5 things for April 9: Syria, Alaska 'bathroom bill,' Canada bus crash

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Posted: Apr 9, 2018 2:24 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2018 2:24 PM

Want to find out if you're among the 87 million whose personal data was shared with Cambridge Analytica? Facebook will begin alerting users starting today. 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. Syria

How will President Trump respond after the latest suspected chemical attack in Syria? At least 48 people died over the weekend in the rebel-held town of Douma; most observers believe those killed were victims of a poison gas attack. Images of women and children gasping and convulsing spread around the globe quickly. The President strongly condemned the attack, blamed it on the Syrian regime and even criticized Russia's Vladimir Putin for supporting the Syrians. It's the first time Trump's ever badmouthed Putin by name in a tweet. Russia called it all a hoax.

Trump promised a "big price to pay" for the attack, but didn't specify. There were reports Sunday night that an air base on Homs was hit, but the Pentagon said it wasn't the US. Israel wouldn't say if it did it. It all makes for a big to-do list for John Bolton, who starts his first day at the White House as national security adviser today. The UN Security Council will also hold a pair of emergency meetings about the attack today.

2. Alaska 'bathroom bill'

Residents in Anchorage, Alaska, voted down a measure -- similar to so-called "bathroom bills" -- which would have restricted bathroom access for transgender people. This is significant because it's the first time in the nation that such a proposal was decided at the ballot box. Bathroom bills in other states have been handled by lawmakers. Anchorage's Proposition 1 -- which was part of the city's first vote-by-mail election -- had 52.7% opposed to the bill with 47.3% supporting it. City lawmakers will certify the final results later this month.

3. Hungary election

A political coalition with a strong anti-immigrant bent won a resounding victory in Hungary's parlimentary elections. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban claimed victory after the coalition, which includes the ruling party known as Fidesz, nabbed 133 of 199 seats in the country's Parliament. Orban, Hungary's longest-serving leader since the fall of communism, was also re-elected to a fourth term.

Orban rails against immigrants and bashes the European Commission -- the executive arm of the EU -- whenever he can. Hungary's government has also set up anti-immigration billboards throughout the country, despite the fact it has the third-lowest level of immigration of the EU's 28 countries.

4. Canada bus crash

The mourning stretches from Saskatchewan to the NHL after 10 junior hockey players were killed in a bus crash in the province. Five other people also died when a tractor-trailer collided with the bus carrying the hockey players Friday evening. One of the dead was Jaxon Joseph, the 20-year-old son of ex-Pittsburgh Penguins player Chris Joseph. At least 14 others were injured in the tragedy, which is being felt across Canada, where hockey is the No. 1 sport and many young players take long bus rides to tournaments.

5. Tony Robbins and #MeToo

America's fave life coach says he's sorry. Tony Robbins apologized for his comments about the #MeToo movement, after he suggested during an event last month that some women use it to gain advantage by playing the victim. "My comments failed to reflect the respect I have for everything Tarana Burke and the #MeToo movement has achieved," Robbins said in a statement, referencing the woman credited with starting the movement in 2006.

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