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March 13, 2018

About 7,000 pairs of children's shoes overtook the U.S. Capitol's lawn Tuesday morning.

The shoes were empty, but they carried a loaded message: Each pair represents a child killed by gun violence since the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012, claims Avaaz, the activist group that arranged the protest. The New York Times reported last month that in 239 school shootings since Sandy Hook, 138 people have been killed.

Avaaz posted on Feb. 28 that it would be collecting worn shoes, and the donations quickly poured in. Some of the pairs actually belonged to gun violence victims, Fox 5 reports.

After the protest wraps up at 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, the shoes will head to homeless shelters in Washington, D.C. On March 24, the March For Our Lives, organized by the student survivors of the mass shooting at a Florida high school last month, will bring its gun reform message to the nation's capital. Watch the video below to see the massive display. Kathryn Krawczyk

8:50a.m.

The White House giveth and the White House taketh away.

The White House has informed CNN that reporter Jim Acosta's press pass will be suspended again after a temporary restraining order preventing the suspension expires, CNN reports. Judge Timothy J. Kelly on Friday ruled that the White House needed to restore Acosta's access, and issued a 14-day restraining order, but that order expires next week.

The restraining order came as part of a lawsuit filed by CNN against members of the Trump administration, which suspended Acosta's press pass after a particularly contentious press conference exchange during which he would not give up the microphone in his attempt to ask a follow-up question. In its suit, CNN argues the White House is violating Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights. Judge Kelly has not yet ruled on the actual case, and while he agreed that the White House had suspended Acosta's pass without due process, he suggested it could try to revoke the pass again if it were to provide that due process in the second attempt, CNN reports.

The White House says it plans to "further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future." CNN's Brian Stelter writes in his Reliable Sources newsletter that the White House is trying to "establish a paper trail that will empower the administration to boot Acosta again at the end of the month." Per The Washington Post, the judge in the case can extend the current restraining order, or even consider a permanent order. Brendan Morrow

8:50a.m.

Nissan said Monday it was taking steps to remove its chairman, Carlos Ghosn, for allegedly violating Japanese financial law, CNBC reports. The Japanese auto maker said Ghosn and board director Greg Kelly had been under-reporting compensation amounts to the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report for years. Nissan said "numerous other significant acts" by Ghosn had been uncovered, "such as personal use of company assets."

Trading of Nissan shares had already ended by the time the news broke, but shares of French auto maker Renault, also led by Ghosn, dropped by 13 percent, hitting their lowest level in three years. Japanese media reported Monday that Ghosn had been arrested. Harold Maass

7:40a.m.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald's first weekend at the U.S. box office was not especially magical.

The sequel to the Harry Potter prequel took in $62 million domestically this weekend, coming in below its predecessor's 2016 $74 million debut. This is a disappointment, though not a disaster, for Warner Bros., considering estimates had the film pegged at $75 million or more a few days ago. Instead, The Crimes of Grindelwald ended up with the weakest opening weekend of any film in the Harry Potter film franchise. The first Fantastic Beasts held that distinction before, while the lowest opening of the original series was that of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which debuted at $77 million in 2007, the equivalent of $94 million in 2018 dollars.

The Crimes of Grindelwald performed much better overseas than it did in the U.S., though, taking in $191 million internationally, above the original Fantastic Beasts' international opening of $145 million, so once again a blockbuster's somewhat weak domestic take has been salvaged by its performance elsewhere.

A movie franchise seeing a box office dip in its second outing isn't uncommon, to be fair, and that happened recently with both Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. But considering The Crimes of Grindelwald is even more connected to the original Harry Potter series than its predecessor, featuring both a young Dumbledore and Hogwarts itself, the film had potential to be a much larger hit. Unfortunately, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 40 percent and a CinemaScore rating of B+, the lowest of any Harry Potter universe film, it seems director David Yates and writer J.K. Rowling this time are struggling to keep audiences under their spell. Brendan Morrow

2:06a.m.

Missing for 40 years, a 1,600-year-old mosaic depicting St. Mark is back in Cyprus, thanks to the "Indiana Jones of the art world."

Arthur Brand of The Netherlands is an art investigator, and after two years of searching, finally found the mosaic, which was looted from an Orthodox Christian church in Cyprus in the 1970s, in an apartment in Monaco. He told Agence France-Presse that a British family bought the mosaic "in good faith more than four decades ago." When he finally had the mosaic in his possession, it was "one of the greatest moments of my life," he said.

Brand delivered the mosaic to the Cypriot embassy in The Hague on Friday, and it was back in Cyprus by Sunday. He earned the Indiana Jones nickname in 2015 after he found two horse statues that once stood outside Adolf Hitler's office. Catherine Garcia

1:38a.m.

During an interview with Fox News that aired Sunday night, President Trump said he will not listen to the tape recording of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist living in the United States, was killed last month inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. The Turkish government has supplied the audio, Trump told Chris Wallace, adding that listening to it won't change how he decides to respond. It's a "suffering tape, it's a terrible tape," Trump said. "I've been fully briefed on it, there's no reason for me to hear it. I know everything that went on in the tape without having to hear it."

U.S. intelligence has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, which he denies. Khashoggi had been critical of the Saudi government, but also supported some of its policies. Trump told reporters on Saturday that a full report will be published by Tuesday, including the answer to "who did it." On Fox News, Trump said Saudi Arabia is "an ally, and I want to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good." Catherine Garcia

1:05a.m.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University, the largest gift ever made to an educational institution in the United States.

The donation was announced Sunday. Beginning next fall, the Baltimore university will be able to use the money to eliminate student loans in financial aid packages for low- and middle-income students. This gift is "unprecedented and transformative," Johns Hopkins President Ronald Daniels said in a statement.

Bloomberg, one of the richest people in the world, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1964, and said he believes that "denying students entry to a college based on their ability to pay undermines equal opportunity." The university was founded in 1876, thanks to $7 million from Baltimore merchant Johns Hopkins. Daniels said like Bloomberg's donation, this was the largest gift of its kind at the time. Catherine Garcia

12:36a.m.

After participating in a yearlong clinical trial about peanut allergies, two-thirds of the young participants are now able to ingest the equivalent of two peanuts a day without any adverse reactions.

The results of the study were announced Sunday during the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology conference in Seattle. The oral immunotherapy regimen did not work for all participants — 20 percent of the children involved had to leave the trial — and is not a cure for peanut allergies, but does aim to reduce sensitivity to peanuts, so a child that accidentally comes into contact with one does not suffer a major reaction.

For six months, 372 participating children, under medical supervision, were slowly exposed to peanut protein, starting with the smallest of doses and taking more as their tolerance increased. They then went through an additional six months of maintenance therapy. Two-thirds of the participants were able to ingest 600 milligrams or more of peanut protein, the equivalent of two peanuts, without developing any symptoms of an allergy. Of the 124 children given placebo powder, just four percent could consume that amount without having a reaction.

Peanut allergies affect 1 in every 50 American children, causing more deaths from anaphylaxis than any other food allergy, The New York Times reports. The treatment is being developed by Aimmune Therapeutics, with the study set to be published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine. Catherine Garcia

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