Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:
EPA Bans Pesticide Linked to Health Problems in Children
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it is banning the use of chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide long targeted by environmentalists, on food crops because it poses risks to children and farm workers.
The Environmental Protection Agency acted after a federal appeals court ordered the government in April to determine quickly whether the pesticide is safe or should be prohibited.
Chlorpyrifos is applied on numerous crops, including soybeans, fruit and nut trees, broccoli and cauliflower. Studies have linked it to potential brain damage in children and fetuses that could lead to reduced IQ, memory loss and attention deficit disorders.
The European Union, Canada and some states including California, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, and Oregon have restricted application of chlorpyrifos on foods. Those limits - and development of replacement pest controls - have led to a decline in farmers’ use of chlorpyrifos, the EPA said.
Florida Judge Denies Request to Reinstate Federal Unemployment Benefits
A Leon County Circuit Judge denied to grant a temporary injunction that would have reinstated some federal unemployment benefits.
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, known as FPUC, provided Floridians with an extra $300 a week in benefits.
In an 18-page decision, Judge Layne Smith stated the state has the legal right to stop participating in the program.
The lawsuit, originally filed in Broward County, alleged that the federal payments should have been allowed to continue until Sept. 6. The lawsuit also alleged the state’s decision to stop participating was against Florida law.
Lawyers representing the state denied this claim last week during a hearing.
Parkland School Shooting Suspect Can't Be Called ‘Animal' at Trial: Judge
The former student accused of murdering 17 people at a Florida high school cannot be called derogatory terms such as “animal” or “that thing” by prosecutors or their witnesses at his upcoming trial, but calling the killings “a massacre” is legitimate, the judge has ruled.
Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said in a ruling released Friday that it's impossible to create a complete list of words that jurors shouldn't hear to describe Nikolas Cruz when he's tried for the Feb. 14, 2018, killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.
She sided with Cruz's attorneys that calling him names like “animal” or “that thing” during testimony, as some victims' parents have done in media interviews, would cross the line. But she said the defense request this week that Cruz only be called by his name or “the defendant” goes too far.
“Some words and terms the Defendant requests not to be used, such as ‘school shooter,’ ‘murderer,’ or ‘killer,’ in and of themselves are not derogatory,” Scherer wrote. “They are normal words that may be used to describe particular facts.”
She also said that the request by Cruz's attorneys that the killings only be referred to as “the incident,” the “mass shooting” or “the tragedy” also goes too far, saying terms like “massacre” are legitimate and not derogatory or inflammatory.
Man Says Wife Battling Cancer Waited Hours for Hospital Bed Because of COVID-19 Patient Surge
“Karen's been fighting stage 4 colon cancer now for about 15 months and we call her our princess warrior," Breitbart said.
He says she felt very sick after her latest round of chemo, so she went to the emergency room at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood last week.
Once she got there, he says the wait was extremely long due to all the doctors and nurses taking care of COVID-19 patients.
"It was frustrating and really difficult because, among other things, I wasn’t able to sit with her in the waiting room. She was there alone with a sick bag and just waiting," Breitbart said.
The lawyer out of Fort Lauderdale shared a moving post on social media about the experience, saying she sat in the waiting room for about five hours until she was placed on a gurney in a hallway.
A couple of hours later, he says she was given a bed in the ER, where she was treated and eventually released after three days in the hospital.
He says he’s grateful to the doctors and nurses who are doing their best but is disheartened seeing all the COVID patients.
After Waiting Years to Adopt, Couple Welcomes Afghan Boy Evacuated From Kabul
For weeks, we’ve seen images of Americans and Afghans clamoring at a Kabul airport to evacuate a country now being governed by the Taliban.
Among those evacuees was 10-year-old Noman Mujtaba.
“He says the trip obviously was good because he made it home, however, he did fly out in a military plane, which means everybody was packed like sardines close together," said Bahaudin Mujtaba, who translated for the boy.
But to get on the plane— Noman had to get past Taliban security. It took two attempts. On the first, he was denied entry.
“They had to basically abandon that attempt of getting inside the airport, and after 14 hours, they went home. Stayed overnight, and the next day they tried again," Bahaudin said.
In the second attempt, Noman was allowed past the Taliban, but not before witnessing something no child should have to see.
Clear the Shelters: The Perks of Adopting Older Puppies
Dr. Ian Kupkee from Sabal Chase Animal Clinic has explained to NBC 6 the pros and cons of teenage puppies.
"There’s a popular meme that often circulates on social media. It depicts the three stages of canine development," Dr. Kupkee said. "Stage 1: birth to four months - puppy! Stage 2: four to twenty-four months - velociraptor! Stage 3: 24 months and up, adult."
The general age range of shelter dogs is five months to three years, which is right in the middle of that velociraptor stage, otherwise known as adolescence. And just like human teenagers, adolescent dogs can drive us to the brink.
Most 'people' parents know adolescence is coming, but canine adolescence isn’t really talked about much so a lot of new dog owners are completely blindsided by it.