Good morning, NBC News readers.
NBC News has obtained revealing new audio of police interviews after Breonna Taylor's death, the great school reopening debate is leaving parents wary and confused, and authorities are search for "Glee" actress Naya Rivera.
Here's what we're watching this Thursday morning.
New audio of police interviews sheds light on police probe of fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor
Previously unheard audio of interviews from the investigation of the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor reveals new details about the events leading to her death, as well as the sympathetic approach investigators took while scrutinizing one of their own.
In the interview with Louisville police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who led the late-night raid in March, the investigator questioning him describes a raid involving at least seven officers and a battering ram as "the most passive way in" and says Mattingly "rightfully" returned fire after Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired a shot.
In his interview, Mattingly insists officers knocked and announced themselves when they arrived after midnight on March 13.
In Walker’s interview with investigators, however, he says there was banging on the door but the couple never heard anyone say “police.” Walker says that after he and Taylor asked who it was and got no response he reached for his licensed firearm.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency room technician, died after she was hit at least eight times during the ensuing shootout.
U.S. officials say intelligence on Russian bounties was less than conclusive. That misses the big picture.
A growing chorus of American officials have said in recent days that the intelligence suggesting Russians paid "bounties" to induce the Taliban to kill American service members in Afghanistan is less than conclusive.
But the debate about that narrow and contested issue distracts from a larger, often-overlooked consensus, current and former military and intelligence officials say.
U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed for years that Vladimir Putin's Russia is supporting America's enemies in Afghanistan with cash and weapons.
Yet President Donald Trump has said nothing publicly about it, even as he has pursued warmer relations with Putin and Russia, including ordering his intelligence agencies to cooperate with Russia in the Middle East.
The issue of Russia's alleged support for killing Americans is expected to come up Thursday when Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley appear before the House Armed Services Committee for a hearing on the military's role in civilian law enforcement.
White House preps school reopening guidelines as Trump threatens funding
Whether schools reopen in the fall is one of the most consequential decisions facing Americans in the response to the pandemic.
But there is still no consensus on whether and how they will open.
President Trump has rebuffed the advice of his own health experts and threatened Wednesday to "cut off" funding for schools that do not reopen this fall.
Trump attacked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools." Now the White House is preparing to release its own reopening guidelines for schools.
And in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan to bring students back part-time on Wednesday, only to have Gov. Andrew Cuomo say it was too soon to announce a plan and that a decision isn't likely until August.
All the mixed messaging is leaving parents across the country wary and confused.
Here are some other developments:
- Israel looked like a model for halting coronavirus. Now infections are spiking.
- As coronavirus surges, more Houston residents are dying suddenly at home.
- Track U.S. hot spots where COVID-19 infection rates are rising.
- The U.S. death toll from coronavirus has surpassed 132,000 according to NBC News tally.
- Listen to our Into America podcast. The latest episode gets into the WNBA's plans for play in 2020.
Supreme Court decisions expected in fight over Trump's tax returns, financial records
The Supreme Court said it will announce the last of the decisions from its current term on Thursday, which almost certainly means the court will reveal its rulings on whether Congress and a New York state prosecutor can get access to President Trump's business records, including his tax returns.
The Trump rulings will be announced beginning at 10 a.m. ET. That is unless the court is unable to reach a decision and wants them held over to be reargued next term, which seems unlikely, NBC News' Justice Correspondent Pete Williams writes.
In a major decision announced Wednesday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration to give the nation's employers more leeway in refusing to provide free birth control for their workers under the Affordable Care Act.
The ruling is a victory for the administration's plan to greatly expand the kinds of employers who can cite religious or moral objections in declining to include contraceptives in their health care plans.
The ruling has some reproductive rights advocates"terrified" about the potential harm to women.
Anti-abortion demonstrators pray in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
'Glee' actress Naya Rivera missing after boating on California lake
Authorities are searching a Southern California lake for "Glee" actress Naya Rivera, who officials believe went missing while swimming Wednesday.
The 33-year-old had been boating with her son on Lake Piru, Ventura County Sheriff's Department Capt. Eric Buschow said.
The actress rented a boat about 1 p.m, he said, and three hours, later authorities found her son napping alone on the vessel.
The police department searched for Rivera on Wednesday until it became too dark and said the search would continue at "first light."
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- The Trump administration plans to block asylum seekers from the U.S. by citing COVID-19 risk.
- Shepard Smith, the former Fox News anchor, is joining CNBC as a prime-time anchor.
- "The Capture" star Ron Perlman discusses his feud with Ted Cruz and "political junkyism."
THINK about it
Republicans used to care about policy — but Trump's GOP set fire to that tradition, Steve Benen, a producer for "The Rachel Maddow Show," writes in an opinion piece.
Ready to ease back into exercise, but not sure where to begin? This 30-minute workout is perfect for beginners.
OK, if you are going to start working out again, you're going to need a good sports bra. Here are some of the best sports bras out there.
One amazing rescue
At the scene of a devastating apartment fire, a retired Marine saved the life of a 3-year-old boy by catching him after he was thrown from the burning building.
Meanwhile another man rushed into the blaze to rescue the boy’s sister.
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