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5 things for Wednesday, June 7: Sessions & Trump, Iran attacks, Qatar
On the eve of what could be the most important day so far in the Trump presidency -- James Comey's Senate testimony -- comes word that the President and his attorney general just aren't getting along. Jeff Sessions even offered to resign, a source told CNN, after heated exchanges with Trump after Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. The President lashed out this week at the Sessions-led Justice Department during a tweetstorm over his travel ban, and now the White House won't say if Trump has confidence in Sessions, a former senator who was among Trump's earliest backers.
Now, back to Comey. The fired FBI director is expected to refute the President's claims that Comey told Trump multiple times that he wasn't under investigation. Republicans are bracing for almost certain fallout from Thursday's Senate intelligence committee hearing, which our Chris Cillizza says is the political world's equivalent of the Super Bowl. We'll have wall-to-wall coverage all day on CNN and our CNN Digital platforms.
The capital of Iran was hit this morning with simultaneous attacks. Gunmen in Tehran went on a shooting spree in the parliament, where at least one attacker detonated a suicide bomb and others took hostages. At the same time, a woman waged a bomb-and-gun attack at the Ayatollah Khomeini mausoleum south of the city. Two people were hurt, and she's under arrest. Iranian officials are scrambling to figure out who was behind the attacks, and we're keeping up with live updates. Terrorist incidents are exceedingly rare in Iran, where tourist and government sites are tightly policed.
After recent deadly attacks, Theresa May says the UK is going to fight terrorism differently, even if that means changing human rights laws -- "if they get in the way." The British Prime Minister, speaking just days before Thursday's critical election, said she wants longer prison terms for terror convicts, tighter internet regulation and looser deportation rules. May's comments are significant because British security services already have pretty wide anti-terrorism powers -- so wide, in fact, that Amnesty International calls them "draconian."
Is Russia behind the crisis in Qatar? US investigators tell CNN they think so. Investigators think Russian hackers planted a fake news report that led many of Qatar's neighbors in the Gulf to cut off diplomatic ties. Qatar says the May 23 report falsely attributed quotes hailing Iran as an "Islamic power" to Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. That caused Saudi Arabia (Iran's biggest foe) and eight other countries to freeze out the tiny, wealthy nation.
The fallout is the Mideast's biggest crisis in years. Qatari citizens and diplomats are being kicked out of the other countries. There's serious concern about food shortages in Qatar because almost all of its food is imported from Saudi Arabia, which has severed all land, air and sea links. And the isolation of Qatar -- which has the largest US military base in the Mideast -- could further complicate US goals in the region, like fighting ISIS.
We all know that heavy drinking is not good for the body or the brain. Now a new report says even moderate drinking can alter the brain. The study, in a British medical journal, looked at how people who are moderate (a nightly glass of wine, plus a little more on weekends) to heavy drinkers fared on brain tests. Heavy drinkers showed signs of brain damage affecting language skills, and researchers were surprised to see brain damage in moderate drinkers, too. But don't go pouring your liquor down the drain just yet. More research is needed, and other studies have shown some health benefits from moderate drinking.
The number of employees fired by Uber after an investigation into sexual harassment at the ride-sharing company
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