Nightly Brief

Your Friday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including Attorney General Jeff Sessions issuing a sweeping directive to federal agencies to do as much as possible to accommodate those who claim their religious freedoms are being violated; the Trump administration rolling back a requirement under the federal health care law that employers include birth-control coverage in their health insurance plans; a high-ranking diplomatic security officer testifying about what he saw five years ago when attackers overran the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi; a new study reveals that our hair color, mood and sleep patterns are all influenced by our Neanderthal DNA, and more.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

1.) In National news  Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a sweeping directive to federal agencies Friday to do as much as possible to accommodate those who claim their religious freedoms are being violated.

The Little Sisters of the Poor waged an extended court battle to overturn an Affordable Care Act mandate that they offer birth-control coverage in their health insurance plan.

2.) The Trump administration on Friday rolled back a requirement under the federal health care law that employers include birth-control coverage in their health insurance plans.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

3.)  Two documents written by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will be unsealed, a federal judge ruled Thursday in a voting rights case against Kobach, now the driving force in President Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity.

The ministers of foreign affairs of France, Germany, the European Union, Iran, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as Chinese and Russian diplomats announcing the framework for a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program on April 2, 2015.

4.)  Amid reports that President Donald Trump is planning to decertify the Iran nuclear agreement, experts caution that the move could bring a great deal of uncertainty to the international accord.

This courtroom sketch depicts Ahmed Abu Khattala listening to a interpreter through earphones during the opening statement by assistant U.S. attorney John Crabb, second from left, at federal court in Washington.(Dana Verkouteren via AP)

5.)  A high-ranking diplomatic security officer testified Thursday about what he saw five years ago when attackers overran the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty this month rather than face trial for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, two individuals with knowledge of the case said. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson, File)
6.) In Regional news  Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Army soldier freed in a prisoner exchange after being held captive by the Taliban for five years, is expected to plead guilty on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, according to reports.
7.) A Ninth Circuit panel seemed interested Thursday in an environmental advocate’s novel argument against what has become an increasingly standard practice in wildlife management – killing droves of one wild species in an effort to benefit another.
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