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Wall Street closed out a strong January with more gains. The S&P 500 rose 1.5% Tuesday, marking its third winning month in the last four. The Dow rose 1.1% and the Nasdaq rose 1.7%. The gains came ahead of what many investors hope will be one of the Federal Reserve’s last hikes to interest rates for a while. Markets got a boost after a report showed that growth for workers’ pay and benefits slowed during the end of 2022. While that’s frustrating for people trying to keep up with soaring prices, markets see it as an encouraging sign of easing pressure on inflation.

A judge has dismissed a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by nine former University of Minnesota football players who were accused of sexual assault in a case that roiled the university. The players, who were not identified in their lawsuit against the school, alleged that they suffered emotional distress and financial damage after being accused of being sex offenders. U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the lawsuit last week. He said the players didn't provide any evidence to support their claims that they suffered financial damage or that investigators were biased. A woman said as many as a dozen football players raped her or watched at an off-campus party. No players were charged.

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A state agent is insisting he heard a possible confession from Alex Murdaugh even after defense attorneys for the disgraced South Carolina lawyer slowed the audio down at his double murder trial. At question is whether Murdaugh said “I did him so bad” or “They did him so bad” as he sobbed and spoke to state agents during a recorded interview three days after Murdaugh’s wife and son were killed. State Law Enforcement Division Senior Special Agent Jeff Croft said Tuesday he was “100% confident” Murdaugh said “I.” Croft and defense attorney Jim Griffin agreed the jury can listen to the audio clip during deliberations and decide for themselves.

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A Santa Fe district attorney has filed involuntary manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of the Western movie “Rust.” Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced that her office filed the charges Tuesday. She previously had said the charges would be forthcoming. Halyna Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe in October 2021. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at her when the gun went off. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who supervised weapons on the set, also is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

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The rank-and-file Democrat who was unexpectedly elected speaker of the Pennsylvania House as a compromise candidate earlier this month is saying he hopes to keep the job. Speaker Mark Rozzi said in a lengthy interview Monday that he won’t necessarily step aside and support Democratic floor leader Joanna McClinton of Philadelphia to succeed him as speaker. The Capitol is now rife with speculation that McClinton or some other candidate may soon try to evict Rozzi from the speaker’s rostrum. McClinton says she'd be "honored” if Democrats make her speaker once they fill three vacancies next week and are up to full strength.

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Pennsylvania House Speaker Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat, listens to public comment during a field hearing in Philadelphia, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Pennsylvania House Speaker Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat, listens to public comment during a field hearing in Philadelphia, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Attendees listen to Pennsylvania House Speaker Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat, during a field hearing in Philadelphia, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)