Top 8 today | Courthouse News Service

Today’s top eight stories, including the Senate agreed to ratify Finland’s and Sweden’s bids to join NATO; Some of California’s most expensive cities will ask voters if empty homes should be taxed to relieve pressure on the housing market; President Biden signed an executive order to protect people crossing state lines to get abortions, and more.

National

Senate votes to ratify Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership

In a broad bipartisan vote, the Senate on Wednesday agreed to ratify Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership bids, a significant geopolitical move for the Western alliance following the invasion in course of Ukraine by Russia.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg presents Sweden’s and Finland’s applications to join the military alliance in Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (Johanna Geron, Pool via AP)

Biden signs executive order supporting travel for abortions

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order to protect people crossing state lines to get abortions, Biden’s second executive order on abortion access since the Supreme Court overturned it. Roe vs. Wade earlier this summer.

President Joe Biden speaks virtually during the first meeting of the Interagency Reproductive Health Care Access Task Force in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. ( AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Coinbase asks High Court to stop user lawsuits

A cryptocurrency giant on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to stay two lawsuits against it to avoid litigation and discovery while it pursues an appeal.

The cellphone icon for the Coinbase app is shown in this photo, in New York on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Trump’s War With YouTube Stayed Until The Twitter Fight Ended

A federal judge on Wednesday suspended former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit asking YouTube to reinstate his social media account pending Trump’s appeal dismissing his case against Twitter.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at an event Friday, July 8, 2022 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Regional

Amid housing crisis, California cities seek to target vacant homes with taxes

The city of Berkeley joins a growing list of California cities planning to ask voters whether owners of vacant homes should be taxed to relieve unprecedented pressure on the housing market.

Alleged Highland Park shooter pleads not guilty to all charges

Robert Crimo III, the suspected shooter in the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Ill., pleaded not guilty to all counts in an arraignment Wednesday morning.

Accused Highland Park gunman Robert E. Crimo III walks into a Lake County courtroom during a hearing in Waukegan, Ill., Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh , Pool)

Judge Finds Jan-Pro Janitors Wrongly Classified as Contractors and Owe Expenses

Janitors at commercial cleaning giant Jan-Pro Franchising count as employees, not independent contractors, under California wage orders and must be reimbursed for their uniforms, cleaning supplies, mandatory training and deductions lawsuits for the marketing and management fees of Jan-Pro, a federally ruled judge.

(Shirley Hirst/Pixabay via Courthouse News)

International

The West Calls Russia a Fascist Threat, But Experts Say That’s Wrong and Damaging

To explain the horrific events unfolding in Ukraine, a chilling narrative about Russia as a fascist state ruled by “dictator” Vladimir Putin has spread in the West. The problem is that many experts on Russian politics say this is a false or misleading interpretation of why Ukraine is embroiled in war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, July 11, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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