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North America

North America

Man who brutally murdered 94-year-old woman in Yuba City, CA found using new DNA analysis to produce familial match, previously you could only match off male relatives, now same can be done with female relatives, leading police to the perpetrator

Scotty Garnell Morrow who fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and her friend in the head 25 years ago set to be executed in Georgia, lawyers say death penalty is rarely obtained for spontaneous and emotionally-charged killings, claims Morrow is a genuinely nice guy and the years of bullying he experienced as a child should be taken into account

Three women in California who say they were raped by men posing as Uber drivers files lawsuit against the company claiming they were not warned about fake rideshare drivers targeting women leaving bars and nightclubs in the Los Angeles area, Uber say it has been working for several years on how passengers can protect themselves against fake drivers

73-year-old Fulham FC fan living in California sues Department of Motor Vehicles after he was banned from having letters COYW on personalised car number plate, DMV claims "Come on you whites" has racist connotations, COYW refers to club's shirt colour

American authorities arrest Rondell Henry who allegedly planned terrorist attack in Maryland, the 28-year-old man from Germantown stole U-Haul van with the intention of using it against pedestrians at National Harbor, Henry harbors hatred towards non-Muslims and was inspired by 2016 ISIS terrorist attack in Nice

Lake County Sheriff's Office welcomes young bloodhound Rommel on Twitter, some followers connects dog's name to German general during World War II, sheriff's office renames dog Scout

Chicago elects African-American gay woman as its mayor, former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot campaigned on platform to end political corruption, gun crime and help lower-income families, another twelve US cities are led by black women

Martin Shkreli thrown in solitary confinement after reports he was still running his pharmaceutical company from a cellphone while in prison, Shkreli allegedly fired Phoenixus AG’s interim CEO from behind bars

17 people across 11 states infected with salmonella typhimurium in outbreak linked to pet hedgehogs, two people hospitalized but no deaths reported, hedgehogs can carry salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy, germs can easily spread to anything the animal touches

Number of American adults not having sex reaches all-time high at 23%, between ages of 18 and 30 percentage for men up to 28% and for women 18%, could be attributed to more young men being unemployed and more likely to live with their parents

Tyler R. Barriss sentenced to 20 years in prison in California after making fake emergency calls sending police to an innocent man's home, when answering the door the police shot and killed the unarmed man, the "swatting" was triggered by an argument between Barriss and a third man over a video game

Only black reporters allowed to attend meeting coordinated to garner support for a single black candidate in Savannah's mayoral race, posts signs reading "Black press only", attending candidate Van Johnson proclaims his "vision for an inclusive Savannah"

New York state sues Sackler family two days after their company Purdue Pharma agreed to pay USD 270 million to settle similar claims by Oklahoma over their marketing of the Oxycontin painkiller, the potentially massive legal liability has led Purdue to threaten filing for bankruptcy, states and local governments target the family in effort to recoup billions spent on social costs of opioid addiction, former Purdue CEO Richard Sackler in 1996 allegedly compared the expected demand to a series of natural disasters

United Airlines first airline to introduce non-binary gender option on bookings, customers can select M (male), F (female), U (undisclosed) or X (unspecified), the profoundly proud airline will train its staff on preferred pronouns, LGBT workplace competency and other inclusivity initiatives, as this is "part of treating everyone with dignity and respect"

Chicago city officials orders Jussie Smollett to pay USD 130,000 to cover cost of investigation into his report of street attack police say was staged to promote his career

Pentagon authorise USD 1 billion for new wall construction along the US-Mexico border, will be used to build 57 miles of 18ft-high "pedestrian fencing", road improvements and new lights, Trump originally requested USD 5.7 billion to construct the wall

Attorney Michael Avenatti accused by federal prosecutors of trying to extort between USD 15 and USD 25 million from Nike, threatened to garner publicity to inflict financial and reputational harm if his demands were not met, bond set to USD 300,000, Avenatti, who considered bid for 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, was attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels who alleged she had an affair with President Trump

Montréal takes down 80-year-old crucifix from city council chambers to reaffirm its secular character, province government soon to introduce legislation banning the wearing of religious symbols by any provincial employee with "coercive powers"

Popped balloons sparks false active shooter alarm during university sorority bonding event, University of Michigan Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi apologize to the campus community in open letter

Law enforcement investigates alleged arson attack at mosque in Escondido, California, suspect leaves note behind referencing attacks at mosques in Christchurch, no arrests made

Far-left SPLC President Richard Cohen steps down, asking the organization to find an interim president to give it the best chance to heal, takes responsibility for problems that have swept out senior leadership in just a week

Robert Mueller recommends no further indictments as part of his Russia probe, Justice Department announces, as final report is submitted to US Attorney General William Barr

Father Claude Grou stabbed during mass at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montréal, 26-year-old suspect subdued by security guards, rector released from hospital

Thelma Chiaka gives birth to six babies in nine minutes in Houston, Texas, defying one in 4.7 billion odds, babies weigh between 1lb 12oz to 2lb and 14oz and are in stable condition

FAA managers in 2015 pushed to delegate safety assessments of the new 737 MAX to Boeing itself and to speedily approve the resulting analysis, as Boeing tried to catch up with rival Airbus A320neo, safety analysis report used to certify the plane's flight control system MCAS had several crucial flaws

Republican-run Senate rejects President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border 59 votes to 41, twelve Republicans joined Democrats in defying the president, "VETO!" Trump tweeted minutes after the vote

Former Rep. Robert Francis "Beto" O’Rourke (D-TX) announces he is running for President, wants to grant citizenship for millions who reside in US illegally and make it more difficult for them to migrate back home

50 individuals accused of paying bribes to get their children into America's top colleges, said to have used bribes to manipulate SAT exams, create fake athlete profiles to get kids athletic scholarships and lie about their ethnicity on applications to take advantage of affirmative action, several famous actors among the suspects

Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes impeaching President Donald Trump as it would divide the country, sets off firestorm among Democrats who calls for immediate impeachment proceedings, arguing there is already evidence the president has abused the powers of his office

Senator Elizabeth Warren proposes to break up Amazon, Facebook and Google as part of her 2020 presidential bid, wants to unwind existing tech mergers such as Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods and Zappos and prevent tech companies from being participants on their own platforms, says some are so powerful they "can bully cities and states into showering them with massive taxpayer handouts in exchange for doing business"

House Representative Ilhan Omar (D) rips Barack Obama for caging kids at Mexican border and droning countries around the world, says he wasn’t much different from President Trump and got away with murder thanks to his pretty face

University of Mississippi student government vote unanimously to remove Confederate statue from campus center, organizers say they saw the lack of permanent leadership since the school's chancellor stepped down in November as an opening to move the statue

Corruption scandal surrounding Justin Trudeau's government deepens after a third high-profile resignation, Treasury Board President Jane Philpott says she has lost confidence in the government's handling of the corruption inquiry, Trudeau denies political meddling to shield engineering firm SNC-Lavalin from a bribery trial

Hillary Clinton rules out 2020 presidential run, pledging to take an active role working with candidates in crowded Democratic field, says Democrats can't take anything for granted and must work really hard to win back the White House

Trump raucous speech at Conservative Political Action Conference clocked over two hours, the longest speech of his presidency, the speech hit all of his campaign topics: he blasted the media, said the investigations into him are "bullshit", mocked former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and decried Democrats as "socialists"

Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rely heavily on car and airline travel while claiming "world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change", her Green New Deal is designed to address income inequality, health care and climate change, to be funded through a 70% tax on America’s top earners, she recently questioned whether young couples should have children

British Columbia judge rules father can’t stop his troubled 14-year-old daughter from performing a sex change and any attempt persuading her to abandon treatment or using female pronouns is considered "family violence", the father who has tried to get his daughter treated for depression was, in accordance with the school's Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, not informed when the school helped her pick out a male name or when she was referred to a LGBTQ activist doctor who recommended she begin hormone treatment

54-year-old transgender gay rights activist Nikki Joly charged with arson in connection with a fire in his Michigan home in 2017 killing five pets, his disappointment the city's Pride Parade and Festival didn't receive more attention or protests possible motive, Joly named citizen of the year 2018 by local paper

Residents of predominantly Jewish NYC neighborhood find Nazi chalkwritings at local playground, "Hail Hitler" and swastikas scrawled on ball court of PS 139 school, NYPD deploys hate crime task force to investigate

Former John Mellencamp keyboardist Eric Franklin Rosser sentenced to 10 years for watching child porn on Montana bus in 2017, was on FBI's Most Wanted list in 2001 after jumping bail in child pornography ring investigation

71-years old Californian Craig Coley gets USD 21 million settlement for imprisonment between 1978 and 2017 due to wrongfully being convicted of murdering ex-girlfriend and her 4-year-old son in 1978, was pardoned in 2017 based on exculpatory DNA evidence, more than 350 US inmates exonerated by DNA testing since 1989 with average of having served 14 years in prison

Texas federal judge declares all-male military draft unconstitutional and rules "time has passed" for debate on whether women belong in the military, case brought by men's rights group National Coalition For Men along with two more men

Canada introduces "right to repair" bill for digital devices, complex web of trade secrets and government regulations blamed for high cost of official repair work on brand name devices versus cost of replacement, the bill would force companies like Apple to provide repair manuals, tools and official parts for those who request them

American actor Jussie Smollett charged with disorderly conduct for filing false police report, claimed he was beaten by two masked men hurling racist and homophobic slurs before throwing liquid on him and looping rope around his neck in his Chicago neighborhood, Smollett allegedly staged the attack

US says "has not asked or pursued any sort of sanctions" against the Sentinelese tribe for killing American Christian missionary John Allen Chau while he in November 2018 tried to go ashore their remote island, which lies between India and Burma

US government denies re-entry to woman from Alabama who joined ISIS in Syria, Hoda Muthana married ISIS terrorists and called for attacks on the West, the daughter of a Yemeni diplomat is now stranded in a refugee camp and Mike Pompeo denies her citizenship based upon technicality in the 14th Amendment

Freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) found to be living in new luxury high rise that does not have affordable housing units, the self-proclaimed socialist campaigned against luxury real estate development and gentrification

"Unconditional Surrender" statue in Sarasota, Florida vandalized with #MeToo graffiti, the sculpture depicts the unsolicited kiss of Greta Zimmer Friedman by US sailor George Mendonsa at the end of WWII, in modern times it has been reinterpreted by some as a sexual assault lacking consent

Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann sues Washington Post for USD 250 million, claims newspaper falsely accused him of racist acts and instigating confrontation with Native American activist Nathan Phillips – additional similar lawsuits to be filed in weeks ahead, according to Sandmann's lawyer Lin Wood

Police shot California rapper Willie McCoy 25 times according to coroner report, the 20-year-old man had fallen asleep in his car with a gun in his lap and did not respond to police commands when he awoke

33 students at two French language schools in Vancouver ordered to stay home during measles outbreak, 8 students have contracted the illness and the targeted students have not proven they have received a vaccination

Fentanyl tablets manufactured in Mexico linked to spike in opioid overdose deaths, the pills are disguised to look like oxycodone and are taken casually at parties, critics allege the drug crisis is worse than 1980s crack cocaine in scope

Chicago police investigates whether actor Jussie Smollett staged an attack on himself with the help of two other men, allegedly because Smollett was being written off of TV series Empire

President Trump will declare a national emergency to obtain funding for the border wall, plans to sign the border security compromise package on Capitol Hill to avert another government shutdown

Senate uncovers no factual evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia, investigators disagree along party lines when it comes to the implications of a pattern of contacts they have documented between Trump associates and Russians

Katy Perry shoe design team pulls "blackface" slippers from stores, the footwear caught flak on social media for a black variant that resembled the controversial racial meme

14 states have passed laws allowing police or household members seek court orders requiring people deemed threatening to surrender their guns, allegedly aimed at curbing mass shootings and suicides, critics argue the laws opens the door for vindictiveness and revenge

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore) introduces bill S. 420 to decriminalize marijuana, conditioned on businesses acting in compliance with state marijuana laws, packaged with bills imposing tax similar to federal excise taxes on alcohol and allowing state-legal marijuana businesses claim tax deductions and credits

Oregon’s legal marijuana producers in 2018 grew 6.5 years’ worth of cannabis, producers lay the groundwork ahead of hoped-for changes in federal laws, report notes businesses are in some ways analogous to technology startups, willing to take the risk of losses today for potential large gains tomorrow, but the longer the wait, the more pressure on cannabis startups to make money outside legal system

Elizabeth Warren formally declares her candidacy for president, spotlights her push for government investments in child care, college, infrastructure, the Green New Deal and big government Medicare for All program, makes no mention of her longstanding claims of Native American heritage

California police discover secret underground shooting range at known gang member’s home, numerous weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition confiscated and multiple suspects booked

Polls from both CBS and CNN finds approval rates at 76 percent after Trump's State of the Union Speech, CBS poll shows 72 percent approve of Trump’s immigration proposals while CNN poll shows 76 percent approval with 59 percent very positive

Registration card for the Texas State Bar from 1986 reveals Elizabeth Warren listed her race as "American Indian", shows for the first time that Warren directly claimed the identity, her office doesn't deny the authenticity of the document

Canadian GM workers' union Unifor runs critical ad during Super Bowl, GM had sent the union president Jerry Dias a cease-and-desist letter which was ignored, GM plans to close its Oshawa plant and claims the ad has misleading claims related to 2009 bailout

FBI fails to find clear motive behind 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, report says Stephen Paddock went to great lengths to keep his thoughts private and left no manifesto or suicide note behind, suggests he was inspired by his father who achieved significant criminal notoriety

Billionaire and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz considers running for president as an independent, Democrats worried he would split votes securing Trump’s re-election

Three men in Kansas receive at least 25 year prison sentence for plot to bomb Somali Muslim apartment complex, their defense attorney claims the men may not have carried through their plot once Trump had won 2016 election, feared that all hope was lost for society if Clinton had won

New York celebrates law that legalizes abortion up until birth in many cases by lighting up One World Trade Center in pink, governor Andrew Cuomo calls it "a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values"

Birth tourism trend in Sunny Isles, Florida leads to "Little Moscow" designation, the community north of Miami is popular with wealthy Russian mothers-to-be looking to secure US citizenship for their children, US Constitution grants automatic birthright citizenship to children born on US soil

Donald Trump’s former campaign advisor Roger Stone arrested by the FBI for lying to Congress about stolen Democratic Party emails during the 2016 campaign, charged with obstruction of official proceeding, witness tampering and making false statements

Canada seeks to admit 1 million new permanent residents by 2021, immigration chief Ahmed Hussen cites need for migrant labor to support continued economic growth

Hotel laborer awarded USD 21.5 million in damages following jury trial over violations of her religious rights, a cap at USD 300,000 on punitive damage awards in federal court will make her receive a lot less, Marie Jean Pierre claims Conrad Miami forced her to work on Sundays knowing she was an observant member of Soldiers of Christ Church, the hotel says they made numerous accommodations and ultimately terminated her for violations of their own policies

IRS recalls 46,000 employees to handle tax returns and pay out refunds, federal judge rejects angered union’s suit over work without pay, three-quarters of US taxpayers receive annual refunds averaging USD 2,800, lower-income people count on payment as biggest cash infusion of the year

New migrant caravan from Honduras plans route to US southern border, participants cite unspecified political conflict and threats to their lives as reasons for fleeing north, President Trump tweets calls for construction of border wall "or Steel Barrier" to prevent entrance

Mike Cernovich accepts celebrity boxing challenge from Tom Arnold, sets March 1 in Washington DC as venue date and plans to raise money for charity as promotion

Criticism raised over art installation featuring Saudi Arabian flag near World Trade Center Memorial, "Candy Nations" by Laurence Jenkell features sculptures of the G-20 national flags and had been shown without incident in other parts of NYC, predominance of Saudi nationality amongst 9/11 hijackers stoked feelings of insensitivity to survivors

Suspected fentanyl-overdose leads to death of 1 and 12 hospitalizations in Chico, CA, victims ranged in age from 19 to 30, California's opioid overdose death rate is 4.9 per 100,000 and lower than the US national average of 13.3 per 100,000

Trump administration downgrades EU diplomatic status from "member state" to "international organization", the EU was not officially informed of the change which occurred without their knowledge late in 2018

Canada’s new impaired driving laws enables police demand breath samples two hours after you’ve been driving, the onus is on drivers to prove they weren’t impaired when on the road, new laws put in place to limit use of certain defences in drunk driving cases, says government spokesperson

Complaints by Council on American-Islamic Relations prompt Amazon to remove products sold by independent merchants they deem offensive to Muslims, includes doormats, bath mats and shower curtains imprinted with Islamic calligraphy or references to the Prophet Muhammad, CAIR claims they represent intentional Islamophobia and stands ready to police "bigotry for commercial gain"

NYC Mayor de Blasio announces NYC Care health coverage for city's 600,000 uninsured and undocumented residents, claims it will provide primary care to avoid costly use of ER system, projects USD 100 million cost and "no tax hikes to fund it"

Female murderer convicted in 2004 at age 16 granted clemency in Tennessee, Cyntoia Brown deemed to be a victim of sex trafficking, Governor Haslam plans her release for Aug 7 followed by 10 years of parole as she vows to help young women avoid her fate

1 million former felons in Florida to regain voting rights, state Amendment 4 passed November 2018 with 64% of the vote to restore franchise, considered the largest single re-enfranchisement in past 100 years of US history

US House of Representatives Republicans sponsor H.R.25 bill to end income tax and abolish IRS and generate revenue from national sales tax, Rep. Woodall of Georgia proposed the bill to "promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity"

US national debt rises USD 2 trillion since Trump inauguration to USD 21.974 trillion, debt has increased dramatically since 2008 financial crisis amidst continued deficit spending by US Congress

Mats Järlstrom wins 1st Amendment case against Oregon State Board of Engineers, the Board had attempted to fine the man USD 500 for calling himself an "engineer" without a professional license

US House Democrats re-introduce "Gephardt Rule" change in legislative proceedings, late 1970s-era rule automatically raises government debt ceiling upon passing of a budget, strengthen "motion to vacate chair" rule to bolster Speaker Pelosi's security

New York and Illinois top list of US states with population losses in 2018, Democrat-controlled states each lost over 40,000 citizens, Texas biggest gainer with 380,000 new residents according to US Census Bureau

Former Mossad chief claims Donald Trump was the candidate of choice for Russia, comments come on the heels of release of two reports commissioned by US Senate investigating foreign election interference

Women's March in Northern California canceled over concerns of being 'overwhelmingly white', Amy Sawyer Long who planned participating appalled as they live in a predominantly white area, meanwhile Women’s March national leadership accused of anti-Semitism because of ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan

President Trump threatens to close the southern U.S. border unless Congress agrees to provide $5 billion for a border wall with Mexico

Eddie the sea otter at Oregon Zoo dies at age 20, among the oldest of his kind as male sea otters seldom live past 15 years, known for slam dunking a toy basketball and creatively pleasuring himself

Defense Secretary James Mattis resigns at the end of February, saying the president deserves a secretary "whose views are better aligned with yours", announcement comes a day after the White House announced the U.S. would withdraw its troops from Syria

President Trump refuses to sign Senate bill not including funding for Mexico border wall, facing the risk of a government shutdown he demands additional funds for border security

U.S. sends non-Mexican migrants back to wait in Mexico while their asylum requests are processed, wants to discourage those who claim asylum fraudulently

Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) takes a week off for "self-care", feels burned out and laments her political activity changed her lifestyle, claims self-care is political for working people, immigrants, and the poor because of shaming of someone doing a face mask while financially stressed

Trump administration announces federal ban on ownership of "bump stock" device used in Las Vegas shooting, gun rights organizations have threatened legal action in the wake of the announcement, ATF plans to prosecute those who do not turn in or destroy their devices within 90 days

11-year old Delaware boy seeks to change his last name after being bullied, Joshua Trump claims he has been tormented by 5 classmates since the US president's inauguration despite being unrelated to him

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen receives 3 year prison sentence for campaign finance law violations, claims the US president was aware of hush money payments made to women claiming affairs, US DOJ policy is not to indict a sitting president

Two nuns admit embezzling USD 500,000 from a Catholic school in Torrance, CA to fund gambling trips to Las Vegas, Ms Kreuper was the school's head mistress while Ms Chang was a teacher before both retiring earlier this year