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Daily Briefing: First protester executed by Iran

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A prisoner convicted in Iran’s ongoing protests has been executed. And a lot of coup-related news today: Peruvian President Pedro Castillo was removed from office and arrested on a charge of rebellion. German police arrested 25 suspected far-right extremists who allegedly sought to overthrow the government.

🙋🏼‍♀️I’m Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. Here’s how to bring the best White Elephant gift to your holiday party.

Now here we go with Thursday’s news.


Iran executes first known prisoner arrested in protests

Iran says it has executed a prisoner convicted of a crime allegedly committed during the country’s ongoing nationwide protests, Iran’s Mizan news agency reported Thursday. It’s the first such death penalty carried out by Tehran. The man was accused of blocking a street and attacking a security force member with a machete in Tehran. 

The background: Iran has been rocked by protests since the Sept. 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, after she was detained by the country’s morality police. Activists warn others could be put to death as well soon since at least a dozen people have so far received death sentences over their involvement in the demonstrations.

A protester stands next to placards with portraits of the victims of Iran's repression, near the French National Assembly in Paris on December 6, 2022.

Will Mauna Loa lava intersect crucial Hawaii road?

Scientists are unsure if slow-moving lava in Hawaii will cross the Big Island road, a vital route that connects the east and west sides of the island, after the world’s largest volcano erupted on Nov. 27. Hawaii officials have warned people to take precautionary measures and to prepare for the worst. Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth told the Associated Press that the highway could close before the lava arrives if some onlookers behave inappropriately, such as people hiking onto closed areas to view the lava flow. Last week, thousands of motorists driving along the highway to watch the lava prompted officials to open a one-way “mitigation route.” Read more

A man talks on a phone in his car alongside Saddle Road as the Mauna Loa volcano erupts Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, near Hilo, Hawaii.

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Peru’s president ousted, arrested 

The president of Peru was ousted by Congress and arrested on a charge of rebellion Wednesday after he sought to dissolve the legislative body and take unilateral control of the government, triggering a crisis officials said couldn’t “be called anything but a coup.” Vice President Dina Boluarte replaced Pedro Castillo and became the first female leader in the history of the republic after hours of wrangling between the legislature and the president, who had tried to prevent an impeachment vote. Shortly before the vote, Castillo announced that he was installing a new emergency government and would rule by decree. Read more

Peruvian Dina Boluarte greets members of the Congress after being sworn in as the new President hours after former President Pedro Castillo was impeached in Lima, on December 7, 2022. Peru's Pedro Castillo was impeached and replaced as president by his deputy on Wednesday in a dizzying series of events.

Germany arrests 25 suspected far-right extremists 

Thousands of police officers carried out raids across much of Germany on Wednesday against suspected far-right extremists who allegedly sought to overthrow the government in an armed coup. Officials said 25 people were detained. Federal prosecutors said some 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states against adherents of the so-called Reich Citizens movement. Federal prosecutors said Heinrich XIII P. R., whom the group planned to install as Germany’s new leader, had contacted Russian officials with the aim of negotiating a new order in the country once the German government was overthrown. Read more

Masked police officers lead Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, front center, to a police vehicle during a raid against so-called 'Reich citizens' in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.

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Parents turn to wilderness therapy for help

In recent years, the “troubled teen industry,” which includes reform schools and residential treatment facilities, has come under scrutiny as former students speak out about the mistreatment they experienced. (One big name who has elevated the cause is Paris Hilton.) But as the industry overall inches toward reform, wilderness therapy tends to fly under the radar. That’s because it’s often billed as a shorter-term solution to problems and there’s also a lack of federal oversight into these private programs, experts say. Read more 

Katelyn Haruko Schmisseur is one of many former campers coming forward to share their experiences with wilderness therapy, a type of treatment parents often turn to when they feel they need professional help for their kids and counseling isn't enough.

📷 Photo of the day: Women in Entertainment 2022 📷

Actresses, directors and journalists gathered Wednesday for The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Gala at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, presented by Lifetime. The trade publication honored 100 women in the industry as trailblazers in entertainment, including “Insecure” star and creator Issa Rae, who was awarded the Equity in Entertainment Award by co-star and longtime friend Yvonne Orji. Here’s what Rae said about being “fearless.”

Click here to see more photos from the empowering event.

Issa Rae speaks onstage during The Hollywood Reporter 2022 Power 100 Women in Entertainment presented by Lifetime at Fairmont Century Plaza on December 07, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

One more thing

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Megan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive for the 2022 Ripple of Hope Award Gala at the New York Hilton Midtown Manhattan Hotel in New York City on December 6, 2022.

Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note, shoot her an email at or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.

Associated Press contributed reporting.

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