Trump the focus of at least 6 investigations

At least six entities linked to President Donald Trump are the focus of investigations, with the possibility of others that have not been made public. CNN's Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul take a closer look.

Posted: Dec 17, 2018 10:36 AM
Updated: Dec 17, 2018 10:41 AM

Time is running out to get in the holiday spirit, so let our top Christmas movie picks give you a boost. 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. White House

It's bound to be another exhausting week in Washington. Why? Let us count the ways: Over the weekend, President Trump lashed out at the ongoing Mueller investigation, calling it a "scam" and characterizing a raid of his former attorney Michael Cohen's office as a break-in. This of course comes among court filings and sentencing hearings regarding some of the high-level Trump associates implicated in the investigations. Next up? Tuesday's sentencing hearing for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted lying to the FBI. Moving on, we could be looking at a partial government shutdown soon over funding for a border wall. Trump wants $5 billion, but Democrats are unwilling to agree to that and any spending bill needs bipartisan support to pass Congress. Also, the revolving door at the White House keeps revolving: News broke over the weekend that embattled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would be leaving his position, and on Friday Trump announced he would be replacing Chief of Staff John Kelly at the end of the year. So basically, your office may be quiet as everyone gets ready for the holidays, but the Oval Office sure isn't.

2. Brexit

Could the UK be heading for a second vote on whether or not to leave the European Union? What was once an unthinkable question is now, according to British political experts, a serious possibility. That's because UK Prime Minister Theresa May has, so far, failed to engineer a graceful, er, Brexit. Last week, both EU leaders and members of May's own party voiced their lack of support for her Brexit deal, which would negotiate the economic terms of the UK's withdrawal from the EU. Without a deal, the UK would just crash out of the EU at the Brexit deadline which is, friendly reminder, rapidly approaching in March. Such a scenario would probably be catastrophic for the UK's economy. All of this chaos is what has fueled speculation about a second referendum. May denounced the possibility on Sunday, saying a second vote would  "do irreparable damage to the integrity our politics."

3. Sri Lanka

Let's head over to Sri Lanka for even more political turmoil: Two months ago, President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the country's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. The decision created a constitutional crisis, with Wickremesinghe insisting he was still Prime Minister, leading to mass protests in the capital Colombo. Now, the President has reinstated Wickremesinghe in a surprising reversal. This comes after the country's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Sirisena's firing of the Prime Minister violated the constitution. While the reversal may be an attempt to restore some political normalcy, the damage is already done -- aside from protests and nationwide anxiety over the decision, Sri Lanka's economy and global standing also faltered as a result.

4. China

One hundred Christians have been detained in China, raising concerns about the Chinese Communist Party's crackdown on religion. Among those detained is a prominent Chinese pastor and legal scholar, who was reportedly arrested on allegations of "inciting subversion of state power." Christians haven't been the only ones to experience serious pressure under China's government: China has also been accused of carrying out a systematic campaign of human rights violations against hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uyghurs in the far western region of Xinjiang. Rights advocates say this new move against religious freedom isn't about religion itself, per se, but about China's Communist Party exerting more control to make sure they stay in power.

5. Hungary

Ongoing protests in Hungary's capital city of Budapest took a violent turn on Sunday. Thousands gathered to protest new legislation they call a "slave law," because it would ask workers to take on up to 400 hours of overtime a year. The law was passed by Hungary's parliament last week. The government says the law would allow people to work and earn more, but critics say the policy, while voluntary, invites exploitation. There's been a lot of concern over recent political dealings in Hungary, namely over the ruling populist party's perceived crackdown on democratic institutions. Earlier this year, the European Parliament took the unprecedented step of launching Article 7 -- a disciplinary process -- against Hungary, a rare process designed to prevent members from breaching the EU's "core values."

TODAY'S QUOTE

"As I know too well, it's not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that's only been sought by boys."

Hillary Clinton, in a letter to an 8-year-old girl who lost her election for class president

BREAKFAST BROWSE

2018's Miss Universe is Catriona Gray, from the Philippines

Why is it always someone from Earth, though? The rest of the universe wants to know.

Amazon newest "Go" stores are tiny and cashier-free

So it's basically like getting food from a closet.

California is dropping an idea to tax text messages. 

Brevity is the soul of wit, not telecommunications.

'Well-preserved' 4,400-year-old Egyptian tomb found

Imagine being a pharaoh thinking you're headed for the afterlife but you really just end up being poked by some 21st century archaeologist. Disappointment!

Dictionary.com's word of the year is: Misinformation

Drag us, Dictionary.com.

TODAY'S NUMBER

37.3%

The percentage of 12th graders (high school seniors) who reported vaping in the past year, according to a new study. Vaping has seen a huge increase among teens in recent years, but in general, drug and alcohol use among teens has decreased.

AND FINALLY

Pajama jammin'

Who else just wants to hang around in their PJs all day today? Bonus if your pajama party comes with goats. (Click here to view)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
Bartholomew50034
Clark49241
LaPorte42423
Howard39526
Tippecanoe3903
Jackson3791
Delaware37736
Shelby36822
Hancock32728
Floyd31839
Boone30935
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2652
Montgomery23517
White2318
Decatur22431
Clinton2231
Noble21121
Grant20621
Harrison19221
Dubois1923
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Dearborn16621
Vigo1648
Lawrence15423
Miami1411
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Orange12522
Scott1193
Kosciusko1111
Franklin1098
Ripley1086
Carroll922
Marshall901
Daviess8516
Steuben812
Newton7710
Wayne776
Fayette767
Wabash762
LaGrange712
Jasper651
Washington521
Jay500
Fulton481
Clay471
Rush462
Randolph463
Pulaski460
Jefferson431
Whitley393
Starke363
Sullivan341
Owen341
Brown331
DeKalb331
Perry310
Benton300
Knox290
Wells280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Blackford242
Fountain202
Switzerland200
Spencer191
Parke170
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0164

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 117455

Reported Deaths: 5270
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook762663570
Lake8063287
DuPage7543362
Kane6188170
Will5442269
Winnebago215654
McHenry151471
St. Clair109179
Kankakee87144
Kendall76919
Rock Island64624
Champaign6177
Madison56558
Boone42817
DeKalb3924
Sangamon34629
Jackson26810
Randolph2674
McLean21713
Peoria2128
Ogle2023
Stephenson1992
Macon19519
Clinton18117
Union1519
LaSalle14713
Whiteside13512
Iroquois1314
Coles12514
Unassigned1250
Out of IL1191
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox970
Grundy952
Monroe9411
McDonough878
Lee791
Cass710
Tazewell714
Henry680
Williamson642
Pulaski510
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan351
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
Douglas260
Menard210
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Mercer170
Hancock160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll142
Bond121
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Effingham71
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
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A wonderful Saturday with sunshine expected!
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