5 things to know for May 16: Immigration, abortion, Sudan, California wildfires, Venezuela

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Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson says the Alabama bill that could punish doctors with life in prison for performing abortions "has gone too far."

Posted: May 16, 2019 1:20 PM
Updated: May 16, 2019 1:20 PM

A Hershey's candy bar with emojis? It's going to happen as the popular treat gets a makeover for the first time in its history. 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. Immigration

A new plan dealing with President Donald Trump's signature issue -- immigration -- gets rolled out today by the White House. The plan would move the nation toward a "merit-based" immigration system that would give preference to highly skilled and educated individuals. Immigration based on family ties would be reduced. But the proposal leaves out what to do about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the Obama-era program that shields undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation. That's sure to tick off Democrats. So the plan seems to be aimed at solidifying support among congressional Republicans, but even that's not assured. After White House senior adviser Jared Kushner briefed Senate Republicans this week, some said they were "'underwhelmed" by the proposal.

2. Abortion

Alabama's abortion bill, the most restrictive in the nation, has been signed into law. GOP Gov. Kay Ivey signed it Wednesday. The new law punishes doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. It has no exemptions for victims of rape or incest. A slew of progressive activists, celebrities and groups have denounced the law, and the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood have promised lawsuits. The law's supporters hope it becomes the case that overturns Roe v. Wade. But one prominent voice against abortion, televangelist Pat Robertson, said he thinks Alabama's law goes "too far" and is too extreme.

3. Sudan

Violence and uncertainty still grip Sudan a month after longtime President Omar al-Bashir's ouster. At least nine people were injured after soldiers stormed a pro-democracy sit-in protest set up outside army headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan's capital. The Transitional Military Council, which has held power since Bashir's arrest last month, said it was cutting off talks with the protesters for 72 hours. The military council and the pro-democracy protesters have been trying to reach a final agreement on how long the military should hold power. Before this latest incident between soldiers and protesters, the two sides had reached a preliminary deal that would have the military relinquish control of the country after three years.

4. California wildfires

California's Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is responsible for last year's massive Camp Fire. That's the determination from investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. They said electrical lines owned and operated by the utility started the blaze, which killed 85 people and torched thousands of structures. The power company has previously acknowledged that its equipment probably started the fire. PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January as it deals with billions of dollars in claims tied to deadly wildfires.

5. Venezuela

If you're thinking about heading to Venezuela, you won't be able to fly there from the United States for a while. The Department of Homeland Security announced it's suspending "all commercial passenger and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela" indefinitely. Most airlines had already stopped flying from the US to Venezuela. The situation in Venezuela has deteriorated significantly over the past few years, with food and medicine shortages causing a humanitarian crisis that's forced many to flee the South American country. And that's contributed to political instability as opposition leader and National Assembly President Juan Guaido clashes with embattled President Nicolas Maduro for control of the country. Guaido is recognized as Venezuela's interim president by dozens of countries.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Show you all the moves
Just a week after heart surgery, Mick Jagger posted a video of himself dancing in a studio. And he moved like, well, you know how the song goes.

Light show
Can't make it up north to see the northern lights? Well, if you hurry, you can enjoy the aerial fireworks offered up by the southern lights in Australia.

Royal room
Yes, the Prince of Wales has opened up a bed and breakfast, but no, that doesn't mean you'll get to bed down in Buckingham Palace.

Magnificent matchup
"Maleficent 2" will have Angelina Jolie facing off against Michelle Pfeiffer and we are all for it.

Sisters in arms
West Point will see its largest class of African-American women in its history -- 34 -- graduate from the storied military academy next week.

HAPPENING LATER

Bye, 'Big Bang'
The final episode of "The Big Bang Theory" airs tonight, and series co-creator Chuck Lorre says it would be "foolish" to think there won't be another big hit sitcom in the future.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"I mean, he did say it."

Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Radhika Jones, pushing back after Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said he regretted launching his campaign by appearing on the magazine's cover in March and being quoted as saying, "I'm just born to be in it."

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY ...

No snow job
Thought you needed snow to snowboard? Guess these guys just proved you wrong. (Click to view.)

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