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.
Apr 23, 2015

2/2 AG Holder: Loretta Lynch is a gifted attorney, a consummate professional, and a dedicated public servant.

Apr 23, 2015

AG Holder on Loretta Lynch confirmation: "I'm outta here!" Only kidding. Lynch "is a gifted attorney, a consummate professional....

Apr 23, 2015

#WhiteHouse: Only in last several days did intel community determine with 'high degree of confidence' that #WarrenWeinstein died in strike.

Apr 23, 2015

Earnest: US intel concluded with "near certainty" that it was an al Qaeda compound based on 100s of hours of surveillance.

Apr 23, 2015

#AdamGadahn was not specifically targeted. The operation was against an AQ compound, Earnest said.

Apr 23, 2015

#WhiteHouse Press Sec Josh Earnest briefing now on the terror strike that killed two American hostages.

Apr 23, 2015

@ADAWnews They gave it out under embargo so they may have given it to a bunch of people. But we posted just after midnight when embargo lift

Apr 23, 2015

@ADAWnews We had it first, but SAMHSA press release came out at 12:06 a.m.

Apr 23, 2015

American al-Qaeda leaders killed in U.S. counterterror strikes via @usatoday

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