Sen. Murphy: Nauert is clearly not qualified

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) reacts to news that President Donald Trump is expected to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be his new ambassador to the UN, according to an administration official and a second source.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 3:29 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 3:30 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.

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.

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.)

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 41571

Reported Deaths: 1537
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin13328790
Ramsey5169232
Dakota265596
Stearns249619
Anoka2393111
Nobles16846
Olmsted125920
Washington125541
Mower9822
Rice8798
Scott8584
Clay61238
Kandiyohi5901
Blue Earth5632
Wright5285
Carver4691
Todd4022
Sherburne3625
Lyon3332
Freeborn3120
Watonwan2670
Steele2451
Benton2363
St. Louis22316
Nicollet20312
Martin1755
Cottonwood1420
Winona14115
Goodhue1408
Le Sueur1251
Crow Wing11312
Pine1120
Otter Tail1111
Chisago1071
McLeod1000
Dodge960
Carlton900
Polk883
Unassigned8838
Isanti810
Chippewa801
Waseca770
Murray730
Itasca7112
Douglas700
Pipestone694
Morrison641
Becker620
Meeker621
Faribault610
Sibley582
Jackson570
Pennington530
Beltrami470
Brown442
Mille Lacs392
Wabasha380
Renville372
Fillmore350
Rock340
Swift331
Houston320
Yellow Medicine310
Grant250
Roseau250
Redwood230
Wilkin223
Koochiching211
Norman210
Cass192
Big Stone170
Kanabec171
Lincoln170
Wadena170
Aitkin150
Marshall130
Pope130
Clearwater120
Stevens110
Hubbard100
Mahnomen101
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle50
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34564

Reported Deaths: 747
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk7332184
Woodbury332944
Black Hawk249259
Buena Vista173711
Johnson14268
Dallas138531
Linn138183
Marshall109219
Scott103110
Dubuque94023
Story8575
Pottawattamie82112
Wapello71431
Muscatine68745
Crawford6803
Sioux5010
Tama48329
Wright3971
Louisa36513
Webster3655
Plymouth3465
Jasper34417
Warren3191
Dickinson2993
Cerro Gordo2841
Washington2519
Hamilton2011
Boone1681
Clay1491
Clarke1433
Allamakee1384
Clinton1321
Shelby1200
Mahaska11917
Carroll1131
Poweshiek1128
Bremer1107
Pocahontas1071
Franklin1040
Des Moines1002
Cedar951
Emmet950
Henry933
Hardin900
Cherokee831
Floyd812
Taylor810
Marion800
Monona780
Benton751
Guthrie754
Jones710
Butler682
Osceola680
Sac680
Buchanan631
Calhoun632
Iowa631
Jefferson620
Hancock601
Harrison600
Humboldt601
Fayette570
Jackson570
Lyon570
Delaware561
Madison552
Lee542
Monroe527
Palo Alto510
Clayton503
Grundy470
Mills470
Winneshiek460
Mitchell440
Davis421
Kossuth410
Union380
Howard370
Lucas354
Unassigned350
Winnebago340
Greene300
Chickasaw290
Cass280
Ida230
Keokuk231
Worth220
Appanoose213
Page210
Van Buren210
Audubon181
Adair170
Ringgold161
Decatur130
Montgomery122
Wayne110
Fremont100
Adams80
Rochester
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 67°
Mason City
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 63°
Albert Lea
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Austin
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 63°
Chance for more storms Monday
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