Nightly Brief

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Top CNS stories for today including Donald Trump denying allegations that Russian operatives have compromising personal and financial information on him New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker breaks precedent to testify against sessions; a near-extinct bumblebee wins federal protection, ‘Rainpocalypse’ wreaks havoc in Northern California, and more.

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1.) Trump Denounces Reports of Secret Dossier

Opening his first news conference in six months, President-elect Donald Trump denied allegations that Russian operatives have compromising personal and financial information about him, condemning the publication of such claims as “outrageous and irresponsible.”

2.) Sen. Booker Breaks Precedent to Testify Against Sessions

Three prominent black lawmakers gave impassioned pleas Wednesday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as next U.S. attorney general.

3.) Slippery Confirmation Hearing for Trump’s Transportation Pick

The next transportation secretary faces the daunting task of heading up revitalization efforts in nearly every state in the country. A Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday was short on details of how President-elect Donald Trump’s pick Elaine Chao plans to attack the nation’s aging infrastructure.

4.) Prosecutors Undercut Bridgegate Complaint Against Christie

After New Jersey prosecutors fought Wednesday against a bid to bring criminal charges against Gov. Chris Christie, an activist behind the case bemoaned the process outside the courthouse Wednesday.

5.) Near-Extinct Bumblebee Wins Federal Protection

Once common, the nearly extinct rusty patched bumblebee is the first bumblebee in the United States to be federally protected.

6.)  Silicon Valley Bolsters Plans to Shield Immigrants From Trump

Silicon Valley on Tuesday laid out its resistance to any attempts by the incoming Trump administration to apprehend and forcibly remove undocumented immigrants in its jurisdiction.

7.) Rainpocalypse Wreaks Havoc in Northern California

Storms packing gale-force winds and record-breaking rainfall tore through drought-riddled California again Tuesday, toppling majestic trees, closing major freeways and spiking rivers to heights unseen for a decade.

8.) Freddie Gray Prosecutor Must Face Cops’ Claims

Despite their assertion of immunity, a federal judge ruled Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and a sheriff’s major are still on the hook in the three malicious-prosecution lawsuits brought by officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.