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With a guilty plea and a huge fine, Cristiano Ronaldo finally put an end to his tax ordeal in Spain.

Nearly four years after an investigation was opened, Ronaldo appeared at a court in Madrid on Tuesday to plead guilty to tax fraud and agree to a fine of nearly 19 million euros ($21.6 million).

The Juventus forward, who was facing charges stemming from his days at Real Madrid, spent about 45 minutes in court to sign the agreement. He was also given a two-year suspended sentence.

Ronaldo will not have to serve time in prison because judges in Spain can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders.

The Portugal star smiled broadly after leaving court despite the unwanted trip back to Madrid, where he played until last summer.

“It’s done,” he said briefly as he walked past some of the hundreds of journalists outside the court house.

He later posted a photo on Twitter of himself smiling while apparently taking a selfie inside an airplane. The picture was accompanied by emoticons that included a “thumbs-up.”

Ronaldo arrived in court in a black van and was wearing sunglasses, a black sports coat, black pants and white tennis shoes. He stopped to sign an autograph before walking up some stairs leading to the court house. He was accompanied by his lawyers and his partner, Georgina Rodriguez. Police officers escorted him.

The court had dismissed Ronaldo’s request to enter the building directly from the parking lot, which would have allowed him to avoid the media. The request was made for security reasons, but the court said it didn’t think the measure was needed despite the player’s notoriety.

Court officials said Ronaldo didn’t make any comments while in the courtroom to sign the agreement.

On his way out of the court house, he again stopped to sign autographs for a few fans who were wedged among the journalists. He also made a thumbs-up sign as people gathered near the court.

Ronaldo made the deal to plead guilty with Spain’s state prosecutor and tax authorities last year.

The investigation reportedly began in 2015, and two years later a state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 worth 14.7 million euros ($16.7 million). Ronaldo was accused of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights.


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is resting in a New York hospital following surgery to remove two malignant growths in her left lung, the third time the Supreme Court’s oldest justice has been treated for cancer and her second stay in a hospital in two months.

Worries over Ginsburg’s health have been a constant of sorts for nearly 10 years, and for liberals, particularly in the last two. Ginsburg, the leader of the court’s liberal wing and known to her fans as the Notorious RBG, has achieved an iconic status rare for Supreme Court justices.

If she did step down, President Donald Trump would have another opportunity to move a conservative court even more to the right. “Wishing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a full and speedy recovery!” Trump tweeted after the court’s announcement Friday.

But Ginsburg has always bounced back before, flaunting her physical and mental fitness. After past health scares, she has resumed the exercise routine popularized in a book written by her personal trainer and captured in a Stephen Colbert video. Weeks after cracking three ribs in a fall at the Supreme Court in November, the 85-year-old Ginsburg was asking questions at high court arguments, speaking at a naturalization ceremony for new citizens and being interviewed at screenings of the new movie about her, “On the Basis of Sex.”

Ginsburg will remain in the hospital for a few days, the court said. She has never missed arguments in more than 25 years as a justice. The court next meets on Jan. 7.

While it’s hard to refer to good luck and cancer diagnoses in the same breath, this is the second time for Ginsburg that cancerous growths have been detected at an apparently early stage through unrelated medical tests.

The nodules on her lung were found during X-rays and other tests Ginsburg had after she fractured ribs in a fall in her Supreme Court office on Nov. 7, the court said. In 2009, routine follow-up screening after Ginsburg’s colorectal cancer 10 years earlier detected a lesion on her pancreas. Doctors operated and removed the growth they’d previously spotted, plus a smaller one they hadn’t seen before. The larger growth was benign, while the smaller one was malignant.


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected a request from Bill Cosby to be released on bail while he appeals his sexual assault conviction.

The order from the court issued Friday does not elaborate on the decision.

Cosby filed an appeal earlier this month saying that Pennsylvania trial Judge Steven O’Neill had a feud with a key pretrial witness, the former county prosecutor who declined to arrest Cosby a decade earlier. And they say his decision to let five other accusers testify among other alleged issues are grounds for a new trial.

A jury convicted the 81-year-old Cosby in April of drugging and molesting a woman in 2004.

The legally blind comedian is housed in a new state prison about 20 miles from his Philadelphia-area estate.


Florida law enforcement officers can invoke the state's "stand your ground" law to protect them from criminal prosecution in a shooting, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday.

The court issued its 7-0 decision in the case of Peter Peraza, a Broward County sheriff's deputy charged with manslaughter in the 2013 fatal shooting of a man carrying what turned out to be an air rifle.

Peraza's lawyers claimed he was immune from prosecution under the stand your ground law, which permits use of deadly force when a person has a legitimate fear of "imminent death or great bodily harm." The justices agreed with two lower court rulings, which concluded that the law applies to law enforcement officers the same as anyone else.

"Simply put, a law enforcement officer is a 'person' whether on duty or off, and irrespective of whether the officer is making an arrest," Justice Alan Lawson wrote for the court.

"In common understanding, 'person' refers to a 'human being,' which is not occupation-specific and plainly includes human beings serving as law enforcement officers," he added.

Peraza shot 33-year-old Jermaine McBean during a confrontation with deputies at his apartment complex. Several people had called 911 to report a man openly carrying a rifle down a busy street and acting erratically.


Alec Baldwin appeared in a New York court on Monday after being accused of striking a man in the face over a parking space.

The 60-year-old actor said nothing as he was arraigned on misdemeanor and violation-level charges. He has previously stated that he did nothing wrong.

Baldwin was arrested on Nov. 2. Police were told a driver pulled into a Manhattan parking space that one of Baldwin's relatives was holding for him, and the two men started quarreling and pushing each other.

The other driver told police Baldwin punched or slapped him. The 49-year-old man was taken to a hospital complaining of jaw pain and redness around his neck.

"Mr. Baldwin is a public figure whose reputation has been damaged by media reports that claim that he punched a man on a New York City street," said his lawyer, Alan Abramson.

"There is incontrovertible video evidence that has been turned over to the district attorney's office that proves beyond all doubt that Mr. Baldwin never punched anyone," the lawyer said. "Mr. Baldwin did not commit any crime and we are confident that once this matter is fully investigated it will be resolved swiftly and appropriately in court."

"Mr. Baldwin is a public figure whose reputation has been damaged by media reports that claim that he punched a man on a New York City street," said his lawyer, Alan Abramson.

"There is incontrovertible video evidence that has been turned over to the district attorney's office that proves beyond all doubt that Mr. Baldwin never punched anyone," the lawyer said. "Mr. Baldwin did not commit any crime and we are confident that once this matter is fully investigated it will be resolved swiftly and appropriately in court."



WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not willingly travel to the United States to face charges filed under seal against him, one of his lawyers said, foreshadowing a possible fight over extradition for a central figure in the U.S. special counsel’s Russia-Trump investigation.

Assange, who has taken cover in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been granted asylum, has speculated publicly for years that the Justice Department had brought secret criminal charges against him for revealing highly sensitive government information on his website.

That hypothesis appeared closer to reality after prosecutors, in an errant court filing in an unrelated case, inadvertently revealed the existence of sealed charges. The filing, discovered Thursday night, said the charges and arrest warrant “would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.”

A person familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case had not been made public, confirmed that charges had been filed under seal. The exact charges Assange faces and when they might be unsealed remained uncertain Friday.

Any charges against him could help illuminate whether Russia coordinated with the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. They also would suggest that, after years of internal Justice Department wrangling, prosecutors have decided to take a more aggressive tack against WikiLeaks.

A criminal case also holds the potential to expose the practices of a radical transparency activist who has been under U.S. government scrutiny for years and at the center of some of the most explosive disclosures of stolen information in the last decade.

Those include thousands of military and State Department cables from Army Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning, secret CIA hacking tools, and most recently and notoriously, Democratic emails that were published in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election and that U.S. intelligence officials say had been hacked by Russia.

Federal special counsel Robert Mueller, who has already charged 12 Russian military intelligence officers with hacking, has been investigating whether any Trump associates had advance knowledge of the stolen emails.


The Houston area's courts are going to be a lot more diverse thanks to a group of 17 African-American women and their "magic."

The women, who were part of an effort dubbed the "Black Girl Magic" campaign, all won races Tuesday to be judges in various Harris County courts in an election that featured more black women on the county's ballot than any other.

The "Black Girl Magic" campaign debuted over the summer with a viral photo that featured the 17 women and two other sitting Harris County judges inside a courtroom. Although those two judges lost their bids Tuesday for seats on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, they will retain their local judgeships.

Those behind the campaign say it was part of an effort to broaden the diversity of the Houston area's judiciary and ensure that more African-Americans and other minorities can bring their backgrounds and life experiences to the bench and better reflect the diversity of the nation's fourth largest city.

"I think that while Houston itself is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, our elected officials have not always reflected that," said Lillie Schechter, chair of the Harris County Democratic Party, which put together the "Black Girl Magic" campaign. "Having a government that reflects the people, the population is something that is incredibly important."

Lori Chambers Gray, a Houston defense attorney who won election to be a judge on a criminal district court, said the photo and the "Black Girls Magic" campaign provided her with a source of strength and motivation as she proceeded to Election Day.

"I hope that it's an example for women that we do have opportunities to run and to win a campaign," Gray said.

The "Black Girl Magic" moniker has been used as a hashtag in recent years to highlight the accomplishments of African-American girls and women. In politics, it's been used to highlight the role African-American women have played in helping decide various races, including the highly contested Senate race in Alabama last year in which Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore.

The victory by the 17 black women on Tuesday was part of a Harris County rout by the Democrats, who won almost all of the nearly 70 local judicial races and ousted a popular Republican from the county's top elected office.


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