Nightly Brief

Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti revealing more women have reached out to him with affair-payoff claims against President Donald Trump; U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III receives unredacted documents outlining the scope of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election; the governments urges the 11th Circuit on Wednesday to find that, when it comes to deductions, nuclear-waste disposal is not the same as decommissioning a nuclear plant; a New York appeals court rules defamation claims by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos should advance to discovery; a new study finds the world’s nations can protect the vast majority of plant and animal species from climate change by limiting global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100; three neonicotinoid insecticides will remain banned in Europe, the General Court ruled Thursday, finding the measures justified to protect honeybees, and more.

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National

Michael Avenatti, who represents Trump accuser Stormy Daniels, sat down on May 17, 2018, with the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” (Via MSNBC)

1.) More women with affair-payoff claims against President Donald Trump similar to those of Stormy Daniels have sought counsel from attorney Michael Avenatti, the lawyer revealed Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

2.) U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III is now among the privileged few who know the full, approved scope of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

CIA nominee Gina Haspel testifies during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
3.) The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina Haspel to lead the CIA over staunch opposition from Democrats and some Republicans over her involvement in a harsh interrogation program authorized by then-President George W. Bush in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The south portal of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump near Mercury, Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

4.) With nearly $100 million in taxes on the line, the U.S. government urged the 11th Circuit on Wednesday to find that, when it comes to deductions, nuclear-waste disposal is not the same as decommissioning a nuclear plant.

A Virginia woman who has spent weeks camped in trees protesting a natural gas pipeline that would cross her property is being treated inhumanely by authorities, a new lawsuit claims. (Associated Press)
5.) A doctor who says he is bound by the teachings of Jesus Christ to provide care for the sick, claims in court the U.S. Forest Service violated his right to religious freedom by refusing him access to a woman who has been sitting in a tree protesting the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Regional

Downtown Pomona Metrolink station. (Photo by Ron Reiring via Wikipedia Commons)

6.) Attorneys made their closing arguments Wednesday in a case where the city of Pomona claims that a subsidiary of a Chilean chemical company “poisoned” its groundwater over the course of decades, costing millions in cleanup costs.

In this Dec. 5, 2017 photo, Summer Zervos leaves Manhattan Supreme Court at the conclusion of a hearing in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

7.) After a federal judge found that President Donald Trump is not immune from defamation claims by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, a New York appeals court ruled Thursday that the case should advance to discovery.

In this Aug. 18, 2017 photo, the statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest sits in a park in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz, File)

8.) As Memphis faces political fallout for using a loophole in state law to remove three Confederate statues from city parks, a state judge sided with the city Wednesday and declined to issue an injunction in favor of a Confederate heritage group.

Kerry Bentivolio, a Republican congressman from Michigan. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

9.) A decorated military veteran running for Congress in Michigan sued his fellow Republican rival for defamation this week, claiming he called his military record, which includes two Bronze Stars, “fraudulent and fake.”

Science

10.) Around a third of land set aside for environmental protection globally faces serious threats from human development, according to a study issued Thursday.

This Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 photo provided by Darlene Burgess shows a monarch butterfly at Point Pelee National Park in Canada. (Darlene Burgess via AP)

11.) The world’s nations can protect the vast majority of plant and animal species from climate change by limiting global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, a new study finds.

International

Bee-keepers and apiarists dressed up as bees demonstrate outside the Palace of Westminster ahead of a European Commission vote on the proposal to ban bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides, in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

12.) Three neonicotinoid insecticides will remain banned in Europe, the General Court ruled Thursday, finding the measures justified to protect honeybees.

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