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

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Ecovative is growing alternatives to plastic out of mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms. The company says it can make building materials, packaging and potentially even foods that are sustainable and compostable.

Posted: Mar 22, 2020 7:31 AM
Updated: Mar 22, 2020 7:31 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: 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
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