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5 things to know for February 28: North Korea, Cohen, India & Pakistan, school funds

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Customs and Border Protection has started knocking down the administration's border wall prototypes in the San Diego area, clearing the way for another construction project.

Posted: Feb 28, 2019 7:10 AM
Updated: Feb 28, 2019 7:10 AM

It's the last day of February, and winter is ... getting pretty old. No better time to check out this list of the world's best beaches.

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. North Korea summit

Air Force One is in the air and on its way home this morning, after President Trump's second summit with Kim Jong Un ended early. The President said his talks with the North Korean leader broke down without a deal after Kim insisted the US lift all sanctions on his country. Trump didn't want to do that. So, a planned working lunch and signing ceremony with the two men was canceled. "Sometimes you have to walk," the President said in a news conference in Hanoi right before he left town. Click to get the latest updates and analysis on the summit, and check out pictures from Trump and Kim's meeting.

2. Michael Cohen

It's Day 3 on Capitol Hill for Michael Cohen. The ex-Trump fixer and lawyer will testify behind closed doors today to the House Intelligence Committee. Everyone is still absorbing his explosive testimony from yesterday, when he essentially called the President of the United States a racist conman and criminal. To review, Cohen said:

• President Trump knew longtime confidant Roger Stone talked to WikiLeaks about hacked Hillary Clinton emails before they were released.

• Trump inflated his net worth to get on Forbes' list of richest people, yet deflated it for tax purposes.

• Trump lied about the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations during the campaign because he didn't expect to win the presidency.

• Trump directed him to pay off Stormy Daniels.

• Trump directed him to threaten schools so they'd never release his grades or SAT scores.

• He didn't know of any direct evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia.

So, what happens now, after Cohen presented this mob-like view of Donald Trump's world? It's clear that nothing Cohen said yesterday will make Trump's base or Republicans desert him. And Democrats aren't set, just yet, to prep articles of impeachment based on the words of this extremely flawed witness. But Cohen's testimony does provide a road map, of sorts, that Dems can use as they investigate the President. Click for minute-by-minute coverage of the hearing, Cohen's day in pictures and six takeaways.

3. India and Pakistan

Pakistan says it shot down two Indian fighter jets over the disputed border region of Kashmir, in a significant escalation of the crisis between the two nuclear-armed powers. India confirmed the loss of one plane and said it shot down a Pakistani jet. Pakistan claimed to have captured an Indian pilot and published a video of him; India demanded his safe return. The confrontation happened a day after India said it launched airstrikes in Pakistan territory in the first such incursion by Indian air force planes since the India-Pakistan war of 1971. India and Pakistan both control parts of Kashmir, but each claims the region in full.

The latest skirmishes are the most serious crisis over the disputed border area in years. This represents the first big political test for Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has only been in office for six months. President Trump, during his news conference in Vietnam, hinted that "reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India" is coming, alluding to possible US attempts to de-escalate the crisis. Click here for the latest updates on the conflict.

4. California flooding

After days of heavy rain, Northern California's Russian River has turned the town of Guerneville into an island. The river crested last night at over 45 feet (about 13 feet above its flood stage), with the rising floodwaters submerging almost all roads leading into town and essentially cutting off the community of 4,500 residents. About 2,000 homes and buildings in Guerneville have flooded, and 59 people have been rescued. Residents paddled through the streets in canoes and kayaks. The river is expected to start dropping today and tomorrow.

5. School funding

Add this tidbit to the debate over school funding and equity (or lack of it) in public schools: US school districts with mostly white students get $23 billion a year more in funding than districts in which most students are not white. This stunning -- but not entirely surprising -- information comes from a report by the nonprofit EdBuild, which promotes equity in public schools. EdBuild found the average "white" district got $13,908 for every student in 2016, while "nonwhite" districts got only $11,682 per student. EdBuild blamed this money gap on the way Americans pay for education, with tax dollars controlled locally. EdBuild's CEO said local governments should rethink how school districts are drawn and noted the funding gap is a vestige of America's segregated past.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Back on the job

Sully, the late President Bush's service dog, has a new job. The yellow Labrador is now helping patients at Walter Reed medical center.

Snow bound

Talk about a lucky find: A snowplow driver in California found a woman alive inside a car buried in snow.

Sort of a sequel

"Four Weddings and a Funeral" fans, get ready. The gang's getting back together after 25 years for another wedding.

'Starry' planet

Check out these photos. No, they're not some recently unearthed van Gogh paintings. They're new pics of Jupiter taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft.

Pika-who?

Video game lovers are hyped over Nintendo's new Pokemon video games, which include three never-before-seen Pokemon.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$3 million

The price tag for the US-Mexico border wall prototypes in the San Diego area that are now being torn down

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Take a deep breath

This Shih Tzu celebrates his first birthday just like the rest of us: surrounded by loved ones and blowing out the candle on his cake. (Click to view.)

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