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Judge reinstates third-degree murder charge against former cop Derek Chauvin

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A judge on Thursday reinstated a third-degree murder charge against the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd last May.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill should reconsider the third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin, which was dismissed in October.

Cahill granted the request from prosecutors to reinstate the charge after Minnesota’s Supreme Court denied an appeal from Chauvin Wednesday.

Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Jury selection continued Thursday following debate over the new charge. Five jurors have been selected so far – four men and one woman.

The Hill has reported that legal experts think the additional murder charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, will increase the prosecution’s chances of getting a conviction.

It has not been reported if the new charge could impact the trial’s expected start date of March 29.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Israel

Senior Saudi official says Iran ‘engineered’ war in Gaza and ‘should have been stopped a long time ago’

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Although it has been widely believed, a senior Saudi Arabian official has accused Tehran of having “engineered a war in Gaza” for the purpose to interfere with Jerusalem’s attempts to normalize relations with Riyadh. The unnamed official then described the regime as “a country that sponsors terrorism, and it should have been stopped a long time ago.”

In an interview with Israel’s Kan public broadcaster, the anonymous individual said that “any suspicious object” entering his country’s airspace is intercepted by the Kingdom’s defense forces. The comment may suggest that there was some level of participation by the Saudis in neutralizing the missiles and attack drones that the Islamic Republic fired at Israel on Saturday, notes Foreign Desk News. 

Reports have confirmed that the American, British, French, and Jordanian militaries assisted the IDF in the air defenses during the bombardment.

Foreign Desk News states of the improving relations between Israel and its neighbors:

In 2020, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco signed normalization agreements with the Jewish state under the direction of the Trump administration, in what was called the Abraham Accords. The following January, Sudan would also join the reconciliation.

Any diplomatic understandings between Israel and Saudi Arabia would be seen as a big boost to regional security, considering the Kingdom is often viewed as the most powerful Arab-majority country in the world.

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