Another shooting, this time at the University of North Carolina. States are asking: Should we take guns from people who pose threats? That, plus a blistering testimony from William Barr, in today’s Short List.
But first, don’t drink that 🚰: A new study says drinking California tap water could increase cancer cases statewide by more than 15,000 over the course of 70 years.
Political fireworks ensued as William Barr, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, clashed with Democratic senators Wednesday over Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Barr, the attorney general, dropped a four-page summary last month on Mueller’s 400-page report, one Mueller said “did not fully capture” the findings. Wednesday, Democrats questioned whether Barr misrepresented the report to favor President Donald Trump while Barr argued Trump did not obstruct the investigation.
Things got heated:
- Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who is running for president, asked Barr whether the White House ever suggested people to investigate. “There have been discussions of matters out there,” Barr said.
- Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, accused Barr of a coverup: “America deserves better. You should resign.”
- Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., accused of Barr of providing “purposefully misleading” answers.
- So did Barr have fun Wednesday? Maybe not: He’s now refusing to testify at a Thursday House hearing.
A shooter opened fire at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring four others. One victim was hailed for his heroism after he “took the fight to the assailant.” Here’s what we know about what’s called “the worst day in the history” of the university:
- Riley Howell “saved lives” by confronting the gunman in a classroom building. Howell, 21, was one of two students killed in the shooting.
- The victims include Ellis Parlier, 19, who was also killed. Three victims were in critical condition Tuesday night. One had non-life-threatening injuries.
- The suspected shooter, identified as a former student, was disarmed and apprehended by campus police. He is charged with murder, attempted murder and other offenses tied to the shooting.
- The motive? Still unclear. The weapon used was purchased legally.
Fraternities at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania were suspended after days of outrage over leaked documents featuring racist, homophobic and misogynous language, including references to a “rape attic.” The 116 pages of redacted documents, first published by two student-run news outlets, include jokes about sexual violence; derogatory comments about women, minorities and the LGBT community; descriptions of hazing activities; and pornography. Dozens of students have protested the Phi Psi chapter since Saturday, and President Valerie Smith suspended all fraternity activity, pending an independent investigation.
President Donald Trump wants a few billion for the U.S.-Mexican border – but not for the wall. Trump asked Congress for $4.5 billion in emergency funds for the “humanitarian crisis.” The funding would be for migrant housing, medical treatment, food, diapers and other needs, according to administration officials. The immigration proposal will probably hit a wall (no pun intended) with Democrats. Sound familiar? Trump sought $5.7 billion for the border wall, which set off a fight that led to the partial government shutdown this year. He wound up receiving $1.375 billion for border fencing.
Last week, an Ohio high school announced 17 of its students scored a perfect 36 on the ACT college admissions test. Was it really that unusual? Yes. But not as unusual as everyone thought: Turns out, the number of perfect ACT scores has more than doubled nationwide since 2015 and is six times higher today than eight years ago. If the test is essentially the same, why are more students acing it? The most likely answer is a booming test-preparation industry that’s built on the hopes and fears of students and parents who are willing to work – and pay – to get an edge.
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