5 things for Thursday, January 19, 2017: Barack Obama, climate change, Gambia

President Obama's best speech moments
President Obama's best speech moments


    President Obama's best speech moments


President Obama's best speech moments 03:02

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(CNN)Has it been eight years already? Today we say bye to Barack and we look forward to Trump's tomorrow. Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

1. Barack Obama

Today's the last full day of the Obama administration, and while that may fill you with either great sadness or great joy, you have to admit this was a historic presidency. Yes, he was the first black president, but his legacy will go far beyond that.
    He pulled the nation out of a great recession
    His signature domestic achievement -- Obamacare -- may be in grave danger, but what it's replaced with will still contain many elements of his vision for health care
    He stood up for the rights of the LGBT community
    He sounded the alarm on climate change
    He offered a different perspective in the nation's long-running conversation on race
    And he gave the order to kill Osama bin Laden
    But there was more to the Obama presidency than all of that. We put together 44 ways to judge the 44th commander in chief's years in office. And here are eight ways we've changed culturally in the last eight years.

    2. Italy avalanche

    Many people are feared dead after an avalanche buried a hotel in central Italy, following a series of earthquakes. As many as 30 people are trapped inside Hotel Rigopiano, which is in an area popular with skiers. When rescuers reached the hotel, only its top floor and roof could be seen through the snow. And the weather's not cooperating either -- blizzards and strong winds are slowing rescue efforts. Central Italy was hit with more than 10 quakes, four of them stronger than magnitude 5.

    3. Climate change

    It's gettin' hot in here, and we're beginning to wonder if we've reached a boiling point of no return. 2016 was Earth's warmest year on record. Just like 2015. Just like 2014. In fact, 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have all happened since 2000. So what do we do about it? Well, Donald Trump thinks climate change is a "hoax" invented by the Chinese. And Scott Pruitt, Trump's pick to lead the EPA, says he's not going to push for swift action to combat it. But they're out of step with both scientists and, yes, the public. Most Americans think climate change is real - and we're causing it.

    4. Gambia

    While America's peaceful transfer of power plays out in Washington this week, the exact opposite is happening in Gambia. There, Yahya Jammeh has held sway since a military coup in 1994. But last month, voters finally booted him out. Initially, Jammeh conceded defeat and said he'll step down. But just a week later, he said, 'You know what? I changed my mind.' So, now Gambia has 2 presidents. The real, elected one - Adama Barrow - was due to take power today. But Jammeh isn't budging. So troops from other West African are massed on the border, ready to come in and and push him out.

    5. Primates

    Here's one more thing to worry about. You can add primates to the seemingly ever-growing list of animals facing extinction. A new report says 60% of all primates are at risk of dying out. SIXTY PERCENT! Who's to blame for this? Us, of course. We're hunting them, trading them and destroying their habitats.


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