5 things to know for January 2: Shutdown, Paul Whelan, North Korea, tiny survivor

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Today may be the first workday of the new year for most of us, but it's not too early to start daydreaming about vacation. Here are...

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 7:56 AM

Today may be the first workday of the new year for most of us, but it's not too early to start daydreaming about vacation. Here are 19 places you can visit in 2019. 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. Government shutdown

President Trump is expected to meet with congressional leaders from both parties this afternoon at the White House to try to find a way to end the partial government shutdown. There have been no negotiations, much less compromise proposals, as of late. Both sides are pretty dug-in. Now, House Dems have a plan to re-open the government. They're due to vote tomorrow on a bipartisan package of six Senate spending bills and a stopgap measure to re-open the Department of Homeland Security at its current funding levels until February 8. The measure would keep the current $1.3 billion in border security money. That's a no-go for Trump, who wants $5 billion for a wall.

There's also expected to be a briefing on border security at today's White House meeting, and an incident early New Year's Day on California's border with Mexico will surely come up. Border Patrol agents used tear gas and pepper spray on more than 100 migrants who tried to enter the country illegally.

There's also a smelly incentive to end the shutdown. Trash and overflowing toilets are now a problem at national parks. Many have kept their gates open, but they're operating with much smaller staffs because of the shutdown. That means too few people to clean up and help maintain order. California's Joshua Tree National Park will close its campgrounds at noon today.

2. American detained in Russia

An American arrested last week in Russia is no spy, his family says. Paul Whelan, a 48-year-old corporate security director from Michigan, was detained by the Russians and accused of spying. Whelan, who has been to Russia many times, was there for a wedding, his twin brother told CNN. If convicted of spying, Whelan could get 20 years in prison. His arrest comes just weeks after Russian Maria Butina pleaded guilty to trying to infiltrate GOP political circles and influence US relations with Russia before the 2016 election. A CNN national security analyst thinks the Russians may be planning to trade Whelan for Butina.

3. Houston shooting

A simple weekend coffee run turned into tragedy for a family in Texas. A 7-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed in a drive-by shooting. Jazmine Barnes was in a car with her mother and three sisters when a red pickup truck suddenly pulled up. The man driving it opened fire in what police are calling an unprovoked shooting. "He intentionally killed my child for no reason," Jazmine's mother told reporters through tears as she recovers from her own gunshot wound at a hospital. Police are searching for the man and a motive.

4. North Korea

A new year means New Year's greetings from world leaders. Last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered South Korea an olive branch in his New Year's address. That kicked off a year of summits and a promise by the North to get rid of its nukes. In this year's address, Kim said that's still the plan (though there's no evidence the North is actually doing it). But he warned the US the North may need to pursue "a new way" to peace on the Korean Peninsula if the Americans keep making "one-sided demands" and threatening more sanctions. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a New Year's address of his own and used it to caution Taiwan that independence is "a dead end."

5. Apartment explosion

Rescuers searching the rubble of an apartment building that was leveled by a suspected gas explosion found a miracle: a baby boy still alive in the debris. Video from the Russian government showed rescuers saving the child, who was wearing a top and pink socks and covered in dust. At least eight people died in the blast Monday in the city of Magnitogorsk. It's estimated the infant endured 35 hours of freezing temperatures before being found.


Train crash

Several people were killed this morning in Denmark in a wreck involving two trains on the Great Belt Bridge.


How to be a book worm

Based on the resolutions you all shared with us yesterday, many of you want to read more books in 2019. You're in luck. We know just where you can start.

Who wants to be a (mega)millionaire?

If you bought a Mega Millions ticket in New York state, you might be a millionaire. That's where a winning ticket worth $425 million was sold.

Black girl magic

History was made on New Year's Day when 17 black female judges were sworn in together in Harris County, Texas.

Patriotic sci-fi

Get ready to spend the Fourth of July in the Upside Down. That's when the new season of "Stranger Things" starts streaming on Netflix.

Long way from home

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft traveled 4 billion miles to do a flyby of an object on the solar system's edge. Lucky for us, it took pictures.


385 miles

The length of the human chain that tens of thousands of women in India formed to protest a refusal to admit women to Sabarimala Temple, one of Hinduism's holiest sites.


"Netflix's claim to support artistic freedom means nothing if it bows to demands of government officials who believe in no freedom for their citizens."

Human Rights Watch executive director Sarah Leah Whitson, slamming Netflix after the streaming giant pulled an episode of the comedy show "Patriot Act" that criticized the Saudis' account of Jamal Khashoggi's killing


I'm just gonna lie right here

Trying to take a great wildlife photo and some elephant seals decide to use you as a pillow? Just a hazard of the job, we guess. (Click to view.)

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