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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including French President Emmanuel Macron must take on far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a runoff; Jury selection began in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial; A murder charge against a South Texas woman involving a “self-induced abortion” will be dismissed, and more.

National

Jury selection underway in Johnny Depp, Amber Heard defamation trial

A loyal following of Johnny Depp’s supporters clustered outside the Fairfax County Judicial Center in northern Virginia on Monday morning, waving flags with skulls and crossbones to wish the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor well on the first day of his defamation trial against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.     

Johnny Depp appears at the High Court in London, on July 17, 2020, left, and Amber Heard appears outside the High Court in London on July 28, 2020. (AP Photo)

Biden to crack down on gun-making kits, taps new head for firearms agency

Renewing his administration’s focus on American gun violence, President Joe Biden announced a series of measures Monday targeting “ghost guns” and a new nominee to head the federal agency that investigates traffickers.

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)

Regional

Texas prosecutor to drop first-of-its-kind murder charge involving self-induced abortion

A murder charge against a South Texas woman involving a “self-induced abortion” will be dismissed Monday, prosecutors in Starr County announced three days after the 26-year-old’s arrest drew national attention and renewed fears from abortion rights activists over the state’s controversial set of abortion laws.

People participating in the Houston Women’s March against the Texas abortion ban walk from Discovery Green to City Hall on Oct. 2, 2021. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Alabama families sue over ban on transgender health care for minors 

Three days after Alabama’s Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill criminalizing the act of providing gender-affirming care to minors, two families with transgender children and their physicians filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the ban from taking effect next month.

State Rep. Neil Rafferty, the only openly gay member of the Alabama Legislature, speaks during a debate on transgender youth bills during a legislative session in Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday, April 7, 2022. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Iowa judge blocks Senate candidate from appearing on Democratic primary ballot

An Iowa judge ruled that a leading Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate cannot appear on the June primary ballot because she did not have the legally required number of valid signatures on her nominating petition.

Then-U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, left, and then-presidential candidate Joe Biden arrive at a campaign stop at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, in January 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

International

French get déjà vu as presidential race pits Macron, Le Pen in runoff

French President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen are headed to a second-round runoff in two weeks after they picked up the most ballots Sunday in the first round of the presidential election.

A screen shows French President Emmanuel Macron and and far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen at her Election Day headquarters in Paris on Sunday, April 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

War in Ukraine builds toward big battle over Donbas

After 47 days of combat, the war in Ukraine is building toward a major battle over the eastern region of Donbas with both sides beefing up their arsenals and armies, leaving little hope that the fighting will end any time soon.

A family mourns a relative killed during the war with Russia, as dozens of black bags containing more bodies of victims are seen strewn across the graveyard in a cemetery in Bucha, Ukraine, in the outskirts of Kyiv, on Monday, April 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Chile’s new president visits Argentina in first foreign trip to rebuild regional relations

Chile’s new leftist President Gabriel Boric visited Argentina this past week, his first foreign trip since taking office on March 11, where he described his Argentine counterpart Alberto Fernández as “an ally in the battle against inequality and for a more dignified world.”

Supporters of Gabriel Boric, of the "I approve Dignity" coalition, gather at his election day headquarters after polls closed and partial results were announced in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

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