×
Wow
November 14, 2018

Thousands of firefighters are continuing to battle northern California's Camp Fire, which has already claimed 48 lives, 130,000 acres, and 7,000 homes as of Tuesday night. But in the town of Paradise, efforts have shifted to recovering bodies from a charred landscape.

Coroners, cadaver dogs, and forensic specialists have arrived in the destroyed Butte County town, searching for remains they fear "will be burned beyond recognition and perhaps beyond identification," The New York Times reports. "As advanced as we are, we are literally down to buckets and shovels" to dig out bodies, a county sheriff's spokesman told the Times. Finding those remains is completely dependent upon dogs because, as one specialist put it, "How do you tell a bone from a rock at a certain point?"

Here's what the devastation looks like, in 5 photos. Kathryn Krawczyk

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

November 13, 2018

The number of hate crimes reported to the FBI jumped by 17 percent in 2017 — their biggest spike since 9/11.

Reported hate crimes have generally fallen since the FBI recorded an all-time high of 9,730 incidents in 2001, CBS News notes. But FBI data released Tuesday shows a recorded 7,175 crimes in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016 and marking a third straight year of growth.

The majority of reported hate crimes — 59.6 percent — targeted a victim's race, ethnicity, or ancestry, the FBI notes. About 2,000 of the reported crimes targeted black Americans. Another 20.6 percent were categorized as religiously motivated, and 15.8 percent targeted a victim's sexual orientation.

In a Tuesday statement, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said he was "particularly troubled by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes." Crimes against Jewish people went up 37 percent last year, making them the most common religiously motivated hate crimes last year, per The Washington Post. There were 938 reported anti-Semitic crimes in 2017.

These numbers increased in part due to an increase in the number of local police departments that report hate crimes to the FBI, the Post notes. Still, many local police departments still don't share statistics with the bureau.

To combat this continued uptick, the FBI also launched a hate crimes website with resources for reporting a crime. It lists news and descriptions of hate crimes, and features a "safe exit" button that redirects away from the site. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 23, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his father King Salman briefly gave their condolences to murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi's family in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Saudi state media reports that Khashoggi's son Salah "expressed their great thanks" to the leaders during the meeting. But state-sanctioned photos suggest otherwise.

Khashoggi's son has reportedly spent a year banned from leaving Saudi Arabia, a friend of the family told The Associated Press. His siblings are U.S. citizens, and one received a condolence call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Istanbul-based news site Daily Sabah reports.

Khashoggi was likely killed in Turkey's Saudi consulate earlier this month, and Turkish officials believe bin Salman ordered the hit. Bin Salman has denied involvement, saying "rogue" operatives killed Khashoggi. The U.S., Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are all currently investigating the matter. Watch a video of Tuesday's quick meeting below. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 22, 2018

The long train of migrants marching through Central America has continued to grow as it approaches the U.S. — a local government estimated that more than 7,000 migrants are now in the group, reports The New York Times. Many have been walking for days on end to escape violence and poverty, pregnant women and young children included. The hot temperatures and exhausting journey make for what CNBC has labeled a "humanitarian crisis."

Meanwhile, President Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut off aid to Honduras, where most of the migrants are from, as well as Guatemala and El Salvador, which many migrants passed through. He's also baselessly claimed there are "unknown Middle Easterners" traveling among the throngs hoping to gain asylum in the United States. Here's a glance at what the group actually looks like. Kathryn Krawczyk

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

October 15, 2018

New Jersey Senate candidate Bob Hugin is bringing out the big, unsubstantiated guns in his narrowing race against Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez.

In a dramatic ad released Monday, the GOP challenger singled out Menendez's call to "believe women" when they come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. "What about the underage girls who accused you, according to the FBI?" the ad menacingly shoots back. What follows is a dive into one aspect of the FBI investigation into Menendez's corruption charges, which were ultimately dropped earlier this year.

The ad cites an FBI affidavit that says "for several years, Senator Menendez had been traveling to the Dominican Republican to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes, some of whom were minors." The affidavit quotes an email from an anonymous tipster, but doesn't provide substantiated evidence, as Hugin's ad implies. The FBI investigated those claims, but they were "never corroborated," reports Politico. Menendez has likewise denied the allegations.

Still, these allegations are treated as fact on a website run by the Hugin campaign. That is, until you scroll to the bottom of the site, where the Hugin campaign answers one big question: "Are you accusing Senator Menendez of having sex with underage girls?" "No," the campaign responded. "We are asking why Senator Menendez says all victims should be believed, but not his alleged victims?" One of the alleged victims, in this case, later said she was paid to lie about having sex with Menendez.

Hugin's ad comes on the heels of a poll showing him statistically tied with Menendez. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 10, 2018

Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida on Wednesday afternoon, and the results already look catastrophic.

The Category 4 storm rolled in with winds at 155 miles per hour, taking direct aim at Panama City on the Florida panhandle. Winds only a few miles per hour faster would've made Michael a Category 5 storm, and they still tore down this home under construction ahead of the eyewall's arrival on shore, per 7 News Miami.

Michael also brought at least eight feet of storm surge to Apalachicola, Florida, and the waters could grow up to 10 feet deep, CBS News reports. Beach towns across the Florida coast are being swamped in what FEMA Administrator Brock Long called the "most intense" storm to hit the area since 1851.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Michael was still rolling inland and projected to bring tropical storm conditions as far north as North Carolina, per The National Weather Service. But it's clear the harshest damage will be centered on the Florida coast, as you can tell from this absolutely terrifying footage below. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 2, 2018

President Trump's infamous $1 million loan may have sparked his real estate business, but the $413 million he reportedly received from his father's own empire probably helped too.

Far from the measly operation Trump has claimed, Fred Trump's real estate business reportedly shunned taxes and engaged in fraud as he funneled millions into his children's pockets, a massive investigation by The New York Times reveals. The president himself has reportedly reaped enormous benefits — far more than his siblings, in fact, because he helped his parents "sharply reduc[e] the tax bill when properties were transferred to him and his siblings," the Times says.

For nearly all his life, Trump has been accruing payments from his father's business in a trust fund that's still growing to this day, the Times' analysis of tax returns and financial records indicates. To minimize taxes as Fred Trump passed that money to his children, he reportedly made them stakeholders in a shell company, All County Building Supply & Maintenance. Fred and his wife Mary "transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million," the Times says. But records show they apparently only ended up paying about $52.2 million.

To reap bigger profits, Fred Trump also allegedly undervalued his real estate holdings via "dubious tax schemes" often orchestrated by Trump himself, the Times says. And in one case, Fred Trump reportedly used All County invoices to make it seem as if he'd made improvements on a rent-stabilized apartment complex he owned. Payments for maintenance work from All County were actually going to his children, but the state would still approve rent increases.

A lawyer for Trump denied all the Times' findings as "100 percent false and highly defamatory." Still, they do raise questions about Trump's never-released tax returns.

Read it all — and watch an astounding video illustrating Trump's gain — at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

September 11, 2018

Opioid addictions are on the rise in America, and researchers may have found a reason why.

From 2006 to 2015, nearly one-third of opioid prescriptions went to patients who weren't even diagnosed with pain, per a study published Tuesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers broke down nearly 32,000 cases where opioids were prescribed and found they often went to patients with hypertension, high cholesterol, and even "opioid dependence."

America's opioid epidemic has skyrocketed over the past 20 years, with deaths from prescription and especially synthetic opioids still rising as of 2016. About 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That includes deaths from misused prescriptions. The CDC has encouraged doctors to dole out lower-grade painkillers to combat addiction.

After breaking down a survey of physician visits, the study found that 71 percent of opioid prescriptions went to patients with cancer- or non-cancer-related pain. But doctors didn't give a good reason for the other 28.5 percent of prescriptions, the researchers found. It was especially common for doctors to keep giving opioids to patients already on them, even if the recipients didn't report ongoing pain.

The study's researchers suggest doctors should better document why they're prescribing opioids. This way, they can more accurately determine which health issues warrant the strong painkillers — and be held accountable if they prescribe them to patients who don't need them. Kathryn Krawczyk

See More Speed Reads