Meet the award-winning chef who favors Philly's cuisine scene over the Big Apple's. 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
President Trump said payments made to two women during the 2016 presidential election weren't illegal because they came from him and not from his campaign funds. Trump said this during an interview taped Wednesday with Fox News that's due to air this morning. Trump's ex-attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations tied to the payments, and he said he knowingly violated the law at the President's direction.
As Trump tried to explain all this, the White House struggled to defend him. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump "did nothing wrong" with the payments and dismissed as "ridiculous" reporters' questions about whether the President had lied about what and when he knew about the payments. Trump and his White House also are sticking to their game plan of attacking special counsel Robert Mueller, as evidenced by this all-caps tweet Trump sent out at about 1 a.m. (!!!!): "NO COLLUSION - RIGGED WITCH HUNT!"
New shots in the trade war were fired right at midnight Eastern time. That's when new tariffs on Chinese goods started. The 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese products affect 279 items, like chemical products, motorcycles, speedometers and antennas. China, as it had threatened, immediately responded with 25% tariffs of its own on American-made goods, like chemical products and diesel fuel. Many American companies are worried about this tariff tiff, saying they won't be able to absorb the extra costs without raising prices on customers.
It's an absolutely stunning accusation. A fire department in Northern California says Verizon slowed its wireless data speeds so much last month that firefighters battling the state's largest-ever wildfire almost couldn't communicate. The allegation is contained in a court filing from the Santa Clara County Fire Department. Fire Chief Anthony Bowden said his department had to use other agencies' internet connections or their own personal devices to stay in touch while fighting the Mendocino Complex Fire. An email chain included in court records showed that Verizon didn't increase data speeds until the department paid for a more expensive plan. A Verizon spokeswoman admitted a mistake, saying the company "should have lifted the speed restriction" during the emergency.
4. Mollie Tibbetts
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the man accused of killing college student Mollie Tibbetts, worked for years on an Iowa farm based on false IDs. Rivera was charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts' death and his bond set at $5 million. The farm where he worked for four years said he provided a state ID and Social Security card that weren't his. Rivera's attorney said he came to the US illegally as a minor but had held a job in the community and had no prior criminal record. Tibbetts' relatives thanked supporters and expressed their heartbreak, saying they would "carry Mollie in our hearts forever."
5. Hurricane Lane
Schools and government offices are closed in Hawaii as Hurricane Lane takes aim at the Aloha State. Lane's a dangerous Category 4 storm that could make landfall between now and Saturday across the islands. Even if it doesn't, it'll draw close enough to bring destructive winds and as much as 20 inches of rain in some places. The governor told residents to have two weeks' worth of supplies ready. As of this morning, Lane is still about 350 miles south of Honolulu with max sustained winds of 145 miles per hour. You can track the storm here. Warmer water and other factors explain why the Pacific is having a much busier hurricane season than the Atlantic.
Let's do it again
Fresh off its bigger-than-expected box office triumph, the folks behind "Crazy Rich Asians" are already planning a sequel.
Out with a bang
Get ready to say good-bye to Sheldon and the gang. The next season of "The Big Bang Theory" -- season No. 12 -- will be the last for the hit sitcom.
Nothing says Thanksgiving like watching two golfers duke it out for $9 million. That's what we'll get when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson face off in "The Match."
Your teens are just as sick of their phones as you are, and if they ever lift their eyes from their devices, they'd tell you themselves.
The robots are coming
These robotic dogs, while impressive, may be too complex and expensive for practical applications. Excuse us if we don't cry for them.
"Any time they don't leave a trust or will, there always ends up being a fight."
Don Wilson, Aretha Franklin's attorney, on the battle brewing within the late singer's family after word got out she didn't have a will or trust
The number of games for which Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer will be suspended without pay. The university says he's being punished for not taking "sufficient management action" against a former assistant coach accused of abusing his wife.
Mom knows best
When the baby elephant had trouble standing up in the slippery mud pit, mom knew just what to do. (Click to view.)
- Trump claims Cohen campaign violations 'not a crime'
- Despite Trump's claims, campaign finance violations can be very serious
- Cohen admits he violated campaign finance laws at the direction of Trump
- Trump: Bloomberg violated agreement
- Cohen claims Trump knew of Trump Tower meeting
- Trump disputes Cohen claim he knew of Trump Tower meeting
- Michael Cohen claims Trump made repeated racist references
- Trump falsely says Michael Cohen's actions 'weren't crimes'
- GOP shrugs at Trump's involvement in Cohen crimes
- Watchdog group, ex-ethics chief charge Trump's Cohen reimbursement is a financial disclosure violation