5 things for March 1: Gun debate, Hope Hicks, Syria, Canada & India, teacher strike

The Oscars are Sunday. Need to cram? Here's ...

Posted: Mar 1, 2018 2:36 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2018 2:36 PM

The Oscars are Sunday. Need to cram? Here's where you can find-30 nominated films. 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. Gun debate

Donald Trump is a master at reality TV. And no, we're not talking about "The Apprentice." We're talking about those live, freewheeling White House brainstorming sessions with lawmakers. Now,-they've had one on guns, and it-did not-go the way we all thought.

Trump defied GOP doctrine on guns and pushed strongly for expanded background checks and raising the age to buy a rifle to 21. He even advocated taking guns away from some people-ID'd as potentially dangerous ---before they go to court. And Trump-shut down GOP Rep. Steve-Scalise, who was shot last year at a congressional baseball practice,-when Scalise pitched lumping in a pro-concealed carry measure. In all,-Republicans were stunned. Democrats were elated. The NRA called it "great TV" but "bad policy." The real question is whether Trump sticks with this or just moves on.

Meanwhile, two retailers did some gun reform of their own. Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods both said they're raising the age for gun sales to 21, while Dick's is also ending sales of assault-style rifles.

2. Hope Hicks

This might be the most consequential of all the recent White House resignations.-Hope Hicks is stepping down as communications director. She's one of President Trump's closest and most trusted aides. She was always at his side on the campaign trail and even sometimes typed out his tweets. Hicks' departure was announced a day after she testified before the House Intelligence Committee and admitted to telling white lies for Trump. CNN's Stephen Collinson says her absence will leave the President feeling more alone and isolated than ever, not a good thing as Trump preps for the battles ahead.

3. Syria

Two ceasefires ordered. Two ceasefires ignored. The fighting rages on in the Syrian rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta. Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted a daily five-hour "humanitarian pause" in the fighting so civilians could get out of the besieged area. But that was disregarded just like the UN's call for a 30-day ceasefire. Putin blames "extremist forces" for the violence. Rebel fighters and government forces accuse each other of breaking the truce.

4. Canada & India

Justin Trudeau's disastrous trip to India is over, but controversy over it continues. Since arriving back home, the Canadian Prime Minister seemed to back the notion that people within the Indian government tried to sabotage his weeklong visit. Of course, that ticked off the Indians, who called such talk "baseless and unacceptable." Trudeau's trip last week was widely panned-amid his own missteps and the-sense that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was snubbing him over Canada's alleged cozy relationship with Sikh separatists.

5. West Virginia teacher-strike

Schools will be closed again today in the Mountain State, despite an announced deal to end the teacher-strike. What's the hold up? The deal (which still has to be OK'd by lawmakers) gave teachers a 5% pay raise. But it didn't address concerns about health insurance. Now, teachers and other educators want an immediate fix so they can get back to classrooms.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

First light

Scientists say they've found traces of the first bits of light ever seen in the universe, thought to emit from the first stars formed after the Big Bang.

Lost and found

It was missing for decades, then turned up in a London apartment. Now, the painting often called the "African Mona Lisa" has sold for a cool $1.6 million.

In lieu of bouquets ...

The brides wore white -- and carried AR-15s -- during one of the strangest wedding ceremonies you'll ever witness.

Tell us what you really, really want

Will the Spice Girls perform at the royal wedding?-Mel B kind of hinted yes, then wanted to pretend she never said it, so who knows.

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH

Pulse massacre trial

Jury selection begins today-in the trial of the widow of the gunman who opened fire in 2016 inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people. Noor Salman is accused of aiding and abetting Omar Mateen's material support to ISIS, as well as obstruction of justice for allegedly misleading investigators.-She has-pleaded not guilty.

TODAY'S NUMBER

60%

That's the rate at which anti-Semitic incidents rose last year, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League

TODAY'S QUOTE

"This amendment ... does not mean a life-long term system for leading officials."

China's state-run newspaper, People's Daily, arguing that Chinese President Xi Jinping-wouldn't necessarily stay in office, like, forever, as the country considers dropping presidential term limits

AND FINALLY

Master class

Tom Hanks changes a typewriter ribbon, and it's mesmerizing because we'll watch the beloved actor do pretty much anything on screen. (Click to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 34574

Reported Deaths: 2134
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9853578
Lake3616190
Allen161869
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph127434
Hendricks116971
Hamilton115993
Johnson1105108
Madison58659
Porter53928
Bartholomew51135
Clark50441
LaPorte43323
Howard40828
Tippecanoe4023
Jackson3891
Delaware38537
Shelby37322
Hancock33827
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2742
Montgomery24117
White2358
Noble23221
Clinton2321
Decatur22431
Grant21122
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18211
Greene16924
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Lawrence16324
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Kosciusko1351
Jennings1304
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Scott1203
Franklin1108
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Marshall1082
Carroll932
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Fayette777
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Jay520
Clay511
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Randolph473
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley423
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Brown331
Perry330
Wells320
Benton300
Huntington282
Knox280
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Posey160
Adams151
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 120260

Reported Deaths: 5390
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook779253642
Lake8331291
DuPage7707373
Kane6338178
Will5566276
Winnebago225155
McHenry156672
St. Clair113782
Kankakee91045
Kendall79819
Rock Island65824
Champaign6407
Madison58060
Boone45217
DeKalb4164
Sangamon35129
Jackson28610
Randolph2704
Peoria2339
McLean22013
Ogle2063
Stephenson2062
Macon19319
Clinton18617
Union15411
LaSalle15313
Whiteside14013
Iroquois1324
Coles12715
Out of IL1181
Warren1170
Jefferson10116
Knox1000
Grundy982
Monroe9512
McDonough8811
Unassigned850
Lee811
Cass730
Tazewell735
Henry690
Williamson672
Pulaski560
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry410
Vermilion401
Montgomery391
Morgan361
Christian354
Livingston342
Jo Daviess320
Douglas280
Jersey241
Fayette213
Ford201
Menard200
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Hancock170
Mercer170
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll152
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
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Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
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A warm up on the way.
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