Nightly Brief

Your Tuesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including President Donald Trump firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke bristling as senators pressed him over his alleged use of taxpayer funds for private plane travel; Infowars creator Alex Jones and other right-wing media personalities were sued Tuesday by a former State Department official who says they made him a target of harassment; a new study says hundreds of new fossils reveal that pterosaurs died off abruptly during the same mass extinction event that ended the reign of dinosaurs; the European Court of Human Rights ruled Spain’s criminal conviction of two men who burned a photograph of the Spanish royal couple during a protest of an official visit by the king violated the men’s right to free expression, and more.

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National

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson steps away from the podium after speaking at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

1.) President Donald Trump announced a major shakeup in his cabinet Tuesday, removing Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The Department of Justice headquarters building in Washington early morning.  (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

2.) Railing against the delays, unnecessary secrecy and buckets of black redaction ink that bedevil the public-records process, members of the U.S. Senate pressed government officials Tuesday about their efforts to improve compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., waits to speak during a meeting of the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

3.) An ex-Republican frontrunner for the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts is taking credit for the surprise announcement by Senator Elizabeth Warren that she will not run for president in 2020.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources during a committee hearing on the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2019, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

4.)  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke bristled Tuesday when senators pressed him over his alleged use of taxpayer funds for private plane travel, telling lawmakers the reports were “insults and innuendos.”

Regional

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, with his floor leaders to his side, holds a press conference Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

5.) A Georgia state representative hit Governor Nathan Deal with a federal complaint Monday, challenging his refusal to let protesters converge on the Capitol next week as part of a nationwide demonstration commemorating victims of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo accused of bribery, leaves court on March 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

6.) Shaking up the New York political scene, a federal jury found Governor Andrew Cuomo’s former right-hand man Joseph Percoco guilty on Tuesday of taking bribes from heavyweight corporate donors.

The Cliff Tops on Mount Le Conte, in the Great Smoky Mountains of Sevier County, Tennessee. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

7.) At a time when the Trump administration is working to cut back federal environmental rules, a professor from the University of Houston Law Center says state and local governments should take on part of the regulatory role.

In this April 17, 2017, file photo, “Infowars” host Alex Jones arrives at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas. (Tamir Kalifa/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

8.) Infowars creator Alex Jones and other right-wing media personalities were sued Tuesday by a former State Department official who says they made him a target of harassment after he posted a video showing a car attack during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Science

9.) Hundreds of new fossils reveal that pterosaurs died off abruptly during the same mass extinction event that ended the reign of dinosaurs, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology.

International

Spain’s King Felipe, left, and Queen Letizia arrive to the Cervantes Prize ceremony at the University of Alcala de Henares, outskirts Madrid, Spain, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

10.) Spain’s criminal conviction of two men who burned a photograph of the Spanish royal couple during a protest of an official visit by the king violated the men’s right to free expression, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday.

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