Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including prosecutors told jurors during closing arguments Wednesday that Paul Manafort is “not above the law,” while defense attorneys for the former Trump campaign chairman argued evidence presented by the government does not add up to criminal conduct; The Colorado baker who convinced the U.S. Supreme Court he was unfairly targeted by his state for declining business from gay customers sued Colorado’s civil rights commission, claiming he’s still being persecuted for his beliefs; The Trump administration sold $178 million in Gulf of Mexico oil drilling leases, and more.

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National

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

1.) Prosecutors told jurors during closing arguments Wednesday that Paul Manafort is “not above the law,” while defense attorneys for the former Trump campaign chairman argued evidence presented by the government does not add up to criminal conduct.

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

2.) The Colorado baker who convinced the U.S. Supreme Court he was unfairly targeted by his state for declining business from gay customers sued Colorado’s civil rights commission, claiming he’s still being persecuted for his beliefs.

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3.) Attorneys for cigarette giant Philip Morris asked the 11th Circuit on Wednesday to order a new trial after a jury awarded $20 million in punitive damages to a former smoker who claimed her decision to take up the habit was influenced by the company’s ads.

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4.) The Trump administration sold $178 million in Gulf of Mexico oil drilling leases Wednesday, but just like another lease auction in March the response was underwhelming, with companies bidding on a sliver of the record amount of acreage up for grabs.  

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

5.) Outstripping a 14-year-old among other contenders in Vermont’s primary, Christine Hallquist became the nation’s first transgender candidate from a major political party to earn a gubernatorial nomination. Primaries were also held Tuesday in Wisconsin, Connecticut and Minnesota.

International

(AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

6.) Following a bridge collapse in Genoa that killed at least 39 people, the leader of the Italy’s anti-business party took aim Wednesday at the private company in charge of highway maintenance.

(Via Amnesty International)

7.) A court in Istanbul has ordered the release of the former Turkey chairman of Amnesty International, the rights group reported Wednesday.

Science

A view of the Thera caldera from the Greek island of Santorini.

8.) New research into ancient tree rings from half a world away could settle lingering questions about when the Greek volcano Thera erupted and resolve long-standing questions about Mediterranean archaeology, scientists say in a study released Wednesday.

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