Nightly Brief

Your Friday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including the much vaunted House memo on supposed FBI bias in the Russia investigation meeting with lukewarm reception Friday; a dramatic downsizing of national monuments took effect on Friday, coinciding with Trump administration announcements about increasing energy development on public lands that drew heavy rebuke from environmentalists; seeking to set himself apart from his chief rival in the race for California governor, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decried “Davos Democrats” who pander to rich liberals but neglect the middle class; the International Court of Justice fined Nicaragua more than $378,000 on Friday for its intrusion into Costa Rican territory involving ecologically sensitive, disputed wetlands, and more.

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National

President Donald Trump walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

1.) The much vaunted House memo on supposed FBI bias in the Russia investigation met with lukewarm reception Friday, but contains an odd disclosure about how the probe began.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks as his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu, right, listens during a joint press conference following their meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
2.) A day after U.S. officials called it “highly likely” that Syrian President Bashar Assad kept a hidden stockpile of chemical weapons, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters Friday that there is no evidence Syria used sarin on its citizens.
The Bears Ears National Monument was one of five sites designated by President Barack Obama under the federal Antiquities Act. (Photo by U.S. Bureau of Land Management via Courthouse News)
3.) A dramatic downsizing of national monuments took effect on Friday, coinciding with Trump administration announcements about increasing energy development on public lands that drew heavy rebuke from environmentalists.
Mick Mulvaney, center, walks to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building after leaving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, Monday morning, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
4.) A federal judge ruled that a credit union lacks standing to challenge President Donald Trump’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney, an outspoken critic of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to head the agency.
5.) The Ninth Circuit on Thursday overturned a ruling ordering the FBI to release thousands of files on its surveillance of Muslim communities in the United States.

Regional

Randall Margraves, father of three victims of Larry Nassar , left, lunges at Nassar, bottom right, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, in Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Mich. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

6.) A father of three girls sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar lunged at the disgraced former sports doctor during a sentencing hearing Friday but was quickly wrestled to the ground by sheriff’s deputies and detained.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

7.) Seeking to set himself apart from his chief rival in the race for California governor, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday decried “Davos Democrats” who pander to rich liberals but neglect the middle class.

Science

The downy woodpecker. (Copyright Arlene Koziol, The Field Museum)

8.) A new study suggests that modeling sports helmets after the skulls of woodpeckers may not be the whole answer to protecting athletes’ brains from injury.

9.) California’s fertile Central Valley farm soil – and not the tractors and trucks working it – may hold the key ingredient of the state’s notoriously smoggy air, according to a University of California, Davis report.

International

Costa Rica’s agent Edgar Ugalde Alvarez, left, and Nicaragua’s agent Mr. Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, right, arrive for the reading of the verdict of the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, in two cases that will map out disputed maritime and land boundaries between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

10.) The International Court of Justice fined Nicaragua more than $378,000 on Friday for its intrusion into Costa Rican territory involving ecologically sensitive, disputed wetlands.

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