News Minute: Here is the latest Georgia news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. EDT
ATLANTA (AP) - Amid protests and a heavy police presence, the Georgia Senate is weighing whether to pass a bill banning almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. As of Friday afternoon, the GOP-controlled Senate had spent hours debating the measure, which is backed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. A version of it has already passed the House. Women in Georgia can currently seek an abortion during the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy. A heartbeat can be detected in as early as six weeks.
CHICAGO (AP) - A strategy seems to be emerging for how R. Kelly's legal team intends to defend him against charges he sexually abusing three girls and a woman. At trial, they're likely to question the veracity of his accusers. Both Kelly and his attorney have said they are lying. Other statements indicate they'll argue that, even if Kelly had sex with them, it was consensual and he thought they were of age. Prosecutors will try to corroborate the accusations, including with DNA evidence.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A government watchdog found the Federal Emergency Management Agency wrongly released to a contractor the personal information of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017. Homeland Security Department's Office of Inspector General found the breach occurred with a contractor that helps provide temporary housing to those affected by disasters. FEMA said it is correcting the problem and found no indication that data was compromised.
ATLANTA (AP) - Democrats' road back to the White House runs through the Republican-run South, and not just in the early nominating state of South Carolina. Elizabeth Warren just completed a trip to Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Kamala Harris is headed back to Georgia. And party officials across the region are trying to lure candidates to the states that are the anchor of Super Tuesday, on March 3, 2020. There are also key Southern battleground states including Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.
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