5 things to know for October 18: Syria, impeachment, Brexit, GM, storms

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All eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical system is forecast to strength today before making landfall across Florida Saturday morning. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the forecast.

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 10:50 AM
Updated: Oct 18, 2019 10:50 AM

Go ahead, pass Go, collect $200. Monopoly has leaped off the board and is now a fully immersive, real-world attraction.

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

Is it a ceasefire or just a pause? Vice President Mike Pence called the deal he helped negotiate with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a ceasefire that halts Turkey's incursion into northern Syria. But Turkey insists it's just a pause, a five-day window to let the Kurds leave their safe zone in northern Syria. Mideast observers say the deal appears to give Turkey what it really wanted: to annex a piece of Syria and kick the Kurds out. President Trump hailed the agreement as "a great day for civilization." But critics, like GOP US Sen. Mitt Romney, slammed the deal, declaring that Trump's actions on Syria "will stand as a bloodstain" on US history.

2. Politics

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney stunned Washington when he brashly admitted that the Trump administration froze nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country to investigate Trump's political rivals. This quid pro quo is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry that the Democrats are running, so Mulvaney's confirmation of it was shocking.

President Trump was reportedly miffed by Mulvaney's admission, and even the Justice Department distanced itself from Mulvaney's statement. So, of course, Mulvaney later tried to walk it all back, denying he ever said the words that he said. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said Mulvaney's acknowledgment means things are "much, much worse." It puts Republicans in a tight spot, too. "No quid pro quo" was a big GOP talking point -- which Mulvaney just destroyed.

And that wasn't the only news Mulvaney broke during his news briefing. He also announced that the 2020 G7 summit will be held at Trump National in Doral, Florida. Mulvaney said Doral was "far and away the best physical facility for this meeting." But critics immediately pounced, saying hosting the event at Doral is a conflict of interest because the President would financially profit from it. Taken together, all the day's events show that the guardrails are off the Trump presidency, CNN political analyst Stephen Collinson says.

3. Brexit

The United Kingdom and the European Union strike a deal on Brexit, but it faces long odds of getting through Britain's Parliament. Haven't we seen this movie before? There was an "air of euphoria" in Brussels yesterday as a new deal was announced to get the UK out of the EU by the end of the month. But that euphoria may dissipate in London this weekend, when British lawmakers are expected to vote on it. Former Prime Minister Theresa May failed three times to get similar deals approved, and the agreement current Prime Minister Boris Johnson helped broker faces an uphill battle. Some lawmakers say they won't vote for it because the issue of the Irish border remains a big sticking point for them.

4. General Motors strike

Almost 50,000 GM workers will stay out on the picket lines for at least another week. The union has recommended that a tentative deal with GM be ratified, so the workers will vote on the agreement soon. The deal would give workers higher pay, protect their health insurance coverage and provide an easier path for temporary workers to obtain permanent status. The deal won't save an assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, though, or two US transmission plants. GM workers, local officials, business leaders and families in Lordstown enacted a high-profile campaign to keep the plant open after GM announced last year that it would be shut down.

5. Weather

A storm known as a bomb cyclone "parked" itself over New England and wreaked havoc yesterday, knocking out power and disrupting travel in the region. Thousands of customers from New York to Maine are still without electricity this morning, and hundreds of flights have been canceled at area airports. Heavy rain and tropical-storm-force wind gusts were the order of the day. Meanwhile, down in the Gulf of Mexico, tropical storm warnings are being issued as a disorganized area of storms is expected to develop into a tropical or subtropical storm later today.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Weather wonders

Bombogenesis. Polar vortex. Steam fog. We've heard some pretty strange weather terms over the past few years. Here's a new one: Stormquakes.

Mirror, mirror

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but according to science at least, model Bella Hadid is the world's most beautiful woman.

Helping hand

Thousands of students in Chicago need a place to go while the city's teachers are on strike. Here are the groups that have stepped in to help them out.

What is it?

This blob at the Paris zoo has 720 sexes and can heal itself if it's cut in two. So, obviously it's a threat to all mankind.

TOTAL RECALL

Quiz time

The judges for which literary award broke the rules this week, awarding two authors instead of one?

A. Booker Prize

B. National Book Award

C. Pulitzer Prize

D. Newbery Medal

Play "Total Recall," CNN's weekly news quiz, to see if your answer is correct.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals."

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, laughing off President Trump's recent criticism of him. Trump, who once called Oscar winner Meryl Streep an "overrated actress," called Mattis "the world's most overrated general."

TODAY'S NUMBER

6%

How much China's gross domestic product grew during the latest quarter. That's the weakest quarterly growth the country has seen in almost 30 years and a clear sign that China is feeling pain from the trade war with the US.

AND FINALLY

Hello, hello, hello

Let's end the week with a little pizzazz, like this umbrella cockatoo putting on a little show. (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
Broken Clouds
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Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
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Columbus
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Oxford
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Starkville
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 63°
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