Nightly Brief

Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including a federal judge ruling an Interior Department decision to bar bison roaming Yellowstone National Park from protection under the Endangered Species Act was arbitrary and unscientific; another federal judge ordering North Carolina election officials to reinstate primary elections for judicial candidates seeking statewide office this year; the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announces it will wipe out thousands of marijuana convictions going back decades, opening up new job and housing opportunities to those arrested for cannabis-related offenses; a new study finds environmental changes created by climate change cause polar bears to expend more energy to catch less prey, and more.

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National

This photo taken in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo., shows bison in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.  (AP Photo/Matt Brown)

1.) The few thousand remaining bison roaming Yellowstone National Park may have a shot at protection under the Endangered Species Act after a federal judge ruled an Interior Department decision to bar them from protection was arbitrary and unscientific.

Mangrove swamps are coastal wetlands. This swamp is in the Florida Everglades. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

2.) The Trump administration’s newly announced rollback of clean-water regulations sparked an immediate protest Thursday by eight states.

This 2013 photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a coral located 165 nautical miles southeast of Cape Cod, Mass. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via AP)

3.) Federal authorities approved a regulation Tuesday that they say will expand coral-habitat preserves in the Atlantic Ocean while also protecting fishing interests.

Regional

North Carolina state legislative office building (W. Edward Callis IV/Wikipedia)

4.) A federal judge Wednesday ordered North Carolina election officials to reinstate primary elections for judicial candidates seeking statewide office this year.

Marijuana plants are for sale at Harborside marijuana dispensary on on Jan. 1, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. Starting today recreational marijuana can be sold legally in California. (AP Photo/Mathew Sumner)

5.) The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office will wipe out thousands of marijuana convictions going back decades, opening up new job and housing opportunities to those arrested for cannabis-related offenses, the city’s top prosecutor announced Wednesday.

Women participate in Go Topless Day, organized by the Free the Nipple Campaign at Hampton Beach, N.H., on Aug. 26, 2017. (Ioanna Raptis/Portsmouth Herald via AP, FIle)

6.) The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday from three women who were  arrested for going bare-chested at the beach.

Participants hold the “Oath of Allegiance” and American flags during a naturalization ceremony attended by President Barack Obama at the National Archives in Washington on Dec. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

7.) Led by a former mayor of Santa Fe, a class action claims New Mexico is creating second-class citizens by denying driver’s licenses and identification cards to state residents under an unconstitutional, “two-tiered” law.

Science

This is an adult female polar bear on the sea ice wearing a GPS satellite video-camera collar. GPS video-camera collars were applied to solitary adult female polar bears for 8 to 12 days in April, 2014-2016. These collars enabled researchers to understand the movements, behaviors, and foraging success of polar bears on the sea ice. (Anthony Pagano, USGS)

8.) Environmental changes created by climate change cause polar bears to expend more energy to catch less prey, according to a harrowing new study that underscores their plight.

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