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Hungary elects Sulyok as president after sex-abuse scandal ousts predecessor

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungarian lawmakers elected the chief of the nation’s constitutional court to be the next president after a child-abuse scandal toppled the head of state this month and threatened to sap support for longtime Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Tamas Sulyok, a 67-year-old jurist who has led a highly politicized top court under ...Read more

Theodore Parisienne/New York Daily News/TNS

'Bling Bishop' Lamor Whitehead fraud trial starts as feds say he swindled parishioners

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NEW YORK — Brooklyn’s “Bling Bishop” Lamor Whitehead abused his parishioners’ trust and lied about having “the key to the city” from his pal Mayor Eric Adams to pad his wallet with stolen cash and his closet with Louis Vuitton, federal prosecutors alleged Monday in opening statements.

“During this trial, you’ll learn that the ...Read more

Janos Kummer/Getty Images North America/TNS

Sweden clears final hurdle to join NATO with Hungary vote

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Sweden cleared the final obstacle to gaining NATO membership in a move that will solidify the alliance’s grip over Northern Europe and the Baltic region.

The approval by Hungary’s parliament Monday came 21 months after the Nordic country submitted its membership bid jointly with Finland in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

With ...Read more

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

White House decries Trump's claim that his criminal charges increase black voter support

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WASHINGTON — The White House denounced Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s assertion that his criminal indictments have increased his support among Black voters.

“It is repugnant and divisive to traffic in racist stereotypes,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday. “In any context, it ...Read more

Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

California Senate leader opposes Prop. 47 changes. Here's how he wants to tackle retail theft

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s new Senate leader on Monday came out against changes to Proposition 47, instead advocating for tools to target organized retail theft and help those dealing with opioid addictions.

“I do not believe that this state needs to touch Prop. 47 to be able to help make our communities safer, full stop,” said ...Read more

DREAMSTIME/TNS

Norovirus spikes across the Northeast: 'Very contagious virus that can cause vomiting and diarrhea'

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BOSTON — Some toilets have been working overtime across the region in recent weeks.

The “stomach bug” is unfortunately making the rounds these days. Norovirus rates in the Northeast are now at their highest levels since April, according to the CDC. The positive “stomach flu” rates in the Northeast are currently higher than the rest of...Read more

Nelvin Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

San Diego federal judge rules California's ban on club-like weapons is unconstitutional

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A federal judge in San Diego has struck down a California law banning possession of club-like weapons, reversing his previous ruling from 2021 that reluctantly upheld the prohibition on billy clubs, batons and similar blunt objects.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez declared Friday that the prohibition "unconstitutionally infringes the Second ...Read more

Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Brush fire near Stone Mountain Park extinguished, still under investigation

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ATLANTA — DeKalb County firefighters extinguished a large brush fire on the northern edge of Stone Mountain Park on Monday evening with the help of park officials and the Georgia Forestry Commission, authorities said.

The fire was found in the woods near the Stone Mountain Freeway interchange with Jefferson Davis Drive, according to DeKalb ...Read more

Handout/New York Daily News/TNS

Man being held in Arizona tried again and again to kill sex worker in NYC hotel room, prosecutors say

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NEW YORK — Raad Almansoori, the man accused of killing a Queens mom and sex worker in a Manhattan hotel, tried again and again to end her life before finally succeeding, authorities said at a Monday court hearing in Arizona, where he remains held without bond.

The suspect is accused of brutally murdering Denisse Oleas-Arancibia in a room on ...Read more

Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Beverly Hills middle school rocked by AI-generated nude images of students

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LOS ANGELES — The new face of bullying in schools is real. It's the body below the face that's fake.

Last week, officials and parents at Beverly Vista Middle School in Beverly Hills were shocked by reports that fake images were circulating online that put real students' faces on artificially generated nude bodies. According to the Beverly ...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Southern California Edison to pay $80 million over deadly 2017 Thomas fire

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LOS ANGELES — Southern California Edison has agreed to pay $80 million to cover costs and damages from the 2017 Thomas fire, a massive blaze in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties that killed two people and later triggered a massive mudflow that resulted in 23 deaths.

The Thomas fire, which scorched more than 280,000 acres and destroyed more ...Read more

Alyssa Pointer/Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

Judge: Law partner must testify about Wade's relationship with Willis

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ATLANTA — A judge has determined that Nathan Wade’s former law partner and divorce lawyer must tell the court what he knows about the special prosecutor’s relationship with District Attorney Fani Willis — a decision that could produce more bombshell testimony as defense attorneys seek to disqualify the DA from prosecuting the Fulton ...Read more

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/TNS

State of suspension: Lawmakers gripe about fast-tracked bills under Speaker Johnson

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As lawmakers stare down another deadline to fund the government, Speaker Mike Johnson is facing a fresh round of criticism in the House over his go-to move to pass bills: bypass the Rules Committee, sideline Freedom Caucus members and rely on Democrats’ votes.

The frustration centers on the speaker’s heavy use of a House procedure known as ...Read more

AFP/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS

Biden hopes Gaza cease-fire starts as soon as next Monday

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden expressed hope negotiators would secure a temporary pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, describing the talks as “close” and saying that a cease-fire could start as soon as next Monday.

“My national security adviser tells me that they’re close, they’re close, they’re ...Read more

ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Deal to swap Alexei Navalny was in works when he died, official says

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Talks were underway that could have seen Russian dissident Alexei Navalny freed in a prisoner exchange with the United States and Germany before his death in an Arctic prison Feb. 16, a Western official said.

Under the proposed agreement, Russia would have released Navalny, as well as two jailed Americans — Wall Street Journal reporter Evan ...Read more

Paul Brady/Dreamstime/TNS

New York state lawmakers vote down bipartisan House map plan

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Ruling Democrats in the New York State Legislature voted down a proposal from a bipartisan panel to slightly modify the state’s House map, seizing control of the process and potentially setting themselves up to draw a map that would boost their own party in the fall elections.

The rejection of the bipartisan proposal came 11 days after the ...Read more

Kentucky General Assembly/TNS

GOP lawmaker files bill to add rape, incest exceptions to Kentucky abortion ban

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Louisville Republican has filed a bill to exempt victims of rape and incest, as well as women with nonviable pregnancies, from the state’s near-total ban on abortion.

Rep. Ken Fleming, R-Louisville, filed House Bill 711 on Monday.

While a bill to this end has already been filed this session — Hadley’s Law from Senate...Read more

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images North America/TNS

Manhattan DA Bragg seeks gag order on Trump in Stormy Daniels hush money case

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NEW YORK — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg asked a judge Monday for a narrowly tailored gag order prohibiting Donald Trump from commenting on those involved in the Stormy Daniels hush money case ahead of his first criminal trial next month, citing the former president’s record of “advocacy of revenge and retribution against ...Read more

Mario Tama/Getty Images North America/TNS

Newsom wants California voters to approve billions more to help the homeless. Will Prop. 1 help?

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California voters will decide March 5 whether to pump billions more dollars into combating the nation’s worst homelessness crisis, an investment Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom argues will finally provide the housing and treatment so badly needed by tens of thousands of homeless people.

Newsom is spearheading Proposition 1...Read more

News briefs

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Biden and Trump set for dueling Texas appearances on the border this week

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump plan to visit Texas border cities Thursday in a sign of how the 2024 rivals view illegal immigration as a key issue in the presidential race.

Biden will travel Thursday to Brownsville, where he plans to...Read more