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The Morning Rundown™

Judge to rule on motion to disqualify Fulton County DA Fani Willis

Mar 15


A ruling is expected Friday, March 15, concerning the Georgia DA in former President Trump’s election interference case. And, SpaceX’s Starship rocket successfully launches into orbit but faces issues on its return to Earth. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Friday, March 15, 2024.

Judge to rule on Fulton County DA Fani Willis disqualification motion

A Georgia judge is set to rule Friday, March 15, in a motion related to former President Donald Trump’s election interference case, focusing not on Trump but on Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Judge Scott McAfee, speaking to a local TV affiliate, indicated that his decision is expected today.

The motion involves some defendants’ lawyers calling for Willis’ disqualification. They argue she should be removed because of her past relationship with Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor she appointed. They claim the relationship, marked by shared vacations, was financially beneficial for Willis.

Willis and Wade have both testified, denying any misconduct. Earlier this week, Willis filed a response urging Judge McAfee to dismiss the motion, stating the defendants failed to demonstrate a conflict of interest.

Trump, along with 18 others, pleaded not guilty last summer to all charges related to the case. Since then, three defendants have accepted plea deals.

Appeals court rejects Peter Navarro’s bid to remain out of prison

An appeals court on Thursday, March 14, denied former Trump adviser Peter Navarro’s request to remain out of prison while appealing his contempt of Congress conviction.

Navarro had argued that he should not be incarcerated during the appeal process. However, the three-judge panel ruled against him, meaning Navarro must report to a federal prison in Miami by next Tuesday to begin a four-month sentence.

He was sentenced in January for refusing to cooperate with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Navarro claimed he was unable to testify before the committee because former President Donald Trump had invoked executive privilege.

Ministry: 20 killed, more than 100 injured waiting for food in Gaza City

As Israeli forces continue operations in Gaza, the Hamas-run Health Ministry reported that at least 20 people were killed Thursday, March 14, in Gaza City while waiting for food. Additionally, more than 100 individuals sustained injuries in what the ministry described as a “targeted” attack by Israeli forces.

However, Israel’s army has disputed this characterization, denying the claim and stating they will conduct a thorough assessment of the incident.

This tragic event follows another recent incident two weeks ago, where hundreds were reportedly killed while attempting to reach aid trucks, with the circumstances of that event also being a matter of dispute.

Amidst these developments, there are reports that Hamas has proposed a temporary cease-fire. This proposal includes the release of groups of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Israel’s war cabinet is set to convene today to discuss this proposed plan.

Father of Michigan school shooter found guilty, faces 15 years in prison

James Crumbley, the father of the teenager who carried out the deadly shooting at a Michigan high school in 2021, has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The tragedy left four students dead and several others injured. This verdict follows closely on the heels of similar charges against the shooter’s mother, Jennifer Crumbley.

James Crumbley faces up to 15 years in prison and was convicted on four counts. Both he and his wife are scheduled for sentencing in April. Prosecutors in court argued that the Crumbleys neglected clear warning signs and criticized their failure to secure the firearm used in the shooting.

The cases marked the first time in the U.S. parents have been directly charged for deaths resulting from a mass shooting conducted by their child.

SpaceX successfully launches Starship rocket into orbit

SpaceX successfully conducted a test launch of the largest rocket ever built on Thursday, March 14. This third attempt of the Starship rocket was successful, taking off from the company’s Texas facility and achieving orbit for the first time.

SpaceX announced that this flight marked the farthest and fastest the Starship has ever traveled. However, the mission encountered difficulties during its return to Earth, with the spacecraft apparently breaking apart upon re-entry. Despite this setback, SpaceX described the day as “phenomenal.”

Looking ahead, NASA intends to use the Starship rocket to transport astronauts to the moon in 2026.

Swarm of bees disrupt tennis tournament

The tennis community is still buzzing about an unusual delay at a California tournament on Thursday, March 14.

During a quarterfinal match at Indian Wells, play was halted due to a swarm of bees. The interruption came just 19 minutes into the match and lasted nearly two hours.

Efforts to resolve the issue involved summoning a man with a vacuum to remove the bees from the court. Despite the disruption, Carlos Alcaraz managed to defeat both his opponent and the unusual challenge posed by the bees to secure a win.

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