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5 things to know for October 15: Syria, Fort Worth shooting, impeachment inquiry

A flash drought (which forms relatively fast) is currently affecting the Southeast. It has caused the total area in drought to more than double in just a month. Pedram Javaheri is in and will let us know how much rain is forecast to fall.

Posted: Oct 15, 2019 10:10 AM
Updated: Oct 15, 2019 10:10 AM

NASA's chief scientist has said that the world's not ready if life is discovered on Mars. This ex-NASA scientist claims they found it more than 40 years ago.

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. Syria

President Trump issued new sanctions against Turkey as the country continues its military offensive deeper into northern Syria. Trump talked to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to express his displeasure at the military operation, Vice President Mike Pence said. Pence will soon go to Turkey to try to hash out some kind of ceasefire between Turkey, Syria and the Kurdish forces who have aligned with the Syrian regime. Trump continues to get withering criticism from Democratic and GOP lawmakers for his decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria and sparking the current crisis there. Some US military personnel and defense officials are slamming Trump, too, saying the decision to abandon the Kurds, who helped the US battle ISIS, is a "betrayal."

2. Fort Worth police shooting

The former Fort Worth police officer who shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson has been arrested and charged with murder. Before he was charged, Aaron Dean resigned from his job. Dean killed Jefferson in her own home on Saturday morning, after police were called to her house for a safety check. Now Texans are outraged over the death of another black person killed at home by a white police officer. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price apologized for the shooting and said the killing of Jefferson was "unacceptable" and unjustified. Even before the shooting, relations between the Fort Worth police and the black community were already tense. Click here for the latest on the shooting.

3. Impeachment inquiry

President Trump's former top adviser on Russia said she saw "wrongdoing" in US foreign policy and tried to report it. The adviser, Fiona Hill, told congressional committees that she had concerns about Rudy Giuliani's role in US foreign policy toward Ukraine, multiple sources told CNN. Hill also reportedly testified that former national security adviser John Bolton called Giuliani a "hand grenade" who was "going to blow everybody up."

Hill testified before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees under subpoena. She's one of many current and former Trump administration officials being interviewed this week as part of the impeachment inquiry. Today George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary at the State Department, will be grilled by lawmakers. He was a key figure in the US Embassy in Ukraine. Click here for the latest.

4. Typhoon Hagibis

Search and rescue operations continue in Japan after Typhoon Hagibis slammed parts of the country. At least 49 people were killed and 14 others are missing. The number of injured stands at 200. More than 110,000 personnel are involved in the rescue operations. And more than 84,000 households in Tokyo, northern Japan and mountainous areas in the center of the country were still without power. The typhoon also caused Japan to cancel some matches for the Rugby World Cup, which the country is hosting for the first time.

5. Spain

Remember when people in Spain's Catalonia region tried to split from the country a couple of years ago? The leaders of that failed movement are going to prison. Nine Catalan independence leaders got lengthy prison sentences of between nine and 13 years for their part in the 2017 independence referendum. They were convicted on a number of charges, including sedition and misuse of public funds. Spain descended into its worst political crisis since the restoration of democracy in the 1970s, when separatist leaders in Catalonia attempted to push forward with the region's secession.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Divine intervention?

The New Orleans Saints are 5-1, but that probably has nothing to do with Pope Francis unintentionally tweeting out a sign of support for the NFL team.

Putting your money where your mouth is

After he saw a list of the unpaid school lunch debt in his town, this Florida man decided to do something about it. He paid the entire bill.

Here we go again

What, you thought the internet had grown up after 2015's "what color is this dress" brouhaha? You would be so wrong. People are fighting about the color of these shoes.

Birthday party

When their fave school crossing guard turned 80 years old, more than 100 people showed up to celebrate his special day.

HAPPENING LATER

The great debate

The latest Democratic presidential debate is tonight at 8 ET from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. It'll feature 12 candidates, and it could be the last appearance for four of them. Watch it on all of CNN's platforms.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

2

The number of winners for the Booker Prize, a literary award that honors the best in fiction writing. The judges broke the rules -- which clearly state that "the prize may not be divided or withheld" -- and awarded it to authors Bernardine Evaristo and Margaret Atwood.

TODAY'S WEATHER

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I feel like it's an honor to actually be the picture of what rehabilitation looks like, of what it looks like when we do give people a second chance."

Cyntoia Brown, in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, her first since being released from prison earlier this year. Brown spent more than a decade behind bars for killing a man she said bought her for sex when she was 16. She was granted clemency in January.

AND FINALLY ...

Just a little trim

Ever wonder what it takes to maintain the biggest hedges in the UK? You're about the find out. (Click to view)

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