Is that him in blackface? They can't say.
A blackface investigation into Virginia's governor came up short, Trump dropped an ultimatum and China's foam is wrecking our ozone layer. It's Ashley. It's Short List. Here's Wednesday's news.
But first, the Force is with Felicity: Check out Keri Russell's new (and highly anticipated!) "Rise of Skywalker" character, a scoundrel named Zorri Bliss.
Is that Virginia's governor in blackface? Investigators: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The law firm investigating a blackface photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page said Wednesday it couldn't prove whether the governor is in the picture. No one interviewed could say whether the photo appeared in error, nor could anyone say that Northam definitely was or was not in the picture, the firm's report says. Northam issued a statement reasserting that he's not the "racist" in the photo that shows one person in blackface and another in a KKK hood. Despite widespread calls for his resignation, Northam has hung on to his job.
Trump to Dems: Drop the investigations or we're done talking
President Donald Trump gave Democratic leaders an ultimatum: He won't work with them until they drop all investigations into his presidency. Trump said Wednesday he told Dems that going forward on shared priorities would be impossible while "phony" investigations continue. Before Trump laid down his terms, Nancy Pelosi accused him of a cover-up. “We believe that no one is above the law," the House speaker said, "including the president of the United States, and we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up." Pelosi, who has resisted efforts from within her own party to impeach Trump, suggested a cover-up may be worthy of impeachment.
Higher skin cancer rates? Thanks, China
Chinese foam companies are releasing an ozone-destroying chemical into the air that defies an international agreement to fix the ozone layer, scientists said Wednesday. The world agreed to phase out the chemical in 2010, but emissions in the past six years have increased by 7,000 tons or so each year. The major source? Eastern China, the study says. Up in the stratosphere, the ozone layer acts like a sunscreen, blocking potentially harmful ultraviolet energy from our planet's surface. Without it, humans and animals can experience increased skin cancer rates and other ailments such as cataracts. Sketch.
- Natalie Portman’s hot take on Moby and rumors of a relationship? Just an “older man being creepy.”
- A once-homeless teen earned $3 million in scholarships and the honor of high school valedictorian.
- A newborn cut from murdered mother's womb opened his eyes for the first time.
- A former Olympian stabbed while trying to save her sister is moving forward.
- "Game of Thrones" finale: No one was more upset about Dany's fate than Jason Momoa. Also: Don't wait for an Arya Stark spinoff. HBO says it's not happening.
- 'Jeopardy!' champ James Holzhauer extended his streak with his 24th consecutive win.
4 deaths. Almost 60 tornado reports.
A violent storm system blasting through the Midwest was linked to four deaths and fueled nearly 60 tornado reports – and forecasters warned that more damage was possible. An Iowa woman was killed and her husband injured when a tornado blew through their Adair County home Wednesday. The National Weather Service rated the tornado as an EF-2, with winds at 120-130 mph. Severe storms, possibly with large hail, were forecast from Texas to the Great Lakes on Wednesday, the weather service said.
Avenatti indicted on charges of stealing from Stormy Daniels
New charges against celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti allege he skimmed nearly $300,000 from Stormy Daniels, the adult-film actress he represented in a case against Trump. Wednesday, prosecutors claimed Avenatti instructed Daniels' agent to make payments to his bank account rather than hers. The indictment leaves Avenatti facing three sets of federal charges. Prosecutors also accused him of trying to extort money from Nike and of stealing from clients in Los Angeles. Avenatti rose to prominence representing Daniels in a legal battle against Trump over hush money to silence her claim that she and Trump had an affair.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Is that him in blackface? They can't say.