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Pompeo To Discuss Iran With European Leaders Monday

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is making a change to his trip to Russia this week. Pompeo called off a stop in Moscow Monday and will instead meet European leaders in Brussels to discuss Iran and other issues. The meeting comes amid increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran, and as European leaders look to preserve the Iran nuclear deal. After the Brussels talks, Pompeo will continue to Sochi, Russia Tuesday. There he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as planned.


Report: Record Amount Of Mother's Day Spending This Year

Americans are expected to shell out a record 25-billion dollars on Mother's Day this year. That's the highest amount in 16 years, according to the National Retail Federation, which keeps track of how much we spend each year on flowers, jewelry and other Mother's Day gifts. The trade group says the average American is expected to spend 196-dollars on their mom this Sunday. Mother's Day is also the most popular day of the year for dining out with an estimated 87-million Americans expected to take their mom out to a restaurant this weekend.


"Twin Peaks" Actress Peggy Lipton Dies

Actress Peggy Lipton, star of The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks, is dead. Her daughters from a marriage to music producer Quincy Jones announced her passing in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. She was 72. Lipton became a star when she was 21 as the smart flower child Julie Barnes in ABC's hit, The Mod Squad. She earned four Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe award for best actress. She married Jones in 1974 and stepped away from acting to focus on her family. They divorced in 1989. Lipton returned to acting with the role of Norma Jennings in the TV series Twin Peaks.


National Weather Service Warns Of Life-Threatening Flooding In New Orleans

The southern part of the country is still being inundated by torrential rain and flooding. A life-threatening flash flood warning has been issued for New Orleans Saturday night and Sunday morning. Heavy rain is falling in southeast Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. More than three-thousand customers were without power in that corner of Louisiana. Up to six inches of rain could fall in some areas. Flash flood warnings are still in effect in parts of Texas, including Houston and Austin. Earlier Saturday a freight train derailed in Mississippi after flooding wiped out the tracks. No one was injured.


Judiciary Committee Refers Barr Contempt To Full House

The Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee is recommending a contempt of Congress citation against the attorney general. A contempt referral was sent to the full House in a party-line vote today. The vote was 24-to-16. Attorney General Bill Barr has refused to honor a subpoena for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted final report. The subpoena also demands all underlying evidence in the report. Before the committee vote, President Trump asserted executive privilege in an attempt to seal redacted portions of the report and underlying materials.


Police Say 2 Students Are The Prime Suspects In Denver Area School Shooting

Police are identifying one of two student suspects in Tuesday's school shooting in Colorado. Eighteen-year-old Devon Erickson and a transgender juvenile in transition from female to male are the prime suspects and alleged authors of the violence. Both are under arrest after killing a fellow student and injuring eight others at STEM School Highlands Ranch south of Denver. The student who was killed hasn't been identified, but the Douglas County Sheriff's Office says he was 18-years-old. STEM School Highlands Ranch is a kindergarten-through-12th grade school that has about 18-hundred students.

A parent of a student who was in the the Highlands Ranch classroom says three boys tried to tackle one of the gunmen. One of the boys was shot in the chest. School officials say classes are cancelled for the rest of the week. The Douglas County School District announced Tuesday that all other facilities will be open, but will have increased security. The District is setting up a crisis support center at St. Andrew United Methodist Church that will be open to all students, faculty and staff.

President Trump was briefed on the shooting. The White House sends out prayers for the victims and family members of those affected by the shooting. A White House statement says calls the incident a "hateful and horrible act of violence." The school is just miles away from Columbine High School, where 13 people were killed in a shooting in 1999.

First Daughter Ivanka Trump is canceling her planned trip to Colorado on Wednesday. Ivanka was going to visit the Lockheed Martin facility in Littleton to discuss workforce development. She was scheduled to meet with students and graduates of programs sponsored by the company. The factory site is just a miles away from the Highlands Ranch school where Tuesday's shooting happened.


House Judiciary Chairman To Meet With DOJ; House AG Contempt Vote Set

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is taking steps to get the unredacted Mueller report. New York Democrat Jerry Nadler says representatives from the Justice Department will meet with his staff Tuesday to discuss the matter. Nadler remarked that it's vital the committee see the full report and the underlying materials from it. His committee has issued a subpoena for the report, but the DOJ hasn't complied with it.

The Democrat-controlled committee will vote Wednesday whether to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress. The subpoena demands all underlying evidence in the report. If the committee votes to hold the attorney general in contempt, the matter goes to the full House for consideration.


Newspaper Sold, Entire Staff Fired

More than 160 newspaper staffers are looking for work after everyone at the New Orleans Times-Picayune was fired. The staffers were laid off after the 182-year-old paper was sold to the owners of the rival New Orleans Advocate last week. The publisher of the Advocate says he'll hire some of the laid-off Times-Picayune staffers but couldn't say how many. He said virtually everyone at the Advocate worked at the Times-Picayune at one time and, "We want to make sure we do the right thing." The Advocate bought the Times-Picayune from Newhouse's Advance Local, which owned the paper since 1962.


Tiger Woods Among White House Visitors Today

Sports is on the menu at the White House today as President Trump honors pro golfer Tiger Woods and the U.S. Military Academy football team. Woods will get the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The legendary golfer capped a remarkable comeback from back problems by winning this year's Masters Golf Tournament. The Military Academy's Army Black Knights earned the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy after defeating arch rival Navy last December.


Today Is Cinco de Mayo

Today is Cinco de Mayo. It celebrates the Mexican army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It's turned into a regional celebration, especially along the U.S. - Mexico border and in U.S. towns with a high Mexican population. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, music performances, and street festivals. Today, it's celebrated with parades, parties, and traditional Mexican food.


Ramadan Begins This Weekend

For Muslims around the world, today marks the start of the holy month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. The fast is broken in the evening with prayer and a meal called the "iftar," which is shared with friends and family. Ramadan is a time of worship and contemplation. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is significant because it was during this time that the Koran, the sacred scripture of Islam, was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad. Ramadan ends with the sighting of the new moon, which is expected on Tuesday, June 4th.


Country House Wins Kentucky Derby After Review

Country House wins the 145th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs after a review disqualified Maximum Security. The declared winner originally placed second but an objection showed Maximum Security impeded War of Will. It is the first time a winner has been disqualified at the Kentucky Derby.

Some people who bet on Maximum Security to win the Kentucky Derby will be able to get their money back. The online wagering service for Churchill Downs announced after Saturday's race that it would refund up to 10-dollars on bets for Maximum Security to win.

That horse crossed the finish line first, but was later disqualified for impeding the progress of other horses during the race. A 65-to-one longshot named Country House was named the winner. The refunds are not available to people who bet on Maximum Security in exactas or trifectas.


Barr Defends Handling Of Mueller Report In Contentious Senate Hearing

Attorney General Bill Barr is defending his handling of the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. During a contentious Senate hearing yesterday, Barr said he was surprised that Mueller did not make a recommendation on obstruction of justice and argued that there is "not a prosecutable case." Barr quickly decided not to pursue a broader investigation of obstruction after getting the final report in March. Mueller detailed 10 instances where obstruction may have occurred.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee proclaimed himself satisfied with Mueller's report. South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham said, "It is over." Democrats were not satisfied. Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono accused Barr of lying and called on the attorney general to resign. Graham then accused Hirono of slandering Barr. Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal said Barr's credibility has been undermined by his handling of the report. Barr rejected Blumenthal's assertion that he cleared President Trump.

Meantime, Barr released the letter that Mueller sent him after he submitted the final report. Mueller says in the letter that Barr's March memo to Congress "did not fully capture the context, nature and substance" of the nearly two-year probe. Barr said he called Mueller after getting the letter and that Mueller told him Barr's report was not inaccurate, but that the media reporting about the issue of obstruction was inaccurate. Barr insisted that Mueller was clear in the phone call that the Justice Department "had not misrepresented his report."


Assange Sentenced

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison. He was facing up to a year in prison when he appeared for his sentencing this morning in a London courtroom. Assange was found guilty earlier this month of skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden over a rape allegation. He was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on April 11th.

In addition to skipping bail he was also taken into custody on behalf of American authorities who claim he pushed jailed former Army soldier Chelsea Manning to gain access to thousands of classified documents. He's scheduled to appear in court tomorrow for a hearing over his possible extradition to the U.S.


FAA Calls On U.S. Airlines To Wrap Things Up And Leave Venezuela

The Federal Aviation Administration is issuing a directive to U.S. airlines and operators in Venezuela. The FAA says U.S. airlines must limit travel to be above 26-thousand-feet while in Venezuelan airspace. The agency also ordered all U.S. operators to leave Venezuela "by the most expeditious possible route" within two days after violent clashes broke out between supporters of the government of Nicolás Maduro and the opposition lead by National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó on Tuesday morning. By Tuesday night, President Maduro claimed a coup attempt lead by Guaidó had been defeated. Maduro blamed the U.S. for backing the protests.

The events began early Tuesday when a group within the Venezuelan military liberated opposition leader Leopoldo López from house arrest in Caracas. The Maduro regime had been holding López who is a former mayor from the Caracas region as a political prisoner for months. López and Guaidó issued a joint statement calling for an uprising as part of what they called Operation Freedom. Violent clashes followed in Caracas throughout the day. More than 70 people have been injured in the confrontations between citizens and security forces.

In a statement, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said any changes to alter the South American country's domination by what he calls an authoritarian military regime should be made by the people of Venezuela and not "external forces" in reference to meddling by Cuba and Russia in support of the Maduro government. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke on the issue saying he believes Venezuelan President Maduro planned to flee the country in a plane that was ready to go to Cuba, but that he was stopped from doing so by Russian authorities who are also present in Venezuela. Pompeo said the U.S. will continue to closely monitor developments in Venezuela

Guaidó has the backing of the United States and much of the international community after he was named by the National Assembly to serve as interim president months ago claiming Maduro's re-election last year was illegitimate.


Juan Guaidó Calls For Final Stand In Venezuela

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó says this is "the start of the end of the usurpation." In an early morning address in Caracas, Guaidó, who many recognize as the true leader of the nation, signaled his most blatant declaration calling on the people of Venezuela to rise up against the Nicolás Maduro government.

Guaidó also involved the military, later tweeting that he was meeting with "the Armed Forces" to begin "the final phase of Operation Freedom."

He appeared along with Leopoldo López, a former mayor and political leader who has been a political prisoner of the Maduro regime. López and Guaidó said a group within the Venezuelan military in opposition to Maduro had just set López free.

Guaidó and López's appearance is meant to begin nationwide demonstrations against the current Venezuelan administration, which Guaidó previously had promised would start on May 1st.

Today's events follow months of protests by the head of the national assembly against President Maduro.


Rod Rosenstein Leaving Post

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is stepping down. Rosenstein oversaw Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In his resignation letter to President Trump, Rosenstein declared that after his time at the Department of Justice, the nation is safer and its elections are more secure.

Attorney General Bill Barr praised Rosenstein. In a statement, he said Rosenstein has served with "dedication and distinction." He also acknowledged that Rosenstein has been someone he's relied on since returning to the Justice Department. Rosenstein's last day is expected to be May 11th.


John Singleton Dead At 51

Director John Singleton is dead at the age of 51. He had been taken off life support after a massive stroke more than a week ago. Singleton shot to stardom in 1991 for the film "Boyz N the Hood." The film earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Director. His other films include Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Baby Boy, and 2 Fast 2 Furious. Director Jordan Peele said Singleton was a brave artist and a true inspiration. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a statement saying Singleton would be greatly missed.


19-Year-Old In Custody In Connection To CA Synagogue Shooting

The mayor of Poway, California is calling Saturday's synagogue shooting a hate crime. Police claim that 19-year-old John Earnest of San Diego walked into the crowded Congregation Chabad with a rifle and started firing, killing a woman and injuring three others. An off-duty Border Patrol agent who was hired to provide security exchanged shots and the suspect fled.

Police say he posted his manifesto before the attack online saying he was inspired by the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh and the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand. Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said the attack is not representative of his small town that's just north of San Diego.


Joe Biden Enters Race

Joe Biden is officially running for president. The former Vice President made his long-rumored announcement this morning on Twitter and released a campaign video. Biden said that "the core values of this nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made America, America, is at stake." The 76-year-old former Delaware senator is now the 20th Democrat to join the race for the White House.


U.S. Navy Offers New Guidelines For Reporting UFOs

The Navy is drafting formal procedures for its pilots to document encounters with UFOs. A Navy spokesman said the number of intrusions has increased since 2014 and they want to understand what's behind it.

There have been cases of unidentified aircraft entering military-designated airspace multiple times per month. The new procedures facilitate data-driven analysis and removes the stigma of talking about UFOs.

Pilots have reported seeing small spherical objects flying in formation. Others say they've seen white, Tic-Tac candy shaped vehicles. They claim the vehicles have no air intake, no wind, and no exhaust.

They said it's mysterious because they exceed the Navy's aircraft speed. A former Pentagon official said some pilots thought if they reported sightings it might hurt their careers, so many did not.


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