Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including the Census Bureau’s chief scientist testifing that the addition of a citizenship question to the once-in-a-decade survey would be expensive, while also compromising data and response rates; the Justice Department releases an internal legal opinion that it says supports the legality of Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general; Florida’s recount madness continues one day before the state’s 67 counties must finish tallying ballots by machine; House Republicans select Rep. Kevin McCarthy as their next minority leader; a Utah county takes its fight of a federal judge’s redrawing of election maps to a 10th Circuit panel; a series of scientific surveys reveal a 19-mile-wide crater hidden under a half-mile of ice likely came from a kilometer-wide iron asteroid that crashed into Greenland perhaps in the last 12,000 years, and more.

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National

(Associated Press/Photo by Michelle R. Smith)

1.) Over two grueling days on the witness stand, the Census Bureau’s chief scientist testified that the addition of a citizenship question to the once-in-a-decade survey would be expensive, while also compromising data and response rates.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, center, greets state and local law enforcement officials at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

2.) The Justice Department released an internal legal opinion Wednesday that it says supports the legality of Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general.

An employee at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office prepares to load a machine as they count ballots, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Lauderhill, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

3.) Florida’s recount madness continued on Wednesday, one day before the state’s 67 counties must finish tallying ballots by machine.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks to reporters as he arrives for a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, for the House Republican leadership elections. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

4.) House Republicans selected Rep. Kevin McCarthy as their next minority leader on Wednesday in a landslide, 159 to 43.

In this Sept. 17, 2018 photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during a student town hall at National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

5.) Despite a court order voiding efforts to delay Obama-era student borrower protections, the U.S. government continues to collect money from borrowers who are entitled to automatic debt relief, a consumer advocacy group claims in a new lawsuit.

In this Nov. 7, 2018, photo, CNN journalist Jim Acosta does a standup before a new conference with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

6.) The White House said in a legal filing on Wednesday that President Donald Trump has “broad discretion” to determine journalists’ access, the administration’s first formal response to CNN’s effort to get back correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass.

Regional

Park City, Utah (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

7.) A Utah county took its fight of a federal judge’s redrawing of election maps – done to remedy what the judge found as racial gerrymandering – to a 10th Circuit panel, arguing the “absurd results” included a historic takeover by Navajo Democrats in a special election.

8.) In a First Amendment case over press access to new court filings, a Seventh Circuit panel on Tuesday ruled that federal courts lack jurisdiction over such matters and refused to follow the circuit’s landmark 1994 opinion in favor of contemporaneous access.

In this courtroom sketch Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, center, sits next to his defense attorney Eduardo Balazero, left, for opening statements as Guzman’s high-security trial gets underway in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

9.) Kicking off the long-awaited trial Tuesday of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the defense leveled blockbuster bribery allegations against the current and former presidents of Mexico.

Science

A 19-mile-wide crater is barely visible under the Hiawatha Glacier in extreme northwest Greenland. (NASA)

10.) A 19-mile-wide crater hidden under a half-mile of ice likely came from a kilometer-wide iron asteroid that crashed into Greenland perhaps in the last 12,000 years, according to nearly two decades of surveys finally released Wednesday.

International

Italian deputy Premier and Labor Minister Luigi Di Maio smiles as he talks to reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting on Italy’s budget, outside Rome’s Chigi Palace government headquarters, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

11.) The Italian government is pushing ahead with an anti-austerity spending plan that raises alarms it could spark a European financial crisis, while political turmoil deepens under the rule of anti-establishment and far-right parties.

12.) The Justice Department said Wednesday that three South Korean companies will pay a total of $236 million as part of a guilty plea and civil settlement over a scheme to rig prices for fuel sold to U.S. military bases in the Southeast Asian nation.

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