Nightly Brief

Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota announcing he is resigning amid a flurry of sexual-misconduct accusations from at least six women; the wildfires racing across Southern California led to the closure of hundreds of schools in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and the closure of a main highway running up the West Coast; an attorney warned the Ninth Circuit that it could usher in a tide of litigation for technology companies if it revives a suit blaming Twitter for a terror attack in Jordan; new research on Narwhals, a whale species that until recently has been relatively isolated from human disturbances, shows their heart rates drop to alarmingly low levels after being released from fishing net entanglements, and more.

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Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., speaks on the Senate floor of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday morning, Dec. 7, 2017. (Senate TV via AP)

1.) In National news U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota said Thursday he is resigning amid a flurry of sexual-misconduct accusations from at least six women and demands from his fellow Democrats to step aside.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Associated Press)

2.) The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nominations of 10 federal judges on Thursday, including two nominees to the 5th Circuit and an 8th Circuit nominee the American Bar Association rated unanimously not qualified.

Two firefighters watch as a home burns in a wildfire in La Conchita, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. The wind-swept blazes have forced tens of thousands of evacuations and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

3.) The wildfires racing across Southern California have led to the closure of hundreds of schools in Los Angeles and Ventura counties Thursday, as well as the closure of a main highway running up the West Coast.

Defense attorneys protest client’s ICE arrest in Brooklyn. (Associated Press)
4.) A week after public defenders staged a walkout in protest of immigration agents carrying out courthouse arrests, attorneys joined a throng of several hundred protesters Thursday on the chilly front steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall.
A scene from the 2014 pipeline oil spill in South Carolina that is now the subject of an appeal before the Fourth Circuit.

5.) In Regional news A pair of cases heard by the Fourth Circuit Thursday pit oil and natural gas producers and the companies that move their goods against environmentalists who want to hold them accountable for spills that dumped hundreds of gallons of petroleum into regional waters.

6.) In Environmental news, new research on Narwhals, a whale species that until recently has been relatively isolated from human disturbances, shows their heart rates drop to alarmingly low levels after being released from fishing net entanglements.

Amman, Jordan via Wikipedia.

7.) In International news, an attorney warned the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday that it could usher in a tide of litigation for technology companies if it revives a suit blaming Twitter for a terror attack in Jordan.

8.) Coca-Cola secured a key reversal in its years-long battle against a Syrian company with a strikingly similar soda logo.

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