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5 things to know for Dec. 7: Senate, Trump Organization, Gas prices, Apple, China

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

When astronauts snapped an image of Earth 50 years ago, no one knew it would become one of the world’s most widely reproduced photographs. The striking portrait of our planet, known as the “Blue Marble,” was taken on this day in 1972 — and still fills us with awe decades later.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Senate

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock will win Georgia’s Senate runoff, CNN projects, delivering another rebuke of former President Donald Trump’s influence after the defeat of his hand-picked candidate Herschel Walker. The win for Warnock allows Democrats to secure a slim 51-49 majority over Republicans in the Senate and will give the party significant governing advantages compared to the current 50-50 split in the chamber. For example, Democrats will hold majorities in each committee, allowing them to process legislation and nominations much faster. They will also have stronger power to issue subpoenas and would have an easier time filling a Supreme Court vacancy. On Tuesday, after several news networks projected Warnock would win, Walker conceded and urged his supporters to keep believing in America.

2. Trump Organization

Two Trump Organization companies were found guilty Tuesday on multiple charges of criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. A Manhattan jury specifically found the Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. guilty on all charges they faced connected to a 15-year scheme to defraud tax authorities by failing to report and pay taxes on compensation for top executives. Former President Donald Trump and his family were not charged in this case, but Trump was mentioned repeatedly during the trial by prosecutors referencing his connection to the benefits doled out to certain executives — including company-funded apartments, car leases and personal expenses. The Trump Organization could face a maximum of $1.61 million in fines. Attorneys representing the organization said they plan to appeal.

3. Gas prices

A sharp drop in oil prices this week is a good sign that prices at the pump will continue decreasing, analysts say. Oil prices have tumbled to their lowest level of the year — despite worries about the health of the economy and amid concerns about new restrictions imposed on Russian energy. On Monday, the European Union banned certain oil imports from Russia while the West placed a $60 cap on Russian oil. Both moves are designed to hurt Russia’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine without hurting consumers abroad. In the US, the national average price for regular gasoline currently stands at $3.35 a gallon, according to AAA. Gas prices have dropped 14 cents in the past week and 42 cents in a month.

4. Apple

Apple has been sued by two women who allege their previous romantic partners used the company’s AirTag devices to track their whereabouts, potentially putting their safety at risk. AirTags are Bluetooth locators that users attach to items — such as keys, wallets or laptops — that enable their location to be found on a map. While the devices can be a helpful tool to prevent losing personal items, some experts have warned that they could be used to track people without their consent. In this new lawsuit against Apple, one of the women said her ex-boyfriend allegedly placed a disguised AirTag into the wheel well of a tire on her car. The other woman said her ex-husband, who had been harassing her and challenging her about her whereabouts, placed an AirTag in her child’s backpack, the lawsuit said.

5. China

China scrapped some of its most controversial Covid-19 rules today, a clear sign that the central government is moving away from its strict zero-Covid approach that prompted protests across the country. China’s State Council unveiled 10 new guidelines that loosen some restrictions — most notably, allowing home quarantine and largely scrapping the health QR code that has been mandatory for entering most public places, according to a statement reported by state broadcaster CCTV. Since early in the pandemic, the color of these codes displayed on mobile phones — in red, amber or green — decided whether users could leave their homes, use public transportation and enter public places, or potentially need to quarantine. Major cities in the region are also taking steps this week to loosen requirements on Covid testing.


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“There is no place for killer police robots in our city.”

— San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston, after city officials voted Tuesday against a controversial measure that would have allowed police to deploy robots with lethal force in extreme situations, reversing course after public outcry against the policy. Those in favor of the robots have argued they can be useful to “contact, incapacitate, or disorient” a dangerous suspect without risking the life of an officer, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott insisted. Still, officials and residents alike spoke out against the policy amid worries that the military-grade technology could be misused or abused.


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