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National Briefs

Prosecutors urge judge to keep gag order blocking Trump from criticizing jurors

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors are urging the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s criminal hush money case to uphold a gag order that bars the Republican former president from criticizing jurors, court staff, or members of the prosecution that convicted him. In court papers filed Friday, prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office argued portions of the gag order remained necessary given Trump’s “singular history of inflammatory and threatening public statements.” They agreed that one provision of the gag order that prevented Trump from attacking trial witnesses in the case could be lifted. Attorneys for Trump have called on Judge Juan M. Merchan to lift the order following the culmination of his trial last month.

FDA OKs first menthol e-cigarettes, citing potential to help adult smokers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first menthol-flavored electronic cigarettes for adult smokers. Friday’s action is the government’s strongest acknowledgment that switching to flavored vaping can reduce the harms traditional tobacco smoking. The FDA authorized four menthol e-cigarettes from Njoy, the vaping brand recently acquired by tobacco giant Altria, which also makes Marlboro cigarettes. The decision gives new credibility to vaping companies’ longstanding argument that their products can help blunt the toll of smoking. But parent groups and anti-tobacco advocates immediately criticized the decision, saying flavors like menthol are more popular with teens.

2 people were killed and 10 others wounded in shooting at grocery store in south Arkansas, police say

FORDYCE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas State Police say a shooter opened fire Friday at a grocery store, killing three people and wounding 10 others. The shooting occurred at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce. Arkansas’ Department of Public Safety director says police shot the suspected shooter, who sustained injuries that were not life-threatening. Two law enforcement officers were among those shot, and neither have life-threatening injuries. Video posted on social media showed at least one person lying in the parking lot. In another video, multiple gunshots could be heard. Images from TV reporters on the scene show a slew of bullet holes in the grocery store’s window.

Former mayor of South Dakota town pleads not guilty in triple homicide case

CENTERVILLE, S.D. (AP) — A former law officer who once served as a tiny South Dakota town’s mayor has pleaded not guilty in a three-person killing. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports 64-year-old Jay Ostrem on Thursday pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of felony first-degree murder. A lawyer for Ostrem didn’t immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment Friday. The victims killed on Memorial Day in Centerville were two brothers, ages 26 and 21, and a 35-year-old man. A probable cause affidavit says Ostrem’s wife told police that one of the men had sexually assaulted her.

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