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R. Kelly’s federal trial that starts Monday in Chicago is in many ways a do-over of his child pornography trial in 2008 in state court. At that trial 14 years ago, jurors acquitted the singer on charges that he produced a video of himself having sex with a girl no older than 14. But a big difference between that trial and the one starting in a federal courthouse in Chicago is that prosecutors say the female in the video will testify this time. Among the charges Kelly faces is that he rigged the 2008 trial by paying off and threatening the girl to ensure she didn't testify. The woman is now in her 30s. Four other accusers are also slated to testify.

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Court papers show that the FBI recovered documents  labeled “top secret” from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The papers released Friday indicate the seized records include some that were marked top secret and also “sensitive compartmented information,” a special category meant to protect the nation’s most important secrets and those that if revealed publicly could cause “exceptionally grave” harm to U.S. interests. The court records did not provide specific details about what information the documents might contain. Trump backed the warrant’s “immediate” release, but contended the government could have had them any time by asking.

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The Idaho Supreme Court says Idaho’s strict abortion bans will be allowed to take effect while legal challenges play out in court. The state's highest court made the ruling late Friday afternoon. A doctor and a regional Planned Parenthood affiliate sued the state earlier this year over three anti-abortion laws, all of which were designed to take effect this year now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. Under the new ruling, a near-total criminalizing all abortions takes effect Aug. 25. The law says anyone performing or assisting with an abortion may be charged with a felony, but physicians can attempt to defend themselves by saying the procedure was necessary to save a life.

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A federal judge has sentenced a San Diego man to 18 years in prison for piloting a small vessel overloaded with 32 migrants that smashed apart in powerful surf off San Diego’s coast last year, killing three people. U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino said at Antonio Hurtado's sentencing Friday that it was the “most egregious case" he's seen in his courtroom. Prosecutors say Hurtado drove migrants into pounding surf while high on drugs and then jumped overboard, abandoning the passengers. More than two dozen people were injured. Hurtado's lawyer could not be reached for comment.

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The family of a slain Texas soldier has filed a lawsuit seeking $35 million in damages from the U.S. government. Vanessa Guillen, 20, was sexually harassed and killed at U.S. Army base Fort Hood. Her family is seeking damages for sexual harassment, abuse, assault, rape, sodomy and wrongful death. Military officials found Guillen was sexually harassed and leaders failed to take appropriate action. The lawsuit follows a Thursday's decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a law baring troops from seeking damages over injuries during service did not apply to a sexual assault lawsuit.

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A former Kentucky police detective intends to plead guilty to a civil rights charge stemming from the botched drug raid that led to Breonna Taylor's fatal shooting in 2020. Media outlets report that former Louisville Detective Kelly Goodlett is set to appear before a federal judge to enter her plea on Aug. 22. Goodlett's attorney didn't immediately return calls and emails seeking comment Friday. Taylor's death helped spark nationwide racial justice protests in 2020. The Courier Journal reports Goodlett will plead guilty to one count of conspiring to violate Taylor’s civil rights for helping falsify an affidavit for the police search of her apartment.

A federal judge has temporarily ordered a central South Dakota county to work with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe to implement by November a redistricting plan to allow for the election of tribal candidates to the County Commission. The tribe had sued Lyman County, alleging a delay to a new redistricting plan until 2024 or 2026 violated federal law by keeping Native American voters from electing county commissioners who represented them. Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court in South Dakota Roberto A. Lange issued a preliminary injunction on Thursday. He suggested the court could come up with a plan to implement the new voting districts if the county does not.

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The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that a proposal to change the way state Supreme Court justices are elected is unconstitutional and cannot appear on the November ballot. Friday's ruling upheld a March decision by District Court Judge Peter Ohmann of Butte. The legislative referendum would have asked voters if they wanted to elect Supreme Court Justices from smaller districts instead of on a statewide basis. Ohmann said the proposal was almost identical to a referendum that was blocked from appearing on the ballot in 2012 because it was unconstitutional. Montana's Constitution requires Supreme Court justices to be elected on a statewide basis.

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A federal judge has reinstated a moratorium on coal leasing from federal lands that was imposed under former President Barack Obama and then scuttled under former President Donald Trump. Friday’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris requires government officials to complete a new environmental review of the leasing program before they can resume coal sales. Few leases were sold in recent years as coal demand shrank drastically, but coal from existing leases remains a major contributor of planet-warming emissions. The industry’s opponents had urged Morris to revive the Obama-era moratorium to ensure coal can’t make a comeback as wildfires, drought, rising sea levels and other effects of climate change worsen.

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Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly leader on Friday ended a 14-month, taxpayer-funded inquiry into the 2020 election by firing his hand-picked investigator. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ firing of Michael Gableman came just three days after the lawmaker narrowly survived a primary challenge from an opponent endorsed by former President Donald Trump and Gableman. Under pressure from Trump, Vos last year announced the inquiry and chose Gableman, a conservative former Supreme Court justice, to lead it. But as the investigation progressed, Vos’ relationship soured with both Gableman and Trump. Gableman found no evidence of widespread fraud. But he had joined Trump in calling for lawmakers to consider decertifying the 2020 election, something Vos said was unconstitutional and impossible.

A federal appeals court is ordering statewide elections for two Georgia public service commissioners back onto the November ballot. Friday's ruling came only a week after a federal judge postponed the elections after finding that electing the five commissioners statewide illegally diluted Black votes. The decision by three judges on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals follows a U.S. Supreme Court decision that says judges shouldn’t order changes close to elections. District 3 Commissioner Fitz Johnson and District 2 Commissioner Tim Echols are both Republicans seeking reelection to six-year terms. Johnson is being challenged by Democrat Shelia Edwards. Echols faces Democrat Patty Durand and Libertarian Colin McKinney.

The Nebraska Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by a handful of Creighton University students seeking to be exempt from the school's COVID-19 vaccine mandate last year, arguing that getting the shots would violate their religious beliefs against abortion. The state's high court on Friday said it didn't have jurisdiction, citing its 150-year stance that orders on temporary injunction motions are not appealable. Last September, a judge refused to block Creighton University’s requirement that all students get the COVID-19 vaccination in order to attend the school. The injunction was sought by 10 students who all had religious objections to the vaccines because “the vaccines were developed and/or tested using abortion derived fetal cell lines.”

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Last week, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed state lawmakers to tighten restrictions on abortion. An Associated Press analysis of the voting results found high turnout among Democratic and independent voters contributed to that result. But even in traditionally conservative Kansas — a state Donald Trump carried by double digits in 2020's presidential election — support for the abortion measure was lower in every single county than support for the former president had been two years ago. In other states, abortion-rights supporters and opponents alike are using the Kansas vote to drive their followers to the polls.

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Since its independence in 1947, India has transformed from a poverty-stricken nation into one of the world's fastest-growing economies. Over the years it also became a democratic counterweight to its authoritarian neighbor, China, and made strong gains in electoral participation and peaceful transitions of power. But as India, the world’s largest democracy, celebrates 75 years of independence on Monday, its independent judiciary, diverse media and minorities are buckling under the strain, putting its democracy under pressure. Experts and critics partly blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi's populist government for this backsliding, accusing him of using unbridled political power to undermine democratic freedoms and preoccupying itself with pursuing a Hindu nationalist agenda.

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Donald Trump has hired a prominent Atlanta criminal defense attorney known for defending famous rappers to represent him in matters related to the special grand jury that’s investigating whether the former president illegally tried to interfere with the 2020 election in Georgia. Drew Findling’s clients have included Cardi B, Migos and Gucci Mane, as well as comedian Katt Williams. His firm said in a statement Thursday that it is representing the former president along with two other attorneys. The statement says no violations of Georgia law have been committed and calls the investigation "misdirected and politically driven."

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A prosecutor says a California juror who convicted Scott Peterson in the murder of his pregnant wife may have provided incorrect answers on a jury questionnaire, but she did not commit misconduct. Lawyers presented closing arguments Thursday in a hearing about whether Peterson deserves a new trial. Defense lawyers say juror Richelle Nice was biased and lied to get on the jury that convicted Peterson in 2004 of murdering 27-year-old Laci and the unborn child they planned to name Conner. The San Mateo County Superior Court judge has 90 days to rule. Nice had testified that she had been truthful on a jury questionnaire.

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has asked the state courts to allow her to implement a 2018 law banning most abortions. The law was permanently blocked by a judge in 2019 as unconstitutional. Reynolds previously said she planned to take the matter to court instead of calling a special session to hold a divisive abortion debate and vote just months before she and several other Republican leaders run for reelection. The court filing Thursday is just the first step in a legal battle that could take months to resolve and is likely to end up before the state Supreme Court again. The law would ban abortions once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy.

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A person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson would accept an eight-game suspension and $5 million fine to avoid missing the entire season. Watson is facing a potential year-long ban for sexual misconduct. He would agree to a lesser penalty, said the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. An independent arbitrator suspended Watson, accused of lewd sexual behavior during massage appointments with two dozen women, six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The league appealed, seeking a longer ban. Watson is scheduled to start the Browns preseason opener Friday in Jacksonville.

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An off-duty Virginia police officer who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, with a fellow officer has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison. That matches the longest prison sentence so far among hundreds of Capitol riot cases. Former Rocky Mount Police Sgt. Thomas Robertson didn’t speak in court Thursday before U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper sentenced him to seven years and three months in prison. Cooper also sentenced Robertson to three years of supervised release after his prison term. Robertson gets credit for the 13 months he has already been jailed. Federal prosecutors had recommended an eight-year prison sentence.

A prominent prison reform advocate has added a guilty plea on a federal firearms charge after a state court jury convicted him last month of felony vandalism for disguising himself as a construction worker to hide guns, handcuff keys and hacksaw blades inside the walls of a Nashville jail under construction. U.S. Attorney Attorney Mark Wildasin’s office announced Alex Friedmann’s guilty plea Thursday for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Much of what happened at the new $150 million Downtown Detention Center was caught on surveillance video and went undisputed during the jury trial. It remains unclear exactly what Friedmann planned to do.

A federal court ruling this week has thrown into doubt the future of a valuable commercial salmon fishery in Southeast Alaska. U.S. District Judge Richard Jones in Seattle sided with the nonprofit Wild Fish Conservancy in determining that the National Marine Fisheries Service improperly approved the troll fishery for king salmon, also known as Chinook, in 2019. The court said the agency failed to fully weigh the fishery's effect on the endangered killer whales that depend on Chinook for food. The conservation group said the decision is a “bombshell," while the Alaska Trollers Association said it would “to fight to preserve our fishery and our way of life.”

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The South Carolina Supreme Court delivered another loss Wednesday to restaurant owners seeking insurance payouts over COVID-19 losses. The justices say that just because the Carolina Ale House franchise lost the use of their locations due to indoor dining restrictions, they did not suffer physical loss or damage. In its ruling, the high court joins several other state courts in siding with insurance companies. Both the Iowa and Massachusetts Supreme Courts ruled in April that restaurants could not collect damages following pandemic dining restrictions. The window of opportunity for filing these insurance challenges is also closing as most policies have a two-year limitation period.

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Former Miss America Cara Mund says her concern about the erosion of abortion rights prompted her independent bid for the U.S. House in her home state of North Dakota. Mund is running against the odds in the deeply conservative state, but says the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion was “just a moment where I knew we need more women in office.” The 28-year-old recent Harvard Law School graduate announced her candidacy Saturday. Her run comes as North Dakota’s only abortion clinic in Fargo is preparing to relocate across the border to Minnesota.

Recently retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has become the honorary co-chairman of a nonpartisan group devoted to education about the Constitution. Breyer joins Justice Neil Gorsuch at a time of intense political polarization and rising skepticism about the court’s independence. The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia says Breyer and Gorsuch will be spokesmen for civics education and civility in politics. Gorsuch has served since 2019. Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen says the justices’ decision to work together “is especially meaningful in this polarized time.” The 84-year-old Breyer retired at the end of June after nearly 28 years as a justice.

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