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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including former police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating George Floyd's civil rights; Thousands of French judges went on strike to protest the poor state of the country's understaffed courts; Democrats in Nevada are facing claims of gerrymandering from all sides, and more.

National

Chauvin takes plea deal on federal charges over Floyd arrest

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors Wednesday morning, pleading guilty to one count of violating George Floyd's civil rights during his fatal arrest in May 2020.

In this April 20, 2021, file image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin listens to verdicts at his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. (Court TV via AP, Pool, File)

Supreme Court takes up military discrimination spat

A Texas state trooper who was denied a disability accommodation after his last tour in Iraq will go before the Supreme Court in 2022 to argue that states are not immune from military discrimination claims.

The Supreme Court is seen in Washington on Sept. 3, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Senate votes to pass $768 billion defense budget

Party lines, and more ambitious reforms, fell to the wayside Wednesday as the Senate adopted the $768 billion defense authorization bill after months of debate over what the massive funding package could include.

The Senate passed a bill to fund U.S. defense programs for the year on Dec. 15, 2021. (Screenshot via Courthouse News)

New Ninth Circuit judge confirmed in tight vote

President Joe Biden's record-breaking court nomination spree dovetailed Wednesday with an end-of-the-year-push to confirm such appointments as the Senate cleared Oregon state labor board member Jennifer Sung for a seat on the Ninth Circuit.

Oregon state labor board member Jennifer Sung at a September 2021 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on several of President Joe Biden's circuit court nominations, including Sung's. (Screenshot via Courthouse News)

Regional

In Nevada, gerrymandering claims come from all sides

Democrats in Nevada are facing claims of gerrymandering from the left, right and center after redistricting the Legislature and its four Congressional seats.

A map of Nevada's congressional district as drawn by the Legislature and approved by the governor in November 2021.

Texas county to pay $5M to family of Black motorist who died as TV cameras rolled

A Texas county has agreed to pay $5 million to settle wrongful death claims brought by the family of Javier Ambler, a Black motorist who was shot with a stun gun and died during a traffic stop while cameras with reality TV show “Live PD” rolled.

Williamson County deputies hold down Javier Ambler as one of them uses a Taser on Ambler’s back during his arrest in Austin, Texas, in March 2019. (Austin Police Department via AP)

International

An unusual strike even for France: Judges walk out

France is used to strikes, but on Wednesday it saw something it has never witnessed before: Most of the country's black and red-robed judges staged a walkout and demanded better working conditions.

The French Court of Cassation in Paris. (Photo via Daniel Vorndran/Wikipedia Commons via Courthouse News)

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte gets fourth term under new government 

Nine months after national elections and nearly a year after the Dutch cabinet resigned in scandal, Prime Minister Mark Rutte is set to begin his fourth term as the head of a four-party coalition government. 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte leaves after surviving a no-confidence motion in parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, in April 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

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