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US briefing: Mueller report fallout, Sudan protests and border militia

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Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories.

Trump claims ‘game over’ on Mueller as Dems say game on

Before the release of the Mueller report on Thursday, Donald Trump claimed the special counsel’s findings represented a “complete and total exoneration.” In fact, over the course of almost 450 pages, Robert Mueller describes 11 instances in which the president or his campaign engaged in potential obstruction of justice – and that’s just in the redacted version.

Nadler says Mueller report shows ‘disturbing evidence’ of obstruction of justice – video

While Mueller’s team found no evidence of direct collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, it makes clear that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election “in a sweeping and systematic fashion,” and that his campaign fully expected to benefit from those efforts. Such revelations would likely have ended any other American presidency.

  • Democrats dig in. Trump and his allies still claimed vindication, but Democrats demanded fresh hearings, sparking renewed talk of impeachment. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House intelligence committee, said the report was “not a vindication of Trump, but a condemnation.”

  • Sanders lies. The White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders admitted to Mueller’s team that she had lied repeatedly in press briefings, when she claimed Trump’s firing of James Comey as FBI director was a result of the agency’s rank and file losing confidence in their director.

  • Trump’s lawyer. Democrats sharply criticised the attorney general, William Barr, for his decision not to prosecute the president for obstruction. “OUR Attorney General acts as Trump’s defense attorney,” tweeted 2020 hopeful Eric Swalwell, who demanded Barr resign.

Sudan protesters demand civilian rule after ousting Bashir

Sudanese demonstrators gather at the military headquarters in Khartoum.

Sudanese demonstrators gather at the military headquarters in Khartoum. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese protesters have gathered outside the defense ministry in Khartoum, demanding the military hand over power to a civilian government after Omar al-Bashir was toppled and arrested last week after three decades in power. The transitional military council has agreed to meet some of the demonstrators’ demands, but said the transitional period could last up to two years before elections.

  • Economic crisis. The protests began more than three months ago, triggered by Sudan’s worsening economic crisis and culminating in the sit-in at military HQ, which started on 6 April.

Videos appear to show militia detaining migrants at border

Minnesota native Jim Benvie, a member of the United Constitutional Patriots New Mexico Border Ops militia team.

Minnesotan Jim Benvie, a member of the United Constitutional Patriots New Mexico Border Ops militia team. Photograph: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

Members of an armed, rightwing militia have been accused of “kidnapping” by the American Civil Liberties Union, after video clips emerged in which they appeared to detain a large group of migrants at the US-Mexico border in New Mexico and then coordinated with federal border patrol agents to have them arrested. The men belong to the self-styled United Constitutional Patriots, which is described by the ACLU as “an armed fascist militia organization.”

  • Blame Trump. In a letter to the state’s governor and attorney general, the ACLU of New Mexico said: “The Trump administration’s vile racism has emboldened white nationalists and fascists to flagrantly violate the law.”

Crib sheet

  • Investigators in Paris believe the Notre Dame fire was accidental, and may have been caused by an electrical short circuit, a police official said on Thursday.

  • A 29-year-old journalist has been killed in Derry, Northern Ireland, in a “terrorist incident” that police blamed on dissident republicans, on the same day Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to the city to show support for the Good Friday peace agreement.

  • Facebook has admitted that millions more Instagram users were affected by a security lapse than it had previously disclosed. The users’ passwords were mistakenly stored unencrypted for years, although the company insists there is no evidence they were ever misused.

  • Three world-class mountaineers are presumed dead after a series of avalanches in Canada’s Banff national park this week. Officials said recovery efforts are on hold owing to the risk of further avalanches.


Visitors at the Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado.

Visitors at the Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado. Photograph: Benjamin Rasmussen/The Guardian

Generation Columbine: how mass shootings changed US schools

Two decades after Columbine, Richard Luscombe looks at how the legacy of the mass shooting has transformed schools, from active shooter drills to mental health provision. And former Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis tells Ed Pilkington how he coped with the aftermath: “I do worry we are becoming too accepting of these events.”

Chloë Grace Moretz: ‘I wish I was born a bit earlier.’

At just 22, the actor has more than 60 film and TV credits under her belt. She tells Alexandra Pechman about her new psycho-thriller Greta, and how the #MeToo movement has only made her more determined to remain outspoken.

Why did a topless photo ruin this teacher’s career?

Lauren Miranda was fired from her teaching job at a middle school on Long Island after pupils circulated a topless photo that she had sent only to the colleague she was dating. She tells Lucia Graves why she’s suing for gender discrimination: “It’s always the boys hurting the girls and the girls taking the brunt of it.”

Renowned San Francisco revue to close after 45 years

The raucous musical revue Beach Blanket Babylon has been entertaining San Franciscans, visitors and even royalty for almost half a century. As its founder’s widow finally announces the end of the run, Peter Lawrence Kane looks back at its long, laugh-a-minute history.


The Kavanaugh hearings only emphasised what has long been obvious: Republicans treat judges as partisan political appointees. Now Democrats must do the same, says Moira Donegan.

It is time for the Democrats to drop the pretense that the judiciary is apolitical, and admit that no progressive agenda can be enacted or maintained without a drastic overhaul of the federal judiciary. The next Democratic president must pack the courts.


The Europa League could still climax with a London derby, after Arsenal and Chelsea secured their places in the semi-finals. Arsenal will face Valencia after a 3-0 aggregate win over Napoli, while Chelsea beat Slavia Prague at Stamford Bridge to set a date with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons took his revenge on Brooklyn on Thursday, scoring 31 points in the 76ers’ 131-155 NBA playoff demolition of the Nets, after their bench player Jared Dudley called him “average.” Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors quashed the Clippers in LA to take a 2-1 lead in their series after the Clippers’ record-breaking 31-point comeback in game two.

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