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5 things to know for February 8: Politics, abortion law, Jeff Bezos, Frank Robinson

Former Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress on record and a politician whose voice loomed large even after he left Capitol Hill, has passed away. He was 92.

Posted: Feb 8, 2019 6:20 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2019 6:20 AM

If you're thinking about doing the boiling water challenge, here's a word of advice: Just don't. It's sending people to the hospital.

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. Politics

There's A LOT going on in politics. Let's cover it lightning-round style:

• Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker is set to testify this morning before the House Judiciary Committee. This will be must-see TV. He had threatened not to show up if the Democrats subpoenaed him.

• Ex-aides from the National Security Council have been hired by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to help in investigations of the Trump administration. The President is not happy about it.

• As House Democrats work to get President Trump's tax returns, it brings up a question about the documents: Just where the heck are they?

• Some Democrats are now calling for an investigation into sexual assault claims against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, and a few Democratic US senators say Fairfax's accuser is credible.

Washington is mourning the death of former Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress. Dingell, who was 92, served for almost six decades. He played a key role in passing the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, the Clean Water Act and Obamacare. He also had a hilarious Twitter feed.

2. Louisiana abortion law

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to block a Louisiana abortion access law that was set to go into effect today. The state's Unsafe Abortion Protection Act requires a doctor have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where the abortion is performed. Critics said there's no medical justification for the law and it was just an attempt to restrict abortions. The ruling doesn't stop the Supremes from taking up the case later, though, and possibly upholding the law. Chief Justice John Roberts broke from his conservative colleagues on this one. New Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the dissent.

3. Jeff Bezos

This one is a jaw-dropper. Amazon founder/world's richest person Jeff Bezos claimed in a blog post that AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer, tried to blackmail him. Bezos said AMI threatened to put out compromising pics of him and a woman the tabloid said Bezos was having an affair with. (The Enquirer reported on this alleged affair last month.) Bezos said the Enquirer was upset that he had used his private security consultant to investigate the tabloid to find out how it got the story. His blog post contains emails that Bezos says back up his claims. No one from the National Enquirer responded to CNN's requests for comment on all this.

4. Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa, award-winning journalist in the Philippines, has been indicted again. Ressa, founder and editor of the online news outlet Rappler, faces "cyber libel" charges over a 2012 article. Late last year, she was hit with tax evasion charges; she's out on bail on those charges. Ressa's work has criticized Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and his brutal war on drugs, so the charges filed against her have been condemned by rights groups as an attempt to stifle her and press freedoms there.

5. Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson was a giant, but that doesn't even come close to adequately describing what the baseball legend meant to the sport and the nation. Robinson, who died yesterday at age 83, was Major League Baseball's first black manager. Before that, he was one of the game's all-time great players: 1956 Rookie of the Year, first to win the MVP award in both leagues, a multiple World Series winner with the Baltimore Orioles. He made it to the Hall of Fame in 1982 and earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred called Robinson "a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations." Here are photos from his remarkable life.

TODAY'S NUMBER

5

The age of the girl whose abduction, rape and murder in India is the latest in a series of sexual attacks to shock the nation. The little girl was abducted yesterday in Mumbai as she slept with her parents and three siblings in a pavement shack, police said.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Shut your mouth

Why settle for one Shaft when you can have three? Richard Roundtree and Samuel L. Jackson will team up with a newcomer in a new "Shaft" movie.

Cool or creepy?

Delta and Coke thought it would be cool to play matchmaker on planes, via some flirtatious napkins. Boy, were they wrong.

Today in facepalm, Part 1

Uganda's tourism minister thinks the nation's "naturally endowed" women can draw in tourists, so he's planned a "curvy" beauty pageant. Social media's not having it.

Today in facepalm, Part 2

Gucci is pulling a sweater because people complained it looks a lot like blackface. Who thought this was a good look?

Frozen feline

Fluffy the cat was pretty much frozen after getting buried in a snowbank. But she was thawed out and survived because, well, cats have nine lives don't they?

TODAY'S QUOTE

"The attention generated by Kamilah's case has been extremely stressful and emotionally traumatizing for her."

A statement from lawyer Ben Crump, who has been representing Florida high school senior Kamilah Campbell. She's dropping her fight to validate her SAT score. Test administrators at the College Board had said they were investigating her score over alleged signs of possible cheating.

AND FINALLY

So civilized

Animals are not savages. Check out Rusty the bearded dragon, who is so sophisticated he eats his meals in a fancy chair and table. (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67857

Reported Deaths: 2975
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14710719
Lake7037269
Elkhart458276
Allen3611157
St. Joseph311479
Hamilton2489104
Cass17509
Hendricks1742105
Vanderburgh170012
Johnson1648118
Porter117439
Tippecanoe109411
Clark107545
Madison84265
LaPorte82929
Kosciusko81612
Howard80464
Marshall74222
Bartholomew73847
Floyd68444
Monroe68430
Noble63528
Delaware63352
Boone63246
Dubois62412
Hancock61637
Jackson5514
LaGrange54210
Shelby50926
Warrick50230
Grant49629
Vigo46810
Dearborn46128
Morgan41832
Henry36118
Clinton3523
White34510
Montgomery33821
Lawrence32627
Wayne3159
Decatur31332
Harrison28922
Miami2582
Scott24710
Daviess24319
Greene23834
DeKalb2214
Putnam2218
Jennings20712
Franklin20510
Jasper2032
Steuben1993
Gibson1984
Ripley1887
Perry17112
Starke1647
Orange16324
Wabash1583
Posey1570
Fayette1547
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1442
Carroll1422
Wells1312
Knox1290
Huntington1183
Washington1151
Spencer1133
Newton10910
Tipton1065
Randolph1024
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan751
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio504
Parke451
Pike450
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93031

Reported Deaths: 3529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17107514
Cuyahoga12646477
Hamilton9110247
Lucas4852318
Montgomery402477
Summit3248217
Marion287544
Butler268359
Mahoning2393253
Pickaway235242
Stark1679132
Lorain162076
Warren160035
Columbiana157060
Trumbull1421103
Fairfield123825
Delaware119418
Licking111642
Clark107613
Lake103435
Wood91058
Clermont83510
Medina83133
Miami76837
Tuscarawas74613
Portage71160
Allen64642
Greene61911
Belmont58926
Ashtabula53845
Richland53610
Geauga52843
Mercer52213
Erie51627
Wayne49258
Ross3874
Huron3714
Ottawa35225
Athens3441
Madison32910
Sandusky32917
Holmes3206
Darke31627
Hancock3152
Lawrence2160
Union2141
Auglaize2135
Jefferson2043
Washington19722
Putnam19317
Coshocton1856
Scioto1851
Muskingum1781
Knox1652
Crawford1645
Preble1642
Morrow1582
Shelby1574
Seneca1533
Hardin15012
Clinton1466
Fulton1391
Ashland1303
Defiance1294
Highland1271
Williams1233
Logan1201
Wyandot1195
Brown1121
Guernsey1106
Hocking1089
Carroll1075
Henry1061
Champaign1051
Perry1052
Fayette940
Monroe9018
Van Wert681
Pike660
Jackson650
Paulding590
Gallia571
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs240
Morgan200
Harrison191
Noble160
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