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Associated Press

San Juan mayor in hurricane spotlight after Donald Trump tweets

In Puerto Rico’s hurricane-ravaged capital, it seems Carmen Yulin Cruz is everywhere these days: handing out bags of ice, wading through chest-deep floodwaters, hugging people in need of comfort.

Cruz has long won attention across the island for her hands-on style of leadership in San Juan. But this week she rose to international prominence as a target of Twitter attacks by U.S. President Donald Trump — including one tweet Sunday calling her and others “politically motivated ingrates.”

The insult came hours after “Saturday Night Live” portrayed Cruz in a skit highlighting the latest controversy for the 54-year-old former human resources executive, who occupies one of Puerto Rico’s most powerful posts and has become something of a divisive figure on the island of 3.4 million residents.

Some of Puerto Rico’s mayors have praised federal hurricane relief efforts, while others have joined Cruz in saying they have been insufficient and slow-moving.

In a U.S. territory whose relationship with the mainland is usually the single most prominent political issue, Cruz backs independence but is a member of the Popular Democratic Party, which supports maintaining the territorial status quo. A graduate of Boston University and Carnegie Mellon, she is also a former member of the island’s House of Representatives.

She first grabbed headlines in 2012 when she ran against San Juan’s three-term incumbent mayor, cobbling together a campaign committee in just three days after her party’s original candidate dropped out. Despite being a virtual unknown for many, she cruised to a surprising win by securing the support of a coalition of left-leaning interests from the LGBTQ community to university students to financially powerful unions.

“Imagine what I’ll do when I’m the mayor of San Juan,” she told reporters in August 2012, three months before the vote.

Once in office Cruz launched a million-dollar urban renewal program, renovated public parks and plazas and unionized San Juan employees as promised during her campaign. She aligned herself with Puerto Rico’s large and long-marginalized Dominican minority. She also made the poor a priority, working to secure federal funds to improve conditions for thousands on an island with a nearly 45 percent poverty rate.

“Her commitment has been through actions, not words, with the impoverished people of San Juan,” political analyst Nestor Duprey said, adding that those efforts continued after the hurricane.

“She has demonstrated an empathy and commitment to her people that have taken her to work day and night, very quietly at the beginning,“ Duprey said.

That changed Friday when Cruz was asked about acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke’s comment that the federal response to Hurricane Maria was “a good news story.”

Appearing on television in a black shirt with white letters that read, “HELP US, WE ARE DYING,” Cruz argued that federal aid had been slow to reach Puerto Rico following Maria, which knocked out power to the entire island.

“If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” she said.

Criticism of his administration’s response apparently didn’t sit well with Trump, who took to Twitter the next day to defend it as “an amazing job.” He singled out the mayor, accusing her of “poor leadership ability,” and added, without elaborating, “They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

Neither Cruz nor her spokespeople responded to requests for comment. Since Trump’s tweets she has sought to emphasize a message of unity for the good of Puerto Rico in her own activity on the social media platform.

“I recognize the good heart that the (Federal Emergency Management Agency) people have. They want to help. But they just don’t have the resources,” she said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

Cruz was born in the city over which she now presides, and is married with a daughter from a previous partner.

Telegenic and media-savvy, she has been criticized for micromanaging and for wearing herself down to the point where she loses her voice. She has been hospitalized a couple of times for asthma problems.

Critics have questioned Cruz’s management style, noting that some early supporters, including people who occupied key positions, have resigned or been dismissed.

She also took heat for offering a job to Puerto Rican independence militant Oscar Lopez Rivera, whose prison sentence was commuted in January by then-President Barack Obama. Rivera was released from prison in May after serving 35 years for his involvement with a group that claimed more than 100 bombings in the 1970s and ’80s that killed or maimed dozens on the U.S. mainland.

In public appearances Cruz has a penchant for hugging people and sometimes crying during interviews, prompting some to praise her sincerity while others call her overly dramatic.

In recent days she has gone before news cameras repeatedly, issued more emotional pleas for help and tweeted images of her helping islanders in the hurricane’s aftermath, repeatedly emphasizing the slogan “One goal: saving lives.”

Hector Ferrer, the president of Cruz’s party who had a public falling out with her this year over political differences, said that while Cruz may be in the media spotlight, there are plenty of others working hard to help Puerto Rico recover.

“I’m going to communities to hand out water and food — without journalists and without photographers,” he said. “There are 78 mayors who are performing miracles with the resources they have. We have to recognize everyone’s work.”

But Ferrer said he respected Cruz’s efforts to help Puerto Ricans.

“The mayor operates on a different platform and is able to attract more attention, and I commend her for that,” he said.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Attacks in Havana hit U.S. spy network in Cuba

Frightening attacks on U.S. personnel in Havana struck the heart of America’s spy network in Cuba, with intelligence operatives among the first and most severely affected victims, The Associated Press has learned.

It wasn’t until U.S. spies, posted to the embassy under diplomatic cover, reported hearing bizarre sounds and experiencing even stranger physical effects that the United States realized something was wrong, individuals familiar with the situation said.

While the attacks started within days of President Donald Trump’s surprise election in November, the precise timeline remains unclear, including whether intelligence officers were the first victims hit or merely the first victims to report it. The U.S. has called the situation “ongoing.”

To date, the Trump administration largely has described the 21 victims as U.S. embassy personnel or “members of the diplomatic community.” That description suggested only bona fide diplomats and their family members were struck, with no logical motivation beyond disrupting U.S.-Cuban relations.

Behind the scenes, though, investigators immediately started searching for explanations in the darker, rougher world of spycraft and counterespionage, given that so many of the first reported cases involved intelligence workers posted to the U.S. embassy. That revelation, confirmed to the AP by a half-dozen officials, adds yet another element of mystery to a year-long saga that the Trump administration says may not be over.

The State Department and the CIA declined to comment for this story.

The first disturbing reports of piercing, high-pitched noises and inexplicable ailments pointed to someone deliberately targeting the U.S. government’s intelligence network on the communist-run island, in what seemed like a bone-chilling escalation of the tit-for-tat spy games that Washington and Havana have waged over the last half-century.

But the U.S. soon discovered that actual diplomats at the embassy had also been hit by similar attacks, officials said, further confounding the search for a culprit and a motive.

Of the 21 confirmed cases, American spies suffered some of the most acute damage, including brain injury and hearing loss that has not healed, said several U.S. officials who weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the investigation and demanded anonymity. They heard an unsettling sound inside and in some cases outside their Havana homes, described as similar to loud crickets. Then they fell ill.

Over time, the attacks seemed to evolve.

In many of the more recent cases, victims didn’t hear noises and weren’t aware an attack was occurring, identifying the symptoms only later. That has raised concerns among investigators that the attacks may be getting more sophisticated and harder to detect, individuals briefed on the investigation said.

Though the State Department has called all the cases “medically confirmed,” several U.S. officials said it’s unclear whether all of the victims’ symptoms can be conclusively tied to attacks. Considering the deep sense of alarm among Americans working in the embassy, it’s possible some workers attributed unrelated illnesses to attacks.

Almost nothing about what has transpired in Havana is perfectly clear. But this is Cuba.

For decades, Washington and Havana pushed their rivalry to unprecedented levels of covert action. The former enemies tracked each other’s personnel, turned each other’s agents and, in the case of the CIA, even mounted a failed attempt to overthrow the Cuban government in the 1961 “Bay of Pigs” invasion.

There were hopes, though, that the two nations were starting to put that bitter history behind them after renewing diplomatic relations in 2015. When the attacks first occurred, the U.S. and Cuban governments were hard at work on clinching new commercial and immigration agreements. No new spat among intelligence services was publicly known.

Eleven months on, the U.S. cannot guarantee the threat is over. Last week, the State Department warned Americans to stay away from Cuba and ordered more than half the embassy staff to leave indefinitely. The U.S. had previously given all embassy staff the option to come home, but even most of those struck by the mysterious attacks had opted to stay, individuals familiar with the situation said.

For those staying and new arrivals, the U.S. has been giving instructions about what to watch and listen for to identify an attack in progress. They’re also learning steps to take if an attack occurs that could mitigate the risk, officials said.

But the U.S. has not identified whatever device is responsible for the harm. FBI sweeps have turned up nothing.

So to better identify patterns, investigators have created a map detailing specific areas of Cuba’s capital where attacks have occurred, several individuals familiar with the matter said. Three “zones,” or geographic clusters of attacks, cover the homes where U.S. diplomats live and several hotels where attacks occurred, including the historic Hotel Capri.

Since first disclosing the situation in August, the United States had generally avoided the word “attacks.” It called them “incidents” instead until last Friday. Now, the State Department deems them “specific attacks” targeting Americans posted in Havana, without saying what new information, if any, prompted the newfound confidence they were indeed deliberate.

The most obvious motive for attacking Americans in Havana would be to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Cuba. If that’s the case, the strategy appears to be succeeding.

Last week’s embassy drawdown added to the growing friction between the nations. And an accompanying new travel warning deemed Havana’s hotels unsafe for visitors, threatening to drive down tourism, a backbone of Cuba’s economy.

In Havana, American diplomats are frantically selling off possessions — from mattresses to canned goods to children’s toys — and hunting for jobs and places to live in the United States. Many have spent years overseas and don’t have homes waiting for them in the United States.

“Heartbroken? Me too, but this will make you feel better,” one seller posted in a chatroom for foreigners in Cuba, under a picture of a Costco artichoke hearts jar selling for $6.

For Cubans, it may be no better. The U.S. has been providing 20,000 visas a year to Cubans moving to the United States. It has issued thousands more to Cubans wishing to visit family in America. The reduction in U.S. staff in Havana means visa processing there has been suspended indefinitely.

Cuba has vehemently denied involvement or knowledge of the attacks. Some in the U.S. government believe the Cubans may be telling the truth, officials said.

When President Raul Castro denied any culpability in February, he did so on the sidelines a meeting in Havana with five visiting U.S. members of Congress, the AP found. The U.S. had raised complaints about the attacks to Cuba just days earlier through diplomatic channels.

But the visiting lawmakers knew nothing of the attacks taking place in the country they were visiting.

Nor did they know that Castro had used the occasion of their meeting to pull aside Jeff DeLaurentis, then the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, to say privately that his government was equally alarmed and willing to help.

The lawmakers all declined to comment. Cuban officials say they’re disappointed in the U.S. retaliatory measures, but will continue cooperating with the investigation.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Parole official: O.J. Simpson will live in Vegas area

A Nevada parole official said O.J. Simpson plans to live at a home in the Las Vegas area for the foreseeable future.

State Parole and Probation Capt. Shawn Arruti told The Associated Press on Sunday that the former football hero and celebrity criminal defendant has one approved residential plan, and it doesn’t currently include a move to Florida or any other state.

But Arruti said that could change in the future.

Simpson previously said he wanted to live in Florida, where he used to live and where he has friends and two children.

Arruti said the exact location of the house in Las Vegas isn’t disclosed for security and privacy reasons.

But he said that at least for now, the 70-year-old Simpson has no permission to leave Nevada without advance approval from his parole officer.

On Friday, Attorney General Pam Bondi had formally objected to Simpson’s return to Florida, referring to an interstate agreement that allows states to deny relocation permission to parolees from other states.

Bondi quoted Simpson as saying, “I could easily stay in Nevada but I don’t think you guys want me here.”

“In light of Mr. Simpson’s history in California, Nevada and Florida … the same goes for the people of Florida,” Bondi wrote.

Florida launches online voter registration

Florida is launching a website where residents will be able file or update their voter registration.

The Florida Department of State will oversee registertovoteflorida.gov , which went online Sunday. It was mandated by the Legislature in 2015.

Users will need a driver’s license or state identification card and the last four digits of their Social Security number to register. The applications will be forwarded to the proper county supervisor of elections office, which will then verify the application and issue a voting card.

The state says the website has multiple safeguards to protect information, including encryption and a firewall.

It will have English and Spanish registration sites and tools for the disabled.

State prepares for influx from Puerto Rico

From schools to shelters, Florida is readying for an influx of people struggling for food, water and power in hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico.

Gov. Rick Scott said Florida doesn’t know how many people will make the trip from Puerto Rico. Also, Scott said it is unknown how many will decide to remain permanently in Florida or return to the Caribbean island.

But Scott, who traveled Thursday to the U.S. territory to tour the damage left by Hurricane Maria and on Friday went to the White House, said Florida is getting prepared for the displaced Puerto Ricans and is in “a good financial position” to help.

“We’ll be able to figure this out. Florida’s a welcoming state. We’re a tourism state. We love people coming here,” Scott told reporters Thursday night at Orlando Sanford International Airport. “But I know talking to their Gov. (Ricardo Rossello) their goal long-term is they want to build their island. They don’t want everybody to come here and stay here. They want to build their island. They’re very proud of Puerto Rico. If they do have to come here, whether it is for medical reasons, or whatever it is, they want people to come back.”

After lunch Friday with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the White House, Scott told reporters in Washington that, “We’re going to do everything we can to help Puerto Rico.”

Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico Tuesday.

Maria, a powerful Category 4 storm, pounded Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, two weeks after even stronger Hurricane Irma swept past the island of 3.4 million residents.

With power still out to a majority of the island, Florida’s U.S. senators have been calling for Trump to send the “cavalry” – in the form of the U.S. military – to help in Puerto Rico.

“There is a crisis in Puerto Rico where food, fuel, water and medicine is sitting at the docks and not getting out to the remote parts of the island,” Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson said in a prepared statement Thursday. “The situation calls for an immediate response by the U.S. military to provide security and distribution to these remote areas. As was said after Hurricane Andrew: `Where the hell is the cavalry?’”

Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted: “Conditions in parts of #PuertoRico getting worse. The main problem is a logistical one, the distribution of aid beyond #SanJuan. Likely need the @DeptofDefense to address some `battlefield’ like logistical challenges in #PuertoRico. This will NOT improve on its own.”

Scott told reporters after the White House lunch that he advised Trump and Pence of a need for more people and vehicles to deliver supplies.

Scott also said while many of the issues confronting Puerto Rico are similar to those that faced Florida after Hurricane Irma, being an island and having a mountainous terrain work against the relief work.

Scott has worked with seaport directors on Florida’s East Coast about speeding materials to Puerto Rico. But he said debris and damaged roads and bridges have kept many supplies at the Port of San Juan.

He has also called on Florida colleges and universities to offer in-state tuition for Puerto Rican students. Florida International University said Friday that it would do so for students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam also announced that Puerto Rican students displaced by the hurricane can get free school meals through the National School Lunch Program.

“To any families fleeing Puerto Rico and coming to Florida, you will not have to worry about how you’re going to pay for your child’s school meals,” Putnam said in a prepared statement.

Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

Florida Keys launches $1 million emergency tourism campaign

The tourism promotion agency for the Florida Keys is initiating a $1 million emergency ad campaign to attract visitors back to the island chain following Hurricane Irma.

Keys tourism officials released details Friday.

The ad campaign promotes the theme “We Are 1,” referring to U.S. Highway 1, the Florida Keys Overseas Highway that runs throughout the Keys. It’s being supplemented by sales and public relations efforts to protect the winter tourism season.

Officials say they recognize not all Keys tourism offerings have recovered but added the industry employs about half the Keys’ workforce, and it’s important to have cash flow in the economy.

The campaign includes television, radio, digital, print and travel trade media in domestic markets. International markets include the United Kingdom, Germany and Scandinavia.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Ex-lawmaker Erik Fresen gets 60 days’ jail, probation in tax case

Former Florida state Rep. Erik Fresen has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and a year’s probation for failing to file a 2011 federal tax return.

A Miami federal judge imposed the sentence Friday. Fresen pleaded guilty in April to the single charge, which involved failing to report about $270,000 in income. Court records show the jail term will be broken into four chunks of 15 days each within the one year of probation.

Defense attorney Jeff Neiman says in court papers Fresen has repaid his back taxes. His lawyers wanted no jail time.

Fresen, a Republican, represented a Miami-area district in the state House from 2008 to 2016. Court records show he didn’t file tax returns for any of those years but pleaded guilty to 2011 only.

Yellow wristbands, segregation for Florida homeless in Irma

Shelby Hoogendyk says that when she, her husband and her 17-month-old son arrived at an emergency shelter as Hurricane Irma closed in, they were separated from others by yellow wristbands and told to stay in an area with other people like them – the homeless.

Sheriff’s deputies, she says, told them the wristbands were prompted by problems that arose among homeless people at the shelter during Hurricane Matthew a year earlier.

“We were treated like we were guilty criminals,” Hoogendyk says.

In the storm’s wake, homeless people and their advocates are complaining that some of them were turned away, segregated from the others, denied cots and food, deprived of medication refills and doctors’ visits, or otherwise ill-treated during the evacuation.

Many of the complaints have been blamed on misunderstandings, the sheer magnitude of the disaster, the crush of people needing shelter immediately, or inadequate state and local emergency planning.

All told, a record 72,000 Floridians sought refuge from the hurricane in early September at nearly 400 shelters. The response varied widely by county.

In Miami, over 700 homeless were picked up and taken to shelters. In Collier County, the sheriff sent officers into homeless encampments in the woods to bring people to a shelter. But in Polk County, Sheriff Grady Judd warned that any evacuees with warrants against them and all sex offenders seeking shelter would be taken to jail. And in Volusia County, some officials were accused of turning homeless evacuees away from shelters without explanation.

“Communities were all dealing with the fallout of not having very comprehensive planning in place to deal with this population,” said Kirsten Anderson, litigation director at Southern Legal Counsel, a nonprofit public interest law firm in Florida.

She said if a shelter discriminated against people based on their economic status, it could be a violation of federal law that protects people in federal disaster zones.

In Hoogendyk’s case, St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar and school officials who ran the shelter at Pedro Menendez High vigorously denied segregating the homeless, saying the yellow wristbands were simply used to identify people with “special needs” – substance abuse problems, mental illness or other “frailties” – who needed to be closer to the bathrooms.

But Hoogendyk said neither she nor her husband claimed any special needs when they checked in. Other homeless people said they, too, were automatically issued the yellow wristbands, while others around them got blue or other colors denoting them as part of the “general population.”

Gary Usry, a 57-year-old homeless man who arrived at the same St. Augustine shelter, said the first night was rough.

“We were left on concrete floor overnight. No blanket, no nothing,” he said. Usry said a few cots were provided to people with wristbands of other colors, but not to any of the homeless in his yellow-band section. Usry said he felt “insulted, demeaned.”

While insisting homeless people were not singled out, the sheriff also said that the homeless population has “a disproportionate representation of those with mental illness, substance abuse problems and, quite frankly, those with criminal backgrounds.”

Sheriff’s spokesman Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said that last year, during Hurricane Matthew, there were numerous arguments, fights and instances of drunkenness among homeless people at the shelter.

Elsewhere around Florida, Robin Williams said she and about 60 others from the homeless-assistance group where she works, the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, spent their first night as evacuees sleeping on a cold, hard gymnasium floor with no cots, blankets or food. The glaring lights stayed on all night, she said.

Over the next few days, the 30 or so special-needs evacuees among them were shuffled to various locations.

Just down the road, hundreds of other evacuees from the Keys rested comfortably with cots, hot meals, free toiletries and showers, Williams said.

“What these people have been through borders on criminal,” she said.

The group’s interim executive director, Stephanie Kaple, said three of her medically fragile clients ended up in the hospital after bouncing from place to place, wondering where they would sleep or if they would be fed. One case was a direct result of the stress, she said.

Kaple said that when she asked why some of her special-needs evacuees were sleeping on the floor, she was told that many of the cots were still being used in Houston, which was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

“I think there were places that the ball just got dropped,” she said.

In the county’s defense, Sheryl Graham, a senior director with Monroe County Social Services, said officials got barraged with last-minute requests from hundreds of people asking to be added to the special-needs registry, and it took precious manpower to contact and screen each one to make sure they were assigned to the correct shelter.

Special-needs evacuees are those who require assistance beyond what is provided at an ordinary shelter. Some might use an oxygen tank or wheelchair, for example. Medical assistance, which can include doctors’ visits and medication, must be made available at such shelters. That’s why special-needs evacuees must register beforehand.

But execution seemed to break down during Irma. Kaple said it was not until four days after the storm that her medically needy clients started getting doctors’ visits, medications, showers and regular meals.

Lawanda Tobler, a bus driver for Volusia County who took part in the evacuation efforts, said a shelter at New Smyrna Beach High School refused to take a homeless person when they arrived, offering no other explanation than that he was homeless.

Tobler was then sent to a Salvation Army shelter where they “wouldn’t even open the door and there were over a dozen homeless people at the site looking for shelter,” she said.

Emails and a call to the Salvation Army were not immediately returned.

The Rev. Jeffrey Dove said that after the storm, he headed to New Smyrna Beach’s community center with about 30 homeless evacuees, only to be told by the city manager “we were not welcome.”

When one of the homeless evacuees asked the city manager why they couldn’t eat and shower there, “she looked at him in a very condescending way and stated that he did not pay taxes,” Dove said.

New Smyrna Beach City Manager Pam Brangaccio said Dove’s people were turned away because they included three “unknown homeless men” and because children were there and city maintenance employees were being fed at the time.

She said she and Dove have since apologized to each over after their heated conversation and are now working together to hold a summit on homelessness.

Volusia County spokeswoman Joanne Magley said all those who needed a place were provided with shelter. She said everyone had to produce identification to get in, and those who had no ID or were homeless were sent to separate shelters for the homeless.

“If you don’t have an ID and we can’t do a background check, how do you know if someone is a sex offender?” she said. “You can’t just let anyone into a general population shelter.”

Attorney: ‘No doubt’ OJ Simpson goes to Florida after prison

O.J. Simpson will live in Florida following his parole from a Nevada prison where the former football star and celebrity criminal defendant has been held for the past nine years after a robbery conviction, his lawyer said Friday.

Attorney Malcolm LaVergne didn’t specify where Simpson would live in Florida, although Tom Scotto, a close friend who lives in Naples, Florida, has offered his home.

“He’s going to Florida,” LaVergne said. “There’s no doubt he’s going to Florida.”

Scotto didn’t immediately respond to telephone, email and text messages.

A Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman, Ashley Cook, said her agency has not received a transfer request or documents about Simpson.

Simpson becomes eligible for release Sunday but LaVergne said he doesn’t know where or when it will happen.

He expects to learn more when Simpson notifies him that he is being moved from Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada.

Release plans are in motion but need to be finalized for Simpson to be freed, perhaps as early as Monday in Las Vegas, Nevada prisons official Brooke Keast said.

Citing safety concerns, Keast said Friday the plans were not being made public.

LaVergne said he will begin pressing for answers if Simpson is not free by Oct. 8.

He said he spoke with Simpson by telephone on Thursday, and he is excited about his pending freedom.

“He’s really looking forward to the simple pleasures,” LaVergne said. “Seeing his family on the outside, spending time with them, eating food that’s not packaged.”

Simpson wants to eat steak and seafood and get a new iPhone, LaVergne told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Simpson won parole in July after serving nine years of a possible 33-year sentence for his 2008 conviction on armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges.

The conviction came after a botched effort to retrieve items that Simpson insisted were stolen after his acquittal in the 1994 killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.

Simpson was found liable for their deaths in a civil case in 1997 and ordered to pay the victims’ families $33.5 million.

A Goldman family attorney said the judgment amount has nearly doubled with interest over the years to more than $65 million, and he continues to seek payment.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

 

Lawyers: Florida airport shooting suspect still mentally fit

Lawyers for an Alaska man charged with killing five people and wounding six in a Florida airport mass shooting say he remains mentally fit to proceed in the case.

A status hearing is set Thursday in Miami federal court for 27-year-old Esteban Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska, who’s being treated for schizophrenia. His lawyers say in a court filing Santiago’s mental status is unchanged.

Santiago pleaded not guilty to a 22-count indictment in the Jan. 6 shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The Justice Department is considering whether to seek the death penalty in a trial still months away.

After the shooting, the FBI says Santiago told agents he acted under government mind control, then claimed inspiration by the Islamic State extremist group. No terrorism links have been found.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

 

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