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What to Know

  • A limousine carrying four sisters, other relatives and friends to a birthday crashed in upstate New York, killing 20 people, officials say[hhmc]

  • Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore were suspicious therapy dogs might pose an infection risk to patients with weakened immune[hhmc]

  • Taylor Swift says she's voting for Tennessee's Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, breaking her refusal to discuss anything politics[hhmc]

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Limo on Way to Party Blows Stop Sign in NY; 20 Killed, Officials Say

A limousine carrying four sisters, other relatives and friends to a birthday celebration blew through a stop sign and slammed into a parked SUV outside a store in upstate New York, killing all 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians, officials and victims' relatives say. The weekend crash was the deadliest U.S. transportation accident in nearly a decade, authorities said. The crash turned a relaxed Saturday afternoon to horror at a rural spot popular with tourists viewing the region's fall foliage. Relatives said the limousine was carrying the sisters and their friends to a 30th birthday celebration for the youngest. A woman said three of the sisters were with their husbands and she identified them as Amy and Axel Steenburg, Abigail and Adam Jackson, Mary and Rob Dyson and Allison King. It went across the road and hit an unoccupied SUV parked at the Apple Barrel Country Store, killing the limousine driver, the 17 passengers, and two people outside the vehicle.

Kavanaugh Impartiality to Be Tested in Blue State Lawsuits

Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court has put a spotlight on the dozens of federal cases pitting the Trump administration against Democratic-leaning states, on issues including auto emission standards, immigration and a free-flowing internet. He lashed out against "left-wing opposition groups" and others during the recent Senate hearing over a high school-era sexual assault allegation, raising questions about whether he can be impartial deciding cases that revolve around Democratic policies or that directly involve Democratic officials. Kavanaugh already was known as a conservative judge. But his partisan rhetoric created new worries for some who will bring or support cases that eventually could come before the nation's highest court.

Therapy Dogs Can Spread Superbugs to Kids, Hospital Finds

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Therapy dogs can bring more than joy and comfort to hospitalized kids. They can also bring stubborn germs. Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore were suspicious that the dogs might pose an infection risk to patients with weakened immune systems. So they conducted some tests when Pippi, Poppy, Badger and Winnie visited 45 children getting cancer treatment. They discovered that kids who spent more time with the dogs had a 6 times greater chance of coming away with superbug bacteria than kids who spent less time with the animals. But the study also found that washing the dogs before visits and using special wipes while they're in the hospital took away the risk of spreading that bacteria. One U.S. health official said the findings add to the growing understanding that while interactions with pets and therapy animals can be beneficial, they can also carry risk.

Taylor Swift Breaks Political Silence, Backs Tennessee Dems

Music superstar Taylor Swift says she's voting for Tennessee's Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, breaking her long-standing refusal to discuss anything politics. Swift posted on Instagram acknowledging she's previously shied from voicing her political opinions. But she says several personal and public events over the past two years have prompted her to speak out. Swift has faced criticism for not speaking about political issues despite having a global platform. The pop star — a Tennessee native — slammed Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn in her lengthy post, writing the Republican candidate's voting record "terrifies me." Swift says she's voting for Bredesen for Senate and Democrat Jim Cooper for the House.

Comedian Katt Williams Jailed on Assault Charges in Oregon

Comedian Katt Williams has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a hired driver during an argument about taking him and his dog from the Portland, Oregon, airport to a performance in the city. He had come to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon's "Wild 'N Out" comedy improv show. Port of Portland police say the town car driver had swelling and cuts on his face. The 47-year-old Williams left in another vehicle and was arrested. Williams has been charged with assault in the fourth degree. An arraignment is scheduled for Monday. He also was arrested for an out-of-state warrant. A publicist for Williams, whose comedy specials have appeared on HBO and Netflix, didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Jail officials didn't know if he had an attorney.

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