Local News

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The fire Sunday afternoon in the bathroom of the iFix and More store prompted an evacuation of the mall. Read more

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Northampton County Council's search for a new controller yielded one applicant, who will be interviewed Wednesday. Read more

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A man charged with raping a woman on a SEPTA train just outside of Philadelphia harassed her for more than 40 minutes while multiple people held up their phones to seemingly record the assault without intervening, authorities said. Read more

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Last year, the team played with no fans in the stands, but now the team says it's ready to get people back in their seats. Read more

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A student reported they were walking home when a man grabbed and restrained them, exposed himself and threatened to kill the student, police said. Read more

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Over the next few days, winds will gradually diminish, after one more somewhat breezy day on Tuesday, and temperatures will slowly warm each day as well. Read more

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A murder-suicide is sending shockwaves through Pottstown in Montgomery County, and a director with one support organization is speaking out. Read more

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Developer Rocco Ayvazov wants to knock down a one-story building at 128 E. Third St. and put up six floors with retail space and 55 apartments.  Read more

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Members of Emmaus Borough Council unanimously passed a revised pollution reduction plan Monday, which according to the borough manager, will save the municipality over $900,000 in estimated costs. Read more

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Reading City Council on Monday heard a report from Chief of Police Richard Tornielli detailing a recent police study of dangerous intersections. Read more

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To be eligible, you must make less than 150 percent of the poverty line, which is just under $40,000 for a family of four. Read more

Voters in Reading who opted to vote by mail are already seeing the questions. Those voting in person can weigh in on November 2nd. Read more

A center to apply for loans at the Berks Fire Training Center on Route 10 in Reading, will close for good on Thursday. Read more

Police say the person who fired the first shot is in the hospital awaiting charges. Read more

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Every cardboard cutout represents a victim whose life was snuffed out by domestic violence. Read more

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Parkland School District is just one of the area districts that's been experiencing food shortage issues.  Read more

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Bethlehem is getting some help from across the Atlantic in its quest to name the city's Moravian Settlements an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read more

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(The Center Square) – A bill that would require school districts to post curriculum online received approval from a key Senate panel on Monday.  Read more

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Police said they believe Brian Kunsman forgot he had it in a backpack. Read more

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New Jersey state workers and employees at schools across the state faced a Monday deadline of getting vaccinated or undergoing regular COVID-19 testing. Read more

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When complete in 2023, the 190,000-square-foot pavilion will include 52 private patient rooms. Read more

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The mayor said the proposed 2022 budget is balanced without having to tap into the city’s cash reserves. Read more

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The center opened at 1 p.m. Monday at the Northampton County Emergency Operations Center at 100 Gracedale Avenue in Nazareth. Read more

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The governor was joined at a news conference about his legislation by students, legislators and the national leader of It’s On Us, a movement fighting against sexual assault on college campuses for both men and women. Read more

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Cresco Labs Inc. will open a cannabis dispensary Friday in Wyomissing, its fifth in Pennsylvania. Read more

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Home video surveillance shows the couple arguing in their kitchen before the man beats up his wife, fatally shoots her, then commits suicide, authorities say. Read more

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South Whitehall Township's environmental committee will discuss Wednesday a potential ordinance to move away from single-use plastic bags. Read more

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The man who shot and killed his wife then turned the gun on himself in a Leesport home has died from his injuries, said the Berks County district attorney. Read more

US and World News

A pair of 17th-century marble angels that decorated a southern Italian church are back home on Italian soil. The winged “putti" were handed over at a ceremony Tuesday at the French Embassy. Italy's art police say a British art collector had bought them unknowingly from a Naples area antiques store two decades ago. He learned they were stolen goods when he tried to sell them to an antiques dealer in France before a planned move to Portugal. French police identified the cherubim as possible stolen goods. Read more

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Many scientists are pressing the British government to reimpose social restrictions and speed up booster vaccinations as coronavirus infection rates that are Europe’s highest rise still further. The U.K. recorded 43,738 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, slightly down from the number reported Monday, which was the largest number since mid-July. New infections averaged more than 44,000 a day over the past week, a 16% increase compared to the week before. Last week the Office for National Statistics estimated that 1 in 60 people in England had the virus. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government lifted all restrictions on business and social life in July. Many scientists are now urging the government to reconsider and to speed up a vaccination booster program. Read more

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Whether you love cryptocurrencies or hate the very idea of them, they’re becoming more mainstream by the day. Cryptocurrencies have surged to nearly $2.5 trillion in total value, rivaling the size of G7 economies like Canada’s and Italy’s, with more than 200 million users. At that size, it’s simply too big for the financial establishment to ignore. Firms that cater to the world’s wealthiest families are increasingly putting some of their fortunes into crypto. Hedge funds are trading Bitcoin, which has big-name banks starting to offer them services around it. And in the latest milestone for the industry, an easy-to-trade fund tied to Bitcoin began trading on Tuesday. Read more

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Federal health officials are rethinking their approach to controlling salmonella in poultry plants in the hope of reducing the number of illnesses linked to the bacteria each year. The USDA says the industry has succeeded in reducing the level of salmonella contamination found in poultry plants in recent years, but that hasn’t translated into a significant reduction in the 1.35 million salmonella illnesses reported each year. So the agency wants to set up pilot projects that focus more on the strains of salmonella that cause the most illnesses and on steps farmers can take to reduce salmonella before chickens and turkeys are slaughtered. Read more

The head of the UN's atomic watchdog plans to visit Iran before the end of next month amid questions about whether Iran will return to negotiations aimed at reviving the languishing 2015 nuclear deal. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi says he intends to visit Tehran “soon” to discuss and hopefully resolve specific concerns about Iran's nuclear program. Iran is in violation of several aspects of the 2015 deal that the IAEA is charged with monitoring and has suspended some elements of other cooperation with the watchdog. His comments come as world powers are stepping up pressure on Iran to return to talks intended to bring both Iran and the United States back into compliance with the deal. Read more

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Attorneys are slowly questioning potential jurors in Georgia who may ultimately decide the fate of three white men charged with killing a Black man, Ahmaud Arbery. Jury selection was set to resume Tuesday. Prosecutors and defense attorneys asked the first 20 jury pool members Monday about what they've already heard about the case and whether they think racism played a role in Arbery's death. Graphic video of the slaying of the 25-year-old Black man in 2020 sparked a national outcry. Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan are charged with murder and other crimes. Defense attorneys insist they committed no crimes.  Read more

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A judge in South Carolina has denied bond for attorney Alex Murdaugh on the second set of charges he has faced since finding his wife and son dead last June. Circuit Judge Clifton Newman issued the decision Tuesday after hearing attorneys describe how Murdaugh used portions of $3.4 million in insurance payments to pay off his father, personal credit card bills and checks to himself. The payments were supposed to go to the sons of his longtime housekeeper, who died in 2016 a few weeks after falling at the family’s home. Newman also ordered a psychiatric evaluation for Murdaugh. He said he'll reconsider his decision after the evaluation.  Read more

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The world's facing an energy crunch. Europe is feeling it most as natural gas prices skyrocket to five times what they were at the start of the year, forcing some factories to throttle back production. Gas reserves depleted last winter haven't been made up, and chief supplier Russia has held back on supplying extra. Fears are rising that Europe will have to ration electricity if it’s a cold winter. China has seen power outages in some towns, the poor in Brazil are choosing between food and electricity and people worldwide are facing higher utility bills. The global economy is using more energy as it rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic, straining gas, oil and other fuel supplies. Read more

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Sales of the cancer treatment Darzalex helped Johnson & Johnson deliver better-than-expected third quarter earnings, while COVID-19 fueled vaccine revenue and had more customers reaching for Tylenol. The world’s biggest maker of health care products also said Tuesday that it had raised its 2021 earnings forecast. Sales of J&J’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine started to pick up in the quarter and nearly doubled what it brought in during the first half of 2021. J&J also said sales of over-the-counter drugs, which do not need prescriptions, grew 18% globally as more customers bought Tylenol and Motrin partly for vaccine symptom relief. Read more

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The killing of British lawmaker David Amess is once again fueling concern about a government program aimed at preventing at-risk young people from becoming radicalized. Critics say the strategy is falling short and unfairly targets Muslim communities. Questions surfaced soon after Amess was stabbed to death Friday afternoon amid reports in the British media that the man arrested had been referred to the Prevent program several years ago. Under Prevent, Britons are asked to report anyone they suspect may be on the road to becoming radicalized, so the person can get help. But the program has been repeatedly criticized. An independent review of Prevent was launched in 2018, but it has yet to release findings. Read more

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The European Union’s top official has locked horns with Poland’s prime minister, arguing that a recent ruling from the country’s constitutional court challenging the supremacy of EU laws is a threat to the bloc’s foundations and won’t be left unanswered. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Mateusz Morawiecki laid bare their differences of opinion on rule-of-law principles during a heated debate Tuesday with EU lawmakers. Von der Leyen accused Morawiecki of trying to run away and escape the debate on the primacy of European law. Morawiecki repeated that Poles are in favor of the “power of the rule of law” and “don’t believe in blackmail or paternalistic attitudes” toward their country. Read more

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Portugal has paid official homage to a Portuguese diplomat who during World War II helped save thousands of people from Nazi persecution. Officials placed a tomb with the name of Aristides de Sousa Mendes in the country’s National Pantheon. Leading Portuguese politicians and public figures attended Tuesday's formal televised ceremony as the tomb was placed alongside other celebrated figures from Portuguese history at the landmark Lisbon building. The ceremony marked the completion of Sousa Mendes’ 80-year journey from ostracized Portuguese civil servant to honored international personage. Sousa Mendes defied his superiors when as consul in France in 1940 he handed out visas to many people fleeing the Nazis. Read more

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Stocks are moving modestly higher on Wall Street in morning trading Tuesday as corporate earnings reporting gets into full swing. The benchmark S&P 500 was up 0.5%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4%. Health care companies were making some of the biggest gains in the early going. Johnson & Johnson climbed 2.5% after raising its 2021 profit forecast again. Insurance company Travelers rose 2.6% after releasing results that easily beat analysts' forecasts. The first exchange-traded fund to track Bitcoin futures rose 3% on its first day of trading. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.62%. Read more

U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska expects to be charged with lying to the FBI while federal agents were investigating campaign contributions funneled to him from a Nigerian billionaire. The nine-term Republican is proclaiming his innocence and promising to fight the charges. Fortenberry says in a YouTube video posted Monday night that he was “shocked” and “stunned” by the allegations. Knowingly making false statements to a federal agent is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The expected indictment stems from an FBI investigation into $180,000 in illegal campaign contributions from Gilbert Chagoury, including $30,200 to Fortenberry in 2016. The contributions were funneled through a group of Californians from 2012 through 2016. Read more

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Progressive prosecutors around the country are increasingly declaring they just won’t enforce some GOP-backed state laws. They are acting in response to some of the most controversial new changes in recent years — near-total abortion bans, voting restrictions, limits on certain protest activity, laws aimed at LGBTQ people, and restrictions on mask requirements. In Tennessee, Nashville prosecutor Glenn Funk has made a habit of resisting GOP-passed laws. The Democrat says people in his city “really want a common sense approach to the criminal justice system that keeps us safe and does not incarcerate folks without good reason.”  Read more

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A Spanish court has thrown out a lawsuit against American treasure hunters that accused them of having destroyed an underwater archaeological site when they looted a sunken galleon for tons of precious coins. In 2007, the Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration scooped up over half a million silver and gold coins when it discovered a sunken Spanish galleon. Spain disputed the company’s claim to the treasure, which was worth an estimated $500 million, in U.S. courts and won its return in 2012. But a court has now shelved for good a separate case that accused Odyssey of having profaned the shipwreck. Read more

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A gang that kidnapped 17 members of a U,S.-based missionary group has demanded a $17 million ransom for them. That's according to Haiti’s justice minister, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. Liszt Quitel says the gang is demanding $1 million per person for the 16 Americans and one Canadian. A wave of kidnappings in Haiti has prompted a protest strike that shuttered businesses, schools and public transportation in a new blow to the country's anemic economy. Unions and other groups vowed to continue the shutdown Tuesday. Read more

The Maltese government is responding to a critical European human rights evaluation by vowing to soon propose new legislation to better protect journalists in the wake of the 2017 assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.The government said Tuesday it was consulting national and international organizations about possible reforms and would present proposed legislation to parliament “in the near future.”The government was responding to a preliminary report from the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner who made a host of recommendations to better protect the rights of women and journalists in particular after a recent visit to the Mediterranean island nation. Read more

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Federal regulators are expected to authorize the mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster shots this week in an effort to provide flexibility for those seeking to maintain protection against the coronavirus. The upcoming announcement by the Food and Drug Administration is likely to come along with authorization for boosters of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots. It follows the authorization of a third dose for the Pfizer vaccine for many Americans last month. The move was previewed Tuesday by a U.S. health official familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly ahead of the announcement. Read more

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Regulators are stepping up scrutiny of the United Kingdom’s music streaming market to see whether there’s enough competition. It follows concerns that major online platforms like Spotify may be too dominant. The U.K.’s competition watchdog said Tuesday that it will carry out a “market study” to assess whether fresh measures are needed to improve streaming competition. The watchdog said the review was needed because the way people listen to music has transformed over the past decade, with streaming now accounting for over 80% of all the music played in the U.K.  Read more

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The International Monetary Fund says the Middle East is expected to see significant economic growth this year of around 4% after the turmoil wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. The IMF's report Tuesday added that food prices are poised to soar in oil-producing countries. That coincides with inflation projected to reach 17% this year as vaccine rollouts remain uneven across the region. The report notes that countries such as Lebanon and Afghanistan are additionally facing severe economic crises. Across the region, about 7 million more people are estimated to have entered extreme poverty over the course of 2020. The lender says unemployment in the region increased to nearly 11%.  Read more

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Minnesota's Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has launched his campaign for a second term in an increasingly divided state, saying he made the tough calls necessary to beat back the COVID-19 pandemic and revive the economy. The former high school football coach made the announcement in a YouTube video posted Tuesday that shows him standing on a football field. The former congressman won office in 2018 on a theme of “One Minnesota,” a slogan he’s using again for 2022. But the fissures in Minnesotan politics have grown deeper since then, mostly over disagreements over his management of the pandemic, as well as the unrest and spike in crime that followed the death of George Floyd. Read more

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The Grammys will stick to its word with the public release of the full inclusion rider to ensure equity and inclusion in hiring on all levels of production for next year’s ceremony. The Recording Academy released on Tuesday an eight-page document detailing the rider’s purposes and objectives. The agreement requires producers to recruit and hire more diverse candidates backstage and in front of the camera for the 64th annual awards ceremony on Jan. 31. Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. says he’s proud of the initiative and hopes the concept can “move the needle.” The academy announced the adoption of the inclusion rider in August. Read more

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Manager Aaron Boone has been re-signed by the New York Yankees to a three-year contract with a club option for 2025 after four winning but unsuccessful seasons. Boone has led the Yankees to a 328-218 record and four postseason appearances but just one AL East title. They lost to the Red Sox in this year’s wild-card game. Owner Hal Steinbrenner says the team needs to get better and that Boone embraces its “expectations of success.” He says the 48-year-old Boone's “intelligence, instincts and leadership” will help the Yankees pursue their next World Series title. They haven't won it all since 2009. Read more

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A Russian actor and a film director who spent 12 days in orbit to make the world’s first movie in space say they were so thrilled with their experience on the International Space Station that they felt sorry to leave. Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko, who returned to Earth on Sunday after a stint on the International Space Station, filmed segments of a movie titled “Challenge” in which a surgeon played by Peresild rushes to the space station to save a crew member who needs an urgent operation in orbit. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, 37-year-old Peresild lamented that a busy filming schedule left the them too little time to enjoy the views from space. Read more

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Poland will be a focus of European attention this week, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki addressing the European Parliament. Leaders at a European Union summit are also expected to grapple with a legal conundrum created by a recent ruling by the Polish constitutional court. Some opponents of Poland's nationalist government fear that the court’s ruling has put the country on a path to a possible “Polexit,” or an exit from the 27-nation EU. The government denounces those spreading the idea, which it calls “fake news.” Poland’s departure from the bloc is unlikely but the government's friction with EU leaders is real. Read more

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Colin Powell was the first Black person to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs and secretary of state. But some African Americans say that his voice on their behalf could have been louder. Powell died Monday of COVID-19 complications. He spent 35 years in the Army and rose to political prominence under Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Through it all, some observers noted that Powell never seemed entirely comfortable talking about race. Andrew Rich is dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College of New York. He says Powell was “a trailblazer in every sense.” Read more

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U.S. home construction fell 1.6% in September as builders continue to be tripped up by supply chain bottlenecks. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the decline in September left home construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.56 million units, 7.4% above the rate one year ago. August’s home construction starts number was revised upward to 1.72 million from 1.62 million. Applications for building permits, a barometer of future activity, declined 7.7% from August to 1.59 million but are virtually unchanged from September 2020. Read more

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Greece has promised to link Egypt to the European Union’s energy market with an undersea cable that would carry electricity across the Mediterranean. The pledge was made at a meeting Tuesday in Athens between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Egypt last week signed separate agreements with Greece and Cyprus to set up undersea interconnectors, though details of the proposed ventures have not been worked out. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades also joined the talks. Greece is seeking to expand energy cooperation across the Mediterranean with Egypt and Israel as it remains at odds with neighbor Turkey over sea boundaries and seabed mineral rights. Read more

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The United Nations says more than 10,000 children in Yemen have been killed or injured in violence linked to years of war in the impoverished country. The children’s agency UNICEF says the verified tally is surely an undercount of the real toll. The U.N. has long considered Yemen home to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The country faces the combined troubles of protracted conflict, economic devastation, and crumbling social and health services. War resumed in late 2014 as rebels took over the capital of Sanaa, and escalated when a Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015. Read more