Nightly Brief

Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including Stormy Daniels, the porn actress suing to nullify a confidentiality agreement over an alleged affair with President Donald Trump, being arrested at an Ohio strip club only to be released hours later; the FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 presidential election campaign fueled suspicions the agency is plagued by a partisan bias told lawmakers during a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill he never allowed his personal opinions to infect his work; the Justice Department says it will appeal a judge’s approval of the blockbuster $85.4 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger got fresh oxygen Thursday as the Justice Department said it will appeal a federal judge’s approval of the merger; the ongoing chaos and uncertainty surrounding court-ordered family reunifications took center stage in federal court as attorneys said the government still has no structured reunification plan; a new study suggests early humans in high altitudes may have had a high-fat diet; a new poll finds more Americans than ever believe the climate is changing, and more.

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National

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was arrested at a Columbus, Ohio, strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said on July 12, 2018. (Franklin County Sheriff’s Office)

1.) Stormy Daniels, the porn actress suing to nullify a confidentiality agreement over an alleged affair with President Donald Trump, was arrested Wednesday night at an Ohio strip club but has since been released after a judge dismissed the charges, her attorney said Thursday.

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok testifies before the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing on “Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election,” on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

2.) The FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 presidential election campaign fueled suspicions the agency is plagued by a partisan bias told lawmakers during a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday he never allowed his personal opinions to infect his work.

The AT&T logo is positioned above one of its retail stores in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

3.) The government’s challenge to the blockbuster $85.4 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger got fresh oxygen Thursday as the Justice Department said it will appeal a federal judge’s approval of the merger.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

4.) Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was moved Thursday from a jail in rural Virginia to a detention center just outside Washington, D.C. to await the start of the first of two criminal trials he faces in coming weeks.

In this image taken from video, Javier Garrido Martinez, left and Alan Garcia, right, sit with their 4-year-sons at a news conference in New York, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

5.) The ongoing chaos and uncertainty surrounding court-ordered family reunifications took center stage in federal court Thursday as attorneys for asylum-seeking parents separated from their children at the border said the government still has no structured reunification plan.

Regional

A skyline obscured by smog.

6.) California’s decades-old quest to clean its infamously smoggy air by promoting solar energy and cutting fossil fuels is working, and at no detriment to its booming economy: Regulators said Wednesday the Golden State’s greenhouse gas pollution in 2016 was below 1990 totals, reaching a rigorous climate change goal four years ahead of schedule.

A gray wolf.

7.) In an Idaho forest, the Girls Scouts need a permit to hold a camping event. But the government says no permit – or the accompanying oversight – is needed for a weekend-long “predator derby” in which hundreds compete to kill wolves, coyotes and weasels. On Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit heard arguments about whether to change that.

In this April 9, 2013, photo, Louisville’s Luke Hancock speaks during a news conference after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Michigan, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

8.) Five former University of Louisville basketball players sued the NCAA on Wednesday, claiming it cannot revoke their 2013 national championship because of a prostitution scandal that left the program in tatters.

Science

Scientists examine the stomach contents of Otzi, a 5,300-year-old mummy found in the Alps. (South Tyrol Archaeology Museum/Eurac/M. Samadelli)

9.) Early humans in high altitudes may have had a high-fat diet, according to analysis of the stomach contents of a naturally preserved ice mummy found in the Alps. The study may provide clues about how people during the Copper Age prepared their food.

Research & Polls

Nearly three-quarters – 73 percent – of survey respondents believe there is substantial evidence for global warming, according to the National Surveys on Energy and the Environment, the largest recorded percentage since the survey commenced in 2008.

10.) As the bulk of the nation swelters from one of the hottest summers on record, more Americans than ever believe the climate is changing, according to a poll released Wednesday.

International

The European Court of Justice.

11.) The European Court of Justice ruled against U.K. authorities on Thursday for denying residency to a woman who had been the unmarried partner of a British national for five years.

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