Nightly Brief

Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen accepting a plea deal and telling a federal judge the president’s inner circle pursued a Moscow real estate project well into the 2016 campaign season; the Senate pushes back a vote on a nominee to a North Carolina federal court who worked to defend a state voting law that a federal appeals court found targeted African Americans; five states approved ballot initiatives this year which aimed to take redistricting out of the hands of partisan legislators and put it into the hands of nonpartisan committees; the Seventh Circuit says an Illinois law prohibiting retailers from shipping liquor to in-state consumers “smacks of protectionism” and may not be lawful under the constitutional amendment that repealed Prohibition; Pabst Brewing Co. and MillerCoors, two household names in beer, reach a settlement over Pabst’s claims that MillerCoors breached a brewing contract; a new study finds that mother jumping spiders lactate and care for their young into adulthood – behaviors previously associated only with mammals, and more.

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National

Michael Cohen, left, walks out of federal court with his attorney, Guy Petrillo on Nov. 29, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

1.) Pleading guilty to a new charge of having lied to Congress, ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen told a federal judge Thursday morning that the president’s inner circle pursued a Moscow real estate project well into the 2016 campaign season.

In this Sept. 20, 2017, photo, Thomas Farr is sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be a District Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

2.) The Senate on Thursday pushed back a vote on a nominee to a North Carolina federal court who worked to defend a state voting law that a federal appeals court found targeted African Americans with “almost surgical precision.”

Virginia’s congressional district map, seen above via Wikimedia, has faced many legal challenges but legislators hope a new constitutional amendment will settle the issue once and for all.

3.) Five states had ballot initiatives this year which aimed to take redistricting out of the hands of partisan legislators and put it into the hands of nonpartisan committees. And in all five states, the initiatives won.

Anthony Brindisi speaks to supporters on election night at the Delta Hotel in Utica, N.Y. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth, File)

4.) Unseating a Trump-supporting congresswoman, a grueling focus on absentee ballots led Democrat Anthony Brindisi to declare victory Wednesday in a Republican-majority district of upstate New York.

(Image via Pixabay)

5.) The 2018 midterms saw record spending by candidates of both parties, but it also broke records for a new kind of campaign funding scheme: gaming campaign finance reporting data to delay the release of donors until after the race ends.

Regional

Redwood National Park, California. (Photo: William Dotinga)

6.) A judge’s stark warning that natural wonders have no right to exist under federal law unsettled a group of conservationists fighting a proposed highway project through a majestic grove of ancient redwood trees in Northern California.

This June 22, 2017, photo provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources shows a silver carp, a variety of Asian carp, that was caught in the Illinois Waterway below T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam, approximately nine miles away from Lake Michigan. (Illinois Department of Natural Resources via AP, File)

7.) The cost to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes has nearly tripled to $778 million since last year, according to the final plan from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Kinder Morgan headquarters in Houston, Texas. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

8.) The Third Circuit appeared critical Wednesday that a Kinder Morgan subsidiary should rely on federal law to pay less than fair-market value for land it seized via eminent domain to build an interstate pipeline.

In this Nov. 20, 2014, file photo, bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau wine are displayed in a wine store. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

9.) In a victory for out-of-state alcohol sellers, the Seventh Circuit said Wednesday an Illinois law prohibiting those retailers from shipping liquor to in-state consumers “smacks of protectionism” and may not be lawful under the constitutional amendment that repealed Prohibition.

In this Nov. 8, 2018, photo, cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Coors Light are stacked next to each other in a Milwaukee liquor store. (AP Photo/Ivan Moreno)
10.) Pabst Brewing Co. and MillerCoors, two household names in beer, reached a settlement late Wednesday over Pabst’s claims that MillerCoors breached a brewing contract and was trying to put Pabst out of business.

Science

11.) Mother jumping spiders lactate and care for their young into adulthood – behaviors previously associated only with mammals and long-lived vertebrates like whales and elephants, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

International

Doel nuclear power station (Via Wikipedia)

12.) An EU magistrate was critical of Belgium on Wednesday for not conducting an environmental study before it waylaid its commitment to going nuclear-energy free.

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