It’s Friday, and here are five things to know for your New Day.
1. Russia investigation
Russia is warning it will retaliate after more than 20 countries said they will kick out more than 100 Russian diplomats. A Kremlin spokesman said Russia would be “guided by the principle of reciprocity” in its actions. The US alone is expelling 60 diplomats and closing a consulate in Seattle, the most forceful action President Trump’s ever taken against Vladimir Putin’s government.
The mass expulsions are being done in solidarity with the UK’s recent decision to throw out almost two dozen Russian diplomats after it said the Russians were behind the poisoning of an ex-Russian double agent and his adult daughter. UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the agent and his daughter “may never” fully recover from the poisoning.
The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign is over. Republicans on the committee said there was no collusion and even contradicted the intelligence community’s assessment that the Russians meddled in the presidential election to help Trump. A 150-page draft report is coming out today.
The social media site that for years could do no wrong suddenly can’t catch a break. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook’s data practices as the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal continues. The FTC wants to know how data from Facebook users ended up in the hands of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign consultants. Facebook’s stock also is taking a beating, and the hashtag #DeleteFacebook is still on fire. If you want to know just how much info Facebook’s collected on you over the years, CNN’s Sara Ashley O’Brien shows you how.
No matter what happens tonight in the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, Republicans are bracing for bad news. If Democrat Conor Lamb beats Republican Rick Saccone, as many expect, it’ll be touted as a sign that a blue wave is indeed building ahead of this fall’s midterms. That’s because the district is in the heart of Trump country. Donald Trump won it by 20 percentage points in 2016.
3. Austin bombings
Is Kim Jong Un in China? An official “with deep knowledge of North Korea” told CNN there’s a strong possibility that the North Korean leader is in Beijing. If he’s there, it’s the first time he’s left the country since he took power in 2011. Whispers of a possible visit took off after images of a train that belongs to Kim’s family popped up online. This alleged visit comes just weeks before Kim’s planned summit with South Korea’s President and a potential meeting with President Trump.
People are on edge in the Texas capital, and for good reason. Three package bombs have exploded there over 10 days. The bombings have killed a teenager and a 39-year-old man and critically hurt an elderly woman. And police believe the three explosions are connected. All three packages were found outside the victims’ houses, but none had been delivered by the US Postal Service, UPS or FedEx. And there’s the possibility that these blasts could be a hate crime, because two of the victims were black and one was Hispanic. The city’s police chief wants everyone in Austin to be cautious about packages.
4. 2020 Census
Divorced moms in Saudi Arabia can now keep custody of their kids without filing lawsuits. Previously a woman was required to petition courts, sometimes for years, to get custody of children after a divorce. This is pretty big deal because it means Saudi Arabia is breaking ranks with other countries in the region that heavily favor male guardianship. The move is part of a series of sweeping social and economic reforms in the kingdom known as Vision 2030. Initiated over the past two years, the reforms have been spearheaded by Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
5. World Health Organization
The woman at the center of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case has died. Linda Brown passed away at 75 over the weekend in Topeka, Kansas. It was there that her father, in 1951 when she was 9, tried to enroll Brown in an all-white school near their home. When the school blocked that, her father sued, sparking the case that would end legal segregation in American schools.
Alton Sterling update
“The government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.”
Apple’s taking a “field trip” to Chicago this morning for an event focused on education. Industry insiders think Apple will use this as an opportunity to debut a 9.7-inch budget iPad for students, likely in the $250 to $300 range.
You are beautiful
Christina Aguilera ditches the makeup for the new cover of Paper magazine and, well, she still looks pretty stunning.
He was a groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox before he spent two decades in prison for crime he didn’t commit. Now, he’s got his old job back.
No, she didn’t
There’s an image floating around of Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez ripping up the US Constitution. It’s a fake, folks.
Queen and company, part 1
All eyes were on Meghan Markle as she joined Queen Elizabeth II for the first time at an official public event at Westminster Abbey.
’Spirit dragon’ theory
Why do some buildings in Hong Kong have holes in them? It’s for more than just feng shui.
President Trump’s approval rating in a new CNN poll. It’s his highest rating in nearly a year.
That’s how many points the Dow jumped, as Wall Street got over its trade war fears, at least for a day. It’s also the third-biggest point gain in history.
The right stuff
“Can birds fly in space?” Your fave astronauts have an answer to that – and all the other crazy space questions you’ve asked Google. (Click to view.)
This broom is no match for this pack of cute German shepherd puppies. (Click to view.)