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Sources: Whitaker has no plans to recuse himself

The appointment of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has sent Washington scrambling over what it means for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as it nears its expected conclusion.

Posted: Nov 9, 2018 10:40 AM
Updated: Nov 9, 2018 10:56 AM

Even in the darkest of times, acts of kindness shine bright. In Thousand Oaks, California, hundreds of people lined up to donate blood after the mass shooting there. Here's what 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. California bar shooting

It was supposed to be a night of fun. It ended in absolute horror. The victims in the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, were part of the huge crowd line dancing and having a great time at the bar's college night. Then a man dressed in a black trench coat and glasses, later identified as Ian David Long, opened fire. When it was all over 12 people, including a sheriff's deputy, were dead.

This latest mass shooting feels especially painful because many of the victims were so young. College students just trying to enjoy a night out. Grief stricken parents talked of desperately searching for their children, only to learn their loved ones had perished in the violence. And the nation is left, once again, searching for answers to gun violence after witnessing a fourth shooting in just two weeks.

The shooting is not the only calamity that folks in the area are dealing with. Parts of a town right next to Thousand Oaks had to be evacuated because of a brush fire burning through Ventura County. The blaze has charred almost 10,000 acres so far. And that's not the only wildfire burning in the state. About 40,000 people in Northern California evacuated to get away from the fast-growing Camp Fire, which has burned 20,000 acres in Butte County.

2. Russia investigation

Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, probably won't recuse himself from the Russia investigation that he's now overseeing. That's a problem for a lot of people, who say his past comments -- in which he expressed deep skepticism about the probe -- should disqualify him from leading the investigation. Others say Whitaker's appointment is unconstitutional because he hasn't been confirmed by the Senate. Several senior White House officials told CNN they're worried the backlash might jeopardize Whitaker's chances of staying in the job.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has reportedly started writing its final report on the investigation, while President Trump reviews with his lawyers his written answers to Mueller's questions. And as fears (and protests) mount in some political circles that Whitaker might end the probe, Democrats are coming up with a plan to protect Mueller's investigation.

3. Midterm elections

You thought the 2018 midterm elections were over? Bless your heart. Just like the 2016 presidential election, this one might be with us for awhile. Both high-profile races in Florida -- for governor and senator -- might be headed for recounts as the margins tighten. Gov. Rick Scott, who is the GOP candidate in the Senate race, accused Democrats of trying to "steal" the election. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, Scott's opponent, said the governor's actions appeared to be "politically motivated." Meanwhile, in Arizona's Senate race, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has moved into a slight lead over Republican Martha McSally. Get an update on other undecided races by clicking here.

4. Afghanistan

The Taliban is much stronger in Afghanistan than it was three years ago. A new report from the US Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction says the Afghan government only controls about 55.5% of the country. In November 2015 the government controlled about 72% of Afghanistan. A big part of the problem is that the Afghan army is dealing with a huge personnel shortfall in the face of the determined, sustained Taliban insurgency. The US involvement in the war in Afghanistan has dragged on for 17 years.

5. Keystone XL pipeline

Construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline has been stopped. A federal judge halted work on the controversial pipeline after ruling that the US government's use of a 2014 environmental review to justify issuing a presidential permit for construction of the cross-border pipeline violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. So no work on the pipeline can proceed until the government does an additional review of the pipeline's potential impact on the environment. Environmentalists and Native American groups have fought the pipeline for years, but President Trump OK'd a permit to start its construction right after he took office last year.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

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

Proud parents

Congrats to actress Gabrielle Union and NBA star Dwyane Wade, who announced the birth of their baby girl.

Color blind

The world has had color TV for about half a century now, but there are still more than 7,000 households in the UK that watch black-and-white televisions.

'A little ditty 'bout Jack & Diane'

No, actually this little ditty is about John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan, who announced they're engaged.

'Bad' news

Actor Bryan Cranston sounds as stoked as the rest of us about a "Breaking Bad" movie. But will his iconic Walter White character even be a part of it?

He sounds like a winner

Meet the 69-year-old man who wants to be legally declared 20 years younger so he can improve his chances with women on dating sites.

HAPPENING LATER

Bon voyage!

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump leave this morning for Paris, where they will take part in ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

TOTAL RECALL

Quiz time

The world's tallest statue just opened in which country?

A. Thailand

B. India

C. Japan

D. France

Play "Total Recall: The CNN news quiz" to see if you're right. And don't forget, you can also find a version of the quiz on your Amazon devices! Just say, "Alexa, ask CNN for a quiz."

NUMBER OF THE DAY

17

The number of felony counts the captain in the Missouri duck boat tragedy is facing after being indicted by a federal grand jury.

AND FINALLY

Round and round

Why should hamsters have all the fun? These dogs are having the time of their lives running in this giant wheel. (Click to view)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 91935

Reported Deaths: 2780
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6903153
DeSoto532153
Harrison368771
Jackson334367
Madison318086
Rankin313473
Lee254066
Jones236078
Forrest231069
Washington215671
Lafayette203039
Lauderdale1984123
Bolivar177465
Oktibbeha173749
Lamar156633
Neshoba1524103
Panola140926
Sunflower138543
Lowndes138457
Warren136650
Leflore134380
Pontotoc120416
Pike120148
Monroe117665
Scott115925
Copiah115433
Coahoma110927
Holmes108458
Marshall106714
Grenada104535
Lincoln104453
Yazoo103429
Simpson100142
Union96524
Tate94537
Leake93535
Adams89135
Wayne87121
Pearl River84850
Marion83633
Covington79321
Prentiss78617
Alcorn75310
Newton74722
Itawamba74121
George73913
Tallahatchie73418
Winston71919
Tishomingo65035
Attala63625
Chickasaw63524
Tippah63516
Walthall58925
Clay56216
Hancock55420
Noxubee54015
Jasper53615
Clarke52538
Smith51714
Calhoun50612
Tunica47213
Montgomery45020
Claiborne44916
Lawrence42212
Yalobusha41314
Perry39016
Humphreys36915
Quitman3625
Stone34611
Greene33516
Webster32813
Jefferson Davis32211
Carroll30812
Amite30710
Wilkinson30117
Kemper28515
Sharkey25812
Jefferson2359
Benton2151
Franklin1863
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18648332
Mobile12949288
Montgomery8560170
Madison736573
Tuscaloosa7015112
Lee558259
Shelby550149
Baldwin502148
Marshall376342
Etowah326344
Calhoun321139
Morgan312925
Houston260621
Elmore247547
DeKalb230119
St. Clair218134
Walker217780
Talladega199925
Limestone191919
Cullman180017
Franklin172728
Dallas172526
Russell16912
Autauga162424
Lauderdale159231
Colbert157224
Escambia154324
Blount150413
Jackson146610
Chilton143325
Dale128042
Covington127027
Coffee12388
Pike11329
Tallapoosa112483
Chambers110642
Clarke104417
Marion91428
Butler90238
Barbour8097
Marengo69319
Winston68512
Lowndes64327
Pickens62214
Bibb6179
Hale60828
Bullock58514
Randolph58512
Lawrence57620
Monroe5708
Washington54513
Geneva5404
Perry5356
Wilcox52911
Cherokee52816
Clay5187
Conecuh51611
Crenshaw51531
Macon46619
Henry4524
Sumter41719
Fayette4128
Choctaw34212
Lamar3302
Cleburne3116
Greene29915
Coosa1573
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