Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including Ambassador Gordon Sondland took a startling about-face as he confirmed a “quid pro quo” directed by President Donald Trump and executed by the president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani; The Senate confirmed a Florida Supreme Court justice to a seat on the 11th Circuit, a vote that gives the Atlanta-based appeals court a majority of judges who were appointed by Republican presidents; A prominent and politically connected Maltese businessman was arrested in connection with the 2017 murder of an anti-corruption journalist, and more.

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National

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

1.) A former hotelier who landed a big diplomatic post following a $1 million donation to President Trump’s inaugural committee, Ambassador Gordon Sondland took a startling about-face Wednesday as he confirmed a “quid pro quo” directed by Trump and executed by the president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani.

(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

2.) Trump’s Department of Justice clashed with lawyers for the Sierra Club, the state of California and a slew of other states Wednesday looking to block the Pentagon from diverting $3.6 billion from the military to build a southern border wall.

(Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

3.) The Senate confirmed a Florida Supreme Court justice to a seat on the 11th Circuit on Wednesday, a vote that gives the Atlanta-based appeals court a majority of judges who were appointed by Republican presidents.

(Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

4.) General Motors brought a federal lawsuit Wednesday against Fiat Chrysler, claiming the rival automaker bribed officials with the United Auto Workers union to get an unfair advantage in labor agreements.

Regional

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

5.) Months after investigations into children’s book sales and campaign financing forced the resignation of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, federal prosecutors charged the longtime politician Wednesday with wire fraud and tax evasion.

(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

6.) Actor Jussie Smollett filed a counterclaim against Chicago asserting the city knows he is telling the truth about an alleged hate crime against him but falsely accused him of lying anyway.

International

(ITV via AP)

7.) Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn shared a debate stage Tuesday night and shared two very different visions of the future of the United Kingdom — and both got laughed at by a punchy crowd.

(AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)

8.) A prominent and politically connected Maltese businessman was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with the 2017 murder of an anti-corruption journalist, sending shockwaves across the small island nation and prompting demands for its prime minister to resign.

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