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Rachel Maddow on MSNBC in 2019. Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

One America News on Tuesday lost its appeal over its lawsuit against MSNBC and anchor Rachel Maddow, and will now have to pay the defendants $250,000 in legal fees.

Catch up fast: The conservative network sued Maddow for $10 million in 2019 alleging defamation after she said on air the network "really literally is paid Russian propaganda."

Flashback: Maddow's 2019 segment was based on a Daily Beast article titled "Trump's New Favorite Channel Employs Kremlin-Paid Journalist" — which reports that an OAN correspondent has "been simultaneously writing for Sputnik, a Kremlin-owned news wire that played a role in Russia’s 2016 election-interference operation."

  • Lawyers for MSNBC argued the comment was "protected opinion based on disclosed facts."

What they're saying: "Turning to the merits, the panel held that Maddow’s statement was well within the bounds of what qualified as protected speech under the First Amendment," wrote the panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in its ruling.

  • “The challenged statement was an obvious exaggeration, cushioned with an undisputed news story. The statement could not reasonably be understood to imply as an assertion of objective fact, and therefore, did not amount to defamation."

Go deeper

Sep 14, 2021 - World

Putin isolating after members of inner circle contract coronavirus

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking in Moscow on Sept. 13. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin will isolate himself for an undisclosed amount of time after people in his inner circle tested positive for the coronavirus, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

Why it matters: Putin has tested negative for the virus and received his second dose of the Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, in April, according to ABC News.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 3 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.