5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Senate will not delay Kavanaugh hearing for further investigation of allegations

  • Moon says North Korea has agreed to denuclearization measures

  • Polls show several key Senate races are deadlocked

  • Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to produce Space Jam 2 starring LeBron James

  • Maroon 5 reportedly selected for 2019 Super Bowl halftime show

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Wednesday wrote a letter to Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys, declining to further delay the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in order to first allow the FBI to investigate Ford's allegations of sexual assault, as she has requested. "It is not the FBI's role to investigate a matter such as this," he wrote, explaining that if she wants to testify, she must do so on Monday. President Trump has said that he thinks Congress should "hear everybody out," and elaborated on Wednesday to tell reporters that he finds it "very hard to imagine that anything happened" between Ford and Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

Source: NBC News, CNN

In a joint statement released Wednesday after their two-day meeting in Pyongyang, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to establish buffer zones along land and sea borders and create a joint military committee that will work to ease tensions and prevent any accidental clashes. Moon said Kim agreed to let international experts watch as North Korea permanently dismantles a missile engine test site and launch pad, and said if the United States takes corresponding measures, he will take additional steps toward denuclearization, including shutting down North Korea's main nuclear complex. Kim also vowed to visit Seoul "in the near future," and if he does make the trip, he will become the first North Korean leader to visit since the division of the Korean peninsula in 1945.

Source: The Associated Press

Several critical Senate races are still up in the air, four national polls unveiled Wednesday reveal. Democrats are vying to hold on to 10 Senate seats that are possibly at risk, and want to flip two others to gain a majority, but key races remain close. In Texas, Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) leads Sen. Ted Cruz (R) by two percent, the poll found. In Arizona, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) is three points ahead of Rep. Martha McSally (R), as both lawmakers seek to replace the retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R). Races in Florida and Nevada lean toward Republicans, but only by one and three points, respectively. Because of polling margins of error, the competitive races are essentially tied, with less than seven weeks until the midterm elections.

Source: Reuters

Acclaimed Black Panther director Ryan Coogler will produce the long-anticipated sequel to the beloved 1996 basketball film Space Jam, which is still set to star LeBron James in the lead role. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Coogler will produce with Terence Nance, who created the recent HBO sketch comedy Random Acts of Flyness, now taking over as director. Star Trek Beyond helmer Justin Lin had previously been attached to the movie but is no longer involved. This will be James' first starring role in a feature film; he has been linked to the project since 2016, but now, it appears to be moving forward, with production set to begin in 2019.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

The halftime show at Super Bowl LIII will be headlined by dad-friendly rock band Maroon 5, sources told Variety on Wednesday. The pop group recently collaborated with rappers Cardi B and Kendrick Lamar, leading to predictions that they will join Maroon 5 on stage when they perform in Atlanta in February 2019. The NFL has not confirmed that Maroon 5 was selected, but if the group performs, they would join the ranks of Prince, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and Paul McCartney, all of whom have performed Super Bowl halftime shows.

Source: Variety
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