5 things to know Thursday

December 23, 2021
5 things to know Thursday


Jury in Kim Potter trial enters fourth day of deliberations

The jury in the manslaughter trial of Kim Potter, a former police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, who fatally shot 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright during a traffic stop earlier this year while yelling “Taser,” will begin a fourth day of deliberations Thursday. The jurors deliberated for more than nine hours Wednesday and did not submit any questions to the judge. Ted Sampsell-Jones, a professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Minnesota, told USA TODAY: “The length of deliberations and the jury’s recent actions suggests that there’s a good chance we’re heading toward a hung jury and a mistrial. He added that result isn’t certain, “but it may be the most likely outcome at this point.” Jurors on Tuesday asked the judge for guidance on what to do if they cannot reach a consensus and requested the zip ties on Potter’s firearm be removed so the gun could be held outside of the evidence box.

What to know about rapid tests during the holidays

As millions of people seek coronavirus tests before upcoming holiday trips to see family and friends, they are encountering familiar challenges of the pandemic – long testing lines and sold out home tests. Areas such as New York City are quickly adding testing and distribution sites, but experts say the nation’s supply remains uneven 20 months into the pandemic, and the shortage comes as the fast-spreading omicron variant accounts for about three out of every four new COVID-19 cases. Need to get a test before traveling? While rapid antigen tests are less sensitive – meaning they are slightly less likely to detect the virus when compared to PCR tests – advocates say they are accurate enough to detect the virus when a person is infectious and likely to pass it to others. Read more about rapid tests here. If you’re considering an at-home test before your holiday trip, this is what travelers need to know

James Franco speaks on sexual misconduct allegations

James Franco speaks for the first time in an interview airing Thursday following sexual misconduct allegations against him. Franco is the subject of a recorded interview with host Jess Cagle on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Podcast. The 43-year-old actor agreed to pay a $2.2 million settlement earlier this year after his former acting students filed a 2019 lawsuit alleging he pushed students at his Studio 4 school into sexual and exploitative scenes on camera. Franco said at one point in the interview in part that, “over the course of my teaching I did sleep with students, and that was wrong.”

Holiday travel? Here are the worst times to hit the road

More than 109 million people are expected to hit the road between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2, driving up congestion across the nation – especially along popular corridors in major cities. While traffic will likely still fall below 2019 levels, a recent report from AAA and transportation analytics company Inrix forecasts 34% more travelers on the roads compared to last year. Travel times are influenced by a number of factors, including road closures, crashes and weather. Also, certain regions may face additional delays thanks to a shortage of snowplow drivers. Where will it be worst? Major metro areas like New York, Washington, Chicago, Seattle, Detroit and Atlanta. Here’s a day-by-day look at when to hit the road

Playoff contenders Titans and 49ers face off on ‘Thursday Night Football’

Just two days after the completion of Week 15, the NFL kicks off Week 16 with the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers taking the field for “Thursday Night Football” with each team jockeying for playoff positions in their respective conferences (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network). The Titans (9-5) enter the game on top of the AFC South standings, and only one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs, who are No. 1 seed in the AFC. While the Titans aim to earn home field advantage in the playoffs, the 49ers (8-6) are clinging on to the final playoff spot in the NFC, one game ahead of the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints. Thursday’s game will feature a matchup of two similar squads, with both the teams fielding a top 10 rushing offense, as well as solid defensive squads.


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