Nightly Brief

Top CNS stories for today including a Russian accused of running spam ring is indicted in US; a three-judge panel finding Republican-controlled Texas Legislature intentionally gerrymandered district maps in 2011 to disadvantage minority voters;  the DOJ eyes criminal charges for WikiLeaks members; scientists say reef decay leaves coastal cities at risk from waves, and more.

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1.) Russian Accused of Running Spam Ring is Indicted in US

A Russian man described by U.S. authorities as one of the world’s most notorious criminal spammers has been indicted by a federal grand jury, the Justice Department announced Friday.

2.)  Judges Find Racial Bias in Texas Election Maps

A three-judge panel of federal judges concluded Thursday that the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature intentionally gerrymandered district maps in 2011 to disadvantage minority voters – the second such ruling against the maps in a month.

3.) DOJ Eyes Criminal Charges for WikiLeaks Members

Justice Department prosecutors are reportedly considering whether to file criminal charges against members of anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

 4.) Student-Athletes Fight Faces Uphill Battle in California

As controller of the purse strings, the National Collegiate Athletic Association cannot deny that it has an employment relationship with a select group of college athletes, an attorney for a former USC linebacker told a federal judge Thursday.

 5.) Gerber Baby Food Class Action Revived

The Ninth Circuit revived a proposed class action against Gerber, saying the mom who sued it for labeling its sugar-laden baby food as “all natural” only had to prove the labels were misleading, not necessarily false.

 6.) Rush to Deport Protected Immigrants Draws Fire

Hitting the United States with a federal class action, four mothers fleeing violence in Central America say the new administration’s rush to deport their children violates a longstanding settlement.

 7.) Reef Decay Leaves Coastal Cities at Risk From Waves

The ongoing death of coral reefs is eroding the ocean floor and leaves coastal communities more vulnerable to damaging waves, according to federal scientists.

 8.) Volkswagen to Pay $2.8B Fine in Emissions Scandal

A federal judge on Friday ordered Volkswagen to pay $2.8 billion in criminal penalties after the automaker admitted last month to illegally calibrating diesel engines so they could get around U.S. pollution rules.