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Top Eight

Top eight stories for today including Republicans and conservative activist groups have pledged their support in recent days for a Texas-led effort to overturn the November election results; European leaders pledged to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and threatened to take a harder stance against Turkey; The World Health Organization urged people not to let guards down for wintry festivities, and more.

Your Friday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top eight stories for today including Republicans and conservative activist groups have pledged their support in recent days for a Texas-led effort to overturn the November election results; European leaders pledged to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and threatened to take a harder stance against Turkey; The World Health Organization urged people not to let guards down for wintry festivities, and more.

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National

1.) Republicans, conservative activist groups and even two non-existent “states” have pledged their support in recent days for a Texas-led effort to overturn the November election results in four key states, a long-shot cry to the nation’s highest court that has been lambasted by experts.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, voters wait in line outside a polling center on Election Day, in Kenosha, Wis. Posts shared thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are falsely claiming that an impossible number of people cast ballots in Wisconsin. Meagan Wolfe, the state’s top elections official, addressed the social media rumors Thursday, Nov. 5, saying: “Wisconsin does not have more votes than registered voters.” (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

2.) Until such time that she can subject President Donald Trump to a DNA test, rape accuser E. Jean Carroll urged a federal judge Friday not to reward his ploys by sidelining document discovery.

E. Jean Carroll leaves the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in New York. Carroll, who says President Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s, was expected to be in court Wednesday to hear lawyers argue whether Trump can substitute the United States for himself as the defendant in her defamation lawsuit. Carroll’s lawyers will argue that Trump cannot claim he was acting in an official capacity when he made statements denying the encounter with Carroll in a luxury department store dressing room in midtown Manhattan. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

3.) A week after posting record highs across the board, the three major U.S. indices flattened on Friday.

In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, traders Edward McCarthy, left, and Robert Charmak work on the floor during the Delwinds Insurance Acquisition Corp. IPO, Friday Dec. 11, 2020. U.S. stocks fell in morning trading Friday as prospects for another aid package from Washington faded while a surge in virus cases threatens to inflict more damage on an already battered economy. (Colin Ziemer/New York Stock Exchange via AP)

4.) Setting the stage for a final veto showdown to close out President Donald Trump’s single term, the Republican-led Senate voted 84-13 Friday in favor of a $740 billion defense-spending bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, speaks during a news conference following a weekly meeting with the Senate Republican caucus, Tuesday, Dec. 8. 2020 at the Capitol in Washington. (Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP)

International

5.) With deaths from the coronavirus pandemic rising, the World Health Organization urged the world Friday not to let guards down for wintry festivities

A man on a bicycle pauses on the sidewalk along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan near what has been described as "the world's largest Hanukkah menorah," Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in New York, on the first night of Hanukkah, the annual eight-day Jewish festival of lights. Due to coronavirus restrictions, a limited and socially-distanced crowd was allowed to attend. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

6.) On the final day of a two-day summit, European leaders pledged Friday to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and threatened to take a harder stance against Turkey, which is unnerving the EU with its actions in the Mediterranean region.

The bust of French statesman Robert Schuman, one of the founders of the European Union, is seen while environmental activists launch a hot air balloon during a demonstration outside of an EU summit in Brussels, on Dec. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

7.) A Hezbollah member convicted of killing the former prime minister of Lebanon was sentenced to five life sentences on Friday by a United Nations tribunal. 

Presiding judge David Re, second left, and judge Janet Nosworthy, left, and the prosecution and defense counsel seen on screens via video link due to COVID-19 measures, open the session of the United Nations-backed Lebanon Tribunal where it is scheduled to hand down it's sentencing on Salim Jamil Ayyash, a member of the Hezbollah militant group who was convicted of involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others 15 years ago, in Leidschendam, Netherlands, Friday Dec. 11, 2020. Ayyash is not in custody and is unlikely to serve any sentence. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool)

8.) A swanky Parisian mansion was not a diplomatic residence for Equatorial Guinea and France had a right to seize it, the United Nations’ high court ruled Friday.

Presiding Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf is seen at the International Court of Justice on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, as the court delivers a ruling in a property dispute between France and Equatorial Guinea. (UN Photo/ICJ-CIJ/Frank van Beek)

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