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Robert Durst, real estate heir convicted of murder, dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Robert Durst, the New York real estate heir sentenced to life in prison for killing his best friend, has died. He was 78 years old. Durst was convicted of the 2000 murder of Susan Berman in September. He was hospitalized with COVID-19 two days after his conviction. Durst’s attorney said he died at a state prison hospital in Stockton, California. Lawyer Chip Lewis said these were natural causes due to a number of health issues. Durst was on trial in New York for the murder of his wife, who disappeared in 1982. He was acquitted in 2003 for the death of a Texas man.


Newsom in California wants health coverage for all immigrants

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Governor Gavin Newsom wants to make California the first state to cover everyone under its Medicaid plan, regardless of immigration status. It’s part of his effort to tackle what he called five of the most populous state’s “biggest challenges” in a $ 286 billion budget proposal on Monday. They include the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic; forest fires and drought aggravated by global warming; homelessness; income inequality; and public safety, including tackling a recent wave of coordinated armed robberies. The state already covers younger and older low-income residents who are illegally in the country. Now Newsom wants state lawmakers to cover the rest.


Doctors run to save lives after New York fire that killed 17

NEW YORK (AP) – Medics rush to save the lives of people knocked out or trapped in their apartments by a fire that sent smoke into a New York City skyscraper. Seventeen people, including eight children, died in the Bronx fire on Sunday. Dozens of people were in hospital on Monday, and as many as 13 people were in critical condition. The fire is already the deadliest in the city for three decades. Investigators determined that a faulty electric heater was to blame. The flames damaged only a small part of the 19-story building, but smoke seeped through an open door and turned the stairwells into gloomy, ash-choked horrors.


The man who bought a gun for Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t arguing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The man who bought an AR-15-style rifle for Kyle Rittenhouse did not dispute a reduced charge of contributing to juvenile delinquency under a deal with prosecutors to avoid jail. A Wisconsin judge accepted Dominick Black’s plea on Monday. Prosecutors dropped two counts of intent to deliver a dangerous weapon to a minor. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a non-criminal citation. Black was 18 when he bought the rifle in May 2020. Rittenhouse was 17 and too young to buy a gun. Three months later, Rittenhouse used the rifle to shoot three people during a demonstration in Kenosha. He killed two. A jury acquitted him of several charges in November.


Russia and US still distant from each other after talks over tensions in Ukraine

GENEVA (AP) – Russia and the United States have remained distant after talks aimed at defusing tensions over Ukraine, with Moscow insisting on guarantees to stop NATO’s eastward expansion and even cancel the military alliance deployments in Eastern Europe, and Washington firmly rejecting the demands as a no-starter. With both sides cut off from their positions, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said “no progress” had been made on the central demand to halt NATO expansion, although he insisted: “We have no intention of invading Ukraine”. He spoke after five and a half hours of talks with his American counterpart, Wendy Sherman. It’s part of a wave of diplomatic activity in Europe this week over a Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine.


Deadly extreme weather year for US as carbon emissions skyrocket

Three new reports show 2021 has been a deadly year for the United States’ fight against climate change. On Monday, two federal reports shed light on 20 extreme weather and climate disasters that cost more than $ 1 billion each and another extremely hot year for the country. It was the deadliest weather year for the lower 48 states since 2011. Last year was the fourth hottest on record and December set a new heat record. A third report from the Rhodium Group shows that emissions of heat-trapping gases jumped 6% last year, mainly from long-haul trucking and a 17% increase in coal use.


Parts of New England to experience extreme cold, closures this week

BOSTON (AP) – New England states are bracing for extreme cold that is already shutting down some schools and threatening the electricity grid this week. Boston, the state’s largest public school district, announced Monday that schools will not open Tuesday due to the expected extremely cold temperatures. National Weather Service forecasters say the city’s high on Tuesday is expected to be 12 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chills dropping it as low as minus 8. A Maine utility is also advising customers to take action beforehand. the temperature drop in this state. .


Chicago’s fight with teachers’ union extends to week two

CHICAGO (AP) – The leader of the Chicago Teachers Union blames the city’s mayor for a continuing standoff over COVID-19 protocols. Chicago Teachers Union president Jesse Sharkey said the union and district “remained separate on a number of key features,” including more tests and lower thresholds to close the school for teaching in person during an epidemic. Chicago schools face the same pandemic issues as others nationwide, with a growing number of districts reverting to distance learning as infections explode during the omicron-fueled outbreak. .


Inflation on the rise, virus on the decline as priorities in the United States: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) – The coronavirus pandemic is starting to become a top priority in the minds of Americans. It is increasingly overshadowed by concerns about the economy and personal finances, especially inflation. This potentially means political problems for Democrats as the midterm elections approach. A poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that only 37% of Americans say COVID-19 is a top priority the government needs to work on in 2022, compared with 53% who said it was at beginning of last year. Instead, 68% of Americans polled named the economy as the government’s top concern, while 14% mentioned inflation – including 18% Republicans and 10% Democrats.


Tax season starts two weeks earlier due to virus, IRS funding

WASHINGTON (AP) – This year’s tax filing season will begin on January 24, 17 days earlier than last year. The Internal Revenue Service warned on Monday that a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in addition to less funding from Congress than what the Biden administration had requested could make this filing season particularly difficult. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig urged Americans to file electronically this year to avoid delays and get their refunds through direct deposit.

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