It's National News Literacy Week, a time to think critically about the news you read, and learn how to spot the signs of misinformation. Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
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Donald Trump's legal team will finish up their closing arguments today in the Senate impeachment trial, but there are bigger issues afoot for the President's defenders. A report from the New York Times detailing an unpublished manuscript by former national security adviser John Bolton reveals that Bolton claims Trump told him in August of last year that he wanted to continue holding military aid to Ukraine until the country helped with investigations into Democrats (including Joe Biden, who is expected to be named in the Trump legal team's opening arguments today). Not only does this undermine Trump's legal defense that the military aid freeze and the request to announce investigations were unrelated, it also throws into question a Senate vote this week on whether to allow witnesses during the impeachment trial. Up until now, it was fairly certain Senate Republicans would be able to vote down the request, but with this new revelation, it's far from a done deal.
At least 80 people have now died from the Wuhan coronavirus, and at least 2,700 have been infected. At this point, those numbers are ticking up by the minute. The virus has officially gone global, too: 50 cases have been confirmed outside of China, including at least three in the US. The US and France have both taken measures to evacuate citizens or diplomats from China to avoid the spread of the disease, which experts say could potentially become a worldwide epidemic. Doctors now believe the virus is contagious before people show symptoms, which could seriously undermine quarantine and treatment efforts. Follow the latest news on the outbreak here.
Twelve people have been killed and 230 others injured over the last few days as anti-government protests continue to rage across Iraq. More than 600 people have been killed since the protests started in October. The latest wave of deaths and violence came after Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced that he would no longer support anti-government protesters. Activists claim the announcement emboldened police response to the crowds. Meanwhile, US officials are investigating a rocket attack that struck the US Embassy compound in Baghdad yesterday. One person sustained minor injuries. While officials didn't outright blame Iran-backed forces for the attack, they were mentioned in the State Department's response. Adil Abdul Mahdi, the prime minister of Iraq, condemned the attack and said Iraqi forces were committed to keeping diplomatic facilities safe.
4. North Korea
Could North Korea be preparing to launch another missile test? Maybe, but maybe not. That's the conclusion of new satellite imagery from a critical North Korean missile site that shows increased vehicle activity in the area. US officials and intelligence analysts say that while the activity is similar to what they've seen before other missile or missile fuel tests, it's too early to tell in this case. However, given North Korea's current state of mind, it's not out of the question. Kim Jong Un recently announced he would no longer abide by self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons or long-range missiles testing after talks with President Trump fizzled without a resolution. Now, Kim is trying to play nuclear hardball to get Washington to give in to his political demands.
5. Kobe Bryant
Basketball fans across the world are mourning the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Bryant, 41, was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others also died in the crash. The pair were on their way to a basketball game where Bryant was expected to coach and his daughter was expected to play. While officials haven't announced a cause for the crash, weather in the area at the time was poor enough that the Los Angeles Police Department grounded its helicopter fleet. NBA games went on as scheduled Sunday, but were punctuated with emotional tributes to the Los Angeles Lakers great. Grammy Awards host Alicia Keys opened the show with a moving speech in honor of Bryant before calling Boyz II Men to the stage for a rendition of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday."
Fall asleep before the end of the Grammys? Here's a list of winners
It's guaranteed to get at least one song stuck in your head this morning.
A Florida man was arrested for pointing lasers at planes landing at an airport
Seriously, don't point lasers at planes landing at airports!
The beauty industry is booming, but mascara sales are struggling
People have struggled with applying mascara for decades, it's about time it felt a little bit of the struggle too.
An island in Florida is paying residents to let a special owl burrow in their front yard
These things are adorable, we'd let them burrow for free.
An Arizona man thought he could drive in the HOV lane with his passenger -- a skeleton in a bucket hat
"I stand with Greta on this issue. (I don't have a degree in economics either) We need to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels."
Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in a now-deleted Instagram post defending Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Mnuchin had criticized Thunberg, saying she could criticize the US' reliance on fossil fuels after she got a degree in economics.
The number of unique donors a Democratic candidate needs to qualify for the February Democratic presidential debate conducted by the University of New Hampshire. A candidate also needs a minimum of 1,000 unique donors per state in at least 20 different states, 5% in at least four Democratic National Committee-approved national or early state polls (or 7% in two early state polls), or at least one delegate in the Iowa caucuses.
Andrew Yang is the latest candidate to qualify for the debate after receiving 5% in a recent CNN poll. He will join Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer and Pete Buttigieg on the stage.
A fitting tribute
Alicia Keys' speech before the Grammys last night really was lovely, and she talked about how music is a healing, unifying force. That's a message we can all agree on. (Click here to view)