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5 things to know for February 13: Coronavirus, Justice, 2020 Dems, Israel, oil spill

An iceberg the size of Malta broke off the Pine Island glacier in Antarctica. The glacier has lost dramatic amounts of ice over the last 25 years as the region warms due to the climate crisis.

Posted: Feb 14, 2020 9:00 AM
Updated: Feb 14, 2020 9:00 AM

Good morning, overachievers! NASA is hiring a new class of astronauts in preparation for a moon landing in the next few years.

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

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1. Coronavirus 

Any hopes that the Wuhan coronavirus was slowing down have been dashed after 242 deaths and 14,000 more cases of the virus were reported yesterday. The spike is partly due to the fact that doctors are now diagnosing patients based on their symptoms and not just the results of a test. However, the World Health Organization says it's common during an outbreak to adapt the definition of a case. A vast majority of cases have been confined to mainland China, but the WHO cautioned that, at this stage, the virus would "create havoc" if it reached a country with inadequate medical infrastructure. Several major events in China have been shuttered over virus fears, including Shanghai's Fashion Week and the Hong Kong and Singapore legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series. The Tokyo Olympics, however, are still on track for this summer.

2. Department of Justice  

The fallout from the Roger Stone sentencing controversy, coupled with general post-impeachment uneasiness, is boosting tensions at the Department of Justice. Attorney General William Barr is under scrutiny from DOJ colleagues and Democratic opponents for his role in requesting a lighter sentence for Stone, Trump's former associate, after the President complained. Barr has played a role in other high-profile cases of interest to Trump and regularly faces allegations of political tampering within the DOJ. The Stone incident just adds to those claims. Democrats want to investigate Barr's conduct, but Republicans say they see no reason to. However, Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next month and will likely have to answer questions about the Stone sentencing and other controversies.

3. Election 2020

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price has resigned following last week's Iowa caucus debacle. Price and other Democratic officials agreed there was no way he could continue being the head of the state's party after a glitch delayed caucus results by days. The Iowa Democratic Party will soon begin a partial recanvass of voting precincts flagged as having potentially inaccurate results. If there are no major discrepancies, the party will declare Pete Buttigieg the winner, followed closely by Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg, who was not on the ballot in Iowa or New Hampshire, is facing backlash for a 2015 video in which he uses racially charged language to praise New York City's controversial stop-and-frisk policy. Bloomberg said the comments do not reflect his thinking now or how he led as mayor.

4. Israel

Israeli leaders are furious after the United Nations published a database of more than 100 companies it says are doing business in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. That kind of business activity is a no-go since the settlements are considered illegal, having been built on land captured from Jordan by Israel in the 1960s. (Israel and the US dispute these definitions.) Most of the 112 businesses listed are Israeli, but others include Motorola Solutions, General Mills, Trip Advisor and Airbnb. Israel's foreign minister said the list, which was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, is discriminatory against Israel. Palestinian leaders and others say it holds Israel and other nations accountable for actions in the highly contested area.

5. Deepwater Horizon

The catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill that ravaged the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 was actually about 30% bigger than originally thought, according to a new study. Researchers say layers of "invisible and toxic oil" that weren't detectable by satellites made the spill much worse than it appeared. This oil was discovered using computer simulations, and the results suggest that satellites and other observation equipment now in use may not be enough to properly determine the magnitude of oil spills. The 2010 spill began after a deadly explosion on a BP-contracted Transocean Ltd. Deepwater Horizon rig and is considered one of the worst environmental disasters in US history.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Astronaut Christina Koch shares her life advice: 'Do what scares you'

Well, she nailed it, because going into space is pretty scary.

Biggest turtle that ever lived had a 10-foot shell and horns 

If we're supposed to "do what scares us," the world's about to get a whole new wave of herpetologists.

Homeowners wanted the Tate Modern art museum's viewing platform closed because people could see into their windows

High-end real estate squabble aside, this is the angriest pair of buildings we've ever seen.

Mushrooms are the new trendy produce item 

Try using that line on your picky eater. 

KFC and Crocs have created a clog printed with fried chicken, with a charm that smells like fried chicken

So, are we trying to usher in the apocalypse?

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Black diamond, it's the toughest of the stones, of the diamonds, to cut. It's hard to hurt, to destroy. In my recent years, I've come to realize that I'm incredibly strong."

Janet Jackson, explaining the inspiration for her newly announced "Black Diamond" album and world tour

TODAY'S NUMBER

116 

The size, in square miles, of the iceberg that just broke off Pine Island Glacier on the edge of Antarctica. That's roughly the same area as the city of Atlanta or the entire country of Malta.

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Faster than the speed of sound 

Want to see (and hear) an incredible example of a shock wave? Don't blink. (Click here to view.)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 38567

Reported Deaths: 1290
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds318859
DeSoto211220
Madison158940
Jones126651
Harrison126017
Rankin123420
Forrest110544
Neshoba105978
Lauderdale98383
Scott84315
Jackson82820
Washington80615
Copiah69616
Leake66420
Lee66223
Grenada64713
Oktibbeha64428
Lamar6257
Warren61622
Holmes61442
Leflore58856
Wayne58819
Yazoo5847
Lowndes56917
Sunflower5659
Lincoln54436
Pike53724
Lafayette5364
Panola5176
Monroe49139
Simpson4803
Covington4735
Bolivar46318
Tate43113
Pontotoc4066
Attala39424
Adams39221
Newton38410
Marion36312
Pearl River32332
Claiborne32212
Winston31413
Chickasaw31319
Marshall3104
Jasper3016
Walthall29210
Noxubee2869
Clay27411
Union26611
Smith26312
Coahoma2516
Clarke24125
Tallahatchie2394
Lawrence2222
Yalobusha2169
Montgomery1973
Carroll19611
Kemper18914
Calhoun1875
Humphreys18410
Itawamba1638
Hancock16214
Tippah15411
Webster13611
Jefferson1353
Prentiss1344
George1313
Jefferson Davis1304
Tunica1293
Greene12510
Tishomingo1251
Amite1243
Alcorn1232
Quitman1111
Wilkinson1079
Perry994
Stone852
Choctaw794
Franklin602
Benton580
Sharkey540
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 58225

Reported Deaths: 1183
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7449176
Mobile5349157
Montgomery4732118
Madison290112
Tuscaloosa283754
Marshall213313
Shelby188027
Lee179337
Baldwin149912
Morgan14897
DeKalb11457
Etowah113614
Walker113537
Elmore111825
Dallas103312
Franklin97016
Unassigned84228
Russell7610
Autauga74318
Limestone7254
Cullman7136
Chambers69932
Houston6848
St. Clair6714
Lauderdale6647
Tallapoosa66272
Butler65931
Calhoun6426
Colbert6138
Escambia56212
Jackson5113
Pike5016
Lowndes49723
Coffee4734
Covington45214
Talladega4517
Dale4283
Barbour4263
Bullock38110
Marengo38111
Hale37523
Chilton3693
Blount3671
Marion35514
Clarke3396
Wilcox3328
Winston3167
Sumter30613
Randolph28610
Monroe2833
Pickens2827
Perry2702
Conecuh2558
Bibb2382
Macon2359
Choctaw22112
Greene2029
Washington1679
Henry1653
Lawrence1590
Crenshaw1433
Cherokee1407
Geneva1100
Lamar961
Clay942
Fayette923
Coosa681
Cleburne621
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