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The candidates running in Saturday’s primary election to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. David Ige include a former first lady, a retired mixed martial arts champion and a congressman who moonlights as a Hawaiian Airlines pilot. Democratic U.S. Rep. Kaiali‘i Kahele’s decision to run for governor has opened up his congressional seat representing rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands. In the U.S. Senate, incumbent Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz is also up for reelection and is facing a primary challenge from a little-known candidate. Hawaii is a vote-by-mail state so voters have been mailing their ballots and placing them in drop boxes across the islands since late last month.
R. Kelly’s federal trial that starts Monday in Chicago is in many ways a do-over of his child pornography trial in 2008 in state court. At that trial 14 years ago, jurors acquitted the singer on charges that he produced a video of himself having sex with a girl no older than 14. But a big difference between that trial and the one starting in a federal courthouse in Chicago is that prosecutors say the female in the video will testify this time. Among the charges Kelly faces is that he rigged the 2008 trial by paying off and threatening the girl to ensure she didn't testify. The woman is now in her 30s. Four other accusers are also slated to testify.
Last week, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed state lawmakers to tighten restrictions on abortion. An Associated Press analysis of the voting results found high turnout among Democratic and independent voters contributed to that result. But even in traditionally conservative Kansas — a state Donald Trump carried by double digits in 2020's presidential election — support for the abortion measure was lower in every single county than support for the former president had been two years ago. In other states, abortion-rights supporters and opponents alike are using the Kansas vote to drive their followers to the polls.
The cancellation of a major music festival in Atlanta has ignited a new fight over Georgia gun laws. Live Nation has refused to say why it abruptly called off September’s Music Midtown festival last week. But news outlets ascribed the decision to state gun laws that could have prevented organizers from enforcing a ban on firearms. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and other Democrats have blasted Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for the cancellation, though the gun law cited in news reports preceded his administration. Kemp has accused Democrats of pushing critical narratives of Georgia’s firearms landscape to distract from inflation.
The New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is denouncing comments by Gov. Chris Sununu and his attorney general after a jury acquitted a truck driver in the death of seven motorcyclists, but both men are standing by their statements. Jurors on Tuesday found 26-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, innocent of manslaughter, negligent homicide and reckless conduct. The charges stemmed from a 2019 crash that killed seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club. Both Sununu and Attorney General John Formella criticized the verdict, with Sununu calling it a tragedy. Defense lawyers called the comments irresponsible and said they could deter future jury service.
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The white father and son convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting after they chased the 25-year-old Black man through a Georgia neighborhood have been sentenced to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime. A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael on Monday in Brunswick. Both were previously sentenced to life without parole in a state court for Arbery’s murder. The McMichaels armed themselves with guns and used a pickup truck to chase Arbery after he ran past their home on Feb. 23, 2020. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who recorded cellphone video of the slaying, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
California's last operating nuclear power plant could get a second lease on life. Pacific Gas & Electric decided six years ago to close its twin-domed Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025. But Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom — who was involved in the agreement to close the reactors — has prompted PG&E to consider seeking a longer lifespan for the plant. Newsom worries about possible power shortages as the state transitions to solar and other renewable sources. But it's not clear if the utility wants to back out of the complex closing deal that involved environmentalists and unions, or if it even could.
Democratic hopefuls in Wisconsin see abortion as the issue that will carry them to election wins in November, but efforts to reach Black voters on the topic are sparse. Several organizing groups said it's a complicated issue in the Black community, with a legacy of views long handed down from the more prominent and conservative denominations in the Black church. Polling data shows that abortion is a slightly more potent issue for white voters in the Democratic coalition than for Black voters. Most of the groups organizing in the Milwaukee area, a critical area for Democrats to win statewide races, are steering away from messaging solely on the issue.
Eli Lilly and Co. and the administration of President Joe Biden have condemned Indiana’s new ban on abortions. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement Saturday said Indiana's Republican legislators have “put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors.” Lilly says it's concerned the law will hinder the company's and Indiana’s “ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world.” The law lifts the ban in cases of rape or incest and to protect the life and physical health of the mother. It takes effect Sept. 15.