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The Albuquerque Police Department has finished revising its use-of-force policies and authorities say officers will begin training on the new policies over the next quarter. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the changes have been approved by the Department of Justice, which is engaged in a settlement agreement to reform the city’s police department. According to the Journal, city leaders anticipate the changes will result in fewer shootings by officers since they should have a better sense of when they can use less-lethal force rather than deadly force. Less lethal options include stun guns, beanbag shotguns, 40-millimeter impact launchers or canine deployments. There were 18 shootings by Albuquerque police officers last year and 10 of them were fatal.

The city of Memphis and the nation are bracing for the release of a police video depicting five officers viciously beating a Black man who later died. Tyre Nichols' death prompted murder charges Thursday against the officers and outrage at the country’s latest instance of police brutality. Nichols died three days after a confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop on Jan. 7. Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy says video of the traffic stop will be released to the public sometime Friday evening. Nichols' family and the Memphis police chief say they expect protests, but urged people to demonstrate peacefully.

The mental competency of a man charged with killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket nearly two years ago is set to be discussed again during a hearing Friday. Court proceedings against 23-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa have been paused for more than a year after a judge found him to be mentally incompetent in December 2021 and sent him to the state mental hospital for treatment. Alissa is charged with murder and multiple attempted murder counts for endangering the lives of 26 other people. He hasn't been asked to enter a plea to the charges yet.

    A Montana lawmaker is proposing a bill to effectively deny gender-affirming care to young transgender people by threatening health care providers with the loss of their license for a year if they use puberty blockers, hormones or surgery to treat a transgender minor. The bill by Republican Sen. John Fuller is being heard on Friday. A similar bill in the 2021 Legislature received strong opposition from medical experts, human rights advocates and the transgender community. It ultimately failed. Fuller's bill would also ban Montana Medicare payments for medication or surgical treatments for transgender youth. Montana's Medicare program has paid for $1.4 million in medication treatment for transgender minors since 2015.

      Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: Flavor enhancers added to food products do not contain aborted fetal tissue. Changes to Federal Aviation Administration requirements that airline pilots must meet for cardiac health were not prompted by COVID-19 vaccines. A video shows a train transporting tanks along a highway in Kansas, not in Poland after President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would send military vehicles to Ukraine. And medical experts say there's no link between the toxic pesticide DDT and the viral disease polio.

        Two months after undergoing surgery for serious burns, Jay Leno is now contending with a number of broken bones after being knocked off a motorcycle. The comedian and former “Tonight Show” host told a Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Thursday that he broke his collarbone and two ribs and cracked his kneecaps on Jan. 17. The November garage fire and January wreck both stemmed from his passion for working on vintage vehicles. Last week, it was a vintage motorcycle. He insisted he was OK and would even be working this weekend, adding that the intense coverage of the November fire made him reluctant to say anything.

        Ten Filipino men who worked for a major offshore oil industry employer under federally granted visas claim in a federal lawsuit they were treated like prisoners at a company bunkhouse and that some of them were abandoned there when Hurricane Ida struck the Louisiana Gulf Coast in August 2021. Their former employer denies the claims and has struck back with a counterclaim accusing the workers of defamation. The judge in the case dismissed the defamation allegations in a Jan. 20 order. The competing court filings at the U.S. District Court in New Orleans lay out starkly different views of life for Filipino workers at Louisiana-based Grand Isle Shipyard.

        Virginia House Republicans have voted down a range of bills that would have added new restrictions on firearms. Among the measures defeated in a marathon Thursday subcommittee meeting were a ban on assault-style weapons, a college campus gun ban and a gun-storage bill that were priorities for Democrats. The votes underscore that major action on gun laws is unlikely this year, given the divided control of the General Assembly. The House Public Safety subcommittee also advanced measures supported by gun rights groups that are likely to be defeated in the Senate.

        The Maine Office of the Attorney General says a moving and storage company has agreed to pay a $125,000 fine and refrain from using a misleading email address to threaten customers who leave negative reviews. The attorney general's office said Tuesday it has entered into the agreement with Liberty Bell Moving and Storage, of Windham, after it found the company in violation of state and federal business practice laws. The attorney general’s office said Liberty Bell’s consumer contracts would also no longer require consumers to absolve the company of all claims before service. That practice violates Maine law.

        A comet is streaking back our way after 50,000 years. NASA says the dirty snowball last visited during Neanderthal times. It will come within 26 million miles of Earth on Wednesday before speeding away again. And it might not return for millions of years. Discovered less than a year ago, this harmless green comet already is visible in the northern night sky with binoculars and small telescopes. It's expected to brighten in the Northern Hemisphere as it draws closer and rises higher over the horizon. Skygazers in the Southern Hemisphere will have to wait until next month.

        It’s been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson’s last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson announced Friday that he will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28. “Gasms” features new songs produced and written by Robinson himself. The former vice president of Motown Records released his last collaborative album, “Smokey & Friends,” nine years ago. The upcoming album's first single “If We Don’t Have Each Other” is already available for streaming. Robinson will soon be honored alongside fellow Motown musician Berry Gordy as the 2023 “Persons Of The Year” at the Recording Academy’s annual MusiCares event.

        A bill that would let Petersburg hold a public referendum on a proposed $1.4 billion casino while blocking Richmond from a second shot at a project rejected in 2021 has cleared an early hurdle. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the measure from Democratic Sen. Joe Morrissey advanced from a Senate subcommittee 7-2 Thursday. Morrissey and Petersburg officials argued Richmond does not need the economic boost that a casino would bring. A bill similar to Morrissey’s has been proposed in the House of Delegates.

        Prosecutors in Massachusetts are basing their murder case against a man whose wife is presumed dead but whose body has not been found in large part on a series of gruesome internet searches. But experts warn that incriminating internet searches are not enough alone to build a case. Prosecutors said at Brian Walshe's arraignment that he used Google to look up ways to dismember and dispose of a body. His wife, Ana Walshe, has not been seen since Jan. 1. Northeastern University School of Law professor Daniel Medwed says prosecutors have plenty of other evidence to make their case, including blood and DNA.

        The next novel by two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward is the story of an enslaved teenage girl that the publisher is calling a blend of magical realism, historical narrative and Dante’s “Inferno.” Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced Friday that Ward’s “Let Us Descend” will come out Oct. 3. It’s her first novel since “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” which won the National Book Award in 2017, and first fictional work set in the distant past. The 45-year-old Ward is the only Black woman to receive two NBAs and has been praised for her striking lyricism and uncompromising perspective.


        More than 100 passengers had to be escorted on foot through a Boston subway tunnel on Thursday night when three trains became stuck because of a signal problem. A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority spokesperson says the agency suspended Green Line service between Kenmore and Government Center stations because of a problem at the signal and track switch just west of Copley Station. Three 2-car trains were between stations when service was suspended, and approximately 120 customers were safely escorted to the nearest station platform. No injuries were reported.

        Novak Djokovic has put aside some shaky early play to beat unseeded American Tommy Paul 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 and reach the Australian Open final. Djokovic will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title on Sunday. The winner will move up to No. 1 in the ATP rankings. Tsitsipas made it to his second Grand Slam final with a 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 semifinal victory over Karen Khachanov. The No. 3-seeded Tsitsipas had been 0-3 in semifinals at Melbourne Park. Djokovic is seeking his 10th Australian Open championship to extend his own men's record and a 22nd Grand Slam trophy overall to equal Rafael Nadal's mark.

        Several years of pandemic restrictions and curriculum battles have emboldened longtime advocates of funneling public funds to private and religious schools in statehouses throughout the country. Republicans and parents’ rights activists are pushing voucher-style education savings account proposals in a dozen states that would allow students to use taxpayer dollars toward education outside traditional K-12 schools. The debates have inflamed teachers’ unions and resurfaced concerns about efforts to gradually privatize public education. If enacted, they could transform the nature of state government’s relationship with the education system and deepen contrasts between how going to school looks in many red versus blue states.

        Tommy Paul says he went into his Australian Open semifinal against Novak Djokovic with a specific game plan. He also says none of it worked because Djokovic wouldn't let it work. Paul managed to take four games in a row to make the score 5-all in the first set. But Djokovic then grabbed the next seven games and 14 of 17 the rest of the way to win 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 and reach the final at Melbourne Park. Paul was playing in the semifinals of a major tournament for the first time. Djokovic is now one win away from a 10th Australian Open championship and 22nd Grand Slam title overall.

        The federal government will allow Medicaid dollars to treat some people in prisons, jails or juvenile detention centers for the first time ever. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Thursday that it will allow California inmates to access limited services, including substance use treatment and mental health diagnoses, 90 days before being released. Since Medicaid was established, federal law has prohibited Medicaid money from being used for people who are in custody, with inmates having access to their health care coverage suspended.

        A University of Michigan student is one of the world’s foremost “speedcubers,” a person capable of quickly solving a Rubik’s Cube. He also is an accomplished violinist. Stanley Chapel says the two fields go hand in hand and the violin has aided in his speedcubing success. The 21-year-old is the world champion in two categories of blindfolded speedcubing. Factoring in the time it takes for him to review the cube before placing the blindfold over his eyes, Chapel can solve one in around 17 seconds. The junior majoring in violin performance intends to defend his titles later this year in South Korea.

        Oklahoma's chief medical examiner has positively identified the body of a child found earlier this month as 4-year-old Athena Brownfield. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation made the announcement on social media Thursday. The girl was reported missing Jan. 10 when a postal carrier found her 5-year-old sister alone outside the home where she lived with Ivon Adams III and his wife, Alysia Adams. Ivon Adams was arrested in Arizona on murder and child neglect charges and returned to Oklahoma. Alysia Adams is charged with two counts of child neglect. The bureau says it will not have additional comment on the case due to a gag order.

        Five fired Memphis police officers have been charged with murder and other crimes in the killing of Tyre Nichols, a Black motorist who died three days after a confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop. Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said although the officers each played different roles in the killing, “they are all responsible.” All of the officers are Black. Video of the Jan. 7 traffic stop will be released to the public sometime Friday evening. Nichols’ family and their lawyers say the footage shows officers savagely beating the 29-year-old father and FedEx worker for three minutes.

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