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

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.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
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