Your Thursday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News
Top eight stories for today including congressional Democrats formalized their immigration-reform plans with a new bill; NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down in Mars’ Jezero Crater; Defense attorneys argued at the International Criminal Court on behalf of two former Christian militia leaders charged with war crimes in Africa, and more.
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1.) Congressional Democrats formalized their immigration-reform plans Thursday with the introduction of a measure that could put some 11 million immigrants on an eight-year track to U.S. citizenship.
2.) After a tense, seven-minute descent through the Martian atmosphere Thursday, NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down in the red planet’s Jezero Crater, where it will collect sediment samples to bring back to Earth and search for evidence of ancient microbial life.
3.) American life expectancy decreased by a full year in the first half of 2020, hitting its lowest point since 2006, as the Covid-19 pandemic burned through the country.
4.) The federal government uses flawed, outdated data on the populations of polar bears, walruses and other marine mammals to make decisions on projects that could threaten the survival of those species, environmental groups claim in a lawsuit filed Thursday.
5.) Only used a handful of times so far, the Tennessee statute designed to reign in lawsuits intended to chill free speech faces a constitutional challenge in a defamation case related to the TV show “Tiny House Nation.”
6.) Illinois political icon Michael Madigan announced his resignation from the state House on Thursday morning, effective at the end of this month, after being implicated in a utility bribery scheme last summer.
7.) Globally, the number of new coronavirus infections has fallen for the fifth week in a row and the death toll is also subsiding, but the World Health Organization on Thursday said people should not let down their guard as warmer weather approaches in Europe and North America, the hardest hit regions.
8.) The defense had the last word Thursday at the International Criminal Court on behalf of two former Christian militia leaders who together have been charged with more than 50 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.