5 things to know for October 18: Syria, impeachment, Brexit, GM, storms

All eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical system is forecast to strength today before making landfall across Florida Saturday morning. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the forecast.

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 10:50 AM
Updated: Oct 18, 2019 10:50 AM

Go ahead, pass Go, collect $200. Monopoly has leaped off the board and is now a fully immersive, real-world attraction.

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. Syria

Is it a ceasefire or just a pause? Vice President Mike Pence called the deal he helped negotiate with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a ceasefire that halts Turkey's incursion into northern Syria. But Turkey insists it's just a pause, a five-day window to let the Kurds leave their safe zone in northern Syria. Mideast observers say the deal appears to give Turkey what it really wanted: to annex a piece of Syria and kick the Kurds out. President Trump hailed the agreement as "a great day for civilization." But critics, like GOP US Sen. Mitt Romney, slammed the deal, declaring that Trump's actions on Syria "will stand as a bloodstain" on US history.

2. Politics

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney stunned Washington when he brashly admitted that the Trump administration froze nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country to investigate Trump's political rivals. This quid pro quo is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry that the Democrats are running, so Mulvaney's confirmation of it was shocking.

President Trump was reportedly miffed by Mulvaney's admission, and even the Justice Department distanced itself from Mulvaney's statement. So, of course, Mulvaney later tried to walk it all back, denying he ever said the words that he said. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said Mulvaney's acknowledgment means things are "much, much worse." It puts Republicans in a tight spot, too. "No quid pro quo" was a big GOP talking point -- which Mulvaney just destroyed.

And that wasn't the only news Mulvaney broke during his news briefing. He also announced that the 2020 G7 summit will be held at Trump National in Doral, Florida. Mulvaney said Doral was "far and away the best physical facility for this meeting." But critics immediately pounced, saying hosting the event at Doral is a conflict of interest because the President would financially profit from it. Taken together, all the day's events show that the guardrails are off the Trump presidency, CNN political analyst Stephen Collinson says.

3. Brexit

The United Kingdom and the European Union strike a deal on Brexit, but it faces long odds of getting through Britain's Parliament. Haven't we seen this movie before? There was an "air of euphoria" in Brussels yesterday as a new deal was announced to get the UK out of the EU by the end of the month. But that euphoria may dissipate in London this weekend, when British lawmakers are expected to vote on it. Former Prime Minister Theresa May failed three times to get similar deals approved, and the agreement current Prime Minister Boris Johnson helped broker faces an uphill battle. Some lawmakers say they won't vote for it because the issue of the Irish border remains a big sticking point for them.

4. General Motors strike

Almost 50,000 GM workers will stay out on the picket lines for at least another week. The union has recommended that a tentative deal with GM be ratified, so the workers will vote on the agreement soon. The deal would give workers higher pay, protect their health insurance coverage and provide an easier path for temporary workers to obtain permanent status. The deal won't save an assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, though, or two US transmission plants. GM workers, local officials, business leaders and families in Lordstown enacted a high-profile campaign to keep the plant open after GM announced last year that it would be shut down.

5. Weather

A storm known as a bomb cyclone "parked" itself over New England and wreaked havoc yesterday, knocking out power and disrupting travel in the region. Thousands of customers from New York to Maine are still without electricity this morning, and hundreds of flights have been canceled at area airports. Heavy rain and tropical-storm-force wind gusts were the order of the day. Meanwhile, down in the Gulf of Mexico, tropical storm warnings are being issued as a disorganized area of storms is expected to develop into a tropical or subtropical storm later today.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Weather wonders

Bombogenesis. Polar vortex. Steam fog. We've heard some pretty strange weather terms over the past few years. Here's a new one: Stormquakes.

Mirror, mirror

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but according to science at least, model Bella Hadid is the world's most beautiful woman.

Helping hand

Thousands of students in Chicago need a place to go while the city's teachers are on strike. Here are the groups that have stepped in to help them out.

What is it?

This blob at the Paris zoo has 720 sexes and can heal itself if it's cut in two. So, obviously it's a threat to all mankind.

TOTAL RECALL

Quiz time

The judges for which literary award broke the rules this week, awarding two authors instead of one?

A. Booker Prize

B. National Book Award

C. Pulitzer Prize

D. Newbery Medal

Play "Total Recall," CNN's weekly news quiz, to see if your answer is correct.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals."

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, laughing off President Trump's recent criticism of him. Trump, who once called Oscar winner Meryl Streep an "overrated actress," called Mattis "the world's most overrated general."

TODAY'S NUMBER

6%

How much China's gross domestic product grew during the latest quarter. That's the weakest quarterly growth the country has seen in almost 30 years and a clear sign that China is feeling pain from the trade war with the US.

AND FINALLY

Hello, hello, hello

Let's end the week with a little pizzazz, like this umbrella cockatoo putting on a little show. (Click to view.)

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 912370

Reported Deaths: 9506
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1780492023
Ramsey736781043
Dakota67355574
Anoka63852570
Washington40349356
Stearns33475276
St. Louis29443403
Scott25842181
Wright25830216
Olmsted22258128
Sherburne18919126
Carver1661066
Clay12033104
Blue Earth1144868
Rice11410138
Crow Wing11170122
Chisago992378
Kandiyohi9800106
Otter Tail9758127
Benton9018125
Beltrami816094
Goodhue805597
Douglas7849100
Itasca769597
Mower731249
McLeod710983
Winona708657
Isanti697883
Steele682731
Morrison671579
Becker627174
Polk599484
Freeborn559646
Carlton543474
Mille Lacs529474
Lyon527261
Nobles524754
Nicollet521160
Pine512642
Cass500553
Todd490743
Brown469757
Le Sueur457733
Meeker431457
Martin385843
Wabasha373610
Waseca372332
Dodge359811
Hubbard354749
Roseau315531
Fillmore304315
Wadena301740
Redwood281245
Houston270717
Renville268051
Faribault257032
Pennington251030
Sibley251017
Kanabec248136
Cottonwood229232
Aitkin221550
Chippewa219442
Pope206710
Watonwan197420
Yellow Medicine187723
Rock177428
Koochiching176023
Swift172622
Stevens167011
Jackson160816
Clearwater157520
Marshall153122
Murray151811
Pipestone149529
Lake132224
Lac qui Parle122125
Wilkin120616
Mahnomen105914
Norman10489
Grant101110
Big Stone9465
Lincoln8745
Kittson73023
Red Lake71310
Unassigned629124
Traverse6056
Lake of the Woods5255
Cook3070

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 523052

Reported Deaths: 7289
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk80319799
Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Unassigned66470
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
Fayette286353
Hardin284353
Tama279777
Page272533
Wright266149
Cedar265527
Hamilton259857
Winneshiek258143
Floyd255449
Clayton244459
Poweshiek237243
Madison234525
Harrison234379
Cass233466
Butler232744
Iowa229634
Jefferson223043
Mills220930
Winnebago215938
Hancock214639
Cherokee211347
Lyon206142
Appanoose205357
Allamakee203955
Calhoun196919
Shelby196442
Union191141
Humboldt185130
Grundy183637
Franklin183029
Mitchell182043
Chickasaw178922
Emmet178246
Louisa176953
Sac171026
Guthrie168137
Montgomery161745
Clarke160829
Keokuk150839
Palo Alto150532
Howard146824
Monroe142739
Ida130141
Greene127517
Davis124625
Lucas124426
Monona122939
Worth12139
Pocahontas120724
Adair114337
Osceola104818
Decatur101913
Taylor98514
Fremont95913
Van Buren93222
Wayne84525
Ringgold76729
Audubon74917
Adams5748
Rochester
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 37°
Albert Lea
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 37°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 34°
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