Nightly Brief

Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including the House narrowly approving a long-term extension of controversial electronic spying methods; the Trump administration rolling out new policy guidance that would allow states for the first time to force Medicaid enrollees to work; conservationists suing to unearth records on the U.S. government’s plan to kill thousands of native predators in Colorado, including black bears, bobcats and mountain lions; a team of researchers possibly discovering how flowering plants were able to take over ecosystems across the world so rapidly, and more.

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1.) In National news, the House Wednesday narrowly approved a long-term extension of controversial electronic spying methods hours after President Donald Trump sparked confusion with successive tweets that first condemned, then supported the measure.

Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma listen at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

2.) The Trump administration rolled out new policy guidance Thursday that would allow states for the first time to force Medicaid enrollees to work, a move that critics say could put the most vulnerable Americans at risk of losing their health coverage.

A law enforcement officer tries extinguish a burning American flag, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, in Cleveland, during the third day of the Republican convention. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

3.) A San Francisco man whose right to burn the flag was enshrined into U.S. law sued Cleveland and conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones, claiming the city suppressed a flag-burning protest at last year’s GOP convention and Jones’ InfoWars reporters gave false reports to bolster assault charges.

A worker stacks merchandise outside a Walmart in Salem, N.H., on June 5, 2017.  (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

4.) Walmart said Thursday that it will raise the starting salary for U.S. employees to $11 an hour, pay out a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1,000, and expand maternity and parental leave benefits.

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

5.) In Regional news, conservationists brought a federal complaint Wednesday to unearth records on the U.S. government’s plan to kill thousands of native predators in Colorado, including black bears, bobcats and mountain lions.

Komatsu bulldozer pushing coal in Ljubljana Power Station. (Photo by Petar Milošević via Wikipedia Commons)

6.) A federal judge refused to dismiss a challenge to Oakland, California’s ban on coal exports, clearing the way for trial between the city and developers.

7.) From the world of Science, comes word scientists have discovered vast deposits of water ice on Mars, prompting calls for future study and improving the chances of possible habitability of the Red Planet.

8.) A team of researchers may have discovered how flowering plants were able to take over ecosystems across the world so rapidly, a phenomenon that Charles Darwin called an “abominable mystery.”

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