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Top Eight

Top eight stories for today including President Joe Biden signaled a sharp departure from the foreign policy of his predecessor; California lawmakers called for a reboot of the state’s Employment Development Department; The International Criminal Court convicted a Ugandan rebel leader of 61 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and more.

Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top eight stories for today including President Joe Biden signaled a sharp departure from the foreign policy of his predecessor; California lawmakers called for a reboot of the state’s Employment Development Department; The International Criminal Court convicted a Ugandan rebel leader of 61 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and more.

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National

1.) Focusing on genetic material called mRNA allowed researchers to overcome scientific barriers and develop the two vaccines now used in the United States. Here’s how it happened

(Image courtesy of National Human Genome Research Institute via Courthouse News)

2.) In two speeches, President Joe Biden signaled a sharp departure from the foreign policy of his predecessor, saying restoration of alliances, a greater emphasis on diplomacy and a focus on democracy and human rights will return America to a position of moral authority on global issues. 

President Joe Biden delivers remarks to State Department staff, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

3.) A new Maine rule that says nobody can look at electronic court records until three days after they are served was challenged by newspapers, under the sweeping authority of the First Amendment. 

The Penobscot County (Maine) Courthouse. (Courthouse News via Wikipedia)

4.) A voting company caught in a right-wing election conspiracy theory sued Fox News, Rudy Giuliani and other commentators Thursday for $2.7 billion, claiming they manufactured the bogus story to maintain a grip on angry Trump voters and the outgoing president.

Dominion Voting Systems included this screenshot of Sidney Powell repeating baseless election-fraud claims in a federal complaint filed against the ex-Trump lawyer on Friday, Jan. 8. (Image via Courthouse News)

Regional

5.) Inheriting a mounting bureaucratic disaster that has floated lifelines to inmates but left newly jobless Californians broke, lawmakers on Thursday called for a reboot of the state’s Employment Development Department.

The California Employment Development Department. (Nick Cahill/Courthouse News)

6.) In a pair of cases that could send shockwaves through the multitrillion-dollar municipal bond market and dramatically increase borrowing costs for governments at all levels, the First Circuit heard arguments Thursday on whether Puerto Rico bondholders could collect on collateral for almost $4 billion worth of defaulted loans. 

Remnants of a city sign lay on the beach damaged by Tropical Storm Laura in Salinas, Puerto Rico, on Aug. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

International

7.) The International Criminal Court convicted a Ugandan rebel leader on Thursday of 61 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Trial Chamber IX of the International Criminal Court found Dominic Ongwen guilty on Thursday, February 4, 2021, of 61 crimes against humanity and war crimes, committed in Northern Uganda between July 1, 2002, and December 31, 2005. (Image via Courthouse News courtesy of ICC)

8.) The United Nations’ top court found on Thursday that it lacks jurisdiction to hear a dispute between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates over a yearslong blockade.  

International Court of Justice President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf delivers the court’s decision in a dispute between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (UN Photo/ICJ-CIJ/Frank van Beek)

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