5 things to know for January 7: Shutdown, Jazmine Barnes, Syria, Globes

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"Bohemian Rhapsody" beat out "A Star Is Born," which was seen as the front-runner in the drama category, while actress and director Regina King made headlines during her speech.

Posted: Jan 7, 2019 6:31 AM

Think the partial government shutdown doesn't affect you? Think again. It's already messing with your vacation. 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. Shutdown

As the partial government shutdown rolls into its 16th day -- and negotiations with Congressional Democrats to end it appear to be at a standstill -- President Trump mulls an unprecedented move. Trump says he might wield his presidential powers to declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build his border wall, using Defense Department funds. That idea generated immediate pushback from Democrats, and it's almost guaranteed to generate a legal challenge.

Meanwhile, the effects of the shutdown continue to be felt across the country. The National Park Service says it will use visitor fees to keep parks up and running. Hundreds of TSA screeners, forced to work without pay, are calling in sick. (Here's one family's story.) And if the shutdown continues into February, millions of people could lose their food stamps. There's also a good chance that tax refunds could be delayed. That's one of the reasons why House Democrats want to pass bills that would reopen the Treasury Department and the IRS.

2. Syria

The timetable for when the US will pull troops out of Syria is still up in the air. President Trump, when he made the surprise announcement last month, indicated he wanted the 2,000 troops brought home quickly. But national security adviser John Bolton says troops won't leave until the US can be assured that Turkey won't attack Kurdish allies there. The Kurds have helped the US fight ISIS, but Turkey considers some Kurdish groups to be terrorists. Bolton said the President wants guarantees from Turkey that it will protect Kurdish fighters. In case you've forgotten, here's a head-spinning chart of who is fighting whom in Syria.

3. Jazmine Barnes

The shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes was senseless, but it seems even more so now, after police said the violence was probably a case of mistaken identity. Jazmine was in a car with her family as they drove through Houston when she was shot in the head on December 30. Police say Eric Black Jr., 20, was arrested and charged with capital murder in Jazmine's death. Black reportedly told police he drove the vehicle used in the shooting while a man in the passenger seat opened fire. A second person, currently in jail on drug charges, is also listed as a suspect in the shooting. Jazmine's funeral is scheduled for tomorrow.

4. Gabon

Gabon's army says it has seized power in the Central African country as its President recovers from a stroke in Morocco. The military said it was taking power to "restore democracy." In a video making the rounds on social media, a man who says he's the commander of Gabon's Republican Guard says President Ali Bongo's health had declined along with his presidential capacities. Bongo has been ill since October. He was sworn in for a second seven-year term in 2016, after a disputed election that was followed by deadly protests.

5. Golden Globes

The Golden Globes turned into more of an old-school type of awards show last night. There were fewer overtly political speeches and more of the self-congratulatory pats on the back that we've come to expect from Hollywood. Yes, in their acceptance speeches the honorees talked about issues like work parity for women, President Trump's proposed border wall and diversity (or the lack of it) in Hollywood. But there were no Oprah Winfrey or Meryl Streep-type speech that lit up the crowd.

There were, however, lots of surprises. "Bohemian Rhapsody" beat out frontrunner "A Star is Born" for best drama. And Glenn Close's stunned reaction to her unexpected best actress win for "The Wife" was priceless. Host Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh got so-so marks for their hosting duties, but Oh's adorable parents won the night. Read about all of the other best moments here, find the full list of winners here and, of course, gaze at the red carpet pics.


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