Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including President Donald Trump denying Russia is still targeting elections in the United States, a claim sharply at odds with recent warnings from his top intelligence chief. The White House later said the president was misunderstood; alleged Russian Agent Mariia Butina learning she will remain in custody until her trial on charges of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government; the Senate narrowly confirms an attorney in the Texas governor’s office to a position on the Fifth Circuit; incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby tromps former Congressman Bobby Bright in the Republican primary runoff in Alabama’s Second Congressional District; New York City agrees to pay its nurses and midwives over $20 million to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit; a new study says air pollution may be keeping people away from national parks; Google is hit with a record $5 billion fine by European antitrust regulators who said it abused its market dominance in search and web-browsing tools on its Android mobile operating system, and more.

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National

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during his meeting with members of his cabinet in Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Looking on is Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

1.) Speaking during a photo op at the end of a Cabinet meeting Wednesday President Donald Trump denied Russia is still targeting elections in the United States, a claim sharply at odds with recent warnings from his top intelligence chief.

Maria Butina, activista a favor de las armas de fuego, actualmente acusada de espiar contra EEUU, en un discurso en Moscú el 21 de abril del 2013. (AP Photo)

2.) Alleged Russian Agent Mariia Butina will remain in custody until her trial on charges of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Fifth Circuit nominee Andrew Oldham testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 25, 2018. Oldham serves as general counsel to Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott and previously worked as the deputy solicitor general in the state attorney general’s office.

3.) The Senate on Wednesday narrowly confirmed an attorney in the Texas governor’s office to a position on the Fifth Circuit.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

4.) The Commerce Department on Wednesday said it is investigating U.S. dependence of foreign uranium imports, relying on the same legal grounding the Trump administration recently used to impose massive tariffs on a wide range of imported wholesale and consumer products.

Regional

Alabama Rep. Martha Roby waves to supporters during the watch party as she wins the runoff election, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

5.) Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby tromped former Congressman Bobby Bright on Tuesday in the Republican primary runoff in Alabama’s Second Congressional District.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup, Bridget Clerkin, Matthew Renda and Joe Garrett pose for a photo near Inspiration Point in Yosemite National Park. (Bridget Clerkin)

6.) This feature was supposed to be about a backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park with a federal judge who has a deep and abiding love of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Instead, a juvenile rattlesnake intervened to make this tale about something else entirely – or almost entirely.

Transferring Monsanto’s Lasso herbicide. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

7.) A Monsanto scientist on Tuesday tried to rebut a dying groundskeeper’s allegation that he failed to tell him whether the company’s Roundup weed killer had caused widespread skin rashes later diagnosed as terminal lymphoma, possibly resulting in the disease’s progression while he continued to use it.

An ambulance departs Bellevue Hospital in New York in 2012. (Associated Press)

8.) New York City will pay its nurses and midwives over $20 million to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York announced Wednesday.

Science

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9.) Fishermen and beachgoers alike have long viewed sharks with something less than admiration, but advances in technology have proven they are deeply valuable, scientists told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday Yet that value could be lost if climate change and overfishing continue to threaten the predator and its habitat.

This Sept. 4, 2011 photo shows the main plant facility at the Navajo Generating Station northeast of Grand Canyon National Park as seen from Lake Powell in Page, Ariz. A new study concludes visitors may be steering clear of some U.S. national parks or cutting their visits short because of pollution. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

10.) Air pollution may be keeping people away from national parks, according to a new study of ozone levels in some of our most popular public treasures.

Research & Polls

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin leave a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

11.) Despite this week’s Helsinki summit, where President Donald Trump said he did not believe in U.S. intelligence agencies’ reports of Russian interference in 2016 U.S. elections – or perhaps may have just misspoke – a whopping 71 percent of Republicans say they still approve of the way he’s handling Russia.

International

EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager holds a press conference on a Competition Case involving Google Android at the European Commission building, in Brussels on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. he European Union’s antitrust chief has fined Google a record $5 billion for abusing the market dominance of its Android mobile phone operating system. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

12.) Google was hit Wednesday with a record $5 billion fine by European antitrust regulators who said it abused its market dominance in search and web-browsing tools on its Android mobile operating system.

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