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Daily briefing

Florida

Opera singer accepts insanity plea

FORT LAUDERDALE — The Connecticut opera singer who drew fire from law enforcement when she sped through a checkpoint outside then-President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida two years ago was found not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday. Florida prosecutors and Circuit Judge Scott Suskauer accepted Hannah Roemhild’s plea during a three-

minute hearing with the 32-year-old singer appearing by Zoom from her home state.

Federal prosecutors accepted a similar plea deal in August. Her attorneys have said she has a history of mental illness and had stopped taking her medication before her wild ride through Palm Beach on Jan. 31, 2020. She had been charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing arrest and resisting an officer without violence. Under terms of the agreement, she must undergo psychiatric treatment and counseling and take medications, with monthly blood tests to confirm compliance.

California

Mayor nominates 1st female fire chief

LOS ANGELES — A 22-year Los Angeles Fire Department veteran was nominated Tuesday to become the first woman to lead the department. Deputy Chief Kristin Crowley would become the first female fire chief for the nation’s second-largest city if the nomination by Mayor Eric Garcetti is confirmed by the City Council. Council President Nury Martinez joined the mayor in announcing the selection at a news conference.

“This is a moment for so many little girls across our city … for many of them who think you can’t be what you can’t see,” Martinez said. “And today the picture changes.”

Spain

World’s oldest man dies at 112

MADRID — Saturnino de la Fuente, a Spaniard described by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest man, died Tuesday at the age of 112 years and 341 days, the records agency said. De la Fuente passed away at home in León, a city in northwest Spain, it said.

Guinness World Records named De la Fuente as the world’s oldest man in September, when he was 112 years and 211 days. It said he was born in the Puente Castro neighborhood of León on Feb. 11, 1909. He survived the Spanish flu pandemic that broke out in 1918 and with his wife Antonina had seven daughters and one son, followed by 14 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren, it said.

Russia

COVID-19 isolation time shortened

MOSCOW — Russian authorities are shortening the required isolation period for people infected with COVID-19 from 14 to seven days as the country faces another surge of COVID-19 cases, this time driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. Officials said health officials were “optimizing our approaches to quarantine and testing of our citizens, including shortening the quarantine period to seven days.”

They added that other policy changes will be adopted in the coming days, without elaborating. She also didn’t explain the rationale for cutting the isolation period. Earlier rules required a two-week isolation period for those who test positive, with a mandatory follow-up test on day 11. Russia already has by far Europe’s worst death toll in the pandemic at more than 322,000 deaths by its official tally, a number that other statistics suggest is a significant undercount.

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