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AP
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A federal judge has found that Georgia election practices challenged by a group associated with Democrat Stacey Abrams do not violate the constitutional rights of voters. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones on Friday ruled in favor of the state on all remaining issues in the lawsuit that was filed nearly four years ago. The federal lawsuit alleged serious problems with Georgia’s election system. It was filed in 2018 by Fair Fight Action, an organization founded by Abrams, a voting rights activist and the Democratic nominee for Georgia governor. Jones wrote that while “Georgia's election system is not perfect,” the practices challenged in the lawsuit don't violate the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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The New York attorney general’s lawsuit accusing Donald Trump and his company of fraud has been assigned to a state court judge who repeatedly ruled against the former president in related subpoena disputes — including holding him in contempt, fining him $110,000 and forcing him to sit for a deposition. Trump’s lawyers are objecting to Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron’s continued involvement and accused Attorney General Letitia James’ office of attempting to “judge shop.” James’ office filed the lawsuit last week and is angling to get the case to trial by the end of next year — before the first primaries in the 2024 presidential election.

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An ex-adviser to former President Donald Trump has taken a plea deal to resolve allegations he made unwanted sexual advances to a GOP donor at a Las Vegas event. Corey Lewandowski entered into a plea agreement earlier this month involving a charge of misdemeanor battery, according to online Clark County records. While he does not admit to any wrongdoing, Lewandowski will undergo eight hours of impulse control counseling and 50 hours of community service. His attorneys say he will fulfill all those conditions and the case will be dismissed. Trump donor Trashelle Odom publicly alleged Lewandowski repeatedly touched her without her permission, made lewd comments and stalked her.

AP
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The former head of a publicly funded nonprofit that ran homeless shelters in Massachusetts has been sent to jail for a year for stealing $1.5 million from the organization and lying under oath, prosecutors said. The state attorney general says 70-year-old Manuel Duran was also sentenced Thursday to 250 hours of community service after pleading guilty to larceny and perjury related to his time as executive director of Casa Nueva Vida, which sheltered about 150 families at more than a dozen locations in Boston and Lawrence. He was also ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined.

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Russia is planning to annex more of Ukraine on Friday. The move represents an escalation of the seven-month war that is expected to isolate the Kremlin further, draw more international punishment and bring extra support to Ukraine. An annexation ceremony is planned in the Kremlin. The annexation would come just days after voters supposedly approved Moscow-managed “referendums” that Ukrainian and Western officials have denounced as illegal, forced and rigged. In an apparent response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an emergency meeting Friday of his National Security and Defense Council.

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Mexico has become the deadliest place in the world for environmental and land defense activists, and the Yaqui Indigenous people of northern Mexico are still mourning the killing of water-defense leader Tomás Rojo found in June 2021. The murder of Indigenous land defenders often conjures up images of Amazon activists killed deep in the jungle. But while Colombia and Brazil still account for many of the deaths, according to a report by the nongovernmental group Global Witness, Mexico saw 54 activists killed in 2021, compared to 33 in Colombia and 26 in Brazil. Two hundred activists were killed worldwide in 2021. Latin America accounted for over two-thirds of the murders in 2021.

AP
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Mexico has become the deadliest place in the world for environmental and land defense activists, and the Yaqui Indigenous people of northern Mexico are still mourning the killing of water-defense leader Tomás Rojo found in June 2021. The murder of Indigenous land defenders often conjures up images of Amazon activists killed deep in the jungle. But while Colombia and Brazil still account for many of the deaths, according to a report by the nongovernmental group Global Witness, Mexico saw 54 activists killed in 2021, compared to 33 in Colombia and 26 in Brazil. Two hundred activists were killed worldwide in 2021. Latin America accounted for over two-thirds of the murders in 2021.

AP
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European companies are ramping up security around pipelines and energy prices are climbing again as the suspected sabotage of two pipelines that deliver natural gas from Russia underscored the vulnerability of Europe’s energy infrastructure and prompted the EU to warn of possible retaliation. Some European officials and energy experts have said Russia is likely to blame for any sabotage, while others cautioned against pointing fingers until investigators are able to determine what happened. Russia benefits from higher energy prices and economic anxiety across Europe. Moscow has sharply curtailed natural gas shipments to Europe in retaliation for sanctions the West put in place after its invasion of Ukraine.