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A judge has sentenced former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani to nearly 13 years in prison for his role in the company’s blood-testing hoax. The punishment announced Wednesday was slightly longer than that given last month to the CEO, who was his lover and accomplice in one of Silicon Valley’s biggest scandals. Balwani was convicted in July of fraud and conspiracy in connection with bogus medical technology that duped investors and endangered patients. His sentencing came less than three weeks after Elizabeth Holmes received more than 11 years in prison. Their scheme has been dissected in a book, an HBO documentary and an award-winning TV series.

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A federal judge ordered a Wisconsin company that cleans hundreds of slaughterhouses nationwide to ensure it is complying with child labor laws after investigators identified at least 50 minors scrubbing and sanitizing dangerous equipment at five different meatpacking plants in Nebraska, Minnesota and Arkansas. Packers Sanitation Services Inc. also entered into an agreement with the Labor Department that was announced Tuesday. As part of that, the company promised to hire an outside consultant to review its hiring policies and provide additional training for its managers. Investigators are still in the early stages of reviewing thousands of pages of records from other plants. The company employs some 17,000 people working at more than 700 locations nationwide.

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The Supreme Court seems skeptical of making a broad ruling that would leave state legislatures virtually unchecked when making rules for elections for Congress and the presidency. In nearly three hours of arguments Wednesday, liberal and conservative justices appeared to take issue with the main thrust of a challenge asking them to essentially eliminate the power of state courts to strike down legislature-drawn, gerrymandered congressional districts on grounds that they violate state constitutions. But it was harder to see exactly where the court would land. A trio of conservative justices who probably control the outcome, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, seemed open to simply limiting state court power in some circumstances.

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A state court judge’s ruling has placed Oregon’s tough new voter-approved gun law on hold just hours after a federal court judge in Portland allowed a ban on the sale and transfer of high-capacity magazines to take effect this week. The ruling by Harney County Judge Robert Raschio threw the law’s implementation into limbo. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum will file an immediate appeal with the Oregon Supreme Court. Earlier Tuesday, a federal judge in Portland delivered an initial victory to proponents of the sweeping gun-control measure by allowing the high-capacity magazine ban to take effect Thursday.

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A federal judge has dismissed a U.S. lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Tuesday's ruling bows to the Biden administration’s insistence that the prince was legally immune in the case. Washington, D.C., U.S. District Judge John D. Bates heeded the U.S. government’s request shielding Prince Mohammed from the case under the longstanding principle of limited immunity for heads of government. That's despite what Bates called “credible allegations of his involvement in Khashoggi’s murder.” Saudi officials killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had written critically of Prince Mohammed.

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A lawyer for a former Republican candidate for Michigan governor says they want more time to consider possible plea deals in a case related to the 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Gary Springstead made the request on behalf of Ryan Kelley. He's asking a judge for another 60-day timeout in federal court in Washington. Prosecutors are not opposed. Kelley is charged with misdemeanors. He’s accused of disruptive conduct, injuring public property and entering restricted space without permission on Jan. 6, 2021. Kelley insists he was lawfully protesting the results of the 2020 presidential election. He finished fourth in the August Republican primary for governor.

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Two North Carolina Democratic government lawyers have argued on competing sides at an appeals court in a case over whether the Wake County district attorney can prosecute Attorney General Josh Stein or others for a 2020 campaign commercial. Private attorneys for Stein and Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman met Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. At issue is a state law that makes certain political speech a crime. Stein's campaign ad criticized his then-Republican challenger for AG over untested rape kits. Stein and his allies say the 1931 law is unconstitutional and want the judges to block its enforcement.

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Arizona’s top officials have certified the midterm election results. The governor, secretary of state, attorney general and chief justice signed off on the election results Monday. Their signatures formalize victories for Democrats over Republicans who falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged. The certification opens a five-day window for formal election challenges. Republican Kari Lake, who lost the race for governor, is expected to file a lawsuit after weeks of criticizing the administration of the election. The certification also allows for an automatic recount to begin in a handful of races.

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The Biden administration is actively searching for ways to safeguard abortion access for millions of women. But those efforts are bumping up against a complex web of strict new state laws enacted in the months after the Supreme Court stripped the constitutional right. After midterm elections there’s a renewed purpose at the White House to find ways to help women in states have virtually outlawed or limited the treatment, and to enforce policies already in place. But the administration is shackled by a ban on federal funding for most abortions, a conservative-leaning Supreme Court and a split Congress.

A class-action lawsuit says the federal government has illegally broken a promise to pay off the debts of a group of Black farmers. The group hopes to put pressure on officials to restore funding that was dropped after a group of white farmers filed legal challenges. The U.S. Department of Agriculture now is moving forward with another effort to help farmers in financial distress and to pay farmers who the agency discriminated against. However, one of the plaintiffs says that the new programs don’t match the USDA's earlier offer to pay off 120% of the debt of socially disadvantaged farmers.

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The daughter of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is promising a new era of social equality, saying if her party is elected to power in next year’s election it will bring an end to poverty in the Southeast Asian nation. Paetongtarn Shinawatra told supporters Tuesday that if Thailand’s largest opposition party, Pheu Thai, wins in May people would see a marked change from the administration of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a military coup in 2014 and was then elected in 2019. She says: “To think big and act smart will help rebuild our country and improve the livelihood of Thai people.”

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The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is sounding sympathetic to a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for gay couples. But in arguments Monday, liberal justices suggested that allowing that discrimination could open the door to broader refusals by businesses to serve Black, Jewish or Islamic customers, interracial couples and many others. The Colorado case is the latest clash of religion and gay rights to land at the high court. A case involving a Colorado baker and a wedding cake for a gay couple ended with a limited decision five years ago and is to return to the court.

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The manager appointed by the U.S. Justice Department to oversee reforms to the beleaguered water system in Mississippi’s capital city says he hopes to wrap up work in one year or less. Ted Henifin's intended time frame echoes the Justice Department’s order appointing him as interim manager in Jackson. Henifin has been tasked with implementing 13 projects to improve the water system’s near-term stability. His work is meant to be an interim step while city, state and federal officials negotiate a court-enforced decree to mandate improvements. Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says the city’s work with the federal government to improve the water system could take longer than one year.

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A judge has thrown out bribery and fraud charges against former New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, leaving him facing only records falsification charges. Federal Judge J. Paul Oetken ruled Monday. Hours later, prosecutors notified the judge they were appealing to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Oetken says an indictment lacked an explicit example in which Benjamin provided a favor for a bribe. Benjamin, a Democrat, resigned after his April arrest. He pleaded not guilty to charges that he obtained campaign contributions from a real estate developer after agreeing to secure state money for a nonprofit organization. His lawyers say Benjamin is thankful for the ruling.

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The United States and European Union have agreed to intensify talks to resolve EU concerns over major subsidies for American companies contained in a U.S. clean energy law. Although no deal was reached at talks Monday, the two sides pledged to continue work and push for a solution that benefits both U.S. and European firms, workers and consumers. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act offers about $375 billion in new and extended tax credits to help the the U.S. clean energy industry as well as buyers of qualifying electric vehicles made in North America. But European leaders have expressed alarm that the subsidies would be an enormous setback for European companies.

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Major Western measures to limit Russia’s oil profits over the war in Ukraine have taken effect. They bring uncertainty about how much crude could be lost to the world and whether they will unleash the hoped-for hit to a Russian economy that's held up better than many expected under sanctions. Starting Monday, the European Union is banning most Russian oil and the Group of Seven democracies has imposed a price cap of $60 per barrel on Russian exports to other countries. The impact may be blunted because Russia has been able reroute much of its European seaborne shipments to China, India and Turkey, although at steep discounts. Plus, the price cap is near what Russian oil already cost.

Same-sex couples say they're happy that Congress is moving quickly to ensure nationwide recognition of gay marriage. But they're also upset that it's necessary seven years after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed it as a constitutional right. Democrats moved to add protections after the high court overturned a woman's right to abortion and Justice Clarence Thomas suggested a decision upholding gay marriage also could be reconsidered. Congress is expected to approve the Respect for Marriage Act. Sharon Bishop-Baldwin says she's disheartened her rights are still an issue. She and her wife led a fight for the right to wed in Oklahoma and thought the matter was settled.

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Same-sex couples say they're happy that Congress is moving quickly to ensure nationwide recognition of gay marriage. But they're also upset that it's necessary seven years after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed it as a constitutional right. Democrats moved to add protections after the high court overturned a woman's right to abortion and Justice Clarence Thomas suggested a decision upholding gay marriage also could be reconsidered. Congress is expected to approve the Respect for Marriage Act. Sharon Bishop-Baldwin says she's disheartened her rights are still an issue. She and her wife led a fight for the right to wed in Oklahoma and thought the matter was settled.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has driven a vehicle across a bridge to Crimea that was damaged by a truck bomb attack in October. Putin also spoke on Monday to workers and discussed the repairs of the Crimean Bridge with a senior government official responsible for the project. The bridge links Russia’s mainland with the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The Oct. 8 truck bomb attack disrupted travel on one of the two automobile lanes of the bridge. Russia blamed the attack on Ukrainian military intelligence and responded with several waves of strikes on Ukraine’s energy facilities and other key infrastructure, the latest of which was launched Monday.

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The vast majority of Americans no longer get tax breaks for charitable contributions, but that’s no reason to stop giving. In fact, you might use this as an opportunity to expand your ideas of what constitutes charitable giving. To make your contributions count while optimizing your tax benefit, consider ways to adjust your approach. Look into donor-advised funds, stock donations and qualified charitable distributions from your individual retirement account, or IRA. If you skip a charitable donation in lieu of a gift to an individual, make sure you know the gift exemption limits.

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Japan has set a new target for military spending over the next five years to $318 billion, or 1.5 times the current level, as the country seeks defense buildup including the use of preemptive strike. The defense minister said he and the finance minister were instructed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday to work on a budget plan to increase Japan’s 2023-2027 military spending by more than 50%. He said the planned increase is “to firmly secure the necessities to pursue substantial reinforcement” of Japan’s defense. The government is currently finalizing a revision of its national security strategy to allow the use of preemptive strikes in a major shift to Japan’s self-defense-only postwar principle. Critics say it could violate the pacifist constitution.

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Legislation that ensures same-sex and interracial marriages are recognized as legal unions appears headed for final approval and President Joe Biden’s signature. The Respect for Marriage Act is a historic bipartisan agreement that reflects a wider acceptance of gay rights in both Congress and the country. The measure would protect the rights of about a half million married couples. It passed the Senate last week and heads to the House this week for near-certain approval. For many of the couples whose marriages will be protected, approval of the Respect for Marriage Act brought a sense of relief and was cause for celebration. But they also say more work needs to be done.

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