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5 things to know for December 16: Impeachment, Afghanistan, Lebanon, COP25, North Korea

In an exclusive interview with the New York Post, Harvey Weinstein refused to discuss allegations against him and instead talked about his career, according to the newspaper.

Posted: Dec 16, 2019 9:10 AM
Updated: Dec 16, 2019 9:10 AM

Did you have a somewhat temperate weekend? Enjoy it while it lasts. Most of the country will be hit with snow and freezing rain sometime this week.

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. Impeachment

Are you ready for another contentious week of impeachment activity? This is the week the House is supposed to conduct a full vote of the articles of impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee released a 658-page report explaining its decision to charge Trump with two articles of impeachment -- abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It will only take a simple majority vote to formally impeach President Trump, and then it's on to a Senate trial. When the trial starts, you'll be introduced to a whole new impeachment vocabulary. First up: Impeachment manager. Those will be the head Democrats chosen by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lead the prosecution of the President. Who will she choose? One option is independent Justin Amash, a congressional Republican who switched parties after backing impeachment proceedings. However, fellow lawmakers say it's "highly unlikely" Pelosi would make a flashy partisan gamble on such an important decision.

2. Afghanistan

The Trump Administration is preparing to announce a long-awaited reduction of US troops in Afghanistan, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN. There are between 12,000 and 13,000 US troops in the country right now, and the US has maintained a solid presence throughout the 18-year war in the area. This drawdown would remove up to 4,000 troops, with more possible reductions in the future, the official said. That matches the claim Trump made on Fox News Radio in August that his administration would take the number "down to 8,600." The reduction comes at the same time the US is restarting peace talks with the Taliban, and some worry the troop drawdown could be seen as a concession to the terrorist group.

3. Lebanon

Protests in Lebanon took a violent turn this weekend. On Saturday night, at least 46 people were injured in clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital of Beirut. The protests have been going on since October and center around accusations of corruption and mismanagement against Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri. If your memory is particularly sharp, you'll recall Hariri actually stepped down in late October, a few weeks after the protests began. He's back again, and is expected to be named head of the next government during parliamentary consultations today. Some other Lebanese leaders have said they won't join any government led by Hariri, which adds another layer of conflict on top of an already incendiary situation.

4. COP25

The marathon COP25 summit in Madrid concluded two days late and with little to show for it all. The climate summit was supposed to end with global leaders hammering out important new emissions regulations and other environmental guidelines to stave off the effects of climate change. Instead, 12 days turned into 14 and the resulting agreement was largely inconclusive, with vague language that deferred big decisions until next year's summit. For instance, the agreement concludes there's an urgent need for new carbon-cutting commitments, but doesn't really outline how to secure those commitments or what that system would look like. Some leaders put the blame on "large emitters" who were either missing in action at the summit or reportedly dug in their heels at the negotiation table.

5. North Korea 

Remember when North Korea threatened the US with a possibly-nuclear "Christmas gift?" US officials are urging the country to restart denuclearization talks, sending US special representative to North Korea, Stephen Biegun. Those talks fell apart last February after President Trump cut short a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea has given the US until the end of the year to make a move in the nuclear negotiations, which means the country wants some sort of concession, like sanctions relief. What happens after that is anyone's guess, but it could include restarting long-range missile tests and completely severing the on-again, off-again diplomatic bromance between Trump and Kim.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Thousands of bizarre-looking 'penis fish' washed up on a California beach 

For all those middle school boys asked to bring a news story to class, this is what is known as jackpot.

These were the top trendy food stories for 2019 

They were either meatless or fried, slapped on a bun and fought over for hours at the drive-thru.

LSU's Joe Burrow won the Heisman Trophy this weekend

You know what would go nicely with that? A College Football Playoff Trophy.

Thousands of Santas flooded the streets of NYC for 'SantaCon'

One Santa: Jolly! Thousands of Santas: Utterly terrifying.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Harvey Weinstein is trying to gaslight society again. He says in a new interview he doesn't want to be forgotten. Well, he won't be. He will be remembered as a sexual predator and an unrepentant abuser who took everything and deserves nothing."

An excerpt from a statement signed by 23 women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The disgraced movie producer recently told the New York Post his "work has been forgotten" in light of the widespread accusations of harassment, misconduct and rape. Weinstein has repeatedly denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$1 billion

Disney's "Frozen 2" crossed this magical threshold at the international box office this weekend, making it the sixth billion-dollar Disney film THIS YEAR ALONE. No other studio has had so many films cross the billion dollar mark in a year.

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

She's beauty and she's grace

Chill out to one of the most famous -- and festive -- ballet solos ever, and try to remember if you have ever actually eaten a sugar plum. (Click here to view)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 590211

Reported Deaths: 9310
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion815581297
Lake44306666
Allen31919541
Hamilton28371304
St. Joseph26766371
Elkhart24098341
Vanderburgh18643213
Tippecanoe17422121
Johnson14496284
Porter14399160
Hendricks13870241
Madison10561212
Vigo10483171
Clark10240130
Monroe9076108
Delaware8836132
LaPorte8771155
Howard7897138
Kosciusko787277
Warrick643890
Hancock638797
Bartholomew626694
Floyd6150105
Wayne5933157
Grant5818110
Dubois544372
Boone534367
Morgan516291
Marshall494184
Henry493664
Cass471760
Noble460557
Dearborn458444
Jackson414745
Shelby402179
Lawrence380575
Clinton364539
Gibson356556
DeKalb337363
Montgomery334851
Harrison328542
Knox327839
Miami309843
Steuben306340
Adams295235
Whitley294125
Wabash293045
Ripley292345
Putnam284847
Huntington283557
Jasper282433
White267538
Daviess261672
Jefferson250738
Fayette242348
Decatur242182
Greene233360
Posey232326
Wells229447
LaGrange224161
Clay217932
Scott216937
Randolph208340
Jennings192535
Sullivan189031
Spencer181917
Fountain179725
Washington177118
Starke171341
Jay162821
Owen159537
Fulton159229
Carroll152115
Orange151433
Rush149918
Perry147227
Vermillion144933
Franklin143433
Parke12908
Tipton128232
Pike113625
Blackford107522
Pulaski95237
Newton89421
Brown85530
Benton84310
Crawford7579
Martin70013
Warren6587
Switzerland6205
Union6113
Ohio4677
Unassigned0374

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 826754

Reported Deaths: 10200
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin97493705
Cuyahoga821781012
Hamilton61350439
Montgomery41700399
Summit33399726
Lucas30111597
Butler29721228
Stark24811400
Warren18917139
Lorain18086212
Mahoning16758335
Lake15365135
Clermont15160104
Delaware1382177
Licking12679132
Trumbull12401302
Fairfield1218480
Greene11631133
Medina11128165
Clark10608264
Wood9964154
Allen9511126
Portage8867105
Miami886573
Richland8790116
Marion7319113
Tuscarawas7142174
Columbiana7085124
Pickaway702850
Wayne6781164
Muskingum671242
Erie5886118
Hancock537890
Ross530287
Scioto519662
Geauga483555
Darke457589
Ashtabula439068
Lawrence432651
Union430628
Mercer424287
Sandusky421862
Seneca413555
Auglaize412759
Huron410338
Shelby410221
Jefferson403366
Belmont395640
Washington372040
Putnam364672
Athens36369
Madison339329
Knox336522
Ashland331738
Fulton325943
Defiance319278
Crawford313268
Preble311534
Brown296619
Logan292729
Ottawa282134
Clinton279043
Williams270166
Highland262418
Jackson256943
Guernsey241725
Champaign240927
Fayette225529
Morrow22294
Perry221318
Holmes218662
Henry210247
Hardin204133
Coshocton197420
Van Wert196644
Gallia190926
Wyandot190549
Adams165615
Pike164116
Hocking163423
Carroll149516
Paulding139021
Noble117840
Meigs103221
Monroe95629
Harrison8568
Morgan79128
Vinton67113
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