Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including President Donald Trump availing himself of Twitter to unload on Michael Cohen for saying that he made hush payments ahead of the 2016 election to clamp down on Trump’s sex scandals; the D.C. Circuit holds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has failed for years to issue and enforce adequate rules for the storage of toxic coal ash; in the latest chapter of California’s ceaseless war to manage shrinking water sources, regulators are considering drastic changes that would reduce the amount of snowmelt available to San Francisco and farmers during dry years; the newly tapped director of ICE’s Boston field office faces grueling questions from a federal judge; the Pew research Center reports a majority of Americans believe it’s good that more women than ever before are running for Congress this year; a federal judge orders a four-year prison sentence Wednesday for  Jose Maria Marin, the former boss of Brazilian soccer who went to trial and lost in the U.S. government’s crackdown on FIFA corruption, and more.

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National

In these 2018 file photos, Paul Manafort leaves federal court in Washington, left and attorney Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. The one-two punch ahead of the midterm elections – the plea from former Trump lawyer Cohen and the fraud conviction of one-time campaign chairman Manafort – is presenting the biggest loyalty test yet for Republicans who have been reluctant to criticize the president. (AP Photo/File)

1.) Implicated by his erstwhile personal attorney in campaign-finance violations, President Donald Trump availed himself of Twitter Wednesday to unload on Michael Cohen for saying that he made hush payments ahead of the 2016 election to clamp down on Trump’s sex scandals.

After the containment dike for coal fly ash failed in December 2008 at a power plant in Kingston, Tennessee, a wave of water and ash choked the Emory River, disrupted electrical power, ruptured a gas line, covered a railway, and necessitated the evacuation of a nearby neighborhood. (Photo by the EPA via Courthouse News Service.)

2.) In another defeat for President Trump’s pro-fossil fuels agenda, the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday found the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has failed for years to issue and enforce adequate rules for the storage of toxic coal ash.

An artist rendering of Paul Manafort during his recently concluded trial in Alexandria, Virginia.

3.) Attorneys for former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort on Wednesday asked a federal judge to seal a portion of the transcript in his bank and tax fraud trial, as Washington grapples with the fallout of Manafort’s conviction and the guilty plea of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Regional

One of many bridges linking the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to the outside world. (Nick Cahill/CNS)

5.) In the latest chapter of California’s ceaseless war to manage shrinking water sources, regulators are considering drastic changes that would reduce the amount of snowmelt available to San Francisco and farmers during dry years.

Rebecca Adducci. (Photo from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Courthouse News)

6.) Testifying as part of a three-day hearing on claims that Immigration and Customs Enforcement targets the spouses of U.S. citizens for deportation, the newly tapped director of ICE’s Boston field office faced grueling questions Tuesday from a federal judge.

Former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer departs from the federal courthouse in Philadelphia in August. (Associated Press)

7.) One witness in to his federal bribery trial, the former mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania, looked nervous — bringing a bottle of water to his lips with a hand that shook visibly — as his attorneys began to cross-examine the city’s purchasing department coordinator.

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8.)  As the Permian Basin region in Texas and New Mexico continues to experience a historic oil boom, a new study has found that water usage for hydraulic fracturing has increased nearly ninefold in the semi-arid region over a five-year period.

Research & Polls

 

Kara Eastman speaks at a fundraiser for her campaign at the Omaha Design Center, in Omaha, Neb. (Matt Dixon/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

9.) The majority of Americans believe it’s good that more women than ever before are running for Congress this year, although there’s no consensus on whether the government would actually do a better job of dealing with the country’s problems if there were more women in office, the Pew Research Center reported Wednesday.

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10.) As the affordable housing crisis continues to grip residents across California, a new study found that most low-income seniors in the state shoulder insurmountable housing costs.

International

Glass artifacts from Samarra, in modern-day Iraq, representing different compositional groups. (Schilbille et al.)

11.) At the height of the Abbasid empire in the mid-ninth century, the palace city of Samarra was lavishly decorated with glass. Colorful tesserae, purple millefiori, and small perfectly translucent shapes adorned the walls, meant to inspire a sense of wonder and awe and perhaps even remind visitors of Solomon’s crystal palace.

Attorneys Paulo Peixoto, left, and Julio Barbosa speak to reporters outside Brooklyn federal court, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in New York. Their client, Jose Maria Marin, a former South American soccer official, has been sentenced to four years in prison for his conviction on corruption charges in the sprawling FIFA bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

12.) A federal judge ordered a four-year prison sentence Wednesday for  Jose Maria Marin, the former boss of Brazilian soccer who went to trial and lost in the U.S. government’s crackdown on FIFA corruption.

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