Nightly Brief

Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including a federal judge ruling Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross may have added the citizenship question to the 2020 census for discriminatory reasons; records from the bankruptcy proceedings of Attorney Michael Avenatti will be sealed at his request; the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise, often caught in gillnets by commercial fisherman, are given another chance at survival as a court orders the Trump administration ban seafood from countries where the net is still used; the first systemic analysis of global marine wilderness finds only a small fraction of the world’s oceans can still be classified as wilderness; a Pew survey finds Americans are generally supportive of gene editing; meanwhile, a new survey finds most voters in California care about the environment and want the same from their next governor, and more.

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National

In this June 22, 2018, photo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

1.) Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross may have added the citizenship question to the 2020 census for discriminatory reasons, a federal judge ruled Thursday, advancing a challenge by 18 states, several cities and nongovernmental groups.

Kevin Mallory, of Leesburg, Virginia, was convicted of espionage Friday for transmitting top-secret documents to Chinese operatives. (Photo via LinkedIn)

2.) Kevin Patrick Mallory, a former CIA contractor convicted of selling defense secrets to a Chinese spy last month, will be acquitted on two counts, a federal judge has decided.

In this June 21, 2017, photo, special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

3.) This week’s change in former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s trial date in Virginia, prompted Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday to renew his his request for blank subpoena sets for potential witnesses.

Michael Avenatti, an attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels, stands outside the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse on July 10, 2018. (Martin Macias Jr./CNS)

4.) A federal judge agreed to seal court transcripts and bar media from attending a court hearing involving the bankruptcy proceedings of attorney Michael Avenatti at his request on Wednesday, according to multiple news outlets.

(Paula Olson/NOAA)

5.) The world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise, often caught in gillnets by commercial fisherman, were given another chance at survival Thursday after a court ordered the Trump administration ban seafood from countries where the net is still used.

Regional

Immigrants hoping asylum applications will be processed (Felix Marquez/AP Photo)

6.)  In over 100 pages of affidavits submitted Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union in the class action over the separation of immigrant families, attorneys said parents separated from their kids at the U.S.-Mexico border were coerced into waiving their rights to family reunification.

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7.) The Seventh Circuit upheld an injunction Thursday against an Indiana law that makes women undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours before an abortion, finding there is no medical justification for the rule.

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore talks to the media as he prepares to vote, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Gallant, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Science

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean as seen from the International Space Station. Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible.

9.) Only a small fraction of the world’s oceans can still be classified as wilderness, according the first systemic analysis of global marine wilderness published Thursday.

Research & Polls

New research finds that the genetic variants linked to Alzheimer’s disease and heavy smoking are less frequent in people with longer lifespans, suggesting that natural selection is weeding out these unfavorable variants in some populations. (National Institutes of Health)

10.) Should gene editing be used to treat serious congenital diseases or boost a baby’s brainpower? According to a Pew survey published Thursday, Americans are generally supportive of gene editing but have clear boundaries and concerns about “going too far.”

German tourists Stephanie Schultz, left, photographs Kai Rudolph, right, along the Merced River in Yosemite Valley as smoke from the Ferguson Fire hangs in the air Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Yosemite National Park, Calif. (Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee via AP)

11.) Most voters in California care about the environment and want the same from their next governor, according to the results of a new survey released Wednesday that asked voters how they feel about environmental issues.

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12.) A majority of Americans feel that higher education is in a downward spiral, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday, but Republicans and Democrats disagree on why.

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