CNN —  

Here’s what you might have missed Thursday on CNN:

– About 75% of the continental US population will endure below-freezing temperatures this week. The biting cold already has caused at least two deaths. But in many parts, the coldest weather is yet to come.

– Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing an amendment that would acknowledge “al Qaeda, ISIS and their affiliates in Syria and Afghanistan continue to pose a serious threat to us here at home,” a move seen as a sharp rebuke to Trump’s push to withdraw US troops from Syria.

– Venezuelan army defectors are calling on the Trump administration to arm them in what they call their quest for freedom. They claim to be in contact with hundreds of willing defectors.

– The British Parliament voted against an official Labour amendment, which had sought to rule out the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and allow Parliament to vote on other options for Brexit.

– Dakota Theriot, the suspect in a Louisiana shooting spree that left five people dead, has confessed to the killings, according to officials.

– Chicago police say they are investigating an attack on “Empire” star Jussie Smollett that involved racial and homophobic slurs and a rope placed around the actor’s neck.

– We will likely never know why Stephen Paddock shot into a crowd of concertgoers, killing 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. The FBI has concluded its investigation into the Las Vegas massacre without finding a clear motive for Paddock’s actions.

– Private emails between employees at the Coca-Cola Co. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposed in a new research paper, suggest current and former Coca-Cola staff tried to influence the CDC by attempting to frame the debate around whether sugar-sweetened beverages play a role in America’s obesity epidemic.

– Kayla, one of SeaWorld’s oldest remaining orcas, has died after showing “signs of discomfort” two days earlier, the chain of animal theme parks said.