- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

TEENS’ 6 DAYS ADRIFT VERGE ON LIMITS FOR SURVIVAL AT SEA

Crews pushed the limits of an ever-expanding search zone Wednesday for two teens missing at sea and potentially nearing the boundaries of human survival. The Coast Guard’s relentless hunt for the 14-year-old fishermen, Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, persisted for a sixth day as questions grew over how long it could go. Decision-makers were juggling a mix of “art and science,” Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss said, trying to balance the knowledge of how long people can survive adrift with the unknowns on whether the boys had flotation devices and drinking water and what their physical condition is. Still, authorities insisted their search would continue throughout the day.

GOV. SCOTT ORDERS INSPECTIONS OF PLANNED PARENTHOODS

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered state health officials to inspect Planned Parenthood offices that perform abortions, saying he is troubled by videos describing the organization’s procedures for providing tissue from aborted fetuses for research. The Republican governor said Wednesday the state will take quick legal and regulatory action if any of the 16 facilities in Florida are found in violation of the law. Planned Parenthood has come under congressional scrutiny after the release of two stealthily recorded videos that showed officials discussing how they provide aborted fetal organs for research.

REPORT: BOY ACCUSED OF STRANGLING CHILD HAD PAST TROUBLES

An 11-year-old boy accused of strangling a 4-year-old boy had a history of disturbing behavior, including choking another child until the child turned blue in the face and carrying around dead farm animals, according to sheriff’s deputies. The past problems were detailed in an arrest report for the older child. It was obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday. Authorities say the two boys lived together with their mothers, who are a couple, in a mobile home in north Florida.

APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS EX-FBI AGENT’S MURDER CONVICTION

A divided appeals court on Wednesday upheld the murder conviction of a former FBI agent in the 1982 slaying of a Florida gambling executive in a case connected to imprisoned New England mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger. The full 3rd District Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of ex-agent John Connolly reversed that of a three-judge panel of the same court. In a 6-4 ruling, the new decision concluded Connolly could be convicted of second-degree murder with a firearm even though he was 1,500 miles away when a hit man fatally shot World Jai-Alai President John Callahan in Fort Lauderdale in 1982.

US, CUBA RESEARCHERS COLLABORATE ON GHOST ORCHID STUDY

U.S. officials say the diplomatic thaw with Cuba has led to a new collaboration with Cuban scientists to study one of the world’s rarest flowers. Ernesto Mujica of Cuba’s Ministry of Science ECOVIDA Research Center has joined researchers from Illinois College and the University of Florida in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge to study ghost orchids. The delicate blooms were the star of the book “The Orchid Thief” and the movie “Adaptation.” The five-decade-plus Cuba trade embargo and travel restrictions to the island inhibited orchid researchers in both countries from sharing data.

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