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Court monitor slams PG&E for falling behind on wildfire tree trimming across California

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - PG&E Corp. is still missing dangerous trees in its quest to keep limbs from crashing into power lines and igniting major wildfires, a court-appointed investigator has found.

Mark Filip, a Chicago lawyer who is the court-appointed monitor in the utility's criminal probation, reported this week that the utility's "enhanced ...Read more

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Political adviser to LA's mayor to 'take a leave' amid sexual misconduct allegations

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LOS ANGELES - Rick Jacobs, a top political adviser to Mayor Eric Garcetti, said Tuesday night he will "take a leave" from his work with Garcetti amid allegations of sexual conduct leveled against Jacobs.

"For the past seventeen years, I have dedicated myself to advocacy and public service. I do not want this to be a distraction. Therefore, I ...Read more

Win McNamee/Getty Images North America/TNS

Army rules Vanessa Guillen death as 'in line of duty,' grants benefits

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AUSTIN, Texas - Fort Hood officials on Tuesday said the family of U.S. Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen received word that the Army classified the soldier's death as "in the line of duty."

Army officials spoke with the Guillen family of Houston, saying the new classification would allow them to receive Army benefits on behalf of the 20-year-old who is...Read more

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

No one knew Epstein's secrets like Ghislaine Maxwell; how much did her testimony reveal?

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WASHINGTON - When a 418-page transcript of a deposition given by Ghislaine Maxwell is made public, perhaps by week's end, it will mark a major milestone in a legal fight by the Miami Herald to reveal Jeffrey Epstein's protected world by shining light in uncomfortable places.

Maxwell - the alleged madam to the late disgraced financier - sits in ...Read more

Jemal Countess/Getty Images North America/TNS

Trump tweets clip of '60 Minutes' host Lesley Stahl without mask at White House, threatens to air interview early

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NEW YORK - He's tick, tick ticked.

President Donald Trump posted video of "60 Minutes" anchor Lesley Stahl appearing maskless after interviewing him Tuesday - then threatened to scoop CBS by airing their recent interview ahead of schedule.

"Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes not wearing a mask in the White House after her interview with me," the ...Read more

Marco Curaba/Dreamstime/TNS

Uniformed Miami cop spotted wearing pro-Trump mask near voting site will be disciplined

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MIAMI - A uniformed Miami police officer was photographed sporting a protective mask with a pro-Trump slogan while on duty and voting at Government Center Tuesday morning.

The backlash from his department was swift.

Miami's police chief, after seeing the photo posted on social media, said Officer Daniel Ubeda would be disciplined. Though ...Read more

Metzel Mikhail/Tass/Abaca Press/TNS

Why Prime Minister Modi is popular even as India fails to fight virus

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NEW DELHI - India is battling one of the world's highest coronavirus caseloads, its worst-ever economic slump, shuttered factories, farmer protests and the deadliest border fighting with China in decades.

Yet Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to remain as popular as ever. Opinion polls in Bihar, where from Oct. 28 to Nov. 7 he faces his ...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Chicago mayor exchanged emails with lobbyist as city ethics board declined to enforce lobbying ban

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CHICAGO - Months after a new law took effect banning elected public officials from lobbying Chicago City Hall, Mayor Lori Lightfoot exchanged emails with a lobbyist who would have been barred under the new standards had they been enforced, the Chicago Tribune has learned.

Flossmoor trustee Gyata Kimmons emailed Lightfoot in August on behalf of ...Read more

Minneapolis Police Department/TNS/TNS

Top Minneapolis police official demoted over 'white boys' comment

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MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis police Chief Medaria Arradondo demoted a high-ranking deputy over the weekend after the deputy's comments in a Star Tribune article prompted an internal backlash.

Art Knight, who had served as Arradondo's chief of staff, was quoted using the term "white boys" in a story that ran in Sunday's newspaper about law ...Read more

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS

US discord deepens over vaccines, immunity as coronavirus rebounds

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Public skepticism about coronavirus vaccines and enthusiasm on the right for so-called herd immunity are colliding as the U.S. outbreak is worsening, developments that could dash hopes for containing COVID-19 in the months ahead.

Herd immunity aims instead to expose more people to the coronavirus, to build protection broadly in the population. ...Read more

Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

PPP bill falls short in Senate as hope for COVID-19 aid wanes

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WASHINGTON - Amid ongoing COVID-19 economic aid negotiations and the approaching election, the Senate shot down on Tuesday a standalone measure authorizing a second round of forgivable loans to small businesses.

Republicans were unified in their attempt to push forward the bill while nearly all Democrats voted against the bill on a procedural ...Read more

Ventura County Fire Dept./TNS/TNS

NTSB faults poor oversight and lack of roving watch for Conception boat fire that killed 34

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LOS ANGELES - A deadly fire engulfed the Conception dive boat off the Channel Islands last year because its owner, Truth Aquatics, failed to have effective oversight of the vessel and did not operate a required roving watch that likely would have detected the fire sooner and could have saved lives, the National Transportation Safety Board said ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Florida's schools shouldn't shut down because of COVID-19 infections, Gov. DeSantis says

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Closing schools for months at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic was a mistake that won't be repeated, and only students who develop symptoms should be isolated, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday.

During a visit to a ...Read more

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Tropical Storm Epsilon improves structure and strengthens slightly, could be a hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Tropical Storm Epsilon, the earliest 26th-named storm on record in the Atlantic, continues strengthening in the central Atlantic Ocean, according to Tuesday's 5 p.m. advisory.

The National Hurricane Center said Epsilon's structure "greatly improved" Tuesday afternoon and there are even hints of an eyelike feature ...Read more

Good/TNS/TNS

US deaths are about 300,000 higher than expected since the coronavirus arrived

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The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 is high any way you look at it - and a new report from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers yet another way to look at it.

If you add up all the people who have died in the U.S. for any reason since late January and compare that figure to the tally from previous years, you'll ...Read more

Nathan Howard/Getty Images North America/TNS

'Proud Boys' voter intimidation emails to Florida students spur FBI investigation

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A string of voter intimidation emails that were purportedly sent by the Proud Boys, a self-described militia group, were reported to state and federal law enforcement officials on Tuesday morning, according to Alachua Supervisor of Elections Kim Barton.

Alachua County officials were made aware of the emails on Tuesday ...Read more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

After ballot box fire, LA registrar is sorting through votes that can be salvaged

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LOS ANGELES - Ballots retrieved from a Baldwin Park drop box that was burned in what authorities say may have been arson have been transferred to the Los Angeles County registrar for sorting and review, officials said Tuesday.

County Clerk Dean C. Logan of the registrar's office said more than 230 pieces of "material" were salvaged from the box...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

'Disgusted' NU president condemns anti-police protesters who burned banner outside his house, vandalized campus

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CHICAGO - A group of Northwestern University students urging the school to cut ties with local and campus police departments is now calling on President Morton Schapiro to resign after a protest outside his home this weekend prompted him to rebuke the movement and characterize its recent actions as violent.

In a letter sent to the Northwestern ...Read more

Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Younger adults still driving coronavirus spread in LA County

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LOS ANGELES - Younger adults continue to be a significant driver of Los Angeles County's stubbornly high coronavirus case rate, with those under 50 accounting for almost three-fifths of all confirmed infections, officials said this week.

While not a new development - those between the ages of 18 and 49 have had the highest number of cases ...Read more

Glen Stubbe/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Justice Department offers to assist in training Minneapolis police

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MINNEAPOLIS - The U.S. Department of Justice has offered to partner with the Minneapolis Police Department as part of a new nationwide program to provide training to police forces across the country, reduce excessive force and build community safety.

Justice officials from Washington, D.C., announced the Law Enforcement Training and Technical ...Read more