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this is horrible
June 10, 2019

Santa Anita Park has rejected a request from the California Horse Racing Board to cancel the remainder of its season, following the deaths of 29 horses at the track since Dec. 26.

There are six days of racing left in the season, the Los Angeles Times reports, but management at the track "believes that for a variety of reasons, the future of California racing is best served by continuing to race," the board said in a statement. The California Horse Racing Board is a regulatory agency, and cannot immediately suspend or cancel races without a track's approval. Activists have also been calling on the park to close so investigators can figure out what is causing so many deaths.

After the 22nd death, the park suspended races on March 5 for track testing and evaluation, reopening on March 29. The most recent deaths took place over the weekend, with Formal Dude, a 4-year-old gelding, euthanized on Saturday after being injured during a dirt race, and Truffalino, a 3-year-old filly, dying suddenly during a race on Sunday. The Times reports that while the first several fatalities involved injuries to a horse's front legs, since May 17, four of the six deaths have been related to pelvis or shoulder injuries. Catherine Garcia

April 24, 2019

More than 12,000 Boy Scouts have allegedly been sexually abused by more than 7,000 troop leaders and volunteers in the organization, reports ABC News.

Newly released court documents provide testimony substantiating the claims, writes ABC News. Expert witness Janet Warren, who is a professor at the University of Virginia's medical school, revealed during a January trial she has been evaluating the Boy Scouts of America's handling of sexual abuse cases from 1944 to 2016. During this trial, which centered around sexual abuse allegations at a Minnesota children's theater, Warren said that there were 7,819 perpetrators and 12,254 victims within the organization, reports ABC News.

Attorney Jeff Anderson publicized these numbers on Tuesday and said 130 of the alleged abusers live in New York and could face legal repercussions.

The Boy Scouts of America said they never knowingly allowed a perpetrator to work with youth, but did confirm that Warren has worked with the organization to conduct research on the database detailing alleged abuse.

"We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support them, and we have paid for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice," the Boy Scouts of America told ABC News.

The organization was previously charged with concealing child molesters and reports of abuse; however, the numbers suggested by Warren are significantly higher than any past allegations, per ABC News. Marianne Dodson

March 5, 2019

The Santa Anita racetrack in Southern California has canceled horse racing indefinitely following the deaths of 21 horses since Dec. 26, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In total, nine horses have died while training on Santa Anita's main dirt track, seven while racing on the dirt track, and five while racing on the turf track. On Tuesday morning, 4-year-old Lets Light the Way injured her front leg while training and was euthanized when it was determined she could not be saved.

"Something is drastically wrong," trainer Art Sherman told the Times. "I've been around a long time and have never seen this. There's something wrong in the foundation or something is not right. The only way to find out is shut it down."

A former track superintendent was hired Tuesday to study the track surface in an attempt to determine why so many horses have died in a little over two months. Last week, the University of Kentucky's Mick Peterson, an expert on surfaces, tested the Santa Anita track and did not find any irregularities.

Two races were previously scheduled for Saturday — the San Felipe, for 3-year-old Kentucky Derby hopefuls, and the Santa Anita Handicap — but have now been canceled. Catherine Garcia

September 3, 2018

A fire that broke out in Brazil's oldest museum on Sunday night is believed to have destroyed many of the 20 million items in its collection, The Guardian reports. The National Museum, in Rio de Janeiro, is 200 years old, and scholars had complained for years about its underfunding and desperate need for repairs.

The fire "is an unbearable catastrophe," said Luiz Duarte, a vice-director of the museum. "It is 200 years of this country's heritage. It is 200 years of memory. It is 200 years of science. It is 200 years of culture, of education." The museum's collection included priceless items such as Egyptian artifacts, the oldest human skeleton in the Americas, and the largest meteorite ever found in Brazil. Jeva Lange

August 9, 2018

California's Mendocino Complex fire, which this week became the largest wildfire in the state's history, has burned through hundreds of thousands of acres. Much of the land in California has been scorched in recent weeks as 18 separate fires continue to grow, only about 40 percent contained.

Years of drought have primed the state for some truly horrific blazes, and officials say the Northern California fire might continue to burn until September. Below, four photos that show just how breathtakingly destructive the Mendocino Complex fire has become. Summer Meza

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August 5, 2018

After an armed standoff on Friday, eight members of the Taos County Sheriff's Office rescued 11 children living in a dilapidated makeshift compound in Amalia, New Mexico.

The children, between the ages of 1 and 15, are now in protective custody. The officers went to the compound as part of the search to find a missing 3-year-old boy from Georgia, believed to have been kidnapped by his father, Siraj Wahhaj. Armed with a search warrant, the officers found five adults, including Wahhaj, and 11 children at the compound. Wahhaj was armed and refused to comply with commands. He had to be "physically" taken down, Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe told ABC News Radio, and was arrested, along with another man identified as Lucas Morten.

Hogrefe said the compound did not have any running water or electricity, and the kids "looked like third-world country refugees. I've been a cop for 30 years. I've never seen anything like this. Unbelievable. These children were hungry, they were thirsty, they were filthy." They had no shoes, wore "rags" for clothing, and exhibited poor hygiene, Hogrefe said. There were three women at the compound, believed to be the mothers of the children, and they were potentially "brainwashed" by the men, Hogrefe said. None of the adults would tell the officers anything about the missing toddler, and they are now investigating any connection the women might have to the abduction case, ABC News reports. Catherine Garcia

February 8, 2018

Jill Messick, a studio executive, producer, and former manager of actress Rose McGowan, died by suicide, her family confirmed Thursday. She was 50.

In a blistering statement, Messick's family said she had privately battled depression for years, and after her name came up as part of the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein and allegations of sexual misconduct made against him, it "broke" her. "Seeing her name in headlines again and again, as part of one person's attempt to gain more attention for her personal cause, along with Harvey's desperate attempt to vindicate himself, was devastating for her," the family said.

Messick was McGowan's manager in 1997, the year the actress alleges Weinstein raped her in his hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. Messick's family said she learned about an encounter between McGowan and Weinstein, and "alerted her bosses to the horrific experience which Rose suffered." Messick believed the matter had been settled when McGowan continued to make movies with Weinstein, her family said, and "never knew any details until recently, when Rose elected to make them public." McGowan has accused Hollywood of protecting Weinstein and ignoring allegations of abuse against him.

Messick also worked at Weinstein's Miramax from 1997 to 2003 as a production executive, and in January, Weinstein's legal team released a statement that included a quote attributed to Messick, which backed his version of events: that his encounter with McGowan was consensual. "It broke Jill," her family said. Messick is survived by two children and her partner, Dan Schuck. Catherine Garcia

October 10, 2017

Grim aerial photos taken above Santa Rosa, California, show how a fire that swept through one neighborhood completely destroyed dozens of houses.

The Los Angeles Times tweeted out the before and after images on Monday night — prior to the blaze, the homes were lined up in neat rows, surrounded by lush green vegetation, and now, they have been reduced to rubble, with just a few trees still standing. There are at least 14 fires raging across Northern California, leaving 10 people dead and burning down more than 1,500 structures. Catherine Garcia

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