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5 things to know for March 11: Ethiopia, budget, Venezuela, Kim Jong Nam, US exports

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Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido tells CNN his country has "collapsed" after major blackouts have crippled the country.

Posted: Mar. 11, 2019 9:40 AM
Updated: Mar. 11, 2019 9:40 AM

The world is pulling together to deal with another major air disaster. Get the latest about that and find out 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. Ethiopian Airlines crash

Airlines in several countries grounded the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircrafts in their fleet, after an Ethiopian Airlines flight of the same model crashed yesterday, killing 157 people. There were no survivors. Flight ET302 had just taken off from Addis Abada, Ethiopia -- on its way to Nairobi, Kenya -- when it reported technical problems. It crashed minutes later. It's the second time in five months that a new Boeing aircraft crashed just minutes into a flight. Back in October a Lion Air flight -- also a Boeing 737 MAX 8 -- crashed into the Java Sea, killing 189 people.

This crash is a true international tragedy. People from 35 nations were passengers on the doomed flight, the largest number of them from Kenya. Eighteen Canadians, eight Americans and 19 staffers from the UN died in the crash.  A Georgetown law school student from Kenya was killed, as was noted Nigerian-born scholar Pius Adesanmi and the family of a Slovakian lawmaker. Read the latest about the victims here and get the latest updates on the investigation into the crash. Sadly, there were two other fatal plane crashes over the weekend.

2. Federal budget

The budget battle between President Trump and the Democrats who run the House begins anew today. Trump will unveil a budget road map that aims to balance the budget in 15 years by slashing non-defense spending. The White House is proposing $2.7 trillion in spending cuts on education, health and environmental protections, while seeking to boost defense spending by 4.7% to $750 billion. The President is still trying to get funds for a border wall, too. The proposed budget will also seek $8.6 billion for Trump's long-sought-after barrier on the US-Mexico border. Kentucky Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Trump's budget has "no chance in the House."

3. Venezuela

Venezuela's opposition leader and self-declared interim president is about to call for a state of emergency for his country. Juan Guaido said he'd call for the "state of national emergency" during a special session of parliament today after a massive power outage crippled the country. Guaido blamed the blackouts for 17 deaths and told CNN the outage was a sign the country "has truly collapsed." President Nicolas Maduro accused the US of having a hand in the blackouts. He said sabotage caused by a US cyberattack was behind the widespread power outages. But Guaido says that's nonsense because Venezuela's main power plant is old and not connected to any network.

4. Kim Jong Nam slaying

One of two women accused of killing Kim Jong Un's half-brother was unexpectedly freed earlier this morning. The murder charge against Siti Aisyah was dropped, but prosecutors in Malaysia didn't say why. Aisyah is expected to return to her home country of Indonesia later today. Prosecutors did not drop charges against her co-defendant, Doan Thi Huong. Aisyah and Huong were charged with killing Kim Jong Nam in February 2017 and faced the death penalty if convicted.

Authorities say they rubbed the nerve agent VX on Kim's face as he entered Kuala Lumpur International Airport, killing him in minutes. Lawyers for the women say they were tricked into doing that by North Korean agents. The US says the North is responsible for the killing, but the regime denies any involvement in the crime.

5. Energy exports

The US is about to become the world's leader in exporting energy. Later this year the US will pass Saudi Arabia in exports of oil, natural gas liquids and petroleum, energy research firm Rystad Energy predicts. That's never happened since Saudi Arabia started selling oil overseas in the 50s. So what's behind this? The shale oil and natural gas boom. Innovations in drilling have opened up huge swaths of resources in shale oilfields in Texas, North Dakota and other places. Thanks to shale, the US has doubled its oil production over the past decade. America now pumps out more oil than the Saudis or the Russians.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

In a Barbie world

Check out the Hilton hotel suite in Mexico City that's tricked out with a Barbie DreamCamper and six decades' worth of rare Barbies.

Eye on the shield

When Captain America, or rather actor Chris Evans, visited DC last week, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw lifted up his eye patch to show him something special.

Special honor

The nursing student with cancer is not expected to live to see her graduation in May 2020. So her classmates held a surprise pinning ceremony for her.

J. Rod or A-Lo?

Guess it's time to come up with one of those cute combined nicknames for J. Lo and A-Rod. The superstar couple announced they're engaged.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"At no time was the animal out of its enclosure ... please understand why barriers are put in place."

A tweet from the Wildlife World Zoo in suburban Phoenix, after a woman was attacked by a jaguar at the zoo. The woman, according to witnesses, crossed over a barrier at the jaguar enclosure to take a selfie when the animal attacked. The woman sustained non-life-threatening injuries to her arm.

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Hair-raising

Cute kids design wild, new hairstyles for their parents. What could go wrong? (Click to view)

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