5 things to know for December 17: White House, Brexit, Sri Lanka, China, Hungary

Time is running out to get in the holiday spirit, so let our top Christmas movie picks give you a boost. Her...

Posted: Dec 17, 2018 4:47 PM
Updated: Dec 17, 2018 4:47 PM

Time is running out to get in the holiday spirit, so let our top Christmas movie picks give you a boost. 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. White House

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White House

Eastern Europe

Hungary

South Asia

Sri Lanka

It's bound to be another exhausting week in Washington. Why? Let us count the ways: Over the weekend, President Trump lashed out at the ongoing Mueller investigation, calling it a "scam" and characterizing a raid of his former attorney Michael Cohen's office as a break-in. This of course comes among court filings and sentencing hearings regarding some of the high-level Trump associates implicated in the investigations. Next up? Tuesday's sentencing hearing for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted lying to the FBI. Moving on, we could be looking at a partial government shutdown soon over funding for a border wall. Trump wants $5 billion, but Democrats are unwilling to agree to that and any spending bill needs bipartisan support to pass Congress. Also, the revolving door at the White House keeps revolving: News broke over the weekend that embattled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would be leaving his position, and on Friday Trump announced he would be replacing Chief of Staff John Kelly at the end of the year. So basically, your office may be quiet as everyone gets ready for the holidays, but the Oval Office sure isn't.

2. Brexit

Could the UK be heading for a second vote on whether or not to leave the European Union? What was once an unthinkable question is now, according to British political experts, a serious possibility. That's because UK Prime Minister Theresa May has, so far, failed to engineer a graceful, er, Brexit. Last week, both EU leaders and members of May's own party voiced their lack of support for her Brexit deal, which would negotiate the economic terms of the UK's withdrawal from the EU. Without a deal, the UK would just crash out of the EU at the Brexit deadline which is, friendly reminder, rapidly approaching in March. Such a scenario would probably be catastrophic for the UK's economy. All of this chaos is what has fueled speculation about a second referendum. May denounced the possibility on Sunday, saying a second vote would  "do irreparable damage to the integrity our politics."

3. Sri Lanka

Let's head over to Sri Lanka for even more political turmoil: Two months ago, President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the country's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. The decision created a constitutional crisis, with Wickremesinghe insisting he was still Prime Minister, leading to mass protests in the capital Colombo. Now, the President has reinstated Wickremesinghe in a surprising reversal. This comes after the country's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Sirisena's firing of the Prime Minister violated the constitution. While the reversal may be an attempt to restore some political normalcy, the damage is already done -- aside from protests and nationwide anxiety over the decision, Sri Lanka's economy and global standing also faltered as a result.

4. China

One hundred Christians have been detained in China, raising concerns about the Chinese Communist Party's crackdown on religion. Among those detained is a prominent Chinese pastor and legal scholar, who was reportedly arrested on allegations of "inciting subversion of state power." Christians haven't been the only ones to experience serious pressure under China's government: China has also been accused of carrying out a systematic campaign of human rights violations against hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uyghurs in the far western region of Xinjiang. Rights advocates say this new move against religious freedom isn't about religion itself, per se, but about China's Communist Party exerting more control to make sure they stay in power.

5. Hungary

Ongoing protests in Hungary's capital city of Budapest took a violent turn on Sunday. Thousands gathered to protest new legislation they call a "slave law," because it would ask workers to take on up to 400 hours of overtime a year. The law was passed by Hungary's parliament last week. The government says the law would allow people to work and earn more, but critics say the policy, while voluntary, invites exploitation. There's been a lot of concern over recent political dealings in Hungary, namely over the ruling populist party's perceived crackdown on democratic institutions. Earlier this year, the European Parliament took the unprecedented step of launching Article 7 -- a disciplinary process -- against Hungary, a rare process designed to prevent members from breaching the EU's "core values."

TODAY'S QUOTE

"As I know too well, it's not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that's only been sought by boys."

Hillary Clinton, in a letter to an 8-year-old girl who lost her election for class president

BREAKFAST BROWSE

2018's Miss Universe is Catriona Gray, from the Philippines

Why is it always someone from Earth, though? The rest of the universe wants to know.

Amazon newest "Go" stores are tiny and cashier-free

So it's basically like getting food from a closet.

California is dropping an idea to tax text messages. 

Brevity is the soul of wit, not telecommunications.

'Well-preserved' 4,400-year-old Egyptian tomb found

Imagine being a pharaoh thinking you're headed for the afterlife but you really just end up being poked by some 21st century archaeologist. Disappointment!

Dictionary.com's word of the year is: Misinformation

Drag us, Dictionary.com.

TODAY'S NUMBER

37.3%

The percentage of 12th graders (high school seniors) who reported vaping in the past year, according to a new study. Vaping has seen a huge increase among teens in recent years, but in general, drug and alcohol use among teens has decreased.

AND FINALLY

Pajama jammin'

Who else just wants to hang around in their PJs all day today? Bonus if your pajama party comes with goats. (Click here to view)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 52037

Reported Deaths: 2762
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12111693
Lake5677249
Elkhart366260
Allen2971134
St. Joseph221169
Hamilton1735101
Cass16489
Hendricks1470100
Johnson1351118
Porter84938
Vanderburgh8016
Tippecanoe7859
Clark71944
Madison68164
LaPorte62928
Howard61058
Bartholomew60545
Kosciusko5844
Marshall57011
Noble52428
Boone49244
LaGrange48710
Delaware48152
Jackson4793
Hancock47436
Shelby46025
Floyd41844
Monroe36128
Morgan34431
Grant32226
Dubois3196
Henry30318
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27810
Dearborn27123
Warrick26829
Vigo2618
Decatur25732
Lawrence25325
Harrison21822
Greene19932
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1748
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1596
Daviess15117
Perry15110
Steuben1402
Orange13823
Jasper1362
Ripley1357
Franklin1288
Gibson1282
Wabash1193
Carroll1142
Starke1093
Fayette1087
Whitley1086
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells831
Randolph804
Fulton761
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Posey640
Rush623
Spencer591
Owen531
Benton510
Sullivan511
Adams491
Brown441
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Tipton331
Switzerland320
Parke280
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 66853

Reported Deaths: 3064
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin12301449
Cuyahoga9359399
Hamilton7046208
Lucas3079306
Marion275539
Montgomery257936
Summit2382209
Pickaway222942
Mahoning1971239
Butler189747
Columbiana139560
Stark1244116
Lorain118970
Trumbull106678
Warren101826
Clark82010
Delaware76315
Fairfield71917
Lake62723
Tuscarawas62110
Licking60012
Medina59932
Belmont57324
Clermont5157
Miami51431
Wood51051
Portage50960
Ashtabula45244
Geauga43143
Richland3906
Allen38541
Wayne37655
Greene3659
Mercer30410
Erie30122
Holmes2625
Darke26126
Huron2602
Madison2259
Ottawa21724
Athens1921
Sandusky17615
Ross1503
Washington14720
Putnam14515
Coshocton1434
Crawford1405
Jefferson1272
Morrow1271
Hardin12512
Union1151
Auglaize1124
Muskingum1061
Preble961
Lawrence920
Clinton912
Monroe8917
Hancock871
Hocking839
Guernsey824
Scioto770
Shelby774
Williams772
Carroll713
Logan711
Ashland692
Fulton680
Wyandot665
Brown621
Fayette580
Highland581
Champaign571
Knox571
Defiance553
Van Wert491
Perry481
Seneca442
Henry370
Paulding340
Jackson310
Pike290
Adams282
Vinton232
Gallia211
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan120
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
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Van Wert
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Storms Late Wednesday
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