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Top 8 today

Top eight stories for today including Russia moved towards declaring the annexation of territories its troops occupy in Ukraine; Defense lawyers for five Oath Keepers charged over the U.S. Capitol riot successfully disqualified a member of the jury pool with a history of retweeting political posts; R. Kelly was ordered to pay at least $309,000 to victims who testified at his sex trafficking trial, and more.

National

Social media posts help winnow jury pool in Oath Keepers trial

Defense lawyers for five Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy in connection to last year's riot at the U.S. Capitol successfully disqualified a member of the jury pool with a history of retweeting political posts.

A tweet from former President Donald Trump is displayed as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington on June 23, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Faith-based challenge prompts 2nd Circuit to audit creativity of wedding vendors

If a photographer's work amounts to expressive speech, what about the caterer's or the calligrapher's? A panel of judges picked through the nuances of wedding planning Wednesday as they heard an appeal from a Christian wedding photographer chaffing at New York’s anti-discrimination laws.

(Image by Pexels from Pixabay via Courthouse News)

R. Kelly ordered to pay sex abuse victims $309K

Imprisoned R&B artist R. Kelly will pay at least $309,000 to victims who testified at his sex trafficking trial last year, which ended in Kelly's conviction on all counts related to a sex ring he ran for decades. 

R. Kelly's attorney Jennifer Bonjean exits the Brooklyn federal courthouse after a June 29, 2022, hearing in which the R&B singer was sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking and racketeering convictions. (Nina Pullano/Courthouse News Service)

Regional

Court affirms Texas AG needs permission of local prosecutors to go after election fraud

The highest criminal appeals court in Texas denied a request Wednesday from the state’s Republican attorney general to reconsider a past finding he lacks the authority to prosecute election code violations. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the Austin Police Association in Austin, Texas, in September 2020. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Seventh Circuit considers whether airport security guards count as law enforcement

Chicago approved the revocation of law enforcement status for security guards at the O'Hare and Midway airports in 2017. An appeals panel is now weighing whether the move violated the guards' due process rights.

(Barbara Leonard/Courthouse News)

No benefits for Ohio families that foster relatives, appeals court rules

Ohio foster parents who care for relatives but do not meet all eligibility requirements under the Child Welfare Act are not entitled to the same maintenance payments as fully licensed foster families, an appeals court panel ruled on Wednesday.

The Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse in Cincinnati, home of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress)

International

Russia poised to annex regions of Ukraine with credit to disputed vote

Russia is about to take a major gamble and declare the annexation of territories its troops occupy in Ukraine, perhaps as early as Friday when Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to make a speech to parliament.

At Russia's border at Verkhny Lars, Russians who have left their homes in response to military mobilization announcement enter neighboring Georgia on Sept. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)

EU court denies ex-Czech prime minister access to fraud investigation records  

The European Union’s second-highest court on Wednesday backed a decision by EU lawmakers to block a former Czech leader from accessing classified documents tied to his agricultural conglomerate. 

Czech billionaire and former Prime Minister Andrej Babis looks on, at the beginning of his trial at the Prague Municipal Court, in Prague, Czech Republic, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Bundas Engler)

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