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Parents Erupt Over FDA Failure To Regulate Toxic Metals in Food

Toxic ingredients found in baby foodWhen Congress released a report this month finding that popular baby foods contain worrisome levels of toxic heavy metals, the reaction was swift.

Scary headlines blared from the New York Times to the Daily Mail, lawsuits were filed within days and throngs of parents, already beleaguered from the stresses of the pandemic, took to social media with the fire of a thousand suns. “You knowingly sell food that hurt babies for profit,” one mom wrote on a baby food company’s Instagram page. “You are MONSTERS.”

But the intense blowback against baby food makers obscured an even larger problem, watchdogs say: Heavy metal contamination is relatively common across the food supply, so infants aren’t the only children vulnerable to possible health effects, and the federal government is doing next to nothing to reduce their exposure.

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Defense Sec. Austin eyes rolling back Trump-era policy on special operations

Navy Seals operations

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is considering undoing his predecessor’s last-minute decision to elevate the top civilian Pentagon official overseeing special operations matters, signaling his intent to continue rolling back the policies of the Trump administration.

Austin is weighing the move as he reassigns the senior official who most recently held that special operations role in the Trump administration, and looks to replace another official who served under Trump's former Pentagon chief.

The initial policy change on special operations, made in December by former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, put civilian oversight of America’s commandos on par with the civilian leaders of the military branches. The job had been lower down in the Pentagon’s bureaucracy.

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US plane scatters engine debris over Denver homes

Plane scatters engine debris

The Boeing 777, with 231 passengers and 10 crew on board, was able to return safely and land at Denver airport. No injuries were reported.

Police in the town of Broomfield posted pictures of what appears to be the front of an engine casing in the front garden of a home.

The United Airlines plane was bound for Honolulu.

Flight 328 suffered a failure in its right-hand engine, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

Broomfield police urged residents not to touch or move the debris. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be carrying out an investigation.

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Larry Flynt, porn publisher and free speech activist, dead at 78: Washington Post

Larry FlyntHustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt Jr., the self-described “smut peddler who cares,” who used his pornography empire and flair for the outrageous to push the limits of free speech, has died at the age of 78, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper said Flynt’s brother Jimmy Flynt confirmed his death but did not cite a specific cause. Flynt suffered from a variety of health problems since a 1978 assassination attempt that left him a paraplegic.

Flynt loved to aggravate his critics with stunts such as wearing a diaper made from an American flag to court and was involved in a number of legal battles.

In the most famous, the U.S. Supreme Court made an important First Amendment ruling in favor of Flynt in a libel battle with evangelist Jerry Falwell.

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Woman who allegedly helped steal Pelosi laptop to be released from jail

Woman involved in pelosi laptop theft released

A Pennsylvania woman facing charges that she helped steal a laptop from the office of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, during the attack on the US Capitol will be released from jail, a federal judge decided on Thursday.

US magistrate judge Martin Carlson directed that Riley June Williams be released into the custody of her mother, with travel restrictions, and instructed her to appear on Monday in federal court in Washington to continue her case.

“The gravity of these offenses is great,” Carlson told Williams. “It cannot be overstated.”

Williams, 22, of Harrisburg, is accused of theft, obstruction and trespassing, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Carlson noted Williams has no prior criminal record.

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3 new Democratic senators to be sworn in, which will flip control of the Senate

Three Democratic Senators sworn inVice President Kamala Harris is expected to swear in three new, barrier-breaking Democratic senators on Wednesday afternoon following her own inauguration, officially giving Democrats control of the Senate for the first time since they lost the chamber in the 2014 elections.

Earlier this month, Georgia elected two Democrats -- the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff -- to the US Senate, flipping the chamber. Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and Ossoff will be joined on Wednesday by Harris' successor, Alex Padilla, the former California secretary of state appointed to the Senate by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The swearing-in of the three new senators will be groundbreaking. Warnock and Ossoff will be the first Black and first Jewish senators, respectively, representing Georgia, while Padilla will be California's first Latino senator.

First lady's chief of staff and former WH press secretary resigns over violent protests

Stephanie Grisham resignsStephanie Grisham, the former White House communications director and press secretary and current chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump, submitted her resignation Wednesday afternoon, effective immediately, in the wake of the violent protests, a White House official says.

Grisham was one of the longest-serving Trump administration officials, having begun her tenure working for then-candidate Donald Trump in 2015 as a press wrangler on the campaign trail. Grisham entered the White House as deputy press secretary under Sean Spicer, but in March 2017, Melania Trump hired her for her East Wing staff. As East Wing communications director, Grisham quickly became the first lady's most prominent staffer, acting as defender, enforcer and, often, protector.

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