Here is the latest Minnesota news from The Associated Press at 1:40 am CST | Minnesota News

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Clyde Bellecourt, leader of the Native American civil rights struggle and founder of the American Indian Movement, has passed away. He was 85 years old. Bellecourt died Tuesday morning of cancer at his home in Minneapolis. Bellecourt was a 1968 co-founder of AIM, which began as a local organization in Minneapolis that sought to address issues of police brutality and discrimination against Native Americans. The group would lead a series of major national protests in the 1970s, including a 71-day 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, to highlight corruption on the reservation and federal injustices against Indians.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – Judge in federal trial of three former Minneapolis cops charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights urges lawyers to “move the case forward” to reduce chances of proceedings being disrupted by COVID-19. Jury selection begins Jan. 20 for Tou Thao, J. Kueng and Thomas Lane over allegations that they have deprived Floyd of his rights while acting under the authority of the government. At a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson told lawyers he was concerned COVID-19 would disrupt proceedings. He also issued rulings placing restrictions on the testimony of certain witnesses and urged lawyers to help him bring the case to trial as quickly as possible.

TAMARACK, Minnesota (AP) – The company that plans to develop a nickel mine in northeast Minnesota has entered into a major supply agreement with Tesla, the electric vehicle maker. Tesla has committed to purchase 75,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate over six years from Talon Metals’ planned mine in Tamarack, approximately 80 kilometers west of Duluth. Talon hopes to open the mine by January 2026, but has not yet started the licensing process. Nickel is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries. Tesla would claim more than half of the mine’s nickel concentrate output, which would be further refined before it could be used to make batteries.

ANOKA, Minnesota (AP) – A jury has convicted a Minnesota man charged with unlawful possession of nearly 77,000 vape cartridges containing dangerous levels of THC. Valentin Andonii was convicted of two counts of first degree controlled substance misdemeanor and one count of taxation of marijuana and controlled substances. The latest charge indicated that Andonii, 25, owed more than $ 3 million in state taxes. Authorities say the cartridges are coming from out of state for distribution in Minnesota. The Star Tribune reports that the cartridges came in packages containing famous cartoon characters or sweet flavor themes, indicating that the operation had younger uses in mind. THC is the component in marijuana that gives you a high.

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