Nightly Brief

Your Tuesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including polls showing a race too close to call between embattled Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones, as the nation braces for results in the special election for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama; judges for the Ninth Circuit appeared poised to allow a landmark environmental case – in which young people claim a clean planet is a constitutional right – to continue; San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, a former civil rights lawyer and the city’s first Chinese-American mayor, died unexpectedly of a heart attack early Tuesday morning; a newly discovered fossilized tick trapped and preserved in amber contains the first evidence that the blood-sucking creatures lived on feathered dinosaurs as early as 99 million years ago, and more.

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U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore holds up pages with a news story about himself as he speaks at a campaign rally, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in Midland City, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

1.) In National news polls show a race too close to call between embattled Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones, as the nation braces for results in the special election for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama that has centered on accusations Moore molested and tried to date teenage girls 40 years ago.

Firefighters working on structure protection, keep a close eye on nearby flames atop Shepard Mesa Road in Carpinteria, Calif. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

2.) A wildfire that began burning in Southern California’s Ventura County last week is now the fifth largest wildfire in California history, having consumed more than 234,000 acres. And with dry conditions and high winds forecast throughout Southern California on Tuesday, the Thomas Fire now threatens the city of Santa Barbara and nearby communities.

3.) The Southern Poverty Law Center claims in court that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials entered the homes of immigrant families without warrants, consent or probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

French President Emmanuel Macron, center, attends the “Tech for Planet” event at the “Station F” start up campus ahead of the One Planet Summit in Paris, France, Monday Dec. 11, 2017. President Trump was not invited to attend. (Philippe Wojazer, Pool via AP)

4.) Judges for the Ninth Circuit appeared poised Monday to allow a landmark environmental case – in which young people claim a clean planet is a constitutional right – to continue, despite the government’s claim that the case is setting up a “collision course” between the courts and the president.

5.) Governors and state officials around the country are warning recipients of a health care program for low-income families that their benefits could dry up if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the popular program soon.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee listens to questions during a news conference at City Hall in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

6.) In Regional news, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, a former civil rights lawyer and the city’s first Chinese-American mayor, died unexpectedly of a heart attack early Tuesday morning. He was 65.

Legal Aid Society Photostream via Flickr

7.) The Legal Aid Society has sued the New York County District Attorney for refusing to divulge whether it buys information from social media companies as a way to track civil rights protesters and conduct other “social monitoring.”

8.) The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday upheld an Obama administration ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, but in a separate decision cleared uranium mine operations to resume at mine six miles south of the canyon.

Hard tick grasping a dinosaur feather preserved in 99 million-year-old Burmese amber. (Photo courtesy paper’s authors)

9.) From the world of Science, comes word a newly discovered fossilized tick trapped and preserved in amber contains the first evidence that the blood-sucking creatures lived on feathered dinosaurs as early as 99 million years ago.

The view from EU headquarters in Brussels.(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

10.) In International news, the European Commission said Tuesday it finds no credible link between the herbicide Roundup and health problems but will instead improve transparency in the pesticide-approval process.

 

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