Ready to visit Machu Picchu? Well, you better read up on the Incan citadel’s strict new ticket policy first. 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. Russia investigation
President Donald Trump’s legal team rebuffed special counsel Robert Mueller’s request in recent weeks for an in-person session with Trump to ask follow-up questions. The request was made after Trump’s team submitted written answers to questions from Mueller’s team focusing on before Trump was in office. As Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Trump associates and Russians winds down, an interview with the President remains an outstanding issue, even as Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said an interview would happen “over my dead body.” One source familiar with the matter summed it up by saying, “Mueller is not satisfied.”
It’s D-Day for Brexit. UK lawmakers vote later today on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal that was negotiated with the European Union. If it passes, that’s the last big hurdle before the UK leaves the EU in March. If it fails, well, no one really knows what happens. And most political observers think May’s Brexit bill will fail, possibly by more than 100 votes. If that happens, May could draw up an alternative plan, pro-Brexit lawmakers may push for the UK to leave the EU without a deal (a nightmare scenario for many), other lawmakers might try to engineer a “softer” Brexit or the pressure could ramp up for a second Brexit referendum. It really would be uncharted territory.
3. Jayme Closs
We’re learning more about the kidnapping of Jayme Closs, and the details are simply horrifying. Jayme told investigators a man dressed in black suddenly showed up at her family’s Wisconsin home, so she and her mom hid in a bathtub. Then, they heard the gunshot that killed her father, who had gone to the front door. The man then barged into the bathroom, shot Jayme’s mom in the bathtub and took off with the 13-year-old. Police say the suspect, 21-year-old Jake Patterson, has confessed to the killings. He reportedly told police he decided to take Jayme after watching her get on a school bus one day while he was on his way to work.
4. Government shutdown
The longest shutdown in US history has reached its 25th day. And there’s still not much in the way of negotiations to get us out of this mess. A bipartisan group of senators met yesterday to hash out some ideas. “It was rough going,” a source says. There’s also talk of a possible meeting between Trump and moderate House Democrats from districts Trump won in 2016. It’s an attempt to isolate and peel away these Dems from their party leaders’ opposition to border wall funding, but there’s no real sign any are about to jump ship.
Meanwhile, the shutdown damage continues. Lines at security checkpoints at some airports are getting longer, as the TSA deals with callouts and staffing shortages. Things were toughest at Atlanta’s airport, where some people stood in security checkpoint lines for more than an hour. Here are 82 other direct effects of the partial shutdown.
5. Opioid deaths
In America, for the first time, you have better odds of dying from an opioid overdose than of being killed in a car wreck. Yeah, you read that right. The National Safety Council crunched the numbers from preventable injury and fatality statistics in 2017 and came up with this grim stat. The council also said the odds of dying from an overdose were greater than the risk of death from falls, pedestrian incidents, drowning and fire. “We have known for some time that opioid overdose is an everyday killer, and these odds illustrate that in a very jarring way,” a safety council spokeswoman told CNN.
The Senate confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William Barr starts today. Barr says Robert Mueller should be allowed to finish the Russia investigation, according to his prepared testimony.
Joy and pain
Lady Gaga went through all the emotions Sunday. First, she won a Critics’ Choice Award, then had to rush home to say goodbye to her dying horse.
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A tanker crashed and spewed 40,000 pounds of liquid chocolate on an Arizona highway. But there’s no truth to the rumor crews cleaned it up with marshmallows.
Watch out, Netflix
It’s not just Disney, Apple and WarnerMedia (CNN’s parent company) getting into the streaming game. NBCUniversal says it’s launching its own service in 2020.
A real-life whodunnit
The statues on Easter Island hold many mysteries, but researchers think they’ve solved one of them.
The best a man can get?
Everybody’s talking about Gillette’s new ad, which isn’t really about shaving but all about #MeToo.
It’s time for the Kumbh Mela. What, you’ve never heard of it? It’s only the largest gathering of humanity in the world.
1 in 30 million
The odds of catching a calico lobster, which one man found at his fish market in Maryland
TODAY IN HISTORY
Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger saved the lives of the 154 passengers and crew aboard a US Airways flight on January 15, 2009, in the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson.” Read about what’s being done to prevent another similar air emergency.
Leaf blower power
Just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean you can’t put your leaf blower to good use. (Click to view.)
Read more: www.cnn.com