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Sen. Murphy: Nauert is clearly not qualified

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) reacts to news that President Donald Trump is expected to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be his new ambassador to the UN, according to an administration official and a second source.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 3:13 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 3:30 PM

Today marks the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a day that changed the course of American history and the history of the world. 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. United Nations 

The President may have his new UN ambassador. Trump is expected to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to replace Nikki Haley, who announced in October she'd step down. It would be quite a change: The administration as a whole is deeply distrustful of the UN, and the outspoken Haley reportedly sparred with other US officials. Nauert, an ex-Fox News host, would be a decidedly less senior presence in one of the most high-profile posts in US diplomacy. First, though, she'd need to be confirmed by the Senate -- and Dems would likely grill her on her qualifications.

2. Yemen

The two sides in Yemen's yearslong civil war -- which has ruined the country's economy and infrastructure and sparked a humanitarian crisis -- just began long-awaited direct talks in Sweden as a step toward calming the violence. But even that glimmer of hope has darkened. Just hours before talks began, Houthi rebels and Saudi-backed Yemeni officials traded threats. The talks are sponsored by the United Nations, and a UN official advises everyone to temper their optimism, as the negotiations are merely consultations, not likely a move toward peace. Since the conflict began four years ago, tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or wounded and untold numbers affected by famine. Strategic clashes between the warring parties have choked infrastructure, so aid and basic necessities are extremely hard to access.

3. Huawei

Welcome to another downhill in the roller coaster that is US-China relations. Just days after trade tensions between the countries started to loosen, the arrest of a high-level Chinese executive has sent stock markets plunging again. Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei, was detained days ago in Vancouver at the request of US authorities, who say she threatens national security. The US wants to extradite Meng, and a bail hearing is set for today. Chinese officials want Meng released and demanded an explanation of the charges. It's pretty obvious why this pokes a huge hole in the slowly-growing bubble of optimism surrounding US-China trade. The big question now is how both sides move forward with economic solutions, if they do at all.

4. Coal

The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back an Obama-era coal emissions rule designed to regulate climate change. The move is part of the Trump administration's effort to loosen restrictions on the coal industry, and it flies in the face of a recent congressional report that warns of climate change's dire consequences (and that the President flatly dismissed). The reversal will make it easier to build coal-powered plants, but the message of this decision is as important as the result: It shows that the Trump administration has no qualms about disregarding US and international warnings about the changing environment to shore up waning energy interests. (Remember: EPA acting chief Andrew Wheeler is a former coal industry lobbyist.)

5. Winter weather 

Happy Friday! Hope you're ready to be cold. The Southeast is going to see some snowy skies this weekend thanks to a serious winter storm. It will start building today in the Southern Plains and Texas, then spread through the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Along with snow, people from Texas and Oklahoma all the way to North Carolina should brace for rain, freezing rain, and just, well, freezing. Meantime, California, still reeling from record wildfires, is facing its own cooldown. Some roads around Los Angeles and Bakersfield had to close yesterday because they were coated with snow.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Kevin Hart steps down as 2019 Academy Awards host after his old homophobic tweets resurface

We say "resurfaced" like they weren't just there on a major website for everyone to find. What a mess.

Pizza is the top 'addictive' food, according to a study 

Well, we know what those researchers ate on the clock.

Angela Merkel said 'shitstorm'

And we printed the word! What a weird time for journalism!

'Jeopardy!' contestants baffled by question about CNN show 

Maybe, if they subscribed to Five Things, they would have had a better shot. :)

Dubai launches sail-thru supermarket for yacht owners 

Heaven forbid one have to disembark a fancy boat for a Hot Pockets run, like some sort of peasant.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"We've been carrying a suit on our tour bus for a couple of months and wondering. ...By hook or by crook, we were going to be there for him."

Joe Bonsall, of The Oak Ridge Boys, reminiscing about the country group's long friendship with George H.W. Bush. They honored a promise to sing at the former President's funeral with a moving rendition of "Amazing Grace" at yesterday's service in Houston.

TODAY'S NUMBER

40

The number of seats in the House of Representatives gained by Democrats in the midterm elections, according to the latest results, after Republican Rep. David Valadao conceded to TJ Cox in California's 21st District.

AND FINALLY

A living Lite-Brite

I was really in the mood for Christmas light videos, and then I remembered THIS group exists, and they're even better. (Click here to view.)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37542

Reported Deaths: 1272
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds304154
DeSoto200920
Madison150839
Jones123149
Harrison118316
Rankin113719
Neshoba104577
Forrest104343
Lauderdale97281
Scott83115
Jackson80419
Washington75313
Copiah67516
Leake63520
Lee63022
Grenada6259
Oktibbeha62328
Warren60021
Holmes59841
Lamar5847
Wayne56819
Yazoo5667
Lowndes54917
Leflore53956
Lincoln53835
Pike51120
Lafayette5094
Sunflower5058
Panola4616
Monroe46036
Simpson4533
Covington4505
Bolivar41618
Tate39513
Attala38624
Newton37710
Adams36720
Pontotoc3636
Marion34912
Claiborne31511
Pearl River30832
Chickasaw30219
Winston30211
Marshall2973
Jasper2826
Noxubee2799
Walthall2748
Clay26211
Smith25612
Union25612
Coahoma2356
Clarke22825
Lawrence2162
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1974
Montgomery1863
Kemper18414
Carroll18311
Humphreys17410
Calhoun1705
Hancock15213
Itawamba1478
Tippah14711
Jefferson1373
Webster13511
Prentiss1274
Tunica1263
George1253
Jefferson Davis1254
Greene11610
Alcorn1112
Amite1113
Tishomingo1091
Quitman1011
Wilkinson1019
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin572
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 56441

Reported Deaths: 1136
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7012170
Mobile5061140
Montgomery4599112
Tuscaloosa274353
Madison25359
Marshall205012
Shelby176425
Lee164737
Morgan13975
Baldwin134111
Walker111332
Elmore107622
Etowah106914
Dallas10189
DeKalb10017
Franklin95016
Unassigned77728
Autauga71515
Russell7130
Chambers68530
Cullman6686
Limestone6653
Butler65529
Houston6417
Tallapoosa63069
Lauderdale6006
St. Clair5983
Calhoun5545
Colbert5286
Escambia5128
Lowndes49222
Pike4805
Jackson4422
Coffee4364
Covington43512
Talladega4177
Dale4061
Barbour4022
Bullock37810
Hale36323
Marengo36111
Chilton3452
Blount3311
Clarke3236
Wilcox3158
Marion30914
Winston3095
Sumter29713
Pickens2786
Randolph2759
Monroe2683
Perry2552
Conecuh2388
Bibb2271
Macon2229
Choctaw22012
Greene2009
Henry1573
Washington1529
Lawrence1460
Crenshaw1343
Cherokee1317
Geneva1010
Fayette901
Clay892
Lamar891
Coosa671
Cleburne481
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