National News

Ex-cop Lane will report to Colorado prison in Floyd killing

Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, who was sentenced to 2 1/2 years for violating George Floyd’s civil rights, has been ordered to report to a low-security federal prison camp in Colorado in two weeks. A court order filed Tuesday says Lane must report to the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in the Denver suburb of Littleton at 11 a.m. on Aug. 30. While U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson had recommended that the Bureau of Prisons send Lane to the low-security prison camp in Duluth, which is closer to his home, the bureau makes the final decisions.

Mom accused of killing kids in Idaho seeks change in charges

Attorneys for a mother charged with conspiring to kill her children in Idaho and steal their social security benefits have asked a judge to send the case back to a grand jury because they say the current indictment is confusing. Lori Vallow Daybell and her husband Chad Daybell have pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy and grand theft charges in connection with the deaths of 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan. They could face the death penalty if convicted. Vallow Daybell’s attorneys said Tuesday that the conspiracy charges are oddly constructed and could confuse a jury. Judge Steven Boyce is expected to issue a ruling on the matter later.

White House receives plan on ending railway contract dispute

The special board appointed by President Joe Biden to intervene in stalled railroad contract talks has submitted recommendations on how to settle the deal covering 115,000 rail workers and avert a strike. Details on the arbitrators' suggestions weren’t immediately available Tuesday. Railroads and unions will use those recommendations as the basis for a new round of talks over the next month. If an agreement can't be reached by mid September, federal law would allow a strike, but Congress is likely to intervene before then to keep the supply chain moving.

New York judge sides with Cuomo in dispute over book deal

A New York judge has ruled in favor of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and against a state ethics commission that wanted him to give up $5 million he was paid to write a book. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics initially approved Cuomo's request to write a book in 2020, but later withdrew the approval. It alleged Cuomo violated ethics guidelines by abusing his position for personal benefit. Cuomo sued, saying the commission was biased against him and violated his due process rights. Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul disbanded the commission this year. It isn’t clear whether the new commission will continue trying to claw back Cuomo’s book money.

Ex-congressman from California arrested, charged with fraud

A former U.S. Congressman from central California was arrested Tuesday by federal agents on wire fraud, money laundering, and campaign contribution fraud charges stemming from “multiple fraud schemes.” Terrance “T.J.” Cox was arrested by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Fresno, where he was booked to the Fresno County jail on a U.S. Marshals hold. It was not immediately known if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. Cox, a Democrat, represented the 21st Congressional District from January 2019 to January 2021.

Airbnb is rolling out new screening tools to stop parties

Airbnb says it's rolling out new technology to spot and block people who try to use the short-term rental service to throw a party. Airbnb said Tuesday that the new system examines the renter’s history on Airbnb, how far they live from the rental listing, and other factors. The system has been tested since last October in parts of Australia, and Airbnb says it has led to a 35% drop in unauthorized parties. Airbnb has been under growing pressure to clamp down on parties since 2019, when a Halloween house party in a San Francisco suburb ended with five people dead in a shooting.

Lawsuit: Mississippi police 'terrorized' small town

Civil rights advocates say in a federal lawsuit that police have “terrorized” residents in a small Mississippi town by subjecting them to false arrests, excessive force and intimidation. The civil rights organization JULIAN is seeking a temporary restraining order against Lexington’s police department to “demand protection for Lexington’s largely Black population.” The lawsuit came Tuesday after the organization obtained an audio recording in July of then- Lexington Police Chief Sam Dobbins using racial slurs and talking about how many people he killed in the line of duty. The Mississippi Center For Investigative Reporting reports that Dobbins denied making the slurs.

Biden signs massive climate and health care legislation

President Joe Biden has signed Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill. It's the “final piece” of the president's pared-down domestic agenda as he aims to boost his party’s standing with voters ahead of midterm elections. Biden says, “The American people won, and the special interests lost.” The legislation includes the biggest federal investment ever to fight climate change — some $375 billion over a decade. It also caps prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually for Medicare recipients, and helps an estimated 13 million Americans pay for health care insurance by extending subsidies provided during the coronavirus pandemic.

Arizona governor touts school voucher plan, slams opponents

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and backers of universal school vouchers are taking a victory lap over legislation the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted in June giving the state the nation’s most expansive voucher system. Ducey also used the time at a Christian school in Phoenix on Tuesday to attack backers of public schools who are trying to block the measure at the ballot. Ducey touted the signature bill he signed in July that lets all Arizona parents take state money that would go to their local public school and instead use it for private school tuition or other education costs. Save Our Schools Arizona is gathering signatures to block the new voucher law. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a previous version at the ballot in 2018.

Amazon to raise seller fees for holidays amid rising costs

Amazon is raising charges on third-party sellers again —- this time adding a holiday fee for merchants who use the company’s fulfillment services to pack and ship items to customers. According to a notice the company sent to merchants on Tuesday, sellers will be hit with an average fee of $0.35 per item sold using Amazon’s fulfillment services from Oct. 15 to Jan. 14. The price hikes will take effect in the U.S. and Canada and add to other fees sellers have to pay, including the company's 5% “fuel and inflation” surcharge that took effect in April. Last week, the U.S. Postal Service also filed a notice for a temporary holiday price hike.

Family seeks federal inquiry into Georgia drug raid death

The family of a Georgia woman killed by gunfire last year as sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant at her cousin's home are asking the Justice Department to investigate. Attorneys for 37-year-old Latoya James' family say the case bears striking similarities to the 2020 drug raid that resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky. Federal charges stemming from Taylor's death were announced earlier this month. James was killed in May 2021 when gunfire erupted between her cousin and Camden County deputies who forced entry into the cousin's home. The deputies had a drug warrant. Local District Attorney Keith Higgins decided not to prosecute the deputies.

Amazon workers in upstate New York file for union election

Amazon workers in upstate New York filed a petition for a union election on Tuesday, launching a major labor fight against the company.  A spokesperson for the National Labor Relations Board says the petition was filed for a warehouse in the town of Schodack, near Albany. To qualify for a union election, the NLRB requires signatures from 30% of eligible voters. The agency now has to verify if the workers are qualified to seek an election. The Amazon Labor Union is backing the organizing effort. Earlier this year, it notched a historic win at a warehouse on Staten Island, New York, but also took a loss at another nearby location weeks later.

Wolfgang Petersen, blockbuster filmmaker of 'Das Boot,' dies

Wolfgang Petersen, the German filmmaker whose WWII submarine epic “Das Boot” propelled him into a blockbuster Hollywood career that included the films “In the Line of Fire,” “Air Force One” and “The Perfect Storm,” has died. He was 81. Michelle Bega, a representative of Petersen, said the director died Friday at his home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Petersen, born in Emden, Germany, made two features before his 1982 breakthrough, “Das Boot," which chronicled the intense claustrophobia aboard a doomed WWII German U-Boat. “Das Boot” launched Petersen as a filmmaker in Hollywood, where he became one of the top makers of action adventures.

Abortion ban goes to S. Carolina House floor for big fight

A near total abortion ban in South Carolina that doesn't include exceptions for pregnancies’ caused by rape or incest was sent to the state House floor Tuesday but not without hints and warnings that the lack of exceptions could cause a big legislative fight in a few weeks. The House Judiciary Committee voted 13-7 to approve the ban. All yes votes were from Republicans and all votes against the bill from Democrats. But three Republican committee members who were at the meeting did not vote. South Carolina currently has a six-week ban passed in 2021 that went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The full House will likely debate the bill at a special session called by House Speaker Murrell Smith in the next few weeks.

US West hit with water cuts but rebuffs call for deeper ones

For the second year in a row, Arizona and Nevada will face cuts in the amount of water they can draw from the Colorado River as the West endures more drought. Federal officials made the announcement Tuesday. The cuts planned for next year will force states to make critical decisions about where to reduce consumption and whether to prioritize growing cities or agricultural areas. Mexico will also face cuts. But the seven states that rely on the river could soon face even deeper cuts that the government has said are needed to prevent reservoirs from falling so low they cannot be pumped.

City buying tougher windshields after cop killed in cruiser

A central Indiana city where a police officer was killed by gunshots fired into his cruiser is investing in bullet-resistant windshields for its 19 police vehicles. The Elwood Board of Public Works and Public Safety voted unanimously Monday night to spend $35,000 to purchase the new windshields. The initiative follows the death of Officer Noah Shahnavaz on July 31. The 24-year-old officer was shot through the windshield of his police cruiser before he could exit the vehicle during an early morning traffic stop. Forty-two-year-old Carl Roy Webb Boards II of Anderson has been charged with murder and other crimes in the shooting.

Oklahoma governor grants 60-day reprieve to Richard Glossip

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is granting death row inmate Richard Glossip a 60-day stay of execution while a state appeals court considers his claim of innocence. Stitt signed an executive order Tuesday delaying Glossip's execution that was scheduled for Sept. 22. Glossip asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals for a new evidentiary hearing following the release of an independent investigation by a Houston law firm that raised new questions about his guilt. The report from Reed Smith did not find any definitive proof of Glossip’s innocence, but raised concerns about lost or destroyed evidence and a detective asking leading questions to Glossip’s co-defendant, Justin Sneed.

Kraft Heinz recalling contaminated Capri Sun juice pouches

Kraft Heinz is recalling thousands of pouches of Capri Sun in the U.S. after some cleaning solution accidentally mixed with the juice on a production line.  The company says it’s recalling about 5,760 cases of Capri Sun Wild Cherry flavored juice blend. The “Best When Used By” date on the packages is June 25, 2023. Kraft Heinz says the diluted cleaning solution is used on its food processing equipment. The company says it discovered the problem after getting consumer complaints about the juice's taste. Consumers who bought the affected drinks should return them to the store where they were purchased to receive a refund.

Elvis death anniversary increases tourism at his birthplace

The Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum in Mississippi is welcoming an increasing number of visitors as fans commemorate the 45th anniversary of Presley’s death. The king of rock ‘n’ roll died Aug. 16, 1977, at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. Birthplace director Roy Turner says the small home in Tupelo has seen more visitors this year because people are starting to travel more than they did previously during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says the “Elvis” movie that came out this year also has boosted tourism. Before the pandemic, the Birthplace saw about 60,000 visitors a year. It's about 94 miles from Graceland, where Presley died.

Monkeypox can spread to pet dogs, doctors report

Health officials are warning people who are infected with monkeypox to stay away from household pets, since the animals could be at risk of catching the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has had the advice in place as monkeypox spreads in the U.S. It gained new attention after a report from France, published last week in the medical journal Lancet, about an Italian greyhound that caught the virus. Infections have been detected in rodents and other wild animals. But the authors called it the first report of monkeypox infection in a domesticated animal like a dog or cat.

New Orleans moves to end federal oversight of police

New Orleans officials have formally asked a federal judge to end court-supervised oversight of its police department under a pact negotiated with the U.S. Justice Department a decade ago. The consent decree was approved by a federal judge in January 2013. That followed deadly police shootings of civilians following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which renewed decades of periodic scandals involving corruption and use of force. The city's motion filed in federal court Tuesday says the police department is now substantially in compliance with the complex document's many requirements. Mayor LaToya Cantrell has said the requirements imposed by the decree now are an unnecessary burden and detriment to the department.

Informant defends role during Whitmer kidnapping plot trial

Defense attorneys have grilled an FBI informant in the trial of two men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s governor. They questioned Dan Chappel's motivation to get inside a band of anti-government extremists and the key steps he took to gather evidence. Chappel was cross-examined for hours as lawyers pressed their theme that any 2020 scheme against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was driven by agents and operatives. Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. are on trial for the second time on conspiracy charges. A federal jury in Grand Rapids, Michigan, couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict in April but acquitted two other men. Croft is from Bear, Delaware, and Fox is from western Michigan.