Nightly Brief

Top CNS stories for today including a federal judge ruling the Texas Legislature intentionally crafted a voter ID law to disenfranchise minorities; two former appointees of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appeal their sentences in the Bridgegate scandal; California looks to move to an earlier position in the presidential primaries; the European Union sanctions Iran over human rights abuses; scientists conclude permafrost is more sensitive to climate change than originally thought, and more.

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1.) Judge Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

The Texas Legislature intentionally crafted a voter ID law to disenfranchise minorities, a federal judge ruled Monday, putting the law on track for possible review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

 2.) Ex-Christie Allies Appeal Bridgegate Sentences

Two former appointees of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who were sentenced to prison last month for planning and carrying out the Bridgegate lane closures have appealed their sentences and the jury verdict to the Third Circuit.

 3.) Seeking Clout, California Looks at Earlier Primaries

A Los Angeles lawmaker announced a bill Tuesday that would move California up in the primary-season pecking order and give the nation’s most populous state a greater stake in the presidential nomination process.

 4.) EU Sanctions on Iran Extended Over Human Rights Abuses

Despite an 18-month-old deal to lift sanctions in exchange for Iran’s curtailment of its nuclear program, European lawmakers on Tuesday extended other restrictions against numerous Iranian entities for another year in response to “serious human rights violations.”

 5.) Trump Blackout on White House Visitors Sparks Suit

Concealing information that had been routinely disclosed since 2009, the Trump administration has refused to release its White House visitors logs — including from the “Winter White House” at Mar-a-Lago, watchdog groups claim in court.

 6.) Global Hostility Based on Religion on the Rise, Pew Study Finds

Government restrictions on religion and open hostility involving religion increased in 2015, reserving a recent downward trend in such activities, the Pew Research Center said Tuesday.

 7.) Paris Deal Could Limit Huge Permafrost Thaw

Permafrost might be more sensitive to the effects of climate change than previously thought, which could lead to the loss of nearly 1.5 million square miles of frozen soil for every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit of warming in the future.

 8.) LiveJournal Facing Trial Over Posted Celebrity Photos

Social media and blogging community LiveJournal must go to trial over allegations that it broke the law by posting copyrighted celebrity photos online, the Ninth Circuit ruled.

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