5 things to know for April 24: Sri Lanka, politics, UN, malaria vaccine, sitting

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Rain is moving into the Midwest as Texas has the third day in a row of severe weather with a risk of flash flooding.

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 10:10 AM
Updated: Apr 24, 2019 10:10 AM

What does an earthquake on Mars sound like? Listen to a recording of a "marsquake," care of NASA's InSight lander. 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. Sri Lanka terror attacks

Advance warnings about the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka came from an ISIS suspect in India, an official told CNN. India's intelligence service learned specific information during interrogations of the suspect. The suspect told investigators the name of a man, Zahran Hashim, he trained in Sri Lanka. Hashim is connected to a local extremist group implicated in the bombings, which killed at least 359 people. Hashim is ID'd in a video, released by ISIS, that purportedly shows the attackers and claims responsibility for the attacks. India passed all this info on to Sri Lankan officials, but the warnings went unheeded. Sri Lankan investigators say there were nine suicide bombers, including one woman. Learn more about the victims of these horrendous attacks, including a man who lost two of his children. And click here for the latest updates on the investigation.

2. Politics

There's a lot going on in Washington and beyond this week, so let's handle it lightning-round style:

• President Trump says he doesn't want his current or former aides testifying before Democratically controlled congressional committees after the release of the Mueller report. He says it's not necessary; Democrats say the White House is stonewalling. CNN's Stephen Collinson calls the President's refusal to cooperate an assault on accountability.

• The Treasury Department missed yesterday's deadline to turn over Trump's tax returns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says his department will make a final decision on the matter by May 6.

• Joe Biden is expected tomorrow to officially join the gazillion other Democrats running for president. He'll kick off his bid with an online video, then hold his first campaign rally Monday in Pittsburgh.

• Can you have a White House Correspondents' Association Dinner without the White House? We're about to find out. The President is skipping it for the third-straight year (no surprise there), but he's also ordered administration officials not to attend Saturday night's gala. Trump will hold a rally in Wisconsin instead.

• In Iowa, the state legislature's longest-serving Republican said he's joining the Democratic Party because he thinks Trump is "a poor example for the nation and particularly for our children."

3. United Nations

The UN Security Council yesterday passed a resolution on sexual violence, but not without some controversy. The measure's language, which speaks out against rape being used as a weapon of war, was altered because of pressure from the US. References to "sexual and reproductive health" and "health services" were removed, a CNN review of early and final drafts revealed. A source said the changes were made to satisfy the Trump administration, which has taken measures to avoid supporting efforts and organizations that provide abortion services to women, including victims of rape.

4. Malaria vaccine

Children in three African countries will get the world's first malaria vaccine. About 360,000 kids will get the vaccine, the World Health Organization said. Children younger than 2 are already being vaccinated in Malawi, while Kenya and Ghana will start using the vaccine in the next few weeks. The vaccine offers partial protection from the disease, which kills about 435,000 people each year. The WHO said clinical trials showed the vaccine prevented about 4 in 10 malaria cases.

5. Sitting

You might be reading this newsletter while sitting in front of a computer screen. While we appreciate that, it also highlights a growing problem. We're spending more and more time sitting and staring into computers during our down time, and it's hurting our health. Leisure-time computer use jumped between 4.8% and 38% for different age groups between 2001 and 2016, a new study says. The amount of time we spent in front of the TV stayed stable during this time period, so that means computers are to blame for the increase in sitting time. The more sedentary we are, the greater our risk of developing conditions like diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease.


The $768.4 million man

Manuel Franco is about to gain a whole lot of friends. The 24-year-old Wisconsin man won the third-largest lottery jackpot in US history.

Battle royale

The video game "Fortnite" and the Avengers (here's a spoiler-free "Endgame" review, BTW) are assembling for a crossover event for the ages.

Power of a pro

Watch out Ken Jennings. Professional sports gambler James Holzhauer, who just won more than $1 million on "Jeopardy," is coming for your record.

You go, girl

Meet Sara. She's 10 years old and was born with no hands. She also just won a national handwriting contest.


Who is the best friend of this 4-year-old boy? The janitor who cleans his hospital room.

In the toilet

Who's up for a trip to Japan's newest museum, which is dedicated to all things ... poop?


"One of the wonderful things about shareholder democracy in our country is that we have meetings like this."

Wells Fargo interim CEO Allen Parker, who kicked angry shareholders out of a rowdy shareholders meeting after their repeated outbursts



Taco time

Welcome to Taco Tuesday! What's that? It's not Tuesday? (Bummer.) Oh well, watch these kids try tacos from around the world anyway. (Click to view.)

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