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    Despite assurances that lava from Hawaii's Mauna Loa isn't threatening communities, some residents are remaining vigilant. For Nicole Skilling, the first eruption in 38 years of the world’s largest active volcano is bringing back bad memories. She fled from another Hawaii volcano in 2018. Back then she lived near the community where lava destroyed more than 700 homes. She relocated to the South Kona area, only to find herself packing her car with food and supplies after Mauna Loa erupted late Sunday. Officials say the areas where lava is emerging are far from homes and communities. The eruption has also drawn onlookers to a national park for views of the event that are said to be “spectacular.”

      Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has been convicted of seditious conspiracy for a violent plot to overturn President Joe Biden's election, handing the Justice Department a major victory in its massive prosecution of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. A Washington, D.C., jury on Tuesday found Rhodes guilty of sedition after three days of deliberations. The nearly two-month-long trial showcased the far-right extremist group’s efforts to keep Republican Donald Trump in the White House at all costs. An attorney for Rhodes says they intend to appeal. Rhodes was also convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding, but acquitted of two other conspiracy charges.

        A Missouri man convicted of ambushing and killing a St. Louis area police officer he blamed in the death of his younger brother has been executed. Kevin Johnson was put to death by lethal injection Tuesday night at the state prison in Bonne Terre. He was 37. It was the state’s second execution this year. Johnson’s attorneys didn’t deny that he killed Kirkwood Police Officer William McEntee in 2005, but contended he was sentenced to death in part because he was Black. The courts and Republican Gov. Mike Parson declined to stop the execution.

          Hundreds of people have gathered at Harvard University and near Chinese consulates in New York and Chicago to support protesters who have called for that country’s leader to step down amid severe anti-virus restrictions in the biggest demonstrations against the government in Beijing in decades. About 50 protesters, mostly students at the elite Ivy League school, sang songs Tuesday in both Chinese and English. Several hundred gathered near consulates in New York and Chicago. Some held pieces of blank paper in front of their faces as a symbol of defiance to Chinese government censorship.

          President Joe Biden says he hopes lawmakers can work together to fund the government, boost spending for Ukraine and avert a crippling rail strike. His comments came as he met with congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday. Biden is seeking to lock in more legislative wins before Democrats lose unified control of Washington on Jan. 3. But Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the likely new Republican House speaker, said Biden “got an indication that it’s going to be different” once the GOP takes control of the House. He blasted the Biden administration’s immigration policies, and promised a new round of investigations once the GOP is in power.

          The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has interviewed former Secret Service agent Tony Ornato about Donald Trump’s actions on the day of the insurrection. That's according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly about closed-door depositions and requested anonymity. It was the third time the panel interviewed Ornato. Former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified over the summer about a conversation she had with Ornato on Jan. 6, in which he recalled to her how Trump had lashed out and grabbed at the steering wheel of the presidential SUV when the Secret Service refused to let him go to the Capitol that day.

          French President Emmanuel Macron will be the guest for the first state visit of Joe Biden’s presidency. The event this week is a revival of diplomatic pageantry that had been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden-Macron relationship has turned around from its choppy start. Macron briefly recalled France’s ambassador to the United States last year after the White House announced a deal to sell nuclear submarines to Australia that undermined a contract that France had to sell diesel-powered submarines. Today, Macron has become one of Biden’s most forward-facing European allies in the Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

          Federal prosecutors say a Southern California man has admitted to firing BB guns at a Planned Parenthood clinic at least 11 times and agreed to plead guilty to two crimes. A plea agreement by Richard Royden Chamberlin was filed Monday in federal court. Prosecutos say Chamberlin attacked a Pasadena clinic in 2020 and 2021 because it provided abortions. Police stopped Chamberlin in 2021, finding eight BB guns and a .22-caliber pistol. Chamberlin has a prior felony conviction. He agreed to plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and forcible interference with the obtaining and provision of reproductive health services.

          The judge who presided over the trial of the man convicted of killing six people during the Waukesha Christmas parade is running for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The race will determine the ideological balance of the court. By entering the race Tuesday, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow became the second conservative candidate declare their candidacy. Two liberal judges are also running. The winner will replace a retiring conservative justice who is part of a 4-3 majority. Liberals are prioritizing the race as a way to flip control of the court heading into the 2024 presidential election. Her husband Brian Dorow says Jennifer Dorow plans to hold an event launching her candidacy on Wednesday.

          Finland’s leader says it must give more weapons and support to Ukraine to ensure it wins its war against Russia. Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the comments Wednesday in Auckland as she embarked on the first-ever visit by a Finnish leader to New Zealand and Australia. Among the aims of the visit are improving diplomatic relations and trade ties. “We need hard power when it comes to Ukraine,” Marin told reporters when asked what soft-power influence smaller countries like Finland and New Zealand could exert. Since the war began, both Finland and Sweden have abandoned their longstanding policies of military nonalignment and applied to join NATO.

          Closing arguments slated for Thursday in The Trump Organization’s tax fraud case could clock in at seven hours, or more. Those lengthy projections speak to the complexity of the case involving former President Donald Trump's company. Prosecutors are seeking to punish the Trump Organization for longtime finance chief Allen Weisselberg’s 15-year scheme to avoid taxes on company-paid perks including a Manhattan apartment and luxury cars. The speeches, also called summations, are the last chance prosecutors and defense lawyers have to recap key witnesses and evidence for the jury before it starts deliberating next week.

          The Senate has passed landmark  bipartisan legislation to protect same-sex marriages. It's an extraordinary sign of shifting national politics on the issue and a measure of relief for the hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples who have married since the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that legalized gay marriage nationwide. The bill approved Tuesday would ensure that same-sex and interracial marriages are enshrined in federal law.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the legislation is “a long time coming” and part of America’s “difficult but inexorable march towards greater equality.”  Senate Democrats are moving quickly to send the bill to the House and President Joe Biden’s desk.

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          A judge has lifted a temporary restraining order that limited wolf hunting in Montana, saying there is nothing to suggest rules now in place will make wolf populations unsustainable in the short term. District Judge Christopher Abbott also rejected concerns raised by environmental groups that harvesting up to six wolves just outside Yellowstone National Park could harm the park's wolf population. Tuesday's decision dissolves a temporary restraining order Abbott issued on Nov. 16 and restores the hunting and trapping rules the state set in August. The rules allow for the killing of up to 450 wolves in Montana. Individuals are allowed to take up to 20 wolves.

          The family of a man who was badly hurt when an SUV crashed into an Apple store in Massachusetts have sued the company, the driver and the property owners. Matthew Timberger, of Falmouth, suffered broken bones and other serious injuries when the vehicle drove into the store in Hingham on Nov. 21, the lawsuit says. He and his family accuse the driver of negligently operating the vehicle, and Apple and the property owners of failing to place barriers that might have prevented a car from entering the store. Neither Apple nor property owners and managers WS Development immediately responded to messages seeking comment. A phone number could not be located for driver. The crash killed one person and injured 20.

          New data shows an experimental Alzheimer's drug modestly slowed the brain disease's inevitable worsening. The next question is how much difference that might make in people's lives. Japanese drugmaker Eisai and its U.S. partner Biogen announced earlier this fall that lecanemab appears to work, a badly needed bright spot after disappointments in the quest for better Alzheimer's treatments. Tuesday, the companies released full study results. Eisai says the drug's benefit translates to about a five-month delay in progression over the 18-month study. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide whether to approve the drug by early January.

          Pennsylvania’s most active gas driller has pleaded no contest to criminal environmental charges in a landmark pollution case. Houston-based Coterra Energy Inc. entered its plea Tuesday in Susquehanna County Court. Residents of the tiny crossroads of Dimock nearby in northeastern Pennsylvania said Coterra Energy ruined their aquifer and failed to make it right. That led to one of the most prominent pollution cases to emerge from the U.S. drilling and fracking boom. Coterra agreed in a plea agreement to pay $16.29 million to connect the residents’ homes to a clean source of water and pay their water bills for the next 75 years.

          R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco companies are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to impose an emergency order stopping a California ban on flavored tobacco products from taking effect. The companies filed the request Tuesday. Nearly two-thirds of California voters earlier this month approved of the ban on cotton-candy vaping juice, methanol cigarettes and other products. The state legislature passed the law two years ago but it never took effect after tobacco companies gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot. Supporters of the ban say the law was necessary to put a stop to a staggering rise in teen smoking.

          Kim Kardashian and Ye have reached a settlement in their divorce, averting a trial that had been set for next month. Court documents filed Tuesday in Los Angeles show that Kardashian the rapper formerly known as Kanye West will have joint custody and she will receive $200,000 a month in child support. The judge declared the two legally single in March, ending their eight-year marriage, but issues of property and custody had to be worked out. A trial had been scheduled for next month to resolve the remaining issues.. The two have four children whose ages range from 3 to 9 years old.

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