5 Things For March 13: Russia Probe, Pennsylvania Election, Austin Bombings

March Madness isn't just for the guys. The women have a bracket all their own. Here's what you need to know about the teams. And here's what else you need to know to

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1. Russia investigation

The House Intelligence Committee's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 campaign is over. Republicans on the committee said there was no collusion and even contradicted the intelligence community's assessment that the Russians meddled in the presidential election to help Trump. A 150-page draft report is coming out today.

The President, as you might expect, was ecstatic, sending out a tweet -- in all caps -- trumpeting the committee's findings. Democrats howled, saying the committee's main aim seemed to be to protect Trump. They said there were lots of witnesses that were never called and lots of documents that were never subpoenaed. CNN's Stephen Collinson called the committee's finding a "gift" for Trump.

2. Pennsylvania

No matter what happens tonight in the special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, Republicans are bracing for bad news. If Democrat Conor Lamb beats Republican Rick Saccone, as many expect, it'll be touted as a sign that a blue wave is indeed building ahead of this fall's midterms. That's because the district is in the heart of Trump country. Donald Trump won it by 20 percentage points in 2016.

And even if Saccone pulls out a narrow win, the Democrats will say it's a sign that even safe GOP seats are in danger this year, as the Democrats -- more than happy to capitalize on Trump's unpopularity -- try to take back the House and Senate.

3. Austin bombings

People are on edge in the Texas capital, and for good reason. Three package bombs have exploded there over 10 days. The bombings have killed a teenager and a 39-year-old man and critically hurt an elderly woman. And police believe the three explosions are connected. All three packages were found outside the victims' houses, but none had been delivered by the US Postal Service, UPS or FedEx. And there's the possibility that these blasts could be a hate crime, because two of the victims were black and one was Hispanic. The city's police chief wants everyone in Austin to be cautious about packages.

4. Saudi Arabia

Divorced moms in Saudi Arabia can now keep custody of their kids without filing lawsuits. Previously a woman was required to petition courts, sometimes for years, to get custody of children after a divorce. This is pretty big deal because it means Saudi Arabia is breaking ranks with other countries in the region that heavily favor male guardianship. The move is part of a series of sweeping social and economic reforms in the kingdom known as Vision 2030. Initiated over the past two years, the reforms have been spearheaded by Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

5. World Health Organization

The World Health Organization is gearing up for a disease that doesn't even exist yet. It's called "Disease X" and it's part of WHO's global plan for accelerating research and development during health emergencies. Disease X "represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease," WHO says. So essentially the health organization wants to set itself up to be able to develop a vaccine quickly when an unexpected and unknown virus pops up.


"The government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal."

British Prime Minister

Theresa May, pointing the finger clearly at Russia for the poisoning of an ex-Russian double agent and his daughter.


Queen and company, part 1

All eyes were on Meghan Markle as she joined Queen Elizabeth II for the first time at an official public event at Westminster Abbey.

Queen and company, part 2

Jay-Z and Queen Bey -- Beyoncé to the rest of us -- are hitting the road together again. So it's probably time for those divorce rumors to pop up again.

Scientology TV

The Church of Scientology, apparently unhappy about others telling its story, just started its own network, available on Direct TV and streaming services.

Sister act

Serena Williams' comeback hit a roadblock -- her sister Venus, who beat her in straight sets at a tournament in California.

True hero

Meet the soccer player who's going to miss his team's next match to donate blood to a leukemia patient.


Going back to Cali

Donald Trump goes to the Golden State later today, his first trip there as President. He's expected to look at border wall prototypes near San Diego and raise some cash for the GOP tonight in Los Angeles.



The number of people killed at Nepal's Kathmandu airport when a plane approached the runway from the wrong direction, crashed and then burst into flames.


Puppy power

This broom is no match for this pack of cute German shepherd puppies. (Click to view.)

Source : http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/msn/5-things-for-march-13-russia-investigation-pennsylvania-election-austin-bombings/ar-BBK9PWv

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