Top Stories this PM: Second woman says she picked up hitchhiking Laundrie; R. Kelly case heads to jury
Good afternoon. Here are the top stories so far today.
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What happened today:
- A second woman says she picked up hitchhiking Brian Laundrie. Norma Jean Jalovec told Fox News that she realized she had encountered Laundrie on August 29 after seeing a video posted by Tik Toker Miranda Baker, who also claimed she picked up Laundrie in the area on the same day around 5:30 p.m. Jalovec says she dropped Laundrie off at the remote Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest where Gabby Petito's remains were discovered on September 19.
- R. Kelly's sex crimes case is going before jurors. Seven men and five women will decide whether Kelly is guilty of running an enterprise that assisted him in recruiting, grooming, and sexually abusing boys, girls, and women for more than two decades. A judge began to instruct the jury on their role in the case Friday morning. While jurors have been presented with a dense package of evidence and testimony, they'd only need to agree that Kelly committed two alleged offenses in order to convict him of racketeering.
- Vax makers see the light at the end of COVID tunnel. Leaders at Moderna and AstraZeneca have recently offered rosy predictions about what's in store in the fight against the coronavirus. When asked about when the pandemic would end, Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, replied, "As of today, in a year, I assume."
- House responds to Texas abortion ban. The House on Friday passed legislation that would protect the right to an abortion in an urgent response to a recently enacted anti-abortion law in Texas. House Democrats moved to advance the bill after a strict Texas law that prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy took effect on September 1.
- Trump claims Arizona audit uncovered "undeniable evidence" of election fraud. It didn't. The statement was contradicted by a spokesperson for Cyber Ninjas, who earlier told an NPR affiliate in Arizona: "Was there massive fraud or anything? It doesn't look like it." The Cyber Ninjas' partisan audit concluded that Biden won the state's election by a slightly higher margin than was previously known, a draft of its findings obtained by media outlets said.
That's all for now. See you Monday.
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