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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including the Massachusetts high court expanded the privacy rights of social media users; The Supreme Court reinstated a new Republican-friendly congressional map in Alabama; French President Emmanuel Macron called on all sides to de-escalate and find a path to avoid war over Ukraine, and more.

National

Supreme Court blocks redraw of GOP-friendly congressional map in Alabama

In a 5-4 vote Monday evening, the Supreme Court reinstated a new Republican-friendly congressional map in Alabama that a lower court blocked for violating the Voting Rights Act and diluting the influence of Black voters.  

The Supreme Court is seen in Washington on Sept. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

When nominating judges gets more political, filling seats requires strategy

Presidents are increasingly avoiding filling vacancies in states held by the opposition party during their first year in office.

Andre Mathis, a nominee to the Sixth Circuit, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 12, 2022. (Screenshot via Courthouse News)

White House task force outlines strategies to help workers unionize

With 70 policy recommendations, a White House task force on labor released a report Monday with the goal of making it easier for federal employees and contractors to join unions.

President Joe Biden walks on the South Lawn of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Regional

Massachusetts high court expands social media privacy rights

A man who was careless with his privacy settings and accepted an anonymous “friend request” from someone who turned out to be an undercover cop became the unlikely catalyst Monday for a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that expands the privacy rights of social media users.

This Aug. 9, 2017, file photo shows the Snapchat app on a mobile device in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

‘Doorknockers’ challenge to California gig-worker law goes before Ninth Circuit

An Oxnard, California, political action committee and a Florida provider of canvassing services went before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to argue that a state law that qualifies "doorknockers" and signature gatherers as employees rather than independent contractors violates their free speech rights.

Gus Hawthorn knocks on a the door of someone identified as a “low-turnout” voter to ask them to vote in California’s primary. (Bianca Bruno/Courthouse News)

International

De-escalation talks intensify over Ukraine as Macron visits Putin

Talks to avert a major war in Europe are intensifying as French President Emmanuel Macron flew to Moscow on Monday for delicate talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and, to the annoyance of Washington, called on the West to take Russia's concerns about NATO expansion into consideration.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to French President Emmanuel Macron during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Science

Melting glaciers may contribute less to sea level rise than previously thought

Climate scientists have long warned how much water could be displaced into the ocean by melting glaciers. Now, experts say they have a new idea on just how much that amount could be — and it’s actually a little less than we thought.

Large Icebergs float away as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland, on Aug. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Researchers engineer human spinal cord implants to treat paralysis

Researchers engineered and implanted functional human spinal cord tissues that showed success in treating paralysis in lab models.

Petri dish with tissue samples (Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology)

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