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Susan Walsh / AP

Senate Intel Committee Chair Richard Burr and Ranking Member Mark Warner said at a press conference on Wednesday that the committee is "within weeks" of completing its review of Russian election meddling, with the first public hearing coming Thursday.

The committee has hired seven staffers to analyze documents and scheduled five interviews, with 15 more to be scheduled (Kushner and Manafort are on the list, and they've spoken to Flynn).

Burr said the White House hasn't blocked Sally Yates from participating. He wouldn't rule out WH coordination with Russia, saying it would be "crazy to draw conclusions" at this stage.

The air in the room: Burr and Warner wanted to build confidence that a fair investigation will take place — notable given the polarizing House proceedings under Devin Nunes. Burr pledged to "go wherever the intelligence leads us."

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

2 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

2 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

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