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5 things to know for February 15: Border bill, Amazon, Indian & Pakistan, kids & war

Rapper Kanye West got the help of famous musician Kenny G in order to surprise his wife, Kim Kardashian West, for Valentine's Day.

Posted: Feb 15, 2019 7:20 AM
Updated: Feb 15, 2019 7:20 AM

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

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1. Politics

Looks like it's going to be another one of those Fridays, at least in Washington. Let's try to get our arms around it all:

• President Trump is expected to sign that compromise border security bill this morning in the Rose Garden. Then, he'll declare a national emergency on the border with Mexico and use executive action to cobble together $8 billion to build a border wall, White House officials say.

• So, as one crisis is averted (no partial government shutdown), another one begins. Democrats and some Republicans say this would be an unprecedented use of presidential power, and this constitutional dispute will likely get tied up in the courts. (Fun fact: Way back in 2014, Donald Trump said President Obama's executive action on immigration was unconstitutional and possibly an impeachable offense.)

• Andrew McCabe, the former acting director of the FBI, confirmed previous reports that there were talks at the Justice Department about getting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office after he fired ex-FBI Director James Comey. The Justice Department continues to deny this happened.

• William Barr was confirmed yesterday as US attorney general by the Senate on a vote that pretty much fell along party lines. Barr, who also served as AG during President George H.W. Bush's administration, will oversee the Russia investigation, which he once criticized.

2. Amazon HQ2

Amazon's not taking a bite out of the Big Apple after all. The tech behemoth ditched plans to build a new headquarters in New York after facing intense backlash from some community members. Activists, politicians and others balked at the $1.525 billion in incentives New York offered Amazon to put the headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. They also feared residents would be priced out of their homes. Amazon had selected New York and Northern Virginia as the dual homes of its second headquarters, each expected to come with 25,000 workers. So, is New York's loss another city's gain? Not necessarily. Amazon said it won't "reopen the HQ2 search at this time," so other cities may want to hold off on dusting off those metro marketing plans.

3. India and Pakistan

Tensions spiked in the disputed Kashmir region after India blamed Pakistan for a bomb attack on a convoy that killed 37 Indian soldiers. India's finance minister said there was "incontrovertible evidence" that Pakistan had a hand in yesterday's bombing. He also promised India would do what it could to diplomatically isolate Pakistan from the international community. Pakistan denied having anything to do with the attack. Kashmir has had a tumultuous history. After Great Britain gave up control of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and split it up into a predominantly Hindu India and a Muslim Pakistan, Kashmir has been bitterly contested by both nations, even resulting in wars.

4. Denver teachers' strike

The teachers' strike in Denver is over after just three days. The teachers' union and Denver Public Schools reached an agreement that would see teachers get raises of between 7% and 11% and the creation of a 20-step salary schedule. The district said it's making a $23 million investment in teacher pay. Denver teachers went on strike for higher, more stable salaries because the district uses unpredictable bonuses to make up for low base pay. With the strike over, all teachers are expected back in the classroom today. Denver's strike was the latest in a wave of teachers' strikes and protests since last year that have continued to gain strength as they've spread across the country.

5. Children and war zones

Childhood should be a time of fun and friendship, a time to hang out with your best buds and explore the world. But for more and more of the world's kids, childhood is something more akin to a nightmare because of the threats posed by armed conflicts and war. Almost 1 in 5 children live in conflict zones, a new report from Save the Children finds. About 420 million children lived under such conditions in 2017, the largest number in the past two decades. Children suffer through conflict in countries like Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Somalia. More kids are living in conflict zones because modern war has changed, Save the Children says. More fighting is done in urban areas near civilians, and international rules are ignored. The charity makes more than 20 recommendations to help protect children trapped in these situations.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Color confusion

Orange alligators are turning up in one town in South Carolina, and people have questions. Lots of questions.

One woman is an island

Meet the 81-year-old widow who is the only resident on a remote island that's claimed by both Japan and South Korea.

Smooth move

It's Kenny G, playing his saxophone in a room full of roses. A really chill smooth jazz video? No. Just Kanye West wishing wife Kim K. a happy Valentine's Day.

'Here's the story ...'

The "Brady Bunch" kids and HGTV need your help in renovating that iconic TV house. So, if you have a green refrigerator, send it their way.

Spamalot

Here's one more reason not to answer the phone: Nearly half the calls you'll get this year will be spam.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"I feel like I should go buy a bunch of lottery tickets."

Travis Kauffman, the Colorado runner who suffocated a mountain lion with his foot after the big cat ambushed him last week on a trail

AND FINALLY

Tinder tree?

Can sticking a letter in an old oak tree in Germany really lead you to your soul mate? It's probably a better idea than swiping left and right on your phone. (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 52685

Reported Deaths: 2775
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12192697
Lake5764251
Elkhart372061
Allen2988135
St. Joseph223570
Hamilton1779101
Cass16519
Hendricks1482100
Johnson1366118
Porter86738
Vanderburgh8586
Tippecanoe79510
Clark72844
Madison68564
LaPorte63928
Howard61758
Bartholomew60945
Kosciusko5874
Marshall57412
Noble52628
Boone49744
LaGrange49110
Delaware48452
Jackson4813
Hancock47236
Shelby46225
Floyd42544
Monroe37528
Dubois3447
Morgan34431
Grant33426
Henry30618
Montgomery29720
Clinton2913
White28110
Warrick27929
Dearborn27723
Vigo2638
Decatur25732
Lawrence25325
Harrison22022
Greene20032
Miami1972
Jennings18012
Putnam1758
DeKalb1714
Scott1669
Wayne1656
Perry16010
Daviess15117
Jasper1422
Orange14023
Steuben1403
Ripley1357
Gibson1332
Franklin1288
Wabash1203
Carroll1142
Starke1103
Fayette1087
Whitley1086
Newton10110
Huntington932
Jefferson932
Wells841
Randolph814
Fulton791
Knox730
Jay720
Posey680
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay655
Rush633
Spencer621
Owen541
Sullivan541
Benton510
Adams491
Brown461
Blackford412
Fountain382
Tipton361
Crawford350
Switzerland320
Parke280
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren161
Pike150
Union150
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67995

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin12574449
Cuyahoga9509400
Hamilton7179208
Lucas3110306
Marion275739
Montgomery264737
Summit2420209
Pickaway223542
Mahoning1996239
Butler194247
Columbiana140560
Stark1252116
Lorain120870
Trumbull107178
Warren106827
Clark83210
Delaware78415
Fairfield75117
Lake64322
Tuscarawas62811
Licking61913
Medina61432
Belmont57224
Clermont5327
Miami52031
Wood51551
Portage50760
Ashtabula45244
Geauga43643
Richland3926
Allen39141
Greene3809
Wayne37856
Erie30822
Mercer30410
Holmes2645
Huron2643
Darke26126
Madison2309
Ottawa21924
Athens2011
Sandusky18015
Coshocton1554
Ross1543
Washington14920
Putnam14615
Crawford1405
Jefferson1322
Morrow1291
Hardin12512
Union1191
Auglaize1124
Muskingum1061
Preble961
Lawrence930
Clinton922
Hancock921
Monroe8917
Hocking848
Guernsey834
Scioto800
Ashland782
Shelby784
Williams772
Logan731
Carroll713
Fulton710
Wyandot665
Brown621
Champaign601
Knox591
Fayette580
Highland581
Defiance563
Perry501
Van Wert501
Seneca432
Henry380
Paulding350
Jackson320
Pike290
Adams282
Vinton232
Gallia211
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan130
Unassigned00
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