13 arrested after tourists killed in Morocco

Thirteen suspects have been arrested in connection with the beheading deaths of two tourists in Morocco, the state-controlled 2M news agency reported.

Posted: Dec 25, 2018 10:42 PM
Updated: Dec 25, 2018 11:02 PM

Yes, the government is (partially) shut down, but that's not going to stop NORAD from tracking Santa Claus tonight. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door on this Christmas Eve. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Politics

It's Christmas Eve and part of the government is shut down, but the news is still coming fast and furious out of Washington. First up, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary pause on an order holding an unnamed, foreign government-owned company in contempt over a mystery court case related to Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. This will give the Supreme Court time to decide if it wants to intervene in this particular case, which is the first known legal challenge related to Mueller's probe to make its way to the high court.

Earlier in the day, President Trump said he would replace outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis by January 1, months earlier than Mattis' planned departure. The President was reportedly infuriated at the tone of the coverage of Mattis' resignation and took action to replace him sooner than planned. So Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will take over for Mattis, on an interim basis, at the start of the new year.

Now, what about that shutdown? It will continue past Christmas (the Senate is not in session again until Thursday) and there's a strong chance it'll still be going on when the new Congress meets in early January. A bit of negotiating went on over the weekend between Senate Democrats and the White House, but as of right now, a deal to end all of this seems to be a long way off.

2. Indonesia tsunami

At least 281 people were killed after a tsunami struck Indonesia over the weekend, and fears are high that more massive waves could be on the way. That's because the volcano that triggered the tsunami is still erupting. Survivors described fleeing for their lives from the wave that crashed -- without warning -- through beach resorts, homes and businesses. It washed away a pop band that was performing near the beach. Hundreds were injured and more than two dozen people are missing. Indonesia's President ordered the country to buy tsunami early warning detectors. Despite a history of deadly tsunamis, Indonesia hasn't had an effective early warning system for years.

3. Al Qaeda and planes

We don't hear about Al Qaeda as much as we used to, but it's still around. And the United Kingdom's security minister warns the "resurgent" terror group wants to attack passenger planes in Europe. Al Qaeda is working on new methods to bring down planes, says UK Security Minister Ben Wallace, who also warns that President Trump's decision to pull US troops out of Syria will create a "new safe haven" for terrorists to launch attacks on the West.

4. Morocco tourist killings

More people have been arrested in the horrifying beheading deaths of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco. A total of 13 people are in custody so far. Four of them are suspected of directly taking part in the killings, while the other nine were arrested for their alleged connection to the four murder suspects. Morocco considers the killings to be a terrorist act. In a video which purportedly shows the decapitations, some of the suspects pledge allegiance to ISIS. The bodies of the victims -- 28-year-old Maren Ueland of Norway and 24-year-old Louisa Jespersen of Denmark -- were found on a remote mountain range.

5. Lost and found

Since it's the day before Christmas, let's talk about something more in keeping with the holiday spirit. Like the subway rider in New York who did something really nice last week. He found a purse with $10,000 in cash on a train platform. Instead of going on a Christmas gift spending spree, he took the bag of cash to the police. Turns out it belonged to a Manhattan woman who was headed to Russia for a vacation. The man said he didn't think he'd done anything all that special and that it was "something most people would have done."

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding."

Queen Elizabeth II, in her annual Christmas Day message

BREAKFAST BROWSE

A Christmas miracle

The two sailors had been stranded in the Caribbean for weeks. They were low on food and water and out of fuel. Then the cruise ship showed up.

Ice, ice baby

Sweden's famous ice hotel is up and running again, this time with 15 new suites carved out by artists and designers.

Tongue tied

Here's a list of all the words you couldn't pronounce properly this year, along with a handy-dandy pronunciation guide.

All that glitters ain't gold

It was a great story: Porch pirates hit by an engineer's "glitter bombs" as they stole packages. Turns out there's a little bit more to this tale.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$10 million

The amount of the fine South Korea hit BMW with over the automaker's handling of a string of engine fires in the country

AND FINALLY

Christmas fail

Ever tried to take a good Christmas photo of your cats? Yeah, this cat owner couldn't do it either. (Click to view)

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
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Dakota228690
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Washington106940
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Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
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Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
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Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
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Winona12215
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Jackson550
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Grant100
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Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
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Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
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Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
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Monroe506
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Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
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Davis391
Winneshiek380
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Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
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Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
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Unassigned160
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Hot and sticky fourth of July weekend
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