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The Morning Scroll: Pelosi to Hold Closed-Door Impeachment Meeting & Coca-Cola Brings Back New Coke in Honor of ‘Stranger Things’

Morning! While you were sleeping (or staying up to binge-watch Friends for the tenth time, or pulling an all-nighter in the library), a few things went down that you’ll probably want to know about. So grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and get scrolling.

What in the World

New Zealand police announced Tuesday that they had filed terrorism charges against the man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, who had already been charged with murder and attempted murder for the shootings, was charged with “engaging in a terrorist act,” police said Tuesday.

This is the first time a person has been charged in New Zealand with an act of terror under this law, which came onto the books in 2002 following the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001, BBC News reports. The new charge comes with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment upon conviction.

Law enforcement met with victims’ families and other survivors at a private meeting attended by more than 200 people to inform them of the new charges before they were formally announced.

Police also announced Tuesday that they had charged Tarrant with an additional count of murder, bringing the total number of murder charges against him to 51. According to The Associated Press, the additional charge was brought against him after a Turkish man who was wounded in the mosque shootings died earlier this month in a Christchurch hospital.

Police also increased the number of attempted murder charges against Tarrant from 39 to 40.

During the shootings on March 15, 42 people were killed at the Al Noor mosque, seven were killed at the Linwood mosque and two victims died later in hospitals.

Tarrant, who is being held in isolation at the Auckland Prison in Paremoremo, has been ordered by the judge last month to undergo mental health tests to determine if he is fit to stand trial.

The self-proclaimed white supremacist, who posted a hate- and expletive-filled manifesto detailing his plans for the shooting online before the attack, has not been asked to enter a plea, but the mental health findings could determine whether he is required to enter one.

His next court hearing has been scheduled for June 14. 

News You Can Eat

Coca-Cola is relaunching its 1985 “New Coke” in honor of the upcoming third season of Stranger Things, in which the product is featured.

The beverage maker is partnering with Netflix to “immerse viewers in 1980s nostalgia,” according to Coca-Cola.

According to ABC News, Netflix executives visited the Coca-Cola archives to in Atlanta to examine the packaging, memorabilia, and advertising of New Coke in order to ensure that the props and script accurately reflected the era.

Stranger Things creators Ross and Matt Duffer came up with the idea to bring back New Coke as a way to promote the show, which takes place in the summer of 1985.

New Coke during that time, however, flopped. Consumers reacted so poorly to New Coke that Coca-Cola pulled the product from the shelves within months.

Stuart Kronauge, president of Coke’s sparkling business unit and senior vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola North America, told CNN Business that bringing back New Coke is Coca-Cola’s way of saying to “not take ourselves too seriously.”

“In a world of shifting media consumption, we continue to challenge ourselves to find creative and meaningful ways to participate in non-advertising platforms like Netflix to engage with the millions of fans who subscribe to streaming content services,” Geoff Cottrill, senior vice president of strategic marketing for Coca-Cola North America, said. “We’re excited to partner with Netflix and play a key role in recreating the summer of 1985 in a uniquely Coca-Cola way.”

According to Coca-Cola, there are three ways for customers to get the revitalized New Coke: As a gift when you buy limited-edition Stranger Things Coke and Coke Zero Sugar glass bottles online starting Thursday, through Stranger Things themed pop up vending machines or as a giveaway when you purchase a gift or ticket at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. Coca-Cola will only release a select number of New Coke, so it is expected to run out quickly.

But don’t worry — Coca-Cola will also be releasing limited edition Stranger Things 8-ounce glass bottles of Coca-Cola and Coke Zero Sugar.

Stranger Things returns to Netflix on July 4.

Then This Happened

With calls for impeachment within the House Democratic caucus rising, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been compelled to hold a closed-door meeting Wednesday to deal with the pressures to go forward with an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

But despite the growing numbers of Democrats calling for impeachment, when asked if she was under pressure from her caucus to shift towards impeachment against Trump, Pelosi told ABC News, “No.”

“We don’t have division,” she told reporters.

For months, Pelosi has urged Democrats to withhold their calls for impeachment in order to focus on the party’s agenda, and has downplayed the chances of successfully impeaching Trump due to lack of bipartisan support and that the Senate is Republican-controlled.

But after former White House counsel Donald McGahn declined to comply with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena to testify after Trump blocked him from testifying, several Democrats began to depart from Pelosi’s comments, urging that they must start an impeachment inquiry, HuffPost reports.

McGahn is a key witness to special counsel Robert Mueller’s second volume of his investigation, where he looked into whether Trump obstructed justice.

“Congress has patiently tried to work within traditional means to get to the bottom of this extraordinary situation,” Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), the House Judiciary Committee’s vice chair, said in a statement. “But, we have reached an inflection point. The President’s refusal to produce evidence or permit written testimony defies not only the rule of law but the basic protections of our Constitution.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Trump’s “stonewalling” of Congress “only enhances the President’s appearance of guilt,” and “has pushed Congress to a point where we must start an impeachment inquiry.”

“Regrettably, the President’s most recent actions and continued disrespect for the Constitution are forcing us down the road to impeachment,” Pocan said. “The President and his associates are engaging in a campaign of obstruction and lawlessness that undermines the rule of law and does not reflect the actions of someone who is ‘exonerated’ as innocent. Congress has a responsibility to conduct oversight and get the information we need to deliver the truth to the American public regarding Russia’s interference in our elections.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) said she will introduce a “Resolution of Investigation” this week, asking the full House of Representatives to authorize an investigation to determine whether impeachment powers should be exercised.

“What the American people want and deserve is deliberate and judicious action by the United States Congress,” she tweeted. “We have to educate before we activate. Just like the Nixon tapes did. I will be introducing such a resolution. The time is now that Congress refuses to accept a rejection of its legal requests.”

Democrats in support of launching an impeachment inquiry believe that opening one would streamline their investigations and strengthen their battle with the Trump administration over documents and testimonies.

But Pelosi has insisted that the party has not exhausted all of their options yet.

According to an aide, Pelosi told Democrats in a closed-door meeting Monday, “We still have unexhausted avenues here.”

House Majority Leader Steny Soyer said the decision to proceed with impeachment will be a “collective judgment” from Democrats.

“I’m not saying that the Caucus is going to vote on it, but what I’m saying is there will be discussions among the leadership and among the Caucus as to whether or not we have reached a point where it is clear that the responsibility is to move ahead on that. I don’t think we’re there at this point in time,” Hoyer, (D-MD) told reporters Tuesday.

“The majority of Democrats continue to believe that we need to continue to pursue the avenue that we’ve been on in trying to elicit information, testimony, review the Mueller report, review other items that have gone on,” he continued. “And, you know, if the facts lead us to a broader action, so be it.”

Happy Thoughts

Happy Wednesday! We are halfway through the week!

Image via Giphy

Emily Veith was previously the Branded Content Copywriter at Her Campus, where she works to create fun and engaging native editorial and social content. Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.
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