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Top 8 today

Top eight stories for today including President Biden is expected to focus on areas for possible compromise in his first State of the Union address before a divided Congress; The race for a seat on Wisconsin’s highest court could have profound policy ramifications for years to come; A former officer testified about the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and more.


Biden vies to overlook elephant in the room, bolstering ‘unity agenda’

Addressing a divided Congress for the first time Tuesday night at the State of the Union, President Joe Biden will skip over topics that lead to division and instead focus on areas for possible compromise between Democrats and Republicans. 

President Joe Biden meets with congressional leaders on Nov. 29, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to discuss legislative priorities for the rest of the year. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Capitol police officer testifies about theft of his riot shield on Jan. 6

Among five indicted members of the Proud Boys facing seditious conspiracy charges, the only one who faces a single count for robbery faced damning testimony Tuesday from a former U.S. Capitol Police officer who withstood the attack on Jan. 6, 2021.

Supporters of then-President Donald Trump try to break through a police barrier at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Supreme Court rejects death penalty relief for Missouri man claiming innocence

Despite his claims of innocence, the U.S. Supreme Court refused on Tuesday to stop the execution of a Missouri man for the 2004 murder of his girlfriend and her three children. 

Leonard Taylor is on Missouri's death row for the murder of his girlfriend and her three children. (Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty via Courthouse News Service)

Judge finds no foul in green light for oil drilling in polar bear habitat

A federal magistrate judge has recommended summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a lawsuit over its authorization of oil and gas drilling on the northern coast of Alaska that conservationists say will harass threatened polar bears and walruses.

Polar Bears near Kaktovik on the Beaufort Sea coast. (Albert Marquez/Planet Earth Adventures)


Big money, partisan priorities invested in Wisconsin Supreme Court race

The so-called nonpartisan contest for a seat on Wisconsin’s highest court could have profound policy ramifications in the Badger State for years to come. Donors and political operatives have taken notice.

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates, from left, Jennifer Dorow, Dan Kelly, Everett Mitchell and Janet Protasiewicz participate in a candidate forum at in Madison, Wis., on Jan. 9, 2023. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File)

Utilities blame weather, high demand for gas price spikes. California wants feds to investigate.

Utility companies face mounting pressure to explain why many Californians are seeing huge spikes in their energy bills this winter, months after Big Oil was warned by the governor about price gouging.

A natural gas pipeline. (David Mark/Pixabay via Courthouse News)

Top New York court likely to back immunity for neighboring New Jersey

Sued over a bus collision in Manhattan, the Garden State is likely to scuttle litigation against it based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says states cannot be forced to defend lawsuits in other states.

New York Court of Appeals Judge Michael Garcia asks attorneys for New Jersey Transit during oral arguments on February 7 whether they could assert sovereign immunity as a defense at any point in litigation, including during an appeal. (Screenshot via Courthouse News)

Key alibi witness testifies to generous gift offered by Alex Murdaugh after wife and son were murdered

A caretaker for Alex Murdaugh’s mother testified that the disbarred attorney offered her a generous wedding gift when they disagreed on how long he spent at his mother’s house on the night his wife and son were fatally shot.

Mushelle “Shelly” Smith, caregiver for Libby Murdaugh in June of 2021, is questioned by prosecutor John Meadors in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post and Courier/Pool)

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