Tuesday’s top stories

Updated Nov 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Prominent white supremacists found liable in 2017 "Unite the Right" rally

Photo: Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal jury in Charlottesville, Virginia, found prominent white supremacists Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler and Christopher Cantwell, and others liable for civil conspiracy in the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally, AP reports.

Why it matters: The ruling came after a nearly month-long trial and awarded more than $25 million to nine people who suffered injuries at the violent demonstrations.

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.

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Fewer jobs were added to the U.S. economy in November than expected, yet the unemployment rate dropped.

Nintendo executive calls Activision harassment allegations "disturbing"

Doug Bowser. Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Nintendo

Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser has joined the chorus of industry figures criticizing Activision Blizzard and its leadership over recent reports of company harassment and abuse.

Driving the news: Fanbyte first reported on the memo in which Bowser called the accusations "distressing and disturbing. They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo's beliefs, values and policies."

The Thanksgiving bouncers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

No one really wants this job, but millions of households may need their own Thanksgiving bouncer. The cover charge is a negative COVID test, done ahead of arrival or outside the front door.

Why it matters: Normalizing rapid tests is a practical way to help extended families feel a little more normal around the holiday dinner table.

Jury holds pharmacies responsible in groundbreaking opioids case

Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A federal jury said Tuesday that Walgreens, CVS and Walmart recklessly distributed pain pills in two Ohio counties and played a hand in the hundreds of overdose deaths that plagued the communities, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the first verdict for pharmacy companies in a case involving the opioid crisis, per AP. The verdict — with a judge set to rule on damages this spring — could set a precedent for other local governments that seek to hold pharmacies accountable.

Nov 23, 2021 - Technology

Apple sues Israeli NSO Group over spyware use

Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Israeli cyber intelligence companies NSO Group and its parent company to "hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users," the company announced.

Details: Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using Apple devices, software, or services, per a press release.

Young adult Latino literature faces conservative backlash

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Young adult Latino authors, ranging from Ashley Hope Pérez to Benjamin Alire Sáenz, are facing threats from conservative school boards that want to remove their work from schools for tackling issues of race and sexuality.

Why it matters: The growing backlash against lessons on slavery, racism and LGBTQ issues in classrooms has engulfed young adult Latino authors whose work is often overlooked in discussions about race in education materials.

Updated Nov 23, 2021 - Technology

China's new privacy law leaves U.S. behind

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

While China's sweeping new data privacy laws have left tech companies confused about how to comply, they also put the U.S. even further behind in the global race to set digital standards.

What's happening: China enacted its Personal Information Privacy Law earlier this month, following Europe as the second major international player to have its own sweeping data privacy regulations.

Notorious hedge fund sparks panic about death of local news

Reproduced from UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media; Chart: Axios Visuals

Lawmakers, local reporters and journalism advocates are sounding the alarm over a takeover attempt of local newspaper group Lee Enterprises by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known for cutting journalists at local papers to maximize profits.

Why it matters: Roughly half of America’s daily newspapers are already controlled by investment groups. Alden's takeover would make it a clear majority.

U.S. to release 50 million barrels of oil from strategic reserve

Biden speaking from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 22. Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden directed the Department of Energy on Tuesday to release 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help lower fuel prices.

Why it matters: It's the Biden administration's most direct effort yet to tamp down on high gasoline prices that have become a political headache for the White House amid wider inflation.

Nov 23, 2021 - World

Afghanistan-scarred Biden admin taking no chances in Ethiopia

Ethiopia's House of Peoples' Representatives approves state of emergency, in Addis Ababa on Nov. 4. Photo: Eduardo Soteras/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is sounding the alarm over the deteriorating security situation in Ethiopia, where the government in Addis Ababa has called on civilians to arm themselves against rebels marching on the capital.

Why it matters: The collapse of Ethiopia — a major African country with a population of 115 million — could cause a massive humanitarian crisis and destabilize the entire region.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Nov 23, 2021 - Science

NASA's 911 for asteroids

Illustration: Trent Joaquin/Axios

SpaceX is set to launch a NASA spacecraft on a mission to learn how to change the course of an asteroid in deep space.

Why it matters: The mission — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) — will test the technology needed to redirect a dangerous asteroid if one is ever found on course with Earth.

Nov 23, 2021 - Health

Booster snafu: Shots lagged data by months

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Federal officials waited months before making all American adults eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot — meaning millions of Americans may not have the strongest possible protection as they head into holiday travel.

Why it matters: Critics say the confusing process undermined what has now become a critical effort to stave off another wave of the pandemic.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving roulette

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Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Two-in-three Americans will celebrate this Thanksgiving with friends or family outside their immediate households, and about half of those say their gatherings could include unvaccinated people, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Vaccinations and booster shots are giving more people confidence to resume traditions like sitting around a packed table with masks off. But many are doing so with heightened awareness of what they don't know when it comes to their holiday companions.

British Columbia bracing for "parade of storms" amid flood recovery

Satellite images taken last Friday of flooding in Sumas Prairie to the east of Abbotsford in British Columbia, Canada, near the border with the U.S. Photo: Maxar Technologies

Canadian officials warn a "parade of storms" is set to pummel British Columbia with more heavy rains this week.

Why it matters: The province is still reeling from last week's "atmospheric river event" that hit the Pacific Northwest, triggering record rainfall, extensive flooding and mudslides. The deadly storm displaced thousands of people, CBC News notes.

Nov 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Parkland shooting victims' families settle lawsuit with DOJ

A makeshift memorial at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. Photo: Rhona WiseI/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday reached a tentative lawsuit settlement with families of victims of a February 2018 mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, court filings show.

Why it matters: In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 people dead, it emerged that there were several instances of authorities failing to step in both before and during the attack, notably the FBI.

4 Black men wrongly charged with rape are exonerated after 72 years

Relatives of the Groveland Four gather at the just-unveiled monument in front of the Old Lake County courthouse in Tavares, Fla., in February last year. Photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Four Black men wrongly charged with rape were exonerated Monday, more than 70 after being convicted of what prosecutors now say were baseless charges.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said the case against the men, who all died before it was re-examined by Florida officials, "lacked due process and would not be tried today," the New York Times reports.

Nov 23, 2021 - World

Migrants freezing to death on EU frontier

Migrants warm themselves on the Belarusian side of the border. Photo: Maxim Guchek/BELTA/AFP via Getty

Migrants are "dying in the snow" along the Belarus-Poland border, caught in freezing temperatures between hostile border guards from both countries and cut off from lifesaving aid, Stefan Lehmeier of the International Rescue Committee told Axios.

Context: Lehmeier spoke by phone with Axios Monday, immediately after helping to administer first aid to three Iraqi men suffering from hypothermia in a forest on the Polish side of the border. Lehmeier and his fellow aid workers gave them blankets, hot soup and waterproof boots.