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Members of the United Auto Workers union appear to favor replacing many of their current leaders in an election that stemmed from a federal bribery and embezzlement scandal involving former union officials. Reform-minded candidates are leading in multiple key positions with about 68% of the vote counted. Many challengers campaigned on rescinding concessions made to companies in previous contract talks. That could raise costs for General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, and almost inevitably will drive up already expensive auto prices. With tallies from six of nine UAW regions counted, incumbent President Ray Curry had a slight lead over international union official Shawn Fain. Curry had 38.6% of the vote to Fain's 38%. The race likely will go to a runoff.

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An attorney for Harvey Weinstein at his Los Angeles sexual assault trial told jurors that the prosecution's case relies entirely on asking them to trust accusers who have proved they were untrustworthy. Lawyer Alan Jackson made the closing argument for the defense on Thursday. He told jurors to look past the emotional testimony of the four women Weinstein is charged with assaulting and look at the facts. Jackson says “tears do not make truth.” The 70-year-old former movie mogul Weinstein is charged with raping and sexually assaulting two women and committing sexual battery against two others. He has pleaded not guilty.

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The spectacle of incandescent lava spewing from Hawaii's Mauna Loa has drawn thousands of visitors and is turning into a tourism boon for a Big Island town near the world’s largest volcano. Some hotels in and around Hilo are becoming fully booked in what is normally a slower time of the year for business. Helicopter tours of Mauna Loa, which began erupting Sunday after being quiet for 38 years, are also in high demand by tourists and journalists. Hawaii's travel industry normally falls off this time of year between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

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Tesla has delivered its first electric semis to PepsiCo more than three years after Elon Musk said the company would start making the trucks. The Austin, Texas, company made the deliveries at a factory near Reno, Nevada. The event was livestreamed on Twitter, which Musk now owns. Musk drove one of three Tesla Semis in front of a crowd inside the factory. One was white, one was painted with a Pepsi logo, and another with Frito-Lay colors. Musk has said the truck has a range per charge of 500 miles (800 kilometers) when pulling an 82,000-pound (37,000 kilo) load.

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The Prince and Princess of Wales have visited a green technology startup incubator in suburban Boston and a nonprofit that gives young people the tools to stay out jail and away from violence. William and Kate are in the United States for their first overseas visit since the death of Queen Elizabeth II. On Thursday, they heard about solar-powered autonomous boats and low-carbon cement at the incubator Greentown Labs. The royal couple’s trip comes as they look to foster new ways to address climate change. It culminates Friday with the prince’s signature Earthshot Prize, a global competition aimed at finding new ways to tackle climate change.

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People in Hawaii are asking if anything can be done to stop or divert the flow of lava as molten rock from Mauna Loa volcano inches toward a highway on the Big Island. It's an issue that comes up every time lava approaches infrastructure or towns. And over the decades, people have tried rock wall berms and other barriers to divert lava flows. The Army once even dropped bombs on Mauna Loa. Whether it can be done successfully depends on force of the lava flow and the terrain. But many in Hawaii also question the wisdom of interfering with nature and Pele, the Hawaiian deity of volcanoes and fire.

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Known for her feminist themes and often brutally frank, highly personal and self-critical work, American cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb has died at the age of 74. A close collaborator of her cartoonist husband, Robert Crumb, she died of cancer Tuesday at their longtime home in France. That's according to the manager of the website that sells Crumb’s work. Kominsky-Crumb was known for work that was not only autobiographical but also bracingly sexual and explicit. She met Crumb in the early 1970s in San Francisco, where she was part of the all-female Wimmen’s Comix collective before breaking with the group and starting “Twisted Sisters” with Diane Noomin.

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The College Football Playoff will include 12 teams, starting with the 2024 season. An expansion plan that was crafted for two years and haggled over for another 18 months finally cleared all the obstacles needed to go from idea to reality. The CFP announced Thursday that the current four-team system would be tripling in size. There are still a few more details to work out, like exact dates of some of the games, but college football is two years away from another dramatic change to its postseason. Here's how it will work.

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California water agencies that serve 27 million people will get just 5% of what they requested from the state to start 2023. Thursday's announcement by water officials comes as the nation's most populous state anticipates a fourth dry year. California typically gets half its annual rain and snowfall from January through March, so the allocations could change depending on how much precipitation falls. Limited state supplies mean water managers will continue to urge people to rip up grass, water their plants less, take shorter showers and engage in other water-saving activities.

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Democrats who control the Illinois General Assembly have approved followup clarifications to their watershed criminal justice overhaul. The proposal passed Thursday appeases critics by adding numerous offenses to a list of crimes that qualify a defendant to remain jailed while awaiting trial. The House approved it after the Senate on the last day of the fall session and before the Jan. 1 effective date of the so-called SAFE-T Act. The act chiefly eliminates the longstanding practice of requiring cash bail for criminal defendants. Critics say bail penalizes the poor and  the goal is to detain dangerous people awaiting trial while not locking up those who pose no threat but can’t afford bail.

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A prosecutor says Donald Trump “knew exactly what was going on” with top Trump Organization executives who schemed for years to dodge taxes on company-paid perks. The argument challenges defense claims that the former president was unaware of the plot at the heart of the company’s tax fraud case. Manhattan prosecutor Joshua Steinglass lobbed the bombshell allegation during closing arguments Thursday. He promised to share more details when he resumes on Friday, buoyed by the judge’s decision to grant prosecutors permission to veer into territory that had been considered off limits because Trump is not on trial.

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The College Football Playoff says it will expand to a 12-team event starting in 2024. The announcement came after the Rose Bowl agreed to amend its contract for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. That was the last hurdle CFP officials needed cleared to expand the four-team format. The expansion is expected to produce about $450 million in additional gross revenue for the conferences and schools that participate. The plan to expand the playoff was unveiled publicly in June 2021 and it took 18 months of haggling and delays to finally complete.

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An ex-convict who led Las Vegas police on a chase before officers found the severed head and dismembered body of his friend in a stolen vehicle a year ago was sentenced Thursday to at least 18 years in prison. Eric Holland called himself truly remorseful for the shooting death of Richard Miller. But that provided little comfort to Miller’s daughter, who tearfully told a judge she couldn't make sense of her father's killing. Holland is 58. He could serve up to 45 years behind bars. Without providing details, he suggested in court there was more to the case and said he hoped authorities would continue investigating his motive for the killing.

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Tech billionaire Elon Musk said his Neuralink company is seeking permission to test its brain implant in people soon. During a presentation Wednesday, he said his team is in the process of asking U.S. regulators to allow them to test the device in people. He says he thinks that might happen in about about six months, though that timeline is far from certain. His company's efforts are part of the growing field of brain-computer interface technology, which has been making strides in various arenas. Musk said the first two applications would be restoring vision and helping people who can't use their muscles operate digital devices.

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Bexar County prosecutors say a former San Antonio police officer has been indicted by a grand jury for shooting and wounding a 17-year-old as the teen put his car in reverse while eating a hamburger. The 28-year-old rookie officer, James Brennand, faces two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant and one count of attempted murder. Brennand was fired and charged with the two counts of aggravated assault after shooting Erik Cantu on Oct. 2 in a McDonald’s parking lot. Cantu was released from the hospital last week. Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales announced the indictments on Thursday.

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The 22-year-old man charged with first-degree murder in the case of a University of Mississippi student who has been missing since early July was released on a $250,000 bond Thursday. Sheldon Timothy Herrington Jr. faces a murder charge for the suspected killing of 20-year-old Jimmie “Jay” Lee. Third Circuit Court District Attorney Ben Creekmore and Herrington’s defense attorney reached an agreement for Herrington to become eligible for bond while surrendering his passport and wearing an ankle monitor. Lee was well-known in Oxford’s LGBTQ community. His body has yet to be found after his July 8 disappearance. Legal proceedings are ongoing, and Herrington will face a grand jury.

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An attorney told a federal judge that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wasn’t seeking political retaliation when he removed a prosecutor over abortion and transgender views, but simply wanted to ensure the state's laws would be enforced. Lawyers for Andrew Warren disagreed, saying DeSantis’ actions were based on what Warren said and believed and not on his competence as a prosecutor. The Democrat sued DeSantis after being suspended from his twice-elected post as state attorney in Hillsborough County. A three-day trial concluded Thursday. U.S. Judge Hinkle says he won't have a ruling for at least two weeks.

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A massive fire broke out at a San Antonio truck stop, engulfing the convenience store in flames and sending a large plume of smoke into the air. Authorities say firefighters first received a call at about 5 a.m. Thursday about a fire that broke out inside the kitchen of a Denny’s restaurant that is attached to a Flying J Travel Center near Interstate 10. Authorities say the fire spread quickly because of grease in the kitchen and windy conditions outside. Fire officials say no one was injured.

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Voters in Oregon passed one of the nation's toughest gun control laws, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate is facing a legal challenge with days to go before it takes effect. A federal judge in Portland will hear oral arguments about whether to put a hold on the law after a joint lawsuit from a gun rights group, a sheriff and a gun store owner. Measure 114 requires new gun buyers to attend a hands-on gun safety course in order to get a permit to buy a new firearm. The law also bans magazines over 10 rounds starting Dec. 8.

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As hundreds of students mourned together inside the University of Idaho’s stadium Wednesday night, family members of four slain classmates urged them to raise their eyes from grief and focus on love and the future. The vigil was held in honor of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin. The four students were stabbed to death in a home near campus in November, and police have yet to make an arrest in the case. Goncalves' father Steve Goncalves told people at the vigil that the only cure for pain is love. He urged mourners to honor the students' memories by being kinder and more loving to each other.

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Believe it or not, an iconic part of the Atlantic City Boardwalk is closing soon. The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum will close on Dec. 31 after more than 26 years of tempting Boardwalk strollers with oddities including shrunken heads, mutant animals and models of unbelievably tall or short humans. The building that houses the museum is an instantly recognizable feature of the Boardwalk. It is designed with a giant globe that appears to have smashed into the front of the building and wedged part of the way inside it. It became popular with families looking for non-gambling entertainment, gamblers taking a break from the action, and curious passersby.

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The nation's first trial over a ban on gender-confirming care for children has ended and is now in the hands of a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Jay Moody didn't indicate Thursday when he would rule on whether to overturn Arkansas' ban, which he temporarily blocked last year. Arkansas wrapped up its case with testimony from a pediatric endocrinologist who is opposed to providing such treatment to transgender children. Most major medical groups have opposed the Arkansas law that prohibits doctors from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone younger than 18.

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A Kansas Supreme Court justice has resigned in protest from a part-time teaching job at a state law school following what he says was an unsuccessful university attempt to pressure students into canceling an event featuring a leader of a group that opposes LGBTQ rights. Justice Caleb Stegall’s protest last week came amid ongoing national debates over free speech on college campuses and what’s taught in colleges and in K-12 classrooms. Stegall decried what he called the law school's closed culture. The law school's dean disagreed with that assessment but said it values Stegall's views. Disputes in other states have prompted lawmakers to pass laws dealing with free speech.

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Florida backup quarterback Jalen Kitna has been released from jail on $80,000 bond a day after he was arrested on five child pornography charges that police say included images images of a man having sex with a young girl. A judge set the bond and as conditions for Kitna’s release ordered him not to have any unsupervised contact with minors and not to have any internet access. Kitna sobbed into his hands when his parents, including former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, address the court during a 75-minute appearance. Jon and Jennifer Kitna said they would supervise their 19-year-old son back home in Burleson, Texas.

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The rapper Ye is no longer buying conservative social media site Parler. That's according to a statement Thursday from the company Thursday. It said was a decision made in the interest of both parties in mid-November. Parler is a small platform in the emerging space of right-leaning, far-right and libertarian social apps that promise little content moderation. That lack of moderation inevitably leads to an increase of racist, sexist and other hateful material on the platforms — and so far none have become mainstream. Parler launched in August 2018 but didn’t start picking up steam until 2020. It was kicked offline in January 2021 over its ties to the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol but has since returned.

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The city of Uvalde has sued the local prosecutor’s office seeking access to records and other investigative materials on the May shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 children and two teachers dead. The move highlights ongoing tensions over the slow police response and resulting flow of information about the rampage. The lawsuit file Thursday in Uvalde County against the county’s district attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee says a lack of access to information and records on the May 24 massacre is affecting an independent investigator’s ability to look for policy violations by local responding officers and determine whether disciplinary actions are needed. Busbee is conducting a criminal investigation into the school shooting.

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California's breach of personal information for hundreds of thousands of gun owners earlier this year was the result of poor training and lack of technical expertise. A report released Wednesday by the California Department of Justice found the breach was not intentional. Investigators said names, addresses and birthdays of 192,000 people who applied for concealed carry permits were downloaded 2,734 times over a roughly 12-hour period in late June. Attorney General Rob Bonta called the exposure a breach of trust and the state would adopt investigators' recommendations. California Rifle & Pistol Association President Chuck Michel says the report has gaps and unanswered questions.

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has said the company does not have plans to stop selling the antisemitic film that gained notoriety recently after Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving tweeted out an Amazon link to it. Pressure has been mounting on Amazon to stop selling the film or add a disclaimer to the documentary and the related book that it sells on its site. Jassy addressed the company's handling of the issue at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit in New York City. He says Amazon is a retailer of content to millions of customers with different viewpoints, and it has to allow access to those viewpoints even if they're objectionable.

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Stocks ended mixed after an uneven day of trading and bond yields fell broadly after the government reported that a measure of inflation that’s closely watched by the Federal Reserve eased in October. The S&P 500 ended 0.1% lower Thursday. The benchmark index is coming off its second straight monthly gain. A day earlier, markets rallied after Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated the central bank could dial back the pace of its interest rate increases. The Fed has been deliberately slowing the economy in order to tame stubbornly hot inflation. Salesforce slumped after its co-CEO said he would resign.

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The U.S. Justice Department has announced a settlement with the state of Iowa to resolve allegations of abuse and inadequate care at a state-run care center for people with intellectual disabilities. A proposed consent decree announced Thursday would see an independent monitor appointed to assess the state’s compliance at the Glenwood Resource Center. The Justice Department found in 2020 that the center likely violated the constitutional rights of residents by subjecting them to human experiments — including sexual arousal research. That report identified broad failures at the center, including poor treatment of residents and failure of the Iowa Department of Human Services to respond.

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Former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown is wanted on a battery charge in Tampa stemming from a domestic incident. Police say the 34-year-old Brown was involved in a verbal altercation with a woman at a home in Tampa on Monday. The report says Brown threw a shoe at the victim, attempted to evict her from the home and locked her out. Brown faces a court-issued warrant for his arrest. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Brown in early January after he left the field mid-game and complained about his playing time.

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The judge who oversaw the trial of a man convicted of killing six people when he drove his SUV through a Christmas parade last year says national exposure and encouragement she got for her handling of the case is not why she is running for a pivotal Wisconsin Supreme Court seat. But Dan Kelly, one of her challengers and a fellow conservative, said Thursday that the case is the only reason Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow got in the race. Dorow and Kelly are the two conservative candidates for the open seat to be determined in the April 4 election. Two liberal judges are also running.

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The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed increasing ethanol and other biofuels that must be blended into the nation’s fuel supplies over the next three years. Thursday's announcement was welcomed by renewable fuel and farm groups but condemned by environmentalists and oil industry groups. The proposal also includes incentives for the use of biogas from farms and landfills, and biomass such as wood, to generate electricity to charge electric vehicles. It’s the first time the EPA has set biofuel targets on its own instead deferring to Congress. The agency opened a public comment period and will hold a hearing in January.

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The United Nations’ highest court has found little to rule on in a long-running dispute over a small river which flows from Bolivia to Chile as the Latin American neighbors had mostly resolved their conflict during the 6-year proceedings. The International Court of Justice spent most of the hour-long hearing announcing the legal claims over the Silala River — a short waterway in the Atacama Desert — were “without object” as both countries now agree on how the water system should be managed.  Chile’s president says the ruling “recognized that Chile’s historical and current use of the waters” is in line with international law. His Bolivian counterpart says the decision has confirmed “our rights over the waters of Silala.”

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Police in Raleigh, North Carolina, have released body camera video from a shootout with a 15-year-old boy suspected of fatally shooting five people and wounding two more. Police spent several hours searching for the armed suspect after the rampage seven weeks ago. The teen was ultimately found in a shed behind a residential property. The newly released video images show officers surrounding the structure. Multiple shots ring out from the building, and officers return fire. The video also shows Raleigh Police Officer Casey Clark being shot in the right knee and then dragged to safety behind another building.

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HILO, Hawaii (AP) — The lava from the world's largest volcano is so hot and bright that the sky has turned orange. At night, throngs of people have been gathering to witness nature's spectacular light show in Hawaii.

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The ACLU of Arizona says it is suing the city of Phoenix in order to block resumed sweeps of a huge homeless encampment downtown that they say has displaced people and destroyed identification documents, prescription medications and other belongings. The ACLU says it filed the complaint late Wednesday in the U.S. District Court of Arizona to halt the city's possible resumption in December of raids that were paused at the beginning of 2022. It's the latest move in an ongoing tug-of-war between advocates and cities in Western states over how best to tackle the problem of homelessness.

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Hate rats? Are you a “somewhat bloodthirsty” New Yorker with excellent communication skills and “a general aura of badassery”? Then you might have what it takes to be the city’s new rat czar. Mayor Eric Adams’ administration posted a job listing this week seeking someone to lead the city’s long-running battle against rats. The official job title is “director of rodent mitigation,” although it was promptly dubbed the rat czar. The salary range is $120,000 to $170,000. The posting is whimsical, but the job is daunting. New York City leaders have been trying to control the rodent population for generations, with mixed results.

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A coroner says two children were among five people found dead at a suburban Chicago home following what police called a “domestic-related incident." Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said Thursday that two children and three adults were found dead Wednesday in the home in the village of Buffalo Grove. Authorities would not discuss who they believe is responsible or the weapon used. Banek says four of the five autopsies determined that sharp force injuries caused those deaths. A fifth autopsy is expected to be complete by end of Thursday. Police say the five bodies were found inside a single-family residence.

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Police say seven children were injured when a school bus veered off the road in suburban New York, hit two parked cars and crashed into a house. The crash happened just before 9 a.m. Thursday in the village of New Hempstead in Rockland County. Police say a bus carrying 21 children veered off the road, scraped against a telephone pole, hit a tree and then hit two parked vehicles. The bus hit more trees before crashing into the house. Police say two children sustained injuries that were serious but not life-threatening. Five other children and the driver suffered minor injuries.

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The International Court of Justice says it had little to rule on in a long-running dispute over the Silala River which flows from Bolivia to Chile as the Latin American neighbors have mostly resolved their differences. The United Nations' highest court spent most of the hour-long hearing on Thursday explaining that the two countries’ legal claims over the short waterway in the Atacama Desert were “without objection” since both parties now agree that the Silala River is “an international watercourse." Chile's president said the ruling “recognized that Chile’s historical and current use of the waters” is in line with international law. His Bolivian counterpart said the decision has confirmed “our rights over the waters of Silala.”

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If you’ve ever had trouble solving a Rubik’s Cube, a good piece of advice is to break it down into steps. It’s worth a shot: That advice is from the man who made it. Ernő Rubik invented the cube in 1974 and has seen his color-matching puzzle go from a classroom teaching tool in Hungary to a worldwide phenomenon with over 450 million cubes sold and a mini-empire of related toys. The latest brain-teaser is called the Phantom, which takes the 3x3 original cube and adds a memory test: Using thermochromic technology, the tiles revert to black unless the heat of the user’s hand keeps them visible.

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Some $3.1 billion was donated to charitable causes in the U.S. in the 24 hours that are called Giving Tuesday. The movement to donate on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving started as a hashtag in 2012 and 10 years later has become a staple of fundraising for nonprofits. Asha Curran is the CEO of the organization GivingTuesday, which grew out of the hashtag. She said despite a difficult economic year, people we as generous as they had the capacity to be.

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A former Florida tax collector whose arrest led to a federal probe into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for sex trafficking of a minor and other crimes. Joel Greenberg of Seminole County had pleaded guilty to six federal crimes, also including stalking, wire fraud and bribery conspiracy. Greenberg’s attorney had asked for leniency and noted his client had assisted in investigations of other people. Greenberg’s cooperation could play a role in an investigation into Gaetz over whether he paid a 17-year-old girl for sex. Gaetz has denied the allegations. No charges have been brought against the Republican congressman.

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The latest lawsuit alleging widespread misconduct across competitive cheerleading says officials permitted two choregraphers to continue working with young athletes after they were investigated for sexual abuse. Twenty plaintiffs have now brought allegations against various coaches since the founder of an elite South Carolina cheerleading gym reportedly killed himself in late August amid an investigation into abuse. Federal complaints filed in Ohio and five other states throughout the Southeast accuse the sport’s governing bodies and leading competitive institutions of failing to protect underage athletes.

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Serbia's government announces that it has named a staunchly pro-Russian politician as the Balkan state’s new spy chief. It said in a statement Thursday that Aleksandar Vulin, who was Serbia’s interior minister in the previous government and had served as defense minister before that, is taking over as the director of BIA, Serbia’s intelligence agency.  As Serbia’s interior minister, Vulin visited Moscow in August, a rare trip by a European state official that underscored Belgrade’s refusal to join Western sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine.

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Footage of an upcoming documentary about Harry and Meghan shows the couple is once again prepared to address their rift with the royal family directly and in their own words. Netflix released roughly a minute of footage of “Harry & Meghan” as their relatives, the Prince and Princess of Wales, embark on a U.S. trip. The footage includes photos and brief interview snippets of Harry and Meghan, with one portion showing a picture of Meghan crying transitioning with a glass-breaking sound effect as an image of William and Kate appears. Netflix has not announced a release date for the six-part series.

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It’s December and pretty much every network and streaming service seemingly has a show aimed at spreading holiday cheer. For those looking to skip re-runs of Christmases past, there’s a bounty of fresh shows and specials targeted to traditionalists, romantics and family friendly entertainment. The holiday-themed offerings are abundant this year, including musical events like a “CMA Country Christmas" and a new Mariah Carey holiday special on CBS. There's also the documentary called “Santa Camp” on HBO Max about efforts to make Santa stand-ins more diverse, plus a holiday feast how-to from beloved British home cook Mary Berry.