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16 USPS workers sentenced for taking bribes to deliver cocaine on their routes:

Sixteen US Postal Service workers got sentences of between three to nine years in federal prison for accepting bribes to deliver cocaine on their routes in Atlanta.

Drug traffickers bribed the postal workers, sometimes with amounts as low as $250, to deliver drugs to designated addresses, the US Attorney’s Office said in a statement this week.

“US Postal Service workers are typically valuable members of the community, entrusted to deliver the mail every day to our homes,” US Attorney Byung J. Pak said. “This important operation identified and prosecuted 16 corrupt individuals who chose to abuse that trust and instead used their positions to bring what they thought were large amounts of dangerous drugs into those same communities for a

Drug overdoses, suicides cause drop in 2017 US life expectancy; CDC director calls it a ‘wakeup call’:

Life expectancy in the United States declined from 2016 to 2017, yet the 10 leading causes of death remained the same, according to three government reports released Thursday. Increasing deaths due to drug overdoses and suicides explain this slight downtick in life expectancy, the US Centers for Disease Control says.

Overdose deaths reached a new high in 2017, topping 70,000, while the suicide rate increased by 3.7%, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports.
Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC director, called the trend tragic and troubling. “Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” he wrote in a statement.

Body found in search believed to be missing North Carolina teen Hania Aguilar:

Police say a body found in North Carolina has been preliminarily identified as 13-year-old Hania Aguilar, who was abducted outside her home three weeks ago.

“We are absolutely devastated. I wish we had a different outcome for Hania’s family, for the community, and for the hundreds of law enforcement officers and searchers who put everything they had into finding her alive,” said Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill in a statement.
Hania was taken outside her home in Lumberton on the morning of November 5, authorities said. The body was found Tuesday in water off Wire Grass Road in Robeson County, McNeill said. The final confirmation will be made using dental records.
“We believe we found Hania, but our work is far from over. We have to find out how she died and who did this to her. We have to bring the person responsible to justice,” FBI Supervisory Resident Agent Andy de la Rocha said.

‘Roma’ leads streaming push into Oscar race:

Netflix desperately wants to make its mark on the Oscar race, and in Alfonso Cuaron’s autobiographical “Roma,” it has its strongest contender yet. Yet the streaming service — having roiled the TV business — appears determined to storm the movie-awards competition in similar fashion, which means breaking rules and operating very much on its own terms.

Tellingly, two of the year’s best films, “Roma” and “Cold War,” come from Netflix and streaming rival Amazon. Moreover, the two have a great deal in common: Both are foreign-language period pieces set outside the US, which were shot in black and white, reflecting the latitude that comes with being relatively unfettered by traditional financial considerations.

Trump’s aggressive bid to define Mueller’s end game:

President Donald Trump is sending an unmistakable and daringly public message to his jailed ex-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, that his defiance of special counsel Robert Mueller could eventually see him walk free from jail.

And Trump’s move — delivered in an interview with the New York Post on Wednesday — is more than just an effort to show mercy to a former associate. It is the latest sign of an increasingly aggressive effort to define the end game of the investigation with what looks more and more like an effort to use his presidential power to protect himself.
Trump’s latest maneuvering came amid indications that Mueller’s team, after a hiatus in midterm election season, is accelerating toward a pivotal moment in an investigation that has cast a cloud over Trump’s presidency.

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