Mnuchin fails to calm volatile markets

After a series of calls to CEOs of the country's biggest banks, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's odd statement failed to calm markets in the worst December since the Great Depression.

Posted: Dec 27, 2018 2:26 PM
Updated: Dec 27, 2018 2:38 PM

We've made it past Christmas, so you know what that means: Time for endless end-of-year lists! Let's kick things off with the five most-heartwarming moments in politics (even in 2018). 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. Migrant death

US Customs and Border Protection says it's making changes after an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy in its custody died on Christmas Eve. The boy, ID'd by a congressman as Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, died at a New Mexico hospital, after the medical staff said he was suffering from a cold. The official cause of death is unknown. The CBP says it will start conducting secondary medical checks of all children in its care, with a special focus on kids under 10. The boy is the second migrant child this month to die while in CBP custody. A 7-year-old girl, Jakelin Caal Maquin, died on December 8. Many wondered if better medical care could have saved her. Meanwhile, officials in El Paso, Texas, are trying to accommodate hundreds of migrants dropped off by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in the city's downtown with no apparent plan to house or feed them.

2. Indonesian tsunami

The death toll in last weekend's tsunami continues to rise. At least 430 people were killed in the disaster, when landslides from a volcanic eruption created a wave that slammed, without warning, into parts of western Indonesia. About 1,500 were injured and 22,000 were left homeless. And dozens of people are still missing. Indonesia's Red Cross is sending in emergency aid. The stories coming out of this tragedy are truly heartbreaking. One man, a lead singer of a pop band, described losing his wife and bandmates as the wave hit. Indonesia has a history of deadly tsunamis, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which struck 14 years ago today. That disaster killed more than 220,000 people in a number of countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka.

3. Financial markets

Markets in Asia and Europe were up and down earlier this morning, which means it'll probably be another rocky day on Wall Street. The Dow had its worst Christmas Eve ever, dropping more than 650 points after the Trump administration put out mixed signals about the economy. Now comes word that President Trump is frustrated with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and a source told CNN that Mnuchin's job could be in "serious jeopardy." But Trump spoke up for him on Christmas Day, calling Mnuchin a "very smart person." Instead the President blamed all the recent market volatility on the Federal Reserve.

4. Thailand and marijuana

Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to OK the use of medical marijuana. The country's parliament approved the use of medical cannabis earlier this week, although recreational use of the drug will still be illegal. The region is notorious for its hardline approach to drugs and strict penalties for drug-related crimes. One lawmaker called passage of the medical pot measure a "New Year gift to Thais." It will become official when it's published in the Royal Gazette, Thailand's public journal.

5. Weather 

If you and your Christmas presents are headed back home today, be careful out on the roads. It'll be downright nasty out there in some places. Huge swaths of the central US will be hit with snow, strong winds and heavy rain today. More than 4 million people are under winter weather alerts. There are also wind advisories for parts of Southern California. And Southerners, you aren't off the hook either. There's a slight risk of severe storms today that could bring wind, hail and isolated tornadoes this afternoon and evening.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

First fruits

Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa. Not sure if you can participate? No worries. Check out the non-black person's guide to the celebration.

Won the battle, but lost the war?

The Lakers were thrilled to have crushed the Warriors in the NBA's Christmas Day game, but they lost Lebron James to injury in the process. Ouch.

Right back to you

If you donated money in that alleged scam fundraiser for a homeless man, don't fret. GoFundMe says it's refunding the cash.

Walk on by

Ever hit that pedestrian button at a crosswalk, but it seemed liked nothing happened? That's probably because the world is full of buttons that don't work.

TODAY'S NUMBER

95%

That's how much staffing at the office that oversees federal food stamps programs will be cut, thanks to the partial government shutdown

AND FINALLY

Dancing delivery

First he put down the packages. Then he put on a little show. (Click to view)

ONE MORE THING

Did you buy a shiny, new smartphone for a loved one for Christmas? Make it more useful for them than just taking selfies or playing TikToc videos. Sign them up for 5 Things!

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 91422

Reported Deaths: 2031
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26147923
Ramsey10595318
Dakota7250125
Anoka5836132
Stearns383324
Washington362755
Scott247333
Olmsted232927
Nobles193816
Blue Earth16166
Wright15497
St. Louis141936
Carver13657
Rice13098
Mower13015
Clay128840
Sherburne110914
Kandiyohi9362
Winona85318
Lyon6554
Waseca5508
Freeborn5263
Steele5262
Benton5173
Nicollet51316
Watonwan5114
Todd4812
Chisago4621
McLeod4612
Le Sueur4464
Crow Wing44418
Otter Tail4024
Beltrami3805
Martin34310
Goodhue3409
Itasca28913
Pine2870
Polk2774
Isanti2680
Douglas2672
Becker2512
Carlton2461
Unassigned22052
Cottonwood2190
Pipestone21510
Morrison2131
Dodge2090
Chippewa1981
Meeker1872
Sibley1873
Brown1812
Wabasha1810
Yellow Medicine1622
Rock1590
Murray1552
Mille Lacs1523
Redwood1441
Jackson1361
Renville1367
Cass1343
Faribault1330
Swift1231
Roseau1170
Houston1150
Kanabec1148
Pennington1131
Fillmore1100
Koochiching1103
Lincoln1030
Stevens931
Pope890
Hubbard851
Aitkin761
Big Stone710
Wadena670
Grant594
Wilkin573
Lake560
Norman520
Marshall501
Lac qui Parle471
Mahnomen461
Red Lake381
Traverse300
Clearwater260
Lake of the Woods211
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 81296

Reported Deaths: 1284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15404259
Woodbury506463
Johnson502827
Black Hawk439688
Linn3832108
Story334017
Dubuque289141
Scott283528
Dallas270038
Pottawattamie200638
Buena Vista195512
Marshall176434
Sioux14163
Wapello128057
Webster120914
Clinton108020
Muscatine107854
Plymouth106220
Crawford10215
Cerro Gordo100721
Warren9396
Jasper78332
Des Moines7477
Marion7345
Tama69531
Carroll6445
Henry6314
Lee6097
Wright5651
Dickinson4876
Boone4808
Bremer4717
Washington44011
Louisa42615
Mahaska35819
Delaware3493
Franklin34418
Hamilton3173
Jackson3103
Floyd3063
Winneshiek3045
Clay3014
Benton2921
Hardin2851
Winnebago27813
Lyon2694
Butler2632
Clarke2613
Poweshiek2588
Buchanan2551
Emmet25310
Allamakee2516
Jones2513
Shelby2501
Clayton2383
Kossuth2370
Guthrie2315
Cedar2261
Chickasaw2250
Sac2220
Cherokee2122
Grundy2103
Madison2072
Fayette2032
Iowa1931
Harrison1892
Howard1836
Mitchell1830
Humboldt1773
Calhoun1762
Hancock1762
Mills1681
Palo Alto1650
Pocahontas1542
Lucas1536
Monroe15110
Monona1421
Page1420
Cass1392
Osceola1390
Jefferson1341
Appanoose1263
Taylor1251
Union1233
Davis1184
Van Buren1111
Ida1050
Worth1030
Keokuk951
Greene940
Fremont900
Montgomery905
Wayne842
Audubon701
Adair681
Decatur630
Ringgold452
Adams290
Unassigned80
Rochester
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Mason City
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Albert Lea
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Austin
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Charles City
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