Two dead. One injured. Will Rittenhouse be convicted? – USA TODAY

Closing arguments were held in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. A deadly parasite slithering through Florida is causing concern. And coming soon to a road near you: President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure package. 

👋 It’s Ashley and Alex (remember us?) with the inside scoop on today’s news. 

But first, go easy on Adele. The singer’s much-anticipated “30” is out Friday. Here’s everything we know about the album so far

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A tourist vigilante, or a youthful sense of patriotism?

Ahead of jury deliberations in Rittenhouse’s murder trial on Monday, the prosecution and defense delivered competing narratives about why the then-17-year-old fatally shot two men and wounded a third on the night of Aug. 25, 2020. What the prosecution is saying: Rittenhouse was a tourist vigilante from Illinois, armed with bad judgment and a rifle he couldn’t legally possess, looking for righteous vengeance against anti-police rioters. What the defense is saying: Rittenhouse was essentially a Kenoshan, driven by a youthful sense of patriotism to protect and defend his community, forced to kill two protesters and wound a third to save his own life.

Now the jury must decide if he is guilty or not guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.

Bannon surrenders to FBI but is quickly released

Dear readers, this is what happens when you ignore a congressional subpoena. Steve Bannon, political strategist for former President Donald Trump, surrendered to federal authorities Monday after being indicted for refusing a deposition and documents demanded by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. The flamboyant Trump stalwart started the day in Bannon style, livestreaming his arrival at the FBI’s Washington Field Office for his podcast “War Room.” “We’re taking down the Biden regime,” he said. “I want you guys to stay focused, stay on message. Remember, signal, not noise.” He’s since been released without bond pending trial.

He’s running. And he’s retiring.

Roses are red, violets are blue. Politicians are shaking things up for 2022.

In Texas, Beto O’Rourke ended months of speculation Monday when he announced Monday morning that he’s running for governor against Republican incumbent Greg Abbott. Why it matters: O’Rourke is the first high-profile Democrat to announce his intention to run for the seat, giving his party a serious contender at the top of the ticket. Democrats are hopeful his gubernatorial campaign will replicate the success O’Rourke saw in 2018 when he came within 2.6 percentage points of unseating U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

Up North in Vermont, Sen. Patrick Leahy announced he will retire from the Senate after this term in Congress – a seat he’s held since 1975. The influential Vermont Democrat and Senate’s president pro tempore said, “It is time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter who will carry on this work for a great state. It’s time to come home.” Why it matters: Leahy’s retirement opens the field for a fierce primary in Vermont, a New England state known for its progressive yet idiosyncratic politics.

What everyone’s talking about

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Astroworld: 9-year-old boy dies, believed to be youngest victim

Ezra Blount, the 9-year-old boy who was placed in a medically induced coma after being injured at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, died on Sunday. Ezra was the 10th and youngest person to die in connection to the music festival on Nov 5., where a large crowd surge pushed toward the stage as Scott performed, packing people so tightly together they couldn’t breathe. Ezra and his father, Treston Blount, traveled from out of town to attend the concert and spend quality time together, his grandfather Bernon Blount said last week. “I began to be crushed until I couldn’t breathe,” Treston Blount wrote on a fundraiser site for Ezra. “And I woke up and my son was gone.” The Blount family hired a team of lawyers, including Ben Crump, to file a lawsuit on behalf of Treston Blount against Scott and others.

Real quick

Afraid of snakes? You might want to skip this section 

Invasive Burmese pythons have decimated native mammal populations in Florida’s Greater Everglades ecosystem for years, but the northern region has managed to keep them at bay – until now. The last stronghold of the northern Florida Everglades – a sprawling scruff of emerald in western Palm Beach County – had its first reported invasive python sightings this fall as the parasite slithers north

  • What’s so bad about these slithery snakes? To a python, Florida’s rich biodiversity of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians is a smorgasbord of delicacies. According to a 2012 study in Everglades National Park, pythons have contributed to these population declines: 99.3% fewer raccoons, 98.9% fewer opossums and 87.5% fewer bobcats. 
  • See something? Say something: The best thing you can do if you spot a Burmese is to report it immediately to a python rapid response unit.

A break from the news

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