News Wrap: Federal judge dismisses Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against New York Times

In our news wrap Monday, a federal judge in New York dismissed Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times, the federal hate-crimes trial of three white men for killing Ahmaud Arbery got underway, a 22-year drought in the American West is deemed the worst in at least 1,200 years, and Los Angeles celebrates a Super Bowl championship after the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In New York today, a federal judge announced that he will dismiss Sarah Palin's libel suit against The New York Times. He said the former Alaska governor failed to show that The Times acted out of malice when it falsely linked her statements to a mass shooting.

    Still, the judge will let the jury continue deliberating. He said the panel's verdict will likely play into any appeal by Palin.

    Federal prosecutors in Minneapolis have rested their case today in the trial of three former police officers accused of violating George Floyd's rights. The government argued the men did nothing to prevent Floyd's murder by a fourth officer in May of 2020. The defense now begins its case.

    The federal hate-crimes trial of three white men for killing Ahmaud Arbery got under way with opening statements today in Georgia. Prosecutors alleged the men chased and shot Arbery because he was Black. The defense argued they focused on potential theft, not race. The defendants were already been convicted of state murder charges and sentenced to life in prison.

    A legal ruling dominated the Winter Olympics today. A sports arbitration body cleared Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva to go on competing while her doping case proceeds. The 15-year-old tested positive for a banned drug last December.

    Today, the president of the World-Anti Doping Agency voiced outrage that no one is being punished.

  • Witold Banka, President, World-Anti Doping Agency:

    This is my opinion, that the doping of children is evil and unforgivable. And the doctors, the coaches and — or other support personnel who are found to have provided performance-enhancing drugs to minors should be banned for life.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The International Olympic Committee says no medals will be given for any event that Valieva medals in until her case is resolved.

    Meanwhile, in today's competition, American Kaillie Humphries won gold in the inaugural monobob. That is a one-woman bobsled event.

    There's word that the 22-year mega-drought in the American West is now the worst in at least 1,200 years. Yes, you heard that right, 1,200. A study published today in the journal "Nature Climate Change" finds last year in particular was one of the driest ever recorded in the West. The authors conclude that human-caused climate change accounts for more than 40 percent of the dry conditions.

    And on Wall Street today, jitters over Ukraine kept investors on edge. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 172 points to close at 34566. The Nasdaq was virtually unchanged. The S&P 500 slipped 17.

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