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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including fears of a major war breaking out over a Russian invasion of Ukraine are growing; California will become the second state to mandate coronavirus booster shots for health care workers; The first pill to treat Covid-19 received approval from U.S. regulators, and more.

National

Challenge to vaccine-or-test mandate could upend already shaky precedent on agency deference

American jurisprudence on vaccine mandates dates back over 100 years, but the Supreme Court will likely focus on a 40-year-old administrative precedent that is continually under fire to determine if President Joe Biden can require Covid-19 vaccines and testing for large private businesses. 

People line up to get tested for Covid-19 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan on Dec. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)

Uyghurs call out slow US response to genocide in China

Chants of "Act now, America, act to save the Uyghurs," echoed from megaphones outside the State Department building in Washington as a group of protesters live-streamed a rally Wednesday to mark the 72nd anniversary of China's annexation of the East Turkistan Republic.

Salih Hudayar, founder and president of the Eastern Turkistan National Awakening Movement, speaks during a protest against China's genocide of Uyghurs outside of the U.S. State Department on Dec. 22, 2021. (Screenshot via Courthouse News)

Ninth Circuit overturns $1.7 million restitution order for Russian hacker

Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin is off the hook for $1.7 million in restitution a federal judge ordered him to pay four tech companies whose user databases he breached in 2012.

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Drug that treats Covid with nearly 90% efficacy gets FDA green light

The first pill to treat Covid-19 received approval from U.S. regulators on Wednesday, giving way to a new pandemic therapy that can be deployed to adults and children ages 12 and older. 

This undated image shows Pfizer's Covid-19 pills. (Pfizer via AP)

Regional

California to require Covid boosters for over 2 million health care workers

California will become the second state to mandate Covid-19 booster shots for health care workers in hopes of keeping hospitals staffed amid the intensifying omicron outbreak, officials announced Wednesday.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,File)

Milwaukee judge sentenced to 9 years in prison on child pornography charges

A former Milwaukee County Children’s Court judge on Wednesday was sentenced to nine years in prison for distributing child pornography, a punishment falling in between recommendations from federal prosecutors and the judge’s defense attorney.

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

International

Putin ups the ante over Ukraine as war fears grow

The standoff between Russia and NATO over Ukraine is entering a dangerous and critical phase as the Kremlin's language grows more bellicose and experts warn an invasion by Russian troops into Ukraine appears increasingly more possible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, escorted by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, and General Staff Valery Gerasimov, walks after attending a meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry Board in Moscow on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Rare life sentence sought for men accused of downing Flight MH17 

Prosecutors in the trial of four men charged with downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 want the suspects put away for the rest of their lives if they are convicted.

The reconstructed wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is seen at the Gilze-Rijen military airbase in the Netherlands in May 2021. (Molly Quell/Courthouse News)

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