See SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket launch

The SpaceX founder Elon Musk has launched his biggest and most powerful rocket yet from the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Posted: Feb 7, 2018 4:41 PM
Updated: Feb 7, 2018 4:44 PM

Gray crocodiles are turning orange in the African country of Gabon. Here's a hint why: evolution. And 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. Politics

America's newsmaker-in-chief had quite the day. President Trump expressed hope for a government shutdown, then ordered up an old-fashioned military parade for DC, just like the ones they have on Bastille Day in France.

Let's start with the shutdown. Congress is working hard to avoid one -- by late tomorrow night. The House passed a short-term bill that funds most of the government through March 23 and the Pentagon for a full fiscal year. It faces a rocky road in the Senate, but everybody's optimistic because Senate leaders are close to a deal on raising budget caps, which is key to getting to a long-term funding agreement. Trump's reaction to all this: He'd "love to see a shutdown" unless the Democrats submit to his immigration demands.

Meanwhile, Trump, who made no secret of how much he loved France's military parade during his visit last summer, ordered the Pentagon to organize one for the good ol' US of A. The top brass is looking into it, but there are concerns about the cost, which could run into the millions. And lots of folks worry about holding a type of parade that would seem more at home in North Korea or Soviet-era Russia than in Washington.

2. Winter Olympics

Guess who's going to the Olympics? Kim Jong Un's little sister. Kim Yo Jong, 30, will be part of the North Korean delegation headed to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It'll be the first time a member of the Kim dynasty has visited South Korea. As for the younger Kim, we don't know much about her (no big surprise there) other than she was educated in Switzerland and has risen high enough up the ranks that she briefly ran the country while her brother recovered from an illness in 2014.

3. Taiwan earthquake

The search for the missing is on after a powerful earthquake rocked Taiwan. The magnitude-6.4 quake killed at least seven people and injured more than 250. Dozens are missing, and there may be 40 people trapped in a large building that's titling perilously in the city of Hualien. As aftershocks continue to rumble, some Hualien residents are taking refuge in a stadium. The quake struck in the East China Sea just off the coast. Taiwan is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which runs around the edge of the Pacific Ocean and is known for massive seismic and volcanic activity.

4. Poland

Poland's President says he's going to sign a controversial Holocaust bill -- but only after a constitutional tribunal looks at it first. The law would make it illegal to accuse the nation of complicity in crimes committed by the Nazis. It would also ban the use of the term "Polish death camps" when referring to Auschwitz and other camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. The bill angers Israel, which accuses Poland of trying to rewrite history. Historians say certain Polish people and groups helped the Nazis, but Polish governments have pushed back on that narrative.

5. Space X launch

That. Was. Cool! Rocket launches (which are pretty awesome in their own right) have never looked -- or sounded -- as cool as the one Elon Musk put on in Florida. His Falcon Heavy rocket, the world's most powerful, blasted off without a hitch, putting Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster in orbit around the sun, with a dummy driver and a David Bowie song along for the ride. And the show wasn't over when the payload reached space. SpaceX then gave us the awe-inspiring sight of the Falcon Heavy's rocket boosters landing back on Earth, part of the company's plan to drive down the cost of launches.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles."

Casino mogul Steve Wynn, announcing he's stepping down as CEO of Wynn Resorts amid allegations of sexual misconduct

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

From dragonglass to lightsabers

Once they're done in Westeros, the creators of "Game of Thrones" head to a galaxy far, far away to write and produce new "Star Wars" movies.

Trouble in the kingdom

King James cursing at team execs in Cleveland? Probably means the Cavaliers won't have their savior around past the end of this season.

'Please pull to your right'

Yes, traffic in California can be crazy. But even commuting by hot air balloon won't save you from getting pulled over by the cops.

What's in a name

Oh, those Kardashians. First Kim K named baby No. 3 Chicago. Now, sister Kylie has one-upped her by naming her new daughter Stormi.

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH

Facing charges

The driver suspected of hitting and killing NFL linebacker Edwin Jackson and his ride-share driver on Sunday is due in court today on federal immigration charges. Before the crash, he was deported twice, authorities say.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

567

That's how many points the Dow jumped as it roared back from Monday's epic nosedive.

AND FINALLY ...

Ask them anything

Got a burning question about ice dancing? You're in luck! Team USA just happens to have the answers. (Click to view.)

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Confirmed Cases: 290373

Reported Deaths: 8845
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Lake16892487
Will13984378
Kane13092326
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Winnebago5959149
Madison5698136
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Macon154444
Coles146430
Williamson140145
Jackson126124
Clinton116920
Boone112523
Adams112310
Randolph93911
Effingham8702
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Whiteside74320
Ogle7106
Monroe67416
Knox6703
Grundy6695
Henry6665
Morgan66123
Bureau64111
Jefferson61138
Marion5540
Macoupin5447
Christian53911
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Stephenson5236
Union51524
McDonough48015
Logan4641
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Woodford4246
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Cass39811
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Lee3711
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Perry35015
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Warren3322
Bond3285
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Jo Daviess2632
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Carroll2305
Greene22711
Cumberland2175
Hancock2173
Moultrie2143
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Washington2111
Richland2095
Pulaski1801
Fulton1760
Clark1732
White1680
Johnson1560
Clay1540
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Mason1471
Piatt1400
Mercer1395
Pike1281
Menard1251
De Witt1221
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Massac1122
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Marshall1040
Alexander811
Scott780
Gallatin732
Hamilton682
Henderson660
Edwards630
Brown610
Calhoun600
Putnam570
Stark552
Schuyler500
Hardin400
Pope291
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 117450

Reported Deaths: 3580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21403766
Lake10618323
Elkhart6667111
St. Joseph6576110
Allen6292203
Hamilton4909109
Vanderburgh371931
Hendricks2747123
Monroe262736
Tippecanoe252313
Johnson2338124
Clark223657
Porter217647
Delaware198562
Cass19549
Vigo184327
Madison168975
LaPorte147441
Floyd138963
Warrick134440
Howard131863
Kosciusko124817
Bartholomew117957
Marshall101224
Dubois99119
Boone98646
Grant93334
Hancock93243
Noble92532
Henry80926
Jackson7689
Wayne76814
Morgan72938
Daviess67728
Shelby67729
Dearborn66528
LaGrange63911
Clinton60914
Harrison58724
Putnam58112
Gibson5305
Knox5259
Lawrence51529
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48711
White48614
Decatur45839
Miami4383
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper3992
Steuben3877
Scott38111
Posey3400
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31125
Ripley3038
Clay3025
Orange28824
Whitley2796
Carroll27713
Adams2743
Wabash2718
Washington2691
Starke2677
Wells2654
Spencer2593
Jefferson2483
Huntington2453
Fulton2412
Tipton22822
Perry22113
Randolph2207
Jay1880
Newton17311
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1621
Rush1574
Vermillion1300
Fountain1282
Blackford1203
Pulaski1131
Crawford1080
Brown1043
Parke1032
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren401
Unassigned0226