5 things for Thursday, March 2: Sessions, Syria, Russia

jeff sessions speech 2

(CNN)Trump's Russia problem is not going away. Here are the 5 things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

1. CNN town hall

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham may be friendship goals -- tearfully singing each other's praises Wednesday night during a CNN town hall. But the two top Republican foreign policy hawks are all business when it comes to alleged Russian ties to their party. During the town hall, they lambasted President Trump over his approach to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. "When it comes to Russia, he has a blind spot," Graham said.

    2. Russian ties?

    Speaking of Russia, yet another administration official is raising eyebrows. Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice last year with Russia's top diplomat in DC, according to Justice Department officials. Sessions did not mention this during his confirmation hearings in January. Turns out Sessions took the meetings in his capacity as a senator, not a Trump surrogate. Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador he reportedly met, is the same man who met Trump's former national security adviser Mike Flynn. Well, we know how that turned out.

    3. Syria civil war

    A UN commission has issued a damning report on human rights violations in Aleppo. Its conclusion: both sides are guilty of war crimes. The commission said Syrian and Russian forces deliberately destroyed hospitals with repeated airstrikes -- and rebels used civilians as human shields.

    4. Aaron Hernandez trial

    Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez taunted the two men that he allegedly shot and killed in July 2012 and later bragged about his aim. That's what prosecutors said Wednesday in opening statements of his double murder trial. This is Hernandez's second high-profile murder trial. He was found guilty in the first.

    5. Oldest fossils

    Scientists claim to have discovered the remains of microorganisms in Canada that are at least 3.7 billion years old. If they are proven to have a biological origin, they would be the oldest microfossils ever found. The discovery supports the idea that life emerged from hot, seafloor vents shortly after the Earth formed, the scientists said.

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