5 things to know for February 20: Trump, Venezuela, WVa teachers, Dems 2020, climate

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Winter storm watches and warnings cover the US from coast to coast, as snow and ice move into the Northeast Wednesday. Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston are all expected to get a mixture of wintry precipitation.

Posted: Feb 20, 2019 3:00 PM
Updated: Feb 20, 2019 3:00 PM

If you live in the eastern half of the US, get ready for snow. And sleet. And freezing rain. And flooding. (Spring can't get here fast enough.) 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. President Trump

We've had so many blockbuster stories during President Trump's term, it's easy to get kind of numb to them. But we shouldn't. Some allegations against this President are truly extraordinary. Like this: The ex-acting FBI director thinks it's possible the President of the United States is a Russian asset.

Andrew McCabe, who took over running the FBI after James Comey was fired, told CNN's Anderson Cooper that last night. McCabe said it's why he took the mind-boggling step of opening an obstruction of justice investigation against Trump after Comey was fired. McCabe believes Trump is undermining the country's top law enforcement agencies for political gain. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway dismissed McCabe and his allegations, calling him "a liar and a leaker."

But that wasn't the day's only bombshell. The New York Times reported that the President late last year asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to put a Trump ally in charge of the Michael Cohen investigation, which is led by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. The Times said there's no evidence Whitaker acted on this alleged request, and Trump denied the report when asked about it by a reporter.

2. Venezuela

Venezuela's embattled government closed down a maritime border and grounded flights as the opposition party seeks to import foreign aid. People in the country are struggling to get enough food and medicine, but President Nicolas Maduro's government is trying to stop any aid from getting in. He says the country doesn't need it. So, the maritime border with nearby Caribbean islands is blocked, and flights between the islands and western Venezuela have been shut down. Maduro earlier had barricaded bridges to stop trucks from neighboring countries from delivering aid. Conditions have been so dire in Venezuela that more than 3 million people have fled.

3. West Virginia teachers' strike

Last year, West Virginia teachers went on strike and won a 5% pay raise. Now, they've got another work stoppage underway because they're ticked off about a new education bill. The legislation would bring charter schools to the state and let some public money go to private school tuition. Amid outcry over the bill, lawmakers yesterday decided to "postpone indefinitely" any action on it. But union leaders say the educators don't trust the lawmakers, so they will go ahead and strike today anyway.

4. Campaign 2020

Bernie is back. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he'll run for president for a second time in 2020. He was the relatively unknown long shot who went far in 2016. Now, his campaign said it's raised more than $4 million just 12 hours after making his announcement. Sanders will run for the Democratic nomination, but remember, he's actually an independent who caucuses with Dems in the Senate. That was a sore point for some Democrats four years ago, so some think it's no coincidence that the Democratic National Committee plans to meet with 2020 campaigns next week to hand out an "affirmation form" for candidates to sign and certify they will run and serve as members of the Democratic Party. Sanders' campaign hasn't said if he'll sign it.

5. Climate change

Is this climate change's first big casualty? A small brown rat in northern Australia is the first mammal known to have become extinct because of "human-induced climate change," the Australian government says. The rat -- the Bramble Cay melomys -- lived on a small coral island on the Great Barrier Reef. As late as the '70s, several hundred of the rodents were on the island, but they haven't been seen in almost a decade. A University of Queensland report blames the extinction on rising seas, which destroyed the rats' habitat.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Gone but never forgotten

Karl Lagerfeld was more than just the man who saved the House of Chanel. He was a visionary and an icon who redefined fashion. He died at age 85.

Falling for the firefall

Is that lava cascading over a cliff in Yosemite National Park? Nope, it's just a really awesome optical illusion.

The robots are coming

This AI program is so good at writing that its creators won't release it over fears of how it could be used. But you can only hold the machines back for so long.

Year in review already?

Yeah, 2019 is still kind of shiny and new, but it's still not too early to start looking at the year's best travel photos (so far.)

Manny's money

Manny Machado heads to San Diego, where a boatload of money awaits. Machado reportedly signed a $300 million contract with the Padres, the biggest free-agent deal in US sports history.

TODAY'S NUMBER

16

The proposed voting age in Oregon. Lawmakers in the state introduced a bill that would lower the voting age from 18.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Let her go!"

A man in a crowd in Tehran that attacked a so-called morality police van last week after two young women were detained for "improperly" wearing a headscarf. Iran's morality police enforce the country's strict social rules, but more residents are rebelling against the police and the rules.

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

B-boying in the cypher

J. Lo, Ne-Yo and Derek Hough (the judges from "World of Dance") teach us all about dance slang. Wait, there's dance slang? (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
Bartholomew48634
Clark47141
LaPorte41523
Tippecanoe3803
Howard37620
Jackson3681
Delaware35936
Hancock32327
Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
Franklin1068
Kosciusko971
Carroll932
Daviess8416
Marshall801
Steuben802
Wayne755
Newton7410
Wabash732
Fayette714
Jasper621
LaGrange622
Washington521
Fulton471
Jay460
Randolph453
Rush452
Jefferson421
Whitley412
Clay411
Pulaski400
Owen341
Sullivan331
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke313
Perry260
Wells260
Huntington262
Knox250
Benton250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford202
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33439

Reported Deaths: 2044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5486243
Cuyahoga4137224
Marion262823
Hamilton2523131
Lucas2162233
Pickaway204635
Mahoning1367173
Summit1315160
Butler82626
Stark70091
Columbiana68250
Lorain65959
Montgomery61716
Trumbull54447
Belmont40312
Miami35130
Warren34419
Tuscarawas3264
Ashtabula31633
Portage31357
Medina31020
Delaware30213
Lake28712
Wood28045
Geauga26129
Wayne25650
Fairfield2484
Clark2316
Licking21811
Mercer2014
Allen20132
Clermont1975
Richland1893
Erie1635
Darke15619
Madison1447
Washington11819
Crawford1103
Morrow1041
Greene985
Ottawa9412
Putnam8714
Monroe7412
Sandusky7011
Hocking694
Ross672
Jefferson652
Auglaize643
Huron551
Williams521
Hancock481
Muskingum460
Union460
Clinton430
Hardin410
Shelby402
Wyandot372
Fayette370
Logan370
Fulton360
Coshocton340
Defiance332
Guernsey330
Preble311
Holmes291
Carroll293
Lawrence280
Champaign271
Brown251
Knox231
Highland191
Seneca192
Vinton191
Ashland190
Perry181
Athens181
Henry150
Scioto150
Paulding130
Jackson120
Harrison100
Adams81
Gallia71
Van Wert60
Pike60
Meigs60
Noble50
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
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Angola
Broken Clouds
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Hi: 74° Lo: 61°
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Huntington
Broken Clouds
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Hi: 77° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
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Hi: 76° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
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Hi: 78° Lo: 63°
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