Nightly Brief

Top CNS stories for today including word out of Stanford University that California’s Central Valley sank three feet during the state’s historic drought; recusal was averted on day one for newly minted Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch; shareholders claim American mining giant Freeport-McMoRan failed to tell them of problems before it shut down operations at the world’s largest gold mine; experts push for change in what they describe as a ‘new era’ of wildfires in the West, and more.

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1.) California Central Valley Sank 3 Feet in Historic Drought

While this past winter busted California’s 5-year drought, a new Stanford University study shows how the dry years did permanent damage to Central Valley aquifers.

 2.) Recusal Averted on Day 1 for Gorsuch

Putting rumors of a first-day recusal to rest, Justice Neil Gorsuch remained quiet Monday as an attorney who championed for his confirmation addressed the bench.

 3.) Tense Situation at World’s Largest Gold Mine

Facing possible nationalization of the world’s largest gold mine, in Indonesia, American mining giant Freeport-McMoRan has another problem now: a lawsuit from shareholders who say it breached its duty to inform them of the problems before it shut down operations, whacking $5.6 billion from the value of shares.

 4.) Arkansas Execution Fight Moves to Eighth Circuit

A group of death-row inmates in Arkansas who were granted a last-minute reprieve over the weekend asked the Eighth Circuit on Monday to keep that order in place by rejecting the state’s appeal.

 5.) Experts Push for Change in ‘New Era’ of Wildfires in West

Experts say current strategies for managing wildfires are increasingly inadequate as communities expand into drier areas and climate change spurs longer, hotter fire seasons.

 6.) Easter Pardons Granted to Deported Veterans

A trio of U.S. military veterans deported to Mexico over a decade ago after serving prison sentences received Easter clemency as California Gov. Jerry Brown granted them pardons.

 7.) Discovery Woes Stall Trial of Navy Bribery Scandal

Nine former high-ranking Navy officials must wait to face trial in a massive contract-bribery case, as a federal court judge on Friday delayed the case for six months as attorneys parse through thousands of discovery documents in the complex case.

 8.) Foreign Bank Locked Out of U.S. Financial System

A federal judge on Friday lifted a stay preventing the Treasury Department from cutting off a foreign bank from the U.S. banking system as a penalty for facilitating money-laundering by international criminals.

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