5 things to know for December 17: White House, Brexit, Sri Lanka, China, Hungary

Time is running out to get in the holiday spirit, so let our top Christmas movie picks give you a boost. Her...

Posted: Dec 17, 2018 3:47 PM
Updated: Dec 17, 2018 3:47 PM

Time is running out to get in the holiday spirit, so let our top Christmas movie picks give you a boost. 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. White House

Asia

Brexit

China

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

East Asia

Europe

European Union

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - Intl

Northern Europe

Political Figures - US

Politics

United Kingdom

US federal government

White House

Eastern Europe

Hungary

South Asia

Sri Lanka

It's bound to be another exhausting week in Washington. Why? Let us count the ways: Over the weekend, President Trump lashed out at the ongoing Mueller investigation, calling it a "scam" and characterizing a raid of his former attorney Michael Cohen's office as a break-in. This of course comes among court filings and sentencing hearings regarding some of the high-level Trump associates implicated in the investigations. Next up? Tuesday's sentencing hearing for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted lying to the FBI. Moving on, we could be looking at a partial government shutdown soon over funding for a border wall. Trump wants $5 billion, but Democrats are unwilling to agree to that and any spending bill needs bipartisan support to pass Congress. Also, the revolving door at the White House keeps revolving: News broke over the weekend that embattled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would be leaving his position, and on Friday Trump announced he would be replacing Chief of Staff John Kelly at the end of the year. So basically, your office may be quiet as everyone gets ready for the holidays, but the Oval Office sure isn't.

2. Brexit

Could the UK be heading for a second vote on whether or not to leave the European Union? What was once an unthinkable question is now, according to British political experts, a serious possibility. That's because UK Prime Minister Theresa May has, so far, failed to engineer a graceful, er, Brexit. Last week, both EU leaders and members of May's own party voiced their lack of support for her Brexit deal, which would negotiate the economic terms of the UK's withdrawal from the EU. Without a deal, the UK would just crash out of the EU at the Brexit deadline which is, friendly reminder, rapidly approaching in March. Such a scenario would probably be catastrophic for the UK's economy. All of this chaos is what has fueled speculation about a second referendum. May denounced the possibility on Sunday, saying a second vote would  "do irreparable damage to the integrity our politics."

3. Sri Lanka

Let's head over to Sri Lanka for even more political turmoil: Two months ago, President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the country's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. The decision created a constitutional crisis, with Wickremesinghe insisting he was still Prime Minister, leading to mass protests in the capital Colombo. Now, the President has reinstated Wickremesinghe in a surprising reversal. This comes after the country's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Sirisena's firing of the Prime Minister violated the constitution. While the reversal may be an attempt to restore some political normalcy, the damage is already done -- aside from protests and nationwide anxiety over the decision, Sri Lanka's economy and global standing also faltered as a result.

4. China

One hundred Christians have been detained in China, raising concerns about the Chinese Communist Party's crackdown on religion. Among those detained is a prominent Chinese pastor and legal scholar, who was reportedly arrested on allegations of "inciting subversion of state power." Christians haven't been the only ones to experience serious pressure under China's government: China has also been accused of carrying out a systematic campaign of human rights violations against hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uyghurs in the far western region of Xinjiang. Rights advocates say this new move against religious freedom isn't about religion itself, per se, but about China's Communist Party exerting more control to make sure they stay in power.

5. Hungary

Ongoing protests in Hungary's capital city of Budapest took a violent turn on Sunday. Thousands gathered to protest new legislation they call a "slave law," because it would ask workers to take on up to 400 hours of overtime a year. The law was passed by Hungary's parliament last week. The government says the law would allow people to work and earn more, but critics say the policy, while voluntary, invites exploitation. There's been a lot of concern over recent political dealings in Hungary, namely over the ruling populist party's perceived crackdown on democratic institutions. Earlier this year, the European Parliament took the unprecedented step of launching Article 7 -- a disciplinary process -- against Hungary, a rare process designed to prevent members from breaching the EU's "core values."

TODAY'S QUOTE

"As I know too well, it's not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that's only been sought by boys."

Hillary Clinton, in a letter to an 8-year-old girl who lost her election for class president

BREAKFAST BROWSE

2018's Miss Universe is Catriona Gray, from the Philippines

Why is it always someone from Earth, though? The rest of the universe wants to know.

Amazon newest "Go" stores are tiny and cashier-free

So it's basically like getting food from a closet.

California is dropping an idea to tax text messages. 

Brevity is the soul of wit, not telecommunications.

'Well-preserved' 4,400-year-old Egyptian tomb found

Imagine being a pharaoh thinking you're headed for the afterlife but you really just end up being poked by some 21st century archaeologist. Disappointment!

Dictionary.com's word of the year is: Misinformation

Drag us, Dictionary.com.

TODAY'S NUMBER

37.3%

The percentage of 12th graders (high school seniors) who reported vaping in the past year, according to a new study. Vaping has seen a huge increase among teens in recent years, but in general, drug and alcohol use among teens has decreased.

AND FINALLY

Pajama jammin'

Who else just wants to hang around in their PJs all day today? Bonus if your pajama party comes with goats. (Click here to view)

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 755401

Reported Deaths: 8531
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1513291905
Ramsey62614972
Dakota56158520
Anoka53010513
Washington33145327
Stearns27922252
St. Louis23178352
Scott21316159
Wright20879170
Olmsted17821118
Sherburne15232111
Carver1336954
Clay1006598
Rice9855131
Blue Earth949559
Crow Wing9254105
Kandiyohi819195
Chisago816662
Otter Tail7807104
Benton7363108
Beltrami633276
Mower631740
Douglas616189
Goodhue603683
Winona603653
Itasca596978
McLeod580868
Steele572425
Isanti558172
Morrison541565
Becker518762
Polk502577
Freeborn480842
Nobles477052
Lyon444456
Carlton438666
Nicollet423051
Pine419930
Cass413142
Mille Lacs403565
Brown398846
Todd389336
Le Sueur378331
Meeker350452
Waseca322629
Martin316534
Wabasha28495
Hubbard283644
Dodge26819
Roseau258924
Fillmore236312
Redwood234143
Wadena230229
Houston229017
Renville224249
Faribault214630
Pennington213227
Sibley204512
Cottonwood193027
Kanabec187130
Chippewa185839
Aitkin178442
Watonwan168711
Pope15328
Rock153219
Yellow Medicine151120
Jackson144114
Koochiching137219
Clearwater133318
Swift132619
Pipestone131627
Marshall131419
Murray131310
Stevens122311
Lake106221
Wilkin100214
Lac qui Parle95024
Mahnomen86312
Norman8459
Big Stone7874
Grant7669
Lincoln7525
Kittson59522
Red Lake5769
Unassigned528124
Traverse5005
Lake of the Woods4524
Cook2420

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 467281

Reported Deaths: 6685
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk73698716
Linn28680379
Scott24441271
Black Hawk20130355
Woodbury18854242
Johnson17800100
Dubuque15577228
Pottawattamie14073197
Dallas13894107
Story1275148
Warren763496
Webster6876111
Cerro Gordo6816107
Clinton6814100
Des Moines657893
Marshall635484
Muscatine6294113
Wapello5807136
Jasper571478
Lee560787
Sioux560276
Marion499791
Buena Vista489745
Plymouth459187
Henry378647
Jones365160
Washington362255
Bremer353867
Benton352056
Boone344837
Carroll341753
Crawford337345
Mahaska313656
Dickinson297651
Clay274631
Buchanan274239
Jackson270445
Kossuth269373
Hardin266448
Tama261476
Fayette253848
Delaware253444
Cedar246326
Page244827
Wright240945
Winneshiek230837
Hamilton228553
Floyd216744
Harrison215277
Madison214325
Clayton210058
Poweshiek206840
Iowa204229
Butler203237
Jefferson197340
Mills197227
Allamakee192952
Cherokee191943
Lyon190641
Cass190557
Winnebago185432
Hancock184739
Calhoun184115
Appanoose175950
Shelby174239
Louisa169651
Grundy167937
Emmet163842
Franklin163328
Humboldt161826
Mitchell161843
Union159437
Chickasaw156418
Sac156323
Guthrie154034
Palo Alto140831
Clarke140028
Montgomery138941
Keokuk137534
Monroe131534
Howard125422
Ida116641
Davis113825
Greene113712
Lucas112224
Pocahontas109323
Monona107436
Worth10678
Adair103634
Osceola91117
Fremont83711
Van Buren82721
Decatur81212
Taylor78612
Wayne72024
Ringgold66827
Audubon64514
Adams4984
Unassigned150
Rochester
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 40°
Mason City
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 37°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 43°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Charles City
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 43°
A warm start before a cold end
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Apples in short supply this season at Northwoods Orchard

Image

Rochester Community Warming Center celebrates start of season with ribbon cutting ceremony

Image

Area apple orchard impacted by spring and summer weather

Image

Our Lady of Guadalupe statue returns

Image

Breast cancer awareness walk

Image

Full Sunday Forecast 10/17/21

Image

Afghan Evacuee Coat Drive

Image

Cans For Kids Event

Image

ROCHESTER RECORD SHOW

Image

RONALD MCDONALD CANS FOR KIDS

Community Events