AP News Roundup at 11:46 p.m. EST

AP Sources: Biden Tells Democrats He Wants South Carolina as No. 1 Voting State

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says Democrats should forgo “restrictive” caucuses and move to championing diversity in the order of his presidential primary calendar. His recommendation deals a huge blow to the state of Iowa for decades as the leading state in the process. In a letter to the policy arm of the Democratic National Committee, Biden does not name specific states he would like to see first. But he told Democrats that he would like to see South Carolina move to the front of the calendar, according to three people familiar with his recommendation who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. He recommends that Michigan and Georgia move to the top five states.

Trump Investigation: Court Halts Mar-a-Lago Special Master Review

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has halted an independent review of documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida, removing a hurdle the Justice Department said had delayed its criminal investigation into the withholding of top-secret government information. . The three-judge panel’s decision represents a significant victory for federal prosecutors, paving the way for them to use all of the documents seized during an FBI search in Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 as part of their investigation. . It also rejects the arguments of Trump’s lawyers, who had said that the former president had the right to have a so-called “special master” conduct a neutral review of the thousands of documents taken from the property.

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World Cup Viewer’s Guide: Last day of the group stage

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Brazil and Portugal have already advanced to the knockout round, so the focus on the final day of the World Cup group stage should be on the other six teams trying to avoid elimination. Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon, South Korea, Ghana and Uruguay have a chance on Friday to reach the round of 16. But the center of attention will continue to be on Brazil and Portugal. Both teams need to win or draw their games to guarantee top spot in their respective groups and avoid a head-to-head in the knockout round. Brazil faces Cameroon, Serbia against Switzerland, South Korea against Portugal and Ghana against Uruguay.

Congress votes to avert rail strike amid dire warnings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to prevent a freight train strike in the United States is heading to the desk of President Joe Biden. A strike avoidance bill won final approval Thursday and passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote. The bill will bind the rail companies and workers to a proposed agreement that was reached between the rail companies and union leaders in September. That arrangement had been rejected by four of the 12 unions involved, creating the possibility of a strike. The Senate vote was 80 to 15 and came a day after the House voted to impose the deal. Biden has promised to sign it quickly.

High court to rule on Biden’s student loan cancellation plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says the Biden administration’s program to cancel student loans will remain blocked for now, but the justices have agreed to take the case by late winter. The court’s decision to hear arguments relatively quickly means it is likely to determine whether widespread loan cancellations are legal by the end of June. That’s about two months before the recently extended pause on loan payments expires. The administration wanted a court order that would have allowed the program to go into effect even while court challenges proceeded. But as an alternative, he suggested that the higher court hold arguments and decide the matter.

Prosecutor: Donald Trump knew about the executive’s tax fraud scheme

NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor says Donald Trump “knew exactly what was going on” with top Trump Organization executives, who colluded for years to evade taxes on profits paid by the company. The argument challenges defense claims that the former president was unaware of the plot at the heart of the company’s tax fraud case. Manhattan prosecutor Joshua Steinglass launched the explosive indictment during closing arguments Thursday. He vowed to share more details when it resumed on Friday, buoyed by the judge’s decision to grant prosecutors permission to enter territory that had been deemed off-limits because Trump is not on trial.

Arizona county certifies election after judge’s order

PHOENIX (AP) — A rural Arizona county has certified its midterm election results after passing the deadline set by state law. The Cochise County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to follow orders from a judge who ruled they broke the law when they refused to sign off on the vote tally by this week’s deadline. Two Republicans on Cochise County’s three-member board of supervisors did not cite any problems with the election results as a reason for the delay. Rather, they say they were not satisfied that the machines used to tabulate ballots were properly certified for use in elections, even though state and federal election officials have said they were.

Eruption in Hawaii boosts tourism during the off-season

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — The spectacle of glowing lava spewing from Hawaii’s Mauna Loa has drawn thousands of visitors and is becoming a tourism boon in a Big Island town near the world’s largest volcano. . Some hotels in and around Hilo are full at what is normally a slower time of year for business. Helicopter tours of Mauna Loa, which began to erupt Sunday after being dormant for 38 years, are also in high demand from tourists and journalists. Hawaii’s travel industry typically falls at this time of year between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Aline Kominsky-Crumb, underground cartoonist, dies at 74

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

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