Layer up! Temperatures will plummet below average for two-thirds of the US for the next few days.
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. Community mourns
Under heavy guard by soldiers and local police, a heartbroken Mexican community has started burying nine people killed this week in an ambush. The military set up checkpoints and patrolled dirt streets as pallbearers somberly carried plain, wooden caskets. The victims were dual US-Mexican citizens and members of breakaway Mormon communities. Eight other children survived the assault, which authorities believe was committed by drug cartels. A baby was found alive, hidden in a car, and many of the injured children have been taken to the United States for treatment.
2. Impeachment inquiry
The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to appear this morning as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, an official says. But a White House official said he will not show up. In a stunning twist last month, Mulvaney confirmed that Trump froze nearly $400 million in security aid to Ukraine partially to pressure the country into investigating Democrats — then denied he said it hours later. Meanwhile, a lawyer for the whistleblower whose complaint triggered the impeachment inquiry sent a letter to the White House warning the President to “cease and desist” attacking his client. Trump has repeatedly demanded that the whistleblower be publicly identified, saying he deserves to “meet his accuser.” Listen to more explosive details here.
3. 2020 Democrats
After saying he wasn’t interested in a presidential run, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears to be backtracking and preparing for a potential 2020 bid. Bloomberg is expected to file paperwork this week to get on the Democratic primary ballot in Alabama, his spokesman says. A Bloomberg bid would drastically shake up the Democratic field. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign has led but struggled to break out as Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s star rises. Bloomberg has privately expressed concerns about the strength of the 2020 field, a source told CNN. And a Trump campaign source concedes that Bloomberg — a fellow New York entrepreneur who is wealthier than Trump — could pose a political threat to the President.
A Kentucky man is in a coma in Thailand after he escaped from police custody along with his girlfriend, sparked a three-day search, then shot himself in the head as officers closed in on them. Bart Allen Helmus, 39, and his girlfriend, Sirinapa Wisetrit, 30, were accused of trafficking meth and carrying a gun, and were in court this week in Pattaya city when they broke free, Thai police said. Trafficking drugs such as methamphetamine and heroin can carry a sentence of life imprisonment or death in the Southeast Asian nation.
5. Texas execution
Celebrities, clergy and lawmakers are trying to stop the execution of Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed in two weeks. Reed was convicted in the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, and investigators have said he raped and strangled her. Reed insists he’s innocent, and his attorneys point to new witness accounts and evidence they say exonerates him. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West and Beyoncé have voiced their support as Reed’s lawyers seek a new trial. But the lead prosecutor and other critics say there’s overwhelming evidence he’s guilty.
Remember the woman who jumped into a lion exhibit at the Bronx Zoo last month and taunted a very puzzled big cat? A suspect has been arrested.
Rapper Drake, whose nickname is Champagne Papi, is the latest celeb to partner with a cannabis company to launch his own marijuana brand.
Some people are sending pictures to strangers on the internet, asking them to diagnose their STDs. Let that sink in.
It’s official. Marines can now carry umbrellas while wearing the uniform, ending a 200-year tradition of toughing it out in the rain.
The number of threats 89-year-old Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre receives in a day. She now gets police protection.
AND FINALLY …
We’ll end the week the way we started it … on a fun and colorful note! (Click to view.)