Top CNS stories for today including the House GOP clearing the path for Obamacare reform; the Justice Department slamming Chicago for abuses of police power; timely press access promised in Manhattan state court; Takata Corp. agreeing to pay $1 billion for hiding deadly airbag defect, and more.
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1.) House GOP Clears Path for Obamacare Repeal
Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a resolution to move forward with the GOP’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a day after the Senate passed a similar measure. The House also approved a bill granting a one-time exception for retired Marine Gen. James Mattis so that he can run the Pentagon in the Trump administration.
2.) Feds Slam Chicago for Abuses of Police Power
The Justice Department said in a scathing report released Friday that the Chicago Police Department’s failures in training and accountability are to blame for civil rights violations and the erosion of public trust.
3.) Timely Press Access Promised in New York
In the first hearing since Courthouse News won a First Amendment action against the clerk in Manhattan’s state court, the clerk’s lawyer promised U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos on Thursday that press and public would have timely access to new civil cases by the end of January.
4.) ConocoPhillips-Venezuela Feud Spreads to Russia
Russian state-owned Rosneft is the latest oil giant to factor into the potentially billion-dollar award ConocoPhillips anticipates from Venezuela’s national oil company.
5.) Takata to Pay $1 Billion for Hiding Airbag Defect
Takata Corp. on Friday agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud in concealing its sales of defective automotive airbag inflators, and will pay $1 billion in fines and restitution. At the same time, federal prosecutors announced they’ve charged three former company executives in connection with the inflator scandal.
6.) Calif. Bill Would Extend Greenhouse Gas Tax
Nudged by Gov. Jerry Brown to extend the lucrative linchpin of California’s climate change policy, a group of state Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation to expand the state’s cap-and-trade emissions program.
7.) Reporter Rails Against CIA's Oblique Position on Assassinations
Noting that there are a lot of things the CIA still does, even though those things break the law, a freelance reporter has gone to court for a look at government records showing how the agency uses poison in assassinations.
8.) Anti-Abortion Protesters Can't Fight Inactive Law
Anti-abortion protesters have no basis, the First Circuit agreed, to challenge a New Hampshire buffer-zone law that has never been enforced in its two-plus years on the books.
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