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5 things for February 7: Politics, Olympics, Taiwan quake, Poland, Falcon Heavy
America's newsmaker-in-chief had quite the day. President Trump expressed hope for a government shutdown, then ordered up an old-fashioned military parade for DC, just like the ones they have on Bastille Day in France.
Let's start with the shutdown. Congress is working hard to avoid one -- by late tomorrow night. The House passed a short-term bill that funds most of the government through March 23 and the Pentagon for a full fiscal year. It faces a rocky road in the Senate, but everybody's optimistic because Senate leaders are close to a deal on raising budget caps, which is key to getting to a long-term funding agreement. Trump's reaction to all this: He'd "love to see a shutdown" unless the Democrats submit to his immigration demands.
Meanwhile, Trump, who made no secret of how much he loved France's military parade during his visit last summer, ordered the Pentagon to organize one for the good ol' US of A. The top brass is looking into it, but there are concerns about the cost, which could run into the millions. And lots of folks worry about holding a type of parade that would seem more at home in North Korea or Soviet-era Russia than in Washington.
Guess who's going to the Olympics? Kim Jong Un's little sister. Kim Yo Jong, 30, will be part of the North Korean delegation headed to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It'll be the first time a member of the Kim dynasty has visited South Korea. As for the younger Kim, we don't know much about her (no big surprise there) other than she was educated in Switzerland and has risen high enough up the ranks that she briefly ran the country while her brother recovered from an illness in 2014.
The search for the missing is on after a powerful earthquake rocked Taiwan. The magnitude-6.4 quake killed at least seven people and injured more than 250. Dozens are missing, and there may be 40 people trapped in a large building that's titling perilously in the city of Hualien. As aftershocks continue to rumble, some Hualien residents are taking refuge in a stadium. The quake struck in the East China Sea just off the coast. Taiwan is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which runs around the edge of the Pacific Ocean and is known for massive seismic and volcanic activity.
Poland's President says he's going to sign a controversial Holocaust bill -- but only after a constitutional tribunal looks at it first. The law would make it illegal to accuse the nation of complicity in crimes committed by the Nazis. It would also ban the use of the term "Polish death camps" when referring to Auschwitz and other camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. The bill angers Israel, which accuses Poland of trying to rewrite history. Historians say certain Polish people and groups helped the Nazis, but Polish governments have pushed back on that narrative.
That. Was. Cool! Rocket launches (which are pretty awesome in their own right) have never looked -- or sounded -- as cool as the one Elon Musk put on in Florida. His Falcon Heavy rocket, the world's most powerful, blasted off without a hitch, putting Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster in orbit around the sun, with a dummy driver and a David Bowie song along for the ride. And the show wasn't over when the payload reached space. SpaceX then gave us the awe-inspiring sight of the Falcon Heavy's rocket boosters landing back on Earth, part of the company's plan to drive down the cost of launches.
"I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles."
Casino mogul Steve Wynn, announcing he's stepping down as CEO of Wynn Resorts amid allegations of sexual misconduct
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Ask them anything
Got a burning question about ice dancing? You're in luck! Team USA just happens to have the answers. (Click to view.)