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Top 8 today

Top eight stories for today including tensions between Moscow and the West escalated further after the U.S. and Germany said they are sending Ukraine advanced heavy-duty weapons; A jury found that Amber Heard defamed her ex-husband Johnny Depp and that his attorney defamed her; A state task force recommended financial restitution to Black Californians whose descendants were either slaves or victims of racist policies, and more.

National

Jurors mostly side with Depp in defamation case against Heard

The jury deliberating a high-profile defamation case between divorced Hollywood stars found Wednesday that actress Amber Heard defamed her ex-husband Johnny Depp in an article describing herself as a domestic abuse survivor, but also found his attorney defamed her.

In this screen grab from video, Amber Heard reacts, with her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft at right, as the jury verdict is read in the courtroom in the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. (Court TV, via AP, Pool)

Mountain Dew makes inroads at 2nd Circuit to overturn energy drink injunction

The Second Circuit looked ready Wednesday to lift the injunction that forced parent company PepsiCo to rename its new Mountain Dew energy drink last year.

Pepsico had to rebrand its Mtn Dew Rise cans as Mtn Dew Energy after a coffee company called Rise secured an injunction in federal court. (Pepsico image via Courthouse News)

Regional

California panel calls for giving monetary reparations to descendants of slaves

A much anticipated report by California’s “Reparations Task Force,” released Wednesday, called for a “comprehensive” racial reparations scheme, including financial restitution to Black Californians whose descendants were either slaves or victims of racist policies.

Slaves planting sweet potatoes at James Hopkinson's plantation, some time around 1862 (Library of Congress)

International

US to send Ukraine advanced weapons, raising stakes in war 

Tensions between Moscow and the West are escalating further after the United States and Germany said they are sending advanced heavy-duty weapons to aid Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion.

In this 2011 file photo, a launch truck fires the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) produced by Lockheed Martin during combat training in the high desert of the Yakima Training Center in Washington state. (Tony Overman/The Olympian via AP, File)

EU court upholds sanctions against ‘Putin’s chef’

The European Union’s second-highest court on Wednesday upheld sanctions against the suspected leader of the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner Group, a man also widely known as “Putin’s chef.”

In this July 4, 2017, file photo, Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin is shown prior to a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Science

Plants can ‘sense’ oxygen levels around them, new study finds

Just how plants adapt to higher altitudes has been something of a mystery. But a paper published Wednesday in Nature argues that plants are able to “sense” atmospheric oxygen levels around them, citing new research to back up the claim.

The Chuquiraga jussieui, otherwise known as the "flower of the Andes," an endangered flower that grows 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level.

From the Wires

John Hinckley Jr. to get full freedom 41 years after shooting Ronald Reagan

John Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, is “no longer a danger to himself or others” and will be freed from all restrictions this month, a federal judge said Wednesday, capping Hinckley’s four-decade journey through the legal and mental health systems.

In this Nov. 18, 2003, photo, John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

After mass shooting, NYC explores gun detectors in subways

In the aftermath of a mass shooting on a New York City subway train, the mayor floated a high-tech idea: deploy scanners that can spot someone carrying a gun into the transit system before they have a chance to use it.

People wait for students and updates outside of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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