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Ethiopian Airlines crash: Captain reported issues shortly after takeoff
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Ethiopian Airlines crash: Captain reported issues shortly after takeoff

Trump Orders Boeing 737 Max 8, Max 9 Aircraft Grounded After Fatal Ethiopian Airlines Crash

Ethiopian Airlines crash: Captain reported issues shortly after takeoff

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of an Ethiopia Airlines plane crash that claimed the lives of all 157 on board on Sunday.

>> Read more trending news 

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was en route to Nairobi,  Kenya, when the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board, the airline confirmed. The New York Times reported Thursday that the plane’s captain reported issues three minutes after takeoff Sunday, but it was not immediately clear what caused the crash. 

>> PHOTOS: Ethiopian Airlines crash kills 157, including 8 Americans

Here are the latest updates:

Update 2:40 p.m. EDT March 15: Analysts believe an update for the flight-control software of Boeing 737 Max jets could take as many as six months and cost $500 million, according to reports from Bloomberg News and Crain’s Chicago Business.

The Federal Aviation Authority grounded Boeing 737 Max planes in the wake of Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash out of an abundance of caution. According to Bloomberg, the planes won’t fly again until after Boeing issues an update to the aircraft’s flight-control software.

“Once Boeing identifies the issue on the 737 Max, the most likely scenario, in our view, is that the company will take about three to six months to come up with a fix and certify the fix,” Bank of America analyst Ronald Epstein said Thursday, according to Investor's Business Daily.

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of Sunday’s crash.

Update 1:15 p.m. EDT March 15: After taking to the air Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accelerated to an unusual speed, according to The New York Times. The newspaper reported the plane’s captain reported an emergency on board three minutes after takeoff and requested permission to land, speaking in a “panicky” voice.

“Break break, request back to home,” the captain told air traffic controllers,  according to the Times. “Request vector for landing.”

Controllers saw the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane “oscillating up and down by hundreds of feet” the Times reported. Within five minutes, communication with the plane was lost, according to the newspaper.

The incident immediately drew comparisons to a similar crash that happened last year and involved the same plane model. Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in October shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. As a precaution, Boeing 737 Max planes have been grounded by airlines and regulators worldwide.

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of Sunday’s crash, which claimed the lives of all 157 people on board.

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT March 14: Ethiopian Airlines officials said Thursday in a statement that the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder recovered after Sunday’s deadly crash have been flown to Paris for investigation.

An officials with the French air accident investigation authority, known by its French acronym BEA, told The Associated Press the recorders have already arrived in France. The official did not give an estimate of how long it would take to analyze the devices.

Officials continue to investigate.

Update 3:05 p.m. EDT March 13: Boeing officials said Wednesday they continue to have “full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max,” but they added that the company recommended the government ground the aircraft amid an investigation into Sunday’s deadly crash.

The incident was the second involving a Boeing 737 Max airplane since October, when a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Indonesia, killing everyone on board.

“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution,” Dennis Muilenburg, president of The Boeing Company, said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.” 

 

Update 2:30 p.m. EDT March 13: President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that an emergency order of prohibition is being issued to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 flights, “effective immediately.”

“Boeing is an incredible company,” the president said Wednesday. “They are working very, very hard right now and hopefully they’ll very quickly come up with the answer. But until they do, the planes are grounded.”

 

Update 12:15 p.m. EDT March 13: Canadian officials announced Wednesday that the country will no longer allow Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 aircraft in its airspace as officials continue to probe the cause of Sunday’s deadly crash.

“Following advice from Transport Canada Civil Aviation experts, as a precautionary measure, I am issuing a safety notice to address this issue,” Marc Garneau, Canada’s minister of transport, said Wednesday.  “This safety notice is effective immediately, and will remain in place until further notice.”

 

American officials have not grounded the planes as the investigation continues.

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 13: Officials are expected to release a software update in the coming months for the flight-control system in the Boeing 737 Max aircraft that was involved in last year’s deadly Lion Air crash in Indonesia, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper reported that the fix was planned before Sunday’s deadly Ethiopia Airlines crash, which also involved a Boeing 737 Max plane. It was expected in in January, the Journal reported, but discussions between Boeing representatives and FAA officials were slowed by disagreements over unspecified technical and engineering issues. The fix was also delayed by the five-week government shutdown sparked in December by President Donald Trump’s demand for funding to build his border wall, according to the Journal.

Authorities from several countries continue to probe the cause of Sunday’s crash. The plane’s black box, which was recovered after the crash, has been sent to Europe to be analyzed.

Several countries have grounded Boeing 737 Max airplanes as the investigation continues, with the exception of the U.S. and Canada, according to CNN.

 

Update 9:30 a.m. EDT March 13: A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the black box recovered after Sunday’s plane crash will be sent to Europe to be analyzed.

The spokesman, Asrat Begashaw, declined to tell the AP which country would be tasked with reviewing the flight’s voice and data recorders.

“We have a range of options,” he told the AP. “What we can say is we don’t have the capability to probe it here in Ethiopia.”

Since Sunday's crash, officials in several countries and territories, including all of the European Union, Egypt, Thailand and Lebanon, have ordered Boeing 737 Max planes be grounded as authorities continue to probe the cause of the crash.

Update 10 p.m. EDT March 12: New Zealand and Fiji have suspended Boeing 737 Max 8 flights in and out of the two countries and the United Arab Emirates, a key international travel hub, has also barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 from its airspace.

The budget carrier FlyDubai, owned by the Dubai government, uses the aircraft as a workhorse of its fleet.

Earlier Tuesday, the union for Air Canada flight attendants said the company is allowing flight attendants who don’t want to fly on Boeing 737 Max airplanes to be reassigned and the union says they want that option to continue.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees issued a statement asking the company to put the safety of passengers and crew first.

Update 6:30 p.m. EDT March 12: According to Bloomberg, the FAA was still monitoring the situation, but was standing by its decision not to ground the Boeing 737 Max.

Acting FAA Administrator, Daniel K. Elwell, released a statement on behalf of the FAA Tuesday evening:

“Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft. Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action.”

  

Update 1:40 p.m. EDT March 12: The European Union Aviation Safety Agency grounded Boeing 737 Max airplanes Tuesday as the investigation into Sunday's crash continues.

Officials suspended Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft "as a precautionary measure" Tuesday, effective at 19:00 UTC. Authorities also suspended "all commercial flights performed by third-country operators into, within or out of the EU” using Boeing Max 8 or Max 9 planes.

“EASA is continuously analyzing the data as it becomes available,” officials said Tuesday in a statement. “The accident investigation is currently ongoing, and it is too early to draw any conclusions as to the cause of the accident.”

The planes have not been grounded in the U.S. Officials continue to investigate.

 

Update 1:35 p.m. EDT March 12: Transportation officials in several countries have grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft as the investigation into Sunday’s deadly crash continues.

Among the countries to ground the planes were Austria, Poland, Italy and the Netherlands, according to CNN. Earlier Tuesday, officials in the United Kingdom also grounded the planes.

The planes continue to fly in the United States as the investigation into what caused Sunday’s crash continues.

Update 10:35 a.m. EDT March 12: President Donald Trump said Tuesday that "airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly" as investigators continue to probe the cause of Sunday's deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

"Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT," Trump wrote, adding that "the complexity creates danger."

   

Authorities have not said what caused Sunday’s crash, although a plane of the same model crashed shortly after takeoff in Indonesia last year, killing all people on board. 

As the investigation continues, several airlines and countries have barred or grounded Boeing 737 Max airplanes, including aviation officials in the United Kingdom, Norwegian Airlines and Brazil's GOL Linhas Aereas.

The planes have not been grounded in the U.S., although at least three lawmakers have called for a temporary ban, according to multiple reports.

     

Federal Aviation Administration officials said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press that a team of U.S. aviation experts arrived Tuesday at the site of the crash. Officials will assist the Ethiopian-led investigation alongside investigators from several other countries.

Update 9:50 a.m. EDT March 12: The United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority on Tuesday barred Boeing 737 Max airplanes from flying in the country's airspace as the investigation into the cause of Sunday's deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash continues.

 

The Oman Civil Aviation authority also announced Tuesday that the country was "temporarily suspending operations of Boeing 737 Max aircraft into and out of all Omani airports until further notice."

 

Update 5:10 a.m. EDT March 12: Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority is temporarily suspending “all flights into or out of the country by Boeing 737 Max” jets, The Associated Press reported early Tuesday. Meanwhile, South Korean carrier Eastar Jet said it is suspending operations of the aircraft model and will use Boeing 737-800 planes instead.

The news came just hours after a U.S. team traveled to Ethiopia to help investigate Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Read more here.

Update 11:45 p.m. EDT March 11: More than a dozen airlines and the governments of Indonesia and China have grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 jets after Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia, according to The New York Times.

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from the downed airliner were recovered Monday at the crash site just outside Addis Ababa and could help authorities speed up the investigation as Boeing tries to contain the repercussions from two 737 Max 8 crashes in just over four months.

 

A Lion Air 737 Max 8 crashed last October killing all 189 people aboard.

The similarity of the crashes is concerning not only  pilots and flight attendants, but travelers, too.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are the only two American carriers that use the Boeing 737 Max 8, the Times reported, and they’re still flying the aircraft as are 16 other carriers.

Several lawmakers, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Richard Blumenthal are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8s until the Ethiopian Airlines crash investigation is complete.

 

Update 1 p.m. EDT March 11: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday was “a sad day for many around the word, and for the UN in particular,” after 157 people died in an Ethiopian Airlines flight out of Addis Ababa.

At least 21 UN workers were among those killed, officials said.

“A global tragedy has hit close to home, and the United Nations is united in grief,” Guterres said. “Our colleagues were women and men, junior professionals and seasoned officials, hailing from all corners of the globe and with a wide range of expertise. ... They all had one thing in common. A spirit to serve the people of the world and make it a better place overall.” 

Authorities continue to investigate the crash.

 

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 11: Boeing officials said the company has no plans to issue new guidance to operators in the wake of Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

“Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved,” Charlie Miller, Bowing’s vice president of communications, said in a statement obtained by CNN. “The investigation is in its early stages, but at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.”

Sunday’s crash was the second fatal accident since October involving a Boeing 737 Max 8. Last year, 189 people died when a Lion Air model of the same plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Indonesia.

Update 11 a.m. EDT March 11: Boeing stock prices tumbled in early trading Monday in the wake of Sunday’s deadly Ethiopia Airlines crash.

Shares of Boeing stock were down more than 12 percent shortly after trading opened Monday, according to The New York Times.

 

Sunday’s crash was the second fatal accident since October involving a Boeing 737 Max 8. Last year, 189 people died when a Lion Air model of the same plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Indonesia.

Update 10 a.m. EDT March 11: A six-member team of U.S. aviation experts was en route to Ethiopia on Monday, according to Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

Ambassador Michael Raynor told the broadcaster that experts with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive Tuesday at the crash site. Boeing and Interpol officials are also investigating the crash.

Update 9:30 a.m EDT March 11: Officials with the Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services identified four of its staff members killed in Sunday's Ethiopia Airlines crash. Officials said Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku and Mulusew Alemu were traveling to Nairobi to attend a training. Officials said the four, who were Ethiopian nationals, worked in finance, logistics and procurement.

“Although we are in mourning, we celebrate the lives of these colleagues and the selfless contributions they made to our mission, despite the risks and sacrifices that humanitarian work can often entail,” Catholic Relief Services officials said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and all of those who lost loved ones as a result of this tragedy.”

 

Update 8:35 a.m. EDT March 11: Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the victims of Sunday morning’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines flight crash.

The Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said in a statement released Monday that the pope was sad to learn of the crash, which officials said killed all 157 people on board shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa.

“His Holiness Pope Francis offers prayers for the deceased from various countries and commends their souls to the mercy of Almighty God,” Parolin said. “Pope Francis sends heartfelt condolences to their families, and upon all who mourn this tragic loss he invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength.”

Update 6:34 a.m. EDT March 11: Ethiopian state-run TV is reporting that crews have recovered the black box from the plane that crashed Sunday, according to The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Indonesia announced it is grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in the wake of Sunday’s crash, the AP reported Monday.

Update 5:37 a.m. EDT March 11: An Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said the carrier grounded its Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in the wake of Sunday’s deadly crash, The Associated Press reported Monday. Chinese airlines and the Caribbean’s Cayman Airways also temporarily stopped using the planes.

Update 6:30 p.m. EDT March 10: United Nations employees and other humanitarian workers are among the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday morning near Bishoftu.

The U.N. was trying to confirm with the Ethiopian government the identities of its workers, who were heading to Nairobi for a session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, “described as the world’s highest decision-making body on the environment,” according to the New York Times

Members of another U.N. agency, the World Food Program, were also among the dead, the program’s chief confirmed in a tweet.

 

Other U.N. aides and members of Catholic Relief Services and other organizations were also killed in the crash, the Times reported.

The disaster is eerily similar to a Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October that killed all 189 people on board. The Lion Air crash also involved a Boeing 737 Max 8 that went down shortly after takeoff.

It’s unclear why the Ethiopian plane went down and the airline’s CEO cautioned against jumping to any conclusions.

"Ethiopian Airlines is one of the safest airlines in the world. At this stage we cannot rule out anything," CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said, according to The Associated Press.

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 10: The Associated Press has published a list of nationalities of 150 of the 157 people believed to have been on board the Ethiopian Airlines plane. Eight Americans were killed in the flight.

Kenya: 32

Canada: 18

Ethiopia: 9

China: 8

Italy: 8

United States: 8

France: 7

UK: 7

Egypt: 6

Germany: 5

India: 4

Slovakia: 4

Austria: 3

Russia: 3

Sweden: 3

Spain: 2

Israel: 2

Morocco: 2

Poland: 2

Belgium: 1

Djibouti: 1

Indonesia: 1

Ireland: 1

Mozambique: 1

Norway: 1

Rwanda: 1

Saudi Arabia: 1

Sudan: 1

Somalia: 1

Serbia: 1

Togo: 1

Uganda: 1

Yemen: 1

Nepal: 1

Nigeria: 1

U.N. passport: 1

Original report:

According to the BBC, eight crew members and 149 passengers were on the Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 when it crashed about 8:44 a.m. Ethiopian time near Bishoftu, the airline said. 

The victims included people from 35 countries, including 32 Kenyans and 17 Ethiopians, The Associated Press reported.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office issued the following statement about the incident: 

“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning,” the statement read.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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  • Special counsel Robert Mueller delivered the results of an investigation into possible collusion in the 2016 presidential election to Attorney General William Barr on Friday, ending a two-year saga that, at times, pitted the president against his own Justice Department.  >> Read more trending news  On Sunday, the Department of Justice delivered a summary to the House Judiciary Committee.  >> Barr: Mueller found no evidence of Trump-Russia conspiracy Update 10:25 p.m. EDT March 24: President Donald Trump was at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, when he first learned the details of what Attorney General William Barr said in his summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report for Congress, according to the Associated Press. The AP cited White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, who briefed reporters aboard Air Force One as the president was flying back to Washington. “This is very good,” Gidley said the president told him. The president watched TV in his office aboard Air Force One and made phone calls according to CNN, which described the atmosphere during the flight as “jovial.” Update 8:25 p.m. EDT March 24: Vice President Mike Pence weighed in on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Mueller report Sunday, issuing a statement calling the report “a total vindication of the President of the United States.” “After two years of investigation, and reckless accusations by many Democrats and members of the media, the Special Counsel has confirmed what President Trump said (all) along; there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election,” Pence said. “This total vindication of the President of the United States and our campaign should be welcomed by every American who cherishes the truth and the integrity of our elections,” he said. Update 7:45 p.m. EDT March 24: Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein called Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary on the Mueller report “inadequate.” Feinstein said in a statement Sunday that Barr’s summary “demonstrates why Congress needs to obtain the full report and underlying evidence.” She also said she’ll call on Barr to release the whole report and underlying material to Congress for proper Congressional oversight of the investigation. Feinstein said Barr was obviously biased in his summary of the report. “Mueller elected to describe the facts, leaving it to Attorney General Barr to decide whether the president committed a crime. However, months ahead of his nomination,  Barr wrote a 19-page memo concluding the president couldn’t commit obstruction, so it’s no surprise he reached the same conclusion now,” she said in the statement. Update 7:00 p.m. EDT March 24: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report. Pelosi and Schumer said Barr’s letter “raises as many questions as it answers.” The pair are calling for the Justice Department to release the full report. “The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public,” Schumer said on social media. The statement calls into question Barr’s ability to be objective about the Mueller report. “Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report,” according to Pelosi and Schumer’s statement. “And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility,” the statement said. Update 6:00 p.m. EDT March 24: The Mueller report is divided into two parts, according to the summary Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress Sunday. The first part of the report describes the Mueller team’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and outlines Russia’s attempts to influence the election, including the crimes committed by people associated with the Russian government, Barr said. A primary focus for the Mueller team was whether any Americans, and specifically associates of President Donald Trump, worked with the Russians in interfering with the election, which would be a federal crime. “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” according to the Mueller report. >> Related: Mueller report: Trump claims 'Complete and Total’ exoneration The second part of the report, according to Barr’s summary, focuses on whether Trump obstructed justice.  The Mueller report leaves “unresolved whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction,” Barr said in his summary. “While the report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” on obstruction allegations, Barr said. Mueller left a decision on obstruction of justice charges against Trump to the Justice Department. Barr confirmed he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided that Trump’s conduct did not constitute a crime. >> Related: What is in the Mueller report? Update 5:20 p.m. EDT March 24: The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, responded to President Donald Trump’s statement Sunday afternoon that the Mueller report offered him “complete and total exoneration.” Nadler disputed Trump’s characterization of the report, clarifying what Mueller actually said in the report. “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,’” Nadler said Nadler also confirmed his plan to call Attorney General William Barr to testify before the committee. “In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before (the House Judiciary Committee) in the near future, Nadler said on Twitter. Update 5:10 p.m. EDT March 24: Attorney General William Barr detailed the resources special prosecutor Robert Mueller used during his two-year investigation in his summary of the report to Congress. Barr said the Mueller team “employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.” Barr said Mueller’s report also does not recommend any further indictments. Update 4:50 p.m. EDT March 24: President Donald Trump and members of his administration feel vindicated by the Mueller report. Trump just sent his first tweet on the report since Robert Mueller sent it to the Justice Department on Friday. “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!,” the president wrote. His press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued this statement after Attorney General William Barr sent a summary of Mueller’s report to Congress Sunday afternoon. 'The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.” Update 4:15 p.m. EDT March 24: The summary included these points: -The investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller did not find President Donald Trump or any of his campaign team coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, according to a summary Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress Sunday. -The probe also did not find sufficient evidence that the president illegally obstructed justice, but the Mueller team stopped short of exonerating the president, according to The Associated Press.  -Barr’s summary said Mueller did not reach any conclusions on the president’s conduct. -Barr also said in the summary that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not consider constitutional questions relating to criminal charges against a sitting president in reaching their conclusion, the AP reported. UPDATE 3:30 p.m. EDT March 24: Rep. Jerry Nadler said the Department of Justice issued a letter saying it is “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgement” in terms of the findings in the report. Related: What is in the Mueller report? Nadler tweeted quotes from the letter, which can be read in full here. UPDATE March 24 3:10 p.m. EDT: Congress has been told to expect a Mueller report summary with in the hour, The Associated Press reported, according to two unnamed sources familiar with plans from the Justice Department. UPDATE 2:30 p.m. EDT: President Donald Trump has been relatively quiet leading up to the release of the report, according to The Associated Press. Sources not authorized to speak publicly claim Trump is relieved no new indictments have come from the probe. The AP reported that Trump has been in Palm Beach, Florida, over the weekend, golfing and spending time with family. He’s also been less engaged on Twitter, only posting “Good Morning, Have A Great Day!” and “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Sunday morning. UPDATE 9 p.m. EDT March 23:  Attorney General William Barr scoured special counsel Robert Mueller’s confidential report on the Russia investigation with his advisers Saturday, deciding how much Congress and the American public will get to see about the two-year probe into President Donald Trump and Moscow’s efforts to elect him, according to The Associated Press. Barr was on pace to release his first summary of Mueller’s findings on Sunday, people familiar with the process said. UPDATE 1:50 p.m. EDT March 23: Congress will not receive a summary of Mueller’s findings  Saturday, multiple media outlets have reported. The Washington Post cited a “senior Justice Department official” for this information, while Politico tweeted that “two sources familiar with the discussion” confirmed the news. President Trump flew Friday to his Mar-a-Lago resort with senior White House officials and lawyers, The Washington Post reported. Original report: The delivery of the report to Barr officially concludes the probe that has cast a shadow over the Trump administration from its earliest days. >> Read more trending news  Trump, who flew to Florida on Friday, has not yet commented on the report. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House would not be seeing the report -- at least not for now. Barr, in a one-page letter, told Congressional leaders he would be able to advise them of the “principal conclusions” of the report as soon as this weekend. In the letter, Barr confirmed that there was no requests made by Mueller to take a specific action – such as subpoenaing a witness – that was not granted by the DOJ. “There were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation.' Related: Read the letter William Barr sent to members of Congress It is up to Barr how much of the report Congress or the public will be able to see. Trump has said he would not care if the report was released to the public. According to an anonymous DOJ source, there will be no further indictments born out of the investigation, meaning Mueller’s work is done. Related: Who has Robert Mueller already indicted in his investigation? Since the investigation began in May of 2017, Mueller’s team of prosecutors has indicted or accepted plea deals from 35 people. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, issued a joint statement, saying “it is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress. . . . The American people have a right to the truth.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • As you age, cognitive health is key. According to a new report, there are foods that can keep your brain in tiptop shape at any age. Researchers from the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine recently completed a study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, to determine the association between mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mushrooms.  MCI is defined as “the stage between the cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia,” the authors said in a statement. People with MCI may exhibit memory loss and forgetfulness or have trouble with their language, attention and visual perception abilities.  For the assessment, the team examined 600 Chinese adults, over the age of 60, for six years. They tracked their diets, conducted interviews and administered standard neuropsychological tests, which measures a person’s cognitive abilities. >> Related: Sleep deprivation could cause the brain to eat itself After analyzing the results, they found eating mushrooms proved to be beneficial. In fact, those who consume more than two standard portions of mushrooms weekly may have a 50 percent reduced chance of having MCI. A portion was defined as three quarters of a cup of cooked mushrooms. “This correlation is surprising and encouraging. It seems that a commonly available single ingredient could have a dramatic effect on cognitive decline,” co-author Feng Lei said. They noted six mushrooms in the study: golden, oyster, shiitake, white button, dried and canned mushrooms. However, they said other types may also have positive effects. The scientists believe there is a specific compound in all mushroom varieties that reduce the prevalence of MCI.  “We’re very interested in a compound called ergothioneine (ET),” he said. “ET is a unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which humans are unable to synthesize on their own. But it can be obtained from dietary sources, one of the main ones being mushrooms.” >> Related: Mushrooms may fight off aging, study says The analysts said other compounds in mushrooms may also be advantageous.  The team now plans to test the effects of the pure compound of ET and other plant-based ingredients. They hope to identify other foods that could be linked with healthy brain aging and reduced risk of age-related conditions. 
  • A long-range rocket launched from the Gaza Strip hit a residential building in central Israel on Monday, injuring at least seven people -- including two infants -- The Times of Israel reported. It was the farthest rocket attack since the 2014 Gaza war, Reuters reported. The rocket landed in the town of Mishmeret, located 50 miles from the Gaza Strip, The Times of Israel reported. Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said the home in Mishmeret was hit by a rocket from Gaza. There was no confirmation from Palestinian spokesmen, Reuters reported. The attack comes 10 days after rockets were fired toward Tel Aviv, according to The Associated Press. 

Washington Insider

  • Without enough votes from Republicans in the Congress, Democrats in the House are expected to fall short on Tuesday in their bid to override President Donald Trump's veto of a plan which would block his national emergency declaration from funneling billions of dollars from the Pentagon to construction of a wall along the southern border with Mexico. While both the House and Senate approved the plan to reverse the President's emergency declaration, neither chamber had enough votes for a veto override, which will allow Mr. Trump to move money around within military construction accounts in the Pentagon, shifting at least $3.6 billion from that funding into a border wall. 'The Republicans in the House voted overwhelmingly in favor of a secure border,' the President said when he vetoed the resolution earlier this month. 'Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution - I have the duty to veto it,' Mr. Trump added. 'Whether we can succeed with the number of votes is not the point,' said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 'We are establishing the intent of Congress,' as Democrats argue the President is wrongly defying the Legislative Branch, and its spending decisions on the border wall. 'Both Houses of Congress, in a bipartisan way, sent him a bill that said this is how we’ll address border security,' the Speaker told reporters. 'He defied the Constitution with his action.' Still not spelled out by the Trump Administration is what military construction projects would lose money in order to funnel extra money to a border wall. The Pentagon last week gave lawmakers a 21 page document which listed dozens of projects that could lose money - but officials repeatedly emphasized that no decisions had been made on exactly what projects might see their money stripped in order to fund the wall. “I hope they will take that into consideration before the vote to override the President’s veto,” said Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI). But even with questions still unanswered about what home state projects might be scrapped, Democrats have seemingly made no headway in driving a wedge between GOP lawmakers and the White House on the issue, as the Tuesday vote arrives in the House with no expectation that Democrats will come close to the needed two-thirds super majority.
  • A day after Congress was told the Mueller investigation had not found evidence of coordination or conspiracy involving Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 elections, a leading GOP Senator vowed to fully investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, arguing that President Donald Trump may have been the victim of overzealous investigators inside the Justice Department. 'The double standard here has been striking and quite frankly disappointing,' said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who told reporters at the Capitol on Monday morning that it's time to find out more about how the investigation began during the 2016 campaign, how it meshed with the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails, and whether there had been bias inside the Justice Department and FBI against President Trump. While Graham said he would conduct oversight via the Senate Judiciary Committee, the South Carolina Republican also said he wants a more formal review by the Justice Department, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr. 'What I want to do is see if he'll appoint a Special Counsel,' Graham said, as he argued that President Trump had been unfairly targeted. Graham said he would look at the role of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch - who tried to step back from the Clinton email investigation, which led to the broader involvement of former FBI Director James Comey. 'What was the conflict that made Loretta Lynch so unable to preside over the Clinton email investigation?' Graham asked. While Graham ticked off the boxes of a series of questions which have dominated conservative talk radio over the past two years, the ally of the President made clear he agreed with the Mueller report findings on one very key issue - that the Russians were responsible for the hacking of the Democratic Party in 2016. “It was the Russians - it wasn’t some 300 pound guy sitting on a bed somewhere,” Graham said, making reference to a quote by President Trump, who at times has rejected assertions that Russian Intelligence was responsible for the hacking of emails from Clinton campaign and DNC officials. Graham said he also wanted answers on how the Obama Administration handled the initial developments in the Russia investigation - which came during the 2016 campaign. 'Nobody went to President Trump to tell him, there may be some people in your orbit that are connected to the Russians and working with the Russians,' Graham said at a news conference. At the White House, President Trump kept his comments limited about the Mueller report, saying he would not oppose the release of the details of the report, if that’s what Attorney General Barr wants to do. Asked during an event in the Oval Office whether the Special Counsel had done his job honorably, Mr. Trump responded: 'Yes, he did.' “I wish it could have gone a lot sooner, a lot quicker,” the President added.
  • A day after the outlines of the Special Counsel investigation were delivered to the Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court kept alive one part of the Russia probe, refusing to hear arguments in the so-called 'Mystery Case' involving an unknown foreign company owned by an unidentified foreign government, which is trying to get out of a subpoena for grand jury testimony involving the Mueller investigation. In a simple order issued by the Justices on Monday morning, the Court refused to allow arguments on efforts to block the grand jury subpoena, in a case which has proceeded with dramatic secrecy through the courts over the past few months. 'The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied,' the order stated, in the case officially known as 'In Re Grand Jury Subpoena.' The unidentified company has argued that federal laws don't allow foreign governments or businesses to be ensnared in criminal cases in the U.S. - while the involvement of prosecutors from the Special Counsel's office was finally revealed in recent weeks, it's still not clear what company, what country, or what information is at play in this grand jury subpoena fight. The lack of information about the case has left legal experts grasping for clues - and now with the Mueller investigation wrapping up its work - it’s not clear how long legal battles like this one over testimony will continue in the courts. The unknown company at the center of this dispute has been paying a fine of $50,000 for every day that it does not comply with the grand jury subpoena for information. It’s been estimated those legal penalties topped $2 million in late February, and would continue to mount with today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Armed with his Attorney General's summary of a lengthy report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, President Donald Trump was up early on Monday morning celebrating the findings of that probe, joining GOP lawmakers in Congress in declaring that his campaign had been cleared of any questions of wrongdoing. 'The Special Counsel did not find that the Trump Campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian Government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump Campaign,' the President tweeted early on Monday, quoting from a letter sent Sunday by Attorney General William Barr to Congress. The four page letter from Barr - summarizing the findings of the Mueller investigation - found no conspiracy existed between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, even as Russian intelligence hacked Democratic Party emails, and 'despite multiple. offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.' 'But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts,' the letter from Barr noted. In Congress, Republican lawmakers gleefully joined the President in heralding the findings, trying their best to undercut any ongoing efforts by Democrats to further dig into the details of the Mueller report - which the Attorney General said he would strive to make as much public as possible in the weeks and months ahead. 'There was NO collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump or his campaign,' said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK). 'Facts trump the liberal circus, every time,' said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). 'Democrats in Congress should follow his lead and allow the President to govern as he was elected by the American people to do,' said Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL). 'After two years the case is closed.' As for Democrats, they quickly dug into the details of the Barr letter and focused on getting the details of the Mueller report made public, zeroing in on Barr's description that Mueller had made no conclusions about whether President Trump had obstructed during the Russia investigation. 'The Special Counsel states that 'while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,'' Barr quoted the Mueller findings. 'There must be full transparency in what Special Counsel Mueller uncovered to not exonerate the President from wrongdoing,' said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the head of the House Judiciary Committee, who vowed to press for more documents and hearings about the Mueller investigation. 'Questions remain related to evidence of obstruction of the investigation into Russian election interference,' said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL). The findings - as related by the Attorney General on Sunday - clearly made any chance of impeachment proceedings against the President in Congress much less of a possibility, both easing the political pressure on Mr. Trump, and at the same time giving him a public boost which his campaign quickly jumped on for supporters. The President was already scheduled to take his message on the road for a campaign rally on Thursday in Michigan.
  • Attorney General William Barr told Congress on Sunday that a sweeping investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of coordination between Russian Intelligence and the Trump Campaign in 2016, as Barr said there was not enough evidence to pursue allegations of obstruction of justice against President Donald Trump, though Mueller left open that question in his report. In a four page letter summarizing the major findings of the Mueller investigation, the Attorney General said, 'the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.' On the question of whether the President obstructed justice by impeding the investigation into the underlying matter, Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had concluded from the Mueller findings that, 'the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.' Republicans said the Barr summary showed the investigation had found nothing which could lead to the President's prosecution or impeachment. 'No collusion and no obstruction,' said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 'The cloud hanging over President Trump has been removed by this report.' The White House immediately declared victory as well. “The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction,” said Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement.  “Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States,” Sanders told reporters. While the letter was immediately hailed by Republicans as the end of the investigation, it also left Democrats with some tantalizing tidbits which they are sure to pursue on the obstruction issue, specifically one line cited by the Attorney General in his Sunday letter to the Congress. 'The Special Counsel states that 'while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,'' the Attorney General wrote, in quoting the Mueller report’s section about the issue of obstruction of justice. 'Special Counsel Mueller clearly and explicitly is not exonerating the President, and we must hear from AG Barr about his decision making and see all the underlying evidence for the American people to know all the facts,' said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Other Democrats also made clear they want more than just the four page summary written by the Attorney General, as Nadler vowed to bring Attorney General Barr in for hearings. You can read the full four page letter from Attorney General Barr at this link. As for the possibility of the Mueller report being made public, Barr told Congress in his letter that he would still try to err on the side of transparency. “I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel's report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies,” Barr wrote.