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Pentagon says New Jersey soldier killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A 33-year-old soldier from New Jersey has been identified as the American service member killed Monday during combat in Afghanistan. In a statement Monday night, the Pentagon identified the casualty as Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble of Washington Township, New Jersey. Goble was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Pentagon says Goble's unit was engaged in combat operations in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, when he suffered fatal injuries. The death raises to 20 the number of American troops killed in combat in Afghanistan this year.


Giuliani pals leveraged GOP access to seek Ukraine gas deal

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Soviet-born Florida businessmen made what sounded like a outrageous pitch: Replace the CEO of Ukraine's biggest energy company and remove the anti-corruption U.S. ambassador to Kyiv as part of a plan to make millions shipping natural gas from Texas to Eastern Europe. It didn't seem plausible Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman could pull it off. But then the Trump administration began making the moves they had predicted. Now their efforts to profit from contacts with GOP luminaries are part of a broad federal criminal investigation into the two men and their close associate, Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney.


Floods delay flights at international Florida airport

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Flash flooding and heavy rains have delayed dozens of flights and disrupted some services at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. The airport tweeted early Monday that it was closed due to flash flooding and severe rains. It tweeted at about 6:30 a.m. that flight operations were resuming. The airport had issued an advisory late Sunday that said more than 150 of its flights were experiencing weather delays and 11 flights had been canceled. WPTV-TV reports areas around the airport had been hit with about 6 inches of rain since midnight.


Downpours drench South, closing streets and delaying flights

Forecasters say several roads were closed during the morning rush hour in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, as heavy rain soaked several southern states. The National Weather Service said before dawn Monday that Charleston was flooding due to a combination of coastal flooding and the effects of the heavy rains. Creeks and streams were on the rise there and across the South. Flash flood watches and warnings covered large parts of Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina. In Florida, the heavy rain and flooding delayed dozens of flights at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. By 6:30 a.m. Monday, flight operations were resuming.


Authorities: Suspect explodes ATM in failed try to get cash

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in Florida were searching for a suspect who they believe exploded an ATM in an unsuccessful effort to steal money. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports that an ATM exploded in Tampa early Sunday just after surveillance cameras caught the male suspect spray-painting the exterior cameras black at the Pilot Bank. The suspect was unable to get through the ATM's internal safe so no money was taken. Authorities say a similar incident took place at another bank in nearby Oldsmar, Florida in November.


South Florida town starts resilience fund for climate change

SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — A small ocean-side town in South Florida has created a “resilience fund” that will be used to help residents adopt to climate change in a first-of-its-kind effort.The town of Surfside's fund will be used for buyouts of residents' homes, among other projects. It also will give residents an assessment of the risks of living where they are. So far, the quarter million dollars in it has been funded by developers and the town.Town officials said the fund will help residents deal with the uncertainty of living in a place where the sea is expected to rise two feet by 2060.


Sewer main breaks turn South Florida blocks into 'war zone'

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida neighborhood has been plagued with a toxic and smelly odor for almost two weeks due to three back-to-back sewer main breaks that residents say have turned their blocks into “a war zone.”Sewage flowed for nine days in the Rio Vista neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale during the first break earlier this month. Two days after a repair, the 54-inch pipe ruptured in another spot a block away.The break sent sludge into the Tarpon River, streets and a neighborhood park. A third break occurred in the same sewer line the next day. Crews were working around the clock to make repairs


Authorities: Passers-by stop Florida man from killing dog

A man in South Florida is facing a felony charge after passers-by stopped him from killing a dog, authorities said Monday. Court records show Louis Sepulveda is facing a charge of animal cruelty with intent to injure or kill after his arrest Sunday in South Beach.  Witnesses told Miami Beach police officers that Sepulveda was smashing the black Labrador Retriever’s head and neck with the tail gate of a pickup truck. Passers-by intervened, rescued the dog and detained Sepulveda. Sepulveda's court-appointed attorney didn't respond to an email seeking comment. Online records showed he was still in jail Monday afternoon.


Boeing capsule returns to Earth after aborted space mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Boeing's crew capsule is back on Earth after an aborted flight to the International Space Station. With a test dummy and no astronauts aboard, the Starliner landed in the New Mexico desert before dawn Sunday. Red, white and blue parachutes popped open and air bags also inflated around the capsule to ease the impact. This first test flight was cut short and the space station docking canceled because of an improperly set clock on the capsule. NASA says it hasn't decided whether another test flight is needed before flying astronauts.


Semitrailer inflicts major damage on closed Florida landmark

YEEHAW JUNCTION, Fla. (AP) — A closed Florida landmark has suffered major damage when a semitrailer plowed into it. Parts of the Desert Inn in tiny Yeehaw Junction, Florida, collapsed when a truck hauling orange juice smashed it early Sunday. No one was seriously hurt. The inn is the centerpiece of Yeehaw Junction, a tiny respite off Florida's Turnpike between South Florida and Orlando. According to a 2013 article in the Orlando Sentinel, the Desert Inn dates to 1889 when it was a barroom and brothel for cowboys and lumberjacks and the look of the place hasn't evolved much since. Before its closure last year, it was a motel and restaurant.