5 things to know for April 3: Chicago elections, Mar-a-Lago, Turkey

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Matt Lewis of the Daily Beast says that some Democratic presidential candidates are "too woke" for their own good, and it's hurting the party's chances of beating President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Posted: Apr 3, 2019 10:10 AM
Updated: Apr 3, 2019 10:10 AM

Big companies are going to start posting their first quarter earnings soon, and they're expected to be pretty bad. But don't fret; analysts say that's no surprise, and the second half of the year should be a lot better for your investments. 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. Chicago

Chicago has a new mayor, and for the first time in history, it's a gay black woman. Lori Lightfoot won a historic runoff against another African-American woman, and will replace current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was not seeking a third term. Prior to her win, Lightfoot, a former assistant US attorney, was appointed by Emanuel to head Chicago's newly-created police accountability task force. Under Lightfoot, the city also replaced its widely criticized police oversight agency with a civilian body designed to have much more oversight over officers and their supervisors. Whoever it was, Chicago's incoming mayor was bound to inherit the responsibility of tackling the city's ongoing struggles with gun violence, crime and police-community relations.

2. Mar-a-Lago

Federal prosecutors have filed charges against a woman carrying Chinese passports accused of illegally entering President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Yujing Zhang claimed a friend had asked her to fly from Shanghai to the club to try to speak to a member of Trump's family about economic relations between the US and China. After she was detained, US Secret Service agents searched multiple electronic devices including four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external "hard drive type" device and a thumb drive containing malicious malware. Since the President spends a lot of time at Mar-a-Lago, security protocol is tight, and any breach is a serious matter. The US Secret Service says Mar-a-Lago club management is responsible for deciding who is allowed in, but added that the security practices are "no different than that long-used at any other site temporarily visited by the President or other Secret Service protectees."

3. Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is contesting the results of some local elections this week that seem to show his ruling party, the Justice and Development Party (known as the AKP), has lost political control of both Istanbul and Ankara, the country's capital. This is a big deal because the AKP and its political predecessor have consistently won in Istanbul's local elections since the 1990s, and have also retained a decades-long political majority in Ankara. Losing influence in these major cities would be a serious blow to Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than 15 years after becoming prime minister in 2003. AKP party officials said they detected voting irregularities in 39 districts, and votes in five of those districts are scheduled to be re-counted today.

4. Nigeria

The fatal police shooting of a Nigerian man has sparked outrage and reignited a public call for the shutdown of a controversial police unit. Kolade Johnson, a 36-year-old father, was killed by a stray bullet fired by a police officer during a raid in Lagos on Sunday. Johnson was not involved in the raid, and was just passing through with a friend after watching a soccer match. The officer belonged to Nigeria's anti-cultism police unit, but the shooting has brought back calls to disband the country's Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS, a unit designed to deal with the most serious crimes. In recent years, activists have accused SARS of significant human rights abuses and police brutality. In 2016, Amnesty International issued a report on SARS accusing officers from the unit of torturing detainees in custody and demanding bribes to free them. In 2018, Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo ordered an overhaul of the unit, but activists to say the changes haven't been enough and the unit should be disbanded.

5. FDA

Some pot products may soon be getting regulated under the Food and Drug Adminstration. The FDA announced yesterday that it will start discussing regulatory framework for the use of CBD in consumer products, including foods and beverages, next month. CBD is the the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the non-psychoactive ingredients in cannabis that is believed to offer wide-ranging health benefits (the nastier, psychoactive ingredient is THC). FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the move was part of an effort to build "lawful pathways by which appropriate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds can be marketed" and made "more predictable and efficient." As it stands now under FDA guidelines, it's illegal to put CBD in a food product or market it as a diet supplement.


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The number of town halls CNN will host with Democratic presidential candidates next week alone. Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, Julián Castro, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang will all get time to answer questions, tout their platforms, and distinguish themselves from the other 2,835 Democratic candidates currently in the race.



Go on and glow 

Did you know that precious opals display iridescent colors because of the internal structure of their microscopic silica spheres? Oh, and they're really, reeeeally pretty. (Click here to view)

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