5 things for November 8: A night of firsts

Northam: I hope to win your confidence
Northam: I hope to win your confidence

    JUST WATCHED

    Northam: I hope to win your confidence

MUST WATCH

Northam: I hope to win your confidence 01:05

(CNN)Now that Twitter's given everyone 280 characters to opine, let me know what else you'd like to see in this newsletter. You can find me @CNNDoug. Here's what else 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. Elections

A year ago Democrats were blindsided by Donald Trump's upset victory, and they've been squabbling about finding a way forward ever since. Now, after a night of big election victories, they may have found a path. Democrats won key gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, giving the beleaguered party its first major taste of victory in the Trump era. It also raises their hopes of wrestling control of the House and Senate away from Republicans.
    In Virginia, Ralph Northam won the governor's race, beating out GOP insider Ed Gillespie in a vote that was not as close as expected. Gillespie embraced Trump's agenda, but that was a losing strategy in a purple state that is steadily turning blue. The President promptly distanced himself from the loss with a tweet. In New Jersey, Phil Murphy will be the Garden State's next governor. He beat Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who was sandbagged by Gov. Chris Christie's unpopularity.
    It was a night of firsts, too, with several minority and LGBT candidates across the country riding the blue wave to victory. Two openly transgender candidates won, including Danica Roem. She beat a GOP incumbent who'd been openly hostile to LGBT issues. She'll be the first openly transgender candidate to be elected and serve in a state legislative body. Voters also elected the first Sikh mayor in New Jersey's history, the first lesbian mayor in Seattle and the first black woman mayor in Charlotte.
    Phil Murphy wins New Jersey governor's race
    Phil Murphy wins New Jersey governor's race

      JUST WATCHED

      Phil Murphy wins New Jersey governor's race

    MUST WATCH

    Phil Murphy wins New Jersey governor's race 00:57

    2. Texas church shooting

    Devin Kelley escaped from a mental health facility in 2012 after sneaking guns onto an Air Force base and threatening commanders, according to a police report. This new information comes as investigators continue to piece together what led Kelley to kill more than 20 people Sunday in a mass shooting at a rural Texas church. He was reportedly consumed with a dispute with his mother-in-law and posted atheist and pro-gun statements on social media. The pastor of the First Baptist Church said Kelley had previously attended services there, but he was not welcome because he "was not a good person to be around."
    Church gunman once escaped mental health facility
    Church gunman once escaped mental health facility

      JUST WATCHED

      Church gunman once escaped mental health facility

    MUST WATCH

    Church gunman once escaped mental health facility 03:07

    3. Trump in Asia

    President Donald Trump delivered a blunt message to North Korea: Do not try us. Trump gave the tough talk Wednesday while addressing South Korea's National Assembly in Seoul -- and standing a mere 35 miles from the North Korean border. The President warned Kim Jong Un's regime that its nuclear ambitions could lead to the isolated nation's doom. "Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face," Trump said, vowing to counter provocations from the North with military force, if needed.
    Today Trump is making the big stop on his Asian tour -- China. The President and first lady, accompanied by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, toured the Forbidden City and watched an outdoor opera performance there. Trump will also be the first foreign leader to dine there since the founding of modern China. After a few days there, the President moves on to Vietnam and the Philippines.
    What we didn't hear in Trump's North Korea speech
    What we didn't hear in Trump's North Korea speech

      JUST WATCHED

      What we didn't hear in Trump's North Korea speech

    MUST WATCH

    What we didn't hear in Trump's North Korea speech 01:28

    4. Saudi Arabia

    Riyadh's lavish Ritz-Carlton Hotel is reportedly a posh prison for some of the Saudi royals swept up in a corruption investigation. At least 17 Saudi princes and top government officials have been detained in the sweep, and some of them are said to be held at the five-star hotel, which usually hosts the world's top executives, not detainees. Bookings at the hotel are unavailable for the rest of this month, people buzzed on social media about hotel guests being forced out over the weekend, and the gates to the hotel are currently closed.
    King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud ordered the anti-corruption sweep, but some observers say it's really just a bid to consolidate power.
    Saudi hotel becomes luxurious makeshift prison
    defterios ritz carlton riyadh_00000000

      JUST WATCHED

      Saudi hotel becomes luxurious makeshift prison

    MUST WATCH

    Saudi hotel becomes luxurious makeshift prison 01:25

    5. Climate change

    Syria will join the Paris climate agreement, so that leaves only one country that's not signed on to it -- the United States. In June, Trump said he was pulling the United States out of the landmark climate pact, hoping to renegotiate and get a better deal. Trump's decision sparked massive outcry around the world. The United States trails only China as the world's worst emitter of carbon dioxide, according to the European Commission's emissions database.
    Trump has said often climate change isn't real
    Trump has said often climate change isn't real

      JUST WATCHED

      Trump has said often climate change isn't real

    MUST WATCH

    Trump has said often climate change isn't real 01:36

    BREAKFAST BROWSE

    People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
    Flip or flop?
    Switch out Kevin Spacey for Kevin James on "House of Cards"? That's what some of the show's fans are calling for. And hey, Hollywood's done this before.
    Mouse trap
    Disney banned the Los Angeles Times
    because it was ticked off about a story. Then seemingly all of journalism boycotted the House of Mouse. That ended that, and Disney backed off.
    At least you can still be a back-seat driver
    Steering wheels? Brake pedals? That's so 20th century. A French tech company unveiled a self-driving car that ditches those items and the driver's seat.
    Sia later
    Sia always hides her face, but the "Chandelier" singer wasn't about to let somebody sell nude pictures of her online, so she beat 'em to the punch.

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    CNN town hall
    CNN will host a town hall on sexual harassment at 9 p.m. ET Thursday. What questions would you like us to address? Please contact us using #MeTooTownHall or Text, iMessage or WhatsApp 347-322-0415.

    NUMBER OF THE DAY

    2,000
    The number of jobs that reportedly could be wiped out in Baltimore if Netflix ends production on "House of Cards" for good.

    QUOTE OF THE DAY

    "There are no words to describe the sadness. ..."
    The Philadelphia Phillies, reacting to the death of former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay. The two-time Cy Young Award winner was killed in a plane crash off Florida's Gulf Coast. Halladay, 40, played 16 seasons in the big leagues, with the Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays.

    AND FINALLY ...

    Extra Eggo
    Watched the second season of "Stranger Things"? Want to make the triple-decker Eggo extravaganza? Chef Andrew Rea shows you how. (Click to view.)