Missing US woman's body found in Costa Rica

The family of Carla Stefaniak, a US citizen reported missing while on vacation in Costa Rica, has confirmed that a body found there this week belongs to her.

Posted: Dec 6, 2018 6:25 AM
Updated: Dec 6, 2018 6:41 AM

How's this for efficiency: Less than a week ago, a road in Alaska was ripped up in a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. Now, it's completely fixed. 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. NAFTA 

President Trump has been threatening to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and it looks like he may be close to pulling the trigger. Before last week's G20 Summit in Argentina, Trump and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts signed a replacement NAFTA deal called, appropriately, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). When he left the G20, Trump basically gave Congress an ultimatum: Choose between USMCA or nothing. This is important because pulling out of NAFTA without a successor in place would invite Mexico and Canada -- both leading importers of US goods -- to put tariffs on items coming from the United States. With stocks flagging and investor fears mounting, that could set off a pretty severe economic shock.

2. Denmark 

Denmark has a new plan for dealing with what it calls "unwanted" immigrants: Move them to a remote island that was once used for studying sick animals. No, really. The island in question is Lindholm Island, two miles out to sea. If it sounds extreme, it's supposed to be. Rising far-right and anti-immigration sentiments that have swept Europe have now reached the highest levels of government in Denmark. Some of the country's legislators have made it clear they have no qualms about testing the boundaries of human rights conventions to preserve what they call the Danish way of life. The controversial deal still must be passed by the parliament.

3. Wisconsin

Some states are still feeling the aftershock of last month's midterm elections. In Wisconsin, state Democrats are considering legal action after the GOP-held legislature approved a series of measures that would restrict the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. During a "lame duck" session, Republicans voted to reduce the number of early voting days, require legislative backing for certain decisions traditionally made by the governor and attorney general, and change the way the legislature could represent itself in court (a move that weakens the role of attorney general). State Democrats say the moves don't just undermine the incoming leaders, they undermine the entire electoral process.

4. Costa Rica 

The killing of an American tourist in Costa Rica is threatening the verdant Central American country's reputation as a safe travel destination. The body of 36-year-old Carla Stefaniak was found this week. She went missing late last month after dropping off her travel companion at the airport. Her body has been found, her family confirmed, and a suspect is in custody. Costa Rica is typically seen as a very safe place for travelers, but the country has seen a jump in homicides in recent years. According to one survey of official data, the country broke its record for reported homicides in 2017, with 603 reported killings.

5. Microplastics 

A study on the ecological impact of microplastics had stomach-churning results. Literally. Researchers examined more than 100 sea turtles of all seven species across the globe. Every ... single ... one ... of them had microplastics in their gut. The findings bolster an already strong global call to reduce the usage of microplastics, which can easily get washed into waterways. Microplastics, in case you're not sure, are exactly what they sound like -- teeny tiny particles of plastic. Some glitters are microplastics, as are those synthetic scrubbing beads in some face and body products. Countries and states around the world have taken steps to ban some of these harmful substances.

HAPPENING LATER

A final day of mourning

A funeral service is set for 11 a.m. ET in Houston, where the late former President George H.W. Bush is lying in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church. Bush's grandson, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and his close friend, former Secretary of State James Baker, will deliver eulogies. Burial is set for 5:15 p.m. at the the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Pantone has chosen 'Living Coral' as the 2019 color of the year

Good, we need some more brightness in our lives.

The Illinois State Capitol building will house a Satanic statue as part of its holiday decorations

I mean, it IS just one unfortunate typo away from Santa. That's festive, right?

New York City is dedicated to building more statues of historic women

Because the country wasn't just built by stately old white guys on mildly irritated horses.

9,000 counterfeit Nikes have been seized by US Customs and Border Protection

And they all look like DAD SHOES. Is this what the kids are into these days?

Jessica Simpson was irked by Natalie Portman's comment about her

What year is it?! 2002?

TODAY'S QUOTE

"When collective hate organizes and gets industrialized, then genocide follows. We have to take it more seriously today than I think we have had to take it in a generation."

Director Steven Spielberg, speaking about the spread of hate while reflecting on the 25th anniversary of "Schindler's List"

TODAY'S NUMBER

$130,000

That's how much "Secret Santas" across the country have paid off in Walmart layaway bills so far this year. The practice of anonymously paying off other peoples' holiday layaway bills has been going strong for a few years now, and it looks like some generous folks are feeling the holiday spirit.

AND FINALLY

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 58640

Reported Deaths: 1677
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18641828
Ramsey7233261
Dakota4188104
Anoka3515114
Stearns286420
Washington200944
Nobles17536
Olmsted168823
Scott147918
Mower10942
Rice10138
Blue Earth8745
Wright8475
Carver8162
Clay76840
Sherburne7037
Kandiyohi6871
St. Louis48619
Todd4222
Lyon4213
Freeborn3581
Steele3381
Nicollet32913
Benton3153
Watonwan3010
Winona25416
Crow Wing22514
Beltrami2150
Le Sueur2101
Martin2045
Chisago1891
Goodhue1878
Otter Tail1853
Cottonwood1750
Becker1501
McLeod1480
Pipestone1479
Polk1453
Waseca1380
Douglas1360
Itasca13512
Carlton1320
Unassigned13241
Pine1280
Dodge1250
Murray1221
Isanti1160
Chippewa1011
Wabasha870
Brown862
Meeker852
Morrison851
Faribault830
Sibley822
Rock770
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson720
Cass712
Mille Lacs693
Renville625
Fillmore610
Lincoln540
Grant523
Swift521
Yellow Medicine510
Pope460
Roseau460
Houston410
Norman370
Kanabec321
Redwood320
Wilkin323
Hubbard300
Aitkin291
Marshall290
Mahnomen261
Wadena240
Red Lake230
Big Stone220
Lake200
Stevens170
Clearwater150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47424

Reported Deaths: 910
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10032206
Woodbury369151
Black Hawk308463
Linn227987
Johnson202116
Dallas184635
Buena Vista179112
Scott165514
Dubuque162331
Marshall142525
Pottawattamie128426
Story114114
Wapello87233
Muscatine84048
Webster7727
Crawford7263
Sioux6143
Cerro Gordo59617
Warren5471
Tama54529
Jasper46626
Wright4551
Plymouth4528
Louisa38014
Dickinson3774
Clinton3623
Washington29310
Boone2442
Hamilton2441
Franklin2339
Bremer2037
Clarke1953
Emmet1882
Carroll1851
Shelby1771
Clay1761
Hardin1730
Marion1620
Allamakee1544
Poweshiek1538
Des Moines1522
Jackson1481
Benton1461
Floyd1432
Mahaska13917
Guthrie1315
Cedar1281
Jones1272
Buchanan1231
Hancock1212
Butler1192
Henry1193
Pocahontas1151
Madison1142
Lyon1092
Lee1073
Cherokee1031
Clayton1023
Harrison1020
Humboldt1001
Delaware991
Taylor960
Iowa941
Monona910
Winneshiek911
Mills850
Page850
Calhoun832
Kossuth830
Sac820
Fayette810
Jefferson800
Palo Alto800
Osceola790
Mitchell780
Winnebago770
Grundy761
Union751
Monroe697
Worth650
Lucas574
Chickasaw540
Montgomery534
Davis521
Cass501
Howard490
Appanoose473
Greene390
Fremont370
Van Buren341
Keokuk331
Ida290
Audubon281
Adair270
Decatur230
Ringgold211
Wayne191
Adams160
Unassigned30
Rochester
Scattered Clouds
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Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 63°
Mason City
Scattered Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 62°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 64°
Austin
66° wxIcon
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Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 64°
Warming temps and rain inbound
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