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5 things to know for May 23: Weather, Washington, Botswana, Philippines & Canada, AI

Severe storms and flash floods continue to slam the Central US while the Southeast braces for a Memorial Day weekend heat wave. Pedram Javaheri has the details.

Posted: May 23, 2019 9:10 AM
Updated: May 23, 2019 9:10 AM

New York to London in 90 minutes or less? An Atlanta-based aerospace company is trying to develop a plane that will make that possible.

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. Weather

A tornado overnight slammed Jefferson City, Missouri, causing widespread damage and wreaking havoc in the state's capital city. It's one of 171 tornadoes reported since Friday across the central US. The twister in Jefferson City sent debris 13,000 feet into the air and even blew a house underneath a tractor-trailer. No deaths have been reported so far, but that's sadly not the case in Golden City, Missouri, where three people were killed when a tornado rolled through earlier in the day. The deadly spring storm system has also brought flooding to Oklahoma and severe weather to Iowa. Tornadoes could pose threats today from Lubbock, Texas, to Kansas City and from Columbus, Ohio, to Philadelphia, and serious flooding along the already-swollen Mississippi River is expected in the central US as more rain falls in coming days.

2. Washington

Well, so much for Infrastructure Week. A meeting at the White House about fixing crumbling US bridges, roads and pipes -- the one issue Democrats and the President seemed to be on the same page on -- was pretty much blown up minutes after it started. And, of course, there's finger-pointing about who is at fault. Trump blames House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had earlier said the President "is engaged in a cover-up." Pelosi blames Trump, who after cutting short the infrastructure meeting held a hastily-called news conference in the Rose Garden and declared nothing would get done in Washington until Dems drop all their investigations. CNN's Stephen Collinson said Trump's walkout marks a point of no return.

3. Botswana

Botswana has dropped its ban on elephant hunting. The southern African nation is home to 130,000 elephants. That's about a third of all elephants on the continent. The ban was put in place five years ago to deter poaching, but local residents complained that elephants have been damaging crops, killing livestock and destroying water supplies. Conservationists have warned that the African elephant could become extinct if it's not protected. Meanwhile, in the neighboring country of Zimbabwe, a ban on hunting buffaloes with bows and arrows has been lifted in a bid to boost tourism and revenue.

4. Canada and the Philippines 

Looks like the trash tiff between the Philippines and Canada is over. The Canadians agreed to take back 2,450 tons of trash that were shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014. The containers were marked as recyclable plastics, but they really contained other kinds of waste, like newspapers and diapers. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was so upset about it, he recalled his country's ambassador to Canada. Now, Canada says it will haul the garbage back across the Pacific and pay the full cost of the operation.

5. Artificial intelligence assistants

Do AI assistants like Alexa and Siri perpetuate gender stereotypes? The United Nations thinks so. The assistants enable the notion that "women are obliging, docile and eager-to-please helpers, available at the touch of a button or with a blunt voice command," says a report by UNESCO, the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The report also notes that the assistants -- which are all voiced by women as a default setting -- give passive and polite responses when users make sexually abusive remarks. UNESCO says this problem can be fixed by not making digital assistant voices female by default and programming them to discourage abusive or sexist language.

TODAY'S NUMBERS

$300,000

That's how much attorney Michael Avenatti is accused of stealing from ex-client Stormy Daniels. A federal grand jury in New York indicted the celebrity lawyer for that and for allegedly trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike. Avenatti told CNN he will be "fully exonerated."

5.2

The percentage of new cancer cases in the US in 2015 that were linked to a poor diet, a new study says

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Mission to Mars

You may never make it to Mars, but your name -- etched on NASA's latest rover -- just might.

The robots are coming

Thanks to Ford, robots can now deliver packages straight to your front door.

Mission accomplished

Meet the nurse who graduated from NYU years after he worked there as a janitor.

Fender bender

You can stay in a big hotel, or you can stay in a big hotel shaped exactly like a guitar.

'If you don't know, now you know ...'

A Brooklyn street will be renamed for the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. on what would have been his 47th birthday.

HAPPENING LATER

Getting out

John Walker Lindh, known as the "American Taliban," is set to be released today from a federal prison in Indiana. He was the first US-born detainee in the war on terror and has served 17 years of a 20-year sentence.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"I am getting fed up ..."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, perhaps speaking for all of us, as he describes his feelings about Brexit delays

AND FINALLY

Venomous vittles

Cooking with poison? The residents of a remote island in Japan have been doing that for years. (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
Mahoning17383338
Lake16178154
Clermont16057111
Delaware1445479
Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
Clark10995265
Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
Richland9186118
Marion7467113
Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
Pickaway728450
Wayne7080171
Muskingum705241
Erie6188129
Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
Seneca431566
Huron430041
Auglaize423064
Shelby421922
Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
Washington391840
Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
Ashland347438
Fulton339343
Defiance332286
Crawford323874
Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
Ottawa294943
Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
Guernsey256326
Champaign252628
Fayette237330
Morrow23334
Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
Coshocton205722
Van Wert202645
Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
Hocking172624
Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 23°
Angola
Mostly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 21°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 27°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 23°
Lima
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 21°
Dry start to Monday, snow/freezing rain moves in late
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