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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Flights bringing people from storm-ravaged Puerto Rico to Central Florida have begun to land at Orlando International Airport.  But Southwest Airlines has canceled all of its flights to the recovering island, citing issues at the airport in San Juan. The company issued the following statement about offering flights to the island:  Airport conditions at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) remain poor and authority to operate flights into/out of SJU is heavily restricted, following the impact of Hurricane Maria. As such, our scheduled flights to/from San Juan (SJU) remain suspended. Please do not attempt to come to the SJU airport at this time. We will continue to monitor conditions at the airport and local infrastructure at SJU and provide updates as information becomes available. For specific flight information, please check flight status information. One JetBlue flight landed from San Juan at OIA Saturday evening, bring dozens, including many with children and those with no place to stay, to Orlando.  “It’s devastating,” said Preciosa Guzman, who lives on the island. Read: Hurricane Maria: First commercial flight from Puerto Rico to Orlando lands at OIA Hurricane Maria has left much of Puerto Rico in ruins, which is what’s prompted so many to leave for the mainland U.S.  Many on the JetBlue flight wanted to hug and hold hands after landing shortly before 6 p.m.  'Everything is totally destroyed,” said Renata Xavier. Watch: Puerto Rico Hurricane: Some calls from loved ones make it to mainland She said she moved to Puerto Rico from Brazil in August because she wanted her 7-year-old daughter, Isabela, to grow up on the island with family.  But after Maria, she has to wait and figure out what to do next.  Read: Puerto Rico: Families desperate to contact loved ones after Hurricane Maria 'Now, it's not the time,” she said.  Passengers on the flight said it’s hard to find food and it’s nearly impossible to contact the outside world.  Photos: Puerto Ricans r escued from flooding after Hurricane Maria 'No water, no electricity, no Wi-Fi, no cell service,” said Marquett Burton, who does business in Puerto Rico.  Burton said getting back to his second home in Central Florida wasn’t easy.  “I had three different airlines with three different flights cancelled 17 times,” he said.  All but two flights departing OIA for San Juan were canceled Saturday.  Watch: Hurricane Maria Damage
  • The U.S. House on Monday is set to vote on a package of tax relief provisions designed to help people who have suffered losses from damage associated with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, also making it easier for others to donate money to charities to help with disaster aid. “My bill specifically helps hurricane victims keep more of their paycheck, deduct more of the cost of their expensive property damage, and have more affordable and immediate access to money they have saved for their retirement,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who heads the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. The Brady plan – which still has to be officially introduced as a bill on Monday when the House reconvenes – is being added on to a bill that temporarily extends the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration, ensuring the FAA would not shut down operations at the end of this week. Among the provisions in the bill: + The plan does not require taxpayers to itemize deductions in order to get this targeted tax aid. + It allows penalty-free withdrawals from retirement plans to pay for qualified hurricane relief. + The bill allows tax deduction of uncompensated losses from these hurricanes, even if those losses don’t reach the required 10 percent of Adjusted Gross Income that is in current law. The bill also includes provisions that would help with the creation of a “Private Flood Insurance Market,” as the Congress continues to struggle with how best to deal with a government flood insurance program that is in debt over $30 billion – and growing. We're actively pursuing the development of the #US private #flood insurance market to promote flood insurance https://t.co/8a7xHfdmqN — Lloyd's (@LloydsofLondon) September 18, 2017 No cost estimate was made available for the bill, which would designate all extra costs under this plan as ’emergency,’ meaning it would be added to the federal deficit without a requirement for offsetting budget cuts. You can read the text of the hurricane tax relief bill here. This could be just a small chunk of tax news coming out of Capitol Hill this week, as GOP leaders have promised that the Congress and White House would release an outline of the first major tax reform plans since 1986. Last week, there were several trial balloons that included some surprise provisions – as reports suggested that President Donald Trump might leave income tax rates the same for higher income earners.
  • Orlando police removed a body from Lake Dot Sunday morning. Someone walking by Lake Dot around 9:30 a.m. reported the body in the water, police said.  Read: Police: Man's body found near Orlando pond Orlando police and firefighters arrived and found a man’s body that had been in the water for some time, police said.  Read: Police: Man drowns in canal at Orlando park There were no obvious signs of trauma to the body, police said.  Crime scene investigators were called to the scene. Read: Man's body pulled from Orlando pond, police say The medical examiner is currently investigating the cause of death. 
  • In Bloomington, Illinois, authorities say a 33-year-old man hid his family’s cellphones, killed his two children and intentionally set his house on fire before hanging himself, WMAQ reports. On Wednesday, police identified the man as Eric Ringenberg. Officials identified the two boys only by their initials, 2-year-old CR and infant brother RR. >> Read more trending news The Pantagraph reported that the 32-year-old mother, Pamela Ringenberg, was hospitalized for smoke inhalation after Tuesday morning’s fire. According to autopsies, the children were strangled to death. The home was equipped with surveillance cameras, which police say show Eric Ringenberg putting the cellphones in a kitchen cabinet, then intentionally starting a fire in the basement after the children were killed. The father then hanged himself. Cameras also reveal that Pamela Ringenberg awoke to the sound of the smoke alarm and searched for her family and cellphone. She sought help from neighbors and eventually fled the home.
  • As rescue workers tirelessly searched and the world waited breathlessly for them to find a 12-year-old girl believed to be trapped under the rubble of a caved-in school toppled by the devastating earthquake in Mexico City, it became apparent that the little girl never existed, Mexican officials said. >> PHOTOS: Major earthquake strikes Mexico City According to the New York Post, the girl, called “Frida Sofia,” was a case of a story that ran wild in the frantic aftermath of the disaster. >> How you can help Mexico and people affected by the Mexico earthquake “We are certain that it was not an actuality,” Adm. Angel Enrique Sarmiento, assistant secretary of the Mexican navy, told local paper El Universal. “We don’t have any knowledge, we never had any knowledge of the account.” >> Frida, the hero rescue dog, saves 12 following Mexico earthquake In the face of unimaginable destruction and hundreds killed, the story took on a life of its own as a symbol of much-needed help. A report first surfaced Wednesday that a little girl had signaled to rescuers from under the rubble of the Enrique Rebsámen school. >> On Rare.us: A family is devastated after this baptism turned tragic during the Mexican earthquake From that report came a series of details that included the girl’s name and age, and even reports of communication with the girl. Rescuers said they managed to slide a hose to her for her to drink, and other workers told MSNBC that they handed the little girl a phone and that she reported two other children were trapped with her under a granite table. >> On Rare.us: Salma Hayek generously pledges $100,000 to Mexican earthquake victims However, no parents came to claim the girl, which led some to believe she was misidentified. And, then Thursday, Sarmiento announced that after 11 children had been rescued, and 19 other children, plus six adults found dead, there were no other children beneath the collapsed school. >> Read more trending news “We have carried out a full count with the directors of the school, and we are sure that all the children are either safe at home, in the hospital or, unfortunately, died,” Sarmiento said.