5 things to know for April 23: Sri Lanka, impeachment, Trump, Social Security, oceans

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The bombings in Sri Lanka that killed at least 290 people and wounded hundreds of others are a tragedy both locally and internationally. CNN's Will Ripley speaks to a priest at St. Anthony's Church about the attacks' impact.

Posted: Apr 23, 2019 8:44 AM

We have breaking news in the Sri Lanka terror attacks investigation. Let's get straight to that and 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. Sri Lanka

The Easter Day attacks that killed more than 320 people were revenge for last month's killings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. That's according to Sri Lanka's defense minister, who just told his nation's parliament that the bombings of hotels and churches were carried out by a local extremist group. Sri Lanka has started to bury its dead, and confusion and anger are bubbling up after it was revealed that multiple security warnings about a possible attack were ignored for weeks. A state of emergency is now in effect.

The heartbreaking stories of the lives lost in this senseless violence are also starting to emerge. Shantha Mayadunne, a Sri Lankan TV chef, and her daughter Nisanga Mayadunne were killed in the explosion at the Shangri-La Hotel. A Facebook photo posted right before the blast shows Nisanga Mayadunne and several others enjoying breakfast in the hotel. Several US citizens died in the blasts, including a fifth-grader who went to school in Washington. Anders Holch Povlsen, a Danish billionaire, lost three of his children in the attacks. Get the latest updates on the investigation here.

2. Democrats and impeachment

So, just where are the Democrats on impeachment? That may depend on which group of Democrats you ask. Party leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are trying to quiet the impeachment talk for now, fearing a political backlash. Pelosi sent a "Dear colleague" letter to her caucus yesterday before a conference call, stressing that "the facts regarding holding the President accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings." But some rank-and-file Dems, as well as a few 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, want to start impeachment proceedings now. Like US Sen. Kamala Harris, who said last night during her CNN town hall that she supports Congress moving toward impeachment.

3. President Trump

Looks like President Trump will get his official state visit to the United Kingdom after all. Two sources told CNN that Buckingham Palace will announce the planned June visit "shortly." Trump visited the UK back in July, in what was billed as a working visit rather than a state occasion. The President met with Prime Minister Theresa May and had tea with Queen Elizabeth. That visit was also marked by large protests in London and throughout the country.

4. Social Security

Some new flashing red lights about the future of Social Security: An annual government report released yesterday says Social Security's trust funds will be tapped out by 2035. That doesn't mean retirees will no longer get checks by then. But it does mean Social Security will only have enough funds to pay people three-quarters of their benefits when they retire. The trustees of Social Security urge lawmakers to come up with a fix for this looming problem, but so far, Congress has been hesitant to address the issue because it would likely involve cutting benefits, raising payroll taxes or both. Also, President Trump has said he won't touch Social Security.

5. Climate change

Greenland is melting so fast that it's already raising sea levels, a new report says. Scientists say Greenland's ice loss has increased sixfold over the past 46 years, which is much faster than originally thought. Since the early 1970s, Greenland's ice loss has added about half an inch to the global sea level, and the island's ice sheet is the leading source of water added to the ocean every year. That's bad news for places like Hawaii's famous Waikiki Beach. Rising sea levels could put it underwater in about 20 years, a state report says. And there's an economic cost, too. Two Stanford researchers say climate change makes poor countries poorer and widens global inequality.



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Get in formation

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Float on

Want to visit the world's only floating national park? Then you'll need to take a trip to India. (Click to view)

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