Nightly Brief

Your Friday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including a Russian national being charged for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere in the U.S. political system, including the upcoming 2018 midterm election; President Donald Trump orders federal agencies to speed up environmental reviews and jumpstart major water projects in California and the Pacific Northwest; the Fifth Circuit finds Texas’ understaffed foster care system often fails to investigate children’s reports of sexual abuse, but a federal judge went too far in mandating a cap of 17 children per caseworker; California’s 19 million voters are set to decide a slate of midterm ballot measures aimed at easing the state’s affordable-housing crisis, but not all initiatives may bring residents the relief they seek; the European Court of Justice rules Poland must stop enforcing a new law that pushed some judges on its highest court into early retirement and reinstate the ones that have already been forced out, and more.

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National

Christopher Krebs, undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, speaks during a news conference on election cyber security, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

1.) A Russian national was charged Friday for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere in the U.S. political system, including the upcoming 2018 midterm election.

Paul Manafort. (Associated Press)

2.) Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was brought into a Virginia courtroom in a wheelchair Friday afternoon for a hearing to set his sentencing date, even as lawyers argued his confinement is already negatively affecting his health.

In this Feb. 25, 2016 photo, water flows through an irrigation canal to crops near Lemoore, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

3.)  Launching a new front in his war on red tape, President Donald Trump on Friday ordered federal agencies to speed up environmental reviews and jumpstart major water projects in California and the Pacific Northwest.

The Kremlin Palace.

4.) A federal judge on Thursday asked prosecutors to flesh out their arguments in the case against a Russian company accused of funding the Kremlin’s effort to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump supporters display signs on Oct. 18, 2018, at Missoula County International Airport in Missoula, Mont. (David Reese/CNS)

5.) President Donald Trump continued to pull out all the stops to retain the Republicans’ narrow control in the Senate, making his third trip to Montana on Thursday night to support two House and Senate candidates and to rally the state’s Republican base ahead of the November election.

Regional

Residents stroll down what remains of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake.

6.) In the wake of the U.S. Geological Survey’s announcement that an earthquake early warning system is operational, millions of people across several states participated in earthquake drills on Earthquake Preparedness Day Thursday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Associated Press)

7.) Texas’ understaffed foster care system often fails to investigate children’s reports of sexual abuse, but a federal judge went too far in mandating a cap of 17 children per caseworker, a divided Fifth Circuit ruled Thursday.

Dewayne Johnson claims Monsanto has known for decades that Roundup is carcinogenic but didn’t disclose it for fear of disrupting its multi-billion dollar global business.

8.) Two jurors who voted to hold Monsanto liable for a man’s fatal cancer from using the weed killer Roundup called a California judge’s intention to gut the $289 million verdict “unreasonable” Thursday, and rejected criticism they had been emotionally manipulated into making the finding without evidence.

In this Aug. 30, 2018, photo a workers toil on a new home under construction in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

9.) In less than three weeks, California’s 19 million voters will decide a slate of midterm ballot measures aimed at easing the state’s affordable-housing crisis, but not all initiatives may bring residents the relief they seek.

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox speaks in Burbank, California at a gas tax repeal rally on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Nathan Solis/CNS)

10.) As traffic inched along Interstate 5 in Burbank, California on Thursday morning, Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox asked a crowd at a Walmart parking lot if they were ready to repeal a statewide gas tax in November.

Research & Polls

Gun show at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. (Photo credit: M&R Glasgow/Wikipedia)

11.) As the Fourth Circuit heard arguments Monday on a challenge to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, the central question appeared to be whether the president’s past anti-Muslim statements effectively doom the controversial policy.

International

In this Oct. 8, 2018 photo, government opponents with signs reading “Constitution” protest an overhaul of the justice system and the forced early retirement of Supreme Court judges aged 65 and above, before the court’s building in Warsaw, Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

12.) The European Court of Justice ruled Friday that Poland must stop enforcing a new law that pushed some judges on its highest court into early retirement and reinstate the ones that have already been forced out.

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