5 things to know for August 21: Greenland, Trump, Italy, China, immigration, NRA

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CNN's Kate Bolduan gets into a heated exchange with political commentator Robert Astorino over a report that states President Donald Trump told the NRA that 'background checks are off' after publicly supporting the idea in the aftermath of several shootings.

Posted: Aug 21, 2019 6:40 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 6:40 AM

Ladies, listen up. A panel of experts has recommended that more women should get tested for the harmful BRCA gene mutations that can increase the risk of certain cancers.

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. President Trump

The President has canceled his trip to Denmark with less than two weeks to go because Denmark's Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, will not entertain the idea of selling Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, to the US. Trump mentioned the non-negotiation as the reason for postponing the trip, though he called Denmark a "special country" and promised to reschedule. Trump has brought up buying Greenland, and the White House counsel's office has looked into it. But Frederiksen called the idea "an absurd discussion" and told a local paper, "Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland."

Elsewhere in the world, Trump raised hackles yesterday after criticizing Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats, saying "it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." The remark led critics to argue the President was politicizing anti-Semitism by flirting with the anti-Semitic trope of "dual loyalty," which questions the loyalty of Jewish citizens.

2. Italy

Italy's Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, has resigned after losing support from the country's far-right leaders. Conte has been involved in a feud with Interior Minister Matteo Salvini over how much power their movements hold in parliament. Salvini is the leader of the far-right, hardline anti-immigrant League party, and he has called for a new round of elections to re-establish a ruling party majority. Their recent clashes have centered on a Spanish humanitarian ship carrying migrants that has been stranded off the coast of Italy for more than three weeks. Salvini had refused to let the ship dock, despite a court ruling saying the boat should be allowed. Yesterday, an Italian court seized the rescue vessel and ordered all the migrants to disembark after an investigation found health and sanitary conditions on the ship had deteriorated. At least 10 people were reported to have jumped overboard as the vessel languished at sea. Italy's Transport Minister has blamed Spain for the situation, while Spain says Italy "failed to follow the law" in refusing to allow the ship to dock.

3. China  

An employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong who'd been missing for almost two weeks has been detained in China. Chinese officials said 28-year-old Simon Cheng has been put in administrative detention for 15 days for violating China's Security Administration Punishment Law, which covers offenses deemed too minor to be crimes. Cheng works for a British agency that promotes trade between Scotland and other countries, and is often required to go to mainland China for work. He reportedly traveled from the special administration region of Hong Kong to a border city in mainland China while carrying out his duties. Because he is a Hong Kong citizen, Chinese officials say this was a problem. The situation has the potential to cause serious tension between the UK and China. Top British diplomats they're "extremely concerned" by Cheng's detention and will help his family. Chinese officials say that since Cheng is not a UK citizen, it is a purely Chinese matter.

4. Immigration 

A series of developments could make life even harder for migrants in the US. Trump is expected today to announce a new regulation that would allow migrant families to be detained beyond the 20-day limit for holding children. Administration officials say the move aims to keep families from exploiting the loophole, since they know if they come into the US with children, they will be released sooner. The decision would replace the so-called Flores agreement, which not only limits the detention time of a minor to 20 days but also outlines minimum standards of care for immigrants in detention centers. Speaking of minimum standards of care, US Customs and Border Protection has confirmed it will not vaccinate detained migrants against the flu, even though three children who'd been in US custody died after contracting the flu.

5. NRA

There's more turmoil brewing at the National Rifle Association. Three more NRA leaders have stepped down in a growing exodus amid controversy over the group's spending. These are pretty famous faces, too: Country music singer and NRA board member Craig Morgan resigned this week, as did NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. Also jumping ship is David Lehman, the deputy chief at the NRA's political arm. Over the last few months, several high-profile NRA leaders have left or been effectively forced out, including former NRA President Oliver North, chief political strategist Chris Cox, and recognizable media faces, like Dana Loesch. Recently, it looked like President Trump may have broken rank with the organization by suggesting the possibility of more firearms background checks. However, the President has seemed to cool on the idea of tighter gun legislation in the last few days.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

A little exotic kinkajou attacked a Florida man in his own home

Of course this would happen to a poor guy from Florida (I was born in Florida, so I'm allowed to say that).

A program to help prisoners learn horticulture skills will be renamed after Bob Ross 

Inspiring people with happy little trees, even from the next life. What a legend. 

Life may have existed on warm, rainy ancient Mars before winter came 

Sci-fi writers, here's your next prompt.

Dozens of air mattresses blew away in Colorado after an ill-advised outdoor movie event 

Horror writers, here's your next prompt.

The internet is beefing over who has the best chicken sandwich, and it's frankly exhausting 

Great, now we'll all be craving chicken sandwiches for a week.

TODAY'S NUMBER

78

The recommended Fahrenheit temperature, in degrees, at which you should keep your house in the summer, according to a new federal program for energy efficiency

TODAY'S QUOTE

"As a fan of all 3 of these amazing women, I can't wait to watch."

Brad Paisley, who was replaced as host of the Country Music Association Awards after 11 years in favor of Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. The two country legends will join Carrie Underwood, who has shared hosting duties with Paisley for years, for a special edition of the ceremony honoring women in the genre.

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Boop. Boop .................. Boop!

This machine is completely useless, and yet it almost seems like it's alive. Pixar, here's your next animated short. (Click here to view.)

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