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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including a federal appeals panel heard debate over whether New Hampshire’s criminal defamation law is unconstitutionally vague; More than half of Americans support a separation between church and state; Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told a British high court the jailed activist must not be extradited to the United States, and more.


Jailed over Facebook taunts: Free-speech battle hits 1st Circuit

A man who was arrested for calling his local police chief a “coward” on Facebook provoked a sharp debate Thursday in the First Circuit over his claim that New Hampshire’s criminal defamation law is unconstitutionally vague.

A common criticism of criminal defamation laws is that they’re frequently used to silence political opposition, as they were in the days of Henry VIII. (Image via Courthouse News)

Most Americans support separation of church and state: poll

A new Pew Research Center report found that more than half of Americans support a separation between church and state.

Voters mark their ballots at the Lawrenceville Road United Methodist Church in Tucker, Ga. during a Senate runoff election on Jan. 5, 2021. (/Ben Gray/AP)

Big Oil defiant at House hearing on climate change disinformation

Showing defiance at the first congressional hearing exploring what was a yearslong promotion of disinformation about how fossil fuels contribute to climate change, executives representing the oil industry refused Thursday to make firm commitments to stop future disinformation efforts. 

In this Jan. 16, 2015, file photo, a person walks past pump jacks operating at the Kern River Oil Field in Bakersfield, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Before Europe, Biden at Capitol to rally Dems on scaled-back $1.75T policy package

After months of negotiations with warring factions in his party, President Biden announced a framework on his big domestic policy package that his administration bills as one focused on delivering for middle-class families. 

President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up as he walks through Capitol Hill with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Oct. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


Huge California storm not enough to rescue state from drought

The atmospheric river that broadsided Northern California was one of the most powerful for any time of year in recent memory, yet even the voluminous amounts of precipitation that fell on the state were insufficient to break the spell of drought, according to a new report released Thursday. 

Rocks and vegetation cover Highway 70 following a landslide in the Dixie Fire zone on Sunday in Plumas County, Calif. Heavy rains blanketing Northern California created slide and flood hazards in land scorched during last summer's wildfires. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Environmentalists score victory in Montana coal mine dispute

An expansion of the Rosebud coal mine in Montana was approved without efforts to protect local water sources from pollution, a state court judge ruled Thursday.

High-voltage electrical lines run from coal-fired generating plants in Colstrip, Montana. (David Reese/Courthouse News)


Assange lawyers say US is determined to harm WikiLeaks founder

Citing a recent news report alleging the CIA discussed killing or kidnapping WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the jailed cyberactivist’s lawyers argued on Thursday that extraditing him to the United States to face espionage charges would mean delivering him to a country determined to cause him harm.

Julian Assange supporters gather outside the High Court in London on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. (David Cliff/AP)

EU magistrate: Truck makers can’t dodge price-fixing case

European Union time limitations for price-fixing complaints override national limits, a magistrate for the EU's highest court said Thursday.

Trucks are jammed in the early morning on Autobahn 12 in front of the German-Polish border crossing near Frankfurt, Germany, in March 2020. (Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP)

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