National News

Prosecutor: No evidence hiding in wrongful conviction case

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is accusing Missouri’s attorney general of seeking sanctions against her “because he has no case” in his effort to keep Lamar Johnson in prison for a murder that Johnson has long contended he didn't commit. Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt asked a St. Louis judge Thursday to sanction Gardner, a Democrat, accusing her of concealing evidence as she seeks to vacate Johnson’s conviction. A crime lab recently determined a jacket seized from Johnson's trunk contained gunshot residue. Schmitt accused Gardner of concealing that evidence. In a response motion Friday, Gardner blamed a simple oversight and said it was irrelevant since the jacket wasn’t used in the crime.

Family of victim in 'Serial' case seeks new court hearing

An attorney has filed a court brief seeking a new hearing in a court proceeding that led to the release of Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial” already has been overturned. Steve Kelly, an attorney for the family of Hae Min Lee, filed the brief Friday in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state’s second-highest court. The new hearing would require the prosecutor to present any evidence supporting the motion and give Young Lee, Hae Min Lee’s brother, the right to challenge the evidence and present his own.

Oldest DNA reveals life in Greenland 2 million years ago

Scientists have discovered the oldest known DNA and used it to reveal what life was like 2 million years ago in the northern tip of Greenland. Today, it’s a barren Arctic desert. But back then it was a lush landscape of trees and vegetation with an array of animals, even the now extinct mastodon. The study published Wednesday looks at environmental DNA — bits of genetic material that organisms leave in their surroundings. By studying these tiny pieces, scientists found an unusual mix of species, with reindeer and geese perhaps living alongside mastodons.

UC's academic workers strike brings stress to undergraduates

A month into the nation’s largest strike involving higher education, the work stoppage by University of California academic workers at 10 campuses is causing stress for many undergraduate students. They are facing canceled classes, no one to answer their questions and uncertainty about how they will be graded. Some 48,000 student employees walked off the job on Nov. 14 to demand higher wages and better benefits. Colleges and universities increasingly rely on graduate student employees to do teaching, grade papers and conduct research that had previously been handled by tenured faculty. Many University of California students fear a prolonged strike will disrupt their plans to declare a major or apply to degree programs.

AFI Awards to honor ‘Avatar,’ ‘Elvis,’ ‘Abbott Elementary’

Next month’s AFI Awards will honor films including the “Avatar” sequel,  “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Elvis” and popular television series like “Abbott Elementary,” “Better Call Saul” and “The White Lotus.” The American film institute announce its slate of honorees Friday ahead of its gala luncheon on Jan. 13 in Beverly Hills, California. The institute selects 10 movies and shows for its ceremony, which honors projects deemed among the best of the year culturally and artistically. Additional film honorees are: “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Fabelmans,” “Nope,” “She Said,” “Tár,” “The Woman King” and “Women Talking.” The other television series being honored are: “The Bear,” Hacks,” Mo,” “Pachinko,” “Reservation Dogs,” Severance” and “Somebody Somewhere.”

Serbia mulls sending troops to Kosovo as tensions escalate

Serbia’s prime minister says the country’s leadership is close to demanding the deployment of their security troops to Kosovo. Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic accused the NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo of failing to protect the lives of minority Serbs there. The return of Belgrade’s troops to the former Serbian province could dramatically increase tensions in the Balkans. Serbian officials claim a U.N. resolution that formally ended the country’s bloody crackdown against majority Kosovo Albanian separatists in 1999 allows for some 1,000 Serb troops to return to Kosovo. The peacekeeping force would have to give a green light for Serb troops to go into Kosovo, something highly unlikely to happen. Kosovo declared independence in 2008.

Federal data: Kansas oil spill biggest in Keystone history

Federal data indicates that an oil spill in northeastern Kansas this week is the largest for an onshore crude pipeline in more than nine years and by far the biggest in the history of the Keystone pipeline. Canada-based TC Energy on Thursday estimated the spill on the Keystone system at about 14,000 barrels. The company said the affected pipeline segment had been “isolated” and the oil contained at the site with booms, or barriers. It did not say how the spill occurred. The company said said it shut down its Keystone system Wednesday night following a drop in pipeline pressure. It said oil spilled into a creek in a rural area about 150 miles northwest of Kansas City. The pipeline carries oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Fight to curb food waste increasingly turns to science

Hate mealy apples and soggy french fries? Science can help. Food companies are increasingly turning to chemistry and physics to tackle the problem of food waste. There are spray-on peels and chemically-enhanced sachets that can slow the ripening process in fruit and digital sensors that can tell when meat is safe to consume. Packets affixed to the top of a takeout box use thermodynamics to keep fries crispy.  Experts say growing awareness of food waste has led to an uptick in efforts to mitigate it. More than one-third of food produced in the U.S. currently goes uneaten; much of that winds up in landfills.

Fire out at Iowa plant where explosion injured several

Firefighters have extinguished a fire that tore through an asphalt shingle recycling plant at Marengo in east-central Iowa. Marengo Police Chief Ben Gray says firefighters worked until 4 a.m. Friday to extinguish the fire. The fire broke out following an explosion at the C6-Zero plant shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday. C6-Zero recycles used asphalt shingles into biofuel. Gray says five people were taken by ambulances to a hospital in Iowa City and others were driven to hospitals in private vehicles. He did not have an exact count of the number of people injured and did not answer questions about what caused the explosion.

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: Uncounted and counted ballots that got mixed together at two voting sites in Arizona’s Maricopa County were counted in final midterm election results. The number of registered voters in Arizona is not more than the population of the state. A patent application does not show that a COVID test was developed in 2015. President Joe Biden's daughter-in-law did not tweet that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election, the tweets came from an impostor account; and Oxfordshire County, England, is not imposing a “climate lockdown” that will confine people to their neighborhoods.