A Connecticut jury soon will have the difficult task of coming up with a dollar amount conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay for promoting the idea that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax. That's after watching emotional testimony this week which included the parents of slain children breaking down on the witness stand. A judge last year found Jones and his company liable by default for defaming and inflicting emotional distress on the plaintiffs. They are eight families who lost loved ones in the 2012 massacre and an FBI agent who was among the first responders.

A soldier from Massachusetts who went missing during the Korean war and was later reported to have died in a prisoner of war camp has been accounted for. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says Army Cpl. Joseph J. Puopolo, of East Boston, was just 19 when he was reported missing in December 1950. It was later reported he had died in a prisoner of war camp. Military officials say remains disinterred in 2019 were identified as Puopolo through dental and anthropological analysis, mitochondrial DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence. Puopolo's grandnephew says his family, including the soldier's sister who is now 99 years old, has not forgotten him.

Maine has opted out of a $440 million multistate settlement with electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs in objection to certain conditions. Maine would have received roughly $11 million under the agreement announced Sept. 6 that settled a two-year investigation by 33 states into Juul’s marketing of its high-nicotine vaping products. But Maine was not willing to agree to Juul’s condition that would have barred school districts from suing the company. Attorney General Aaron Frey said in a statement Friday that the state is unwilling to waive the rights of other entities trying to hold Juul accountable for what he called deception. A message was left with Juul.

    WESTERLY — South County Tourism Council is looking for volunteers for the Atlantis RIsing event being held at Misquamicut State Beach from Oct. 7 to 10. The event will feature artists and sand sculptors creating the mythical city of Atlantis from the sand on Misquamicut Beach. There will be …

    Federal prosecutors have agreed to dismiss charges against a Massachusetts judge accused of helping a man who was living in the U.S. illegally evade an immigration enforcement agent. Prosecutors moved to drop the case against Newton District Judge Shelley Joseph after she agreed to refer herself to a state agency that investigates allegations of misconduct by members of the bench. Joseph and a court officer were charged in 2019 with obstruction of justice on allegations that they schemed to let the man sneak out a back door of the courthouse after a hearing on charges that included drug possession.

    A federal judge says Rhode Island’s truck tolling system that took effect in 2018 to fund repairs to the state’s crumbling bridges is unconstitutional and must be ended within 48 hours. The judge in a 91-page decision Wednesday says the tolls are discriminatory and unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. The trucking industry, which had challenged the tolls in court, welcomes the decision. The administration of Gov. Dan McKee says the state is still reviewing the decision and considering its next steps.

    The state of Maine and a fishing group are appealing a federal judge’s decision that new rules intended to protect endangered whales must stand. The judge earlier this month denied a request from fishermen to stop federal regulators from placing the new restrictions on lobster fishing. The rules are intended to protect North Atlantic right whales, which number less than 340. Maine Gov. Janet Mills and the Maine Lobstermen’s Association said this week they’re appealing that decision. Lobstermen have long contended the new rules are based on flawed data and are too punitive to the fishing industry.

    The commission appointed to come up with a new state seal and motto for Massachusetts to replace the current ones that critics decry as racially insensitive to the state’s Indigenous communities has some ideas, but has made no firm decisions. The Special Commission on the Official Seal and Motto of the Commonwealth at its meeting Tuesday also disclosed plans to solicit feedback with a survey and several virtual and in-person public forums. The current seal that appears on state flags, which dates to the late 19th century, features a depiction of a Native American man beneath a colonist’s arm brandishing a sword.

    The year 2022 is shaping up to be a watershed for women seeking political power in Massachusetts. While liberal state has lagged others when it comes to electing women to top offices. But this year Democratic women have won five of six statewide primary contests. They include Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey, who is favored to flip the Republican-held governor’s office in November. If she does, she’ll be the first woman and first openly gay candidate elected governor in Massachusetts. Andrea Campbell is hoping to succeed Healey as attorney general, and she would be the first Black woman to hold that post in the state.

    Federal authorities in Rhode Island say the seizure of more than 660,000 counterfeit Adderall pills containing methamphetamine has led to charges against one man. The U.S. attorney's office says 27-year-old Dylan Rodas has agreed to plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The pills were seized earlier this year and had a street value of about $4.6 million. Officials believe it is the largest seizure of methamphetamine-laced fake Adderall pills in the U.S. The drugs were seized during two court-authorized searches in Cumberland in March. Under a plea agreement, authorities are seeking a 10-year prison sentence for Rodas.

    The world’s first public database of fossil fuel production, reserves and emissions launched Monday. Called The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels, it was developed by the groups Carbon Tracker and the Global Energy Monitor, and contains data on over 50,000 oil, gas and coal fields in 89 countries, covering 75% of global production. It shows that the United States and Russia have enough fossil fuel reserves in the ground to exhaust the world’s remaining carbon budget to stay under 1.5 degrees Celsius warming. And it shows that if burned, the world’s reserves would generate 3.5 trillion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all that's been produced since the Industrial Revolution.

    A New Hampshire lawmaker proposes extending the March deadline to close the state’s troubled youth detention center amid concerns that the current timeline would endanger public safety. Deputy Health Commissioner Lori Weaver says she can't predict what the population at the Sununu Youth Services Center will look like in six months, but if it closed today, there definitely would be an impact. Debate over the center's future began years ago, but has come to a boil amid horrific sexual abuse allegations. Rep. Jess Edwards said he plans to file legislation to extend the closure deadline by three months.

    The sex lives of constipated scorpions, cute ducklings with an innate sense of physics, and a life-size rubber moose may not appear to have much in common, but they all inspired the winners of this year’s Ig Nobels. Those are the parodic award for comical scientific achievement. The 32nd annual Ig Nobel prize ceremony was produced by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine and held Thursday. The winners also included scientists who found that when people on a blind date are attracted to each other their heart rates synchronize, and researchers who studied the baffling language of legal documents.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding a major push to try to store more carbon in New England’s forests. The agency said Wednesday that the New England Climate-Smart Forest Partnership Project will include large commercial producers as well as small woodlot owners with a goal of storing more carbon in forests. The project could receive as much as $30 million. The USDA said the project will seek to “build markets for climate-smart forest products to store carbon in wood products and substitute wood products for fossil fuel-based materials.” The New England Forestry Foundation is serving as the lead partner on the project.

    College photos of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and memorabilia from his girlfriend at the time has sold for $165,000 at auction. Boston-based RR Auction said Thursday it was a collection of never-before-seen photos and memorabilia from Musk’s college girlfriend, Jennifer Gwynne. Musk changed his Twitter profile to one of the photos Wednesday. Gwynne told The Boston Globe she read about an auction of test papers that Musk graded and realized she had far more personal items she could sell, including candid photos, a birthday card from him and a necklace he gave her.

    Law enforcement officials says authorities are examining whether the employee who reported an explosion at Northeastern University may have lied to investigators and staged the incident. One official said investigators identified inconsistencies in the employee’s statement and became skeptical because his injuries didn’t match wounds typically consistent with an explosion. The officials could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. In an interview with The Boston Globe, the employee denied staging the explosion, calling the event “very traumatic.”

    A representative for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars empire has acknowledged on the witness stand that “there were false statements made” about the Sandy Hook school shooting. Brittany Paz testified Wednesday at a Connecticut civil trial involving Jones’ claims that the nation’s deadliest school shooting was a hoax concocted as a pretext to tighten gun regulations. Paz is a lawyer hired by Jones’ defense to testify on the company’s workings. Jones now acknowledges the shooting was real but says his comments were protected free speech. The jury is tasked with determining what Jones has to pay to eight victims’ families and an FBI agent.

    The National Transportation Safety Board says a fishing boat that sank in New England, resulting in the loss of four fishermen, likely capsized because of poor drainage of seawater from the rear deck and hatches that weren’t watertight. The tragedy unfolded as the Portland, Maine-based Emmy Rose was headed to Gloucester, Massachusetts, to offload an estimated 45,000 pounds of fish. It sank early on Nov. 23, 2020. The NTSB renewed its call for personal locator beacons for each crew member, something it first recommended after the loss of the cargo vessel El Faro and 33 sailors in 2015.

    Retired Army Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc has won New Hampshire’s Republican Senate primary and will face potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan in November. That sets up another test of whether a fierce conservative can appeal to more moderate general election voters. Trump didn't formally endorse Bolduc but quickly praised him on Wednesday after he won. Bolduc has said he believes Trump won the 2020 election and he has espoused conspiracy theories about vaccines. Two other pro-Trump candidates won U.S. House primaries in New Hampshire, leaving some in the party questioning whether they will be able to broaden their appeal in November.

    The city of Boston has joined the ranks of other major cities challenging their 2020 census figures. The city claims the once-a-decade U.S. head count which determines political power and federal funding missed university students, the foreign-born and inmates at correctional facilities. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu on Tuesday said the city was challenging the census results through a special program set up by the U.S. Census Bureau for disputes over the numbers of people living in dorms, prisons, nursing homes and other group quarters where unrelated people live together. People living in group quarters were among the hardest populations to count during the tally of U.S. residents.

    Officials say the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education is investigating allegations of antisemitism at the University of Vermont. The complaint filed by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law alleges that some Jewish students at UVM who identify with Israel as the Jewish homeland have been excluded from clubs. The complaint also alleges that a university teaching assistant threatened to reduce the grades of students who expressed support for Zionism, a movement that sees Israel as the homeland for Jewish people. University officials say they are aware of the investigation and they are looking forward to providing the agency with a full response.

      SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Work will begin Tuesday, Sept. 13, at East Matunuck State Beach to add another lane to the entrance and strengthen stormwater controls. The Department of Environmental Management anticipates that the almost-$700,000 project, which is being financed by state capital funds an…

      Some retailers are taking lobster off the menu after an assessment from an influential conservation group that the harvest of the seafood poses too much of a risk to rare whales and should be avoided. Seafood Watch, which rates the sustainability of different seafoods, said this week it has added the American and Canadian lobster fisheries to its “red list” of species to avoid. The organization said in a report that the fishing industry is a danger to North Atlantic right whales. Thousands of companies follow the group's recommendations, and HelloFresh and Blue Apron are among those to say they are no longer selling lobster.

      Finding out that shrinkflation, adorkable, subvariant and even pumpkin spice are now officially in the dictionary might make you exclaim “Yeet!” Publisher Merriam-Webster announced Wednesday that those are five of the 370 words and phrases it added to its dictionary this month. Merriam-Webster’s editor at large Peter Sokolowski says while some of the new additions may provoke debate, words are only added to the dictionary when there is clear and sustained evidence of use. Several words pushed into the public consciousness during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic were also added, including subvariant, booster dose, and emergency use authorization.

      A former state representative endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Geoff Diehl, has won the Republican nomination for Massachusetts governor over a businessman, Chris Doughty, who was considered the more moderate candidate in the race. Diehl will face Democrat Maura Healey, now the state's attorney general. She would be the first openly gay person and the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts if she wins. The state’s current governor, Republican Charlie Baker, decided against seeking a third term. Republican voters made Massachusetts the latest blue state to nominate a Trump loyalist in a high-profile race, potentially dooming the party’s chances of winning in November.

      A panel of federal health advisers has voted to recommend approval for an experimental drug to treat Lou Gehrig’s disease. The ruling Wednesday is a remarkable turnaround for the much-debated medication that was previously rejected by the same group earlier this year. The FDA previously held a meeting in March where the outside experts narrowly sided against Amylyx's drug, saying the company's data was unconvincing. Wednesday's meeting focused on new analyses which the company said strengthened its case for approval. Patients and their families have rallied behind Amylyx’s drug, urging approval.

      The White House says it’s optimistic about a decline in monkeypox cases and an uptick in vaccinations against the infectious virus. Tempering the positive news are worsening racial disparities in reported cases. A White House official is promising to ramp up monkeypox vaccination offerings at LGBTQ Pride festivals around the country. The deputy coordinator of the White House's national monkeypox response, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, said Wednesday that more than 460,000 vaccine doses have been given. But he stopped short of promising to eliminate the virus. Cases among white men have declined significantly in recent weeks, while Black people are making up a growing percentage of infections.

      The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a Vermont nursing home over allegations that it allowed patients to racially abuse Black staff members. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Burlington says the long-term care facility Elderwood at Burlington violated federal law by allowing Black nurses and nurse assistants to be subjected to what the suit describes as ongoing and egregious racial harassment. The suit says that starting in 2020, certain white residents of Elderwood repeatedly directed offensive racial slurs at Elderwood’s Black nurses and nurse assistants. Elderwood said in a statement that it cannot comment on ongoing legal matters, but it “does not tolerate harassment of any kind.”

      The boyfriend of a slain 5-year-old New Hampshire boy’s mother plans to plead guilty to manslaughter. A plea notice filed Friday on behalf of 31-year-old Joseph Stapf also says he plans to plead guilty to second-degree assault, falsifying physical evidence and witness tampering following the death of Elijah Lewis. Elijah’s mother, Danielle Dauphinais, has pleaded not guilty to murder charges. Lewis was missing and later found dead in Abington, Massachusetts, last October. An autopsy showed he suffered facial and scalp injuries, acute fentanyl intoxication, malnourishment and pressure ulcers. Arrest records have been sealed and lawyers are under an order keeping the information confidential.

      Boston University president Robert A. Brown has announced that he will step down at the end of the current academic year. Brown said Wednesday that he plans to take a sabbatical, then return to teaching in the university’s engineering college. He was named president in 2005. During his tenure, the school gained membership into the prestigious Association of American Universities, grew its endowment more than fourfold, and developed new interdisciplinary programs. Brown says he's most proud of making the university more affordable and diverse.

      A two-day rainstorm that dropped more than 11 inches of rain in one Rhode Island community, blocked a major highway, stranded motorists, and forced the shutdown of the state’s largest zoo has fizzled out. A National Weather Service flood watch was canceled for northern parts of the state and parts of neighboring Massachusetts. More than 11 inches of rain had fallen in the city of Cranston by early Tuesday afternoon, while some other areas of the state got around 8 inches of rain. Roger Williams Park Zoo was closed Tuesday so workers could remove fallen trees. No animals were harmed.

      CVS Health will pay about $8 billion to expand into home care, a practice that could cut costs and keep patients happy, provided they get the help they need. The health care giant is buying Signify Health, a technology company that sends doctors or other care providers to patient homes to assess how they are doing and what help they might need. CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch told analysts Tuesday that the deal _ announced late Monday _ is a way for her company to provide more help to patients where and when they want it.

      Electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs will pay nearly $440 million to settle a multi-state investigation into its vaping products, which have long been blamed for sparking a national surge in teen vaping. Connecticut announced the deal Tuesday on behalf of the 33 states plus Puerto Rico. Attorneys general joined together in 2020 to probe Juul’s early promotions and claims about the safety and benefits of its device as a smoking alternative. The settlement resolves one of the biggest legal threats facing the company, which still faces separate lawsuits from other states and individuals. Additionally, federal health regulators are trying to ban the company's products.

      The great red wave is looming. But as the 2022 midterm elections enter a final two-month sprint, leading Republicans fear their party’s advantage may be slipping. That's even as Democrats confront their president’s weak standing, deep voter pessimism and the weight of history. The shifting political landscape follows a string of President Joe Biden’s legislative victories on climate, health care and gun violence, just as Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidates in electoral battlegrounds struggle to broaden their appeal. But nothing has undermined the GOP’s momentum more than the Supreme Court’s decision to end abortion protections, which triggered a backlash even in the reddest of red states over the summer.