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5 things for Tuesday, June 13: Sessions hearing, Russia protests, Afghanistan
Jeff Sessions may not be James Comey. But his appearance today before the Senate intelligence committee is still must-see TV. The attorney general will testify in a public hearing, giving us our best chance yet to see how Sessions responds to questions about Russia (including an alleged third undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador) and to get his insight into last week's Comey's testimony. The hearing starts at 2:30 p.m. ET. Please tune in to CNN.
But of course, that's not all on the Russia front. Talk is starting to swirl that President Trump is thinking of firing special counsel Robert Mueller, the man now in charge of the Russia investigation. It would be the political equivalent of firing a nuclear missile. The White House was quick to knock down the rumor. Mueller has drawn fire from ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said his team can't be impartial because he's hiring a lot of lawyers who've given a lot of money over the years to Democrats. Three members of the legal team have given more than $56,000 to Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, a CNN analysis of Federal Election Commission records shows.
And finally, Senate leaders say they have a deal to put additional sanctions on Russia -- and they're making it hard for the President to lift them.
The man who plans to run against Russian President Vladimir Putin next year is going to spend the next 30 days in jail. Alexey Navalny, a Russian opposition leader, was found guilty of calling for what the government considers unlawful protests. Thousands answered Navalny's call and hit the streets across the country to demonstrate against corruption. Protesters and police scuffled, and nearly 1,400 people were arrested. Navalny has been one Putin's most vocal critics and is using claims of corruption as a springboard for a presidential run. But it'll be an uphill battle. He has criminal convictions, including for embezzlement, and Russian law bans people with criminal records from running for office. Navalny says it's all politically motivated.
Three US soldiers were killed in a suspected "green-on-blue" attack in Afghanistan. The soldiers -- Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25, of Baltimore; Sgt. William M. Bays, 29, of Barstow, California; and Cpl. Dillon C. Baldridge, 22, of Youngsville, North Carolina -- were shot Saturday by an Afghan army commando who was later killed by Afghan forces. The term "green-on-blue" is used when members of the Afghan security forces target US and other NATO soldiers. The Taliban claimed responsibility. You can read more about these three heroes here.
Here's a category where the US is No. 1, but it's nothing to celebrate. One-third of the world's population is overweight or obese -- that's about 2 billion people. And a good chunk of them live in the United States. The US has the most obese adults, according to this new study from the New England Journal of Medicine, with nearly 80 million Americans falling into that category. And the number of people affected by obesity has doubled since 1980 in 73 countries. You can blame the usual suspects: poor diets, folks not getting enough exercise, and "intense marketing" of foods that just aren't good for us.
The economy seems to be churning right along, but for a lot of retailers, these are the worst of times. More than 300 retailers have filed for bankruptcy so far this year. A lot of them are mom-and-pop stores, but there's lots of big retail names -- like Payless ShoeSource, RadioShack and Gymboree -- on the list as well. So what's going on here? Many retailers are struggling because more and more customers are opting to shop online. It's the main reasons some economists predict 25% of all malls will be gone in five years and why department stores over the years have lost more jobs than coal mines.
"(I)mmigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show"
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which dealt another defeat to President Trump's travel ban
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Words with friends
Playing word games with friends is great -- unless you're a Missouri Parole Board member and you're doing it in the middle of a meeting.
You can take a trolley bus to your wedding reception or catch a ride with the firefighters who showed up when the bus caught fire.
Bust a move
What do you do when you're 15 and just had a heart transplant? You turn your hospital room into a dance floor, of course.
Makes you wonder who the real criminal is when a tattoo artist tattoos, "I am a thief and a loser" on the forehead of a boy caught stealing a bike.
McDonald's has a plan to fill 250,000 summer jobs in a snap -- by putting them on Snapchat.
In the jury's hands
The jury will deliberate today for its first full day in Bill Cosby's trial on aggravated indecent assault charges.
He interviewed his daughter at the end of the first day of school every year from first grade to 12th grade. Now she's a high school graduate. (Click to view)