Which country is the world’s largest oil producer? Saudi Arabia? Russia? Nope. It’s the good old USA. 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.)
Five journalists were killed by a gunman as they worked – writing and editing stories, selling ads and crafting columns – at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Survivors called it the stuff of nightmares: glass doors shattering, a lone shooter stalking through the office, firing at will on terrified employees. It was the deadliest day for US journalism since 9/11 and sent chills through newsrooms across the country, where covering mass shootings has become routine but an attack on our own seemed to elevate the horror. The victims are Robert Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.
The suspect, Jarrod Warren Ramos, was found hiding under a desk and arrested. He’s charged with five counts of first-degree murder. Police believe he targeted the paper because he had a grudge against it over a 2011 article.
Hours after the shooting, the Capital Gazette tweeted this courageous line that reflects the power of journalism and the dedication of those who practice it: “Yes, we’re putting out a damn paper tomorrow.” And the staff did just that, with a front page bearing the photos of their five slain coworkers. “We are heartbroken, devastated,” editor Rick Hutzell said. “Our colleagues and friends are gone.”
The burden of resettling refugees in Europe will be more widely shared among European Union countries, now that EU leaders have struck a deal to confront the crisis. In the agreement, announced this morning by European Council President Donald Tusk, the council promises “more effective control” of borders, pledges more support will be provided to Italy and other Mediterranean countries and seeks to ramp up efforts to stop smugglers working out of Libya. Despite a big drop in the number of people seeking refuge, thousands of desperate migrants are still making their way to Europe, many by sea.
Despite calls from Democrats to slow things down, the White House is putting the search for a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on the fast track. The White House wants to unveil a name by July 9, an official told CNN. President Trump reportedly wants to follow the same road map used to get his first high court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, confirmed. Trump also met with key senators – including a few red state Democrats – to “get views and advice” on the nomination.
Bali’s international airport has reopened after closing for hours after Mount Agung started spewing volcanic ash and vapor more than 6,500 feet in the air. More than 300 flights have been canceled. The airport last closed in November, when the aftermath of a volcanic eruption forced tens of thousands from their homes. Meanwhile, in Hawaii, for the seventh time in eight days there was an explosion at the Kilauea summit on the Big Island. All the blasts have registered a force equivalent to an earthquake of magnitude 5.3 or higher.
5. US Gymnastics
California is now home to the nation’s toughest data privacy law. The California Consumer Privacy Act was signed yesterday by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, just hours after lawmakers unanimously approved it. This law gives consumers much more control over their personal data. They now have the right to know what kind of info companies like Google and Facebook are collecting, as well as why it’s being collected and who it’s being shared with. Consumers can also stop tech companies from selling their data. Most privacy advocates support the law, though some note loopholes. It goes into effect in 2020.
The number of people – while demonstrating against the separation of children from their immigrant parents at the US-Mexico border – arrested by police during protests on Capitol Hill
That’s the value of the stockpile of unsold clothes H&M is trying to get rid of
Dancing with the ‘stars’
Tourists in Azerbaijan are greasing their palms – and everything else – by taking long, relaxing baths in crude oil.
Note to elves: Vacation is over
Got your Santa lists ready? The job market is so tight, Kohl’s is already hiring for Christmas.
The Covenant is coming
“Halo” is finally taking off at Showtime. Because it’s either “an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat” or more Friends reruns.
Those “little green army men” from “Toy Story” will debut at Disney World this weekend, and female soldiers will be in the mix.
A new study out this week listed the best and worst US states for overall child well-being. Which state was deemed the best?
B. New Hampshire
Play “Total Recall: The CNN news” quiz to see if you’re right.
“My colleagues saw firsthand the effects of this unequal treatment due solely to our territorial situation. Statehood is nothing else than equality.”
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón, Puerto Rico’s representative in the US House, who introduced a bill seeking to make the island territory a US state by 2021. She argued Puerto Rico would have gotten more federal help after Hurricane Maria if it had been state.
IT’S THE WEEKEND BABY
“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is the big new offering in movie theaters today. This sequel – starring Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin – to 2015’s “Sicario” works great as an action flick, says CNN’s Brian Lowry, but stumbles when it tries to make a statement on US-Mexico border politics. If you’re staying in this weekend, there’s a ton of new stuff streaming, including the second season of ‘80s female wrestling comedy “GLOW.”
Down on the farm
Seems like everybody’s facing off against each other these days, but it’s simply adorable when a baby goat and a chicken do it. (Click to view.)