Nightly Brief

Your Friday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including a former Trump campaign official pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making a false a statement to the FBI agents; bowing to pressure from state officials, the Department of Interior significantly altered its bid to reorganize how it manages public lands and the national park system; Democratic gubernatorial candidates vying to replace Gov. Jerry Brown in November debated in San Diego on how to maintain the Golden State’s strict gun laws and reduce poverty; a new report says a group of serpent-like amphibians has developed tightly packed glands that enable them to burrow rapidly and hide from predators, and more.

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National

Rick Gates arrives at federal court in Washington, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Gates, a former top adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign is scheduled to plead guilty in the special counsel’s Russia investigation to federal conspiracy and false statements charges. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

1.) A former Trump campaign official indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller in connection to his probe of Russia meddling in the 2016 election pleaded guilty Friday to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making a false a statement to the FBI agents.

In this June 22, 2016 photo, the “Bears Ears” buttes are shown near Blanding, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

2.) Bowing to pressure from state officials, the Department of Interior significantly altered its bid to reorganize how it manages public lands and the national park system.

A bicyclist rides past a sign at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 in Parkland, Fla. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

3.) Florida Governor Rick Scott rolled out a plan to address school shootings on Friday, amid growing outrage over the Parkland school shooting and inaction by the Republican-led Florida Legislature.

[Photo credit: CNS/Julie St. Louis]
4.) Protesters slammed draft offshore-oil and gas-lease plans by the Trump administration at a public meeting Wednesday in Alaska.

Regional

Politico’s Carla Marinucci asks questions of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Feb. 5, 2018 at the University of San Francisco. (MARIA DINZEO, Courthouse News Service)

5.) Democratic gubernatorial candidates vying to replace Gov. Jerry Brown in November debated in San Diego Thursday night how to maintain the Golden State’s strict gun laws and reduce poverty.

6.) Houston-area police are on edge after the social media-fueled fallout from the Florida shootings led to the arrest of students who threatened campus violence, and one superintendent said  students who ditch class to protest gun laws will be punished.

7.) Five churches and a Christian radio station sued a Wisconsin city, claiming its recently passed nondiscrimination ordinance protecting transgender residents should not apply to them.

Science

A limbless amphibian, known as Caecilian, Siphonops annulatus, widely distributed in Brazil. Scientists believe skin gland concentrations adapted to different evolutionary pressures in the head and posterior regions of the amphibian. (Carlos Jared/Butantan Institute)

8.) A group of serpent-like amphibians has developed tightly packed glands that enable them to burrow rapidly and hide from predators, according to a new report.

Research & Polls

This Wednesday, June 29, 2016, photo shows guns on display at a gun store in Miami. After a gunman killed more than 50 people in Las Vegas in the nation’s latest mass shooting, stocks in the gun industry rose, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

9.) A week after 17 people were killed in a shooting at a Florida high school, a new poll finds that a large majority of Americans favor stricter gun-control laws.

International

In this file image made from undated video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea’s KRT on Sept. 3, 2017, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un holds the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee. (KRT via AP Video, file)

10.) President Donald Trump unveiled new sanctions against North Korea Friday morning during an address before the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington.

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