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    A Dutch still-life painting, stolen by retreating Nazis and sent by a German soldier as a present to his wife, came back to a Florence museum on Friday, thanks largely to a relentless campaign by the Uffizi Galleries' director, a German. The foreign ministers of German and Italy were on hand Friday at Palazzo Pitti, a Renaissance palace that is part of the Uffizi Galleries, for the unveiling of 'Flower Vase,' a masterpiece by Jan van Huysum, an early 18th-century artist whose exquisitely detailed still-life works were highly sought in his day. Uffizi director Eike Schmidt earlier this year urged his native country to return the work. He had posted on a gallery wall three labels where the painting had hung before being taken during World War II: 'stolen,' the labels read in Italian, English and German. His homeland, Schmidt said at the time, had a 'moral duty' to return the work. Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero hailed the 'civic and moral courage of a German director of an Italian museum' in pursuing the painting's return. As did his German counterpart, Moavero hailed the happy ending, saying it was achieved through 'real Europeanism, of concrete facts' and not just words. He revealed to reporters that the painting's return was discussed, among other matters, during bilateral talks between Italy and Germany. 'Flower Vase' is so realistic it has been likened to a photograph. Van Huysum used a magnifying glass to study his subjects. Ripples are visible in insects' transparent wings, to name just one striking detail on the returned painting. The painting was acquired in 1824 by a grand duke of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, which followed the Medicis in residing in the palace in Florence. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, the palace's artworks were packed for safekeeping into wooden crates and moved from villa to villa. When the Germany army was retreating, the crates were added to other war booty and eventually ended up in Bolzano, an Alpine city near Austria. There the crate containing 'Flower Vase' was opened, and in July 1944, a German soldier sent the painting to his wife in Germany. Minister Moavero quoted the soldier as writing instructions to his wife to 'put it in a gilded frame.' The painting's whereabouts appeared to be a mystery until a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Starting in 1991, the German family repeatedly tried to sell the painting to Italy via intermediaries, 'threatening to give it to a third party or even destroy it if a ransom wasn't paid,' the Italian culture ministry said. The latest approach for money was made to the Uffizi in 2016, it said. German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass thanked Schmidt for campaigning so passionately for the painting's return. 'Here is its place, here is where it belongs,' he said. At a time of tensions among many European Union allies over migrant issues, Maas saw inspiration in the successful artwork diplomacy. He likened an EU 'without 'diversity, without solidarity' to a 'museum without paintings on display, a vase without flowers.' ___ D'Emilio reported from Rome. ___ Frances D'Emilio is on twitter at www.twitter.com/fdemilio
  • Police were investigating Friday the gutted animation studio building in Kyoto where a man raging about theft set a fire that killed 33 people, crushing the hearts of comic fans in Japan and beyond. Witness accounts and reports suggested the man had a grudge against Kyoto Animation, but police only have said the suspect, who is still hospitalized, is a 41-year-old man from near Tokyo who did not work for the studio. Later Friday, Kyoto police identified the man as Shinji Aoba, according to the Japanese broadcaster NHK and other media. The reports, quoting an unnamed source, said Aoba spent three and half years in prison for robbing a convenience store in 2012 and also had mental problems. Police would not immediately confirm the reports. The man told police that he set the fire because he thought '(Kyoto Animation) stole novels,' according to Japanese media. It was unclear if he had contacted the studio earlier. The company founded in 1981 and better known as KyoAni made a mega-hit anime series about high school girls and trained aspirants to the craft. The shocking attack left another 36 people injured, some critically. It drew an outpouring of grief for the dead and injured, most of them workers at the studio. Construction worker Takumi Yoshida, 23, was a fan. 'I am shocked and I'm sure for their families it must be very difficult. So with those feelings in my mind, I brought flowers,' Yoshida said. Anime fan and university student Yuki Seki traveled from nearby Hyogo prefecture to pay her respects. 'After properly recovering while taking their time, I hope Kyoto Animation can once again share their power and energy with us,' she said. About 70 people were working inside the 3-story Kyoto Animation No. 1 studio in southern Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital, Thursday at the time of the attack. The arsonist arrived carrying two containers of flammable liquid. He shouted, 'You die!' as he entered the studio's unlocked front door, dumped the liquid and set it afire with a lighter, according to officials and media reports. Police at the scene confiscated the gasoline tanks, a knapsack and knives, but have not confirmed they belonged to the attacker. The blaze blocked the front door and quickly engulfed the workspace, rising up the stairs to the third floor, sending panicked employees fleeing. Some were able to escape by crawling out of windows. Many tried but failed to escape to the roof, the reports said. The suspect fled but was chased by studio employees who eventually caught him. He collapsed to the ground outside a house and was quickly surrounded by police. 'They are always stealing. It's their fault,' he told policemen bending over and asking him why he set the fire, according to a witness who described the scene outside her house. The man complained bitterly that something had been stolen from him, the witness told NHK and other networks. Neighbors interviewed by NHK said the suspect had troubles with neighbors at the apartment building in Saitama, north of Tokyo, where he lived. One man told the broadcaster TBS that he had knocked on Aoba's door to ask him to stop banging on the walls. He said Aoba shouted 'I will kill you!' and grabbed him by the hair and shirt. Kyoto Animation's hits include 'Lucky Star' of 2008, 'K-On!' in 2011 and 'Haruhi Suzumiya' in 2009. It has an upcoming feature film, 'Violet Evergarden,' about a woman who professionally writes letters for clients. It's also done secondary animation work on a 1998 'Pokemon' feature that appeared in U.S. theaters and a 'Winnie the Pooh' video. ___ AP journalist Haruka Nuga contributed to this report. ___ Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi
  • U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky is being held for another week in pre-trial detention to allow police to finish investigating a June 30 fight in downtown Stockholm, a Swedish court said Friday. Stockholm's District Court decided to accept the request from prosecutor Daniel Suneson's to hold A$AP Rocky — the stage name of Rakim Mayers — until Thursday July 25. Mayer is being held for suspected assault. Earlier, Suneson said police 'have worked intensively' with the preliminary investigation but needed more time to complete their probe. Once the investigation is complete, the prosecution will decide whether to formally charge the rapper. On July 5, Mayers who was in Sweden to perform at a music festival, and his body guards were ordered held for two weeks after being detained two days earlier. Videos published on social media, show a person being violently thrown onto the ground by Mayers. It was not clear who else was involved. 'This was a self-defense situation,' his defense lawyer Slobodan Jovicic told reporters. Asked how A$AP Rocky felt about it, Jovicic replied this was 'a very bad experience.' The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist has seen many celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, her husband Kanye West and Justin Bieber come to his support since his arrest. Soon after the news of his arrest broke, the movement #JusticeForRocky pushed for the rapper's release. A petition calling for his release has also garnered half a million signatures. And Adriano Espaillat, a New York Democrat in the House of Representatives, is pushing for the release of the rapper, who was born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. 'Everyone deserves to be treated equally and A$AP Rocky's rights continue to be violated. It is not a fair process,' the congressman earlier said in a statement to The Associated Press. Espaillat said he has been in contact with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Sweden and wants everyone to continue showing their support to help us in this process of getting justice for Rocky.' Kardashian West, her husband, rapper and record producer Kanye West have lobbied President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner in support of A$AP Rocky. Kardashian West thanked the president and senior members of his administration, saying on Twitter that their 'commitment to justice reform is so appreciated.' Earlier this week, Sweden's top prosecutor Petra Lundh said 'the fact that a suspect or a plaintiff is known is no reason for the person to receive a special treatment.' Carl Risch, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, was seen leaving the Kronoberg prison in Stockholm Friday, where Mayers and his two body guards were being held, Sweden's TT news agency said. He declined to make comments as he left. The purpose of Risch's visit was not known. ___ This story was previously corrected to correct date that Mayers was ordered held to July 5 not June 5.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda says he agreed to being in the adaptation of 'His Dark Materials' before he even knew what part he was being offered. Miranda plays Lee Scoresby, a cowboy who flies hot air balloons and gets into bar fights, although he says he would have sharpened pencils to be part of the production. He and his fellow castmates James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson debuted a trailer for the HBO and BBC series based on the Philip Pullman novels Thursday evening at Comic-Con in San Diego. The big-budget 2007 feature film 'The Golden Compass' also attempted to adapt Pullman's material, but it was not well received by critics and disappointed at the box office. 'I thought it was time for the books to be liberated,' said producer Jane Tranter, who convinced New Line and Pullman to let her adapt them into a series. She helped recruit Miranda to the project while he was in London filming 'Mary Poppins Returns' and he had a very personal reason for feeling so passionately about the material. 'When my wife and I stated dating we read these books together,' Miranda said. 'They're in a really special place in my heart.' The audience responded with a big 'aw' to the story. McAvoy, who plays Lord Asriel, was also a big fan of the material — so much so that he basically signed on in a single phone call from the casting director, who is a friend of his, just days before filming was set to begin. Lyra actress Dafne Keen, on the other hand, didn't know the source material when she booked the role. At just 14, she told the audience that it was because the books came out before she was born. But she tore through the three books and became a fan before production started. But Miranda was by far the giddiest of the cast, excitedly asking permission to reveal his first scene. 'I literally come into this thing singing a duet with my demon, on a big hot air balloon, which was a fun way to enter the world,' Miranda said. 'I can't believe we get to go back to summer camp this summer for season two.' HBO has yet to set a premiere date for the series.
  • With a nod to 'The Handmaid's Tale,' Amy Landecker announced on Instagram that she is 'of Bradley,' elopement style. Landecker said Thursday she wed her fellow 'Handmaid' co-star Bradley Whitford with their children and dogs, Izzy and Otis, as witnesses. They were married by political activist Ady Barkan at the courthouse in Santa Barbara. The groom wore a blue suit jacket. The bride held a bouquet and tied the knot in a blue print day dress. Whitford plays Joseph Lawrence and Landecker played Mrs. Mackenzie on 'The Handmaid's Tale,' the hit Hulu series. Representatives for the couple confirmed the happy news.
  • How much is too much for streaming video? A dramatic slowdown in worldwide growth at Netflix — including the first quarterly drop in its U.S. subscribers since 2011 — is raising questions about just how much are people willing to pay for streaming services. Especially with a host of new ones from Disney, Apple and others on their way. A recent price increase seems to have spooked Netflix subscribers. The company lost 126,000 subscribers in the U.S., less than 1% of its 60.1 million paid U.S. subscriptions, during the April-June period. Its most popular plan rose from $11 to $13 in a U.S. price hike announced in January and rolled out for many subscribers during the second quarter. Worldwide, the service picked up 2.7 million worldwide subscribers, far below Netflix's forecast of 5 million. 'Netflix raising prices prompted people to think about whether they were getting value for money,' Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said. While people are willing to shell out for several services to meet their streaming needs, he said, they're also willing to cancel if they're not using it enough, just as they would with a gym membership or a subscription to the New Yorker magazine. Streaming services preparing to compete with Netflix appear to be taking note. Disney Plus, set to debut in November, will already be cheaper than Netflix at $8 a month, though Disney Plus will also have a smaller video library. Hulu has cut prices to $6 from $8 for its main, ad-supported service. Services from Apple, due out this year, and WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal, out in 2020, don't have announced prices yet, although the NBCUniversal service will be free and ad supported for traditional cable TV subscribers. Of course, even if these individual services are cheaper than Netflix, it's not clear how many consumers will be willing to pay for. One way to make a service appealing is not through better prices but through exclusive shows and deep libraries, including shows that Netflix will be losing. Netflix's two most popular shows, 'Friends' and 'The Office,' will be departing in the coming months for rival services. Group M analyst Brian Weiser said that for now, other services shouldn't be overly concerned by a weak quarter or two at Netflix. He said streaming content consumption is still growing rapidly, so the overall market has plenty of room for competitors. And the streaming arena is a growth area in the much bigger and more mature entertainment industry. 'I don't think it follows that if Netflix has an underperforming quarter that tells you about others,' he said. Some analysts also believe Netflix's trouble is temporary. Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham said the subscriber numbers will likely hit the stock in the short term — the stock was down 11% in midday trading Thursday — but overall the company's growth remains on track, particularly overseas. 'We still see a strong content strategy and room to add large numbers of international subscriptions as key strengths going forward,' he wrote in a note to investors. Similarly, Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak said investors shouldn't make a 'mountain out of a molehill,' with the most recent quarterly figures. The spring quarter is typically sluggish for the streaming service, and Netflix acknowledged a weak content slate could have been partly responsible for the drop. It expects to regain some momentum this summer, projecting that it will add 7 million subscribers from July through September. The optimism stems in part from the immense popularity of 'Stranger Things,' whose third season attracted record viewership after its July 4 release. Netflix has said it welcomes competition. It ended June with 151.6 million worldwide subscribers, far more than a current crop of video streaming rivals that includes Amazon and Hulu.
  • Leave the kids at home, 'Terminator: Dark Fate' is getting an R-rating. Director Tim Miller told the audience at San Diego Comic-Con that it wasn't always going to be the plan, but the fans demanded it. The panel that kicked off the fan convention Thursday morning may also have gotten the same rating with the number of expletives thrown around by Miller. Arnold Schwarzenegger even won $20 because Miller said one particular word more than 5 times. 'It was 10,' Schwarzenegger said. 'I counted.' Would you expect any less from the director of 'Deadpool'? Miller and Schwarzenegger were joined by Linda Hamilton, who is reprising her role as Sarah Connor, franchise newcomer Mackenzie Davis and other cast members on the Hall H stage. This latest film fully ignores the events of the last Terminator movie, 'Terminator: Genisys,' with Emilia Clarke which bombed with audiences and critics in 2015. Instead 'Dark Fate' picks up where James Cameron left off with 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' in 1991. Producer David Ellison even told Miller that he didn't do Terminator as well as he'd wished the first time around with 'Genisys' and wanted to try again. Part of the strategy to 'get it right' involved bringing Cameron back to produce. Cameron chimed in via a live broadcast from the set of the 'Avatar' sequels. He said he would have liked to have been in San Diego to kick off the 50th Comic-Con , but that he had to keep working. 'Everybody's always whining about how long it's taking 'Avatar' to get done,' Cameron said. His requirements for a new 'Terminator' film started and stopped with wanting to make sure Schwarzenegger came back. It wasn't a problem, since Schwarzenegger himself said he's addicted to these films. ''Terminator' was the movie that really launched my action movie career,' Schwarzenegger said. Then there was the Sarah Connor question. For Cameron and many fans, Hamilton is the one true Sarah. He sent her a 'long rambling email with a lot of reasons why she should do it and a lot of reasons why she shouldn't.' The main point in the 'pro column,' Cameron said, is that people love her as this character. 'The character is the same but time changes everything,' Hamilton said. 'I felt there was a world of richness I could explore and then rock it as a woman of a certain age.' Although the 62-year-old actress is in full fighting shape in the footage and trailers, Hamilton said she didn't worry too much about getting back to her 'T2' self. 'One day I woke up and realized I can no longer worry about being what I was because I am so much more than what I was,' she said. 'The richness of my life experience is only going to enrich the character I play.' But her 32-year-old co-star Davis still conceded that Hamilton would definitely win in a fight. Hamilton agreed. 'Mackenzie is stronger and younger, but I'm meaner,' Hamilton said with a smile. Edward Furlong is also returning to play John Connor again. The audience greeted the action-packed footage with enthusiasm, which reached a crescendo when Sarah Connor debuted on screen. 'Terminator: Dark Fate' opens in theaters Nov. 1 and Comic-Con runs through Sunday. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr
  • For a few hours, Beyoncé had a famed blue-green waterfall in northern Arizona to herself. The Havasupai (hav-uh-SU'-peye) Tribe says it was honored to grant the singer's request to film part of her latest music video on its reservation deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon. Tribal Chairwoman Muriel Uqualla says it's a testament to the beauty of the tribe's homeland. Some campers weren't feeling the love when the popular Havasu Falls was closed off for hours. Permits to hike there sell out quickly each year. Beyoncé's song, 'Spirit,' is featured in the live-action remake of 'The Lion King,' which opens this week in movie theaters nationwide. She voices lioness Nala. Sedona's Red Rock State Park also appears briefly in the video with Beyoncé leaning against a barren tree.
  • Kevin Spacey's legal woes are not over, despite the collapse of the only criminal case brought against the two-time Oscar winner since he became mired in sexual misconduct allegations. The former 'House of Cards' star is still being investigated in London and Los Angeles over several allegations and faces a federal lawsuit alleging he assaulted a massage therapist. 'Just because this case may have fallen apart, that does not necessarily hamper another investigation or another prosecution,' said Adam Citron, a former prosecutor who now works as a criminal defense attorney in New York. Prosecutors in Massachusetts announced Wednesday that they were dropping the indecent assault and battery charge brought last year against Spacey, who was accused of groping an 18-year-old man at a bar on the resort island of Nantucket in 2016. The case unraveled after the accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify about text messages from the night of the alleged groping that the defense claimed were deleted. In Britain, the Metropolitan Police are investigating six claims of sexual assault and assault against Spacey, who ran London's Old Vic Theatre between 2004 and 2015. British police traveled to the U.S. in May to interview Spacey about sexual assault allegations, Variety reported. Without naming Spacey, the London force told The Associated Press this month that 'a man was voluntarily interviewed under caution in America by officers from the Met's Complex Case Team. He was not arrested. Inquiries are ongoing.' ''Under caution' means the interview was recorded and can be used in future prosecutions. British police don't identify suspects until they have been charged. Los Angeles County prosecutors said last year that they were investigating allegations of a 2016 sexual assault by Spacey for possible criminal charges. A Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that it 'has a case under review,' but would not say whether it involves the same 2016 incident. Prosecutors there declined last year to file charges over a 1992 allegation because the statute of limitations had run out. Spacey is also fighting a federal lawsuit in California filed by a massage therapist, who says Spacey groped him, tried to kiss him and forced him to grab Spacey's genitals. In the Nantucket case, Spacey's lawyers had argued that the two engaged in nothing more than 'consensual flirtation' and that the texts would support Spacey's claims of innocence. An attorney for the actor didn't return messages Wednesday and Thursday. The charge was dropped less than two weeks after the man voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit against Spacey because, the accuser's lawyer said, he was emotionally overwhelmed and wanted to focus on the criminal case. The groping allegation was first brought in 2017, days after Spacey's first accuser, actor Anthony Rapp, said Spacey climbed on top of him on a bed when Rapp was 14 and Spacey 26. Spacey said he did not remember such an encounter with Rapp but apologized if the allegations were true. Spacey also used the statement to disclose he is gay. A slew of other accusations followed, leading to Spacey's firing from 'House of Cards' and his removal from the completed movie 'All the Money in the World,' which was reshot with actor Christopher Plummer. __ Follow Alanna Durkin Richer at http://www.twitter.com/aedurkinricher
  • Authorities searched the Los Angeles-area home of rapper YG on Thursday in connection with a police shooting in Compton that killed a bystander earlier this month. Deputy Marvin Crowder, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, said the rapper, whose real name is Keenon Jackson, has not been implicated in the shooting and was not home at the time of the search Thursday. Officials said he leases the property. Officials said Tyquan Williams, 29, was arrested on a weapons charge during the raid but Deputy James Nagal said he did not know if the arrest was related to the shooting. Several other people were detained at the Hollywood Hills home. The fatal shooting occurred July 3 after deputies tried to pull over a Cadillac Escalade — a company car registered to Jackson — in Compton because they believed the motorist was driving recklessly and under the influence. An occupant fired an assault rifle at the deputies multiple times, who shot back at two separate locations, officials said. A sheriff's helicopter tracked the Escalade to Inglewood, where an occupant from the vehicle's passenger side fired at it. The suspects then abandoned the SUV and ran away. One suspect was arrested, though a second got away, the sheriff's department said. Authorities did not find the rifle in the Escalade and one deputy suffered graze gunshot wounds to his arm and shoulder. Deputies later found Ricky Cornell Starks, 65, of Compton, with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. It's not clear if he was shot by deputies or the suspects. Crowder said here is 'no concrete link' between Jackson and the shooting besides his vehicle. The Compton rapper — whose hits include 'Toot It and Boot It' and 'Go Loko' — previously tweeted that he didn't learn of the shooting until after. 'I was nowhere near the scene of this incident, I was in Hollywood recording in the studio all day,' he wrote. United Talent Agency, which represents Jackson, declined to comment Thursday.

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  • Today will be hot and humid with highs in the lower to mid 90’s inland and near 90 at the coast. There will be scattered afternoon thunderstorms today. Feels-like temps will once again be 100-103 inland and 100+ at the coast.  Showers and storms may dampen some early tailgaters for The Rolling Stones concert (2-5 pm).  Showers and any thunderstorms should either be out of Duval County or loosing steam by 6 pm.  CONTEST:  Pick what song you want to hear The Stones play This weekend the heat and humidity stick around with highs in the mid 90’s with only a few widely scattered showers and storms. The mid 90’s hang around on Monday.  INDEPTH:  What you need to know if you are going to the concert
  • An airman was reportedly shot in the leg Thursday night at Nellis Air Force Base. >>Read more trending news The airman was taken to a hospital with survivable injuries, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Adrian Beas told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. The circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear. Police were called shortly after 9:30 p.m. and found the injured airman near the O’Callaghan Federal Hospital, Beas said. Police and base personnel are investigating how the shooting happened, KVVU-TV reported.
  • UPDATE:  Jacksonville Police has found the missing girls who were the center of a Missing Child Alert activated late Thursday night. Police say the two girls were found safe together in Clay County. According to JSO, the case is being worked as a recovery of runaways. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says both girls are being spoken with.    ===ORIGINAL STORY:  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has issued a Missing Child Alert 11-year-old  Addison Terry.  JSO had reported the young girl was missing on Thursday after she ran away from the Youth Crisis Center on Parental Road on the Southside Wednesday night. YCC is not commenting on the specifics on how the child ran off or why she was with them, to begin with. According to the FDLE, Terry maybe with 16-year-old Jade Seidel. JSO says Seidel is another missing teen. The two were last seen in the area of Argyle Forest Boulevard but added they could be headed to Clay County. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to call the FDLE, JSO, or dial 911.
  • The uncle of missing 16-year-old Iyana Sawyer has now been indicted for two counts of first degree murder, and our partner Action News Jax reports the counts relate to Sawyer and her unborn baby. 16-year-old Sawyer was last seen leaving Terry Parker High School in December. Since that time, her uncle, Johnathan Quiles, has been identified as a suspect in her disappearance. Quiles has been in jail since January, on a separate sexual battery charge. Now, the State Attorney’s Office confirms Quiles has been indicted for two counts of first degree murder and one count of sexual battery. Our partner Action News Jax reports Sawyer’s family’s attorney tells them the murder charges are for the teen and her unborn baby. WOKV is working to get court and police records to confirm and learn more about what led to these charges being filed.
  • A toddler has drowned in a pool, in a residential area of Lakeshore South on Jacksonville’s Westside. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to the home on San Juan Avenue around 2:20PM. Jacksonville Fire and Rescue was also dispatched, and when emergency responders got on scene, they found witnesses performing CPR on the toddler. Rescue personnel took over CPR and transported the toddler to the hospital, where it died. At this time, JSO is not saying if anyone else was in the pool at the time, but foul play is not suspected in the drowning. They’re also not releasing any additional information about the victim, including the age and gender, but police confirmed in a tweet that this involved a toddler. Police are currently speaking with witnesses at the home, as their investigation continues. The Florida Department of Children and Families is also investigating.

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