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Kidnapped California family, including baby, found dead

The sheriff of Merced County in California says a baby girl and three other family members who were kidnapped at gunpoint from their business two days ago have been found dead. Sheriff Vern Warnke announced Wednesday that the bodies were found in a Merced County orchard and told reporters: “Our worst fears have been confirmed.” The announcement came after authorities released surveillance video of a man kidnapping 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents and uncle from their business Monday in Merced in the San Joaquin Valley southeast of San Francisco. Authorities earlier said the four were taken by a convicted robber who tried to kill himself a day after the kidnappings. The kidnapper made no ransom demands but the sheriff has said he believes it was a financially motivated crime.

At least 66 US clinics have halted abortions, institute says

At least 66 clinics have stopped providing abortions in 15 states since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. That's according to a Guttmacher Institute analysis released Thursday. The institute is a research group that supports abortion rights.  The analysis examines the impact of state laws on access to abortion in the 100 days since that landmark decision on June 24.  As of October 2, there were no providers offering abortions in 14 of these 15 states. The number of clinics providing abortions in the 15 states dropped from 79 to 13.

Former Uber security chief guilty of data breach coverup

The former chief security officer for Uber has been convicted of trying to cover up a 2016 data breach in which hackers accessed millions of customer records from the ride-hailing service. Authorities say Joseph Sullivan was convicted Wednesday in San Francisco of federal charges for concealing the breach, in which hackers stole data on 57 million users and 600,000 driver's license numbers. Prosecutors say Sullivan concealed the breach from the Federal Trade Commission and secretly paid the hackers $100,000 in return for promising not to release the data. Uber's new management uncovered the truth in 2017 and made the breach public. The hackers pleaded guilty in 2019 to computer fraud conspiracy charges and are awaiting sentencing.

Revised ‘Dreamers’ program to get another review by court

A federal appeals court has ordered a lower court to review an Obama-era program preventing the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the United States as children. A Texas-based federal judge last year declared that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was illegal. But he left the program temporarily intact for those already benefiting from it, pending the appeal. Wednesday's appellate ruling in New Orleans upholds the judge's initial finding. But it sends the case back to him for a look at a new version of the rule issued by the Biden administration in late August.

EXPLAINER: What's next in Musk's epic battle with Twitter?

Elon Musk’s monthslong tussle with Twitter took another twist this week after the Tesla billionaire seemed to return to where he started in April — offering to buy the company for $44 billion. But it’s not over yet. Twitter says it intends to close the deal at the agreed-upon price, but the two sides are still booked for an Oct. 17 trial in Delaware over Musk’s earlier attempts to terminate the deal. On Wednesday, the judge presiding over the case said she will continue to press on toward the trial because neither side has formally moved to stop it.

California agencies float Colorado River water cuts proposal

California water agencies that rely on the parched Colorado River say they're willing to cut their use by about one-tenth. The four agencies laid out their proposal in a Wednesday letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior. It marks the first time the agencies are publicly saying what they'd be willing to give up since the federal government called for reductions this summer. Drought exacerbated by climate change is diminishing the river, which provides about one-third of Southern California's urban water and is the only source of water for farms in the Imperial Valley. California is legally entitled to more water than any other state and is the last to lose it in times of shortage.

Protester subdued by Rams' Wagner files police report

A protester who ran onto the field during the San Francisco 49ers’ home game against the Rams has filed a police report after being subdued by Los Angeles linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner reacted with bemusement when asked about the protester’s complaint. Santa Clara Police Department Lt. Cuong Phan confirmed to The Associated Press that the department has an active investigation of the incident, but could provide few other details. Wagner flattened the protester who ran on the field waving a device emitting pink smoke.

Texas executes inmate who fought prayer, touch rules

A Texas death row inmate whose case clarified the role of spiritual advisers in death chambers nationwide has been executed, despite the efforts of a district attorney to stop his lethal injection. John Henry Ramirez was executed Wednesday evening at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was convicted in the 2004 killing of 46-year-old Pablo Castro, a convenience store clerk, in Corpus Christi. Ramirez had challenged Texas prison rules that prevented his pastor from touching him or praying aloud during his execution. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Ramirez. In April, the top prosecutor in the case tried to stop the execution, calling the death penalty “unethical.” The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals declined to even consider the prosecutor’s request.