5 things to know for October 18: Elijah Cummings, Syria, Brexit, impeachment, quakes

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Turkey's Operation Peace Spring is aimed at clearing Kurdish forces away from its border area and resettling 2 million Syrian refugees currently hosted in Turkey into a "safe zone" along the border. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on the human cost to the Syrian Kurds.

Posted: Oct 17, 2019 9:00 AM
Updated: Oct 17, 2019 9:00 AM

Sad news to report this morning. US Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland has died at age 68. The longtime Democratic congressman died of "complications concerning longstanding health challenges," his office said. He chaired a key committee involved in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

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. Syria

GOP lawmakers joined with their Democratic colleagues to pass a resolution opposing the Trump administration's move to pull US troops from Syria. Many have criticized the President's decision -- which cleared a path for Turkey to attack US-allied Kurdish forces there -- because they believe it opens a door for the resurgence of ISIS in the region. Later, during a meeting at the White House on Syria, the President clashed with congressional Democratic leaders. They walked out of the meeting after Trump had what they described as a "meltdown" and called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "a third-rate politician." The White House pushed back on the Dems' version of the meeting, saying Trump was "measured" and "decisive" and that Pelosi "had no intention of listening."

2. Brexit

There's a deal on Brexit. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted almost simultaneously earlier this morning that an agreement had been reached on the UK's long-planned exit from the EU, set for two weeks from today. No details were released, but we should learn more later today when Johnson heads to Belgium for a two-day summit with EU leaders. Click here to get the latest on Brexit developments.

3. Impeachment inquiry

It's another big day in the impeachment inquiry. Today, we're expecting testimony from another key player in the probe: Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union. He's appearing before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees. Sondland's name has popped up at various points in the investigation so far, including text messages turned over to Congress in which Sondland and a top US diplomat in Ukraine debate whether $400 million in military and security aid was being withheld in connection with Ukraine opening an investigation into President Trump's political rivals.

Meanwhile, if the House goes ahead and impeaches the President, the trial in the Senate could be quick. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave GOP senators a preview of how an impeachment trial in the chamber would work. The conventional wisdom is that the House could pass articles of impeachment by Thanksgiving. If that happens, McConnell speculated that the Senate trial could be over by Christmas. Do you have questions about the impeachment process? You're in luck. CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, a former federal and state prosecutor, is here to answer them.

4. Worker strikes

A tentative deal has been reached that could end the monthlong General Motors strike. Details about the agreement haven't been publicly released. It needs to get the OK from both union leadership and rank-and-file union members before it can take effect. Union officials are set to meet today in Detroit. If the deal is approved, it's not clear when workers would start returning to work. Meanwhile, in Chicago, 25,000 educators are set to go on strike today. Classes have been canceled today in the country's third-biggest school district. The educators want higher pay, smaller class sizes and more support staff.

5. California earthquakes

On the anniversary of one of the deadliest quakes in its history, California is launching the nation's first statewide earthquake early warning system. Here's how it will work: Ground motion sensors across the state will detect earthquakes before people can feel them, and then a notification will go out so Californians can be prepared. The system launches on the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, a 6.9-magnitude quake that hit the central coast of the state in 1989 and killed 63 people.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Paying it forward

If you get a parking ticket in Las Vegas over the next month, you'll be able to pay off the fine with a food donation.

Seeing double

Been there, done that. A new dad said he relaxed a bit when he learned identical twin nurses would help deliver his identical twin daughters.

Where's the elevator?

Call some friends, jump in your pink Jeep and hop on the Pacific Coast Highway. Barbie's Malibu Dreamhouse will be on Airbnb for $60 per night.

Divas unite

Nicki Minaj and Adele have been collaborating on a song. We're not surprised to hear it's "epic."

TODAY'S QUOTE

"How can we work together and be in sweatpants?"

Actress Angela Kinsey to Jenna Fischer, explaining why the two alums of "The Office" decided to start a podcast -- called "Office Ladies" -- which will review every episode of the classic sitcom

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

In the middle

Who is the better cook? Mom or grandma? Let the kids decide! (Click to view.)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 14372

Reported Deaths: 693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds95924
Lauderdale71358
Madison69422
Scott63010
Neshoba58937
Jones56622
Forrest52338
DeSoto5036
Leake40012
Rankin3856
Holmes38524
Jackson30313
Copiah2904
Attala28415
Newton2564
Monroe25225
Leflore25130
Lincoln25024
Harrison2477
Lamar2315
Yazoo2274
Pearl River20631
Pike20311
Adams19015
Lowndes1899
Noxubee1736
Washington1667
Warren1597
Bolivar15411
Wayne1540
Oktibbeha15411
Jasper1524
Smith14511
Covington1431
Clarke13818
Kemper13611
Chickasaw13012
Lafayette1274
Lee1245
Carroll11511
Coahoma1144
Marion1149
Clay1084
Winston1051
Lawrence1021
Simpson950
Hancock8711
Wilkinson859
Yalobusha855
Grenada853
Itawamba847
Montgomery811
Union805
Sunflower783
Jefferson Davis772
Marshall773
Tate741
Tippah7111
Claiborne692
Panola643
Calhoun634
Webster611
Humphreys587
Amite561
Tunica533
Walthall520
Perry503
Prentiss423
Jefferson400
Choctaw342
Stone300
Pontotoc293
Tishomingo280
Franklin282
Tallahatchie261
Quitman250
George211
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene91
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16530

Reported Deaths: 591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2124112
Jefferson1712100
Montgomery154134
Tuscaloosa67813
Marshall6689
Lee53332
Franklin5147
Shelby48419
Tallapoosa41864
Butler39213
Chambers34924
Madison3184
Elmore3137
Walker2991
Baldwin2819
Etowah24411
Dallas2443
DeKalb2413
Morgan2311
Coffee2241
Lowndes22210
Sumter2136
Autauga2053
Houston1884
Bullock1833
Pike1790
Colbert1612
Russell1590
Marengo1556
Lauderdale1532
Calhoun1523
Hale1517
Choctaw1488
Wilcox1347
Barbour1321
Clarke1292
Randolph1257
Marion11911
St. Clair1161
Pickens1014
Talladega1003
Dale990
Chilton971
Cullman960
Greene924
Limestone870
Winston820
Covington771
Jackson752
Crenshaw722
Bibb711
Henry712
Macon712
Washington666
Blount581
Escambia493
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Conecuh351
Coosa351
Monroe352
Perry350
Cherokee342
Clay272
Lamar210
Fayette130
Cleburne131
Unassigned00
Tupelo
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Columbus
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