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5 things to know for March 7: House Dems, Huawei, Trudeau, Facebook, Alex Trebek

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Posted: Mar. 7, 2019 1:40 PM
Updated: Mar. 7, 2019 1:40 PM

Ready to explore Italy's iconic Cinque Terre coastline? Just make sure to leave the flip-flops at home or you'll be fined.

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. House Democrats

Since taking over the House, Democrats have marched pretty much in lockstep under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But the unity seems to be coming apart, as the Dems can't seem to get their act together over what sounds like a no-brainer: passing a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. The need for such a resolution rose out of the controversy over remarks by freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. The Minnesota lawmaker, one of only two Muslim women in Congress, has twice made comments many interpreted as being anti-Semitic. The plan to deal with this was to pass the resolution.

But that fell apart yesterday at a reportedly raucous closed-door meeting of Democrats. Some freshman and female lawmakers, including many from the Congressional Black Caucus, said they felt Omar was being treated unfairly and held to a different standard than white, male, Christian lawmakers. So, there was talk of updating the resolution to include language condemning anti-Muslim bias as well. The vote is on hold for now.

2. Huawei

One of China's biggest tech companies is pushing back against the United States. Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecom equipment, sued the US government over a law that bans federal agencies from buying its products. A company official said Congress acted as "judge, jury and executioner" in passing the law. The US wanted the ban because it worries Huawei's products, including its smartphones, could be used by the Chinese government to spy on other nations, something Huawei denies.

3. Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's good guy persona is taking a hit in a scandal that threatens his political future. Trudeau is accused of pressuring the country's former attorney general to help an influential Quebec-based construction company settle a criminal case and avoid prosecution for alleged bribery. Trudeau denies this, but some members of his Cabinet have resigned. Now Canadian lawmakers are holding hearings to get to the bottom of it all. The growing scandal comes at a bad time, too, for Trudeau and his Liberal Party. National elections in Canada are just seven months away.

4. Facebook

A Facebook that would put privacy first? Don't laugh. Mark Zuckerberg says that's his vision for a new Facebook. The social media giant's founder and CEO laid it all out in post, saying he wants Facebook to become more secure, including by encrypting messages. Zuckerberg said Facebook would make it easier for users to have messages and content disappear after a certain time period, and he touted Instagram Stories, which disappear after 24 hours. He also hinted at integrating the services of Facebook with WhatsApp and Instagram, a move that some say would give the social media platform even more power.

5. Alex Trebek

A collective wave of concern rolled out last night as word spread that "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Trebek, 78, broke the news himself in a video posted on the show's YouTube account. He said he plans to keep working while he fights to "beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease." Trebek even joked that he must keep hosting the game show, as he has since 1984, because his contract runs for three more years. Messages of love and support quickly filled social media, a sign Trebek is a rare TV personality who can bring us all together.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Last one standing

About two decades ago, it seemed as if Blockbuster was going to take over the planet. Now, there's only one left on Earth.

Best wishes

A dying man in Connecticut had one of his final wishes fulfilled: a phone call from President Trump.

Alone no more

Book lovers will have to switch on the TV, now that Netflix is turning Gabriel Garcia Marquez's masterwork "One Hundred Years of Solitude" into a series.

Today in facepalm

A Mexican TV personality wore brownface to mock "Roma" star Yalitza Aparicio and is shocked -- shocked -- at the outrage.

HAPPENING LATER

Sentencing day

Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is set to be sentenced today on bank fraud and tax evasion charges. He faces up to 25 years in prison.

TODAY'S NUMBER

21

The number of horses that have died in the last 10 weeks at Santa Anita Park. The Southern California racetrack has closed indefinitely while investigators try to figure out what's causing the deaths.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"So bear with me and know that I am grateful for all the love. Just, being grateful quietly."

Sophie Perry, 18, on dealing with the death of her father, actor Luke Perry

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

All my friends know the snow rider

Who says adults can't have fun in the snow? This man busts some serious moves while plowing in Idaho. (Click to view.)

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