5 things to know for October 11: Impeachment inquiry, Brexit, NBA controversy

Go inside the world's largest indoor vertical farm that's growing aeroponic greens for a sustainability-focused menu for SIngapore Airlines.

Posted: Oct 11, 2019 6:46 AM


Passengers on a Norwegian Cruise ship were hopping mad after severe weather forced the ship to cancel several ports of call and float around the Atlantic for days. Oh -- and apparently the ship's bathrooms had serious issues, too. Yeesh.

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. Impeachment inquiry

There was a maelstrom of impeachment news yesterday, and most of it centered around Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney. Two of Giuliani's Ukraine contacts were arrested on charges of violating campaign finance laws, and now the feds are looking at Giuliani's financial dealings with the men. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who are powerful Republican donors, allegedly introduced Giuliani to Ukrainian officials who pushed unfounded theories about corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. How much of this did Giuliani know or participate in? It's unclear, but if the men are offered a chance to exchange information for leniency in sentencing, they may dish on the attorney's involvement. When asked about the revelations yesterday, Trump said he doesn't know the men. House Democrats also issued a subpoena to Energy Secretary Rick Perry for documents related to the Trump administration's contacts with Ukraine.

Adding to the mess, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's senior adviser resigned yesterday. Pompeo has been under pressure from House Democrats over his involvement in the Ukraine controversy.

2. Brexit

After weeks of Brexit deadlock, British and Irish leaders Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar raised hope of a breakthrough when they announced yesterday that they saw a "pathway" to a Brexit deal. After a face-to-face meeting that was billed as a last chance to map out a deal, the pair issued an unexpectedly upbeat statement that indicated progress could be made. How quickly could all of this get wrapped up? Varadkar says they think it's possible to strike a new deal by the end of the month -- that is, as the ball finally drops on Brexit. The effects of Brexit on the Irish border have been a big sticking point for negotiations. In Varadkar's current plan, Northern Ireland would leave the EU customs union on the current Brexit deadline of October 31 along with the rest of the UK. But the region would remain aligned with EU regulations on goods and agriculture.

3. Iranian oil tanker

An Iranian oil tanker was hit and damaged by two missiles today, and the tanker company says the missiles were "possibly" fired from Saudi soil. (Iranian government officials haven't pinned the attack on anyone at this point.) All of the tanker's crew members are safe. A volley of attacks on Iranian and Saudi oil tankers and production facilities in the region has increased tensions in recent months, with the US standing by to see if and when it should get more involved. This latest attack also caused crude oil prices to jump on Friday morning.

4. NBA controversy

What's going on between the NBA and China? Earlier this week, all of the NBA's official Chinese partners suspended ties with the league after Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The NBA apologized to China and distanced itself from Morey's words, but that caused its own backlash: Fans and US politicians have been criticizing the league for seemingly prioritizing profits over free speech and human rights. This has led to some small-scale protests at NBA games, and now, Nike and other big apparel companies could get roped in because of their lucrative ties to both the league and Chinese consumers. In case you didn't know, basketball is big business in China. The NBA lists 11 wholly-owned Chinese companies as its official partners in the country, and one analyst estimates the league's presence in China contributes 10% of its revenue.

5. Laquan McDonald

A new report regarding the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Chicago in 2014, reveals what investigators described as an elaborate cover-up by 16 officers and supervisors following McDonald's death. The hundreds of investigative documents released with the report accuse 11 officers -- including the one who fired the fatal shots -- of making false statements to exaggerate the threat posed by the teen, who was black. According to the documents, four others allegedly failed to ensure their video or audio recording systems were working, and a former lieutenant who led the shooting investigation allegedly destroyed handwritten notes from witness interviews. Jason Van Dyke, the former police officer who killed McDonald, was convicted of second-degree murder in January.

THIS JUST IN...

This year's Nobel Peace Prize winner is...

Ethiopia's peacemaking Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. He pursued an audacious deal with longtime enemy Eritrea that ended a largely pointless 20-year war between the countries.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

An invasive species of snakehead fish that can survive on land was found in Georgia, and now officials want it dead 

You lost us at "can survive on land."

Temperatures in Denver dropped 64 degrees in less than 24 hours, setting a record 

Denver: Where fall isn't a season, it's just a time of day.

Umami-driven farm-to-plane food has arrived on Singapore Airlines

Meanwhile, we're still trying to peel off the top of those little juice cups they give you.

Boeing and Porsche are teaming up to develop a flying electric car 

And sadly, it doesn't look as cool as a Boeing OR a Porsche.

Carlsberg is working on beer bottles made of paper 

Admit it, crushing those would probably be really satisfying.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$682 million

The highest valuation of a blockbuster deal between MedMen Enterprises and PharmaCann, two medical cannabis companies. That deal was just completely scrapped, which could spell big trouble for the cannabis industry. Plunging stock prices, sagging valuations and a spotty regulatory landscape are other inauspicious signs the industry is taking a beating.

TOTAL RECALL

Quiz time! 

Which candy is America's favorite, according to a Monmouth University poll?

A. Werther's Original

B. Snickers

C. Candy corn

D. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Play "Total Recall," CNN's weekly news quiz, to see if your answer is right.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"I'm going to assume it is a guy who said that. And I'm going to say, 'Well, then just marry one woman. I'm cool with that... Assuming you can find one.'"

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, when asked what she would say to a voter who claimed marriage is between one man and one woman. Warren and other 2020 Democratic candidates participated in CNN's LGBTQ town hall in Los Angeles last night.

AND FINALLY

Scarily impressive 

Halloween's less than three weeks away -- let this house's elaborate projector show get you in the spirit. (Click to view)

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