Maria Butina speaks during a press conference in Moscow in 2013. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Maria Butina, the first Russian national convicted for seeking to influence U.S. politics during the 2016 campaign, was sentenced to 18 months in prison — with credit for nine months already served — on Friday.

The backdrop: Butina pled guilty last year to working with her American boyfriend, Republican operative Paul Erickson, to infiltrate the NRA and other conservative circles for the purpose of influencing U.S. policy on behalf of the Kremlin. As reported by NPR, Butina's case was handled separately from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Go deeper: The curious case of the alleged American "spy" detained in Russia

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Supreme Court won't expedite Pennsylvania GOP's request to block mail-in ballot extension

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images

The Supreme Court voted 5-3 on Wednesday to deny a bid from Pennsylvania Republicans to expedite their request to shorten the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. Newly-confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the decision.

Why it matters: A lower court ruling allowing ballots to be counted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, will remain in place for now. Conservative Justices Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch wrote in a separate opinion that it's too close to the election to take up the case, but it could still be reviewed after the election if late-arriving ballots make a difference.

23 mins ago - World

Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave

Paris under curfew. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The coronavirus is still winning: Now even Germany is entering another national lockdown, joined by France.

Why it matters: France has been "overpowered by a second wave,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a nationally televised address today. Macron said the "new wave will be stronger and deadlier" than the first.