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5 things for April 3: Amazon, Russia probe, Syria, mystery crash, fake weed
When it comes to the stock market, President Trump giveth and President Trump taketh away. His attacks on Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, have sent stocks into a frenzy, and financial experts are warning the President to lay off. The Dow fell 459 points yesterday, and Amazon has lost $60 billion in market value since Trump started pounding the company about a week ago. This is all happening, experts say, because Bezos owns The Washington Post, one of Trump's least favorite publications. But Trump's attacks are affecting more than Amazon's bottom line; they're confusing Wall Street investors, who worry about regulation and that Trump's mission may interfere with corporate behavior.
There are some new movements in the Russia investigation, but they're a little complex, so buckle up: The Justice Department, via Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, apparently told special counsel Robert Mueller in August that he should investigate claims that President Trump's ex-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was "colluding with Russian government officials" to interfere in the 2016 election. Prosecutors revealed the tidbit last night. Why is it significant? It shows the extent to which Rosenstein has backed the investigation (Trump has criticized him for it). Manafort has also wants the case dismissed, and this new development will definitely be a factor.
Elsewhere in RussiaInvestigationLand, Roger Stone's potential ties to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, reportedly are being investigated by Mueller. Stone, who served as an adviser on Trump's presidential campaign, denies having ever met Assange. His emails, however, suggest otherwise.
It looks like more US troops may be going to Syria, not fewer, as President Trump suggested last week. The US military has been working on plans to send dozens more troops to northern Syria, several US defense and administration officials said. The plans were first considered before Trump's remarks last Thursday that the US would "be coming out of Syria, like, very soon." A National Security Council meeting is set for today to discuss the plan for battling ISIS in Syria and the status of about 2,000 US troops there. Meantime, the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran are meeting this week to discuss the future of Syria. Not invited to that meeting? Syrians.
The mystery is deepening around last week's car crash on the Northern California coast that took the lives of at least five members in a family of eight. Police said preliminary information suggests the SUV may have been intentionally driven off the edge of a cliff. No skid marks or brake marks were found at the scene, on a remote stretch of highway. Investigators still aren't sure whether the family's three other children were in the SUV when it wrecked.
Fake weed is being blamed for at least two deaths and dozens of cases of bleeding in Illinois. When we say "fake weed," we don't mean oregano or Spanish moss; these are synthetic cannabinoids sometimes called K2 or Spice. Fifty-six cases of severe bleeding, two of them fatal, have been linked to the substance. All the cases required hospitalization related to coughing up blood, blood in the urine, bloody nose, bleeding gums and other symptoms. Nine of those tested were positive for brodifacoum, or rat poison, the state health department said. Here's what's really scary: Health experts aren't sure whether the supply is tainted or if this is a new side effect of the drugs.
Villanova wins men's NCAA basketball championship
If you're counting, that's two championships in three years.
Winnie Mandela has died
The South African anti-apartheid crusader was 81.
Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum are separating
Their sweet joint announcement includes a winky-face emoticon and a circa-2002 PowerPoint background, so it's not a total loss.
A painting hidden away in a closet turns out to be a Dutch masterwork worth millions
And this, folks, is why you do spring cleaning.
A look at why nice people become mean online
Um, because social media is a lawless wasteland and anonymity is a false power that emboldens our worst inclinations? Just a guess.
Spotify is going public today
It looks like nobody's really sure what to expect from the music streaming service's IPO.
My reaction any time someone offers me food
This video is only 15 seconds long, but I assure you, you will watch it five times. (Click to view.)