March 15, 2018
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Police in Miami say at least four people were killed when a pedestrian bridge collapsed Thursday afternoon, crashing down on vehicles driving along the Tamiami Trail highway and leaving some victims trapped for hours.

Of the people killed, one was a student at Florida International University, The Miami Herald reports. Nine people have been rescued from the rubble, with two of them rushed to the hospital for surgery; others suffered broken bones, scrapes, and bruises. Crews are still searching for more survivors.

The pedestrian bridge was installed to make it safer for Florida International University students to cross the busy, eight-lane Tamiami Trail. On Saturday, a 175-foot span of the bridge went up, but it wasn't scheduled to open to pedestrians until 2019. Several witnesses said when the bridge collapsed, they saw two workers on it. Two of the construction firms involved with building the bridge have been previously accused of unsafe practices, the Miami New Times reports. Catherine Garcia

December 18, 2017
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Track Palin, the son of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, was arrested Saturday after a family dispute turned violent, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Track's father, Todd Palin, told police that the incident occurred after he told his son that he could not retrieve a pickup truck from their home because "he had been drinking and was on pain medication." Per a police report filed after the incident, an intoxicated Track arrived at the home anyway and assaulted Todd, beating him so violently that he "had blood from several cuts on his head and had liquid coming out of his ear."

Upon arriving at the home, police attempted to engage with 28-year-old Track, but that approach failed after he called the officers "peasants" and demanded they surrender their guns, the police report says. Sarah Palin was the one to contact police and authorities found her "visibly upset" at the scene, per the report.

Track eventually surrendered to police and admitted to the officers that "he had consumed a few beers earlier," the report says. Track additionally told police that when he arrived at his parents' home, "Todd had a gun in his hand. ... When the door did not open, [Track] looked through the window next to the door and saw Todd pointing a gun at him."

Track was arrested and charged with assault and burglary. Last year, he was also arrested on domestic violence charges after he reportedly punched a woman in the face. Read the full police report here. Kelly O'Meara Morales

October 12, 2017

Devastating wildfires are raging across Northern California, consuming nearly 170,000 acres and at least 3,500 structures. Twenty-two separate blazes have combined to scorch the region, resulting in 23 deaths so far.

This startling satellite image shared by former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield shows just how massive the wildfires' reach has been:

The Tubbs Fire, which has consumed over 30,000 acres and caused the most deaths, was only 10 percent contained as of Thursday morning. The Atlas Fire was just 3 percent contained after already having burned more than 40,000 acres. Several wineries in the region have burned to the ground. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has declared a state of emergency in eight counties as firefighters strain to contain the blazes. Kimberly Alters

September 15, 2017
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U.S. Army recruiters have backed out of contracts with hundreds of foreign-born recruits, meaning enlistees who have waited years to join a program that would fast-track citizenship now face deportation.

A retired Army recruiter told The Washington Post that recruiters were given until Sept. 14 to drop contracts with foreign-born enlistees without penalties. In recent years, the process for recruiting foreign-born enlistees has become burdened with increased security measures, making enlistment a labor-intensive process for recruiters. This past week, with the deadline looming, recruiters were forced to choose between hitting their recruitment goals or continuing the contract process for immigrant enlistees.

The immigration recruitment program, designed to attract highly skilled immigrants to the armed services in exchange for an expedited citizenship process, has been under close scrutiny by the Pentagon in recent months. A memo last summer that revealed that over 1,000 recruits have waited so long for their status to be approved that they are now in a deportation limbo prompted Congress to speak up about the issue, pressuring President Trump or Defense Secretary James Mattis to take action. Elianna Spitzer

July 24, 2017
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Nearly a dozen immigrants being smuggled into the United States died Sunday after being transported from Laredo, Texas, to San Antonio in a tractor-trailer without any air conditioning, and survivors are recounting the extreme heat and cries for help that went unanswered by the driver.

Adan Lalravega, 27, told The Associated Press the trailer was crowded with people, and as the trip dragged on, the temperature kept getting higher and higher. Adults and children were crying and begging for water, and Lalravega said he lost consciousness before arriving in San Antonio. Other survivors told authorities there was one hole in the wall of the trailer, and people were taking turns breathing out of it. They also pounded on the sides of the trailer, yelling at the driver to stop, but he didn't.

Relief came when the driver, James Matthew Bradley, stopped the truck at a Walmart in San Antonio at around midnight. Bradley told authorities he was driving the truck from Iowa to Brownsville, Texas, on behalf of his boss, who had sold it. Bradley said he heard banging and shaking in the trailer, court records show, but he had no idea there was anyone back there, and was surprised when people came jumping out. He also said he knew the refrigeration system wasn't working, and ventilation holes were likely clogged. Bradley, who appeared in federal court Monday on charges of illegally transporting immigrants for financial gain resulting in death, could face the death penalty.

At least 20 passengers have been hospitalized for heatstroke and extreme dehydration. Most are from Mexico and Guatemala, and one said he traveled to the U.S. by raft, then was driven to Laredo, where he was put in the trailer. He was supposed to pay $5,500 to smugglers when he arrived in San Antonio. Catherine Garcia

July 21, 2017

On July 9, three teenage boys watched a disabled man drown in a pond in Cocoa, Florida, east of Orlando, and they filmed the man's death on a cellphone and taunted him for the duration of the 2-minute video, which they then posted to social media, police say. The teens, age 14 to 16, did not call for help or tell authorities about the death of Jamel Dunn, 32; his fiancée reported him missing on July 12 and his body was recovered from the pond on July 14. A woman who says she is Dunn's sister, Simone Scott, came across the video and posted it on Facebook last weekend, and police identified the boys and questioned them. At least one of them showed no remorse, Cocoa Police Department spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said.

Near the beginning of the video, the audio of which was posted by Florida Today, one boy is heard shouting at Dunn, "Get out the water, you're gonna die." The kids laughed. "He keeps putting his head under," another boy said. "Wow." "Bro, you scared to see a dead person?" one of the boys asked another. Finally, one of the teens said, "Oh, he just died," and they laughed some more.

Police are not going to file any charges against the teens, at the recommendation of state prosecutors, because they did not violate any Florida laws. Floridians are not legally obliged to assist people in distress or call for help. "If there was (a law like that) we would charge them," Martinez tells CNN. "The family is frustrated," she said, and "the detectives are frustrated, that we cannot hold anyone accountable for this." In a statement, the state attorney's office said that while no laws were broken, "we can find no moral justification for either the behavior of persons heard on the recording or the deliberate decision not to render aid to Mr. Dunn."

Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe was more direct. "As chief of police, there are times when I wish I could do more, but I'm a firm believer in that good will always win over evil," he said. "It may not come in our lifetime, but there will be justice." Peter Weber

June 19, 2017
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Police in Virginia say it appears a case of road rage led to the death of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen.

The Muslim teenager went missing on her way back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling early Sunday, and her remains were found Sunday afternoon, not far away from the center. Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, was arrested and charged with murder Monday in connection to the case. In a statement, Fairfax County police said Hassanen's death "appears to be the result of a road rage incident involving the suspect, who was driving and who is now charged with murder, and a group of teenagers who were walking and riding bikes in and along a roadway. Our investigation at this point does not indicate the victim was targeted because of her race or religion."

A friend of Hassanen's, Asma Ibrahim, told BuzzFeed News she was told by teens who were with Hassanen before her death that they were walking back from McDonald's when two of the boys in the group insulted a man's car. He then tried to run them over on the sidewalk, and got out of the car with a metal bat and started chasing them. Another family friend told BuzzFeed News the suspect followed the teens from the McDonald's and threw a beer bottle at them. Officer Tawny Wright, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Department, confirmed that the suspect got out of his car and "the missing teen was the closest one to him. He assaulted her." Ibrahim told BuzzFeed News Hassanen was "very funny" and "a very good dancer" who was "dedicated to her school work," and most members of the mosque agree with the police assessment that Hassanen's death was not a hate crime "because of the altercation that happened right before." Catherine Garcia

June 2, 2017
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Early Friday morning in the Philippines, a man with a rifle barged into a casino in Manila and started shooting at slot machines and setting tables on fire. The English-speaking gunman escaped with about $226,000 worth of gambling chips and was later found dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot on the fifth floor of the Resorts World Manila casino, Metropolitan Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said Friday morning.

Police have found 36 victims in the casino, all dead from apparent smoke inhalation and none of them with gunshot wounds. Officials say the motive was robbery; Albayalde speculated that the unidentified man either wanted to recoup gambling losses or went "totally nuts." The attack sparked panic in the area and several people were wounded in a stampede to leave the smoke-filled casino. "Most of the victims were women who were found dead inside the bathroom," Tomas Apolinario, a fire official, told CNN.

Soon after the attack, President Trump characterized it as a "terrorist attack." "We are closely monitoring the situation," Trump said on live TV Thursday afternoon, before announcing he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. "But it is really very sad as to what's going on throughout the world with terror. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all of those affected." Soon after, the Philippine police chief and a Resorts World Manila executive said there was no sign of terrorism in the attack.

An unidentified senior White House official tells CNN that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster had briefed Trump on the incident before he went into the Rose Garden, and that his briefing included "that media reports indicated ISIS had taken credit." An unidentified U.S. intelligence official tells NBC Nightly News that U.S. intelligence agencies had not called it a terrorist attack, and that Trump "was freelancing" with his characterization. "A laugh went up in the Situation Room" when Trump made his declaration, the official said. Peter Weber

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