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Wow
June 12, 2019

President Trump is open to foreign governments giving him political dirt on his opponents, he told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday.

"I think you might want to listen, there isn't anything wrong with listening," Trump said. "If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] 'we have information on your opponent,' oh, I think I'd want to hear it."

Trump added that he does not consider a foreign government sharing information on a political opponent interference in the election process. "If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong," he said. "But when somebody comes up with oppo research ... the FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it."

The Trump campaign's interactions with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election were scrutinized by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and are also being investigated by congressional panels. Catherine Garcia

June 4, 2019

The Broward County Sheriff's Department has fired Marjory Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Scot Peterson and Sgt. Brian Miller because they "were found to have neglected their duties" during the February 2018 Parkland shooting, NBC News reports.

Peterson, a former sheriff's deputy for the department, has also been arrested. He was decried nationally as the "coward of Broward" after a report concluded he "retreated to an area of safety" instead of trying to find the source of gunshots during the shooting. Now, after a 15-month Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation, he has been charged with seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence, and one count of perjury, the department announced Tuesday.

The shooting left 17 students, teachers, and staff dead. The investigation concluded that Peterson "refused to investigate the source of gunshots," meaning there is "no question that his inaction cost lives," the state's law enforcement commissioner said in Tuesday's statement.

The charges could land Peterson in prison for a maximum of 97 years. Kathryn Krawczyk

May 30, 2019

Lawyers fighting a proposed census citizenship question have claimed it would dilute congressional representation for Democrats and Hispanics. New evidence suggests that was the question's intention all along.

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Commerce Department's proposed addition sent a letter to District Court Judge Jesse Furman on Thursday alerting him to new evidence in the case. That evidence revealed the GOP's "Michelangelo of gerrymandering" Thomas Hofeller "played a crucial role in the Trump administration's decision" to add the question, The New York Times reports. And Hofeller made that suggestion because, in his own words, it "would be advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites."

Hofeller, a storied Republican consultant, died last summer, and his daughter unearthed his hard drives containing data she thought would aid in a case against North Carolina's gerrymandered districts. But they also revealed he had studied Texas' legislative districts and concluded that, if they were based on a count of voting-age U.S. citizens instead of a total population, they "would exclude traditionally Democratic Hispanics and their children from the population count" and "translate into fewer districts in traditionally Democratic areas," the Times writes.

All that couldn't happen "without a question on citizenship being included on the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire," Hofeller continued. So, as a Trump transition official in charge of census issues testified, Hofeller encouraged the incoming Trump administration to add it.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the addition of a question of citizenship on the 2020 census last March to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. Several lawsuits have since challenged that explanation, and several judges, including Furman, have so far blocked the question from being added. The Supreme Court heard arguments on the case in April, and is expected to deliver a decision in June. Kathryn Krawczyk

May 9, 2019

Georgia's new abortion bill could have some stunning prison-time consequences for women who terminate a pregnancy.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a "heartbeat bill" into law on Tuesday, effectively outlawing most abortions after a doctor is able to detect a fetal heartbeat, which typically occurs around six weeks. While it does include some exceptions for rape, incest, or a mother's health, it also makes women liable for murder charges if they have an abortion — and could land them in prison for life, explains Slate's Mark Joseph Stern

Under the new law, different murder charges apply to women who terminate their pregnancies in different ways. A woman who self-terminates — something that wasn't punishable under a previous Georgia law — will have technically committed murder and could be imprisoned for life or face the death penalty. Those who get an abortion via a health care provider could be found guilty of being a party to murder, punishable by life in prison.

Meanwhile, women who get legal abortions in other states, or any people who help a woman coordinate an abortion, could see a charge of conspiracy to commit murder and be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Even "a woman who miscarries because of her own conduct — say, using drugs while pregnant," could be charged with second-degree murder and face 10 to 30 years in prison, Stern explains.

As several pro-choice lawmakers and advocates pointed out, the law also neglects the fact that women might not even know they're pregnant at six weeks. That's essentially a two-week-late period, and as anyone who gets a period knows, irregularity doesn't necessarily mean pregnancy. Kathryn Krawczyk

April 28, 2019

Avengers: Endgame had the biggest opening weekend in history, earning an estimated $350 million in North American ticket sales and $1.2 billion globally, with $329 million coming from China.

Avengers: Endgame far surpassed the previous domestic record of $257.7 million set in 2018 by Avengers: Infinity War. The film also had the biggest single day for any movie, bringing in $156.7 million on Friday. On Thursday, the movie made $60 million off of preview screenings, more money than all but 11 films released this year have made while in theaters, NPR reports.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008 with Iron Man, and Avengers: Endgame is the 22nd movie in the series. Catherine Garcia

April 17, 2019

Former Peruvian President Alan García died Wednesday after shooting himself as police tried to arrest him on corruption charges.

García had been accused of taking bribes from a Brazilian construction company during his presidency, and police had orders to arrest him Wednesday. But when they arrived at García's home, the ex-president went into his bedroom and shot himself in the head, The New York Times reports via a Peruvian radio station. He was taken to the hospital, where García's personal secretary and the current president of Peru later confirmed he had died.

When police arrived at García's house Wednesday morning, he reportedly told them he was going to call his lawyer and shut himself in his room. Police then heard a shot and found García inside the room with a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, The Guardian reports via local journalists. He was taken to a hospital around 6:45 a.m., where Peru's health minister said García was in "very serious" condition. He died after being resuscitated multiple times.

García led Peru from 2006 to 2011, and, along with three other past presidents, has been tied to a bribery scandal involving Brazilian construction magnate Odebrecht. The company admitted it paid $800 million to several Latin American leaders to secure building contracts in a 2016 plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department. García had maintained his innocence even as fellow former President Pedro Pablo Kucyznski was detained last week over the Odebrecht scandal, per The Associated Press. Kathryn Krawczyk

April 12, 2019

International Criminal Court judges have sided with President Trump and rejected their own prosecutor's request.

In a Friday decision nearly 18 months in the making, three ICC judges unanimously rejected ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's request to probe U.S. troops for possible war crimes committed in Afghanistan. The judges agreed there was "reasonable basis" to investigate American troops for the crimes, but ultimately said "current circumstances" in Afghanistan would make "prospects for a successful investigation and prosecution extremely limited."

The White House released a statement praising the decision as a "major international victory" because the U.S. already "holds American citizens to the highest legal and ethical standards."

The Trump administration has repeatedly criticized the ICC, with National Security Adviser John Bolton saying last year America would sanction the court if it investigated U.S. actions in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said he'd begin denying visas to anyone considering investigating U.S. citizens for war crimes, as apparently happened to Bensouda. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 28, 2019

Nothing ruins a trip quite like a canceled flight, but how about a canceled airline? Wow Air, the iconic purple-pink Icelandic carrier known for eye-poppingly cheap flights to and around Europe, folded on Thursday, leaving ticket-holding customers stranded at their gates without refunds or, well, flights.

"Just found out about this news," tweeted one such passenger-to-be, who was stuck at Newark Liberty Airport. "They didn't even notify any of us directly, had to find out from Twitter and Reddit."

At the top of the Wow Air website on Thursday, users could find a banner announcing "WOW AIR has ceased operation. All WOW AIR flights have been canceled." Stranded passengers were advised to look for flights on other airlines: "Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances," Wow went on.

But at the gates, passengers described scenes of chaos and confusion. One traveler looking to hop from Toronto to Reykjavik on Wow Air told CNN Business, "This really scared everyone, at that point we were finally given back our bags and no money as of now has been issued back to me." Accommodations and refunds were not offered.

Wow first took off in 2012, and hosted some 3.5 million passengers in 2018. Some 1,100 people were directly employed by the company, which struggled in recent months with financial woes and unsuccessful attempts at a sale. Jeva Lange

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