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Government Shuts Down After Last-Ditch Talks Crumble

By DAN MCCUE

The federal government shut down early Saturday morning, halting all but the most essential operations on the one-year anniversary of  President Donald Trump inauguration.

Supreme Court to Decide Legality of Travel Ban

By BARBARA LEONARD

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to review President Trump’s travel ban — a version found by the Ninth Circuit to include the same biases that sank two prior iterations.

North Carolina Ordered to Adopt Special Master's District Map

By DAN MCCUE

A panel of federal judges on Friday ordered North Carolina lawmakers to use district maps created by a Stanford University law professor in the coming elections in the second ruling this week on a state redistricting case.

Also: NC Gerrymander Ruling Put on Ice by Justices

Rand Paul Attacker Faces Federal Charges

By DAVID WELLS

U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s long-time neighbor faces federal charges after attacking him last November.

Judge Warns of 'Slippery Slope' in Sanctuary-City Case

By LORRAINE BAILEY

The Seventh Circuit seemed likely Friday to uphold a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempt to financially punish so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to enforce federal immigration laws.

giant manta ray

Feds Protect Giant Manta Rays From Asian Market Demand

A federal agency has finalized a protection rule for giant manta rays threatened with extinction due to the Asian market demand for ray parts for purported health benefits.

Study: Post-Wildfire Logging Adds to Spotted Owl's Woes

By MATTHEW RENDA

A new report finds post-wildfire logging harms the spotted owl, an endangered species tied to the precipitous decline of the logging industry in Northern California.

OPINION

Those Were the Days

By ROBERT KAHN

When I was 7 years old our upstairs neighbor lady was a nice old born-again Christian who had me and my brothers and sister up for cookies and proselytization. One day she showed us a picture of Daniel in the Lion’s Den and my little brother started crying. Moving in for the kill, she asked what was wrong. And my brother said: “That lion in the corner isn’t getting any.”

PEW RESEARCH

Democrats Drive Optimistic Outlook for 2018

By JAMES PALMER

As the Trump administration marks one year in office, a majority of Americans expect 2018 to be better than last year, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday, and Democrats are particularly optimistic ahead of November’s midterm elections.

LA Times Newsroom Votes to Unionize by Wide Margin

By NATHAN SOLIS

After 136 years, the Los Angeles Times newsroom has formed a union after votes were tallied on Friday by federal employees.

The Situation of TV's 'Jersey Shore' Cops to Tax Fraud

By JOSH RUSSELL

Eight years after he introduced a generation to the Gym-Tan-Laundry lifestyle, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino pleaded guilty Friday to tax fraud.

Read Friday's Nightly Brief Here

White House Opens Door for States to Defund Planned Parenthood

By DAN MCCUE

The Trump administration on Friday announced it is rescinding an Obama-era guidance that warned states that ending Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers would violate federal law.

Inauguration Protesters File False Arrest Suit

By BRITAIN EAKIN

Individuals arrested during inauguration-day protests last year filed a federal class action complaint Friday against Metropolitan Police Department officials for failure to distinguish actual rioters from peaceful participants during a mass arrest.

Also: Charges Dropped Against Inauguration Protesters

Oakland Coal Ban Trial Wraps on Pollution Debate

By HELEN CHRISTOPHI

Attorneys for a developer fighting to export coal from Oakland, California, tried to convince a judge Friday that city officials fudged a key scientific report to justify enacting a coal-handling ban in the city.

Coast Guard Is on the Hook in Killer Whale Lawsuit

By NICK McCANN

The Coast Guard must face claims by two Northwest tribes that a plan for oil tanker traffic threatens the habitat of southern resident killer whales, a federal judge ruled.

Family of Murder Victim Blames Facebook

By MATT REYNOLDS

The family of a man whose murder was recorded on video and posted on Facebook sued for negligence in Ohio state court on Friday, claiming the social media company could have prevented his death by informing law enforcement of the gunman’s intentions.

More Top News

Briefings

LAW

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Pledge's Father Can Sue Frat Members Over Hazing Death

LORRAINE BAILEY

Patent Spat Hinges on Early Disease Detection Techniques

ZACK HUFFMAN

A biotech firm claims in a federal complaint that Boston-area hospitals and universities are infringing its patented techniques of early disease detection.

Berkeley Can't Duck Homeless Activists' Retaliation Claims

NICHOLAS IOVINO
Homelessness

The city of Berkeley can’t dodge claims it tried to stifle homeless activists’ First Amendment rights by repeatedly evicting them from makeshift tent camps, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Waste Management Funded Opposition to Toxic Cleanup

ERIK DE LA GARZA

Citizen groups fighting the Environmental Protection Agency’s removal of a toxic waste site from a Houston riverbank were reportedly funded in part by Waste Management, a comprehensive disposal company ordered in October to pay $115 million in clean-up costs.

PETA Suit Over Missing Ag Website Records Tossed

ELLEN ROBINSON

A federal judge on Thursday tossed a lawsuit over the removal of a “slew’ of inspection and licensing documents related to animal research facilities from a federal website, holding that since most of them have now been put back, no controversy exists.

AMC Network Accused of Hollywood Accounting

JOSH RUSSELL
Walking Dead-crop

“The Walking Dead” creator Frank Darabont and Creative Artists Agency sued the AMC network for $10 million in licensing fees Thursday, claiming an audit showed AMC hid millions of dollars of revenue through “shady accounting practices.”

Mom Says DJ Ripped Off Her Social Media Star Daughter

MONICA PAIS

The mother of the young rap and social media personality known as Bhad Bhabie claims in court that her daughter was defrauded by a popular DJ after she turned down his proposal of being her DJ on tour.

NATIONAL

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., delivers remarks at a Jan. 19, 2017, hearing at the House.

Critical Audit on Food Recall Failures Riles Up House Panel

BRITAIN EAKIN

Official: Plan to Exclude Florida From Drilling Isn't Final

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Trump administration’s promise to exempt Florida from an offshore drilling plan is not a formal action, an Interior Department official said Friday in a statement that Democrats said contradicted a high-profile announcement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Trial by Fire for Agency Plans as US Barrels Toward Shutdown

BRITAIN EAKIN

Between back pay and lost income, there will be no getting around the multibillion-dollar cost of a government shutdown. Once Friday’s deadline lapses, however, federal agencies will learn how well they prepared for the coming storm.

Membership of Federal Science Advisory Panels at 20-Year Low

MATTHEW RENDA

Scientific advisory boards across the spectrum of federal government are worse off than at any time in the past 20 years, according to a study released Thursday by the Union for Concerned Scientists.

Feds to Retry Sen Menendez of NJ on Corruption Charges

DAN MCCUE
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez leaves the federal courthouse in Newark, N.J., Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Justice Department announced Friday that it will retry Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., after a jury deadlock resulted in a mistrial on corruption charges in November.

LA Police Chief Charlie Beck to Retire This Summer

NATHAN SOLIS

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck abruptly announced his retirement on Friday, capping off an eight-year stint leading one of the largest metropolitan police forces in America.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Replaced – Again

DANIEL W. STAPLES

Baltimore just installed its third police commissioner in as many years following problems with increased violence and a record-level homicide rate in 2017.

Gunman Carefully Planned Vegas Attack; Motive a Mystery

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Las Vegas gunman meticulously planned how to carry out the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, researching SWAT tactics, renting other hotel rooms overlooking outdoor concerts and investigating potential targets in at least four cities, authorities said Friday.

INTERNATIONAL

French Chef Paul Bocuse poses outside his famed Michelin three-star restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges in Collonges-au-Mont-d'or, central France.  (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)

Paul Bocuse, Globe-Trotting Master of French Cuisine, Dies

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Turkey Faces Balancing Act Amid Border Offensive in Syria

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to the crowd in the northeastern Greek town of Komotini, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

As Turkey threatens a bloody confrontation with a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in the main Syrian Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria, it faces the challenge of maintaining its old alliance with Washington and reinforcing a new rapprochement with Moscow.

Merkel, Macron Hopeful About German Coalition Talks

ASSOCIATED PRESS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expressing optimism that a weekend meeting by the rival Social Democrats will lead to coalition talks with her conservatives that could end months of tense political limbo in Europe’s leading economy.

EU Border Watchdog Says Migrants Headed to Spain

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Europe’s border watchdog says the number of migrants and asylum-seekers coming across the western Mediterranean Sea to Europe this year is likely to increase, after 2017 closed with more than twice the traffic of the previous year.

France’s Davos? Macron Hosting 140 CEOs in Investment Push

ASSOCIATED PRESS

French President Emmanuel Macron will be hosting over 100 CEOs of major multinationals at the chateau of Versailles to try to persuade them to invest, and especially hire, in France.

Coroner Awaiting Test Results on Late Cranberries Singer

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A British coroner is awaiting the results of tests to determine what killed The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan. An inquest into the singer’s death opened Friday at Westminster Coroner’s Court.

‘Games of Thrones’-Themed Ice Hotel Opens in Finland

ASSOCIATED PRESS
A large decoration is seen inside a Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel in Kittila Finnish Lapland on Sunday Jan. 14, 2018. (Aku H'yrynen/Lehtikuva via AP)

A “Game of Thrones”-themed ice hotel complete with a bar and a chapel for weddings has opened in northern Finland in a joint effort by a local hotel chain and the U.S. producers of the hit TV series.

In Brief