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April 20, 2019

Police arrested two men in connection with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry, Northern Ireland, on Saturday.

McKee, 29, was shot and killed in Derry on Thursday as she watched Irish nationalist youths clash with police during a riot. Police reportedly said McKee was not the gunman's intended target, but was hit by a bullet fired in the direction of the police officers.

Police described the shooting as a "terrorist incident." The Irish News reports that the police believe the suspects in the murder are linked to the dissident republican group the New Irish Republican Army, an offshoot of the Irish Republican Army which remains opposed to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and the fragile ceasefire in Northern Ireland. McKee's murder follows the explosion of a large car bomb in Derry in January, which was also blamed on the New IRA.

There are fears that militant groups are trying to exploit political tensions caused by the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union, Reuters reports.

Northern Ireland's political leaders — nationalists and unionists alike — urged for calm following the violence.

A vigil was held for McKee in Derry. Tim O'Donnell

4:01 a.m.

John Oliver used his last Game of Thrones lead-in to discuss death. "Specifically, this story is about the people who investigate deaths when they happen," he explained on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. "And if you're thinking, 'I don't want to see that on TV,' are you completely sure about that? Because death investigators aren't just supporting characters on some of the most popular shows."

"In real life, every year about 2.8 million Americans die," Oliver said, and while doctors identify cause of death on most death certificates, "if someone dies under suspicious or unnatural circumstances, their body may be sent for further examination and possibly a forensic autopsy. That's what happens to about a half a million bodies each year, and those investigations are incredibly important. A death certificate isn't like a degree from USC — it actually means something." Autopsies are important in murder investigations, but they also highlight trends in drug deaths, help identify defective products, and warn of infectious disease outbreaks.

"So tonight, let's learn about our death investigation system, specifically how it works, why it's such a mess, and what we can do about it," Oliver said. First, medical examiners and coroners aren't synonymous — medical examiners must be doctors, coroners are often elected, with shockingly few qualifications. That's "frankly weird enough," he said, but "in some jurisdictions, the coroner is also the county sheriff, and that has led to some serious problems."

The medical examiner system is better, but there are problems there, too, Oliver said. "The resources crunch is so bad that some offices wind up outsourcing work to private contractors, and this is where this story gets absolutely incredible." He focused on one contractor. "Look, I know this issue is tempting to ignore — it combines two things that people hate thinking about the most: Death and municipal funding," he said. But he tried to make it palatable, roping in Beyoncé, Glenn Close's spleen, and Tracy Morgan. (There's NSFW language.) Peter Weber

2:25 a.m.

All the major players in the intensifying standoff between the U.S. and Iran say they do not want war, usually with a caveat. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia's foreign affairs minister and and the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps both reiterated that their countries aren't looking for war but aren't afraid to fight, either. President Trump has similarly said he doesn't want war with Iran, but.

On Sunday afternoon, Trump tweeted: "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" Trump's threat to obliterated Iran may have been in response to initial reports of a rocket fired into the Green Zone in Iraq — the State Department confirmed Sunday night that a "low-grade rocket" landed harmlessly about a mile from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad — but Matthew Gertz at Media Matters has another theory:

Gertz had more evidence Trump was live-tweeting Fox News, including Trump's tweet attacking his favorite network for hosting Democrat Pete Buttigieg. Still, it's not like Trump has been silent about Iran over the past week. In a Fox News interview broadcast Sunday night, but recorded last week, Trump said he's "not somebody that wants to go in to war, because war hurts economies, war kills people, most importantly." But, he said, "I just don't want them to have nuclear weapons and they can't be threatening us."

"The current tensions are rooted in Trump's decision last year to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers and impose wide-reaching sanctions," The Associated Press reports. "Iran has said it would resume enriching uranium at higher levels if a new nuclear deal is not reached by July 7. That would potentially bring it closer to being able to develop a nuclear weapon, something Iran insists it has never sought." Peter Weber

12:18 a.m.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, did a Fox News town hall on Sunday, and he took a few moments to criticize the network's own prime-time opinion hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. President Trump didn't tweet about that, but he did criticize host Chris Wallace for noting that the 37-year-old mayor, a war veteran and Rhodes Scholar who speaks several languages, "has a lot of substance" and a "fascinating biography," while never saying the same things about Trump.

Now, if you were an outside journalist, like The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, you might recap Trump's tweet as: "The president openly tells a news network they are not doing enough to favor him." A Fox News stalwart like Brit Hume had a slightly different angle, but he also found the tweet offensive enough to merit a rare rebuke of Trump.

Trump, who had his own one-on-one interview air on Fox News Sunday night, was retweeting Hume sticking up for him a few hours later, so no bad blood there. Former Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), now a conservative talk show host, tweeted that the whole episode highlights an "under-reported" fact about Trump: "He really doesn't do much. People assume that, as president, he's really busy. He's not. He watches TV, he tweets, he does rallies. About it." Peter Weber

May 19, 2019

Hundreds of demonstrators marched in Montgomery, Alabama, on Sunday, protesting against the state's new abortion law, the most restrictive in the nation.

Under the law, almost all abortion procedures are prohibited, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The only exemption is if the woman's health is at risk. The march ended at the state capitol, where protesters shouted, "My body, my choice!" and were joined by representatives from Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. "I think it's barbaric," protester Melissa Perdomo told WSFA. "It's a step back."

Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said her organization and the ACLU will "be taking the state of Alabama to court very soon. We'll see Gov. [Kay] Ivey in court. We've fought bills before and haven't lost a fight yet, and we don't plan to lose this one, either." Protesters also gathered in other Alabama cities, including Huntsville and Mobile. Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

In 2016 and 2017, anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank flagged several transactions involving accounts controlled by President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as suspicious, but executives chose to ignore their reports, current and former bank employees told The New York Times.

Multiple transactions, some involving Trump's now-shuttered foundation, set off alerts in a computer system that detects potentially illegal activity, the employees said. Workers are supposed to look over these transactions, and those deemed suspicious are reported to the Treasury Department unit covering financial crimes.

In one case, the computer system flagged several transactions involving Kushner's real estate company during the summer of 2016. Former anti-money laundering specialist Tammy McFadden told the Times she looked over the transactions, discovered money had been moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals, and determined these transactions should be reported. Instead of going to Deutsche Bank anti-money laundering experts, her report and supporting documents went to New York managers who were part of the private banking arm, which works with the extremely wealthy, the Times reports. They chose not to forward her report to the government, and McFadden told the Times she believes their decision was motivated by their desire to maintain a close relationship with Kushner.

Deutsche Bank has lent both Trump and Kushner companies billions of dollars, even when other financial institutions wouldn't work with Trump. Congressional and state authorities investigating the relationship between Trump and Deutsche Bank have requested records related to Trump; in April, the Trump Organization sued the bank, attempting to block it from complying with congressional subpoenas. For more on the suspicious Kushner and Trump-related transactions, visit The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

JoJo, ScarCo — whatever you want to call them, celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost are engaged.

Johansson's publicist Marcel Pariseau shared the news with The Associated Press on Sunday. The actress met the Saturday Night Live comedian two years ago. Pariseau told AP they have not yet set a wedding date.

Johansson, 34, has been married twice; she wed actor Ryan Reynolds in 2008, divorcing in 2011, and French journalist Romain Dauriac in 2014, divorcing in 2017. Johansson and Dauriac have a 4-year-old daughter, Rose. Jost, 36, has never been married. Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

Robert F. Smith gave a commencement speech on Sunday that won't ever be forgotten by Morehouse College's Class of 2019.

The billionaire founder of investment firm Vista Equity Partners announced that he is creating a grant that will cover the cost of every single student loan held by all 396 graduating seniors. "On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we're going to put a little fuel in your bus," he said.

The graduates erupted in cheers and gave Smith a standing ovation. Morehouse President David A. Thomas told CNN Smith's "liberation gift" will cover about $40 million worth of loans. "When you have to service debt, the choices about what you can go do in the world are constrained," he said, adding that Smith's generosity "gives them the liberty to follow their dreams, their passions." Smith encouraged the graduates to pay it forward, so other students can benefit and "have all the opportunities of the American dream."

After commencement, students — and their parents — were still in a daze. Graduate Elijah Nesly Dormeus is the first of nine siblings to graduate from college, and he told CNN that after his dad died when he was a kid, his mother sacrificed and worked hard to provide for her family. He has $90,000 in student loans, and his mother also took out a loan to help him. Smith's gift benefits both tremendously, and "all of her serving, all her giving was not in vain," Dormeus said. Catherine Garcia

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