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The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a settlement between Western states over the management of one of North America’s longest rivers.

The 5-4 decision rebuffs an agreement that had come recommended by a federal judge overseeing the case over how New Mexico, Texas and Colorado must share water from the Rio Grande. The high court found that the federal government still had claims about New Mexico’s water use that the settlement would not resolve.

U.S. Circuit Judge Michael Melloy had called the proposal a fair and reasonable way to resolve the conflict between Texas and New Mexico that would be consistent with a decadeslong water-sharing agreement between the two states as well as Colorado.

The federal government, though, lodged several objections, including that the proposal did not mandate specific water capture or use limitations within New Mexico.

New Mexico officials have said implementing the settlement would require reducing the use of Rio Grande water through a combination of efforts that range from paying farmers to leave their fields barren to making infrastructure improvements. Some New Mexico lawmakers have voiced concerns, but the attorney general who led the state’s negotiations had called the agreement a victory.

Farmers in southern New Mexico have had to rely more heavily on groundwater wells over the last two decades as drought and climate change resulted in reduced flows and less water in reservoirs along the Rio Grande. Texas sued over the groundwater pumping, claiming the practice was cutting into the amount of water that was ultimately delivered as part of the interstate compact.

The proposed settlement would recognize several measurements to ensure New Mexico delivers what’s owed to Texas. New Mexico, meanwhile, agreed to drop its challenges against Texas in exchange for clarifying how water will be accounted for as it flows downstream. The agreement also outlined transfers if not enough or too much water ended up in Texas.


The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a tax on foreign income over a challenge backed by business and anti-regulatory interests, declining their invitation to weigh in on a broader, never-enacted tax on wealth.

The justices, by a 7-2 vote, left in place a provision of a 2017 tax law that is expected to generate $340 billion, mainly from the foreign subsidiaries of domestic corporations that parked money abroad to shield it from U.S. taxes.

The law, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by then-President Donald Trump, includes a provision that applies to companies that are owned by Americans but do their business in foreign countries. It imposes a one-time tax on investors’ shares of profits that have not been passed along to them, to offset other tax benefits.

But the larger significance of the ruling is what it didn’t do. The case attracted outsize attention because some groups allied with the Washington couple who brought the case argued that the challenged provision is similar to a wealth tax, which would apply not to the incomes of the very richest Americans but to their assets, like stock holdings. Such assets now get taxed only when they are sold.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his majority opinion that “nothing in this opinion should be read to authorize any hypothetical congressional effort to tax both an entity and its shareholders or partners on the same undistributed income realized by the entity.”

Underscoring the limited nature of the court’s ruling, Kavanaugh said as he read a summary of his opinion in the courtroom, “the precise and very narrow question” of the 2017 law “is the only question we answer.”

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington. They challenged a $15,000 tax bill based on Charles Moore’s investment in an Indian company, arguing that the tax violates the 16th Amendment. Ratified in 1913, the amendment allows the federal government to impose an income tax on Americans. Moore said in a sworn statement that he never received any money from the company, KisanKraft Machine Tools Private Ltd.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch, wrote in dissent that the Moores paid taxes on an investment “that never yielded them a penny.” Under the 16th Amendment, Thomas wrote, the only income that can be taxed is “income realized by the taxpayer.”

A ruling for the Moores could have called into question other provisions of the tax code and threatened losses to the U.S. Treasury of several trillion dollars, Kavanaugh noted, echoing the argument made by the Biden administration.

The case also had kicked up ethical concerns and raised questions about the story the Moores’ lawyers told in court filings. Justice Samuel Alito rejected calls from Senate Democrats to step away from the case because of his ties to David Rivkin, a lawyer who is representing the Moores.

Alito voted with the majority, but did not join Kavanaugh’s opinion. Instead, he joined a separate opinion written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett wrote that the issues in the case are more complicated than Kavanaugh suggests.

Public documents show that Charles Moore’s involvement with the company, including serving as a director for five years, is far more extensive than court filings indicate.


A court in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok on Wednesday convicted a visiting American soldier of stealing and making threats of murder, and it sentenced him to three years and nine months in prison.

Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, 34, flew to the Pacific port city to see his girlfriend and was arrested last month after she accused him of stealing from her, according to U.S. officials and Russian authorities.

Russia’s state news agencies Tass and RIA Novosti reported that the judge in Pervomaisky District Court in Vladivostok also ordered Black to pay 10,000 rubles ($115) in damages. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of four years and eight months in prison.

Black’s case occurs amid tensions over Russia’s arrests of American journalists and other U.S. nationals as the fighting in Ukraine continues.

Russia has jailed a number of Americans, including corporate security executive Paul Whelan and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. The U.S. government has designated both men as wrongfully detained and has been trying to negotiate their release.

Others detained include Travis Leake, a musician who has been living in Russia for years and was arrested last year on drug-related charges; Marc Fogel, a teacher in Moscow who was sentenced to 14 years in prison, also on drug charges; and dual nationals Alsu Kurmasheva and Ksenia Khavana.

The U.S. State Department strongly advises American citizens not to go to Russia.

Black was on leave and in the process of returning to his home base at Fort Cavazos, Texas, from South Korea, where he had been stationed at Camp Humphreys with the Eighth Army.

Cynthia Smith, an Army spokesperson, said Black signed out for his move back home and, “instead of returning to the continental United States, Black flew from Incheon, Republic of Korea, through China to Vladivostok, Russia, for personal reasons.”

Under Pentagon policy, service members must get clearance for any international travel from a security manager or commander.

The U.S. Army said last month that Black hadn’t sought such travel clearance and it wasn’t authorized by the Defense Department. Given the hostilities in Ukraine and threats to the U.S. and its military, it is extremely unlikely he would have been granted approval.


Pop star Justin Timberlake was charged early Tuesday with drunken driving in a village in New York’s Hamptons, after police said he ran a stop sign and veered out of his lane in the posh seaside summer retreat.

The boy band singer-turned-solo star and actor was driving a 2025 BMW in Sag Harbor around 12:30 a.m. when an officer stopped him and determined he was intoxicated, according to a court document.

“His eyes were bloodshot and glassy, a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from his breath, he was unable to divide attention, he had slowed speech, he was unsteady afoot and he performed poorly on all standardized field sobriety tests,” the court papers said.

Timberlake, 43, told the officer he had one martini and was following some friends home, according to the documents. After being arrested and taken to a police station in nearby East Hampton, he refused a breath test, said the court papers, which listed his occupation as “professional” and said he’s “self-employed.”

The 10-time Grammy winner was released without bond later Tuesday morning after being arraigned in Sag Harbor. He was charged with a driving-while-intoxicated misdemeanor, and his next court date was scheduled for July 26, the Suffolk County district attorney’s office said.

Edward Burke Jr., a local lawyer representing Timberlake, declined to comment Tuesday other than to confirm the star doesn’t need to appear in person for his next court date. Timberlake’s California-based representatives didn’t return multiple requests for comment Tuesday.

The arrest brought a steady stream of curiosity seekers to the village’s quaint Main Street, with many taking photos in front of the brick municipal building throughout the day.

Even music legend Billy Joel, who owns a home in Sag Harbor, took in the scene outside the American Hotel, a popular hotel and restaurant located next to the courthouse where Timberlake had been spotted before his arrest.

“Judge not lest ye be judged,” the “Piano Man” singer told WPIX, declining to comment on Timberlake or his arrest.

A young Timberlake began performing as a Disney Mouseketeer, where his castmates included future girlfriend Britney Spears (he’s now married to actress Jessica Biel). He rose to fame in the behemoth boy band NSYNC, embarked on a solo recording career in 2002 and was one of pop’s most influential figures in the early 2000s.


Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was indicted and arraigned Tuesday on a charge of defaming the country’s monarchy in one of several court cases that have rattled Thai politics. He was granted bail.

Thaksin is the unofficial power behind the party leading the government, Pheu Thai, despite being ousted from power in a coup 18 years ago.

He reported himself to prosecutors Tuesday morning and was indicted, Prayuth Bejraguna, a spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General, said at a news conference.

Thaksin, 74, voluntarily returned to Thailand last year from self-imposed exile and served virtually all of his sentence on corruption-related charges in a hospital rather than prison on medical grounds. He was granted release on parole in February.

Since then, Thaksin has maintained a high profile, traveling the country making public appearances and political observations that could upset the powerful conservative establishment that was behind his 2006 ouster.

His removal from power had started a deep political polarization in Thailand. Thaksin’s opponents, who were generally staunch royalists, accused him of corruption, abuse of power and disrespecting then-King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in 2016.

Prosecution of the long-ago lese majeste case is seen by some analysts as a warning from Thaksin’s enemies that he should tone down his political activities.

Thaksin’s lawyer, Winyat Chatmontree, told reporters that Thaksin was ready to enter the judicial process. The Criminal Court, where Thakisin was arraigned after being indicted, said Thaksin’s bail release was approved with a bond of 500,000 baht ($13,000) under the condition that he cannot travel out of Thailand unless approved by court. His passport was confiscated.

The law on defaming the monarchy, an offense known as lese majeste, is punishable by three to 15 years in prison. It is among the harshest such laws globally and increasingly has been used in Thailand to punish government critics.

Winyat said his client is “not worried, and he’s always maintained that he hasn’t done anything wrong. He’s come here with full confidence in fighting his case.”

Thaksin was originally charged with lese majeste in 2016 for remarks he made a year earlier to journalists in South Korea. The case was not pursued at that time because he went into exile in 2008 to avoid punishment from cases he decried as political.

His case is just one of the several that have complicated Thai politics since the Pheu Thai government took office after the Senate — a conservative, military-appointed body — successfully blocked the progressive Move Forward party, which captured most votes, from taking power last year.

Move Forward is now facing dissolution after the Election Commission asked the Constitutional Court to rule whether it is guilty of attempting to overthrow the system of constitutional monarchy by campaigning to amend the lese majeste law.


A media organization is due in court Monday after publishing details from leaked documents about the shooter who killed six people at a Nashville elementary school in March 2023, while the outlet sues for those records and others to be released to the public.

The hearing, ordered by Nashville Chancellor I’Ashea Myles, has led to outcry not only from Star News Digital Media and Editor-in-Chief Michael Leahy, but also from open government advocates and Tennessee lawmakers.

Leahy’s attorney argued the court proceeding would violate his due process rights and infringe on First Amendment protections after his outlet, The Tennessee Star, reported on records leaked to them about the shooter at The Covenant School.

Initially, the judge ordered Leahy and attorneys to explain in court why the recent work involving leaked documents has not violated court protection of records that could subject them to contempt proceedings and sanctions. The judge later denied a request by Leahy to cancel the hearing but said no witnesses would testify.

The public records lawsuit by the conservative Star News and other plaintiffs remains tied up in court after more than a year. A group of Covenant School parents have joined the lawsuit, arguing none of the documents should ever be released because they could inspire copycats and retraumatize their children.

Though the investigative file remains officially closed to the public’s view, two prominent rounds of evidence about the shooter’s writings have leaked to media outlets.

Police have said they could not determine who was responsible for the first leak. While they look into the second, a lieutenant has drawn a connection to a former colleague without directly accusing him of the leak.

In a court declaration Friday, Nashville Police Lt. Alfredo Arevalo said his office led an investigation of the first leak. A former lieutenant, Garet Davidson, was given a copy of the criminal investigative file that was stored in a safe in his office and only Davidson had the key and safe combination, Arevalo said.

Davidson has left the force. Separately, he filed a well-publicized complaint alleging the police department actively lobbied to gut the city’s community oversight board, as well as a number of other misconduct claims.

In his declaration, Arevalo noted Davidson has spoken about details from the Covenant investigative file on Leahy’s radio show and another program.

Arevalo wrote that he is “appalled” by the leak and “saddened by the impact that this leak must have on the victims and families of the Covenant school shooting.”

The shooter who killed three 9-year-old children and three adults at Covenant, a private Christian school, left behind at least 20 journals, a suicide note and an unpublished memoir, according to court filings.

The city of Nashville has argued it doesn’t have to release the documents during an active police investigation. The plaintiffs have countered there is no meaningful criminal investigation underway since the shooter, Audrey Hale, was killed by police.


The Supreme Court on Thursday made it harder for the federal government to win court orders when it suspects a company of interfering in unionization campaigns in a case that stemmed from a labor dispute with Starbucks.

The justices tightened the standards for when a federal court should issue an order to protect the jobs of workers during a union organizing campaign.

The court unanimously rejected a rule that some courts had applied to orders sought by the National Labor Relations Board in favor of a higher threshold, sought by Starbucks, that must be met in most other fights over court orders, or injunctions.

The NLRB had argued that the National Labor Relations Act, the law that governs the agency, has for more than 75 years allowed courts to grant temporary injunctions if they find requests “just and proper.” The agency said the law doesn’t require it to prove other factors and was intended to limit the role of the courts.

Following the decision, Starbucks said, “Consistent federal standards are important in ensuring that employees know their rights and consistent labor practices are upheld no matter where in the country they work and live.”

But Lynne Fox, president of the union representing the workers, said Starbucks should have dropped the case as part of its more conciliatory attitude toward union organizing efforts. “Working people have so few tools to protect and defend themselves when their employers break the law. That makes today’s ruling by the Supreme Court particularly egregious,” said Fox, president of Workers United.

The case began in February 2022, when Starbucks fired seven workers who were trying to unionize their Tennessee store. The NLRB obtained a court order forcing the company to rehire the workers while the case wound its way through the agency’s administrative proceedings. Such proceedings can take up to two years.

A district court judge agreed with the NLRB and issued a temporary injunction ordering Starbucks to rehire the workers in August 2022. After the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, Starbucks appealed to the Supreme Court.

Five of the seven workers are still employed at the Memphis store, while the other two remain involved with the organizing effort, according to Workers United, the union organizing Starbucks workers. The Memphis store voted to unionize in June 2022.

As as the case proceeded, animosity between Workers United and Starbucks began to fade. The two sides announced in February that they would restart talks with the aim of reaching contract agreements this year, and they held their first bargaining session in nearly a year in late April.

Workers at 437 company-owned U.S. Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since late 2021, according to the NLRB, but none of those stores has secured a labor agreement with Starbucks.

Starbucks said it’s pursuing its goal reaching ratified contracts for those stores this year.

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