National News

States brace for fight over gun laws after high court ruling

Governors, lawmakers and attorneys general in states with strict gun-permitting laws are strategizing over how to shore up their restrictions after Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision expanded gun rights in a New York case. They also are bracing themselves for a longer fight as gun rights groups prepare to challenge a range of other gun control laws. The justices said that a New York state law in place since 1913 that restricted who could obtain a permit to carry a gun in public conflicts with the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island all have similar laws.

A new leader in the Philippines, and a family's old wounds

Filipino Americans are expressing a range of emotions after voters in their homeland overwhelmingly elected the son of the nation’s former dictator as president. Rochelle Solanoy in Alaska says she voted for Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. because she believes he can bring a return to the country’s “golden years.” But Susan Tagle in California voted for his primary rival, outgoing Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo. She said the election makes her question if the grassroots movement that ousted Marcos’ father in the 1980s was in vain. Marcos Jr. won in a landslide, but his victory was much narrower among eligible Filipino voters in the U.S.

Magic take Banchero 1st, Holmgren, Smith follow in NBA draft

The Orlando Magic selected Duke freshman Paolo Banchero with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. After leading the Blue Devils to the Final Four in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final season, the 6-foot-10 forward was called first by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to begin the draft, beating out fellow first-year forwards Jabari Smith Jr. and Chet Holmgren. Banchero, wearing a purple suit full of bling, received a loud ovation inside Barclays Center, where Duke lost in the ACC Tournament final.

Witnesses drag feet at trial of Nipsey Hussle shooter

A judge has issued a bench warrant for an eyewitness to the shooting death of rapper Nipsey Hussle for failing to appear at the trial of the man charged with first-degree murder in the slaying. Evan MacKenzie, known as “Rimpau," was one of Hussle's closest friends and was standing next to him when he was shot. But his refusal to testify underscores a wider reluctance among witnesses in the trial of Eric Holder, who is charged with killing Hussle in 2019. Mistrust of authorities is widespread in the predominantly Black neighborhood where the shooting took place, and Hussle's and Holder's gang ties may add to the hesitation to talk. The defense has acknowledged that Holder shot Hussle, but says there was no premeditation and he is not guilty of first-degree murder.

Nancy Pelosi's husband charged with DUI in California

Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, has been charged with driving under the influence by prosecutors in Northern California. Prosecutors say Paul Pelosi was arrested following the May 28 crash in Napa County after a test showed the 82-year-old had a blood alcohol content level of .082%. They say the blood sample was taken about two hours after the collision. The California Highway Patrol says a Jeep hit Paul Pelosi's Porsche as he was driving it into an intersection in Yountville. The driver of the Jeep was not arrested. Paul Pelosi was released on $5,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 3. Larry Kamer, a spokesperson for Paul Pelosi, declined to comment on the charges.

Rural Nevada county delays approving primary vote results

Elected officials in a rural Nevada county have decided to postpone until Friday certifying results of the 317 ballots cast in their jurisdiction during the state’s June 14 primary election. Esmeralda County Commission Chairman De Winsor and Vice-Chairman Timothy Hipp promised to hand-count the votes themselves before an end-of-day Friday deadline set in state election law. The standoff in Nevada’s least populated county came a week after lawmakers in rural New Mexico’s Republican-leaning Otero County stalled before splitting their vote and approving election results. Officials there cited unspecified concerns with Dominion voting systems, which have been a target of widespread conspiracy theories since the 2020 presidential election.

San Francisco police release photo of alleged subway shooter

Police in San Francisco are searching for a man who shot and killed one person and wounded another inside a subway train and then fled when the train stopped in the Castro District, the city’s historically LGBTQ neighborhood. San Francisco police late Wednesday released a still photo from surveillance video of a man they described as a person of interest and asked anyone with information to contact authorities. Police say the man, who hasn’t been identified, is thought to be the person who shot a 27-year-old man to death and shot and wounded a 70-year-old man. The San Francisco Medical Examiner identified the person killed as Nesta Bowen. The office said it did not know where Bowen lived.

Not enough or too far? California climate plan pleases few

A top California official says heat waves and drought gripping California highlight the urgency to slash fossil fuel use and remove planet-warming emissions from the air. California EPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld spoke Thursday as state air regulators opened a hearing on a new climate-change roadmap for the state. It lays out a plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2045. That means the state would remove as much carbon from the air as it emits. The timeline is among the most ambitious in the nation and world. But many environmental critics say it relies too much on carbon removal technology and doesn't do enough to reduce reliance on oil and gas.

NY leaders vow new gun limits after Supreme Court ruling

New York’s Democratic leaders aim to preserve as many restrictions as possible on carrying a handgun in public after a U.S. Supreme Court decision Thursday struck down key portions of the state’s gun-licensing law. State and New York City officials are zeroing in on specifying “sensitive locations” where people cannot carry concealed weapons. Other options could include adding new conditions to get a handgun permit, such as requiring weapons training. State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy says Democrats are trying to create fear and division over what he characterizes as legal gun owners' rights to protect themselves and their families.

Lawsuit filed over deputy's fatal shooting of Arkansas teen

The family of an unarmed Arkansas teenager fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop has filed a federal lawsuit over the teen's death. The family of Hunter Brittain filed the lawsuit Thursday against Michael Davis, a former sergeant with the Lonoke County sheriff's office, and the Lonoke County sheriff on the one-year anniversary of the 17-year-old's killing. Davis was convicted in March of negligent homicide in Brittain's death but has appealed that ruling. The lawsuit accuses Davis and Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley of violating the teen's constitutional rights. It seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial.

California Senate rejects involuntary servitude amendment

The California Senate has rejected a proposal to ban involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime. The California Constitution bans involuntary servitude except for the punishment of a crime. Some state lawmakers proposed an amendment to remove that exception. Voters would have to approve the amendment before it could become law. But Thursday, the state Senate failed to put the amendment on the ballot this fall. They could try again next week. Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration has warned the amendment could force the state to pay inmates who work while in prison a $15-per-hour minimum wage. That could cost taxpayers $1.5 billion.

Prosecutors seek 15 years for former 'Cheer' star Harris

A prosecutor has asked a federal judge to sentence Jerry Harris, former star of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” to 15 years in prison for coercing teenage boys to send him obscene photos and videos of themselves and soliciting sex from minors at cheerleading competitions. Attorneys for Harris are seeking a sentence of six years. Harris, 22, of suburban Naperville, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count each of receiving child pornography and traveling with the intention to engage in illegal sexual conduct. He is due to be sentenced July 6. The prosecutor submitted a sentencing memo late Wednesday.

Owners of candle factory damaged in tornado plan expansion

The company that operated a Kentucky candle factory leveled by a deadly tornado last winter is planning to ramp up production. Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that Mayfield Consumer Products plans a $33 million investment at a nearby plant. It plans to employ more than 500 people full time in the next five years at its factory in Hickory. Its plant in Mayfield, Kentucky, took a direct hit from a tornado that devastated the town last December. Beshear touted the economic development news without mentioning workplace citations against the company. State officials recently cited the company for alleged violations of occupational safety and health laws.

6 die in crash of Vietnam-era helicopter in West Virginia

Authorities say six people were killed in a helicopter crash on a rural road in West Virginia. The Vietnam-era helicopter crashed along Route 17 in Logan County on Wednesday. County emergency ambulance service executive Ray Bryant says all six on board were killed. The crash occurred during a reunion for helicopter enthusiasts. A nearby resident said she saw the smoke and flames and got close enough to see a man trapped inside but couldn't reach him. The Federal Aviation Administration said the crash of the Bell UH-1B helicopter will be investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

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North Dakota farmland purchase tied to Gates stirs emotion

The sale of a couple thousand acres of prime North Dakota farmland to a group tied to Bill Gates has stirred emotions over a 1932 law meant to protect family farms and raised questions about whether the billionaire shares the state’s values. State Attorney General Drew Wrigley has asked the trust that acquired the land to explain how it will satisfy the state’s anti-corporate farming law. It prohibits all corporations or limited liability companies from owning or leasing farmland or ranchland, with some exceptions. Wrigley says the inquiry is a “matter of course” and not meant to stick “a finger in the eye of Bill Gates.” The state's agriculture commissioner, Doug Goehring, says he's heard from people who “feel they are being exploited by the ultra-rich.”

COVID vaccines saved 20M lives in 1st year, scientists say

Scientists estimate that nearly 20 million lives were saved worldwide by COVID-19 vaccines during their first year. In a study published Thursday, they say even more deaths could have been prevented if global targets for vaccines had been reached. Scientists at Imperial College London used data from 185 countries to estimate how many deaths were prevented by the vaccination effort. They excluded China because of uncertainty around the pandemic’s effect on deaths there and its huge population. There are a lot of limitations in modeling studies, but independent experts agree that vaccines saved millions of lives.

Judge rejects new evidence testing in 'West Memphis 3' case

An Arkansas judge won't allow new genetic testing of crime scene evidence from the killing of three boys nearly 30 years ago. The judge denied a motion seeking access to the evidence from the 1993 killing of three 8-year-boys in West Memphis. The additional testing was sought by Damien Echols, one of three men convicted in the slaying. Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley were released in 2011 in an agreement that allowed them to maintain their innocence while pleading guilty. The judge cited a state law requiring those seeking new DNA testing to still be in prison.