5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Barr to hold press conference on Mueller report before its release

  • Democrats call on Barr to cancel news conference, say Mueller must testify

  • North Korea says it has test-fired a new tactical guided weapon

  • Woman who threatened Columbine High found dead

  • Astronaut Christina Koch will break a record for longest spaceflight

Attorney General William Barr will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Thursday to discuss Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, though Congress won't get to see the report until after 11 a.m. and the redacted report won't be released publicly until Thursday afternoon. The version released to the public will be "lightly redacted," sources tell The Washington Post, and will detail Mueller's evidence of possible obstruction of justice by President Trump. Mueller and his team will not be at the news conference. Trump's lawyers, who were reportedly briefed on the report, are expected to release their rebuttal, perhaps before the report itself is made public.

Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times

Five Democratic House committee chairs on Wednesday night urged Attorney General William Barr to cancel his press conference on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, calling it "unnecessary and inappropriate." Barr's presentation "appears designed to shape public perceptions of the report before anyone can read it," the joint statement said, and reinforces concern that Barr "is acting to protect President Trump." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday morning "the only way to begin restoring public trust" after Barr's "regrettably partisan handling of the Muller report" is "for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible."

Source: House Democrats, The Week

North Korea has test-fired a "new tactical guided weapon," the state-run news agency KCNA announced Wednesday. The test was directed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who declared that "the development and completion of this weapons system will be a great historic event in strengthening the combat capability of the People's Army," KCNA said. The news agency did not elaborate on the type of weapon that was tested or its possible range. Department of Defense officials told CNN that the U.S. Northern Command and Strategic Command did not detect any missile launch. North Korea held its last tactical weapons test in November.

Source: CNN

The 18-year-old woman who traveled to Colorado from Miami and made a "credible threat" against at least 20 schools, including Columbine High School, has been found dead, authorities said. The woman, identified by law enforcement as Sol Pais, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities described her as being "infatuated" with the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine, which left 13 people dead and 24 wounded, and said she was "armed and extremely dangerous." Saturday is the 20th anniversary of the massacre, and Jefferson County Public Schools has reported a surge in threatening email and telephone messages.

Source: The Washington Post

Astronaut Christina Koch will soon break the record for longest single spaceflight by a woman, NASA announced Wednesday. Koch will beat out former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who was in space for 288 days two years ago. Koch, who arrived at the space station in March, will stay on mission until February 2020, NASA writes. The 328-day orbit will allow researchers to study the effect of long-term spaceflights on the body. Last month, Koch and Anne McClain were among NASA's top picks for its first female-led spacewalk, though the trip was later canceled amid spacesuit sizing issues.

Source: NASA, The Verge
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