Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including the first debate between between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp in the race for Georgia governor being dominated by charges of voter suppression and counterclaims of encouraging illegal voting; President Donald Trump has condemns the sending of suspicious packages and devices that were mailed to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and CNN’s offices in New York; a Ninth Circuit nominee defends his record on legal issues related to Native American tribes; an audit reveals federal agencies remain dazed by the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration; a federal judge in Idaho refuses to block a state law requiring abortion providers to report on “complications” from abortions; a new study finds male humpback whales react to human-generated shipping noise by reducing or ceasing their songs, and more.

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National

Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia Stacey Abrams, left, speaks as Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, and Libertarian Ted Metz, right, look on during a debate Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool)

1.) The first debate between between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp in the race for Georgia governor was dominated by charges of voter suppression and counterclaims of encouraging illegal voting.

An officer with the Uniform Division of the United States Secret Service uses his dog to search a checkpoint near the home of President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

2.) President Donald Trump has condemned the sending of suspicious packages and devices that were mailed to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and CNN’s offices in New York.

Eric Miller, a nominee for a seat on the Ninth Circuit, appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Screen grab via C-SPAN)

3.) One of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday defended his record on legal issues related to Native American tribes, as the Senate Judiciary Committee held its second nominations hearing during the Senate’s recess ahead of the midterm elections.

In this July 28, 2014 photo, lightning strikes over Lake Mead near Hoover Dam at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

4.) President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a new water infrastructure bill into law, authorizing $3.7 billion for scores of new Army Corps of Engineers projects and an addition $4.4 billion for drinking-water projects.

Regional

In this Oct. 19, 2018, photo, Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, speaks during a 10-minute media event before the start of their gubernatorial debate with Democratic Challenger Tony Evers in Madison, Wis. (Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File)

5.) Politically, states don’t get much more purple than Wisconsin. The fluidity of that red-to-blue gradient is about to be tested in the Nov. 6 midterm election as a seat long held but soon to be vacated by House Speaker Paul Ryan is up for grabs, along with the governorship.

In this June 20, 2018 file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Duluth, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone File)

6.) A Republican congressman from Minnesota who won his seat by just 2 percentage points in 2016 faces the same Democratic challenger this year, sparking divisions among neighbors in the suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Central American migrants traveling with a caravan to the U.S., rest in a central park in Huixtla, Mexico, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

7.)  Even a s a caravan of Central American migrants has become a rallying point for conservative voters, an audit released Wednesday shows that federal agencies remain dazed from the zero-tolerance policy on immigration that the Trump administration rolled out in April.

8.) Churches and the IRS joined forces Wednesday before a sympathetic Seventh Circuit panel to argue that a 65-year-old income tax housing exemption for clergy members does not violate the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

(Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta AP)
9.)  A federal judge in Idaho refused to block a state law requiring abortion providers to report on “complications” from abortions, including breast cancer and depression, for the sake of medical research – a law Planned Parenthood has called unconstitutionally vague.
Dean and Adam Skelos. (AP File Photo)
10.) The final politician to be sentenced in a highly publicized crackdown on New York corruption, a former majority leader of the state Senate, was sentenced Wednesday to four years and three months in prison.
Former Adidas executive James Gatto arrives at federal court on Oct. 18, 2018, in New York. Gatto and two co-defendants were convicted on Oct. 24 of fraud related to charges that they plied families of NCAA college basketball prospects with cash so the prospects would attend colleges sponsored by Adidas. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

11.) Wrapping up a nearly three-week trial on corruption in college basketball, a federal jury handed convictions all around Wednesday to a former Adidas executive and two co-defendants.

Science

12.) Male humpback whales react to human-generated shipping noise by reducing or ceasing their songs, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.

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