Kim Jong Un's audacious gesture to Pope Francis

Kim Jong Un invited Pope Francis to visit North Korea. CNN's Brian Todd has the details.

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 1:49 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2018 1:51 PM

Have you ever wanted to swim with swine? You can at the beach in the Bahamas that's something of a pig's paradise. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Saudi Arabia

The Trump administration is starting to take a tougher public stand against Saudi Arabia, as evidence piles up of the kingdom's possible role in Jamal Khashoggi's apparent death. For the first time, President Trump said he believes the Washington Post columnist is probably dead, and he alluded to "severe" consequences for the Saudis if the country was found to be involved. But Saudi Arabia is the linchpin of Trump's Middle East policy and his main regional partner in battling Iran, so it's unclear how much further his White House will want to go in punishing the kingdom.

2. Pope and North Korea

You thought President Trump and Kim Jong Un getting together was peak 2018? Well, as they say, you ain't seen nothing yet. North Korean leader Kim has invited Pope Francis to North Korea, and Francis is reportedly considering the offer. If the visit were to happen, it would be even more extraordinary than Kim's historic summit this year with Trump in Singapore. North Korea is one of the worst oppressors of religion in the world, so having the leader of the Catholic Church drop in would be an incredible sight. Kim's doing this for good PR and to weaken international resolve for UN sanctions, one observer believes. Others think the Pope could have a positive impact if he goes, including shining a light on the North's awful human rights record.

3. Migrant caravan

If you've watched the news lately (or paid attention to the President's Twitter feed), you know a caravan of Honduran migrants is nearing Mexico's southern border on its way to the US. President Trump has threatened to cut off aid to Honduras if the group doesn't turn back. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is headed to Mexico City to meet with officials there and to tell them to stop the migrants. Trump (and talking heads on Fox News) have deemed the migrants a serious threat to the US. But CNN's Chris Cuomo urged everyone not to look at them as Trump does -- "as the 'Walking Dead'" -- but as desperate people fleeing violence and seeking better economic opportunities.

4. Clergy sex abuse

The Justice Department is investigating the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania and Buffalo, New York, in what could become one of the biggest federal inquiries into sexual abuse by clergy in the US. Seven of the eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania have been subpoenaed, along with the diocese in Buffalo, a source tells CNN. The investigation comes after a grand jury report in Pennsylvania found credible evidence that 301 "predator priests" abused more than 1,000 children in six dioceses dating back to the 1940s.

5. Weather

Winter is coming. Sort of. It could be a milder-than-normal winter for much of the US, NOAA said in its seasonal forecast. Above-average temps are predicted for the Pacific Northwest through the Northern Plains and Northeast. Less snow is predicted for the Great Lakes and portions of the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains. Only the South and Mid-Atlantic could get more snow than normal over the next few months. NOAA thinks an upcoming El Niño, with warming waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, will drive the weather.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

New nanny

A reboot of "The Nanny," with Fran Drescher and ... Cardi B? Hey, in 2018, anything is possible.

Nothing to sneeze at

Goodbye "mansize," hello "extra large." Kleenex changes the name of its larger tissues after 62 years because of complaints of sexism.

Bait and switch

Elle tweeted Kim K. and Kanye West broke up. Turns out it was just a ploy to get people to register to vote. The good folks of the internet were not amused.

'Margaret' makes a movie

Yes, it's really happening. Judy Blume has given her blessing for a movie based on her iconic book, "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret."

TODAY'S QUOTE

"I get it. You wanted an Indian woman, but Elizabeth Warren failed her DNA test."

Outgoing United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, cracking jokes last night at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner

TOTAL RECALL

Quiz time

Which country just legalized pot nationwide?

A. Brazil

B. Canada

C. France

D. Norway

Play "Total Recall: The CNN news quiz" to see if you're right. And don't forget, you can also find a version of the quiz on your Amazon devices! Just say, "Alexa, ask CNN for a quiz."

AND FINALLY

In the dog house

Meet Sylar the border collie, whose owner built him a half-million-dollar mansion so the dog would have "a better childhood than I did." No, really. (Click to view.)

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50300

Reported Deaths: 2748
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