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National Guard troops stand watch as demonstrators protest outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Approximately 500 National Guard members are on standby in Wisconsin as the end of the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse nears, Gov. Tony Evers said Friday.

Driving the news: The Wisconsin National Guard will post outside Kenosha, where Rittenhouse is standing trial for allegedly shooting two men and injuring another during protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake last year.

  • "I urge folks who are otherwise not from the area to please respect the community by reconsidering any plans to travel there and encourage those who might choose to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights to do so safely and peacefully," the Democratic governor said in a statement Friday.
  • Closing arguments for the trial are expected Monday, NBC News reports.

The big picture: Rittenhouse, 18, is charged with intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide and endangering safety among other charges.

  • Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, were killed in the shooting and Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, was injured.
  • Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, was allegedly part of an armed group who said they were protecting private property from violent protesters. Rittenhouse's lawyers say he was acting in self-defense, according to CNN.
  • Rittenhouse faces a life sentence if he is convicted of first-degree intentional homicide.

What they're saying: "We stand ready to support our communities during times of need," Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said in a statement.

  • "In close coordination with the governor, we have assembled approximately 500 Soldiers to help keep the Kenosha community safe, should a request from our local partners come in."

Go deeper: Kenosha shooting lawsuit accuses police of coordinating with militia.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Nov 29, 2021 - Axios Denver

Aurora schools confront rising gun violence among teens

People gather outside Hinkley High School in Aurora after three people were shot in the school parking lot. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Crisis response teams for Aurora Public Schools are reacting today to Hinkley High School after the third shooting involving teenagers in just two weeks.

  • Superintendent Rico Munn tells Chalkbeat, our education reporting partner, that rising crime is "a growing crisis in our community."
3 hours ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.