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Top Eight

Top eight stories for today including a federal judge ordered a permanent injunction to end New York’s Covid-19 pandemic-related capacity limits for Orthodox Jewish synagogues; A team of international scientists convened to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus said it remains a mystery where the virus came from; Senators upheld the constitutionality of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, and more.

Your Tuesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top eight stories for today including a federal judge ordered a permanent injunction to end New York’s Covid-19 pandemic-related capacity limits for Orthodox Jewish synagogues; A team of international scientists convened to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus said it remains a mystery where the virus came from; Senators upheld the constitutionality of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, and more.

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National

1.) Faced with a $2.7 billion defamation suit, Fox News said in a Tuesday motion to dismiss that the First Amendment protects post-election reporting in which the electronic voting company Smartmatic was falsely accused of helping Democrats to steal the U.S. presidency.

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)

2.) The CIA can reject a public records request seeking information on U.S. payments to Syrian rebel forces because a tweet from former President Trump didn’t officially acknowledge such records exist, the D.C. Circuit ruled.

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2012 file photo, a Free Syrian Army fighter from the Al-Faruk brigade, center, steps on a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad, at the Tal Abyad, a Turkish-Syrian border crossing captured by the rebels, eastern Syria. On Nov. 13, 1970, Assad a young career air force officer launched a bloodless coup. Fifty years later, Hafez Assad’s family still rules Syria. The country is in ruins from a decade of civil war that killed around a half million people, displaced half the population and virtually wiped out the economy. But Hafez’s son, Bashar Assad, has an unquestioned grip on what remains. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

3.) Senators upheld the constitutionality of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, but the vote largely along party lines suggests he will ultimately be acquitted again.

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2021, file photo, Democratic House impeachment managers stand before entering the Senate Chamber as they deliver to the Senate the article of impeachment alleging incitement of insurrection against former President Donald Trump, in Washington From right to left are, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., and Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

4.) Federal investigators said Tuesday the pilot flying the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others likely became spatially unaware as he flew through low clouds and into a Southern California hillside.

In this July 26, 2018, file photo, former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna watch the U.S. national championships swimming meet in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, file)

Regional

5.) With the governor’s blessing, a Brooklyn federal judge ordered a permanent injunction Tuesday to end New York’s Covid-19 pandemic-related capacity limits for Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

NYPD officer attempt to peacefully disperse a crowd of Jewish Orthodox community members gathering around journalists, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in the Borough Park neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved to reinstate restrictions on businesses, houses of worship and schools in and near areas where coronavirus cases are spiking. Many neighborhoods that stand to be affected are home to large enclaves of Orthodox Jews. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

6.) A Wisconsin pharmacist charged with attempting to spoil hundreds of doses of a coronavirus vaccine pleaded guilty to two tampering counts in Milwaukee federal court on Tuesday.

This Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 photo shows the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wis. A pharmacist at the suburban Milwaukee medical center deliberately removed hundreds of coronavirus vaccine doses from refrigeration and left them out overnight twice, not just once as officials initially believed, the health system's chief medical officer said Thursday. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

7.) Four years after the murder of 10-year-old Victoria Martens, a New Mexico judge dismissed the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city of Albuquerque by her grandparents because they failed to notify the city before suing.

International

8.) A team of Chinese and international scientists convened by the World Health Organization to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus said Tuesday it remains a mystery where the virus came from, but they dismissed as “extremely unlikely” the theory that it escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan.

A WHO-China Joint Study Press Conference is held at the end of a WHO mission to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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