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    Writer Wil Haygood, author of multiple books chronicling the lives of 20th-century Black Americans, has won a prestigious book award. The Dayton Literary Peace Price announced Wednesday that Haygood will receive the Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. Haygood’s books include “The Butler,” based on the life of Eugene Allen, who served eight presidents at the White House. It was adapted into a 2013 film. Sharon Rab, the founder and chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, said Haygood's books focus on rarely or never-told stories of the Black experience. She said his writing provides desperately needed analysis.

      Opening statements are giving prosecutors and R. Kelly’s attorneys their first chance to address jurors directly about charges that accuse the R&B singer of enticing minors for sex, producing child pornography and rigging his 2008 pornography trial. Both the prosecution and Kelly’s legal team told the judge they would like about an hour each on Wednesday for their respective openings. The evidentiary stage of the trial is is expect to last about a month. Lawyers for two Kelly co-defendants will also address jurors before the government begins calling witnesses. Prosecutors haven’t said who they will call first.

        Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Donald Trump’s fiercest Republican adversary in Congress, has been defeated in a GOP primary. She fell Tuesday to Harriet Hageman, a rival backed by the former president, in a rout that reinforced his grip on the party’s base. Cheney is describing her loss as the beginning of a new chapter, telling supporters that “our work is far from over.” She says she "will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office.” Cheney's political future beyond Capitol Hill could include a 2024 presidential run, potentially putting her on another collision course with Trump.

          A man who fatally stabbed a real estate agent inside a model home in suburban Dallas faces execution, more than 16 years after the slaying. Kosoul Chanthakoummane is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was a North Carolina parolee in July 2006 when he killed 40-year-old Sarah Walker, who was found stabbed more than 30 times in a model home in McKinney, about 30 miles north of Dallas. Prosecutors say the 41-year-old beat and stabbed Walker before stealing her Rolex watch and a silver ring. Chanthakoummane's attorneys are challenging the DNA evidence. If executed, Chanthakoummane would be the second inmate put to death in Texas in 2022.

          Amazon workers in upstate New York filed a petition for a union election on Tuesday, launching a major labor fight against the company.  A spokesperson for the National Labor Relations Board says the petition was filed for a warehouse in the town of Schodack, near Albany. To qualify for a union election, the NLRB requires signatures from 30% of eligible voters. The agency now has to verify if the workers are qualified to seek an election. The Amazon Labor Union is backing the organizing effort. Earlier this year, it notched a historic win at a warehouse on Staten Island, New York, but also took a loss at another nearby location weeks later.

          Alaska is holding two elections Tuesday. In one, voters get their first shot at using ranked choice voting in a statewide election in a U.S. House special election in which Sarah Palin seeks a return to elected office. The former governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee faces Republican Nick Begich and Democrat Mary Peltola in the race to fill the remainder of Rep. Don Young's term. Young died in March. The winner may not be known until late August. The other election is the state primary, in which the top four vote-getters in races for U.S. Senate, House, governor and legislature will advance to the general election.

          Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed no regret for the deadly attack by Palestinian militants against Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics half a century ago. Eleven Israeli athletes and a German police officer died after the Black September group took hostages at the Olympic Village in 1972. At the time of the attack, the group was linked to Abbas’ Fatah party. Asked Tuesday whether as Palestinian leader he planned to apologize for the attack ahead of the 50th anniversary next month, Abbas responded by citing allegations of atrocities committed by Israel since 1947. Speaking alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after a meeting in Berlin, Abbas described Israel's action as “Holocausts.” Scholz later called the comments “unacceptable.”

          The head of Russian proxy forces in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region has sent a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un calling for cooperation amid signs the North may send laborers to Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine. North Korea's state media said Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin expressed hope his Moscow-backed republic and North Korea could achieve “equally beneficial bilateral cooperation agreeing with the interests” of their people. North Korea last month recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk separatist regions. There are indications North Korea may send workers for restoration projects in those regions, which could run against U.N. Security Council sanctions over its nuclear weapons program.

          A California appeals court says a church that defied safety regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic by holding large religious services won’t have to pay about $200,000 in fines. The 6th District Court of Appeals on Monday reversed the fines and contempt-of-court findings against Calvary Chapel San Jose for holding the gatherings in 2020 and 2021 at the peak of the pandemic. The court cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that said the size limits on indoor worship services violated freedom of religion. However, the county of San Jose says the ruling doesn't cover other COVID-19 rules violations, such as mask-wearing, and it will continue to seek some $2.3 million in penalties over those regulations.

          An effort by Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to use shipping containers to close a 1,000-foot gap in the U.S.-Mexico border wall suffered a brief setback when two stacked containers somehow toppled over. A correspondent for the digital platform of Univision Noticias posted on her Twitter feed a photo she took Monday of the containers on their side near the western border community of Yuma. No witnesses came forward to say what happened Sunday night. Contractors told the correspondent they thought monsoon winds toppled the containers. A Ducey spokesman doubted that and suggested someone opposed to the wall was responsible.

          The special board appointed by President Joe Biden to intervene in stalled railroad contract talks has suggested that 115,000 rail workers should get 24% raises and thousands of dollars in bonuses as part of a new agreement to avert a strike. Railroads and unions will use those recommendations as the basis for a new round of talks over the next month. It remains to be seen, however, whether both sides can agree on the higher wages and find ways to address union concerns about working conditions. If an agreement can't be reached by mid September, federal law would allow a strike. But Congress is likely to intervene before then to keep the supply chain moving.


          Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

          Explosions and fires have ripped through an ammunition depot in Russia-annexed Crimea in the second suspected Ukrainian attack on the peninsula in just over a week. The blasts forced the evacuation of more than 3,000 people. Russia is blaming the explosions on an “act of sabotage” without naming the perpetrators. Ukraine stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility. Last week's explosions destroyed nine Russian planes at another Crimean air base. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has used it to launch attacks against the country in the war that began nearly six months ago. If Ukrainian forces were, in fact, behind the explosions, they would represent a significant escalation in the war.

          Authorities say people have been wounded in a shooting that led to a lockdown of a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis police said the six were shot in a vehicle shortly after midnight near Methodist North Hospital. In a statement, police said two teens were taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in critical condition. Police say one has been released and another was still hospitalized in critical condition late Tuesday. Four other people were taken in critical condition to Regional One Health Medical Center. Police said one has been released from the hospital. Methodist North Hospital was placed on a lockdown that has since been lifted.

          The day after Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters fired all nine members of the state commission that oversees public defense, she said Tuesday that she was appointing four new commissioners and reappointing five commissioners from the previous group. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports Walters had removed the entire commission amid frustration that hundreds of defendants charged with crimes and who cannot afford an attorney have been unable to obtain public defenders to represent them. Last week, Walters unsuccessfully urged the commission to fire Steve Singer, the relatively new executive director of the Office of Public Defense Services. The new commission says it will meet with its attorneys Wednesday to review and evaluate his job performance.

          A federal jury has been impaneled R. Kelly’s to decide multiple charges against the R&B singer, as prosecutors and defense attorneys argued about whether the government improperly sought to keep some Blacks from the jury. Kelly, who is Black, is accused of enticing minors for sex, producing child pornography and fixing his 2008 state child pornography trial at which he was acquitted. Kelly's attorney accused prosecutors of seeking to strike Blacks “to deny Mr. Kelly a jury of his peers.” Prosecutors noted multiple African American had already made it onto the jury before the defense objected. About half the 12 jurors impaneled were identified as Black by the judge, prosecutor and defense attorneys. Six alternates were also selected. Opening statements begin Wednesday.

          Jeff Bohnert had all but given up on seeing his poodle-hound mix again after she went missing in early June. Two months later, he got a text from a neighbor: People exploring a nearby cave found a dog. Could it be Abby? Curious, Bohnert went to the cave site not far from his rural Missouri home, expecting to confirm it wasn’t Abby. Then he saw the picture one of the rescuers took. He said, “That's my dog.” Bohnert and rescuers believe the nearly 14-year-old dog lived mostly off of her own body fat while spending nearly 60 days inside the cave before her rescue on Aug. 6. She is now regaining weight and is wagging her tail again.

          Iran says it has submitted a “written response” to what has been described as a final roadmap to restore its tattered nuclear deal with world powers. Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency offered no details Tuesday on the substance of it response, but suggested that Tehran still wouldn’t take the European Union-mediated proposal, despite warnings there would be no more negotiations. Tehran under hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi has repeatedly tried to blame Washington for the delay in reaching an accord. Monday was reported to have been a deadline for their response. An EU spokesperson said Tuesday that it had received Iran's response. The EU has been the go-between in the indirect talks.

          Amazon has complained to federal regulators that they're hounding company founder Jeff Bezos and senior executives. The e-commerce giant says regulators are making impossible-to-satisfy demands in their investigation of Amazon Prime, the popular streaming and shopping service with free delivery and an estimated 200 million members around the globe. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the sign-up and cancellation practices of Amazon Prime, starting in May 2021 with the issuance of civil subpoenas, the retail and tech giant disclosed in a petition to the agency. The petition asks the FTC to cancel, or extend the deadline for answering, subpoenas sent to Bezos and current CEO Andy Jassy.

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