USA Today crime, disaster, breaking news reporter, past president of National Press Club, traveler, weekend Betty Crocker, wine lover. (RTs not endorsements)

Sydney hostage-taker had many run-ins with police — Police identified the gunman who held several hostages in a Sydney, Australia, cafe as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian native, with a long list of run-ins with authorities that include dozens of alleged sexual assaults on women stemming from his services as spiritual healer.

Sheriff: Grandfather killed 6 grandkids, daughter, self — A grandfather in Bell, Fla., fatally shot his daughter and her six children before killing himself, an official in Gilchrist County, Fla., said during a press conference Thursday night. Don Charles Spirit, 51, of Bell, a small community southeast of Tallahassee, contacted officials via 911 and said he was considering doing harm to himself and others.

Orcas and trainers under OSHA scrutiny — By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY Killer whale trainer Ken Peters dived toward the bottom of the pool to prepare for the climax of SeaWorld's Believe show. Kasatka, a 7,000-pound, 17-foot killer whale, would breach the surface, propelling Peters - SeaWorld San Diego's most experienced orca trainer - into the air.

Trainers attacked: Deaths, close calls at animal parks — By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY Wild animals at the nation's sea mammal and animal parks, such as SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Six Flags, have killed three people in the past decade and injured at least 16, according to a USA TODAY review.

Calling all carnivores: Tickets available for Angus Beef and Duckhorn wine dinner Tuesday, June 17 — Enjoy top Certified Angus beef, Duckhorn wines and other delectable treats at the 2nd annual Certified Angus Beef Dinner at the Fourth Estate on Tuesday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. The over-the-top menu includes five courses and a cocktail meet-and-greet with hors d'oeuvres. A single seat costs $80 for members and $90 for non-members.

First confusion, then chaos inside Building 197 — WASHINGTON - Far from the crowds of tourists at the Lincoln Memorial and the busy operatives on Capitol Hill, hundreds of workers headed to their jobs at the Navy Yard on an overcast Monday morning.

Thousands celebrate the 'Dream,' call for renewed fight — WASHINGTON - As she inched toward the security checkpoint that would allow her to bask in the words of three presidents Wednesday afternoon, Toni Asante Lightfoot said, "It could be much worse."

Feds to fireworks sellers: watch out for suspicious buyers — A federal task force says that fireworks sellers should keep a close eye out for suspicious people buying fireworks A fireworks show in Detroit in 2011. (Photo: David Guralnick, AP) As the frenzy for fireworks peaks in the run up to Independence Day, a federal task force is warning fireworks retailers to keep watch for suspicious purchasers.

Ariel Castro faces 329 charges for rape, kidnapping — Ariel Castro is currently in Cuyahoga County Jail on charges of kidnapping and raping Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. (Photo: Cuyahoga County Jail via AP) A grand jury charged Ariel Castro, 52, of Cleveland, with the kidnapping and rape of three women held captive for nearly 10 years.
Jan 26, 2015

@united and 25 Jan UA937 Zurich to IAD Seat 35C. Reading light, armrest controls, entertainment screen all broken.

Jan 26, 2015

@united Sure. Broken seat on two flights: 18 Jan UA 936 IAD to Zurich, seat 30C. Broken light, screen, armrest controls. (1 of 2)

Jan 26, 2015

Airlines preemptively cancel 3,500 flights ahead of Monday storm @usatoday #NEblizzard

Jan 26, 2015

RT @carrieffisher: My mom is trending! Now if I could just explain it to her. I've gotten across that it's a great thing. ♥ from #DebbieReynolds

Jan 25, 2015

@United, fix your planes! 2nd international flight this week without a reading light or in-flight screen.

Jan 25, 2015

@united Now beginning my second hour in line. This is a problem.

Jan 25, 2015

So much for Swiss efficiency. Stuck in a non-moving line @united in Zurich airport.

Jan 23, 2015

The last beer before heaven. #WEF15 #Davos @usatoday @kimhjelmgaard @davecallaway

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