Oath Keepers boss guilty of seditious conspiracy in 1/6 case
WASHINGTON (AP) — Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was convicted Tuesday of seditious conspiracy for a violent plot to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win, handing the Justice Department a major victory in its massive prosecution of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
A Washington, D.C., jury found Rhodes guilty of sedition after three days of deliberations in the nearly two-month-long trial that showcased the far-right extremist group’s efforts to keep Republican Donald Trump in the White House at all costs.
Using dozens of encrypted messages, recordings and surveillance video, prosecutors made the case that Rhodes began shortly after the 2020 election to prepare an armed rebellion to stop the transfer of presidential power.
Over seven weeks of testimony, jurors heard how Rhodes rallied his followers to fight to defend Trump, discussed the prospect of a “bloody” civil war and warned the Oath Keepers may have to “rise up in insurrection” to defeat Biden if Trump didn’t act.
Rhodes and a co-defendant who was also convicted of seditious conspiracy are the first people in nearly three decades to be found guilty of the rarely used Civil War-era charge at trial. The trial was the biggest test yet for the Justice Department in its efforts to hold accountable those responsible for attack that shook the foundations of American democracy.
Pulisic goal advances US in World Cup with 1-0 win over Iran
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic gave his body for his country, scoring the goal that advanced the United States in the World Cup while crashing into the goalkeeper.
Pulisic’s 38th-minute goal lifted the U.S. over Iran 1-0 on Tuesday in a politically charged rematch of their famous meeting a quarter-century ago. The American star was replaced at the start of the second half and taken to a hospital with dizziness and to receive an abdominal scan.
“He was taken to the hospital, I think as a precaution,” said U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter. “He was feeling some dizziness. It was an abdominal wound, but below his abdomen.”
Pulisic scored and was sprawled on the field and lying in the goal for about three minutes as he received treatment from the U.S. staff. He tried to continue playing but was substituted and later taken to the hospital, and Berhalter said Pulisic was injured when he was taken out of the game.
“I think that’s the American spirit, the way this group plays, and I think people will appreciate that,” Berhalter said.
Senate to vote on landmark bill to protect same-sex marriage
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate will vote Tuesday on bipartisan legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages, moving Congress closer to passing the landmark bill and ensuring that such unions are enshrined in federal law.
The expected passage of the legislation with support from both parties is an extraordinary sign of the shifting 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 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized gay marriage nationwide. Senate Democrats are moving quickly, while the party still holds the majority in both chambers of Congress, to send the bill to the House and eventually President Joe Biden's desk.
The bill has gained steady momentum since the Supreme Court’s June decision that overturned the federal right to an abortion, and comments from Justice Clarence Thomas at the time that suggested same-sex marriage could also come under threat. Bipartisan Senate negotiations kick-started this summer after 47 Republicans unexpectedly voted for a House bill and gave supporters new optimism.
The legislation would not codify the Obergefell decision or force any state to allow same-sex couples to marry. But it would require states to recognize all marriages that were legal where they were performed, and protect current same-sex unions, if Obergefell were to be overturned. It would also protect interracial marriages by requiring states to recognize legal marriages regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.”
“The rights of all married couples will never truly be safe without the proper protections under federal law, and that’s why the Respect for Marriage Act is necessary,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor before a test vote Monday.
NATO renews membership vow to Ukraine, pledges arms and aid
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — NATO doubled down Tuesday on its commitment to one day include Ukraine, a pledge that some officials and analysts believe helped prompt Russia's invasion this year. The world’s largest security alliance also pledged to send more aid to Ukrainian forces locked in battle with Russian troops.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with NATO foreign ministers in Romania to drum up support for Ukraine as Russia bombards energy infrastructure going into the frigid winter. Russia cannot stop the alliance's expansion, NATO leaders said.
“NATO’s door is open,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said before chairing the meeting in the capital, Bucharest.
He highlighted that North Macedonia and Montenegro had recently joined NATO, and said Russian President Vladimir Putin “will get Finland and Sweden as NATO members” soon. The Nordic neighbors applied for membership in April, concerned that Russia might target them next.
“Russia does not have a veto” on countries joining, Stoltenberg said. “We stand by that, too, on membership for Ukraine."
EXPLAINER: What to know on Congress' bid to bar rail strike
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is asking Congress to intervene to avert a potentially crippling freight rail strike before Christmas and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling a vote this week to do so, even if it means handing a defeat to Democratic allies in the labor movement.
The legislation urged by Biden and being voted on Wednesday by the House would impose a compromise labor agreement brokered by his administration that was ultimately voted down by four of the 12 unions that represent about 115,000 workers at the freight railroads.
A look at Congress' options to intervene, the potential impact on consumers, and what happens next:
WHY DID BIDEN ASK CONGRESS TO ACT NOW?
In urging Congress to impose the deal that union leaders had agreed to in September, Biden pushed an aggressive option that would immediately resolve an impasse between freight railroads and the unions over paid sick leave that threatened a rail stoppage starting Dec. 9.
Twitter ends enforcement of COVID misinformation policy
Twitter will no longer enforce its policy against COVID-19 misinformation, raising concerns among public health experts and social media researchers that the change could have serious consequences if it discourages vaccination and other efforts to combat the still-spreading virus.
Eagle-eyed users spotted the change Monday night, noting that a one-sentence update had been made to Twitter's online rules: "Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy.”
By Tuesday, some Twitter accounts were testing the new boundaries and celebrating the platform's hands-off approach, which comes after Twitter was purchased by Elon Musk.
“This policy was used to silence people across the world who questioned the media narrative surrounding the virus and treatment options,” tweeted Dr. Simone Gold, a physician and leading purveyor of COVID-19 misinformation. “A win for free speech and medical freedom!”
Twitter's decision to no longer remove false claims about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines disappointed public health officials, however, who said it could lead to more false claims about the virus, or the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
Study: U.S. gun death rates hit highest levels in decades
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. gun death rate last year hit its highest mark in nearly three decades, and the rate among women has been growing faster than that of men, according to study published Tuesday.
The increase among women — most dramatically, in Black women — is playing a tragic and under-recognized role in a tally that skews overwhelmingly male, the researchers said.
“Women can get lost in the discussion because so many of the fatalities are men,” said one the authors, Dr. Eric Fleegler of Harvard Medical School.
Among Black women, the rate of firearm-related homicides more than tripled since 2010, and the rate of gun-related suicides more than doubled since 2015, Fleegler and his co-authors wrote in the paper published by JAMA Network Open.
The research is one of the most comprehensive analyses of U.S. gun deaths in years, said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard University’s Injury Control Research Center.
Nigerian stowaways found on ship's rudder in Canary Islands
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Three stowaways were found on a ship's rudder in the Canary Islands after an 11-day ocean voyage from Nigeria, Spain’s maritime rescue service said.
The men found on the Alithini II oil tanker at the Las Palmas port on Monday afternoon appeared to have symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia and were transferred to hospitals on the island for medical attention, according to Spain's Maritime Safety and Rescue Society.
The survivors were all from Nigeria, the Spanish government’s delegation in the Canary Islands told The Associated Press. One of them remained hospitalized Tuesday.
The maritime rescue agency, known in Spain as Salvamento Marítimo. shared a photo of the three men sitting on top of the rudder under the ship's massive hull with their feet hanging only a few centimeters (inches) from the water.
According to the MarineTraffic tracking website, the Malta-flagged vessel left Lagos, Nigeria on Nov. 17 and arrived in Las Palmas on Monday. The distance between the ports is roughly 4,600 kilometers (2,800 miles).
Clarence Gilyard, 'Die Hard' and 'Matlock' actor, dies at 66
NEW YORK (AP) — Clarence Gilyard Jr., a popular supporting actor whose credits include the blockbuster films “Die Hard" and “Top Gun” and the hit television series “Matlock” and “Walker, Texas Ranger,” has died at age 66.
His death was announced this week by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught stage and screen acting. Additional details were not immediately available Tuesday.
"Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV,” the school's film chair, Heather Addison, said in a statement. “Whenever we asked him how he was, he would cheerfully declare that he was ‘Blessed!’ But we are truly the ones who were blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years."
Gilyard was a Moses Lake, Washington, native. He had a prolific career as an actor, starting in the 1980s with appearances in “Diff'rent Strokes," ”The Facts of Life" and other shows. He then appeared in two of the biggest movies of the decade: “Top Gun,” in which he played Sundown, a radar intercept officer, and “Die Hard,” when he was featured as a villainous computer maven whose one liners included “You didn’t bring me along for my charming personality.”
In the 1990s, he was on the side of law enforcement in “Matlock,” playing opposite Andy Griffith, and “Walker, Texas Ranger,” which starred Chuck Norris. His other credits include “The Karate Kid: Part II,” a stage production of “Driving Miss Daisy” and an appearance alongside “Die Hard” star Bruce Willis in a commercial for DieHard batteries.
Got a bucket? Speed up the composting process with bokashi
It’s no secret that the key to healthy plants is healthy soil, and the best way to improve soil is by incorporating compost, which can take up to a year to make.
Bokashi is a composting method that can speed that up. It uses an inoculant developed in Japan in the 1980s containing beneficial microorganisms.
Compost improves the drainage of heavy clay soil and enhances the water retention of sand. It exudes nutrients and microbes to nourish plants and increase their vigor, while decreasing or eliminating the need for conventional fertilizer.
Homemade compost, always a worthwhile endeavor, requires time and patience. Ingredients must be tossed or turned periodically to expose all parts to the oxygen necessary for their aerobic – or oxygen-fueled — decomposition.
Bokashi composting degrades ingredients anaerobically, replacing the function of oxygen with fermentation, which essentially pickles them. This cuts the wait time to as little as 10 days, and creates a product that’s even higher in nutrients than traditional compost.
The Associated Press