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The man who shot and wounded Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole her French bulldogs last year has taken a plea deal and was sentenced to 21 years in prison. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office says James Howard Jackson pleaded no contest Monday to one count of attempted murder. He was one of three men and two accomplices who participated in the robbery. Authorities say the Lady Gaga connection was a coincidence. The motive was the value of the French bulldogs, a breed that can run into the thousands of dollars. Detectives do not believe the thieves knew the dogs belonged to the musician.

A former Miami Republican congressman who signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela’s socialist government has been arrested in an ongoing federal criminal investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami said David Rivera was arrested Monday in Atlanta. A spokesperson said Rivera was indicted by a Miami grand jury last month, but that document remains sealed and she could not discuss the charges. Rivera had an initial appearance Monday in Atlanta federal court. The U.S. Marshals Service said he bailed out of jail Monday afternoon. An attorney for Rivera, Jeffrey Feldman, declined to comment, telling The Associated Press in a text message that he had “not seen the indictment.”

Tuesday marks the first-ever U.S. auction for leases to develop commercial-scale floating wind farms in the deep waters off the West Coast. The live, online auction for the five leases — three off California’s central coast and two off its northern coast — has attracted strong interest — 43 companies from around the world. It marks America’s first foray into floating wind turbines; auctions so far have been for ones that are anchored to the seafloor. The need for energy that does not put more carbon into the atmosphere is increasing as climate change takes a toll. Environmentalists and tribes say they want to make sure the offshore and coastal development is done right.

Incarcerated lawyer Michael Avenatti has been sentenced in Southern California to 14 years in federal prison for cheating his clients out of millions of dollars. The judge on Monday also ordered him to pay more than $10 million in restitution. Avenatti had pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and a tax-related charge.  He was accused of negotiating and collecting settlement payments on behalf of his clients and instead funneling the money to accounts he controlled. The judge said the sentence should run consecutively to the five years in prison he is currently serving for separate convictions in New York.

The manager appointed by the U.S. Justice Department to oversee reforms to the beleaguered water system in Mississippi’s capital city says he hopes to wrap up work in one year or less. Ted Henifin's intended time frame echoes the Justice Department’s order appointing him as interim manager in Jackson. Henifin has been tasked with implementing 13 projects to improve the water system’s near-term stability. His work is meant to be an interim step while city, state and federal officials negotiate a court-enforced decree to mandate improvements. Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says the city’s work with the federal government to improve the water system could take longer than one year.

The family of country singer Naomi Judd has filed a notice seeking to voluntarily dismiss a lawsuit to seal the police investigation into her death. The family previously said that release of the records would cause them trauma and irreparable harm. The notice filed Monday says the family is now willing to dismiss the lawsuit because the journalists who requested the police records are not seeking photographs of the deceased or body cam footage taken inside the home. The notice also says a state lawmaker is introducing a bill that would make death investigation records private where the death is not the result of a crime. The voluntary dismissal is subject to approval by a judge.

A special grand jury has issued a scathing report against a northern Virginia school system for mishandling a student who sexually assaulted classmates at two different high schools last year. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin requested the investigation of Loudoun County Public Schools on his first day in office. He had criticized the school system during his campaign for putting social justice initiatives above student safety. The report, issued Monday, found that administrators had ample warning of the student's potentially dangerous behavior before the assaults. A statement from school board leadership that the report's critiques would be discussed at an upcoming session. The school board members said they were also pleased that the grand jury issued no criminal charges.

A judge has thrown out bribery and fraud charges against former New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, leaving him facing only records falsification charges. Federal Judge J. Paul Oetken ruled Monday. Hours later, prosecutors notified the judge they were appealing to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Oetken says an indictment lacked an explicit example in which Benjamin provided a favor for a bribe. Benjamin, a Democrat, resigned after his April arrest. He pleaded not guilty to charges that he obtained campaign contributions from a real estate developer after agreeing to secure state money for a nonprofit organization. His lawyers say Benjamin is thankful for the ruling.

Former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. has been named chancellor of the State University of New York, the nation's largest university system. The appointment announced Monday marks a return to New York for King, who was once the state's education commissioner. King is scheduled to begin in January at a salary of a $750,000. King served as President Barack Obama’s education secretary in the last year of his presidency.  He ran for governor of Maryland earlier this year, losing in the Democratic primary. As New York’s first Black and Puerto Rican education commissioner, King was at the helm during the contentious rollout of the Common Core academic standards.

Jurors in the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial will continue deliberating for a second day on Tuesday as they weigh charges that former President Donald Trump’s company helped executives dodge personal income taxes on perks. Jurors deliberated for about four hours on Monday. The deliberations follow a monthlong trial that featured testimony from seven witnesses, including longtime Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg and Senior Vice President and Controller Jeffrey McConney. An outside accountant who spent years preparing tax returns for Trump and the company also testified.

Known for her feminist themes and often brutally frank, highly personal and self-critical work, American cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb has died at the age of 74. A close collaborator of her cartoonist husband, Robert Crumb, she died of cancer Tuesday at their longtime home in France. That's according to the manager of the website that sells Crumb’s work. Kominsky-Crumb was known for work that was not only autobiographical but also bracingly sexual and explicit. She met Crumb in the early 1970s in San Francisco, where she was part of the all-female Wimmen’s Comix collective before breaking with the group and starting “Twisted Sisters” with Diane Noomin.

The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy is suing a Moorhead-based manufacturer of THC-laced gummies, saying the company’s candies contain far stronger doses of the chemical that gives marijuana its high than state law allows. The lawsuit filed Monday alleges that Northland Vapor and its stores in Moorhead and Bemidji are violating Minnesota’s new law allowing low-potency edible and drinkable cannabinoids. It alleges investigators found candies with 20 times the legal dose and packages containing 50 times the limit. The board says it has embargoed the products, which it says have a retail value of over $7 million

Oklahoma prosecutors have filed first-degree murder charges against a 67-year-old man accused of killing and dismembering four men whose bodies were found in a river. Okmulgee County District Attorney Carol Iski said four counts of murder were filed Friday against Joseph Kennedy. Iski says video and cellphone evidence places Kennedy at his scrap yard where authorities believe the four men were killed and at a bridge near where the bodies were found. Court documents released last week indicate Kennedy admitted to a woman that he killed and dismembered the men because they were stealing from him. Kennedy is being held without bond in the Okmulgee County Detention Center. His court-appointed attorneys have declined to comment on the case.

Prosecutors called 44 witnesses to make their case against Harvey Weinstein, but a jury’s decision at his Los Angeles trial will hinge largely on the testimony of the four women he is charged with raping or sexually assaulting. All were known simply as “Jane Doe” in a Los Angeles courtroom and were aspiring actors, models, a dancer and a massage therapist when they say they encountered Weinstein. Four more women also testified as part of prosecutors' attempt to establish a pattern of sexual predation. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and denied engaging in any non-consensual sex.


Need gift ideas to help with the ladies in your life? This list will surely help you make the grade.

Bulgaria has rejected accusations that its border guards shot a Syrian refugee in October. Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev said, “There are no cases of violence against migrants.” He spoke after a video released Monday showed a man being fired at on European country’s border with Turkey. The footage of an asylum-seeker being hit with live ammunition on Oct. 3 was part of a joint investigation by several European media outlets led by Lighthouse Reports. In the video recorded on the Turkish side of the border, a young man falls to the ground after a bullet goes through his hand and into his chest.

Much of the Arctic is in a burst of freak December warming. Temperatures in Alaska’s northernmost community hit 40 degrees Monday morning. That’s not only a record by six degrees but it’s the warmest that region has seen on record from late October to late April. Greenland a couple days ago hit 54 degrees, which is shirtsleeve weather. Scientists say some of it is random weather from storms and some of it is from low sea ice. The low sea ice is due to climate change. Open water acts as a heating pad in the Arctic in the winter.

Arizona’s top officials have certified the midterm election results. The governor, secretary of state, attorney general and chief justice signed off on the election results Monday. Their signatures formalize victories for Democrats over Republicans who falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged. The certification opens a five-day window for formal election challenges. Republican Kari Lake, who lost the race for governor, is expected to file a lawsuit after weeks of criticizing the administration of the election. The certification also allows for an automatic recount to begin in a handful of races.

Stocks closed lower on Wall Street and Treasury yields rose after surprisingly strong economic reports highlighted the Federal Reserve’s difficult fight against inflation. The S&P 500 fell 1.8% Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gave back 1.9%. Small-company stocks fell even more. The services sector, which makes up the biggest part of the U.S. economy, showed surprising growth in November. V.F. Corp., which makes Vans shoes and The North Face outdoor gear, sank after cutting its revenue forecast and announcing the departure of its CEO.

Kansas House Republicans have promoted their No. 2 leader into the top job of speaker. Meanwhile, Democrats on Monday picked a veteran of state and local politics to lead them over a much younger relative newcomer. State Rep. Dan Hawkins, of Wichita, faced no opposition among the 85 GOP House members and members-elect to his promotion. He’s served four years as majority leader. GOP unity contrasted with a divide among Democrats over who should lead them for the next two years. They voted 21-19 for 71-year-old state Rep. Vic Miller of Topeka over 32-year-old Rep. Brandon Woodard of Lenexa. Woodard is the first openly gay man in the Legislature.

This week’s new entertainment releases include Will Smith’s comeback campaign in the Antoine Fuqua movie “Emancipation,” a documentary about Broadway star Idina Menzel, the video game “Dragon Quest Treasures” and a TV series exploring the tumultuous relationship between country music stars Tammy Wynette and George Jones. Director Guillermo del Toro finally gets to release his version of "Pinocchio” and there's a holiday-themed romantic comedy at Amazon Prime about a jewelry mix-up that leads to sparks in “Something from Tiffany’s.” Can’t get to New York but still want to hear chart-toppers? Join the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden with Dua Lipa, Lizzo, and Charlie Puth,

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