Baby born on Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale

A woman gave birth to a baby boy on a recent Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Dallas.

Christina Penton was 36 weeks pregnant when she told flight attendants that she wasn’t feeling well.

“Everything started happening very quickly,” Penton said. “I didn’t think I was having the baby, because it was too soon, but after a few minutes, I knew I needed medical attention. The flight attendants contacted doctors on the ground, and they advised the flight attendants to see if there were any medical personnel on board.  As it turned out, there was a pediatrician and a nurse.  Soon after that, it was clear I was having my baby, and I was in pure panic.”

The flight was diverted to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, but the baby was born before the plane landed.

Christoph Lezcano weighed in at 7 pounds and was 19.5 inches tall.

Penton and her newborn son were taken to a hospital in Kenner, Louisiana, as a precaution. Both mother and baby are OK.

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There’s still no jury for Martin Shkreli trial

Martin Shkreli is going on trial to face charges that he bilked investors.

But it’s taking a while to find a jury.

Shkreli, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, made headlines when he unapologetically hiked the price of a life-saving drug in 2015. His decision to increase the cost of Daraprim, which is used by AIDS patients, from $13.50 to $750 per pill was met with widespread outrage.

The criminal case against him in Brooklyn federal court is unrelated to that controversy.

Shkreli, 34, faces charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy for allegedly cheating investors out of more than $11 million between 2009 and 2014 in what federal prosecutors called a Ponzi scheme.

But Shkreli’s broader antics appear to have complicated jury selection. After two days, the pool of prospective jurors was down to 47, from about 240 when jury selection began on Monday.

Some prospective jurors were dismissed because of “strong views on Martin Shkreli,” Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said. Shkreli’s lawyer Ben Brafman said many more were excused because they had conflicting plans, health problems or family issues.

In court, Brafman railed against coverage from the New York Post in particular, which he said had portrayed his client as a “reviled price gouger.” The Post put a picture of Shkreli on the cover Tuesday and said of the jurors who were excused: “They all hate him.”

Shkreli, of course, has done plenty to raise his own profile.

He’s repeatedly boasted about his wealth on live streams from his Manhattan apartment and received significant attention when he reportedly bought an unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album for $2 million before his arrest.

Shkreli faces up to 20 years in prison if he’s convicted in the fraud case.

He’s accused of mismanaging money at his investment funds Elea Capital, MSMB Capital, MSMB Healthcare, as well as while he was CEO of Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company he founded in 2011.

Prosecutors say Shkreli lied to investors at MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare about the performance and assets of the investment funds, and that he used money from Retrophin to pay off MSMB investors, as well as his personal loans and other debts.

–CNNMoney’s Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.

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Johnny Galecki loses ranch in sprawling California fire

A large California fire that has been raging since Monday afternoon has claimed a ranch owned by “Big Bang Theory” actor Johnny Galecki, his representative told CNN.

Galecki was not home at the time of the fire and has not returned to the location since the incident, first reported by TMZ, his rep said.

The ranch, which is not Galecki’s primary residence, was claimed by the so-called Hill Fire, a blaze that started around 3:30 p.m. local time on Monday about 200 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The fire has thus far burned 1,598 acres and was 60% contained as of Tuesday night, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection — also known as CAL FIRE.

“My heart goes out to all in the area who are also experiencing loss from this vicious fire. The threat of which we live with constantly, which may seem crazy to some but we do so because living in our beautiful, rural area makes it worthwhile,” Galecki said in a statement provided to CNN.

He added: “It’s never the structures that create a community — it’s the people. And if the people of Santa Margarita have taught me anything it’s that, once the smoke has cleared, literally and figuratively, it’s a time to reach out and rebuild. We’ve done it before and we’ll need to do it together again. And it will make our community even closer and stronger.”

On Tuesday evening, residents were told they could start returning to their homes, according to a press release from CAL FIRE and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff. Restrictions on nonresident travel to the area remained in place, the release said.

“Endless thanks to CalFire and the Sheriff’s office,” Galecki said. “I know you guys are fighting the good fight to keep us safe. So very relieved no one has been hurt.”

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FBI finds the car a missing Chinese grad student was seen entering

The last known sighting of 26-year-old graduate student Yingying Zhang was on the afternoon of June 9. Security camera footage released by the University of Illinois — where Zhang was studying — shows the visiting Chinese scholar getting into the pas…

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Arkansas installs Ten Commandments monument

A Ten Commandments monument was installed on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol Tuesday morning, following two years of controversy and debate.

Standing at over six feet tall, the monument was originally authorized in 2015 in “The Ten Commandments Monument Display Act,” which defined the Ten Commandments as “an important component of the moral foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Arkansas.”

State Senator Jason Rapert, a primary sponsor of the Ten Commandments Monument Display Act, praised its installation to a group of reporters on Tuesday.

“We’re just very grateful to have this up and see the law fulfilled,” he said. “We have a beautiful Capitol grounds, but we did not have a monument that actually honored the historical moral foundation of law.”

But not everyone is so grateful.

“I’m appalled that they’ve actually gone through with it,” LeeWood Thomas, member of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, told CNN affiliate KARK. “To see elected government officials go through with the erection of a religious monument on our capitol lawn is appalling.”

The “Ten Commandments Monument Display Act” cites a 2005 Supreme Court decision from Texas that Ten Commandment monuments on state grounds were not a violation of the the First Amendment.

Chris Powell, the assistant director of communications to Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin, told CNN his office set up a hotline for comments received. 142 were for the monument, 65 were against.

While Thomas said his group has no immediate plans to try to have the monument removed, both the Arkansas ACLU and the Satanic Temple told KARK they plan on filing lawsuits to have the statue taken down.

“If it’s good enough for the United States Capitol, it’s good enough for the state of Arkansas,” Rapert said.

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Ivanka Trump spotlights global human trafficking

Ivanka Trump, who serves as a top adviser to President Donald Trump, used her platform Tuesday to shine a light on human trafficking, which she called an “ugly stain on civilization.”

“Combating this crime here in the United States as well as around the globe is in both our moral and our strategic interest,” she said at a State Department event unveiling the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

Ending human trafficking “is a major foreign policy priority for the Trump administration,” she said.

While a far cry from human trafficking, Trump’s own apparel and accessories brand came under some scrutiny earlier this year in light of a report of bad conditions inside one of its Chinese manufacturers, according to The Washington Post. Trump took a formal leave of absence from the brand in January, but kept her ownership stake and moved the assets into a trust.

It also comes one day after she told Fox News that she “(tries) to stay out of politics.” But as a top adviser to the President, her work on several issues has signaled an unequivocal embrace of her powerful — and political — role in the White House.

In the last week, she’s attended meetings and events around Washington on a range of issues she’s named as top priorities, including human trafficking, global entrepreneurship, childcare tax credits, workforce and workplace development and technological innovation.

Getting to work

Tuesday’s event wasn’t the first daughter’s first foray into discussing human trafficking, a chronically under-reported problem that affects at least 20.9 million people globally in both forced labor and sex trafficking.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump “somebody who is doing a great deal to raise the profile of this issue.”

In February, she held a meeting alongside the President and members representing several organizations fighting the problem. And in May, she hosted a roundtable discussion with bipartisan members of Congress and organizations on legislation ahead of Capitol Hill’s “Combating Trafficking and Child Protection Week.”

Later that month on a stop in Italy during the President’s first foreign trip, she met with officials and survivors at the Community of Sant’Egidio, a Vatican-affiliated NGO.

“While in Rome, I had an opportunity to talk first hand with human trafficking survivors. They told me their harrowing stories, how they were trapped in this ugly, dark web, how they survived, how they escaped and how they are very slowly reconstructing their lives,” she said Tuesday, noting that the White House also has its own council of survivors.

“We cannot meaningfully address this pervasive issue without the brave voice of survivors at the table. They can help us understand what they experienced and they will play a leading role in solving this pervasive crisis,” she said.

The Ivanka Trump brand

Trump’s eponymous apparel and accessories brand, Ivanka Trump HQ, manufactures clothes abroad, including in China, a country listed in this year’s TIP report as one of the worst offenders for human trafficking.

“The brand has and has always had a zero tolerance policy on human trafficking and takes the integrity of their supply chain very seriously,” a spokesperson for the brand told CNN.

But the brand faced other problems when an audit in October last year of one Chinese factory used by the brand and other brands found workers were working nearly 60 hours a week with wages around $62, the Post reported. It’s not clear whether Ivanka Trump-brand products were being manufactured at the time of the inspection, per the Post’s report. The audit did not disclose the factory’s name or location in China.

Brand president Abigail Klem said in a statement that the brand has set a vendor code of conduct.

“Ivanka Trump HQ is committed to only working with licensees who maintain internationally recognized labor standards across their supply chains. Our licensees and their manufacturers, subcontractors and suppliers must comply with all applicable local and international labor laws, and the legal and ethical practices set forth in our vendor code of conduct,” Klem said.

It’s complicated

Trump cited specific progress by the administration in her remarks, including “an executive order designed to strengthen the enforcement of federal law in regards to transnational criminal organizations, including traffickers,” and steps taken to ensure Department of Homeland Security personnel are trained to combat trafficking at points of entry into the United States.

As she presses forward with her work on the topic, further specific policy prescriptions become more complicated, with partisan divides on issues like immigration and criminalization of prostitution.

“Even if she were to propose something promising, the political situation is so dicey that there isn’t trust there,” said a source in the anti-trafficking community, who requested anonymity in order speak freely. The source noted that many activists are concerned by the administration’s broader immigration policies and rhetoric.

Undocumented workers could be taken advantage of if they are further pushed into the shadows, activists say. The threat of deportation is a key indicator of areas with labor trafficking problems, and many traffickers force their victims to let their visas expire as a tool of control to keep victims in the United States.

The administration’s executive order on sanctuary cities is another area of concern. Some organizations involved with survivor services are concerned that undocumented victims will not reach out for fear of deportation, which also impacts law enforcement’s ability to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes.

Advocates also fear how the administration’s travel ban could impact trafficking. Refugees and people in conflict zones are vulnerable to trafficking, advocates say, and ISIS has been documented putting refugees into various forms of slavery.

Many in the community are also concerned about funding for human trafficking prevention and services for survivors, which relies on federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, often through funds distributed through other organizations.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how their policies might affect human trafficking.

“It’s weirdly one of the few issues where we’re able to work with Democrats and Republicans. Both sides generally agree that funding is needed, but the administration is a question mark,” said another anti-trafficking advocate, who asked for permission to speak anonymously so as not to jeopardize federal funding.

Ivanka Trump’s involvement with the issue is still cause for some optimism.

“We want to be cautiously optimistic. There’s a lot of skepticism that anything could happen, but it’s reassuring that this is even being discussed,” the source said. “We want to see results, whether it’s more funding or laws that are changed or strengthened. That these conversations are happening, that they’re looking into this is a good sign.”

Trump, who has demurred from wading into partisan issues thus far, made it clear Tuesday that this is a topic she is willing to fight for.

“On a personal level, as a mother, this is much more than a policy priority. It is a clarion call to action in defense of the vulnerable, the abused, and the exploited,” she said.

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