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Jonas Mekas, an underground filmmaker whose influence looms as large as the archives he helped create, died Wednesday morning at the age of 96. The Lithuanian-born director, critic, archivist and poet died "peacefully at home, with family at his side," according to the Anthology Film Archives that he co-founded.

The organization did not specify the cause of his death.

About a year ago, Dr. Ako Jacintho of San Francisco returned home from traveling to find a letter from the state medical board waiting for him.

The letter explained that a patient he had treated died in 2012 from taking a toxic cocktail of methadone and Benadryl — and Jacintho was the doctor who wrote the patient's last prescription for methadone. He had two weeks to respond with a written summary of the care he had provided, and a certified copy of the patient's medical record. He faced fines of $1,000 per day if he didn't comply.

Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor started the podcast Ear Hustle when Woods was a prisoner in San Quentin. Woods' sentence was recently commuted, but the two continue to tell stories of life behind bars.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

President Trump promised to find an alternative setting for his State of the Union address, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insisted he could not speak on the House floor until a partial government shutdown is over.

The president and the speaker traded barbed letters Wednesday, with Trump initially saying he wanted to deliver the speech next Tuesday in the House chamber — the traditional location.

Should the U.S. require its citizens to perform public service? Should its young women register for the draft?

A federal panel says it is working on answers to those questions — and is considering how the nation could implement a universal service program and whether it should be mandatory or optional.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the country's interim president amid nationwide protests Wednesday, in a bid to seize power from sitting leader Nicolás Maduro.

Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET

Police in Phoenix say they have arrested a man suspected of assaulting and impregnating an incapacitated woman who gave birth at a long-term care facility.

Nathan Sutherland, 36, a licensed practical nurse has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, according to officials who made the announcement at a news conference Wednesday.

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James Muncy can trace his breathing problems back to the 1990s, when he was still mining coal. "I couldn't cut grass hardly," he says. "When it's hot, [I] couldn't breathe."

For 26 years, Handicap International has not only been providing crutches, prosthetics and wheelchairs to people with disabilities in Burundi, it has also been a leading advocate for people with disabilities in the country. Much of its work has focused on helping people get physical therapy, accessible housing and jobs.

But all of that is over now.

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Chinese-Australian writer and former diplomat Yang Hengjun has been detained by Chinese authorities, according to the Australian Embassy in Beijing. Friends of Yang say he was taken into custody immediately after flying from New York to China on Saturday, and since then, the democracy advocate's normally active Twitter feed has fallen silent.

Denver Teachers Vote To Authorize A Strike

8 hours ago

The teachers union in Denver has voted to approve a strike that could begin as soon as Jan. 28. It would be the first time the city has seen a teacher strike in almost 25 years.

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association finished voting late Tuesday after more than a year of negotiations between the union and the district, which have failed to yield an agreement.

Mexico's homicide rate continued to skyrocket last year, making 2018 the deadliest on record for the country with an average of 91 deaths a day.

Zimbabwe forces have engaged in "systematic torture" of protesters, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has found. The torture, mostly consisting of "indiscriminate and severe beatings," follows several days of looting, fires and street barricades by protesters angry over high fuel prices.

Russell Baker, the Pulitzer Prize winning writer who penned thousands of columns for The New York Times, and hosted the PBS television program "Masterpiece Theatre," died Monday at his home in Leesburg, Va. He was 93.

For one Native American tribe whose land straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump's proposed border wall would, literally, divide its people.

The Tohono O'odham Nation stretches through the desert from just south of Casa Grande in southern Arizona to the U.S. border — and then beyond, into the Mexican state of Sonora. This means that if Trump gets his $5.7 billion border wall, it would cut right through the tribe's land.

For the first time in her 25-year career on the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not on the bench to start the new year.

After the 85-year-old justice was operated on for lung cancer, she decided to work from home rather than return to the court two weeks after surgery. She's expected to make a full recovery and be back at the court soon. A fair amount is known about Ginsburg's cancers and surgery, but the history of Supreme Court justices and their health is murkier.

Colleges Provide Tuition Relief To Furloughed Workers

15 hours ago

Reanna Robinson's life this spring is pretty hectic. She works full-time as a TSA officer at Reagan National Airport, she's raising her 1-year-old daughter, and she's taking five college classes on her way to a degree in criminal justice.

On top of all that, she's dealing with more financial pressure than usual. That's because, as an essential worker during a government shutdown that has stretched to 31 days, she's still reporting for work but not getting a paycheck.

"It's very stressful," she says. "It kind of takes a mental toll on you."

Updated at 8:21 p.m. ET

Mariano Rivera, the New York Yankees' closing pitcher who posted a record 652 saves over his 19-year career, is the first player to be unanimously selected for Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame.

Two other pitchers, the late Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina, and slugger Edgar Martinez were also elected.

Rivera received all 425 votes cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The stars all received at least 75 percent of the ballots cast. Players must be retired for five years to be eligible for the honor.

Democrats and immigrant rights groups were quick to oppose President Trump's proposal to end the government shutdown over the weekend because it includes $5.7 billion for an expanded border wall.

Now that they've seen the full language of the bill, they've found other reasons not to like it.

For three days last week, thousands of Guatemalans blocked roads and major highways to protest the Central American country's slide toward a constitutional crisis. The protest organizers included groups that have long demanded justice: indigenous communities and campesinos, as rural and farm workers are called.

It's a meeting of two truly American pastimes: football and lawsuits.

First, the football.

Late in regulation in Sunday's NFC championship game, the New Orleans Saints were tied 20-20 with the Los Angeles Rams in pursuit of the Super Bowl.

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As the ball sailed toward Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman knocked into Lewis, appearing to make helmet-to-helmet contact. Officials called no pass interference or helmet-to-helmet penalties.

The Trump administration is planning to ask the Supreme Court to review a lower court's ruling that blocks the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, according to a Justice Department filing released Tuesday.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

As the partial government shutdown hits a record 32nd day, the Senate is set to consider two competing proposals this week that could reopen the government — but probably won't.

When Jason Rezaian moved to Tehran to pursue journalism in 2009, he knew he was taking on a certain amount of risk.

"I think everybody who goes and works in a country like Iran makes those calculations and thinks about that," he says. "You don't have to read a lot of history to know that journalists have been targeted there in the past."

Still, Rezaian reasoned, if he was careful and "played very closely by the rules" — being transparent about the work he was doing and the people he was communicating with — he would be safe.

In 2018, Americans watched as California towns were incinerated by fires, hurricanes devastated coastal communities and a government report sounded the alarm about the impacts of a changing climate.

All those factors contributed to significant changes in perceptions of global warming in the U.S., according to the authors of a new public opinion survey.

The proportion of Americans who said global warming is "personally important" to them jumped from 63 percent to 72 percent from March to December of last year.

One in 3 U.N. employees has reported being sexually harassed in the past two years, according to a survey that the United Nations released last week.

It's part of an unfortunate trend in the humanitarian sector: complaints about sexual harassment, bullying and other unacceptable workplace behavior.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world. With about 1.5 billion users, it's a free way to text and place international voice and video calls.

Tokyo's notoriously crowded metro system is trying to ease the morning commute with soba noodles and tempura.

The metro system is offering vouchers for the buckwheat noodles and fried snacks to commuters who get on the train before rush hour. So far, more than 8,000 people have signed up to beat the clock, metro officials have announced.

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Updated 11 p.m. ET Tuesday

Preliminary numbers show that a "vast supermajority" of union members in Los Angeles have voted to approve a deal with the city's school district — ending the six-day teachers strike.

The decision means teachers will head back to class on Wednesday.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

Former Sen. Harris Wofford, a lifelong civil rights advocate and backer of progressive causes, died Monday at a Washington hospital at age 92.

Wofford died after suffering a fall, his son told The Washington Post.

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