Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including the biggest court in the nation, Los Angeles Superior Court, opening a media portal that gives journalists access to new court filings as soon as they are electronically received; an investigation into potential massive voter fraud in North Carolina throws the Election Day results of one of the nation’s last unresolved midterm congressional races into question; the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature passes a package of bills giving more power to lawmakers and weakening the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general; Republican former state Rep. Brad Raffensperger will become Georgia’s next Secretary of State; a new study of microorganisms on a 17th century Italian painting shows that while certain bacteria can destroy works of art, others might help to preserve them; a new study says surface ice melting from Greenland – one of the key drivers of global sea level rise – has shifted into overdrive; Europeans have a new topic to disagree about: wa legally nonbinding United Nations compact urging nations to do more to help and protect immigrants, and more.

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National

In this Nov. 7, 2018, photo, Mark Harris speaks to the media during a news conference in Matthews, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

1.) An investigation into potential massive voter fraud in North Carolina has thrown the Election Day results of one of the nation’s last unresolved midterm congressional races into question.

Protesters Peppi Elder, left, and Christine Taylor holds up signs during the state Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in state Capitol Rotunda Tuesday Dec. 4, 2018, in Madison, Wis. (Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

2.) After debating and caucusing through the night in a rare lame-duck session, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature passed a package of bills Wednesday morning giving more power to lawmakers and weakening the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general.

In this Oct. 2, 2018 photo, Republican candidate for Georgia Secretary of State Republican Brad Raffensperger participates in a debate in Atlanta. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

3.) Republican former state Rep. Brad Raffensperger will become Georgia’s next Secretary of State after declaring victory over Democrat John Barrow in a runoff that was widely viewed as a referendum on the future of voting rights and election management in Georgia.

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal courthouse in Washington, Tuesday, July 10, 2018, following a status hearing. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

4.) The Office of the Special Counsel has recommended that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn be given the lightest possible sentence for making false statements to the FBI, given his full cooperation with Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election.

Regional

Los Angeles Superior Court (Credit: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia)

5.) The biggest court in the nation, Los Angeles Superior Court, opened a media portal Monday that gives journalists access to new court filings as soon as they are electronically received.

Voters cast their ballots among an array of electronic voting machines in a polling station at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Dublin, Ohio. (Associated Press)

6.) In a win for a group of Democratic voters, a three-judge panel ruled Monday that the former chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee must turn over emails and other documents about the 2011 redistricting of Ohio’s legislative maps.

San Jose Diridon Station. (Grey3k via Wikipedia)

7.) Following hours of raucous debate that featured protesters chaining themselves to chairs, the San Jose City Council voted unanimously to approve a $111 million land deal with Google with the potential to dramatically remake the downtown area of the 10th largest U.S. city and capital of Silicon Valley and shape the future of corporate sponsored urban redevelopment.

8.) Two statewide bird conservation groups and local environmentalists claim Minneapolis’ proposed rezoning plan would increase housing density and relax regulations at the expense of natural resources such as trees and lakes.

In this Oct. 6, 2015, photo, Superintendent Jackie Ratliff, a coal miner, holds coal running through a processing plant in Welch, W.Va. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

9.) A developer fighting to export coal from a planned marine shipping terminal in Oakland sued the city in state court Tuesday, accusing local officials of obstructing the project.

Science

“Incoronazione di Maria Vergine,” by Carlo Bononi, 1616-17. (MuseoInvita, Ferrara, Italy)

10.) A new study of microorganisms on a 17th century Italian painting shows that while certain bacteria can destroy works of art, others might help to preserve them.

Melting ice in Greenland.

11.) Surface ice melting from Greenland – one of the key drivers of global sea level rise – has shifted into overdrive and shows no signs of abating, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature.

Research & Polls

One of several startling images featured in a report on climate change unveiled on Dec. 5, 2018, at the COP24, annual United Nations climate conference.

12.) Touting the benefits of cleaner air, a Wednesday report unveiled by the United Nations says reducing pollution could save the lives of a million people each year by mid-century.

International

Immigrants eat a meal aboard the Spanish fishing vessel Nuestra Madre de Loreto carrying people rescued off the coast of Lybia on Saturday Dec. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Javier Fergo)

13.) Europeans have a new topic to disagree about when it comes to the debate over whether immigration is good or bad: A legally nonbinding United Nations compact that urges nations to do more to help and protect immigrants around the world.

In this courtroom sketch, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Hayden points at Chi Ping Patrick Ho, seated far left, during opening statements on Nov. 26, 2018, at Ho’s bribery trial. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

14.) A federal jury convicted a Hong Kong businessman on Wednesday for his role in a more than $2 million bribery scheme that involved two African autocrats – and implicated former presidents of the U.N. General Assembly.

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