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Environmental groups are once again at odds with politicians and fishermen in New England in the wake of a decision by high-end retail giant Whole Foods to stop selling Maine lobster. Whole Foods recently said that it will stop selling lobster from the Gulf of Maine at hundreds of its stores around the country. The company cited decisions by a pair of sustainability organizations to take away their endorsements of the U.S. lobster fishing industry. The organizations, Marine Stewardship Council and Seafood Watch, both cited concerns about risks to rare North Atlantic right whales from fishing gear. Entanglement in gear is one of the biggest threats to the whales.

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The Biden administration is easing some oil sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to support newly restarted negotiations between the Venezuelan government and its opposition. The Treasury Department is allowing Chevron to resume “limited” energy production in Venezuela after years of sanctions that have dramatically curtailed oil and gas profits that have flowed to President Nicolás Maduro’s government. Earlier this year the Treasury Department again allowed the California-based Chevron and other U.S. companies to perform basic upkeep of wells it operates jointly with state-run oil giant PDVSA. Under the new policy, profits from the sale of energy would be directed to paying down debt owed to Chevron, rather than providing profits to PDVSA.

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Ivory Coast's former youth minister Charles Ble Goude has returned to his home country after more than a decade in exile. Ble Goude arrived in Abidjan on Saturday aboard a commercial flight and made no comment at the airport. Ble Goude was acquitted of charges linked to the violence that erupted after the disputed 2010 election when then President Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede. Ble Goude was later arrested in 2013 in Ghana after nearly two years in hiding, and then was extradited to the International Criminal Court. After his acquittal, he sought financial compensation, saying that he was the victim of a wrongful prosecution.

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Two New York City police officers raced to save a man who fell on the tracks at a Manhattan subway station, plucking him out of the way of an oncoming train in a daring rescue captured by an officer’s body camera. The incident happened around 4 p.m. Thursday at the 116th Street station in East Harlem. The man, whom police said fell by accident, was taken to a hospital with injuries to his hand and back. Police said Officers Brunel Victor and Taufique Bokth were on patrol at the station when they saw a commotion and heard a scream from the opposite side of the station.

A report issued by the state of Arizona says drownings, child neglect and firearms contributed to an increase in child deaths in Arizona during 2021. That marked the state’s highest rate of child deaths in the last 10 years. The review released earlier this month by the state Child Fatality Review Program said Arizona’s child mortality rate increased by 4.7% from 51 deaths per 100,000 children in 2020 to 53.4 deaths per 100,000 children in 2021,  The Arizona Republic reported.  A total of 863 children died in Arizona last year, up from 838 the prior year.

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In cities across Europe, officials are wrestling with a choice this Christmas. They could dim festive lighting to send a message of energy conservation and solidarity with citizens squeezed by higher energy costs and inflation. Or they could let the lights blaze in a message of defiance after two years of pandemic-suppressed Christmas seasons, creating a mood that retailers hope loosen holiday purse strings. Fewer lights will sparkle from the centerpiece tree at France's famed Strasbourg Christmas market, and lights on Paris' Champs-Elysees and London's Oxford Street are reducing hours. But the holiday will shine brightly in Germany, and the Spanish port city of Vigo is keeping up its tradition of staging the country’s most extravagant Christmas light display.

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A federal judge has denied a new trial request by two men convicted of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Lawyers for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. alleged misconduct by a juror and unfairness by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker following their conviction by a federal jury in August. Jonker in a written ruling Friday shot down claims of juror misconduct and said he found “no constitutional violation and no credible evidence” to convene a new hearing. Whitmer was reelected Nov. 8 to a second term. She was never physically harmed in the plot, which led to more than a dozen arrests in 2020.

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A federal judge has denied a request from a 19-year-old woman to allow her to watch her father’s death by injection. The decision upholds a Missouri law that bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution. Kevin Johnson is set to be executed Tuesday for killing Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Officer William McEntee in 2005. Johnson’s lawyers have appeals pending that seek to spare his life. His daughter, Khorry Ramey, had sought to attend the execution. The American Civil Liberties Union had filed an emergency motion with a federal court in Kansas City. But U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes ruled late Friday that Ramey’s constitutional rights would not be violated by the law.

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An attorney is vowing an appeal for a woman found liable by a civil jury for malicious prosecution in a rape allegation she made against a former Ohio State football standout more than five years ago. Attorney Patrick Thomas said his client “deserves justice and patiently waited for her day in court” in her lawsuit against Gareon Conley. He said “a number of issues" that arose during trial would be addressed on appeal. The accusation against Conley shortly before the 2017 NFL draft was made by a 23-year-old woman who alleged that he had sexually assaulted her in a Cleveland hotel room. Conley’s attorney said the sex was consensual.

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Workers at the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository have started using a newly mined disposal area at the underground facility in southern New Mexico. Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant made the announcement this week, saying the first containers of waste to be entombed there came from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The area called Panel 8 consists of seven separate rooms for placing special boxes and barrels packed with lab coats, rubber gloves, tools and debris contaminated with plutonium and other radioactive elements. Officials say creating a panel requires mining nearly 160,000 tons of salt deep below the surface.

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Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy winning singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred in and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983′s “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63. Her publicist confirmed the death on Saturday. During her career, Cara had three Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Breakdance,” “Out Here On My Own,” “Fame” and “Flashdance ... What A Feeling,” which spent six weeks at No. 1. She first came to prominence among the young actors playing performing arts high schoolers in Alan Parker’s “Fame.” Three years later, she and the songwriting team of “Flashdance” accepted the Oscar for best original song.

Police say 38-year-old man has been arrested in connection to a Thanksgiving day shooting in a Houston-area home that left two dead and two wounded. the Houston Police Department says in a Friday statement that the suspect has been questioned and is facing two counts of capital murder and two counts of aggravated assault. Police Department Assistant Chief Patricia Cantu said earlier Friday a man believed to be a former spouse of a victim entered the home and shot four people who were celebrating Thanksgiving, killing two and wounding two others Thursday evening.

A former college student who randomly killed a Florida couple in their garage six years ago and then chewed on one victim’s face is finally set to go on trial on Monday. Austin Harrouff has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of first-degree murder. He waived a jury trial, so Judge Sherwood Bauer will decide whether Harrouff was insane when he killed John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon Stevens. If found guilty, Harrouff will receive a sentence of life in prison without parole. If found insane, he would go to a mental hospital, likely for life.

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Authorities in China’s western Xinjiang region have opened up some neighborhoods in the capital of Urumqi after residents held extraordinary late-night demonstrations against the city’s draconian “zero-COVID” lockdown that had lasted more than three months. The displays of public defiance were fanned by anger over a fire in an apartment compound that had killed 10, according to the official death toll. Emergency workers took three hours to extinguish the blaze in a delay many attributed to obstacles caused by anti-virus measures. Some Urumqi residents had their doors chained physically shut. Many in the city believe such brute-force tactics may have prevented residents from escaping in Friday’s fire and that the official death toll is an undercount.

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Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party following local election losses suffered by her party. Tsai offered her resignation on Saturday evening, a tradition after a major loss, in a short speech in which she also thanked supporters. She said she will shoulder the responsibility as she had hand-picked candidates in Saturday’s elections. Voters in Taiwan overwhelmingly chose the opposition Nationalist party in several major races across the self-ruled island. Chiang Wan-an, the Nationalist party’s mayoral candidate, won the closely watched seat in capital Taipei. Lingering concerns about threats from rival China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, took a backseat to more local issues.

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Far from Doha’s luxury hotels and sprawling new World Cup stadiums, scores of South Asian workers poured into a cricket ground in the city’s sandy outskirts to enjoy the tournament they helped create. Their treatment has been the controversial backstory of the 2022 World Cup, ever since Qatar won the bid to host the soccer championship. Headlines have been filled with reports of their low wages, inhospitable conditions and long hours, often in the scorching heat. But on Friday night as the Netherlands played Ecuador, the bleachers of the cricket stadium heaved with workers reveling on their one day off of the week.

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State-level law enforcement units created after the 2020 presidential election to investigate voter fraud are looking into scattered complaints more than two weeks after the midterms but have provided no indication of systemic problems. That’s just what election experts had expected and led critics to suggest that the new units were more about politics than rooting out widespread abuses. Most election-related fraud cases already are investigated and prosecuted at the local level. The absence of widespread fraud is important because the lies surrounding the 2020 election spread by former President Donald Trump and his allies have penetrated deeply into the Republican Party and eroded trust in elections.

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World Cup host Qatar sits in a region that is warming faster than anywhere else on earth besides the Arctic. The wealthy Gulf Arab nation has been able to pay for extreme adaptive measures so far like outdoor air-conditioning to mitigate the effects of rising temperatures in some areas. Qatar has inched forward in recent years with climate pledges. But the transition away from hydrocarbons will not be simple for one of the world's largest producers and exporters of natural gas.

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A woman died and a man was rescued and treated for hypothermia after they were caught in extreme cold weather while hiking in Utah’s Zion National Park. The National Park Service says the married couple were on a permitted, 16-mile hike through an known as the Narrows on Tuesday and Wednesday. The woman, 31, and the man, 33, were not identified. The park's rescue team responded Wednesday morning and found the man on a trail being helped by other hikers and transported him to the Zion Emergency Operations Center for treatment. Rescuers administered emergency aid to the woman but determined she had died.

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