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Macklemore recruits 7-year-old daughter Sloane to direct ‘No Bad Days’ music video

(From left) Macklemore and 7-year-old daughter Sloane, who was tapped to direct the rapper's upcoming music video for new song 'No Bad Days.'

There are no bad days in Macklemore’s house.

The rapper shared a video on Instagram on Monday where he’s seen enlisting his 7-year-old daughter Sloane to help direct the music video for his new song “No Bad Days.”

“I’m a little bit nervous asking this, if I’m being honest,” Macklemore said to Sloane, who is seen sitting next to her dad in front of a piece of paper full of doodles at a table.

Macklemore told his daughter that he was so impressed with her “work ethic” when she recently helped him produce his golf apparel line Bogey Boys, adding “I absolutely loved your style.”

He continued to tell her that he’s been trying to think of a music video for his upcoming track “No Bad Days,” which is on his new album “Ben” set to be released on March 3 and said he had a “crazy idea.”

“I need a director and I was thinking, what if you directed the music video?” Macklemore proposed.

Shocked, Sloane giggled and excitedly exclaimed, “That’s a yes!” The dad-and-daughter duo then shared a celebratory embrace as Sloane wiped tears from her eyes and aptly said, “Action!”

This isn’t the first time Macklemore has enlisted his dynamic daughter to weigh in on his work. The rapper shared a video in 2021 in which he played his song “Next Year” for Sloane.

“Not your best but I still love ya,” she opined after listening to the song.

Hopefully, Sloane’s next venture directing her dad’s music video will go over much better.

The Tragic Year That Changed SSSniperWolf Forever

SSSniperWolf posing

Years mean different things to different people. Sure, you might see a bumper sticker slamming 2020 and automatically know that the pandemic made that year much harder on everyone — there are certainly some events that are cultural touchstones we all experience together — but each person’s feelings about a given year ultimately come down to their own personal experience. Everyone has ups and downs during their 365 day trip around the sun, but it really feels like some years are designed to test us more than others. For YouTuber Alia Marie “Lia” Shelesh, aka SSSniperWolf, that year was 2016.

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Late in that year, SSSniperWolf released a video on her channel in which she explained that 2016 was the worst year of her life. It wasn’t because of the polarizing election that took place, nor was it related to anything else that made national headlines. It didn’t have anything to do with the success of her channel, either. In fact, according to Trackalytics, her subscriber count more than doubled that year, going from 2 million to over 4 million. She acknowledged in the video that she knows a lot of people have it way worse than her. Even so, 2016 was just the kind of year where bad things kept piling on — and it changed her forever.

SSSniperWolf’s dog Tuna died
One of the earliest and most difficult things to happen to SSSniperWolf involved her dog Tuna. “She was everything to me,” Shelesh said in the video. “She was like my daughter. She followed me around everywhere … she wasn’t even a year old. She was, like, 11 months when this happened.” SSSniperWolf then went on to recount a night in January where she was sitting on the couch when she heard a loud noise from outside and called her dogs in from the yard. Tuna went straight to her bed and SSSniperWolf noticed that she seemed panicked. She realized Tuna was covered in “thick globs of spit” and had a small cut on her neck.

She then took Tuna into the vet where they told her that Tuna was likely attacked by a coyote who jumped the fence and that Tuna would probably be fine, but that they needed to keep her overnight. “I trusted them. I thought she was going to be okay,” SSSniperWolf said. “And I [saw] her before we left and she seemed fine. She was wagging her tail when she saw me.”

Unfortunately, she woke up to a call letting her know that Tuna’s heart had failed in the night and they needed to resuscitate her. The streamer paid for thousands of dollars in surgeries to try and save her pet, but Tuna ultimately needed to be put to sleep. Shelesh went on to explain that she had never lost anyone close to her before, and that this was her first real encounter with the death of a loved one.

SSSniperWolf was hit by a drunk driver
After the death of her dog, SSSniperWolf stated that something else happened in February, but that she would probably never talk about it in detail. She then explained that she was depressed for a long time, and in the midst of that depression, she was hit by a drunk driver in her brand new car.”It was basically my dream car,” she said. “I was so happy with it. I only had it for a couple of months and then me and [my boyfriend] Sausage wanted to go out for a frozen yogurt after playing ‘Overwatch’ … We were just at a stoplight, looking at his phone, changing the song and then we just feel the car … like a crash out of nowhere.” According to SSSniperWolf, the driver was going around 50-60mph because he was drunk and had fallen asleep with his foot on the gas.

It seems that everyone made it out of the crash without serious injury. Lia stated that the driver went to jail, but that the accident happened in June (six months prior to the recording of her video) and her brand new car was still in the shop.

SSSniperWolf’s house was robbed
Then, SSSniperWolf’s house was robbed while she was in the process of moving. In the video, she explained that she and her mother had packed up all of her belongings and were in the process of moving all of it to her new house. They had taken two carloads of stuff to the new place, but there was still a lot of stuff that still needed to be moved. The plan was to come back and move the rest of it when Lia returned from a week long San Diego Comic Con trip, but she received an email letting her know that someone had broken into her old house and stolen all of her belongings that hadn’t made the move yet. “They stole absolutely everything that we had packed up … all the furniture,” explained SSSniperWolf. “All the kitchen utensils, supplies, appliances – everything.”They didn’t just rob her either. The police told her that these people had been squatting in the house as well. “It’s absolutely disgusting what they did to my house,” she said. “They vandalized it. They, like, broke all the windows. Put, like, sheets all up in them.”

It was lucky that it happened when she was already moving out. Still, she explained, while getting robbed is never easy, the house had been special to her and it was really hard to see it destroyed.

9-year-old playing hide-and-seek survives rare cougar attack in Washington state

Lily  Kryzhanivskyy,  is seen recovering in a Washington hospital after she was attacked by a cougar.  Picured with her is Sgt. Tony Leonetti of the state fish and wildlife department.

(CNN)A 9-year-old girl is recovering at a hospital in Washington state after being attacked by a cougar while playing hide-and-seek outdoors with her friends, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Lily Kryzhanivskyy was attacked Saturday as she jumped out to surprise her friends, the department said in a statement. The children had been attending a camp near Fruitland in northeastern Washington, about 70 miles from Spokane.
Lily was taken to a hospital for treatment, where she is out of the intensive care unit and making an “amazing” recovery, her mother said in the statement
“We are extremely thankful for this little girl’s resiliency and we’re impressed with her spunk, in the face of this unfortunate encounter,” said the wildlife department’s Capt. Mike Sprecher. “It happened fast and we are thankful that the adults at the camp responded so quickly.”
Lily “wants people to know she was ‘very brave and tough’ in the face of the attack,” the statement said.
The young male cougar that attacked Lily has been killed, the statement said, and tests showed the animal
Cougar attacks are rare, with only two fatal attacks having taken place in the state, according to the wildlife department. In 2018, a cougar stalked two mountain bikers in the state’s Cascade Mountains, killing one. Prior to the latest incident, 19 attacks have resulted in injuries to humans in the past 100 years, the department said.
“Wild animals don’t care to be around humans any more than we want to have close encounters with them,” Sprecher said.

A 13-year-old was behind the wheel in Texas crash that killed 9 people and left two University of the Southwest golfers critically injured

A 13-year-old boy drove the pickup truck involved in a fiery head-on collision in Texas that killed nine people, including six University of the Southwest golfers and their coach, a National Transportation Safety Board official said Thursday.

Preliminary information indicates the left front tire of the pickup was a spare that failed, causing the vehicle to pull hard to the left into oncoming traffic of a two-lane roadway, NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said.
Investigators were able to identify the remains of the driver by his size, Landsberg said. Both vehicles were probably moving close to the posted speed limit of 75 mph, he said.
In Texas, a minor can begin the classroom part of a driver education course at 14 but must be at least 15 to apply for a learner license, swarovski jewelry according to the public safety department website.
Henrich Siemens, 38, of Seminole, Texas, was in the truck with the boy, authorities said. He was among the nine people killed in the Tuesday evening crash.
The students are recovering and making steady progress, University of the Southwest Provost Ryan Tipton said Thursday.
“One of the students is eating chicken soup,” Tipton told reporters. “I spoke with the parents and they are there with them and they are recovering every day. It’s a game of inches and every hour leads to them one step closer to another day… There is no indication as to how long it’s going to take but they are both stable and recovering and every day making more and more progress.”
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), a Dodge 2500 pickup drove into the approaching lane of a highway just outside Andrews, Texas, and hit a Ford Transit van carrying members of the New Mexico university’s men’s and women’s golf teams.
DPS Sgt. Steven Blanco said “the Dodge pickup drove into the northbound lane and struck the Ford passenger van head on.”
Six students and a coach in the van were killed as were the driver of the pickup and a passenger. Two other golfers were initially in critical condition at University Medical Center of Lubbock, Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The NTSB dispatched a 12-member team to investigate.
A makeshift memorial was set up at the Rockwind Community Links in Hobbs, New Mexico, Wednesday.
“It was very clearly a high speed, head on collision between two heavy vehicles,” Landsberg told reporters.
Landsberg said in it’s unclear why the full-sized spare blew out before the crash.
“On the highways 100 people (are killed) a day,” he said. “Every two days we are killing the equivalent of a Boeing 737 crashing. Now just think about that. That’s what’s putting this into perspective. And it’s long overdue that we start to do something about it.”
Emergency responders heading to the crash were told by a dispatcher there were two vehicles on fire with people trapped inside, according to recordings on Broadcastify.com, which monitors radio traffic among many emergency departments.
One of the first responders to arrive said: “All units, I’ve got wrecked units on both sides of the highway, fully involved vehicles. I’m still trying to get up on scene and see what we have.”
Members of the men’s and women’s golf teams at the University of Southwest were traveling back to their Hobbs, New Mexico, campus from a tournament in Midland, Texas, school officials said.
The remainder of the red wing shoes two-day tournament, hosted by Midland College, was canceled. There were 11 schools in the competition, which included both men’s and women’s teams, Midland College Athletic Director Forrest Allen said.
The weather in the area of the crash was clear with no fog, CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers said. There were no freezing temperatures, and the wind was light at around 5 to 8 mph.
As investigators worked to determine what caused the deadly collision, the University of the Southwest is dealing with the emotional toll on its community.
“Our institution is crushed and broken but strong,” Paula Smith, the university’s vice president for financial services, said Thursday.
Many students at the small Christian university — with an enrollment of about 1,100 students, including about 300 on campus — will be returning from spring break over the weekend, and the school is planning a memorial assembly for next week, according to Tipton, the provost.
“These aren’t the kind of things that you ever even dream of happening. And they shouldn’t happen,” he said.
Tipton said officials have said they may never know what caused the pickup truck to veer into the van’s path.
“For any of you that have lost a loved one or a member of your family, it’s the same feeling here,” he said. “They’re not only students and coaches. They are loved ones to us. They are members of our family here on campus.”
One victim was Laci Stone, a freshman member of the women’s golf team who was majoring in global business management, according to a family member.
The six USW student athletes killed in a crash Tuesday were identified as (top row, left to right) Laci Stone, Jackson Zinn, Karisa Raines, (bottom row, left to right) Mauricio Sanchez, Travis Garcia and Tiago Sousa.
“Last night Laci’s golf team was involved in a crash leaving a golf tournament. Our sweet Laci didn’t make it.,” Laci’s mother, Chelsi Stone, posted on Facebook. “Our Laci is gone! She has been an absolute ray of sunshine during this short time on earth.”
Laci, 18, of Nocona, Texas, was one of three siblings.
“We will never be the same after this and we just don’t understand how this happened to our amazing, beautiful, smart, joyful girl,” her mother said.
The school identified the other students who died as Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico; Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado; Karisa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; and Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal.
USW President Quint Thurman confirmed the death of coach Tyler James, who was 26.
“Great coach and a wonderful man,” Thurman said in an email. “Don’t make them any better!”
Coach Tyler James.
James’ bio on the school website said he was in his first season as head coach and played golf at Ottawa University and Howard Payne University.
“He always cared for us and made sure we were always doing good on and off the golf course,” said freshman Phillip Lopez, who did not participate in the tournament.
“I just can’t believe that my teammates and my coach are gone,” Lopez told CNN.
Students Dayton Price, 19, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario, were hospitalized. GoFundMe fundraisers were started to help pay for victims’ funeral and medical expenses.

Garland’s first year leading Justice Department clouded by questions of investigating Trump

As Attorney General Merrick Garland completes his first full year in office, what would normally be seen as a banner year of liberal accomplishments has been clouded by the specter of Donald Trump, and the question of whether the former President will be held accountable for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Despite reinvigorating the Justice Department’s civil rights enforcement and reversing a number of Trump-era legal positions, Democrats are increasingly worried that Garland will let the former President go unpunished for fomenting what amounts to an attempted coup that led to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
In the eyes of many Democrats, Garland has oofos shoes over-corrected in his effort to restore norms at the Justice Department after four years of political wars during Trump’s presidency. That caution, they fear, may in the end mean a lack of accountability for the man who busted those norms.
“There is a difference between protecting DOJ political independence and being too scared to do anything that might be perceived as political even if it is the right and necessary thing to do,” Elie Honig, a CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor said.
Pressure to at least examine Trump’s activities is mounting in part due to the work of the House select committee investigating January 6. In a March 2 court filing, the committee accused the former President of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the election.
The committee could make a criminal referral to the DOJ. But many Democrats had hoped the department would act on its own accord. To date, there remains no discernible indication that Garland will formally seek to investigate Trump for his role in inciting the attack.
“From my perspective as a former prosecutor with the Department of Justice, the department shouldn’t be waiting on our committee for any referral,” Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the committee, told CNN. “If the Justice Department believes there is evidence of crime, involving anyone, including the former President, they should be investigating.”
US Attorney General Merrick Garland walks into the hearing room ahead of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on October 27, 2021 in Washington, DC.

The committee’s work has been aided by the Justice Department’s and the Biden White House’s extraordinary decision to share Trump-era documents that normally would be shielded by various executive branch legal privilege claims.
Some Justice Department officials had hoped that providing documents to Congress to shed light on the events surrounding January 6 would relieve pressure on the department.
But the opposite has happened.
“I think that that brief was, in large part, a call to action from Congress to DOJ,” said Honig, referring to the committee’s March 2 court filings, which were submitted in a dispute over the disclosure of a Trump ally’s emails.
In a speech ahead of the anniversary of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Garland broke his relative silence on the matter by seeming to suggest ongoing investigations of attack would spare no one.
“The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law,” he said, temporarily placating critics on the left.
Whether Garland actually meant those words to include Trump is unclear. But so far, none of the telltale signs of an investigation, such as subpoenas or witness interviews, have spilled into public view to indicate that Trump might be a prosecution target.
The Justice Department declined a request to interview the attorney general for this story.
Separately, Justice Department investigators have continued to examine conduct of lawyers connected to Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, who was a ringleader coach outlet in efforts to overturn the election results, and Sidney Powell, whose vote fraud claims eventually grew too bizarre even for Trump.
To be sure, investigative activity could be ongoing behind the scenes that are not public.
“There are things I’d like to see more aggressiveness on,” said Mary McCord, a former DOJ official who served in top positions during the Obama administration. “But I spent enough time in the department to understand why these investigations take time and why really getting back to the core fundamental principles of rule of law are more important.”
In recent weeks, the department has twisted itself in knots to avoid saying whether the FBI and national security prosecutors are examining the handling of classified documents retrieved in boxes of presidential records that Trump took with him to his Florida estate. The FBI routinely conducts so-called spillage reviews when classified information is found to be handled in ways that are out of the norm.
But after the National Archives reached out to the Justice Department to report finding classified information in boxes taken to Mar-a-Lago, Garland has only said the department is dealing with the issue and will “look at the facts and the law and take it from there.”

Progressive accomplishments

In many ways, Garland has had the kind of year that progressives would normally be applauding.
He has stepped up the Justice Department’s civil rights enforcement, overseeing successful prosecutions in two notorious killings of Black men and opening investigations into alleged abuses in police departments. He is suing the states of Georgia and Texas over new voting laws that the department says are discriminatory. And he has imposed a moratorium on federal executions, after his predecessor carried out more than a dozen death sentences.
The Justice Department’s civil rights activities have been a centerpiece of Garland’s tenure, in keeping with his promise when he was confirmed by the Senate. He tearfully invoked at his confirmation hearing last year the experience of his grandparents fleeing antisemitic pogroms in Europe in the 1900s, as a cause for his focus on civil rights today.
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He also choked back tears last month when asked about the family of Ahmaud Arbery, who was murdered by White men while going for a run in a south Georgia town.
Garland expressed similar emotion recently in a call with the brother and nephew of George Floyd after ex-cops were found guilty of violating Floyd’s civil rights following a trial in Minnesota, according to a person briefed on the matter and Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump.
It was the second time Garland had called the family members, after reaching out following the state trial months earlier.
“It has been proof that the Department of Justice in this administration is taking these matters much more seriously than the previous administration,” Crump told CNN, adding: “By their actions not just their words.”

Liberal frustration

Not all liberal activists are pleased with the Garland record, however.
In recent months, civil rights activists published a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post calling for the department to step up its oversight of alleged police abuses, in this case of the police department in Kansas City, Kan.
Merrick Garland

Garland has announced investigations of alleged abusive policing in Louisville, Minneapolis and Phoenix. But activists have chafed at what they believe has been a slow response to calls for more so-called pattern-and-practice investigations.
Garland remains unbowed by the criticism.
“There will be people from the Democratic Party who disagree with my determinations and there will be people from the Republican Party who will disagree with my determinations,” he told a House hearing last October when asked about some of the department’s actions in court. “That comes with the territory.”
After months of internal angst, Garland signed off on seditious conspiracy charges in January against a group of right-wing extremists accused in the sacking of the Capitol on January 6. Some prosecutors had sought to bring the charges eight months earlier, but Garland made them do more work before he thought the case was ready, according to people briefed on the matter.
Oath Keeper pleads guilty to seditious conspiracy and will cooperate with Justice Department
He also signed off on contempt of Congress charges against Steve Bannon, former Trump adviser, who had thumbed his nose at the January 6 committee’s subpoena.
Both decisions came after some doubt over whether Garland would sign off.
The House committee has been waiting more than two months for the Justice Department to act on a similar referral seeking contempt charges against Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff. Compared to the Bannon case, the department faces a tougher legal analysis on Meadows because of his role as close adviser to the former President, Justice officials believe.
“With respect to higher-level people, people within swarovski jewelry former President’s orbit and the former President, there’s going to be a lot of caution exercised before bringing any case, and I can’t say whether a case ever will or will not be brought against any of those folks,” said McCord, who is now the executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.
“You really want to be darn sure that you’re going to succeed in that, because failure could actually be more harmful to the country than not bringing a case at all.”

Political targets beyond Trump

Garland’s effort to distance himself and the Justice Department from politics can only go so far, given the political nature of many of the matters that are coming his way in his second year and beyond.
Prosecutors in the Delaware US Attorney’s Office continue to investigate Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, a probe that at least initially centered on possible tax violations, but that based on investigators’ questions to witnesses includes a broad examination of the junior Biden’s business activities, according to people briefed on the requests made of witnesses.
Hunter Biden has denied wrongdoing and the President has said he expects the Justice Department to act independently.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is under investigation for possible sex trafficking and the Justice Department faces a looming deadline to bring charges to avoid interfering with Gaetz’s reelection campaign under Justice Department policy. Gaetz, a close ally of Trump, has denied wrongdoing and has accused the Justice Department of carrying out a political vendetta against him. The Gaetz probe began during the Trump administration.
Florida radio host cooperates in federal investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz, attorney tells CNN
The Giuliani probe, begun during the Trump era, has been slowed by legal wrangling over evidence seized early in the Biden administration. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are still receiving batches of evidence from a neutral lawyer appointed by a judge, a process set up to protect attorney-client information.
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday filed racketeering and bribery charges against Michael Madigan, the Democratic former Illinois state House speaker. And public corruption prosecutors are investigating Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, CNN has previously reported.
And then there’s the ongoing investigation by special C=counsel John Durham of the 2016 Trump-Russia investigation. Appointed by former Attorney General William Barr, Durham has now spent more time reviewing the Russia probe than special counsel Robert Mueller spent on his Russia investigation.
Durham has brought false statements charges against two people and has used his court filings to portray the FBI’s work investigating the Trump campaign as the product of a dirty political hit job carried out by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
While Durham didn’t deliver a report before the 2020 campaign as Trump had openly urged him to, Durham’s investigation has continued to deliver fodder for the aggrieved former President to claim he was a victim not only in his 2020 loss, but also in the 2016 campaign he won.
As much as staying the course of some Trump-era decisions may upset the left, Justice Department leaders must also keep in mind maintaining the long-term credibility of the court, according to Garland’s defenders, particularly when there’s no a clear legal rationale for changing directions.
“When the Department of Justice just swings wildly from administration to administration — it doesn’t have any consistency and coherency in the way that it approaches cases, criminal and civil — I think that just destroys any confidence that the department is actually exercising good judgment and discretion within the rule of law,” McCord said.

Police chief reveals how 6-year-old girl was found alive under staircase two years after she was reported missing

A child who was reported missing in 2019 when she was 4 years old was found hidden under a wooden staircase with her noncustodial mother, in a home officials had visited several times while investigating her disappearance, authorities said.

The child, Paislee Joann Shultis, now 6, was reported missing on July 13, 2019, from Cayuga Heights, a village on the outskirts of Ithaca, New York. At the time, she was believed to have been abducted by her noncustodial parents, Kimberly Cooper and Kirk Shultis Jr., police said in a news release.
Paislee and her mother were found Monday when investigators spotted “a pair of tiny feet” in a secret space under wooden steps leading to a basement.
“We should all wait until the facts come out,” said Carol K. Morgan, who represents Cooper. “Everyone should be patient before they draw their own conclusions.”
In the basement of the hoka shoes for women house, detectives searching for the girl found an apartment, including a bedroom with Paislee’s name on a wall, Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra told CNN on Wednesday. The bed appeared to have been slept in.
“Our officers asked, ‘Is she here?’ … And they denied that anybody was living in that house, in that particular room,” the chief said in an interview. “They said they had set the room up like that in the event that Paislee should ever return.”
Paislee Joann Shultis in a photo released by the Saugerties Police Department.

Throughout the 2.5-year investigation, authorities received several tips about the Saugerties-area home where the child was eventually located — but each time, the residents denied knowing anything about the girl’s whereabouts, the release said. Saugerties is about 160 miles east of Cayuga Heights.
“The quick answer: That’s our criminal justice system,” Sinagra said of his department’s inability to find the girl earlier, adding that Monday was the first time officers were able to obtain factual information — not hearsay — and secure a search warrant.
Sinagra said the homeowners were always “adversarial” with the officers, accusing police of “harassing” and “badgering” them and “insisting we should be out looking for Paislee.”
Sinagra told CNN on Wednesday that officers previously had been in the home roughly a dozen times but were not allowed in the basement or bedroom areas.
“We’re bothered by the fact that this went on for two years,” the hoka shoes chief said. “They lied to us for two years — including the father stating that he had no idea where his daughter was.”
On several occasions, investigators were allowed into the home without a warrant, but they were given “limited access” by Kirk Shultis Jr. and Kirk Shultis Sr., police said in the news release.
That changed Monday when police received information the child was being hidden and got a warrant for the home.
Officers arrived outside the house about 4 p.m to ensure that no one left. Police then executed the warrant a little after 8 p.m., the chief said. The homeowner denied knowing the girl’s whereabouts, saying he had not seen her since she was reported missing in 2019.
Police said the secret location underneath the stairs to the basement appeared to have been built to hide the girl.

4,500 year-old avenues lined with ancient tombs discovered in Saudi Arabia

Archaeologists have discovered a 4,500-year-old highway network in Saudi Arabia lined with well-preserved ancient tombs.
Researchers from the University of Western Australia have carried out a wide-ranging investigation over the past year, involving aerial surveys conducted by helicopter, ground survey and excavation and examination of satellite imagery.
In findings published in the Holocene journal in December, they said the “funerary avenues” spanning large distances in the northwestern Arabian counties of Al-‘Ula and Khaybar had received little examination until quite recently.
A dense "funerary avenue" flanked by Bronze Age tombs, leading out of Khaybar Oasis in northwest Saudi Arabia.
A dense “funerary avenue” flanked by Bronze Age tombs, leading out of Khaybar Oasis in northwest Saudi Arabia.
“The people who live in these areas have known about them for thousands of years,” researcher Matthew Dalton hey dude told CNN. “But I think it wasn’t really known until until we got satellite imagery that just how widespread they are.”
Dalton said the funerary avenues, which he had seen from a helicopter, stretched for hundreds, “maybe even thousands of kilometers” and that the same routes were often followed by those traveling along the main roads of today.
“Often you’ll find main roads tend to follow the same routes as the avenues because they tend to be the shortest route between between the two places they’re going to,” Dalton said. “And actually, in some cases, the the tombs themselves are so dense that you can’t help but walk on the ancient route itself, because you’re sort of hemmed in by the tombs.”
A 3rd millennium BC pendant burial on the southern edge of the Khaybar Oasis in northwest Saudi Arabia.
A 3rd millennium BC pendant burial on the southern edge of the Khaybar Oasis in northwest Saudi Arabia.
The tombs themselves are mostly either pendant-shaped or ring burials. Ring tombs involve a cairn surrounded by a wall of up to two meters in height, while pendant tombs have “beautiful tails.”
Using radiocarbon dating, the researchers determined that a concentrated group of samples dated back to between 2600 and 2000 BC, although the tombs continued to be reused until around 1,000 years ago.
“These tombs are 4,500 years old, and they’re still standing to their original height, which is really unheard of,” researcher Melissa Kennedy told CNN. “So I think that’s what particularly marks Saudi Arabia out from the rest of the region — just the level of preservation is unbelievable.”
Kennedy believes either single individuals or small groups were buried in the tombs, and the team have observed around 18,000 tombs along the funerary avenues while 80 of those have been sampled or excavated for research.
An infilled ringed cairn from the Khaybar Oasis in northwest Saudi Arabia.
An infilled ringed cairn from the Khaybar Oasis in northwest Saudi Arabia.
The researchers think the use of the routes long preceded the tombs, and are still not sure exactly why the tombs were built along the route — although Kennedy pointed to similar customs linked to land ownership in red wing boots Greece and Rome in later history.
“A way of showing ownership perhaps, could be one reason the tombs were built,” Dalton said. “And there may be an element of, you bury your nearest and dearest alongside the route, because you’ll be passing them frequently, and you have a place to remember them.”
A dense "funerary avenue" flanked by Bronze Age tombs, leading out of al Wadi Oasis near Khaybar in northwest Saudi Arabia.
A dense “funerary avenue” flanked by Bronze Age tombs, leading out of al Wadi Oasis near Khaybar in northwest Saudi Arabia.
The next step for the team will be to do more radiocarbon dating and go back out on the field, before analyzing their data. And more discoveries are likely to follow, with Dalton saying the avenues may even stretch across into Yemen, especially as similar tombs are found in both that country and northern Syria.
“The third millennium is such an important period of time,” Kennedy said. “It’s when the Pyramids are built. And it’s where lots of different cultures are interacting with each other for the first time on a wide scale. So to see the appearance of this monumental funerary landscape in this period is really exciting. And huge new avenues of research to basically follow.”

5 science-based strategies for nailing your New Year’s resolutions

Kick off the new year by setting a goal that's "concrete and bite-size" to make it doable, behavioral scientist Katy Milkman advises.

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Bouncy castle tragedy claims sixth child after 11-year-old boy dies in hospital

A sixth child has died in hospital after a bouncy castle was lifted into the air at a school event in Australia late last week, police said Sunday.

The 11-year-old boy, Chace Harrison, “passed away in hospital this afternoon,” Tasmania Police Commissioner, Darren Hine, said in a statement.
“Our thoughts continue to be with his family, and the families and loved ones of all the children involved, during what is an incomprehensibly difficult time,” Hine added.
The boy was one of nine children who fell 32 feet (10 meters) from a bouncy castle that was lifted by wind during an end-of-year event at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, on the northern coast of the state of Tasmania.
In total, six children died in the tragedy. Two children remain in critical condition in hospital, while another is recovering at home, police added.
Police previously released the names and images of the five other victims, with the permission of their families. They are Addison Stewart, 11, and Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, Jye Sheehan, Peter Dodt and Zane Mellor, who were 12.
The six victims, from top left: Addison Stewart, Chace Harrison, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones. From bottom left:  Jye Sheehan, Peter Dodt and Zane Mellor.

An investigation is underway into what caused the tragedy, including the strength of the wind at the time and how the castle had been tethered to the ground.
Commissioner Hine said the Devonport Criminal Investigation Branch’s priority will be to “interview all witnesses, gather and analyze forensic evidence and all environmental aspects, including weather patterns and conditions at the time of the incident.”
“Given the magnitude of this critical incident and the need to speak to a large number of traumatized children within a short period of time, we have accepted an offer from NSW Police to assist in conducting interviews in relation to the investigation,” Hine added of assistance from the larger New South Wales state force.
The bouncy castle was one of a number of treats organized for students as part of the “Big Day In,” according to the school’s Facebook page. Other activities included a Water Play Zone and Zorb balls.
Hine said “close to 40” children were taking part in the activities when a wind gust lifted the castle off the ground. Several adults were supervising the event and provided first aid until emergency services arrived, he added.
The incident has rocked the nation, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison telling reporters shortly after that it was “just unthinkably heartbreaking.”