Top CNS stories for today including President Donald Trump's favorable comments on torture draw out CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou; Alabama ordered to redraw racially gerrymandered legislative districts; a federal judge blocks the executions of three death-row inmates in Ohio; Pacific Gas and Electric must spend $3 million to advertise its criminal conviction for violations related to the fatal 2010 San Bruno pipeline blast, and more.
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1.) Trump's Torture Comments Draw Out CIA Whistleblower Kiriakou
John Kiriakou, the first CIA analyst to publicly confirm that the intelligence agency used waterboarding, talks to Courthouse News about a leaked executive order from the president, the illegality of torture and the state of morale at Langley.
2.) Standing Rock Tribe Will Continue to Fight Pipeline
The tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe vowed Wednesday that the tribe would continue to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota despite President Donald Trump’s Tuesday memorandum urging the stalled project forward.
3.) Alabama Ordered to Redraw Racially Gerrymandered Districts
Federal judges ordered Alabama to redraw 12 of its 36 legislative districts because they were racially gerrymandered by the state’s Republican Legislature.
4.) Libertarians Lose Battle Over Party Status in Ohio
Ohio can refuse to recognize Libertarians as a political party because their candidates appeared on the 2016 election ballot as independents, the state’s highest court ruled.
5.) Trump Plans Border Tax on Mexican Goods to Fund Wall
Presidential spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters flying aboard Air Force One on Thursday that the White House plans to impose a 20 percent tax on all Mexican imports to pay for the border wall the president intends to build between the two countries.
6.) Judge Blocks Ohio’s Death-Row Executions
A federal judge ruled Thursday that Ohio must halt its plans to execute three death-row inmates because its current three-drug injection protocol violates the Eighth Amendment.
7.) PG&E Ordered to Advertise Pipeline Blast Conviction on TV
Pacific Gas and Electric must spend $3 million to advertise its criminal conviction for violations related to the fatal 2010 San Bruno pipeline blast on TV, and pay a $3 million fine under the terms of a criminal sentence handed down Thursday.
8.) Montana Asbestos Mine Settlement Little Comfort to Future Victims
There’s a small stack of photocopies on Allan McGarvey’s desk that shows this month’s dead clients. They are the obituaries of the victims that died in December of asbestos disease, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to vermiculite asbestos in the town of Libby, Montana.
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