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April 16, 2018

In space, an asteroid that comes within 120,000 miles of Earth is considered a close call.

So we should feel lucky that a flying boulder whizzed past us Sunday without incident, especially considering that scientists didn't see the massive rock coming until the last minute. The asteroid, named 2018 GE3, was the size of a football field, measuring about up to 361 feet in diameter.

Because asteroids are relatively small and dark, LiveScience reports, it can be hard to predict when one will approach our planet — which is a fairly rare occurrence anyway. This most recent asteroid passed at half the moon's distance from Earth — about 119,500 miles — but the Catalina Sky Survey didn't spot it until a few hours before because the massive rock reflected so little light.

Telescopes used by NASA are generally on the lookout for much larger and potentially extremely dangerous flying objects, reports LiveScience, so it's easy for skywatchers to miss smaller asteroids that would have only a, say, mildly devastating effect on impact. So rest assured: If a truly enormous asteroid were on its way to slam into Earth, NASA would let you know.

In fact, you can mark your calendar now: An asteroid 10 times the size of 2018 GE3 is coming our way, and will approach our planet in 2036. Summer Meza

12:44 a.m.

Luke Walton, the former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and brand new head coach of the Sacramento Kings, has been accused of sexual assault, ABC 7 Los Angeles reports.

The news station obtained court documents showing that sports reporter Kelli Tennant is suing Walton, accusing him of sexual battery, sexual assault, and gender violence. Tennant said the incident took place in Walton's hotel room while he was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. Tennant said she wanted to show him her new book, and once in the room, Walton allegedly forced himself on her twice before she was able to escape.

Walton is now the head coach for the Sacramento Kings, and the team released a statement saying it is "aware of the report" and "gathering additional information." The Lakers said the alleged incident took place before he became coach, and "at no time before or during his employment here was this allegation reported to the Lakers. If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the NBA." Catherine Garcia

12:17 a.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was the first 2020 presidential candidate to call for the House to impeach President Trump after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report was released Thursday. In a CNN town hall Monday night, she explained why impeachment is more important than politics, telling moderator Anderson Cooper, "There is no political inconvenience exception to the United States Constitution."

Warren read the entire redacted Mueller report right away, she said, and "three things just totally jump off the page. The first is that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump. ... Part 2, Donald Trump welcomed that help," and "Part 3 is when the federal government starts to investigate Part 1 and Part 2, Donald Trump took repeated steps, aggressively, to try to halt the investigation." If any other American "had done what's documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in jail," she said.

Mueller decided he couldn't charge Trump with a crime, saying "in effect, if there's going to be any accountability, that accountability has to come from the Congress," Warren said. "And the tool that we are given for that accountability is the impeachment process. This is not about politics; this is about principle."

"I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and so did everybody else in the Senate and in the House," Warren said. "If there are people in the House or the Senate who want to say that's what a president can do when the president is being investigated for his own wrongdoings or when a foreign government attacks our country, then they should have to take that vote and live with it for the rest of their lives."

Julian Castro has joined Warren in calling for impeachment and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said at her CNN town hall Monday that "Congress should take the steps toward impeachment," but other 2020 Democrats have been more cautious. Peter Weber

12:15 a.m.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announced on Monday she plans to "get something done when it comes to student loans," but it doesn't involve eliminating debt or making four-year public colleges tuition-free.

During a CNN town hall in New Hampshire, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate told university students in the audience she wishes she could "staple a free college diploma under every one of your chairs," but that's impossible and she has to tell them "the truth."

Instead, Klobuchar said under her plan, Pell Grant programs would be expanded, community college would be free, and graduates would be able to refinance their student loans. "Everything that I have proposed to you, I have found ways to pay for it that I think makes sense, that we can actually get done," she said.

Earlier in the day, another Democratic presidential contender, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), revealed that she has a plan to get rid of student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans while making two-year and four-year public colleges tuition-free. Catherine Garcia

April 22, 2019

When asked during a CNN town hall on Monday if the Boston Marathon bomber, terrorists, murderers, and sex offenders should have the right to vote, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said that since the United States is a democracy, he believes even "terrible people" should be able to cast ballots.

Sanders added that "once you start chipping away and you say, 'Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,' you're running down a slippery slope."

Sanders supports letting people who are currently incarcerated vote, he explained, because they are paying their price to society and the government "should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy." Catherine Garcia

April 22, 2019

A federal appeals court ruled on Monday that the practice of using tire-chalking to mark how long a car has been parked is unconstitutional.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit decided this violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits "unreasonable searches," and is a form of trespass requiring a warrant, The Washington Post reports. Parking enforcement officers use tire-chalking to track how long a car has been parked; once it's determined the car is in violation of time limits, a ticket is issued, bringing in revenue for the city.

The appeals court based its decision on a 2012 Supreme Court ruling, which found that police must get a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a suspect's vehicle.

Attorney Philip Ellison of Saginaw, Michigan, brought the case after his law partner received a ticket while sitting in his car, which had been chalked. Ellison wrote about this on Facebook, and a friend, Alison Taylor, commented that she had received 15 tickets due to tire-chalking. Ellison filed a civil rights lawsuit against Saginaw on Taylor's behalf; the case was first thrown out by a district court, before being reversed by the appeals court. Catherine Garcia

April 22, 2019

Former White House Counsel Don McGahn was cited 157 times in the Mueller report, more than any other witness, and that has Rudy Giuliani running scared.

In an interview Monday with The New York Times, Giuliani, a member of President Trump's legal team, admitted that he's worried Democrats could use the Mueller report to start impeachment proceedings against Trump, and he's now trying to chip away at McGahn's credibility, saying he has "no choice but to attack."

McGahn was still White House counsel when he first met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team in November 2017. He was concerned that Trump would turn him into a scapegoat, the Times says, and now that the report is out and shows he discussed multiple incidents that could be viewed as obstruction, that's exactly what he's become.

Giuliani questioned McGahn's motives and memory and criticized the special counsel and how investigators interviewed McGahn, saying in one case it was a "cross-examination a law student could perform." McGahn was "hopelessly confused," Giuliani added, and disputed a section of the report that stated Trump demanded McGahn order the Department of Justice fire Mueller. The report, he concluded, is "a disgrace." McGahn's attorney, William Burck, defended his client, telling the Times the report "speaks for itself, and no amount of obfuscation by Mr. Giuliani is going to fool anyone."

Not everyone in the White House is onboard with Giuliani's tactics, two staffers told the Times, with many thinking Trump and his legal team should try a new strategy: remaining silent. Catherine Garcia

April 22, 2019

The Supreme Court on Monday announced it has accepted three cases involving gay and transgender employees, and will deliver rulings on whether federal anti-discrimination laws prohibit employers from firing workers due to their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The cases — Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC — will be decided during the court's term that will start in October. The justices will be tasked with deciding whether the protections granted by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, and sex, also applies to people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda will be consolidated, as both involve employees who say they were fired for being gay. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC involves a transgender woman who was fired from a Michigan funeral home because of her gender identity. In Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, lower courts sided with the plaintiffs, NPR reports, but in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, it was decided that Gerald Bostock was not fired from his job as a child welfare service coordinator because he is gay. Catherine Garcia

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