Nightly Brief

Your Tuesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including three of the nation’s top intelligence officials telling senators they’ve already seen Russian activity aimed at meddling in the upcoming midterm elections; a federal judge rules the Justice Department likely flouted the law in abruptly rescinding an Obama-era program that afforded qualifying young immigrants with certain protections; the Ninth Circuit upholds Endangered Species Act protections for ringed seals, reversing a 2016 ruling that rejected the listing; Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor Tom Wolf says he is rejecting a new proposed map for the state’s congressional districts; new research offers an explanation for the discrepancy between the size and age of the hole at the center of a rose-shaped interstellar cloud and its central stars, and more.

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National

FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, center, arrive for a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on worldwide threats, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

1.) Three of the nation’s top intelligence officials told senators Tuesday that they’ve already seen Russian activity aimed at meddling in the upcoming midterm elections and combating these and future efforts is a top priority of the Trump administration.

A ringed seal pup. (Shawn Dahle/NOAA)

2.) The Ninth Circuit on Monday upheld Endangered Species Act protections for ringed seals, reversing a 2016 ruling that rejected the listing as speculative after Alaska and its Oil and Gas Association challenged the listing of ringed and bearded seals.

A copy of a 2010 Census form. (Charlie Litchfield/Idaho Press-Tribune via Associated Press)

3.) Nineteen attorneys general and the governor of Colorado banded together Monday to protest the proposed inclusion of citizen status in the 2020 census.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, leans in to speak to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., before his speech at the McConnell Center’s Distinguished Speaker Series Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
4.) As lawmakers try to strike a path forward on the debate over an immigration reform package, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the Senate must wrap up votes on the issue by the end of the week.

Regional

5.) Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor Tom Wolf said Tuesday he is rejecting a new proposed map for the state’s congressional districts, saying the latest map drafted by the state legislature’s top Republicans continues to be an unconstitutional gerrymander.

6.) The fate of one of the nation’s largest online charter schools is now in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court, after the school urged justices on Tuesday to reverse the state’s demand to claw back $60 million in funding based on lack of student participation.

Immigrant rights supporters gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

7.) A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Justice Department likely flouted the law in abruptly rescinding an Obama-era program that afforded qualifying young immigrants with certain protections.

Science

The Rosette Nebula, about 5,000 light-years from Earth. (Nick Wright, Keele University)

8.) New research offers an explanation for the discrepancy between the size and age of the hole at the center of a rose-shaped interstellar cloud and its central stars.

International

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures to supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been in self imposed exile since 2012. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

9.) A week after upholding Julian Assange’s arrest warrant in London, the judge denied Tuesday that it is in the public interest to let the WikiLeaks founder go free.

Venezuela’s Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez attends a signing ceremony with the Russian energy company Rosneft in Caracas, Venezuela, in front of a large image of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

10.) Five former Venezuelan government officials were charged with a money-laundering scam in which they are accused of taking bribes from U.S. companies to facilitate contracts with Venezuela’s state oil company, according to a federal indictment unsealed Monday.

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