The Wider World

$25M awarded in rally violence

A FAR-RIGHT rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 turned violent as one person was killed and others injured (Wikipedia).

A jury on Tuesday found organizers of a 2017 far-right rally Charlottesville, Virginia rally liable for injuries to counterprotesters and awarded over $25 million in damages

According to the New York Times, the jury concluded that the organizers conspired to create a situation in which one person was killed and several others injured.

Heather Heyer was killed and plaintiffs injured when a car – driven by one of the defendants – drove into a crowd by people there to protest the rally by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates.

The driver of the vehicle, James Fields, is serving multiple life sentences for murder.

However, the jury could not reach a verdict on a related federal conspiracy charge.

Biden’s plan to bring down gas prices

GASOLINE PRICES  are up (Pexels/Gustavo Fring).

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced he would order the release of 50 million barrels of crude oil from the national Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to bring down the price of gasoline at the pump.

According to United Press International, Biden’s move is being coordinated with Great Britain and China to ease the increases in gas prices worldwide.

“It will take time,” said Biden, “but before long, you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank.”

Also in the news….

  • Three major pharmacy chains were found responsible by a Cleveland, Ohio federal jury for “recklessly” distributing large amounts of pain pills and contributing to the opiod addiction crisis in the Buckeye state.
  • NASA is planning to test an effort to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid to change its course, probably next fall. The “rock” is no danger to Earth, but the test is being conducted to help develop defenses against possible future dangers.

Sports: Grid playoff favorites shuffled

The College Football Playoffs rankings released Tuesday show some moving around. Georgia (11-0) remains on top, but Ohio State (10-1) has moved into second place, followed by Alabama (10-1) in third and Cincinnati (11-0) in fourth, up from fifth. The top four teams make the two-round playoff.

Just outside are Michigan (10-1) in fifth and Notre Dame (10-1) in sixth. Michigan and Ohio State will play on Dec. 14 for the Big 12 title; the winner will likely make the playoffs and the loser … not.

The rest of the top 10 are Oklahoma State (10-1) in seventh, Baylor (9-2) in eighth, Ole Miss (9-2) in ninth and Oklahoma (10-1) in 10th.

Weather: Sunny days are here again

At least for the next new days, sunny skies will prevail in the West Orange County area. The forecast from Wednesday is for a daytime high of 75 (overnight low of 57), rising to 81 (80) on Thursday and 83 (53) on Friday. In coastal areas of Huntington Beach, the outlook is almost as warm. Wednesday should be 71 during the day, rising to 80 on Thursday and 81 on Friday.

Stocks: Dow on the rise, oil prices recover

A “choppy” day of trading on Wall Street ended with stocks generally up on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 194.55 points to close at 35,813.80.

The S&P 500 rose by 7.76 points to 4,690, but Nasdaq was down 79.62 to finish at 15,775.14.

Oil prices initially fell on news that the Biden Administration was going to release crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to attempt to lower the price of gasoline, but recovered on the belief that long-term oil prices will remain stable.

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