The Journal Gazette
 
 
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 1:00 am

Nation

FBI searches home of slain woman's boyfriend

Associated Press

NORTH PORT, Fla. – FBI agents and police Monday searched the home of the boyfriend wanted for questioning in the death of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, whose body was discovered over the weekend at a Wyoming national park months after the couple set out on a cross-country road trip.

The FBI gave no details on the search by at least a dozen law enforcement officers, but agents removed several boxes and towed away a car that neighbors said was typically used by 23-year-old Brian Laundrie's mother. Local media said Laundrie's parents were seen getting into a police vehicle.

Laundrie and Petito had been living with his parents at the North Port home before the road trip on which she died. The young couple had set out in July in a converted van to visit national parks in the West. They got into a fight along the way, and Laundrie was alone when he returned in the van to his parents' home on Sept. 1, police said. Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the case, but his whereabouts in recent days were unknown.

2 students hurt in school shooting

Two students were wounded in a shooting at a Virginia high school and a suspect is in custody, police said Monday.

A 17-year-old boy was shot in the side of his face at Heritage High School and a 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg, Newport News police Chief Steve Drew said at a news conference. Both were taken to the hospital and neither injury was thought to be life-threatening, he said.

A boy was taken into custody in the case, police said in a statement. The chief said authorities believe the suspect and victims knew one another but did not provide details. The firearm was found at the scene of the shooting, he said.

Doctor defies Texas abortion law

A San Antonio doctor who said he performed an abortion in defiance of a new Texas law all but dared supporters of the state's near-total ban on the procedure to try making an early example of him by filing a lawsuit – and by Monday, two people obliged.

Former attorneys in Arkansas and Illinois filed separate state lawsuits Monday against Dr. Alan Braid, who in a weekend Washington Post opinion column became the first Texas abortion provider to publicly reveal he violated the law that took effect on Sept. 1.

They both came in ahead of the state's largest anti-abortion group, which had said it had attorneys ready to bring lawsuits. Neither ex-lawyer who filed suit said they were anti-abortion. But both said courts should weigh in.

Democrats face immigration loss

Senate Democrats launched an uphill fight Monday to rescue their drive to help millions of immigrants remain legally in the U.S., their pathway unclear and the uncertainty exposing tensions between party leaders and progressive groups demanding bold results.

Lawmakers and advocacy organizations said they were already weighing fresh options, a day after the Senate parliamentarian said their sweeping proposal must fall from a $3.5 trillion measure that's shielded against bill-killing Republican filibusters. But it seemed strongly likely that Democrats might have to winnow their measure to help fewer than the 8 million immigrants they envisioned, and even then faced daunting prospects to prevail.

Biden attends UN General Assembly

President Joe Biden began his first visit to the U.N. General Assembly ready to make the case to world leaders that after closing the book on 20 years of war, the U.S. aims to rally allies and adversaries to work together on a slew of crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and trade and economics.

The president faced a healthy measure of skepticism when he arrived in New York on Monday to start a week of high-level diplomacy. The opening months of his presidency have included a series of difficult moments with friendly nations that were expecting greater cooperation from Biden following four years of Donald Trump's “America first” approach to foreign policy.

US eases rules on foreign travelers

In a major easing of pandemic travel restrictions, the U.S. said Monday it will allow foreigners to fly into the country this fall if they have vaccination proof and a negative COVID-19 test – changes replacing a hodgepodge of rules that had kept out many non-citizens and irritated allies in Europe and beyond where virus cases are lower.

The changes, to take effect in November, will allow families and others who have been separated by the travel restrictions for 18 months to plan for long-awaited reunifications and allow foreigners with work permits to get back to their jobs in the United States.

4 giant sequoias saved from fire

Four famous giant sequoias were not harmed by a wildfire that reached the edge of Giant Forest in California's Sequoia National Park, authorities said.

The Four Guardsmen, a group of trees that form a natural entryway on the road to the forest, were successfully protected from the KNP Complex fire by the removal of nearby vegetation and by wrapping fire-resistant material around the bases of the trees, the firefighting management team said in a statement Sunday.

The KNP Complex began as two lightning-sparked fires that eventually merged and has scorched more than 37 square miles in the heart of sequoia country on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada.

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