Good Friday morning. In today’s to-do list: Vote, then enjoy the weekend. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
For the first time in two years, Iraqi troops are in Mosul. Exciting, yes, but that just means the truly hard work now begins. Troops are fighting ISIS militants street-to-street, while a rising tide of humanity ebbs east from the city. Already, 18,000 residents have been displaced, and more will in the weeks ahead.
2. Campaign 2016
Forget about Florida and Ohio. In 2016, the ultimate swing state is North Carolina. Donald Trump can’t get to the White House without its 15 electoral votes. Hillary Clinton’s weakness with black voters may doom her there. And of course the latest polls show Clinton and Trump all tied up.
A court threw a big, fat monkey wrench into British plans to leave the EU when it ruled parliament must vote on the process. But wait, didn’t the Brits already vote on this? Yep, and that ticks off to no end the people in the Leave camp. Oh, Brexit will still happen but the next few weeks should be interesting.
Women who had escaped Boko Haram’s evil clutches found themselves brutalized again by the very people who are supposed to help them. Nigeria says it’s investigating reports that officials raped women and girls at camps for the displaced. And Boko Haram has displaced many: Nearly 2.5 million.
5. Syria civil war
Russia says it’ll stop shelling Aleppo for 10 hours and open up six humanitarian corridors. Two of them can be used by Syrian rebels — if they surrender. Residents told CNN they hadn’t heard anything about this and are skeptical of Russia’s motives.
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Did you hear the one about two guys who tricked their way into a golf tourney in North Korea? It sounds like a great story, but ….
Got any lottery numbers?
A tweet correctly predicted every part of the Cubs’ epic Game 7 win — two years ago. Well, everything except the winning part.
Get outta my head
Can’t get an earworm like Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” out? That’s because the song was designed to do just that.
Bushy-tailed ballot bandit
Don’t worry about Russia rigging the election — keep an eye on the squirrels. One ruined a Halloween election in Ohio by causing a power outage.
Detroit has a lot of crumbling homes, but this one is special — it once belonged to Rosa Parks. And it took an art project to save it.
AND FINALLY …
Cuteness alert! Lily the boxer wants a piece of pizza, so she pulls out all the sad doggie faces she can muster.