National News

5 things for Wednesday, July 12: Russia probe, health care bill, military plane crash, Qatar deal, missing men

Posted July 12

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1. Russia investigation

No matter what side you're on in the whole Trump-Russia thing, you have to admit that Donald Trump Jr.'s emails are something of a game changer. Up until now, President Trump and his supporters downplayed the controversy and-insisted that during the campaign no one from Team Trump had connected with Russians.

But Trump Jr.'s emails -- which he released right before The New York Times published them -- undercuts-that position. They show that members of Trump's campaign were glad to meet with someone they'd been told was connected to the Russian government and who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr. appeared in the friendly confines of Sean Hannity's show on Fox to defend himself, saying he only took the meeting with a Russian lawyer because he wanted to hear what she had to say, and that, looking back, he "probably would have done things a little differently."

The meeting and emails -- which ratchet up possible legal liability for the President's son and other campaign operatives -- have caught the attention of special prosecutor Robert Mueller and will be added to his investigation.

2. Health care bill

he Senate's going to delay its August recess to carve out more time to work on health care, so GOP senators must be making some good progress in the drive to get rid of Obamacare, right? Nope. No one seems to know exactly what the revised bill will look like, but GOP leaders say a procedural vote is still on for next week. Ready for more confusion? Sen. Lindsey Graham said he's working on his own health care plan that includes the input of -- gasp! -- Democrats.

3. Military plane crash

America lost some of the best of the best when that military transport plane went down in Mississippi. Sixteen people were killed, including seven Marine special forces members from Camp Lejeune. The plane, carrying troops and equipment, was headed to a base in Arizona when it crashed. Witnesses to the crash said they heard a loud bang before the plane, with white smoke trailing, spiraled to the ground, nose down.

4. US-Qatar agreement

Is this the first step in ending the crisis in the Gulf? The US and Qatar signed an agreement to fight terrorism, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it could help end the nasty diplomatic spat raging between Qatar and other Gulf nations. The other countries in this dispute, including Saudia Arabia, accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism. Tillerson didn't specify how the agreement could help quell the crisis, but he said he's hopeful some "progress" can be made. The US-Qatar deal focuses on disrupting terrorist groups' funding sources.

5. Pennsylvania missing men

Investigators are calling it a "mind-boggling" mystery: Four men went missing last week north of Philadelphia, and foul play is suspected. The men, ranging in age from 18 to 22, may have all known each other. Police are conducting a big search of a 90-acre property in the area and have arrested the son of the property's owners. But the charges he's being held on don't relate to the case.


2.7 million

That's how many airbags Takata is adding to the biggest automotive recall in history.


People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Matter of timing

Remember that buzzed-about photo that could have been-Amelia Earhart? Two bloggers say that pic is from a book-published two years before she vanished.

King Khalifa

"Gangnam Style" has been dethroned as YouTube's top video, replaced by Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again," the weepiest rap song ever.

Unbreakable bond

When a family was in danger of drowning off a Florida beach, 80 strangers formed a human chain to save them.

Let the games begin

LA and Paris are-probably getting the Olympic Games, but we'll have to wait to find out which years. One city is likely to host in 2024, the other in 2028.

Pregnant pause

A Spanish airline's going to stop asking female job applicants to take a pregnancy test. It's amazing what a little outrage -- and a fine -- will do.


"I'm not going to be a Republican anymore"

"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough, telling Stephen Colbert that he's embarrassed by the GOP's reaction to Donald Trump's controversies


World class

Here's nine minutes of video of the world's largest super soaker at work. Enough said. (Click to view)


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