5 things to know for January 21: Impeachment, coronavirus, 2020 Dems, Puerto Rico

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) joined the House Intelligence Committee in 2008. Now he's one of the key House impeachment managers making the case why President Donald Trump should be removed from office. CNN's Gloria Borger reports on Schiff's political timeline.

Posted: Jan 21, 2020 7:40 AM
Updated: Jan 21, 2020 7:40 AM

Feeling down? Yesterday was Blue Monday, which is thought of as the most depressing day of the year. It's actually a total myth, but the seasonal blues are very real -- and treatable.

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. Impeachment 

The moment is here. Though President Trump's impeachment trial technically started last week, the real meat of it gets underway today. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has drafted an organizing resolution that lays out how the trial will go, and Democrats have serious issues with it. The resolution gives both sides -- the President's defense and impeachment managers picked by the House -- just 24 hours over two days for their opening arguments. In former President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999, the 24 hours were split over four days. Both sides will probably start today by debating this resolution (remember, as part of the trial's rules, senators can't talk during proceedings). Meanwhile, Trump's legal team is planning to kick off his defense by claiming abuse of power -- as Trump is accused of exercising related to Ukraine -- is not impeachable because it does not amount to a criminal offense.

2. Coronavirus 

A deadly virus spreading through China has killed six and sickened almost 300, kicking off nationwide containment efforts and stoking anxieties in the medical community. This strain of coronavirus was first noticed in China in December, but initially, scientists didn't think it could be passed between humans. Now, they know it can. Chinese officials have canceled Lunar New Year celebrations, and tour agencies are banned from taking groups out of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus was first detected. More thermal monitors and screening areas will be added in public spaces. The Wuhan coronavirus, like other viruses of its type, doesn't respond to vaccination and can lead to pneumonia. It's related to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which killed 774 and sickened 8,000 across Asia in 2002 and 2003.

3. 2020 election 

The New York Times made history by endorsing Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for the Democratic presidential nomination. Endorsements from high-profile newspapers can be hit or miss. In this case, it could offer a firm response to voters wondering if a woman can win against President Trump. The dual endorsement hasn't taken the wind out of the sails of at least one man among the front-runners, though. What's being called Joe Biden's "elevator moment" may be as good as the paper's backing. A video of Biden taking a selfie with a black supporter in an elevator on the way up to his endorsement interview with the paper (which he obviously didn't get) has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media. Something Sen. Cory Booker, who's ended his presidential bid, told the newspaper also is getting attention: "Look, I have this firm belief that if America hasn't broken your heart, you don't love her enough."

4. Climate crisis 

The United Nations' Human Rights Committee has ruled that refugees fleeing the effects of climate change cannot be sent home by their adoptive countries. This landmark decision gives new legal power to displaced people around the world and squarely positions the climate crisis as a humanitarian issue. News of the ruling comes as global leaders gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum. This year's focus at the forum is climate change, and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg took the stage today to admonish world leaders for doing "basically nothing" to reduce carbon emissions.

5. Puerto Rico 

Protesters in Puerto Rico are demanding the resignation of Gov. Wanda Vázquez after the discovery of a warehouse filled with supplies thought to be from 2017's Hurricane Maria. Vázquez fired three members of her Cabinet after the discovery, including the director of Puerto Rico's Office of Emergency Management and the secretaries of family services and housing. Officials began distributing the Hurricane Maria supplies yesterday. The island's Department of Justice will be investigating how the supplies ended up languishing for years while citizens on the island struggled.


The list of 2020 Grammys performers keeps growing

Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Ariana Grande, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Aerosmith, the Jonas Brothers ... at this rate, the show's gonna be five hours long.

The upcoming Super Bowl between Kansas City and San Francisco may be the most expensive one yet 

Guess a lot of people really like red and gold.

Delta gave its employees 2 months of extra pay 

A first-class move. 

Buckingham Palace is updating guidance about how to address Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after it seemed like Meghan was divorced 

It's comforting to know even Buckingham Palace messes up etiquette sometimes.

Edgar Allan Poe's Baltimore home is now a literary landmark 

But can you, in your all-consuming guilt, imagine you hear the heart of someone you recently murdered beating under the floorboards?


"We could welcome the children, but we do not compromise with people who have voluntarily joined terrorist organizations and who are working to tear down all the values Norway is built on."

Norwegian politician Siv Jensen, whose populist Progress Party has pulled out of Norway's government over the repatriation of a mother with suspected ISIS links from Syria. Norway's Prime Minister has said the mother can return because her child, a 5-year-old Norwegian citizen, is ill.



That's how many metric tons of foreign waste Malaysia has sent back to the rich countries from whence it came, saying it will no longer be the "garbage dump" of the world. This isn't the first time Malaysia has returned such unwanted cargo. The country has been inundated with shipments of illegal plastic waste since 2018, when China cracked down on a large recycling industry.



Form an orderly line!

Listen, I need you to trust me. Seeing a hermit crab out of its shell feels weird and wrong, but if you can come to terms with that, this video of a bunch of hermit crabs lining up to switch shells will not disappoint. (Click here to view.)

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