What to Know
- The House Judiciary Committee is moving ahead with a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress
- Pregnancy-related deaths are rising in the United States and the main risk factor is being black, according to new reports
- Dave Chappelle will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced
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House Judiciary Panel Poised to Hold William Barr in Contempt
The House Judiciary Committee is moving ahead with a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after last-minute negotiations stalled with the Justice Department over access to the full, unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Barr released a redacted version of Mueller's report to the public last month, but Democrats said they want to see the full document, along with underlying evidence, and subpoenaed for the full report. The department has rejected that demand, while allowing a handful of lawmakers to view a version of Mueller's report with fewer redactions. Democrats have so far said they won't view that version until they get broader access. With the contempt vote looming Wednesday, staff members from the House Judiciary Committee met with Justice Department officials on Tuesday afternoon. Negotiations went into the evening as the two sides traded offers on how many lawmakers would be able to view the report, how many staff, and whether the department would work with the committee to gain access to secret grand jury material. But they stalled late Tuesday evening when the two sides couldn't agree on any of those terms.
Students Kill Classmate, Injure 8 at School Near Columbine
Two high school students shot and killed a classmate and injured eight others at a charter school in a Colorado community that marked the 20th anniversary of one of the nation's worst school shootings just weeks ago. Douglas County sheriff's officials said Devon Erickson, 18, and a younger student walked into the STEM School Highlands Ranch Tuesday afternoon and opened fire on students in two classrooms, prompting students to run shouting through the halls or to hide out of sight as gunfire echoed through school. Within minutes, deputies at a nearby sheriff's department substation entered the school and arrested the two suspects after a struggle. Both were students at the school and they were not previously known to authorities, Sheriff Tony Spurlock said. Josh Dutton, 18, told The Associated Press that he was close friends with Devon Erickson in middle school but hadn't seen him for four years as he went to a different high school. On Sunday, he spotted Erickson at a local light rail station and said he was shocked at how much his friend had changed.
Iran Inches Away From Nuclear Deal Amid US Sanctions
Iran's president said it will stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water from its nuclear program as stipulated by the 2015 atomic accord and set a 60-day deadline for new terms to the deal before it will resume higher uranium enrichment. Hassan Rouhani's address to the nation came on the anniversary of President Trump's decision to withdraw America from the landmark agreement. Rouhani said Iran wanted to negotiate new terms with remaining partners in the deal, but acknowledged that the situation was dire. "We felt that the nuclear deal needs a surgery and the painkiller pills of the last year have been ineffective," Rouhani said. "This surgery is for saving the deal, not destroying it." The 2015 deal saw sanctions on Iran lifted in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. After the U.S. withdrew from the accord it restored crippling sanctions on Iran, exacerbating a severe economic crisis.
US Pregnancy Deaths Are Up, Especially Among Minorities
Pregnancy-related deaths are rising in the United States and the main risk factor is being black, according to new reports that highlight racial disparities in care during and after childbirth. Black women, along with Native Americans and Alaska natives, are three times more likely to die before, during or after having a baby, and more than half of these deaths are preventable, the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concludes. Although these deaths are rare — about 700 a year — they have been rising for decades. "An American mom today is 50% more likely to die in childbirth than her own mother was," said Dr. Neel Shah, a Harvard Medical School obstetrician. Separately, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released new guidelines saying being black is the greatest risk factor for these deaths. The guidelines say women should have a comprehensive heart-risk evaluation 12 weeks after delivery, but up to 40% of women don't return for that visit and payment issues may be one reason.
Dave Chappelle to Be Awarded Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
Dave Chappelle will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced. The Kennedy Center said it had chosen Chappelle, the co-creator and star of “Chappelle’s Show,” as the 22nd recipient of the annual honor. “Dave is the embodiment of Mark Twain’s observation that ‘against the assault of humor, nothing can stand,’" Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement. "For three decades, Dave has challenged us to see hot-button issues from his entirely original yet relatable perspective.” The standup comic, actor, producer and director will become the latest of a prestigious group of comedians to receive the award, including Carol Burnett, Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart and Richard Pryor, who was the first to be awarded the Twain Prize in 1998.