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Iran denies missile downed plane, Trump mocks House resolution, and Meghan leaves the U.K.: The Morning Rundown

Tehran is calling on the U.S and allies to reveal the evidence they have that the plane was brought down by an errant Iranian missile.
Image: A police officer stands guard as debris is seen from an Ukrainian plane which crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran
A police officer stands guard next to debris from an Ukrainian plane that crashed southwest of Tehran on Wednesday.Ebrahim Noroozi / AP

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Iran denies firing the missile that downed the Ukrainian jet, President Donald Trump mocked Congress' effort to check his military power, and the latest twist in the Harry and Meghan royal soap opera.

Here's what we're watching this Friday morning.

House passes measure seeking to limit Trump's military actions against Iran

The House adopted a war powers resolution Thursday with the aim of limiting President Donald Trump's military actions against Iran.

The five-page non-binding resolution emphasizes that if a president wants to take the United States to war, he or she must get authorization from Congress. The adoption of the measure on a mostly party-line vote of 224-194 came after the two countries appeared to step back from the brink of conflict.

Three Republicans, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the president's biggest allies in the House, voted for the measure. Eight Democrats, mostly from conservative-leaning districts, broke ranks to vote against it.

A similar resolution has been introduced in the Senate.

Trump swiftly mocked the Democrats' push for notice before taking further military action at his first campaign rally of 2020 in Ohio last night.

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Iran denies firing missile that downed plane, calls for U.S. to reveal evidence

U.S. intelligence officials have evidence that suggests that the Ukrainian jetliner that crashed in Iran on Wednesday, killing 176 people, was downed by an Iranian missile by mistake, multiple officials told NBC News.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadian intelligence sources also pinned blame on Iran for what might have been an "unintentional" missile attack.

But Iran forcefully denied it is responsible for the crash that killed passengers and crew from several countries, including 82 from Iran and at least 63 from Canada.

"What is obvious for us, and what we can say with certainty, is that no missile hit the plane," Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, said on Friday.

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei, also speaking Friday according to Iran's Press TV, accused the U.S. of "adding insult to the injury of the bereaved families" by publicly stating the plan was brought down by an Iranian missile.

"No one will assume responsibility for such a big lie once it is known that the claim is fraudulent," he said.

'This airplane is designed by clowns': Boeing employees mocked problems with 737 Max

Boeing on Thursday released hundreds of emails and communications that appear to show employees criticizing the company’s troubled 737 Max jet, which were grounded after two crashes killed 346 people.

In the documents, which were turned over to Congress in an investigation on the design and certification of the jets, employees also appear to talk about misleading people and complain about the aircraft's design.

In a February 2018 message, one employee says that training programs shouldn't be taken with a grain of salt, and says: "Would you put your family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn't."

The internal communications also show disparaging comments about Boeing, its culture and the aircraft itself.

"This airplane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys," read one message in April 2017.

Boeing said the internal communications were "completely unacceptable."

Meghan leaves U.K. days after she and Prince Harry drop royal bombshell

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, left the U.K. for Canada less than two days after she and husband Prince Harry made the shock announcement that they would “step back” from their roles as senior members of the royal family, NBC News confirmed Friday.

The two had been in Canada— where Meghan lived for seven years while she starred in the TV legal drama “Suits” — over Christmas.

According to multiple reports, the couple's son Archie is still there.

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'Green revolutionaries': How Sweden built a generation of Greta Thunbergs

That 16-year-old Greta Thunberg became the face of climate change action may have taken the world by surprise, but in Sweden, young people have long been champions of the environment.

Caring for the environment is integrated into every aspect of the day for students in Sweden.

"We tried to create green revolutionaries, make them think in a specific way," one expert said.

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THINK about it

Elizabeth Wurtzel’s unabashed messiness taught women it's OK to take up space, DAME Magazine editor Kera Bolonik writes in an opinion piece.


How to be a better weeknight cook in 2020.

The Week in Pictures

Ricardo Arduengo / AFP - Getty Images

It was a bit of a doozy of a news week. From the crisis with Iran to a 6.4-magnitude quake in Puerto Rico, above, see the most compelling images from the last week here.

Quote of the day

"I will turn them over when I’m ready, and that will probably be soon."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on when she will send the articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate.

One grateful thing

Sometimes a dog really is a man's best friend.

Australian farmer Stephen Hill credits his dog, Patsy, with bringing more than 220 sheep to safety during Australia’s devastating wildfires.

The shepherd mix helped herd the sheep to safety as a massive blaze closed in on the small town of Corryong, about 220 miles southwest of Canberra, endangering the flock on New Year's Eve.

Hill said couldn’t have done it without Patsy’s skill, and her night vision

"If you haven’t got a good dog, you can’t do so much with the sheep," Hill told NBC News.

Patsy, a shepherd mix, brought more than 220 sheep to safety during Australia's devastating wildfires.Stephen Hill

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Thanks, Petra