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Kyle Rittenhouse. Photo: Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images

The judge presiding over the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse on Monday dismissed the charge of possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor, ahead of the trial's closing arguments.

Driving the news: Rittenhouse was initially facing six charges — including first-degree intentional homicide — for allegedly shooting two men and injuring another during protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake last year.

  • The misdemeanor weapons charge that was dismissed was seen as the most likely to achieve a conviction for prosecutors, according to AP. It carried a potential nine-month prison sentence.
  • The charge was thrown out over a technicality as to whether the length of the rifle Rittenhouse carried violated Wisconsin law.

What's next: The two sides are expected to deliver closing arguments after the dismissal.

Go deeper

Waukesha parade crash suspect charged with 5 counts of intentional homicide

A makeshift memorial along the route of the parade in Waukesha, Wis. Photo: Mustafa Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Darrell Brooks, the alleged driver of an SUV that plowed into a crowd gathered at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, was charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide on Tuesday.

Driving the news: The incident left 62 people injured as of Tuesday, according to court documents.

California father and son accused of "reckless arson" in Calder Fire

Firefighters at the Caldor Fire along Highway 89 west of Lake Tahoe, California, in September. Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California officials said they arrested a father and son Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which threatened the Lake Tahoe area as it burned for over two months earlier this year. They deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: The wildfire was the 15th-biggest ever recorded in California, razing more than 1,000 structures, forcing thousands to evacuate and injuring five people as it burned across nearly 222,000 acres of land in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties.

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.