5 things to know for May 9: Washington battles, Colorado school shooting, North Korea, health insurance, Amanda Knox

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Amanda Knox is returning to Italy for the first time since her murder conviction of British student Meredith Kercher was overturned. The former exchange student said she would never willingly go back, but has now agreed to speak at a criminal justice conference.

Posted: May 9, 2019 8:50 AM
Updated: May 9, 2019 8:50 AM

You love to travel, but you're tired of crowds and worried about overtourism? Perhaps it's time to visit some of the world's least-visited countries. 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. Washington battles

A constitutional collision between House Democrats and the Trump administration grew ever more likely Wednesday. The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. That now goes to the full House for a vote. The Democrats in the House want the full, unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation. Barr has refused to give that to them, and just before the vote President Donald Trump invoked executive privilege over the report.

So this ongoing battle over the Mueller report is almost certainly headed to the courts. The President has vowed to oppose all Democratic subpoenas, while the Democrats say the White House's stonewalling of congressional investigations might lead to impeachment proceedings. So is the nation in a constitutional crisis? House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler says yes, but legendary journalist Bob Woodward told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night that right now it's more like a "constitutional confrontation."

2. Colorado school shooting

Kendrick Castillo died a hero. When a fellow student pulled out a gun in class this week, the 18-year-old lunged at the shooter, giving others at STEM School Highlands Ranch enough time to hide. Castillo's sacrifice was remembered during a vigil at the suburban Denver school. Eight other students were injured in the shooting. The two suspects accused in the crime -- both students at the school -- made their first court appearances Wednesday. It's the second time in as many weeks that a student was killed confronting a gunman at school. It happened last week at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte when Riley Howell died after knocking down a gunman. Howell's parents say they are devastated that another family has to go through similar pain.

3. North Korea

North Korea launched something today, but no one knows just exactly what it was. The North fired at least one unidentified projectile in the western part of the country, South Korea's military said. The launch took place in a region that's believed to be home to one of 20 undeclared missile facilities in the North. Just less than a week ago, Pyongyang test-fired several new weapons systems. State media in the North said the launches were part of a "strike drill," but experts said they think the country was trying out some new short-range ballistic missile -- the type that could carry a nuclear warhead.

4. Health insurance

Obamacare helped bring the nation's uninsured rate down. But that's starting to change. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the uninsured rate for people ages 45 to 64 jumped to 10.3% last year. It was 9.3% in 2017. It's the first time a government study has shown an increase in the rate. The increase isn't surprising since the Trump administration has made dismantling the Affordable Care Act (and adding restrictions to Medicaid) a top priority. When Obamacare was passed in 2010, the uninsured rate for nonelderly adults was 22.3%.

5. Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox is going back to Italy. Knox, a former exchange student, vowed never to "willingly" return to the country after she was convicted of murder, for a second time, in the killing of British student Meredith Kercher. Knox will speak in June at the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena on a panel titled "Trial by Media." She was first convicted of Kercher's murder in 2009, then freed in 2011 after an appeals court tossed out her conviction. She returned to Seattle and then, after a 2014 retrial, was sentenced in absentia to 28.5 years. Italy's Supreme Court overturned her conviction in 2015.


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