CNS

Trump Scraps Talks With California on Auto Emissions

By NICK CAHILL

California’s unique ability to set strict car emissions rules is on the chopping block after the Trump administration said Thursday it was ending talks with state officials over a new federal standard.

Gag Order on Stone Expands Following Crosshairs Post

By BRITAIN EAKIN

Roger Stone faced the wrath of federal judge Thursday after failing to adequately explain why he posted a picture of her on Instagram with the apparent crosshairs of a gun near her head.

Judge Sets Manafort Sentencing for March 8

By BRANDI BUCHMAN

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will learn in just two weeks how long a prison sentence awaits him for the eight financial crimes of which he was convicted last year.

New Election Ordered for Undecided House Race in North Carolina

By ERIKA WILLIAMS

The North Carolina Board of Elections voted unanimously Thursday to hold a new election for the still undecided 9th Congressional District race after the apparent Republican winner called for a redo in light of mounting evidence of an illegal absentee-ballot harvesting scheme.

Coast Guard Officer Accused of Terror Plot Kept in Jail For Now

By TIM RYAN

The Coast Guard lieutenant who prosecutors say was plotting a mass killing of lawmakers and media members must remain in detention while he awaits trial on drug and gun charges, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

A Caribbean reef squid. ("Betty Wills (Atsme), Wikimedia Commons, License CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Study: Squid Protein a Viable Alternative to Plastic

By MATTHEW RENDA

The answer to ending our reliance on plastic and reversing the environmental damage it causes may lie in one of the places most affected by it: the ocean.

Whale Advocates Say Gulf Species on Brink of Extinction

By ALEXANDRA JONES

U.S. regulators are over a year late in their duty to adopt protections for the Gulf of Mexico whale, a species believed to be down to its last 33 members, two advocacy groups claim in a federal complaint.

US ECONOMY

Requests for Unemployment Benefits Down 23,000

By KEVIN LESSMILLER

The Labor Department said Thursday that 23,000 fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, indicating a low level of layoffs and a strong job market.

NY Court: Recorded Prison Calls May Be Used Against You

By NICK RUMMELL

Siding with a prison that provided prosecutors with incriminating inmate recordings, New York’s highest court ruled 5-2 Thursday that there is no right to privacy when it comes to nonprivileged phone calls.

Oakland Teachers Strike, Demanding Better Pay

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Teachers in Oakland, California, planned to raise picket signs Thursday in the country’s latest strike by educators over classroom conditions and pay.

'Empire' Actor Staged Attack for Self-Promotion, Police Say

ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett staged a racist and homophobic attack because he was unhappy about his salary and wanted to promote his career, Chicago’s police superintendent said Thursday.

Read the Nightly Brief

Airline Intrigue Tied to Mueller Lands in US Court

By ADAM KLASFELD

Sued this week in New Hampshire, a witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is the focus of a globe-spanning intrigue where the founder of BoraJet says his now-defunct Turkish airline was taken over through a campaign of violence, extortion and financial crime.

India, Pakistan Stir Up Past Beefs in Suspected Spy Spat

By MOLLY QUELL

Oral arguments in a dispute between Pakistan and India over the former’s treatment of a suspected spy wrapped at the International Criminal Court on Thursday, capping four days of both sides accusing the other of decades of abuse.

European Union President Expects No-Deal Brexit

ASSOCIATED PRESS

European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says despite constructive talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May he remains downbeat on the prospect of Britain avoiding a chaotic exit from the bloc next month.

Ex-Diplomat Says US-Saudi Relations Worsening

By BRANDI BUCHMAN

Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi’s murder last year set diplomatic relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia on edge and months later, the path forward appears no less fraught with complications, a former U.S. ambassador to the kingdom said Thursday.

Workers Snared in Tennessee ICE Raid Sue

By DANIEL JACKSON

Seven slaughterhouse workers who were caught up in a workplace immigration raid in Tennessee last year filed a class action Thursday against the federal agents who carried it out, claiming they were racially profiled and arrested using a warrant that only authorized a search for documents.

Facebook Blamed for Trafficking of Teen Girl

By ERIK DE LA GARZA

The mother of a Tennessee girl sued Facebook on Wednesday, claiming the social media giant allowed her then-15-year-old daughter to be groomed and extorted by human traffickers who kidnapped her and sold her to hundreds of sexual predators while she was locked in a hotel bathroom for 10 days.

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Briefings

LAW

Marijuana Growhouse

More Charges in Sham Police Raid of LA Marijuana Warehouse

MARTIN MACIAS JR.

Bay Area Contractors Convicted in Bid-Rigging Scheme

MARIA DINZEO

A federal jury on Thursday convicted two San Francisco Bay Area contractors of defrauding the U.S. government by submitting phony bids for a renovation project at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a scheme uncovered during an FBI investigation into a Chinese crime boss’ racketeering enterprise.

Witness Says Gate Blocked When Lion Killed Intern

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Conservators Center in Burlington, North Carolina, after 22-year-old Alexandra Black, of New Palestine, Indiana, was fatally mauled there by a lion on Dec. 30, 2018. Black, a zoo intern, had been cleaning an enclosure with only a ball used to block the gate, a witness has told authorities. (Woody Marshall/The Times-News via AP, File)

A witness told authorities a gate blocked by a ball at a North Carolina animal preserve allowed a lion to reach three people at the start of a fatal attack, biting one intern’s ankle and pulling her into the enclosure, according to a medical examiner’s report.

California Lawmakers Take on Soda With 5-Pack of Bills

NICK CAHILL

Reigniting their fight to keep Californians healthy, state lawmakers introduced a five-pack of bills Wednesday that includes a new tax and a cap on soda sizes.

Shooting Victims Want Claims Against Security Firm Revived

IZZY KAPNICK

Victims of a terrorist attack that killed 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub have taken to a Florida appeals court to revive their claims that the perpetrator used nearly a decade of firearms training as a security guard to maximize the death toll.

NATIONAL

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted from a plane to a waiting caravan of SUVs at Long Island MacArthur Airport, in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., on Jan. 19, 2017. (Photo via U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration)

El Chapo Lawyers Concerned by Juror Misconduct Claims

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Trump Labor Secretary Slapped for Sweetheart Epstein Deal

ADAM KLASFELD
Jeffrey Epstein. (Photo via Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department)

The justice system failed more than 30 underage victims of extremely rich and politically connected sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled Thursday, finding that multiple ex-prosecutors including President Trump’s labor secretary broke the law by withholding information.

US Accused of Still Separating Immigrant Families Needlessly

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Months after the Trump administration announced an end to its wide-scale separation of immigrant parents and children, the policy remains a heated issue in the courts and at the border as critics say the government is still needlessly breaking up immigrant families.

Ale From 1886 Shipwreck Yields New Brew and Conflict

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Four bottles recovered from the SS Oregon, a 133-year-old shipwreck, are shown at the Saint James Brewery in Holbrook, N.Y., on July 17, 2017. Bill Felter of Serious Brewing in Howes Cave, N.Y., hoped to develop a new brew from ale salvaged from the SS Oregon. But the scuba-diving Long Island brewer, Jamie Adams, has scuttled those plans, saying he owns the shipwreck yeast and has used it to produce ale he’s releasing in March 2019. (Jamie Adams via AP)

News that an upstate New York brewer planned to recreate ale from a bottle salvaged from a 133-year-old shipwreck took the wind out of the sails of a scuba-diving Long Island brewer who has already done it.

INTERNATIONAL

A U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces Humvee stands by as a truck in a convoy evacuates hundreds out of the last territory held by Islamic State militants, in Baghouz, eastern Syria, on Feb. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

More than 150 IS Fighters Handed Over to Iraq From Syria

ASSOCIATED PRESS

US Embassy Urges Russia to Allow Visit to Jailed US Investor

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The United States Embassy in Moscow has called on Russian authorities to allow its staff to visit a U.S. investment fund manager who has been jailed pending a fraud investigation.

Deadly Bangladesh Fire Shows Lapses in Development

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Flames rise from a fire in a densely packed shopping area in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Feb. 21, 2019. The devastating blaze raced through at least five buildings in an old part of Bangladesh's capital and killed scores of people. (AP Photo/Zabed Hasnain Chowdhury)

A fire in Bangladesh that killed at least 81 people in the oldest part of the capital shows the lapses in public safety that continue to plague the South Asian country despite its rapid economic growth.

Pope Demands Action From Bishops on Sex Abuse

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pope

Pope Francis opened a landmark sex abuse prevention summit Thursday by warning senior Catholic figures that the faithful are demanding concrete action against predator priests and not just words of condemnation. Victims then told the bishops of the searing emotional pain of their abuse.

In Brief

Walt Girdner was born in central Iowa in 1922, one of five children. His father took a job as a Christian minister in Alameda after the family moved to California in 1925. Growing up during the Great Depression, Walt worked double shifts at a cannery to make money for college. He attended Stanford where he put together a string of letters and wins, running the quarter and half-mile. An invitation to join the U.S. Olympic team was negated by World War II and cancellation of the games. During the war, he disembarked in Normandy, fought in the infantry and marched into Germany .

As a young man, he developed an interest in imagery, first through drawing then through the developing technology of photography. Although he left the church where his mother and father were pastors, he kept a lifelong faith in the power and mystery of the natural environment, seeing in its beauty an overriding and everlasting spiritual force. His subjects focused on people and their settings. Farmers, flower sellers, youth were recurring themes.

He traveled in large part to find new images and capture them, in France at first, then the rest of Europe and later Africa and Mexico. Towards the end of his life, Walt focused on images in nature, including letters and numbers that emerged through abalone shells, beach tableaus and patterns in the sand.  He had faith that imagery was a powerful way to communicate and believed young people were much better at interpreting the language of imagery, gifted with imaginations more agile and unencumbered.