that its plant could be up and running again in about two weeks after being...Read more

Allison Joyce/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

'Unsettling' Fort Bragg recruitment video ignites debate over its mysterious intent

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s a stretch to link the U.S. Army to witchery, but that’s happening in response to an eerie recruitment video shared on YouTube by Fort Bragg’s 4th Psychological Operations Group-Airborne.

Titled “Ghosts in the Machine,” the video feels like a movie trailer and comes with no explanation other than: “All the ...Read more

Karine Jean-Pierre steps into the bright White House spotlight

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WASHINGTON — As a young staffer working in the Obama White House, Karine Jean-Pierre was surprised the first time she struck up a conversation with then-Vice President Joe Biden.

It was 2009, and Biden had chosen the seat next to her on a flight back from politicking in New Jersey. The vice president regaled Jean-Pierre with tales of his ...Read more

Supreme Court rules for Ted Cruz, strikes down limit on post-election gifts to winners

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has ruled for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Monday struck down the legal limit on how much candidates can collect from big donors after an election is over.

Siding with Cruz, the court's conservative majority said the $250,000 limit on post-election gifts to winning candidates violates their rights to free speech....Read more

US Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, suffers what he calls 'minor stroke'

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U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, is recovering from a “minor stroke,” he said in a statement late Sunday night.

The senator said he was admitted to the George Washington University Hospital after experiencing lightheadedness and acute neck pain while giving a speech in Western Maryland.

Subsequent testing revealed he had ...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

How some students are protesting law dubbed 'don't say gay' as graduation nears

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Some high school seniors are looking to leave their last mark as they go off to live new lives as college students or go out into the workforce.

For some, that means speaking out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, known among critics as don’t say gay, and speaking up in favor of LGBTQ+ rights.

One...Read more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Church where shooting took place was home away from home for Taiwanese immigrants

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LOS ANGELES — The Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church has never had a home.

It started in 1994 in borrowed space in another church in its namesake city. It eventually moved to another borrowed space in a Tustin church before settling at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods in 2012.

On Sundays, the Taiwanese group worships at 10 a.m., ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Garcetti's nomination remains stalled in Senate

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WASHINGTON — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's nomination to be ambassador to India is dangling by a thread in the Senate, with several Democrats continuing to express hesitation over the nomination.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer's office issued an informal "temperature check" to Democratic senators on May 6 to see where lawmakers...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

With COVID cases rising, how close is California to new mask rules, restrictions?

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SAN FRANCISCO — With coronavirus cases continuing to rise in some parts of California, the big question is when some local governments may decide a wave is big enough to intervene with new rules.

The numbers suggest such action is still some ways away, because infection and hospitalization rates are still far from what officials consider the ...Read more

Gunman in Laguna Woods church shooting worked methodically, but motive still a mystery

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LOS ANGELES — He arrived at the Laguna Woods church concealing two weapons, authorities said.

He seemed friendly at first, one witness said, insisting that he’d worshiped at the church in the past.

Before opening fire, he blocked the exits to prevent people inside from leaving, a law enforcement source told The Times.

Authorities on ...Read more

Russia warns Finland and Sweden over NATO as strikes pummel east Ukraine

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LVIV, Ukraine — Russia on Monday warned Finland and Sweden that plans to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization were a "grave mistake," as Moscow's forces stepped up attacks in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, said the two Nordic nations, which over the weekend announced their intention to ...Read more

Buffalo shooting suspect planned to continue rampage after supermarket massacre: police

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The man accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket Saturday planned to keep gunning down innocent victims in other locations, police revealed Monday.

“We have uncovered information that if he escaped the [Tops] supermarket, he had plans to continue his attack,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told ABC News Monday ...Read more