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Biden administration declares monkeypox a public health emergency

HHS Sec. Xavier BacerraThe Biden administration has declared the US monkeypox outbreak a national public health emergency which will trigger extra resources and other measures aimed at combatting the virus.

During a news briefing with reporters Xavier Becerra, the health secretary, said: “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously.”

Becerra plans to empower US officials to expedite countermeasures including vaccines and treatments, allowing for greater flexibility in the administering the supply of vaccines.

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Indiana congresswoman Jackie Walorski dies in car crash

Indiana Congresswoman dies in crash

The US congresswoman Jackie Walorski and two members of her staff were killed in a head-on vehicle collision in Indiana on Wednesday, her office and local police said.

Walorski, a Republican who represented Indiana’s second congressional district in the US House of Representatives, was traveling in a vehicle with the two others when another car veered into their lane, the Elkhart county sheriff’s office said.

Walorski, 58, died as a result of her injuries, the sheriff’s office said. Walorski’s communications director, Emma Thomson, 27, and Zachery Potts, 28, a district director for the lawmaker, were also killed, it added.

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Two bodies found in burned vehicle in path of raging California wildfire

Burned bodies found in car in Ca. fires

Two people were found dead in the path of the a wildfire raging across northern California, as firefighters raced to contain the blaze amid searing temperatures and impending thunderstorms.

The McKinney fire in northern California, which has grown into California’s largest this year, is one of several large fires burning across the US west and one of several concurrent extreme weather events battering the region.

The fire exploded in size over the weekend in a largely unpopulated area in the Klamath national forest, just south of the Oregon state line. Flames had scorched more than 55,000 acres by Monday morning, according to officials.

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Biden Administration Offers Russia Deal For Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan Release

Brittney GrinerThe Biden administration has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.

In a sharp reversal of previous policy, Blinken also said he expects to speak with his Kremlin counterpart for the first time since before Russia invaded Ukraine.

The statement marked the first time the U.S. government has publicly revealed any concrete action it has taken to secure the release of Griner, who was arrested on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport in February and testified Wednesday at her trial.

Blinken did not offer details on the proposed deal, which was offered weeks ago, though it is unclear if it will be enough for Russia to release the Americans. But the public acknowledgment of the offer at a time when the U.S. has otherwise shunned Russia, reflects the mounting pressure on the administration over Griner and Whelan and its determination to get them home.

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Alex Jones' Sandy Hook Defamation Trial Is Set To Begin. Here's How It Got To This Point.

Alex Jones trial beginsConspiracy theorist Alex Jones will face a jury of his peers for the first time next week in a defamation trial to determine how much he will have to pay the parents of a child killed in a school shooting after he spent years peddling lies that the tragic ordeal never happened.

On Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, and opened fire. He killed 20 children and six adults in a shooting that former President Barack Obama would later call the worst day of his presidency.

As the families of the dead mourned, the carnival-barker host of the conspiracy and disinformation outlet Infowars was working on his next big grift: convincing his listeners that the 6- and 7-year-old children who were killed, along with the adults who died trying to protect them, were part of an elaborate hoax.

It would mark the beginning of Jones’ many legal troubles to come.

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Michael Peroutka, Neo-Confederate Activist, Wins GOP Race For Maryland Attorney General

Michael Peroutka, Neo-Confederate Activist

Michael Peroutka, a neo-Confederate activist who’s refused to disavow a racist group to which he once belonged, has won the Republican nomination to be Maryland’s next attorney general.

Peroutka, a former Anne Arundel County Council member, beat his opponent Jim Shalleck, a former state and federal prosecutor, on Tuesday. He’ll face Democrat Anthony Brown in November.

Even among the various far-right candidates the Republican Party has nominated across the country, Peroutka stands out for his extremism, holding views that would be alarming for anyone seeking public office ― let alone someone vying to be a state’s top law enforcement official.

As documented in a recent, extensive Vice News profile, Peroutka is part of a growing Christian nationalist coalition that’s tightening its grip on the GOP. He believes lawmakers should “take a biblical worldview and apply it to civil law and government.”

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Biden Admin Tells Hospitals They Must Perform Abortions in Medical Emergencies

Biden: Doctors must perform emrgency abortionsIn the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, some doctors and hospitals are grappling with how to balance state-specific abortion bans with a federal law requiring they provide treatment to patients in medical emergencies.

On Monday, the Biden administration sought to clarify such confusion, with federal health officials issuing guidance that said hospitals “must provide” abortions if a pregnant person requires it to medically stabilize. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, officials said, overrules state laws banning abortions.

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