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Saturday, Aug 13th

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Olivia Newton-John Dead at 73

Olivia Newton-John dies at 73Olivia Newton-John, who soared to international stardom as both a singer and movie star has died.

Olivia's husband, John Easterling, says she died peacefully at her ranch in Southern California Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends. Olivia has battled breast cancer for more than 30 years, a specific cause of death was not given, although a source close to Olivia told TMZ, "After a 30-year cancer journey, she lost her battle to metastatic breast cancer."

Olivia hit it big in 1971 with songs like "If Not for You," and in 1973 "Let Me Be There." She followed that up with a monster hit, "Have You Never Been Mellow."

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Georgia father, son sentenced to life for hate crimes in Ahmaud Arbery death

Father and son sentenced to lifeThe father and son who are serving life in prison for Ahmaud Arbery's murder were again sentenced to life in prison Monday on federal hate crime charges.

Travis McMichael, who fatally shot Arbery, will serve his federal sentence of life plus 10 years. McMichael, 36, declined to address the court. His father, Gregory, who initiated the deadly pursuit of the jogger, will serve life in state prison plus seven years. They both will serve the federal sentences concurrently with the state time.

Their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, who was also convicted of murder, was set to be sentenced later Monday. In February, a jury found that the three men, who are white, violated Arbery’s civil rights and targeted him because of his race. Arbery was Black.

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Republicans block cap on insulin costs for millions of patients

GOP blocks cap on insulin costs

Republican lawmakers on Sunday successfully stripped a $35 price cap on the cost of insulin for many patients from the ambitious legislative package Democrats are moving through Congress this weekend, invoking arcane Senate rules to jettison the measure.

The insulin cap is a long-running ambition of Democrats, who want it to apply to patients on Medicare and private insurance. Republicans left the portion that applies to Medicare patients untouched but stripped the insulin cap for other patients. Bipartisan talks on a broader insulin pricing bill faltered earlier this year.

The Senate parliamentarian earlier in the weekend ruled that part of the Democrats’ cap, included in the Inflation Reduction Act, did not comply with the rules that allow them to advance a bill under the process known as reconciliation — a tactic that helps them avert a GOP filibuster. That gave the Republicans an opening to jettison it.

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Michigan AG calls for special prosecutor in case now involving her Trump-backed opponent

Michigan AG Dana Nessel

Michigan’s attorney general is requesting a special prosecutor be named to investigate her Trump-endorsed opponent, citing evidence tying him to a potentially criminal scheme to seize and tamper with voting machines, according to documents obtained by POLITICO.

The decision comes after a monthslong investigation by Michigan State Police and the attorney general, Dana Nessel, into voting machine breaches that took place in several Michigan counties. That investigation unexpectedly led to Kalamazoo lawyer Matthew DePerno, whom former President Donald Trump has taken an outsize interest in promoting to be Michigan’s next attorney general.

According to an Aug. 5 petition from Nessel’s office requesting a special prosecutor, DePerno, in concert with two other people, “orchestrated a coordinated plan to gain access to voting tabulators” that were illegally seized from county clerks.

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U.S. Senate passes major $430 billion bill to fight climate change, cut drug costs

Sen SchumerrThe U.S. Senate on Sunday passed a sweeping $430 billion bill intended to fight climate change, lower drug prices and raise some corporate taxes, a major victory for President Joe Biden that Democrats hope will aid their chances of keeping control of Congress in this year's elections.

After a marathon, 27-hour weekend session of debate and Republican efforts to derail the package, the Senate approved the legislation known as the "Inflation Reduction Act," by a 51-50 party line vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking ballot.

The action sends the measure to the House of Representatives for a vote expected Friday that could forward it, in turn, to the White House for Biden's signature.

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The killings of 4 Muslim men in Albuquerque may be linked, police say

4 Muslim en killed in NMexico  may be linkedPolice say the killing of a Muslim man on Friday night in Albuquerque may be linked to the ambush shooting deaths of three Muslim men over the past nine months in New Mexico's biggest city.

Police said Saturday that the victim in the latest killing was a Muslim from South Asia who is believed to be in his mid-20s. The man, whose identity hasn't yet been confirmed by investigators, was found dead after police received a call of a shooting.

Earlier this week, police confirmed that local detectives and federal law enforcement officers were looking for possible ties among the separate crimes. Two of the men — Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41 — were killed in the past week, and both were from Pakistan and members of the same mosque. The third case involves the November killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, a Muslim man of South Asian descent.

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Pennsylvania Blaze Kills Firefighter's 10 Relatives

Pennsylvania blaze kills firefighter's rrelativesFire tore quickly through a house in northeastern Pennsylvania early Friday morning, killing seven adults and three children and horrifying a volunteer firefighter who arrived to battle the blaze only to discover the victims were his own family, authorities said.

The children who died were ages 5, 6 and 7, Pennsylvania State Police said in a news release, while the seven adults ranged from their late teens to a 79-year-old man. Autopsies were planned for this weekend.

Harold Baker, a volunteer firefighter in the town of Nescopeck, said the 10 victims included his son, daughter, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, three grandchildren and two other relatives. He said his two children and the other young victims were visiting their aunt and uncle’s home for swimming and other summertime fun.

He said 13 dogs were also in the two-story home, but didn’t say if he knew whether any survived.

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2 gunmen sought after shooting rampage wounds 9 outside Cincinnati bar

Cincinnati bar shootingA manhunt was underway for multiple gunmen after nine people were wounded Sunday in a shooting rampage outside a bar in a trendy, eclectic community near downtown, police said.

Chaos erupted after an altercation between two groups of people shortly before the 2 a.m. closing time outside Mr. Pitiful's in the city's historic Over-the-Rhine district, Lt. Colonel Mike John said. He estimated that 15-20 shots were fired.

All the eight men and a woman who were treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center have been released, hospital spokeswoman Heather Chura Smith said.

Mayor Aftab Pureval called the incident "unacceptable," warning that using guns to solve disputes was becoming a normal part of current culture.

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‘Never seen it this bad’: America faces catastrophic teacher shortage

WaPo: terrible shorrtage of teachershh hh  jjjj

Rural school districts in Texas are switching to four-day weeks this fall due to lack of staff. Florida is asking veterans with no teaching background to enter classrooms. Arizona is allowing college students to step in and instruct children.

The teacher shortage in America has hit crisis levels — and school officials everywhere are scrambling to ensure that, as students return to classrooms, someone will be there to educate them.

“I have never seen it this bad,” Dan Domenech, executive director of the School Superintendents Association, said of the teacher shortage. “Right now it’s number one on the list of issues that are concerning school districts ... necessity is the mother of invention, and hard-pressed districts are going to have to come up with some solutions.”

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