As climate change and turbulent world politics wreak havoc on planet Earth, people have looked to the stars for a hospitable planet to call our new home. As it turns out, such a planet may be closer than we expected.

     Licking its wounds from a court defeat in California, education advocates brought a federal complaint in Connecticut to take on a system that forces inner-city children into failing schools unless they win the charter school lottery. 

     Billionaire Charles Koch has targeted for defeat a voter initiative in South Dakota that would allow public funding of elections and provide more information about big political donors.

     President Barack Obama visited Baton Rouge Tuesday to survey historic flooding in the area that damaged more than 60,000 houses, left 14 dead and has so far resulted in 100,000 FEMA claims.

     A bill to give Californians the opportunity to vote out daylight saving time and eliminate the biannual clock resetting stalled Tuesday, falling four votes short of clearing the state Senate.

     A federal judge ruled that when a New Mexico State Police officer took pictures of a man police had shot to death and texted the pictures to friends, no constitutional right to privacy was violated. 

     A federal judge appeared likely Tuesday to advance a case that says California baseball stadiums need more safety netting for stray balls hit as fast as 100 miles per hour.

     More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money, either personally or through companies or groups, to the Clinton Foundation.

     A judge sentenced a Georgia man to 40 years in prison Wednesday for throwing boiled water on a gay couple sleeping in an apartment, leaving them with severe burns that required surgery.

     Army prosecutors fought back claims Tuesday that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's prosecution was improperly swayed by public comments made by U.S. Sen. John McCain in the lead up to the decision to court-martial the solider.

     On the heels of a settlement by Hitachi over similar conduct, a class says 14 companies belonged to an international cartel that fixed the prices of aluminum, tantalum and film capacitors from 1997 through 2014.


     Stem cell photographer Andrew Leonard is entitled to $1.6 million for the infringement of his photos by nutritional-supplement maker Stemtech International, the Third Circuit affirmed Wednesday. 

     Target's Up & Up Aloe Vera gel contains no aloe vera at all, a class action claims in Federal Court. 

     Songwriter-producer Alex Greggs says in LA County court that Ariana Grande's 2014 hit "One Last Time" — co-written with DJ-producer David Guetta and numerous others — rips off his "Takes All Night."

     Heeding counsel from the Texas Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit blocked the receiver for R. Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme from clawing back money paid on Golf Channel advertising. 

     One week ago, as an Inuit village voted to move inland, away from a rising ocean, a cruise ship departed from Seward on a maiden voyage through the fabled Northwest Passage — both events brought to Alaska by climate change.

     Former LA County Sheriff Leroy Baca faces a December trial on charges that he obstructed an investigation into civil rights abuses after a federal judge said Wednesday that delaying the trial is not in the public's interest.

     A class claims in court that Corrections Corporation of America didn't tell investors that the federal government was unlikely to renew its private prisons contract, causing stock to drop 39 percent when the news broke. 

     A class action against Google claiming the company illegally disclosed private data during app purchases does not look likely to survive, after a federal judge expressed reservations about the lawsuit.

     A Long Islander convicted of a double murder can argue that he didn't get a fair trial because his lawyer didn't make sure he could hear it, the Second Circuit ruled Wednesday. 

     Kansas urged the 10th Circuit on Tuesday to block thousands of votes from citizens who cast ballots without the identification documents that the state requires.

     Donald Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in a town hall meeting Tuesday that he would not back down on his pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border, and that the wall will be 35 to 40 feet high.

     The U.S. Postal Service has sued Berkeley, California, claiming the city interfered with a federal mandate by passing an ordinance to block the sale of its historic post office building.

     After three years of failed legislative efforts to change how Connecticut prices alcohol, a national liquor retailer is taking the fight to federal court. 

     After a brief hearing Tuesday, a federal judge said the British man accused of trying to shoot Donald Trump can meet with his mother and an attorney to try to be sent home to England.

     The 11th Circuit threw out a 34-year-old consent decree aimed at fixing discriminatory hiring practices in the Jacksonville Fire Department, finding that a group waited too long to try to enforce the agreement. 

     A South Florida woman claims in court that her best friend's father, a promoter at a Miami strip club, took her to the club when she was still a minor, plied her with cocaine and alcohol, and encouraged her to perform sexually-explicit dances for customers. 

     A divided Third Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Philadelphia airport's ban on noncommercial advertisements treads on free-speech rights because it serves no reasonable purpose. 

     Graduate students at private universities won the right to unionize Tuesday after the National Labor Relations Board overturned its prior decision that "deprived an entire category of workers" of labor protections. 

     An Australian company says Chevron's financial problems and lower demand for liquefied natural gas led the energy giant to go cheap on a massive — and accursed — jetty project off the coast of Western Australia. 

     The DNA-testing company 23andMe succeeded Tuesday in making customers arbitrate their claims over questionable marketing tactics. 

     Fewer foreign tourists are visiting the Paris region after deadly attacks last year and a season of strikes, violent labor action and exceptional floods.

     Opponents of abortion brought a federal complaint against Chicago's 2009 "bubble zone ordinance," which creates large buffer zones outside the entrances of medical clinics. 

     A Michigan man claims in court that he is too disturbed to read the Bible or socialize with his church group after his bare hands touched fresh blood at the Home Depot. 

     The Ninth Circuit ordered a new trial Wednesday after a jury that heard inflammatory evidence sided with the Anaheim, California, officer who shot Manuel Diaz to death in 2012. 

     San Diego's district attorney took the stand Wednesday to testify about donations she received during her failed mayoral campaign from a Mexican businessman on trial over charges that he illegally funneling more than $600,000 into San Diego politics.

     A doctor and judge trying to break up assets after their own split divided the Illinois Supreme Court over precedent from the 1970s on unmarried couples who live together. 

     A Lebanese bank may have helped Hezbollah violate international law during its 2006 war with Israel, but U.S. law shields corporations like it from liability for this conduct, the Second Circuit ruled Wednesday. 

     After crowd-funding $75,000 for his defamation claim against the Los Angeles Times, cartoonist Ted Rall has to persuade a judge not to throw out his lawsuit on free speech grounds.

     A cellphone Aaron Hernandez entrusted with lawyers one day before murdering Odin Lloyd will likely bury the football star at his next trial, thanks to a new ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Court. 

     A decade after his indictment, an Israeli extradited from Namibia pleaded guilty Wednesday in New York to securities fraud charges.

     A federal judge tossed a lawsuit Monday over a controversial Arizona law that would have forced doctors to tell patients that a medication abortion can be reversed, after state lawmakers agreed to repeal the law. 

     The Sixth Circuit revived a bankruptcy trustee's attempt to claw back $17 million from a bank accused of helping Ponzi schemers steal more than $200 million of investors' money. 

     A Chicago realtor and philanthropist did not prove that the city strategically zoned wealthy, predominately white neighborhoods to promote segregation, the Seventh Circuit ruled. 

     Two Florida companies must pay $17 million for selling a bogus erectile-dysfunction treatment through an unlicensed clinic in Massachusetts, a state Superior Court ruled.

     Conrad Hilton III, the troubled heir to the hotel fortune and younger brother of Paris and Nicky Hilton, was sued Monday by a woman who claims he crashed his father's company's Range Rover head-on into her car — perhaps while high on drugs.

     A Democratic candidate for the Missouri State House sued his Republican opponent, claiming he's not qualified to run due to delinquent taxes. 

     A Mississippi man sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday for attempting to join the Islamic State group, thanked the FBI agents who arrested him, saying he believes they saved his life.

     Federal researchers have cloned an epidemic strain of the Zika virus, giving biologists a way to test vaccines and strategies to stop the pandemic.

     Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has bragged about his influence with politicians, urged Gov. Rick Scott to give a judgeship to a Florida attorney whose work appears at odds with Trump's hard-line stance on immigration, newly released emails show.

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     A federal judge dealt a blow to three cities attempting to sue agrichemical giant Monsanto over contamination in the San Francisco Bay — although he did offer the cities a chance renew their public nuisance claims. 

     Nearly a year after being shelved by oil industry lobbying, a climate change bill requiring drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions was narrowly approved Tuesday in the California Assembly.

     An inmate who was raped at the main county jail in Albuquerque eight months ago has sued the county, which still has not processed his rape kit. 

     Regulators plan to limit encounters with Hawaiian spinner dolphins, which are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

     Ten states and the District of Columbia saw "statistically significant" declines in their unemployment rates over the past year, with the largest of those decreases occurring in Arkansas, California and Tennessee.

     The Ninth Circuit refused Tuesday to block a 2014 Los Angeles minimum-wage law that, among other things, requires big hotels in the city to pay workers at least $15.37 an hour. 

     Fewer homes are coming onto the market, putting a cap on the sales growth enjoyed earlier this year thanks in part to a low mortgage rate and brightening job market.

     The U.N. Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting on the latest North Korean missile launch at the request of the United States and Japan.

     A strong earthquake in central Italy reduced three towns to rubble as people slept early Wednesday, killing at least 73 people and injuring hundreds more as rescue crews raced to dig out survivors with bulldozers and their bare hands.

     French schools will now hold three security drills a year - including one in which an alleged assailant enters their premises -- as the French government ramps up security measures after a string of deadly extremist attacks.

     A lawyer representing victims at the trial of Muslim radical Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi said Wednesday that residents felt grief and shame after historic mausoleums in Timbuktu were reduced to dusty piles of rubble.

     The world's largest aircraft, a blimp-shaped airship, "sustained damage" after it made a bumpy landing on its second test flight in eastern England.