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In this courtroom sketch, R. Kelly, center, sits with his defense attorneys Thomas Farinella, top, and Nicole Blank Becker during the first day of his defense in his sex trafficking case, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

Jury urged to make R. Kelly pay for his alleged sex crimes

- Associated Press

With the R. Kelly sex-trafficking trial nearing jury deliberations, a prosecutor on Thursday urged jurors to convict the R&B superstar on federal charges that he used his celebrity as leverage to sexually abuse women, girls and boys for more than two decades.

This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows Milena Smit, foreground left, and Penélope Cruz in a scene from Pedro Almodovar’s "Parellel Mothers." (Iglesias Más/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)

A blurred movie year comes into view at New York Film Fest

- Associated Press

A movie year of fits-and-starts, delays and reversals has sometimes been difficult to track. Knowing just where and how a new movie premieres has become a sport of its own. Even for those closely following new films, it’s been a sometimes exhilarating, sometimes befuddling half-virtual, half-in-person year of moviegoing.

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Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Thousands of school workers from around the state thronged Florida's Capitol on Monday to press Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to more than double the nearly $1 billion the governor is proposing for teacher raises and bonuses.  (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)

New Florida abortion bill replicates Texas' sweeping ban

- Associated Press

An abortion bill similar to one signed into law in Texas was filed in Florida on Wednesday that would ban most abortions in the state and would allow lawsuits against doctors who violate it.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks to the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden goes easy on China at U.N.

- The Washington Times

President Biden this week signaled he is backing off the hardline U.S. policies of the Trump administration in dealing with China and reverting to the more accommodationist approach of earlier Democratic and Republican administrations.

A clinic escort waits in the driveway of the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic parking lot, to assist any patient entering, Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Jackson, Miss. The clinic is Mississippi's only state-licensed abortion facility. On May 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up the dispute over a Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The issue is the first test of limits on abortion access to go before the conservative majority high court. Their decision could mean more restrictions, and focuses on the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which established a woman's right to an abortion. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) ** FILE **

Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban more liberal than limits in France, Germany

- The Washington Times

Pro-choice advocates say the United States should lead the world in making abortion more accessible, arguing against restrictions in some states that limit the procedure on demand. But restrictions such as Mississippi's ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy are still more liberal than those of several Western and industrialized countries.