Good morning, NBC News readers.
Washington is still figuring out what the intervention of special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday could mean — we have comprehensive coverage to get you up to speed.
Here's what we're watching:
After Mueller's statement, concerns in White House over creeping impeachment threat
Washington D.C. came to a standstill as Mueller gave his first public statement about his landmark report into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
One White House source said it was a "bad day" for President Donald Trump, as members of Congress now consider whether and how to push for impeachment.
Mueller made clear that charging Trump "was not an option we could consider," because a president can't be charged with a federal crime while in office.
But, crucially, he said this decision was not because his team believed Trump was innocent. "If we had had confidence that he clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so," he said.
Also on this:
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said "nothing is off the table", as she faces renewed calls for impeachment from fellow Democrats.
- NBC News' Jonathan Allen writes in this analysis piece why Mueller may be the catalyst for change that the Democrats need to start an impeachment process.
- Mueller's report left some big outstanding questions — and as Ken Dilanian points out, we're no closer to the answers.
Louisiana becomes the latest state to pass a 'heartbeat abortion' law
Louisiana's House of Representatives approved a new law to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected.
The bill passed 79-23, having already cleared the state Senate. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards says he will go against his own party and sign the ban when it comes to him.
The House rejected an amendment that would have allowed women and girls who have been raped or impregnated through incest to be exempt from the ban.
Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio have similar laws, which may pave the way for a challenge to Roe v. Wade.
Pelosi slams Facebook for refusing to take down doctored videos
House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said Wednesday that Facebook was "lying to the public" after it declined to remove videos of her that had been manipulated to make her speech appear slow and confused.
"We have said all along, 'poor Facebook, they were unwittingly exploited by the Russians,'" she said in a radio interview. "I think wittingly, because right now they are putting up something that they know is false. I think it's wrong,"
The doctored video of was viewed more than 1 million times and a Facebook fact checker deemed it to be false, but it has not been removed.
This is why migrant children are dying in U.S custody
Delays, poor facilities in custody centers and a lack of clear guidelines have contributed to the deaths of seven child migrants in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, campaigners say.
Children are arriving in the U.S. after long, exhausting journeys and may have health conditions which go untreated during the long wait for an answer on their immigration status.
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- The world's smallest surviving baby has been revealed — this girl, known as Saybie, was born in San Diego in December weighing just 8.6 ounces.
- Israel is set for a snap election after Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a working government.
- A hiker who went missing for more than a week on the island of Maui has been found dead, his family announced.
THINK about it
What role will Fox News play in any attempt to impeach Donald Trump? It could act as a buffer against such a move and make the president feel much more secure, writes Nicole Hemmer, a visiting scholar at the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University.
Say goodbye to boring meals at work with these tips for healthy last-minute lunches.
Science + Tech = MACH
How did the Earth get its water? A new theory holds that it came via a massive object about the size of Mars which struck the planet and created the moon.
Quote of the day
"The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing."
— Special counsel Robert Mueller
One fun thing
Storm chaser Joey Krastel managed to combine the two loves of his life: storms, and his boyfriend.
Krastel, 27, proposed to his boyfriend, Chris Scott, on Wednesday while a tornado raged behind them.
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