Gutting the watchdog and passing the blame. Here are the 5 things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
1. House ethics panel
House Republicans are already catching flack for voting to defang its independent congressional ethics panel and placing it under House control. The proposal they OK’d would, among other things, bar the panel from reviewing criminal matters involving members of Congress. That would leave the watchdog with not a lot to do. The full House votes on it today, where it’s expected to pass, over the objection of House GOP leaders.
2. Brazil prison riot
At least 56 people were killed in a New Year’s Day riot at a prison in Manaus, Brazil. The 17-hour uprising exploded as two rival gangs fought for control of drug turf inside the prison. Many bodies were tossed over the facility’s walls, and at least six people had their heads cut off. Some prisoners were taken hostage as well. And in the same city there was a mass escape at another prison. The incidents have to be related, authorities said.
3. Airport computer outage
Computer outage + one of the busiest travel days of the year = hell. Thousands of travelers were stuck in line for hours when US Customs computers went down nationwide. The processing of inbound international travelers headed home after the holidays slowed to a crawl. The computer systems were finally back online a few hours later.
4. Istanbul nightclub shooting
A gunman’s New Year’s shooting spree at Reina nightclub wasn’t just an attack on the people inside the club. It was an attack on cosmopolitan Turkey. Reina was popular with Turkey’s wealthy secular millennials and international celebrities. The victims of the attack hailed from 14 countries, and they were all young, glamorous and urbane. Like Leanne Nasser, an 18-year-old Israeli who wanted to ring in the New Year with friends. She was one of 39 people killed in the attack.
5. Obesity and child development
The children of obese parents are at higher risk for developmental delays. So says a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study, one of the few that includes both overweight moms and dads, says the kids of obese parents were more likely to have trouble using small muscles, like those in the fingers and hands. These children also had issues feeding themselves and working problem-solving tests. But the study couldn’t figure out why this happens.
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Fire and ice
An iceberg took down the Titanic, right? Maybe not. A new documentary theorizes a fire doomed the ship long before it even left port.
Mariah Carey’s team says the TV producers are to blame for her New Year’s Eve fiasco. Oh no, say the producers, that craziness was all Mariah’s.
So close, yet so far
Three sets of twins in Georgia, Arizona and California were born just minutes apart but in different years, thanks to New Year’s.
More than meets the eye
A 13-foot-tall robot from a South Korean tech company may look like one of the bad guys from the “Transformers” movies, but don’t worry, he’s on our side.
If the boss sends you an email after work hours, should you ignore it? You can if you live in France, where a new “disconnect” law just took effect.
AND FINALLY …
Cuteness alert! A baby rhino at a zoo in Iowa discovers snow for the first time. (Click to view)