5 things for Tuesday, February 7, 2017: Travel ban, Betsy DeVos, terrorism

Legal fight over Trump's travel order heats up
Legal fight over Trump's travel order heats up

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    Legal fight over Trump's travel order heats up

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Legal fight over Trump's travel order heats up 02:39

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(CNN)Good Tuesday morning. And here's a public service announcement for all the lovers out there: Valentine's Day is a week away, so you better start planning. Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

1. Travel ban

It's a big day for President Trump's travel ban. Judges with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments today on whether the temporary block on the ban should be lifted. It's shaping up as a battle between the Justice Department -- which wants the ban reinstated -- and state attorneys general, more than 100 tech firms and even two ex-secretaries of state -- who want to keep the ban sidelined. This case seems destined for the Supreme Court, but what happens in the famously liberal Ninth Circuit in San Francisco is still really important. Right now the Supreme Court only has eight members, so if it were to deadlock over the travel ban, the decision from the Ninth Circuit would stand.

    2. Betsy DeVos

    It's D-Day for Betsy DeVos. A final Senate vote on her nomination for education secretary is set for today, and it's going to be close. Democrats stayed up all night long, railing against her nomination from the Senate floor. They say she's unqualified. Two GOP senators say they'll vote against her, meaning the vote would be tied. So Vice President Mike Pence would have to cast the tie-breaking vote -- the first time that's ever happened for a Cabinet nominee. But the Dems feel strongly they can still get a third Republican "no" vote, which would sink DeVos' chances.

    3. Trump and terrorism

    Paris. Nice. San Bernardino. Brussels. Sites of some of the worst terror attacks of the past couple of years -- and the ones that got a ton of coverage in the news. But President Trump says people don't know about them because the media won't report on them. Say what? Trump made his claims during a speech at Central Command and Special Operations Command at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base. The White House later put out a list of 78 terror incidents it thinks the media has ignored. "They have their reasons" for doing this, the President said. He didn't elaborate.

    4. Syria "slaughterhouse"

    This is truly chilling. Around 13,000 people reportedly have been hanged in secret at a Syrian prison. The time frame for the executions isn't clear, but the report from Amnesty International says twice a week, groups of as many as 50 prisoners, mainly civilians believed to be opposed to the government, are told they're being transferred from their cells. Instead, they're blindfolded and taken to the prison grounds where a noose is put around their necks. Amnesty's report is based on interviews with security guards, detainees and judges.

    5. Romania protests

    Romanians have been taking it to the streets for days to protest a government decree that would have protected many politicians from being prosecuted for corruption -- if "damages" were worth less than $48,000. A half-million people protested in Bucharest over the weekend. The government backed off, repealing the decree. But now the country's prime minister is trying to push similar legislation through parliament, so the protests will probably continue.

    BREAKFAST BROWSE

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    Chef's message
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    Spectacular sky
    A flaming meteor lit up the night in the Midwest, in a light show visible from Wisconsin to Indiana.
    Starry stink
    The Hubble Telescope has captured the death of a star some 5,000 light years away. Turns out it's full of sulfur and smells like rotten eggs.
    Seeing pink
    Sexist or genius? A state in India gave out pink teddy bears to female voters. Critics howled, but some polling stations saw a 5% jump in voters.
    Rosie's revenge?
    Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy might be getting some "SNL" company. Rosie O'Donnell says she wants to play Trump strategist Steve Bannon.

    NUMBER OF THE DAY

    65
    That's how many years Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne. Her Sapphire Jubilee was celebrated with ceremonial gun salutes.

    AND FINALLY ...

    Something sweet
    A chef recreates the decadent Lovers Delight Sundae from "30 Rock." Bon appetit! (Click to view)