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The latest from California's 3rd mass killing in 8 days; promising new gene therapy for brain; Oscar nominations today; and more

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Today is Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Let's get caught up.

Here are today's top stories, celebrity birthdays and a look back at this date in history.

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MORNING LISTEN

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TOP STORIES

This morning's top headlines: Tuesday, Jan. 24

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Officials say an agricultural worker killed seven people in back-to-back shootings at two mushroom farms that employed him in Northern California, and the massacre is believed to be a “workplace violence incident.” The state is mourning its third mass killing in eight days. Officers arrested a suspect in the latest shootings on Monday, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, after they found him in his car in the parking lot of a sheriff’s substation. The Sheriff's Office says seven people were found dead, and an eighth was wounded, at the farms on the outskirts of the coastal community of Half Moon Bay.

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Police say a shooting during filming of a music video at an Oakland gas station that killed one person and wounded four others may have been gang-related. Authorities say it appears several people opened fire Monday evening at the Valero station, spraying bullets where some 50 people had gathered for the filming. The attack killed 18-year-old Mario Navarro. No arrests have been made. Police on Tuesday said the attack may be gang-related and they're worried it may spark violent retaliation. The shooting took place only hours after seven people were killed by a gunman in nearby Half Moon Bay. A 66-year-old farmworker has been arrested for what authorities say was a case of workplace violence.

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A five-hour police delay in alerting the public that the California dance hall killer was on the run is throwing a spotlight on the nation's flawed, patchwork system for warnings of mass shooters at large. Experts say an alert should have been sent out immediately after police responded to the shooting in Monterey Park that left 11 dead on Saturday. During the delay, the gunman walked into another nearby dance club brandishing his weapon, but was disarmed. A proposed law last year creating an Amber alert-like system was passed by the U.S. House, but died in the Senate.

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A report by a special grand jury in Georgia investigating possible interference in the 2020 election will remain secret for now while a judge considers its release. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney heard arguments Tuesday from prosecutors who argued against immediately releasing the report and a coalition of media organizations who argued it should be made public. He said he would consider their arguments and would reach out to both parties with any questions before making a final decision. The special grand jury was investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies broke the law by seeking to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia.

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The prosecution and defense are getting ready to pick the final jury of 12 people and six alternates in the murder trial of South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh. After the jury is picked Wednesday morning, opening statements are expected in the murder trial for Murdaugh, who is accused of the 2021 killings of his wife and son. A judge said Tuesday he will decide on a case-by-case basis outside the jury’s presence whether the jury gets to hear prosecutors present evidence of other crimes Murdaugh is accused of committing. Defense attorneys don’t want the judge to admit the evidence, contending prosecutors are trying to smear Murdaugh to bolster a weak case.

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Four members of the Oath Keepers have been convicted of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack in the second major trial involving far-right extremists accused of plotting to forcibly keep President Donald Trump in power. A Washington, D.C., jury found Joseph Hackett, Robert Minuta, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo guilty on Monday. The verdict comes weeks after a different jury convicted two leaders of the extremist group in the mob’s attack that halted the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters after the verdict that he is “grateful to the prosecutors, agents and staff for their outstanding work.”

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Scientists say delivering gene therapy directly to the brain holds great promise. The first brain-delivered gene therapy on the market was recently approved in Europe and the U.K. for a rare genetic disorder called AADC deficiency. It causes developmental delays and movement disorders in kids. New Jersey drugmaker PTC Therapeutics plans to seek approval for the treatment in the U.S. this year. Meanwhile, about 30 studies in the U.S. are testing gene therapy directly to the brain for other disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Challenges remain, especially with diseases caused by more than a single gene. But scientists say the evidence supporting this approach is mounting.

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The sci-fi indie hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once” leads nominations to the 95th Academy Awards with 11 nominations. Nominations included acting nods for star Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan in a comeback performance decades after he starred in “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” A year after a streaming service won Hollywood’s top honor for the first time, big-screen spectacles dominated Tuesday’s nominations to the 95th Academy Awards with the “Avatar” and “Top Gun” sequels getting best picture nods. Collectively, the best picture nominees have earned more than $1.5 billion domestically so far, which is a record.  The Oscars will be presented March 12 in Los Angeles.

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There couldn’t be more contrasting men’s quarterfinals at the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic is still on track for his 10th title at Melbourne Park and now faces No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev — who is 0-6 in Grand Slam quarterfinals. The other men's match Wednesday features a pair of unseeded 20-something Americans: Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul. Neither has ever been this far at a major tournament and their matchup will be the first Slam quarterfinal between two U.S. men since 2007. There is also a fresh face among the women: Magda Linette is playing in her first quarterfinal in 30 Grand Slam appearances. She faces Karolina Pliskova. The other quarterfinalists are appearing for the first time in the last eight at Melbourne Park: No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka and unseeded Donna Vekic.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

APTOPIX China Lunar New Year

People wearing face masks enjoy a ride at the Shijingshan Amusement Park during a week-long Lunar New Year holiday in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. 

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TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1984, Apple Computer began selling its first Macintosh model, and more events that happened on this day in history.

In 2010, the New Orleans Saints make it to their first Super Bowl after battering Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 in overtime. See…

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TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

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