5 things to know for May 2: Barr, UNC shooting, Venezuela, college scam, measles

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During questioning by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Attorney General William Barr called special counsel Robert Mueller's letter about Barr's summary of the Mueller report "snitty" and said it was "probably written by one of his staff people."

Posted: May 2, 2019 9:30 AM
Updated: May 2, 2019 9:30 AM

Instagram without the likes? It's happening for certain users of the social media app starting this week.

Here's what else 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. William Barr

There won't be a repeat of the William Barr Show today in the House. The attorney general won't testify before the House Judiciary Committee because he doesn't want to be questioned by its staff attorneys. His appearance yesterday before the Senate Judiciary Committee provided enough drama anyway. Barr was defiant in that setting as he defended his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. And he downplayed Mueller's letter that raised concerns about Barr's four-page summary of the report.

The whole thing ticked off Democrats -- both on the committee and on the 2020 campaign trail -- who accused Barr of misleading Congress. Pretty much all the Dems want him to resign. They also accuse Barr of operating more like President Trump's personal attorney than the nation's top law enforcement officer. CNN's Stephen Collinson says with an attorney general like Barr, Trump can just steamroll Congress. Here are nine other takeaways from the hearing.

2. North Carolina school shooting

The shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte might have been even worse, if not for one brave student. Police, school officials and relatives say Riley Howell rushed toward the shooter after he entered a classroom on the last day of classes and started firing. Howell, 21, was fatally shot at point-blank range as he ran at the gunman and knocked him off his feet. Charlotte's police chief said Howell's actions helped police arrest the suspect. He also called Howell a hero. "He had to give his life ... but he saved lives doing so," the chief said. The other student killed in the shooting was 19-year-old Reed Parlier. A memorial service for the victims was held on campus.

3. Venezuela

What happens next in Venezuela after days of unrest? It's not really clear. Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is also president of the country's National Assembly, had tried earlier this week to oust embattled President Nicolas Maduro from power. But now, Guaido, whom several countries -- including the US -- recognize as the country's interim president, admits he doesn't have enough support from Venezuela's military to make that happen. In response to all this, Maduro called for two "days of action" this weekend, asking elected officials to unite for the nation's good. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that US military action in Venezuela is possible "if that's what's required."

4. College admissions scandal

There may be a new angle in the college admissions scandal. The family of a Chinese student who got into Stanford paid $6.5 million to Rick Singer, a source told CNN. Singer, in case you've forgotten, is the admitted mastermind of the admissions scheme, and he's accused of working with dozens of wealthy parents to unfairly admit their children to top schools. A Morgan Stanley adviser referred the parents of the Chinese student to Singer. The adviser was later fired for not cooperating in an internal investigation into the scandal. It's not clear if the parents were seeking an advantage to get their daughter into Stanford when they paid Singer. The student, her parents and the former Morgan Stanley adviser have not been charged at this point.

5. Measles

Movie fans who saw the new "Avengers" flick at a California theater may have gotten more than just the conclusion of a blockbuster film franchise: They may have also been exposed to measles. Health officials say a woman who went last Thursday to a midnight screening of "Avengers: Endgame" at an AMC theater in Fullerton had recently traveled to a country with widespread measles activity. She was considered infectious between April 23 and yesterday. Everyone in the building when she was there could have been exposed.

Meanwhile, St. Lucia has quarantined an entire cruise ship reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology because someone on board might have measles. The ship has been ordered to stay in port, and no one is allowed to get off. Measles cases in the US have surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000, with most cases in communities with low vaccination rates.


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