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Chronicle briefs for Nov. 16

Nov. 16, 2022 Updated Wed., Nov. 16, 2022 at 4:40 p.m.

McConnell brushes off Senate GOP leadership challenge

WASHINGTON – Mitch McConnell fended off a challenge to his leadership of Senate Republicans on Wednesday, beating back a long-shot provocation from Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who commanded the party’s campaign committee this cycle.

McConnell was re-elected Republican leader by a majority of his 49 colleagues after a failed attempt by a group of senators to delay the vote until after Georgia’s Senate runoff election on Dec. 6.

The motion to delay the vote for Republican leader gained just 16 votes; Scott’s bid against McConnell netted even fewer votes, just 10.

Wrong-way car injures 25 L.A. County sheriff’s recruits

LOS ANGELES – Five Los Angeles County sheriff’s recruits were critically injured Wednesday morning when a driver plowed into a large group during a run in Whittier, authorities said.

The crash occurred near the sheriff’s training academy, near Mills Avenue and Trumball Street, Deputy David Yoo said. The recruits were members of the STARS Explorer Academy.

Dispatchers received a call at 6:26 a.m. about a crash involving pedestrians, Deputy Brenda Serna said.

Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Sheila Kelliher initially said 22 recruits were injured while out running when the crash occurred. It was not immediately clear how many were directly struck by the vehicle. Five were in critical condition.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva latersaid during a news conference in Orange County that 25 recruits were injured. He said that one of the critical patients “is currently on a ventilator.”

“We have had some loss of limb,” he added.

“It looked like an airplane wreck,” Villanueva said. “There was so many bodies scattered everywhere in different states of injury that it was pretty traumatic for all individuals involved.”

virginia football player shot as he slept, prosecutor says

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A witness told police that the 22-year-old University of Virginia student accused of fatally shooting three football players and wounding two others on campus seemed to be aiming at particular people – rather than firing randomly – and shot one of the players as he slept, a prosecutor said in court Wednesday.

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley offered the new details of the shooting at a court appearance for Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., who is facing second-degree murder charges for the slayings of Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry. Jones was ordered was held without bond until his next hearing, which is scheduled for December 8.

The hearing was the first time Jones had been seen in public since authorities say he opened fire on his schoolmates Sunday evening, as they arrived on campus after returning from a trip to see a play about Emmett Till in Washington, D.C. Police arrested him the next morning about 80 miles away from the school, ending a 12-hour manhunt that shut down Charlottesville and had students barricading their doors with dorm furniture and making self-defense weapons out of Van Gogh prints.

U.S. officials seize arms bound for Turks and Caicos

Several shipments of illegal firearms and ammunition bound for the Turks and Caicos Islands have been seized by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection agents, officials in the sun-swept Caribbean territory said Tuesday.

Along with the weapons, U.S. federal agents have also arrested several suspects, the British territory’s government said in a release.

“This is an important development in our joint fight to protect the borders of the Turks and Caicos Islands from illegal shipments of firearms and ammunition,” said Turks and Caicos Minister of Immigration and Border Services Arlington Musgrove.

A tiny archipelago with fewer than 40,000 residents, the Turks and Caicos has been struggling with a surge in homicides amid drug and gang-related violence in recent months. The murder count is at least 32 so far this year, based on local media reports, which exceeds the record set in 2020 when the year ended with 22 homicides.

Ivanka Trump says she won’t be part of father’s campaign

Ivanka Trump, daughter of former president Donald Trump, said she would be stepping away from politics and sitting out her father’s presidential campaign this time round, after he declared his intention to seek another stint in the White House in 2024.

Ivanka, 41, was not present at the Tuesday night event at Trump’s Florida-based Mar-a-Lago Club, where he threw his hat back into the ring.

“I love my father very much,” Ivanka wrote on Instagram. “This time around I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family.

“I do not plan to be involved in politics,” she continued. “While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena.”

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