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A federal judge in Cleveland has awarded $650 million in damages to two Ohio counties that sued pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens and Walmart saying their opioid distribution policies harmed the counties. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster released the award amounts in a ruling issued Wednesday.  A jury returned in November ruled in favor of Lake and Trumbull counties outside Cleveland after a six-week trial. Polster then conducted a hearing to determine how much the counties should receive. The damage awards are meant to help the counties abate a continuing opioid crisis. Their attorneys before trial said it would take $1 billion each for the counties to abate the crisis.

The attorneys for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz won't present to his jurors the results of a controversial test that they said supports their belief he suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. The attorneys told Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer on Wednesday that they won't use the test. The test compared brainwaves from the 23-year-old mass murderer with normal people. Prosecutors and critics says the test is unproven and junk. Cruz pleaded guilty to murdering 17 at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. The jury in his ongoing penalty trial will only decide if he should be sentenced to death or life without parole. It resumes Monday with his attorneys' opening statement.

The world's smallest and most endangered sea turtle has hatched in Louisiana's wilds for the first known time in 75 years. Louisiana agencies say crews monitoring the Chandeleur Islands to help design a restoration project found tracks of females going to and from nests, and of hatchlings leaving nests. A news release from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries included photos of two hatchlings crawling toward and swimming in the water. The statement says threatened loggerhead sea turtles also are nesting on the islands. It says loggerhead nests found on Grand Isle in 2015 were the first confirmed sea turtle nests in Louisiana in more than 30 years.

Relatives of a Lebanese American man say they are happy to proceed with their lawsuit alleging that Lebanon’s security agency kidnapped and tortured him before he died in the U.S. A judge recently rejected the agency’s attempt to strike the allegations from a lawsuit against Iran. Amer Fakhoury died in the United States in August 2020 at age 57 from lymphoma. His family’s lawsuit was filed in Washington last year. The family says he developed the illness and other serious medical issues while imprisoned during a visit to Lebanon over decades-old murder and torture charges that he denied. A lawyer representing Lebanon’s General Directorate of General Security said it's weighing all options, including the possibility of an appeal.

A Republican group in Alabama is apologizing after accidentally using a picture of a GOP elephant that contained Ku Klux Klan imagery. The Lawrence County Republican Party posted an image on its Facebook page of the GOP elephant in which the white spaces between the animals' legs were drawn to resemble hooded Klansmen. A party official said the image was grabbed from a Google search for the GOP symbol and was a mistake.  A party official said the image didn't represent the views or beliefs of the Lawrence County Republican Party and apologized. The image had been used in a 2020 article in Mother Jones about racism within the GOP

Here are photos from last night's Cheney watch party, where the congresswoman told supporters that she had conceded to Harriet Hageman.

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Here are photos from last night's Cheney watch party, where the congresswoman told supporters that she had conceded to Harriet Hageman.

After his second impeachment, former President Donald Trump made it his mission to defeat Rep. Liz Cheney, his chief Republican rival. On Tuesday, he succeeded.

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