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November 13, 2017
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In a letter sent to the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, a senior Justice Department official announced that prosecutors are looking into whether they should appoint a special counsel to investigate the Clinton Foundation and former President Barack Obama letting Russia's nuclear power agency purchase a controlling stake in the Uranium One company.

The move comes 10 days after President Trump told reporters he is "really not involved with the Justice Department," but he thinks they "should be looking at the Democrats" because "a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me." In his letter, Stephen Boyd, an assistant attorney general, said the prosecutors will "report directly to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit a special counsel."

Trump has been mad at Attorney General Jeff Sessions ever since he recused himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, setting up the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. People close to the White House told The New York Times that Sessions thinks if a special counsel is appointed to investigate the Uranium One deal, a talking point among some conservatives that is considered a non-scandal by those who have fact-checked it, he'll be back in Trump's good graces. During his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions said if there was ever any investigation into the Clinton Foundation, he would recuse himself. Catherine Garcia

9:52 p.m. ET
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If you planned on drowning your sorrows over climate change in a bottle of beer, it's time to pick a new beverage.

In a new report published Monday in the journal Nature Plants, scientists say that in the future, more extreme heat waves and droughts caused by climate change will stifle barley production. Barley is the key ingredient in beer, and in the U.S., Brazil, and China, at least two-thirds of the barley crop goes into beer production. Researchers estimate that the yield could drop by as much as 17 percent, making beer not only harder to find, but also more expensive.

Even adjusting for inflation, beer prices on average would double, the researchers said, and in Ireland, where beer is already more expensive, prices would triple. Barley is one of the most heat-sensitive crops in the world, and researchers only looked at how heat waves and drought would hit barley, not even considering an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Last week, a U.N. panel released an alarming report about how climate change is going to have a catastrophic impact in just a few decades if major action isn't taken globally, and Department of Agriculture scientist Lewis Ziska told The Associated Press it's studies like the one about beer that really get through to people. "One of the greatest challenges as a scientist doing research on climate change and food is to illustrate it in a way that people can understand," he said. Catherine Garcia

8:36 p.m. ET
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Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday released a proposal requiring drug companies reveal how much their medications cost in television ads.

"Right now, drug companies are required to disclose the major side effects a drug can have — but not the effect that buying the drug could have on your wallet," the department said in a statement. The law would apply to brand-name drugs covered by both Medicare and Medicaid, CBS News reports, as long as a typical course of treatment costs more than $35 every month.

PhRMA, the drug industry's largest trade group, said it is open to putting prices up on a website, but believes if prices are revealed in commercials, that could "discourage patients from seeking needed medical care." Catherine Garcia

7:59 p.m. ET
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On Monday, a federal judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit adult film star Stormy Daniels filed against President Trump, and ordered her to pay his legal fees.

Daniels, who said she had sex with Trump in 2006, claimed that in 2011, after she agreed to discuss the affair in an interview, she was threatened by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot. Trump tweeted this was a "total con job," and she was "playing the Fake News Media for Fools."

Daniels sued, saying Trump suggested she was a liar, but Judge S. James Otero said Monday the tweet "constitutes 'rhetorical hyperbole' normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States," and is protected by the First Amendment. Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said he will appeal. Catherine Garcia

7:25 p.m. ET
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The Endeavor talent firm is in discussions to return a $400 million investment from the Saudi Arabian government's Public Investment Fund, two people with knowledge of the matter told NBC News on Monday.

The move comes after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkey has told U.S. officials it has audio proof that he was murdered inside the consulate.

The Public Investment Fund agreed in March to buy a small stake in Endeavor. Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said on Monday the disappearance of Khashoggi was "upsetting" and he was "really concerned." If Endeavor does cut ties with Saudi Arabia, it would be one of the most visible moves by an American company to distance itself from the kingdom in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance. Catherine Garcia

6:37 p.m. ET
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Paul Allen, the philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, died Monday in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was 65.

In a statement, his sister, Jody, said Allen was "a remarkable individual on every level." Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Allen "created magical products, experiences, and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world." He founded Microsoft in 1975 with Bill Gates, and after leaving the company, founded Vulcan, Inc, which oversaw his philanthropic and business endeavors.

One of the world's wealthiest people, Allen's net worth was estimated at more than $20 billion. He owned the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks, plus had a stake in the Seattle Sounders soccer team. Allen was diagnosed nine years ago with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and announced earlier this month he had started treatment for it again. Catherine Garcia

5:57 p.m. ET

President Trump once said he'd pay $1 million to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) charity of choice if she proved she was "an Indian." In true Trumpian fashion, he's now negotiating the deal.

Trump has continually derided Warren for her assertion of Native American ancestry, suggesting it's untrue and dubbing her "Pocahontas" during rallies. So on Monday, Warren released a video challenging Trump's mockery and sharing DNA analysis that provided "strong evidence" that she has some Native American ancestry. Upon hearing the news, Trump declared that he never made a $1 million pledge, CNN reports.

Later in the day, Trump was more willing to play ball. He said Warren would have to win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to receive the cash. Warren hasn't said she's running for president, but pundits say she's a top contender. Trump also, somewhat disturbingly, said he would have to "test [Warren] personally" to seal the deal.

Trump isn't the only one who took issue with Warren's test results. The Cherokee Nation released a response to Warren's video on Monday, saying "using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong." Read the whole statement below. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:21 p.m. ET
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The Saudi government is planning to release a detailed report on missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sources told CNN on Monday.

Saudi officials are reportedly planning to admit that Khashoggi was killed, after previously claiming they had no knowledge about the incident. Khashoggi arrived at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this month before he went missing. The Saudi government will reportedly say that Khashoggi died during an interrogation gone wrong and that there was an unauthorized operation conducted to abduct him from Turkey. Those involved in the operation will face repercussions, the report will likely say.

Information about the new report comes after President Trump said Saudi King Salman "strongly" denied having any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi during a private phone call. Trump seemed inclined to believe this, speculating that the reporter could have been killed by "rogue agents." Turkey previously told the United States it had evidence that a Saudi security team killed Khashoggi at the consulate and dismembered his body.

The Saudi report has not yet been released, and CNN's sources indicate that some details could still change. Brendan Morrow

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