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The Mexican army’s role in the disappearance of 43 college students and its alleged links to organized crime are now at the center of a case that has shaken the nation. The government’s Truth Commission has declared the 2014 episode a “state crime.” Three members of the military and a former federal attorney general have been arrested in the case. Few now believe the government’s initial claim putting all blame on a drug gang and allied local officials for killing the students, then burning their bodies. A recent report indicates collaboration between a drug cartel and an officer and that some of the students’ bodies were taken to a local army base.

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Prosecutors in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz are about to begin their rebuttal case. They are expected to present expert witnesses who will testify starting Tuesday that Cruz is a sociopath and fully responsible for his murder of 17 people at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. They are trying to counter defense testimony that said Cruz's birth mother drank heavily during pregnancy, damaging his brain. Cruz pleaded guilty last year to murder. The trial is only to determine if the 24-year-old is sentenced to death or life without the possibility of parole. The rebuttal case could take up to two weeks.

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After bashing the proceedings on his web show, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has made his first appearance outside a courthouse in Connecticut where a jury will determine how much damages he should pay for telling his audience the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. Jones showed up and made comments outside, but left a short time later, indicating he wouldn't be testifying Tuesday. Jones has criticized the proceedings from his Infowars studio in Austin, Texas, calling it a “show trial.” He has already been found liable for damages and the trial is to decide how much he must pay eight families and an FBI agent who responded to the massacre.

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz is shown at the defense table after the defense team announced their intention to rest their case during the penalty phase of Cruz's trial at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. Cruz previously plead guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP, Pool)

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz is shown at the defense table just before his defense team announced their intention to rest their case during the penalty phase of Cruz's trial at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. Cruz previously plead guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP, Pool)

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An Associated Press analysis found many U.S. states barely use “red flag” laws that allow police to take guns away from people threatening to kill, a trend blamed on lack of awareness of the laws and a reluctance to enforce them even as gun deaths soar. The AP found the 19 states and the District of Columbia that have such laws used them 15,049 times since 2020, fewer than 10 per 100,000 adult residents. Experts called that woefully low and not nearly enough to make a dent in gun violence, considering the millions of firearms in circulation across the country.

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A judge ruled that the jury for school shooter Nikolas Cruz can see the swastikas he drew on class assignments. Cruz's attorneys argued Thursday the Nazi symbols should not be presented because they would unfairly anger the jury and there's no evidence he targeted any of his 17 victims because of their race or religion. Judge Elizabeth Scherer rejected the argument. She pointed out that there were other equally offensive words and drawings they were not trying to block, such as an extremely offensive slur used against Black people. Cruz pleaded guilty to the 2018 killings at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The trial is to decide whether he's sentenced to death or life without parole.

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EDS NOTE: OBSCENITY - Judge Elizabeth Scherer holds up documents as she considers arguments from the defense that the jury should be prevented from seeing the swastikas on the pages (circled in red) during the penalty phase of the trial of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. Cruz previously pleaded guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

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EDS NOTE: OBSCENITY - Judge Elizabeth Scherer holds up documents as she considers arguments from the defense that the jury should be prevented from seeing the portions of the page circled in red, during the penalty phase of the trial of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. Cruz previously pleaded guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz is shown at the defense table during the penalty phase of Cruz's trial at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. Cruz previously plead guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP, Pool)