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The statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va. Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Charlottesville can remove two statues of Confederate generals, overturning a previous decision by a circuit court, AP reports.

Why it matters: Civil rights advocates say the Confederate monuments pay deference to America's legacy of slavery and racism, and the removal of such statues became a flashpoint of racial justice protests in 2020.

  • The statues are of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

The big picture: The Robert E. Lee statue was the focus of a violent white nationalist rally in 2017, where demonstrators came to Charlottesville to protest the city's plans to remove the statue, Axios previously reported.

  • A group of residents sued to block the statues' removal and the circuit court had ruled in their favor, per AP.

Details: In the ruling, Justice Bernard Goodwyn said that the statues can be removed because they were built before the passage of a law that regulates the “disturbance of or interference with" war memorials and monuments.

  • “In other words, [the law] did not provide the authority for the City to erect the Statues, and it does not prohibit the City from disturbing or interfering with them,” Goodwyn wrote.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

UN chief urges U.S. and China to fix "dysfunctional relationship"

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a Sept. 13 press conference in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / Coffini/AFP via Getty Images

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres raised concerns in an interview with AP, published Monday, of another Cold War between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Guterres made the comments ahead of this week's UN General Assembly in New York. Guterres told AP the U.S.-U.K. deal to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia "is just one small piece of a more complex puzzle ... this completely dysfunctional relationship between China and the United States."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

FBI says human remains found in Wyoming likely Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito. Photo: FBI

Human remains found in Teton County, Wyoming, are "consistent with the description of" missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, FBI Denver official Charles Jones said at a news conference Sunday.

Details: The cause of death had yet to be determined, but Jones said: "Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery." Authorities said they're continuing the search for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.

Dems' immigration plan hits major roadblock

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Sunday that Democrats cannot include pathways to citizenship in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, per a copy of the ruling obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: It's a blow to Democrats who hoped to provide pathways for millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Using reconciliations would have allowed them to pass politically contentious immigration changes with only 50 votes, as opposed to the usual 60 required.