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Calls for Mueller report release, security clearances & D.C. blooms: The Morning Rundown

Abolish the Electoral College? Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls are pitching radical changes.
Image: U.S. Attorney General William Barr at the \"2019 Prison Reform Summit\" in the East Room of the White House
U.S. Attorney General William Barr is facing increasing pressure to release special counsel Robert Mueller's report in full, unredacted form. Yuri Gripas / Reuters

Good morning, NBC News readers.

The clamor for the full public release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report is growing, the White House is under scrutiny for its security clearances, and despite all the political rancor, Washington, D.C., is in bloom.

Here's what we're watching today.

Progressive groups call for a 'Nationwide Day of Action' to demand release of Mueller report

A coalition of grassroots organizations are planning protests to demand Attorney General William Barr release Mueller's full Russia report to Congress.

Barr has said he will release a redacted version of the report by mid-April, despite the fact that House Democrats had set today as a deadline its full release.

Stand Up America,, Indivisible and Public Citizen are calling for a “Nationwide Day of Action" on Thursday to try to force transparency around the documents.

Their move comes as the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to authorize subpoenas to obtain not only the special counsel's full report and its underlying evidence, but also documents from five former White House officials related to the investigation.

Democratic presidential hopefuls call for fundamental changes

Top Democratic presidential candidates called for abolishing the Electoral College, allowing felons to vote, and making Election Day a holiday to boost participation at a forum on Monday focused on so-called democracy issues.

The candidates argued that little progress will be made on any issue without fundamental changes to a political system they called broken and corrupt.

How New Jersey turned vocational schools into sought-after academies

New Jersey is leading the way on technical high schools and the state is helping to revive vocational education.

As policymakers seek to help more young people get well-paying jobs that require specialized skills, they are increasingly turning to models like this.

Passaic County Technical Institute
“My parents really didn’t think I’d go far with automotive," said Jalal Abaza, seen here working in the School of Automotive Technology at the Passaic County Technical Institute. "But now, they’re very proud of me.” John O'Boyle

Whistleblower says the Trump administration overturned 25 security clearance denials

Tricia Newbold, a security specialist in the White House, told the House oversight committee that the Trump administration overruled the security clearance denials made by career government employees.

She told Congress that security clearance applications for White House officials "were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security," according to House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

And Newbold testified that she was "targeted for retaliation" after declining to grant the security clearances.

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  • A suspect has been identified in the killing of Nipsey Hussle — and 19 people were injured as a panicked crowd fled a vigil for the rapper on Monday evening.

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Arkansas duck hunting faces decline and climate change

Duck hunting in Arkansas is a vital part of the state's cultural and economic fabric, but a decline in waterfowl and threatened wetlands has hunters rethinking environmental policies in the face of climate change.

THINK about it

Saudi Arabia is torturing female activists — and the Trump administration's silence is enabling it, lawyer Wajahat Ali writes in an opinion piece.

Science + Tech = MACH

The mysterious 'Oumuamua interstellar object may have simple explanation after all.


Crow's feet, dark spots, even smile wrinkles. We've all got 'em. Here are tips on how to choose the best anti-aging products, according to top dermatologists.

One fun thing

We've reached peak bloom. The National Park Service confirmed Monday that 70 percent of Washington's famed cherry blossoms are open.

So you've got seven to 10 days to hustle to the nation's capital to check them out! Meantime, you can see more images here.

Many of the Yoshino cherry trees that decorate Washington, D.C., were a gift from the Japanese government in 1912. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Many of the Yoshino cherry trees that decorate Washington, D.C., were a gift from the Japanese government in 1912. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)Alex Wong / Getty Images

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

I hope spring has also sprung wherever you live!

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Thanks, Petra