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Trump team's about-face on Paul Manafort

Donald Trump and his associates changed how they described former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as FBI scrutiny increased.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 5:44 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 6:16 PM

Today marks the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a day that changed the course of American history and the history of the world. 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. United Nations 

The President may have his new UN ambassador. Trump is expected to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to replace Nikki Haley, who announced in October she'd step down. It would be quite a change: The administration as a whole is deeply distrustful of the UN, and the outspoken Haley reportedly sparred with other US officials. Nauert, an ex-Fox News host, would be a decidedly less senior presence in one of the most high-profile posts in US diplomacy. First, though, she'd need to be confirmed by the Senate -- and Dems would likely grill her on her qualifications.

2. Yemen

The two sides in Yemen's yearslong civil war -- which has ruined the country's economy and infrastructure and sparked a humanitarian crisis -- just began long-awaited direct talks in Sweden as a step toward calming the violence. But even that glimmer of hope has darkened. Just hours before talks began, Houthi rebels and Saudi-backed Yemeni officials traded threats. The talks are sponsored by the United Nations, and a UN official advises everyone to temper their optimism, as the negotiations are merely consultations, not likely a move toward peace. Since the conflict began four years ago, tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or wounded and untold numbers affected by famine. Strategic clashes between the warring parties have choked infrastructure, so aid and basic necessities are extremely hard to access.

3. Huawei

Welcome to another downhill in the roller coaster that is US-China relations. Just days after trade tensions between the countries started to loosen, the arrest of a high-level Chinese executive has sent stock markets plunging again. Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei, was detained days ago in Vancouver at the request of US authorities, who say she threatens national security. The US wants to extradite Meng, and a bail hearing is set for today. Chinese officials want Meng released and demanded an explanation of the charges. It's pretty obvious why this pokes a huge hole in the slowly-growing bubble of optimism surrounding US-China trade. The big question now is how both sides move forward with economic solutions, if they do at all.

4. Coal

The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back an Obama-era coal emissions rule designed to regulate climate change. The move is part of the Trump administration's effort to loosen restrictions on the coal industry, and it flies in the face of a recent congressional report that warns of climate change's dire consequences (and that the President flatly dismissed). The reversal will make it easier to build coal-powered plants, but the message of this decision is as important as the result: It shows that the Trump administration has no qualms about disregarding US and international warnings about the changing environment to shore up waning energy interests. (Remember: EPA acting chief Andrew Wheeler is a former coal industry lobbyist.)

5. Winter weather 

Happy Friday! Hope you're ready to be cold. The Southeast is going to see some snowy skies this weekend thanks to a serious winter storm. It will start building today in the Southern Plains and Texas, then spread through the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Along with snow, people from Texas and Oklahoma all the way to North Carolina should brace for rain, freezing rain, and just, well, freezing. Meantime, California, still reeling from record wildfires, is facing its own cooldown. Some roads around Los Angeles and Bakersfield had to close yesterday because they were coated with snow.

HAPPENING LATER

More Mueller

If the Russia investigation is your thing, today is your day. Special counsel Robert Mueller is set to unveil new filings regarding jailed former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen. These documents are expected to be extremely significant for the Trump administration, offering signs of how the Russia drama may unfold in the weeks ahead.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Kevin Hart steps down as 2019 Academy Awards host after his old homophobic tweets resurface

We say "resurfaced" like they weren't just there on a major website for everyone to find. What a mess.

Pizza is the top 'addictive' food, according to a study 

Well, we know what those researchers ate on the clock.

Angela Merkel said 'shitstorm'

And we printed the word! What a weird time for journalism!

'Jeopardy!' contestants baffled by question about CNN show 

Maybe, if they subscribed to Five Things, they would have had a better shot. :)

Dubai launches sail-thru supermarket for yacht owners 

Heaven forbid one have to disembark a fancy boat for a Hot Pockets run, like some sort of peasant.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"We've been carrying a suit on our tour bus for a couple of months and wondering. ...By hook or by crook, we were going to be there for him."

Joe Bonsall, of The Oak Ridge Boys, reminiscing about the country group's long friendship with George H.W. Bush. They honored a promise to sing at the former President's funeral with a moving rendition of "Amazing Grace" at yesterday's service in Houston.

TODAY'S NUMBER

40

The number of seats in the House of Representatives gained by Democrats in the midterm elections, according to the latest results, after Republican Rep. David Valadao conceded to TJ Cox in California's 21st District.

IT'S THE WEEKEND, BABY

If you're a DC Comics fan and/or are massively, unquenchably in love with Jason Momoa (mostly the latter), you'll want to stay up late this weekend to watch the "Aquaman" star host "Saturday Night Live." If your TV desires are a little less thirsty, you can get your beauty queen on with the Jennifer Aniston-led Netflix Movie "Dumplin'." The HBO documentary "Icebox" is also out, which follows the harrowing journey of young asylum-seekers.

AND FINALLY

A living Lite-Brite

I was really in the mood for Christmas light videos, and then I remembered THIS group exists, and they're even better. (Click here to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
Bartholomew48634
Clark47141
LaPorte41523
Tippecanoe3803
Howard37620
Jackson3681
Delaware35936
Hancock32327
Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
Franklin1068
Kosciusko971
Carroll932
Daviess8416
Marshall801
Steuben802
Wayne755
Newton7410
Wabash732
Fayette714
Jasper621
LaGrange622
Washington521
Fulton471
Jay460
Randolph453
Rush452
Jefferson421
Whitley412
Clay411
Pulaski400
Owen341
Sullivan331
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke313
Perry260
Wells260
Huntington262
Knox250
Benton250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford202
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159
West Lafayette
Few Clouds
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Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
Kokomo
Few Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 80°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
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Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
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Fowler
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
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Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Frankfort
Overcast
81° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 82°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 76°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 61°
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Logansport
Clear
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Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 80°
Cooler, less humid weather ahead by the weekend.
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