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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including the West is hitting back with sanctions after Russia recognized breakaway Ukrainian regions and sent tanks and troops across the border; The three white men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery were also found guilty of violating the 25-year-old jogger’s civil rights and targeting him because he was Black; The Supreme Court took up an appeal from a Christian woman who wants to design wedding websites only for straight couples, and more.

National

Biden announces tranche of new sanctions against Russia in response to Ukraine invasion

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces led U.S. President Joe Biden to declare robust diplomatic sanctions against the Kremlin.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivering a press briefing on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, in which he condemned Russian president Vladmir Putin's justification for sending Russian troops into separatist regions in Ukraine. (Screenshot via Courthouse News)

Justices agree to hear discrimination challenge from Christian web designer

Opening a window for its conservative supermajority to further expand religious rights over nondiscrimination policies, the U.S. Supreme Court took up an appeal Tuesday from a Christian woman who wants to design wedding websites, but only for straight couples.

(Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels via Courthouse News)

Sotomayor sounds constitutional alarm on NY residency law for sex offenders

The Supreme Court turned down a challenge Tuesday from a convicted sex offender whom the state refused to let of prison when he was otherwise eligible because he couldn't find residential accommodations far enough away from a school to meet probationary requirements.

President Barack Obama talks with Justice Sonia Sotomayor prior to her investiture ceremony at the Supreme Court September 8, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza via Courthouse News)

Regional

Arbery killers found guilty of hate crimes

The three white men convicted last year of murdering Ahmaud Arbery are also guilty of violating the 25-year-old jogger’s civil rights and targeting him because he was Black, a Georgia jury decided on Tuesday after about four total hours of deliberations in the federal hate crimes trial against the men.

This photo combo shows, from left, Travis McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan and Gregory McMichael, who were all convicted of murder on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, for the death of Ahmaud Arbery. (Pool, file)

Bingo dispute in Lone Star State leaves justices grappling with precedent

The Supreme Court grappled with its precedent and statutory interpretation Tuesday in a dispute over gambling rules for a tribe in the Lone Star State that could have bigger implications for tribal sovereignty. 

(Image by Alejandro Garay from Pixabay via Courthouse News)

International

Europe plunged to brink of war as Putin sends troops to Ukraine

After weeks of threats, escalating tensions and desperate diplomacy, Russian President Vladimir Putin brought the world to the brink of a major war by ordering tanks and troops into pro-Russian breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine late Monday.

Ukrainian servicemen scan belongings of people crossing from Ukrainian-government-controlled areas to pro-Russian separatists' controlled territory in Stanytsia Luhanska, the only crossing point open daily, in the Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Poland’s slide into autocracy isn’t enough to block deportations

Extraditing suspects to Poland does not violate their fair-trial rights, the EU’s high court found Tuesday in the bloc’s latest legal battle over rule of law. 

Protesters demonstrate in Warsaw on Dec. 19, 2021, after the Polish parliament approved a bill that is widely viewed as an attack on media freedom. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

EU legal adviser says Italian ports properly detained humanitarian vessels

Port authorities in Sicily were justified in detaining and inspecting private German humanitarian search-and-rescue vessels that arrived overloaded with asylum seekers they'd picked up from the Mediterranean Sea in 2020, a legal adviser for the European Union's highest court found on Tuesday.

The humanitarian vessel Sea-Watch 3. (sea-watch.org)

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