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Top 8 today

Top eight stories for today including the Senate agreed to ratify Finland and Sweden’s bids to join NATO; Some of California's most expensive cities will ask voters if empty homes should be taxed to relieve pressure on the housing market; President Biden signed an executive order aiming to protect people crossing state lines to get an abortion, and more.

National

Senate votes to ratify Finland, Sweden joining NATO

In a broad bipartisan vote, the Senate agreed Wednesday to ratify Finland and Sweden’s bids to join NATO, a significant geopolitical move for the Western alliance in the wake of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg displays Sweden and Finland’s applications for membership in the military alliance in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday May 18, 2022. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP)

Biden signs executive order supporting travel for abortions

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday aiming to protect people crossing state lines to get an abortion, the second presidential order Biden’s made regarding abortion access since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this summer.

President Joe Biden speaks virtually during the first meeting of the interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Coinbase asks high court to halt user suits

A cryptocurrency giant asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to pause two lawsuits against it to stave off litigation and discovery while it pursues an appeal. 

The mobile phone icon for the Coinbase app is shown in this photo, in New York, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Trump war with YouTube stayed until Twitter fight ends

A federal judge on Wednesday stayed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit demanding YouTube reinstate his social media account pending Trump's appeal of the dismissal of his case against Twitter.

Former President Donald Trump speaks during an event on Friday, July 8, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Regional

Amid housing crisis, California cities look to target vacant homes with taxes

The city of Berkeley joins a growing list of California cities planning to ask voters whether property owners with vacant homes should be taxed to relieve unprecedented pressure on the housing market.

Suspected Highland Park shooter pleads not guilty to all charges

Robert Crimo III, the alleged gunman in the Fourth of July mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, pleaded not guilty on all counts in a Wednesday morning arraignment.

Accused Highland Park gunman Robert E. Crimo III walks into a Lake County courtroom during a hearing in Waukegan, Ill., on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, Pool)

Judge finds Jan-Pro janitors misclassified as contractors, owed expenses

Janitors for commercial cleaning giant Jan-Pro Franchising count as employees, not independent contractors, under California’s wage orders and must be reimbursed for their uniforms, cleaning supplies, mandatory training, and unlawful deductions for Jan-Pro’s marketing and management fees, a federal judge ruled.

(Shirley Hirst/Pixabay via Courthouse News)

International

West labels Russia a fascist menace, but experts say that’s wrong and damaging

To explain the horrific events taking place in Ukraine, a chilling narrative about Russia being a fascist state run by “the dictator” Vladimir Putin has taken hold in the West. The problem is many experts on Russia's politics say it's a false or misleading rendering of why Ukraine is engulfed in war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on July 11, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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