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February 5, 2020

A U.S. citizen has died in government custody, Customs and Border Patrol announced Wednesday.

Border patrol agents arrested the 32-year-old man Tuesday afternoon "after he was identified as a suspect in an alien smuggling incident," BuzzFeed News reports via a CBP statement. "At around 6:00 p.m., during processing at the Brackettville Station, the man began exhibiting signs of distress," the statement continued. "EMT-certified agents" began tending to the man, and an ambulance took him to a local hospital around 6:40 p.m. "He was pronounced deceased by medical personnel at 9:37 p.m. CST," per the statement.

The agents who arrested the man were assigned to a Brackettville, Texas, station, which is near the Del Rio, Texas, port of entry. Kathryn Krawczyk

February 3, 2020

Rush Limbaugh has announced he's been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.

The conservative radio host shared the news on his show Monday afternoon on what he called "one of the most difficult days in recent memory for me," telling listeners he was diagnosed last month and that "there are going to be days that I'm not going to be able to be here" as he undergoes treatment, per Mediaite.

It was for this reason Limbaugh said he decided to announce the news publicly, even though he explained he didn't "want to burden anybody with it" and considered keeping the diagnosis private.

"My intention is to come here every day I can," Limbaugh said. He ended by noting he would be off the air for the next several days but that "every day I'm not here, I'll be thinking about you and missing you."

Limbaugh has hosted his radio show nationally for more than three decades, and Brian Rosenwald noted he's "probably the most influential voice on the right except for" President Trump. The Hill reports he recently signed a new contract, as announced by Trump at a rally. Brendan Morrow

January 28, 2020

A tsunami threat message was issued Tuesday after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck near Jamaica and Cuba, CNN reports.

The International Tsunami Information Center said Tuesday "hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts," per Reuters, and CNN writes there was a "threat of tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 meter (about 1 to 3 feet) above tide level for the coasts of Jamaica, Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico and the Cayman Islands."

The earthquake, which struck shortly after 2:00 p.m. Eastern, was felt in Miami and caused "very strong to severe shaking in far western Jamaica," The Weather Channel reports, citing the U.S. Geological Survey. The Associated Press also reports it could be felt "strongly" in Santiago, where a witness said, "We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move. We heard the noise of everything moving around."

There have not been reports of any casualties, and according to the National Tsunami Warning Center, there is no tsunami threat for the eastern United States or the Gulf of Mexico. The Washington Post reports, though, this "appeared to be one of the biggest [earthquakes] on record in the Caribbean, and the largest since 1946." Brendan Morrow

January 26, 2020

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was reportedly killed in a helicopter crash in the Los Angeles area. He was 41.

TMZ initially broke the news, and ESPN and The Los Angeles Times have since confirmed, though details are still limited. The helicopter was reportedly over the suburb of Calabasas when it crashed around 10 a.m. P.T., and a tweet by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office confirmed there were no survivors among the five people on board. The identities of the four people besides Bryant have not been confirmed. No homes or bystanders were reportedly affected by the crash.

Bryant, who played all 20 seasons of his career with Los Angeles before retiring in 2016, is considered one of the greatest players to ever suit up in the NBA. Just one day ago, the Lakers' current star LeBron James passed Bryant for third on the all-time scoring list while paying tribute to Bryant with an inscription on his shoes. Afterward, Bryant congratulated James on the milestone. Read more at ESPN. Tim O'Donnell

January 7, 2020

A Ukrainian International Airlines flight with 180 passengers and crew onboard crashed just after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport early Wednesday, en route to Kiev, Iranian state media reported. The Iranian news reports attributed the crash to unspecified mechanical problems, and civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said a team of investigators is at the site of the wreckage. "The plane is on fire but we have sent crews," Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran's emergency services, told state TV, "and we may be able to save some passengers." Iran's Red Crescent later said there's no chance of finding survivors.

FlightRadar24 said the airliner appeared to stop sending data about two minutes into the flight.

Hours before the crash, Iran had fired more than a dozen missiles at Iraqi military bases that house U.S. and other allied forces. No U.S. casualties have been reported. There is no apparent connection between the two events, but the crash does contain elements from the largest news stories of 2019: U.S.-Iran hostilities, Ukraine, and Boeing's 737 — though this was a 737-800 jet, not the troubled 737 MAX, which has been grounded worldwide for 10 months. Peter Weber

January 7, 2020

Puerto Rico's string of tremors continued Tuesday morning as another earthquake knocked out power and left at least one person dead.

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Puerto Rico early on Tuesday, centered off the island's southern coast, CNN reports. At least one person, a 73-year-old man, was killed, while at least eight have been injured, The Associated Press reports.

This comes one day after Puerto Rico was struck by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, which followed several quakes ranging from 4.7 to 5.1 in magnitude rocking the island since Dec. 28. A 6.0 aftershock followed Tuesday's earthquake about three hours later, per AP.

Although a tsunami watch was issued by local authorities on Tuesday, it was later canceled, and the United States National Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami threat, The New York Times reports. Víctor Huérfano, director of Puerto Rico's Seismic Network, told AP this is expected to be "the largest quake for now." Brendan Morrow

January 3, 2020

The United States is reportedly set to deploy thousands of additional troops to the Middle East after President Trump authorized a drone strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

About 3,000 more Army troops will be deployed to the Middle East, The Associated Press reports, citing American defense officials. CNN also reports that thousands of troops will be deployed from the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division, which was previously on prepare-to-deploy orders. NBC News' Courtney Kube and The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, are reporting the number of troops that will be deployed is about 3,500.

This comes after Trump ordered a strike that killed Soleimani in a major escalation of tensions with Iran that has drawn condemnation from Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday, "we cannot put the lives of American servicemembers, diplomats and others further at risk by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the strike was necessary to disrupt an "imminent attack" in the region, although The New York Times reports, citing a Defense Department official, that there "was nothing new in the threat presented by the Iranian general."

In response to Friday's news, CBS News' Kathryn Watson observed, "Trump campaigned on staying out of endless wars in the Middle East. He blasted his predecessors for sending U.S. troops there. And here we are." Brendan Morrow

January 2, 2020

General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force and among the country's most powerful figures, was reportedly killed in an American airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday morning. "At the direction of the president, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qassem Soleimani," the Pentagon said, accusing him of "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." The assassination of Soleimani comes after Iran-backed Iraqi militias attacked the American embassy in Baghdad earlier this week to avenge the deaths of several militia members killed in another U.S. airstike. "[B]e prepared for all sorts of Iranian retaliation against U.S. diplomatic and military personnel," Council of Foreign Relations President Richard Haass warned on Twitter shortly after reports of the general's death first emerged. Nico Lauricella

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