Nightly Brief

Top CNS stories for today including a new report laying the groundwork at the Hague for indictments on U.S. torture; Rep. Xavier Becerra is tapped to be the next California attorney general; scientists conclude that humans are having a devastating impact on grasslands species, and more.

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1.) Report Lays Groundwork at Hague for Indictments on U.S. Torture

Charges could be imminent now that officials at The Hague have credited allegations that U.S. forces committed torture in Afghanistan and at CIA black sites. “Within a year or so, we could be seeing indictments,” one prominent human-rights attorney said.

2.) Rep. Xavier Becerra Tapped as Next California AG

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday appointed Los Angeles Democrat and 12-term U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra to state attorney general, replacing Kamala Harris who was elected to the Senate in November.

3.) ACLU Claims Michigan Border Searches Go Too Far

The American Civil Liberties Union says in a federal lawsuit that U.S. Customs and Border Protection turned the entire state of Michigan into a “border zone” where anyone can be detained and searched without a warrant.

4.) House Nails Forest Service on Harassment Record

Members of Congress voiced outrage Thursday while listening to a firefighter tell stories of sexual harassment she experienced at the hands of a supervisor and how the U.S. Forest Service treated her complaints.

5.) California Drought Plan Would Bar Driveway Hosing

California drought regulators introduced a long-term water conservation plan Wednesday that would tighten agricultural and urban water use restrictions to bolster the state’s dwindling water supply.

6.)  Vote Extending Iran Sanctions Nearly Unanimous

The Senate was nearly unanimous Thursday in approving a bill that will extend sanctions against Iran into the next decade.

7.) EU Approves Data-Protection Deal With US

The European Parliament on Thursday signed off on a EU-U.S. data-protection umbrella agreement to safeguard citizens’ personal information during law enforcement investigations.

8.) Humans Have Devastating Impact on Grassland Species

Even moderate grassland usage by humans could limit crop production, pest control and other services provided by a variety of organisms – which are losing their natural habitats on an international scale.

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