Plus three other things you need to know today.
U.S. kills top Iranian general, opening door for mass regional conflict
Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was killed in a strike at Baghdad International Airport early Friday morning, which the Pentagon said in a statement was “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.” The assassination could pave the way for escalating tensions to break into open fighting in the Middle East, and has critics questioning if Trump, without congressional approval, has sparked a potential war. Iran’s supreme leader vowed “a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have [Suleimani’s] blood.”
207 Congressional lawmakers urge SCOTUS to erode abortion access
About 80 percent of Republicans in Congress and two conservative Democrats sent a signed legal brief on Thursday to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a 2014 Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Only one Louisiana doctor has been able to meet the requirement, severely reducing access to abortion care. The brief also urges Supreme Court justices to consider overturning Roe v. Wade and another key abortion ruling from 1992.
Probe finds security flaw in computer system that handled North Carolina voter data
The Department of Homeland Security has finally released a report that found security breaches in Durham County’s election technology during the 2016 election. Although a North Carolina Board of Elections spokesperson said Russian hackers “did not play a part,” independent experts say the report is incomplete, and only shows that malware was not found on the systems that were examined.
Science advisory board bucks three Trump administration proposals to weaken EPA regulations
The scientists, many appointed by officials with the current administration, posted draft letters earlier this week that declared rewrites of waterway regulations, vehicle tailpipe emissions, and a plan to restrict the scientific data that can be used to draft health regulations all lack the necessary scientific rigor. The panel’s opinions could undermine the legality of these rollbacks.