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

CNN's Don Lemon speaks to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) after acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker agrees to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. This development follows a tumultuous couple of days where Whitaker threatened not to show up while Democrats prepared to subpoena his appearance.

Posted: Feb 8, 2019 12:40 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2019 12:40 PM

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.

Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
Kosciusko468540
Howard357977
Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
Wabash168121
Miami166614
Daviess160144
Steuben150713
Fayette150034
Jasper147413
Montgomery146627
Harrison145524
LaGrange145031
Whitley140814
Ripley138515
Huntington130910
Decatur128243
Wells127930
Putnam127828
White127522
Clay126523
Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
Starke94021
Jennings88714
Fulton86419
Spencer8588
Perry83721
Fountain8078
Washington7837
Franklin71327
Carroll69613
Orange69028
Vermillion6444
Owen6317
Tipton58927
Parke5886
Newton56912
Rush5658
Blackford54012
Pike51619
Pulaski41115
Martin3645
Benton3553
Brown3514
Crawford3031
Union2752
Switzerland2605
Warren2542
Ohio2337
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
Morrow9202
Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
Pike7661
Gallia76513
Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
Carroll48810
Meigs39612
Monroe32321
Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
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