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5 things to know for October 14: Syria, Fort Worth shooting, impeachment

Today is Columbus Day, though an increasing number of cities and states are updating the observance to Indigenous People’s Day.

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

The ongoing attacks by Turkish forces on the Syrian border are causing some serious global fears to be realized, including a possible resurgence of ISIS. Yesterday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said President Trump is ordering the remaining US forces out of northern Syria, a move that many fear will paralyze counter-terrorism efforts in the area. Kurdish forces have been instrumental in quelling the regional rise of ISIS, but because of the ongoing conflict, that line of defense is diminishing. This weekend, Kurdish authorities reported the escape of hundreds of people with links to ISIS from a detention camp in the area. The attacks are affecting Syrian Kurds, an ethnic minority group with a history of assisting the US in regional conflicts. Several leaders within the US have voiced their outrage and concern that the US’ apparent disregard for these established allies could diminish the US’ international reputation.

2. Trump video

A disturbing video of a fake President Donald Trump shooting, assaulting and stabbing his critics and the media was played at a conference held by a pro-Trump group at his Miami resort last week, according to footage obtained by The New York Times. The video was played at Trump’s National Doral Miami during an American Priority conference, and contained several internet memes including an image of Donald Trump’s head superimposed on the body of someone shooting up the “Church of Fake News. The “church” was depicted as a series of Trump critics and news organizations. The video also featured a Trump 2020 reelected logo. A spokesman for Trump’s campaign claims he didn’t see the video, but said the campaign does not condone violence. The event’s organizer says the matter is under review. Several media organizations, including CNN and The White House Correspondents’ Association, have called on the President to personally denounce the video.

3. Fort Worth shooting

A black woman was shot and killed in her own home by a police officer this weekend, and the community wants answers. Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, 28, was killed Saturday morning after a neighbor called a non-emergency number to report the woman’s front door was open. The officers were searching near the perimeter of Jefferson’s home when they saw a person standing inside near a window and one of them opened fire, killing her. The incident has ignited a new flare of pain and outrage regarding the ongoing problem of police killings of black individuals. The Fort Worth Police Department released heavily-edited body cam footage a few hours after the incident, and the officer who shot Jefferson will be interviewed by the FWPD’s Major Case Unit today. However, neighbors and activists have called for an independent investigation, saying the unit shouldn’t be investigating the actions of their own officers.

4. Typhoon Hagibis

Typhoon Hagibis swept over central Japan this weekend, leaving at least 31 people dead and 186 others injured in its wake. The typhoon became the longest-lived super typhoon of 2019 last week before it made landfall, but weakened to a tropical depression on Sunday. Evacuation advisories affected tens of million of people and hundreds of thousands are still without power following its impact. To make matters more complicated, the country is hosting the World Rugby Championships. Several matches had to be preemptively canceled because of the storm. However, a pivotal match between Japan and Scotland did go ahead, with the host nation prevailing to claim a quarterfinal spot. It was a much-needed bright moment before the long, grim period of recovery sets in.

5. Impeachment

Strap in for another roller coaster ride of impeachment proceedings as lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week. Today, the President’s former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill is expected to be interviewed by three House panels as part of the Democrats’ impeachment probe. Top Trump administration officials, including the vice president and Energy Department secretary, also face deadlines this week to turn over documents related to the Ukraine investigation. Meanwhile, President Trump threatened this weekend to sue Rep. Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over his impeachment predicament. He also suggested offhand that he might impeach them. (Constitutionally speaking, members of Congress cannot be impeached.)


Nobel Prize winner

The Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for their work in finding ways to alleviate global poverty.


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It was an amazing weekend for women in sports

Simone Biles, Coco Gauff and Brigid Kosgei smashed records in gymnastics, tennis and marathon running, respectively. What did YOU do this weekend?

‘Saturday Night Live’ slays with ‘Joker’ parody featuring gritty ‘Sesame Street’ parody

It’s disturbing how easily that theme song can sound like a horror soundtrack.

Fortnite has been down for hours and people are wondering if it’s a stunt, a planned outage or something more

So if your nephews and nieces have been grumpy for some reason, this is why.

Inside the world of ARMY, the rabid fan base of Korean pop group BTS

They make Beatlemania look like a Tuesday night town council meeting.


A fancy government affair

Today, the UK will observe the ceremonial State Opening of Parliament, which is an event that brings together all of the branches of government as well as the monarchy. There will be pomp, circumstance, carriages, frippery and most importantly, a speech by Queen Elizabeth II herself.


$40 billion

Iran says it has discovered a new natural gas reserve with the capacity to produce nearly 400 million barrels of gas condensate. How much money could that vast amount of gas generate? That big, red number right up there.



“I’m the reason there is impeachment going on.”

Joe Biden, sounding off on the impeachment process during a forum in Iowa on Sunday. In related news, Hunter Biden announced he will be stepping down from his board role in the management company of a private equity fund backed by Chinese state-owned entities and will not work for foreign-owned firms if his father is elected.


A gourd time

It’s probably going to be another long news week, so let’s just watch some big cats play with pumpkins. (Click here to view)



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