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    The 12 jurors chosen this past week to decide whether Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz is executed will be exposed to horrific images and emotional testimony, but must deal with any mental anguish alone. The jurors and their alternates will tour the bloodstained building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland where Cruz murdered 17 in 2018. They will see graphic security videos of teens being shot point-blank. They will hear tearful testimony from survivors and parents. And they will be told not to talk about any of it with anyone. If jurors need help, they are on their own. Florida and most states do not provide post-trial mental health counseling.

      The fast-changing coronavirus has kicked off summer in the U.S. with lots of infections but relatively few deaths compared to its prior incarnations. COVID-19 is still killing hundreds of Americans each day, but for many people the virus is not nearly as dangerous as it was. It’s easy to feel confused by the mixed picture: Repeat infections are increasingly likely, and a sizeable share of those infected will face the lingering symptoms of long COVID-19. Yet, the stark danger of death has diminished for many people. How long the interlude will last is impossible to know. A new more dangerous variant could be around the corner.

        Medication abortions were the preferred method for ending pregnancy in the U.S. even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. As more states seek abortion limits, demand is expected to grow. They involve using two prescription medicines days apart _ pills that can be taken at home or in a clinic. The drug mifepristone is taken first. It blocks the effects of the hormone progesterone, which is needed to sustain a pregnancy. Misoprostol is taken 24 to 48 hours later. It cause the womb to contract, expelling the pregnancy. Use of the pills has been increasing in recent years.

          Tourism is booming again in France, and so is COVID-19. French government officials have “invited” or “recommended” people to go back to using face masks but stopped short of renewing restrictions that would scare visitors away or revive protests. From Paris commuters to tourists on the French Riviera, many people seem to welcome the government’s light touch, while some worry that required prevention measures may be needed. Infections are rising across Europe and the United States, but government data shows France had nearly 1,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 per day over the past two weeks. Local officials are contemplating new measures, including indoor mask mandates, but nothing that would potentially curb economic activity.

            The Texas Supreme Court has blocked a lower court order that had given some abortion clinics confidence to resume performing abortions. The order handed down Friday night by the state’s highest court comes just days after some abortion providers rushed to resume services. An lower court order issued this week by a Houston judge had reassured some doctors they could temporarily resume abortions up to six weeks into pregnancy. Before that, doctors across Texas had stopped performing abortions in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the constitutional right to abortion.

            The North Carolina General Assembly has wrapped up its chief work session for the year. It adjourned on Friday after finalizing proposed state budget adjustments for the new fiscal year and crossing off other must-do legislation. The budget bill headed to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who must decide whether to sign it, veto it or let it become law. More than 30 Democrats joined all Republicans on Friday in voting for the spending measure. Some big policy matters like Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana and sports betting remain unresolved or were thwarted during the six-week session. The legislature could consider any Cooper vetoes in a few weeks.

            The Biden administration is proposing up to 10 oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one in Alaska over the next five years. Friday’s announcement goes against the Democratic administration’s promises to end new drilling on public lands and waters. But it scales back a Trump-era plan that called for dozens of offshore sales, including in undeveloped areas. Interior Department officials said fewer lease sales — or even no lease sales — could occur. A final decision is months away. Interior had suspended oil and gas lease sales in 2021 because of climate concerns but was forced to resume them by a federal judge in Louisiana.

            A Manhattan woman has been awarded over $400,000 by a jury after suing New York City and its police department, saying she suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown to the ground while serving as a medic for protesters during 2012 Occupy Wall Street events. The Friday federal court verdict favored Mary Tardif. She sued in 2013, saying her epileptic condition was ignored after she suffered violent abuses from police officers who arrested her. She said they kicked her, walked on her limbs and tossed her to the ground. A city Law Department spokesperson said the city was disappointed with the verdict.

            A former Southern California woman who, along with her doctor husband, billed insurers $44 million for unnecessary cosmetic surgeries has been given an eight-year prison sentence. Federal prosecutors say Linda Morrow also was ordered Friday to pay $14 million in restitution. She and her husband ran The Morrow Institute, a surgical clinic in Rancho Mirage. Authorities say they billed insurers tens of millions for breast implants and other cosmetic procedures that were falsely written up as “medically necessary" operations. The couple fled the country in 2017 but were later deported from Israel. David Morrow is serving a 20-year prison sentence.

            Summer travel is underway across the globe, but a full recovery from two years of coronavirus could last as long as the pandemic itself. Interviews by The Associated Press in 11 countries this month show that the most passionate travelers are thronging to locales like the French Riviera, Amsterdam and the American Midwest. But even as safety restrictions fall, places like Israel, India and Rome are reporting only fractions of the record-setting tourism of 2019. For them, a full recovery isn't forecast until at least 2024. China, once the world's biggest source of tourists, remains closed per its “zero-COVID” policy. That's holding down the rebound in many countries.

            California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new state law ending arrests for loitering for prostitution. The issue divided sex workers and advocates during a rare nine-month delay since state lawmakers passed the bill last year. Newsom noted Friday that the bill does not legalize prostitution. It revokes provisions that he says have led to disproportionate harassment of women and transgender adults. The measure also will allow those who were previously convicted to ask a court to seal the record of conviction. Some law enforcement groups say the repeal will make it harder both to confront those who commit crimes related to prostitution and human trafficking and to help those being victimized.


            Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

            Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

            A federal judge has ruled Arizona has been violating the constitutional rights of incarcerated people in state-run prisons by providing them with inadequate medical and mental health care. Judge Roslyn Silver said the problems stem largely from not having enough health employees to care for the roughly 25,000 incarcerated people housed in state-run prisons. She said corrections officials have made no significant attempts to fix the understaffing problem. Silver said Corrections Director David Shinn’s claim that prisoners often have greater access to health service than people who aren’t locked up was “completely detached from reality.” Shinn’s office had no immediate comment on the ruling.

            The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion. The June 24 ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. In anticipation of the decision, several states led by Democrats have taken steps to protect abortion access. The decision also sets up the potential for legal fights between the states over whether providers and those who help women obtain abortions can be sued or prosecuted.

            North Carolina's Democratic attorney general has not yet indicated whether he will ask a court to lift the injunction on a state law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Attorney General Josh Stein told Republican lawmakers on Friday that his department’s attorneys are reviewing the litigation that led a federal court to strike down the 20-week ban. His letter responds to GOP demands that he take immediate action in the wake of last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion protections. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore warned last week Stein's inaction would lead them to get involved.

            A Texas inmate who is set to be put to death in less than two weeks has asked that his execution be delayed so he can donate a kidney. Ramiro Gonzales is set to receive a lethal injection on July 13 for fatally shooting 18-year-old Bridget Townsend, whose remains were found nearly two years after she vanished in 2001. In a letter Wednesday, Gonzales’ lawyers asked Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to grant a 30-day reprieve. The Death Penalty Information Center says such requests for death row inmates to make organ donations are rare.

            FRIDAY, July 1, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- New York City's Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday that the city has launched the first-of-their-kind mobile COVID-19 testing units that will also dispense the antiviral drug Paxlovid to those who test positive for the virus.

            FRIDAY, July 1, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one-third of ground chicken may contain dangerous Salmonella, a new Consumer Reports investigation shows. Based on its findings, the group called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to redouble its efforts to protect consumers from this bacteria, which can cause serious illness.

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