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Law And Order

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A man who has been charged with killing 22 older women in the Dallas area is set to go on trial again on Monday. Billy Chemirmir was convicted earlier this year of capital murder in the death of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors are looking to secure a second sentence of life in prison without parole against Chemirmir in the death of 87-year-old Mary Brooks. In years following his arrest in 2018, the charges against him grew as police across the Dallas area began re-examining the deaths of older people that had previously been considered natural.

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An investigation by The Associated Press and the PBS series “Frontline” has documented a sophisticated Russian-run smuggling operation that has used falsified manifests and seaborne subterfuge to steal Ukrainian grain worth at least $530 million. The AP and “Frontline” used satellite imagery and marine radio transponder data to track three dozen ships making more than 50 voyages carrying grain from Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine to ports in the Middle East. The ongoing theft is being carried out by wealthy businessmen and state-owned companies in Russia and Syria. Some of them already face financial sanctions from the United States and European Union. Legal experts say the theft is a potential war crime.

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Congressional districts that a federal court panel said were unconstitutional because they dilute representation for Black voters in Alabama are nevertheless being used for the November election after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed them. The high court hears arguments in the case on Tuesday. The packing of Black voters into just one of the state’s seven congressional districts leaves many of them without a voice and gives Republicans one more seat than they should have based on the state's demographics and voting patterns. Gerrymandering has reduced the influence of Black voters for decades in a state that is synonymous with the civil rights movement.

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Congressional districts that a federal court panel said were unconstitutional because they dilute representation for Black voters in Alabama are nevertheless being used for the November election after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed them. The high court hears arguments in the case on Tuesday. The packing of Black voters into just one of the state’s seven congressional districts leaves many of them without a voice and gives Republicans one more seat than they should have based on demographics and voting patterns. Partisan gerrymandering has reduced the influence of Black voters for decades in a state that is synonymous with the civil rights movement.

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The Supreme Court is beginning its new term after a break for summer. Monday's arguments are the first the justices will hear since issuing a landmark ruling stripping away women’s constitutional protections for abortion. Monday’s session is also the first time new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the court’s first Black female justice, will participate in arguments. And it's the first time the public will be able to attend since the court closed in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. A new stack of high-profile cases awaits the justices. Several cases the court has agreed to hear involve race or elections or both, and the court has also agreed to hear a dispute that returns the issue of free speech and LGBTQ rights to the court.

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Gaining the right to host next year’s Under-20 World Cup was a major milestone in Indonesia’s soccer development that raised hopes of a turnaround to long-standing problems that have blighted the sport in this country of 277 million people. The death of at least 125 people at a league game between host Arema FC of East Java’s Malang city and Persebaya Surabaya on Saturday is a tragic reminder that Indonesia is one of the most dangerous countries in which to attend a game. The domestic league amid an investigation. Soccer is passionately supported in Indonesia but the country's progress in the sport has been constrained by years of corruption, violence and mismanagement.

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Police in northern Nevada say thousands of people in hundreds of cars took over parking lots and intersections Friday night, performing stunts and leading to crashes and arrests. Police say the event advertised on social media brought people to Reno and Sparks from as far away as San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. The disturbances started late Friday with several hundred cars in the parking lot of a still-open Walmart store. Drivers fled police and met up again at several intersections and industrial parks into Saturday morning. A dozen people were arrested, 14 cars impounded and 33 people were issued citations.

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A scheme to kidnap Michigan’s governor in 2020 will get yet another airing in court. Three men face trial Monday in Jackson County, Michigan, just weeks before voters consider whether to reelect Gretchen Whitmer to a second term. Fourteen men were arrested in 2020. One of them said the kidnapping might inspire a civil war known as the “boogaloo.” Federal prosecutors focused on six people who were considered to be key players, while Michigan authorities dealt with the rest. Joe Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar are charged with providing material support for terrorist acts. They’re accused of forming an alliance with others through their paramilitary group, the Wolverine Watchmen. Defense lawyers say the three cut ties before the kidnapping plot accelerated in summer 2020.

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A Wisconsin man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more when he allegedly drove his SUV through a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee last year is set to go on trial Monday. Darrell Brooks faces nearly 80 charges in the 2021 disaster in Waukesha. Prosecutors promised to present extensive video of the SUV plowing through the crowd, and the trial had looked like a straightforward proceeding. But the judge last week allowed Brooks to represent himself. Brooks has no legal training but will get the opportunity to cross-examine victims, police officers and anyone else who testifies. Legal experts warn it could quickly become chaotic and painful for witnesses.

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A man who has been charged with killing 22 women in the Dallas area is set to go on trial in the death of an 87-year-old woman. Billy Chemirmir's capital murder trial in the death of Mary Brooks is scheduled to begin Monday in Dallas. If convicted, he faces a second sentence of life in prison without parole. He was found guilty in April of capital murder in the death of an 81-year-old woman. The charges against him grew in the years following his 2018 arrest, as police across the Dallas area reexamined the deaths of older people that had been considered natural.

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JD.com founder Richard Liu has agreed to settle a lawsuit from a former University of Minnesota student who alleges he raped her after a night of dinner and drinks in 2018. Attorneys for Richard Liu and the woman, Jingyao Liu, released a joint statement Saturday night saying the case was settled. They did not disclose a settlement amount, but said the incident resulted from a misunderstanding and they agreed to settle their differences. Richard Liu was arrested on suspicion of felony rape in August 2018. Prosecutors never filed charges, saying the case had “profound evidentiary problems.” He stepped down as JD.com’s CEO this year amid increased government scrutiny of China’s technology industry.

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The United Nations and advocacy groups for survivors of clergy sexual abuse are urging Pope Francis to authorize a full investigation into Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo. The call came after the Vatican’s sex abuse office said last week that it had secretly sanctioned the revered independence hero of East Timor in 2020. It forbade him from having contact with minors or with East Timor based on misconduct allegations that arrived in Rome in 2019. But a brief statement by the Vatican didn’t reveal what church officials might have known before 2019.

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Venezuela’s government has freed seven Americans imprisoned in the South American country in exchange for the release of two nephews of President Nicolás Maduro’s wife who had been jailed for years by the United States on drug smuggling convictions. The swap of the Americans, including five oil executives imprisoned for nearly five years, is the largest trade of detained citizens that the Biden administration has ever carried out. It amounts to an unusual gesture of goodwill by Maduro as he looks to rebuild relations with the U.S. after vanquishing most of his opponents and follows months of secretive talks, including repeated visits to Venezuela over the last year by Washington’s top hostage negotiator.

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The leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told members of the faith Saturday that abuse was “a grievous sin” that shouldn’t be tolerated. His remarks were the first from a senior church leader on abuse since The Associated Press published an investigation into how the church handles reports of sexual abuse. Russell Nelson's remarks echoed previous church statements that say the investigation mischaracterizes its policies, while underlining how its teachings condemn abuse in the strongest terms. His remarks were made at the church's twice-yearly conference that leaders use to reflect on current events and announce changes in doctrine.

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A Riverside city council member says the county sheriff libeled her when he said on social media that she had supported defacing the historic courthouse during a July abortion rights protest. The Press-Enterprise reported Friday that City Council Member Clarissa Cervantes sued Sheriff Chad Bianco for posting false comments that have immensely harmed her reputation. Bianco has refused demands to apologize and says the lawsuit is probably as fictional as most of her social media posts after protesters left green handprints on the historic Riverside courthouse. Cervantes has condemned the vandalism and says she didn't participate in the protest.

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Republicans are using the defeat of a voting suit brought by a group founded by Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams to attack her legitimacy as a voting rights advocate. They say a judge's rejection on Friday of the last remaining claims in a suit brought by Fair Fight Action shows that Abrams was wrong all along to claim that she lost the 2018 Georgia governor's race to Republican Brian Kemp because of voter suppression by Kemp. But Abrams is far from backing down from her position, and says she won a number of victories that made elections fairer. Her advocacy has also helped make voting rights a defining issue for Black voters in Georgia.

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The defense team in the Capitol riot trial of the Oath Keepers leader is relying on an unusual strategy with Donald Trump at the center. Lawyers for Stewart Rhodes are poised to argue that jurors cannot find him guilty of seditious conspiracy because all the actions he took before the riot were in preparation for orders he anticipated from the then-president. But those orders never came. Rhodes and four associates are accused of plotting for weeks to stop the transfer of presidential power, culminating with Oath Keepers in battle gear storming the Capitol alongside hundreds of other Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021. Opening statements in the trial are set to begin Monday.

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The Supreme Court opens its new term on Monday and will hear arguments for the first time after a summer break and with new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson among its nine members. The court already has said it will decide cases on a range of big issues, including affirmative action, voting rights and the rights of LGBTQ people. The justices will add more cases to their docket in the coming months. In cases from Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, the court could end any consideration of race in college admissions. And the court could further reduce protections for minority voters in another major consideration of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

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Memphis' long-held problems with testing rape kits quickly have come under renewed scrutiny with Cleotha Henderson's arrest last month in the killing of Eliza Fletcher, a mother and kindergarten teacher who was abducted while jogging. Authorities say a rape kit submitted in September 2021 for the sexual assault of a different woman sat untested for nearly a year. It wasn't until Sept. 5 — three days after Fletcher's abduction — that DNA from the 2021 assault matched Henderson's in a national database. That revelation has sparked outrage and left many wondering whether Fletcher's killing could have been prevented. It has also shown a spotlight on continued delays even after Memphis worked through a large backlog of untested rape kits.

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An Arizona judge has refused to suspend her order that allowed enforcement of a pre-statehood law making it a crime to provide an abortion. Friday's ruling from Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson means the state’s abortion providers will not be able to restart procedures. Abortions were halted on Sept. 23 when Johnson ruled that a 1973 injunction must be lifted so that the Civil War-era law could be enforced. Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich sought the order lifting the injunction. Planned Parenthood argued newer laws take precedence. They asked Johnson to put her ruling on hold to allow an appeal.

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A former television broadcaster is making his case to replace the Democratic governor of New Mexico, as the candidates clash in a live-broadcast debate. The first debate ahead of the Nov. 8 general election was held Friday night on KOB 4. Republican nominee Mark Ronchetti highlighted pocketbook issues and frustrations with crime in his bid to unseat first-term Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. The governor reiterated her support for abortion access and expanded social programs, including tuition-free college and no-pay child care. Early voting begins Oct. 11 by absentee ballots that can be mailed and turned in by hand.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered a mixed verdict on more than three dozen criminal justice laws before his bill-signing deadline Friday. He approved measures to seal criminal records and free dying inmates. But Newsom denied bids to restrict solitary confinement and boost inmates’ wages. One new law will give California what proponents call the nation’s most sweeping law to seal criminal records. Newsom also relaxed standards to allow more ill and dying inmates to be released. He blocked a bill that would have made California the latest state to restrict segregated confinement. He also rejected giving the state prison system five years to marginally boost inmates' wages.

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The head of Nevada’s Department of Corrections, Charles Daniels, has resigned at the request of Gov. Steve Sisolak in the wake of a prison escape by a convicted bombmaker that went unnoticed for four days. The escapee was serving a life sentence for a 2007 murder in an explosion outside a Las Vegas Strip resort. He was captured Wednesday night. The embarrassing chain of events has put a spotlight on chronic staffing shortages at prisons throughout Nevada . It's also raising the stakes in the western battleground state a month before the November elections where the Republican sheriff in Las Vegas, Joe Lombardo, is trying to unseat the Democratic governor.

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A subsidiary of London-based oil giant BP agreed to finish its cleanup of a 300-square mile site in Montana that’s contaminated with arsenic and other pollutants from decades of copper smelting. Under a legal decree filed Friday in U.S. District Court, the Atlantic Richfield Company committed to finishing cleanup work in residential yards in the towns of Anaconda and Opportunity. It also will clean up soils in the surrounding hills, address remaining piles of contaminated waste at the site and repay the U.S. government $48 million in response costs.. Arsenic and toxic metals spewed from a 585-foot-tall smokestack in Anaconda for nearly a century. The pollution settled into the ground for miles around.

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