Nightly Brief

Top CNS stories for today including the GOP invoking the “nuclear option” for the Senate’s vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee temporarily steps aside from the panel’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election; the California Supreme Court guts the state’s credit-card arbitration clause; a global radio-telescope initiative may soon reveal what black holes actually look like, and more.

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1.) Nunes, Embattled House Intelligence Chair, Steps Aside

Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Thursday morning he will temporarily step aside from the panel’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

 2.) California High Court Guts Credit-Card Arbitration Clause

In a ruling with major implications for consumer-protection laws, the California Supreme Court reversed an appellate court and found an arbitration agreement waiving a credit card customer’s right to sue is unenforceable under state law.

 3.) GOP Invokes ‘Nuclear Option’ for Gorsuch Vote

Senate Republicans on Thursday advanced 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, a move that required them to change longstanding chamber rules to overcome a Democratic filibuster.

 4.) Alabama Governor Could Face Charges in Affair Probe

After a year-long investigation, the Alabama Ethics Commission found probable cause that Gov. Robert Bentley violated state ethics and campaign finance laws through an alleged affair with a former staffer.

 5.) Telescopic Eyes Pointed at Milky Way Black Hole

We may soon know what a black hole looks like, if radio-telescope observations taking place around the world this week see what astronomers hope they will.

 6.) Texas Masturbation Bill Referred to House Committee

The satirical “masturbation bill” that would fine men for “unregulated masturbatory emissions” was referred to a Texas House of Representatives committee Tuesday as the bill’s author said she is being retaliated against by House Republicans.

 7.) DOJ Has ‘Grave Concerns’ Over Baltimore Reforms

The future of law-enforcement reform for Baltimore’s beleaguered police department is unclear after a Justice Department official said Thursday there are “grave concerns” over a reform plan between the city and federal government.

 8.) EU Expands North Korea Sanctions After Missile Tests

European lawmakers on Thursday expanded economic and technological sanctions against North Korea, following a week of land and sea missile tests by the secretive regime.

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