Nightly Brief

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     The day’s top stories from Courthouse News in short takes with links.
     1.) Monsanto Says Bay Area Cities Can’t Sue It for Polluting SF Bay
     Whether a landmark environmental lawsuit moves forward may hinge on who owns the rain, Monsanto says in fighting a lawsuit from Oakland, Berkeley and San Jose.
     2.) Federal Judge Softens Texas Voter ID Law
     Texans can vote with a paycheck or utility bill in the upcoming presidential election, a federal judge ordered Wednesday, approving an interim plan that dials back a voter ID law found to discriminate against minorities.
     3.) Kane Saw Leak As ‘No Big Deal,’ Ex-Aide Says
     A former first deputy to Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane told jurors on Wednesday that his one-time boss dismissed his concerns about grand jury documents that had been leaked to the press, telling him it “was no big deal.”
     4.) Age-Mistake Defense Allowed in MN Sex Cases
     A 42-year-old man will not face another trial for soliciting sex from a 14-year-old child, after the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned his conviction because the child claimed she was 16
     5.) Zika May Be Linked to Joint Defects, Study Says
     There may be a connection between the Zika virus and a brutal birth defect that leads to severe joint deformities, according to a new study published Tuesday.
     6.) Santa Clara County Courts at a Standstill as Clerks’ Strike Heads Toward Day 6
     The Santa Clara Superior Court in downtown San Jose is part ghost town, part anger management session as a court worker strike waged on into a fifth day.
     7.) Libertarians’ Ballot Access Uncertain in Ohio
     While Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is set to appear on ballots in at least 39 states, swing state Ohio is among the places where his supporters are still working to get his name out to voters this fall.
     8.) Death Penalty for ‘Grim Sleeper’ Serial Killer
     A state court judge on Wednesday sentenced serial murder Lonnie Franklin Jr. to death for the murders of nine women and a teenage girl.

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