National News

5 things for Thursday, June 15: Congressional shooting, Trump & Russia, London fire

Posted June 15, 2017 5:58 a.m. EDT

The shooting at a congressional baseball-practice reminds us of something we too often forget: We are one country, and we're all in this together. Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.

1. Congressional shooting

The congressional charity baseball game will be played as scheduled tonight as Washington and the nation deal with the shock over the shooting of GOP team members at a practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, is recovering in the hospital in critical condition after being shot in the hip. He'll need more surgeries. President Trump and the first lady visited him.-A congressional staffer, a lobbyist and a Capitol police officer were also shot during the practice.

Police are trying to gather all the info they can about James T. Hodgkinson, the Illinois man who shot them with a rifle. He was killed by Capitol police officers who returned his fire. Hodgkinson owned a small business but had apparently been living in his van in the DC area for months. A quick look at his social media pages revealed that he hated conservatives -- and especially President Trump. He volunteered for the 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, who called the violence "despicable."

There were calls for unity after the shooting -- from the President, House Speaker Paul Ryan and others -- and a plea for everybody to lower the heat on the nation's political rhetoric. The President won't attend tonight's game, though, because of security concerns.

And that wasn't the day's only mass shooting in the US. Three people died in San Francisco when a UPS employee opened fire on his fellow workers.

2. President Trump

Special counsel Robert Mueller may be gearing up for an obstruction of justice case against the President. Mueller, who's investigating Russia's meddling into last year's elections, could be widening his scope to look into whether Trump obstructed justice by reportedly suggesting that then-FBI Director James Comey drop the investigation into ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump later fired Comey. Mueller wants to talk to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers about their conversations with the President.

And here's more bad news for Trump: Almost 200 Congressional Democrats are suing him, saying he's violating the Constitution by taking foreign money through his various businesses.

3. London fire

The flames are out, and now the anger is flaring up. At least 12 people died in the fire at the 24-story Grenfell Tower, but that number will probably rise sharply as the London Fire Brigade starts combing through the tower's smoldering remains. The brigade's commissioner said she doesn't even know how many people are missing at this point. And everyone wants to know how the blaze spread so quickly in the building, home to as many as 500 people. Angry residents said they had complained for years about fire safety.

4. Fed rate hike

For the third time since December, the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates. The quarter-point rate hike is another sign of the Fed's growing confidence in the US economy. The Fed also upgraded its forecast for economic growth and unemployment this year. Interest rates affect how much you pay on your mortgage or credit cards, and how quickly money grows in your savings accounts.

5. Fried potatoes study

Do you like french-fries? Hash browns? Potato chips? Well, here's something you probably already knew -- that stuff is really not good for you. And here's something you probably didn't know -- it may be taking years off your life. People who eat fried potatoes more than twice a week double their risk of an early death, a new study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says.

Breakfast Browse

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Garden variety

They say there's nothing new under the sun. And that includes Missouri, where a 256-year-old coloring book was found at a botanical garden.

Wild ride

If you see Duke the dog anytime soon, give him a hug. He's had a rough time of it after being tossed 1,000 feet a few weeks ago by a tornado.

Now that I have your attention

Cut off a chicken's head, rip out its guts, and put it all on Facebook Live. Um, there's probably a better way for a lawmaker to announce his new anti-abortion bill.

Girls vs. boys

Ski racer Lindsey Vonn wants a "Battle of the Sexes"-style rumble before next year's Winter Olympics.

And finally ...

So nice

Is the car in front of you not moving as the light turns green? Instead of laying on your ordinary horn, use the nicest car horn ever made. (Click to view)