Good morning from 5 Things, where we bring you the alternative to alternative facts. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
1. Trump administration
The Trump era is only a few days old, but it’s already gifted us a new phrase — “alternative facts.” As in, statements that aren’t lies – just alternatives to the truth. It started with Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who proclaimed that President Trump’s inauguration was the biggest ever “period!” (It wasn’t, no matter how you slice it – visual evidence or TV ratings). Yesterday, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway doubled down on that assertion — and added that phrase to our lexicon. Conway also told us the President won’t be releasing his tax returns after all, despite campaign promises to eventually do so.
2. Women’s March
More than a million marchers. In all 50 states. On all seven continents. The Women’s March was a remarkable protest against a new president on his first full day in office. But now the question is: is this the start of a more enduring opposition movement or just a cathartic moment? One central hurdle for protesters: their effort to draw attention to so many different political priorities. Even the signs they carried reflected the diversity of their agendas. So what’s next? Here are 25 ways to get politically active (whether you lean liberal or conservative).
3. Syria peace talks
Remember this phrase; you’ll be hearing it a lot this week: The Astana Initiative. That’s the name for the latest round of Syria peace talks. This one’s being held in Astana, Kazakhstan — and it’s being billed as the first time rebel groups would be negotiating directly with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime since war began in 2011. The talks will last three days and the heavy lifting will be done by Russia (which supports Assad) and Turkey (which stands behind the rebels). The US won’t really have a seat at this table because the new Trump administration is still getting up and running.
Millions are under tornado watches in the Southeast this morning after a wave of deadly storms killed more than a dozen people in two states over the weekend. Fourteen people died in Georgia where tornadoes left behind a landscape dotted with overturned cars, debris and damaged homes. And a tornado — with winds up to 165 mph — killed four people in Mississippi. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, parts of California dealt with a wicked winter storm. A woman in northern California died after the storm caused a tree to fall into her apartment. And two people are missing off the coast of Pebble Beach.
5. Super Bowl
It’s the team we see all the time versus the team no one saw coming. The New England Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl for a record ninth time. They’ll face off against the Atlanta Falcons. Did you predict the Dirty Birds would be back in the big game for only the second time? Put your hand down! No one foresaw that. The Pats are gunning for their fifth Super Bowl title, while the Falcons are hoping for the first in its history. The early line out of Vegas (which is for entertainment purposes only, mind you) lists New England as favorites.
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Well here’s some news that won’t shock you. The echo chamber that Facebook creates around us makes us more narrow minded. Who knew?
Location, location, location
Ready to move to Hong Kong? Well then bring your wallet, because for the seventh year in a row it’s the most expensive place in the world to live.
Circle in the round
If you get tired of the view outside your bedroom window, maybe you should buy this house in Australia, which rotates 360 degrees.
Just a little help
Someone pulled a fire alarm at 3 a.m. at the hotel where the Steelers were staying before the AFC championship game, which they lost to the Patriots.
WHAT’S FOR LUNCH
Big day for two of President Trump’s Cabinet picks. This afternoon, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considers Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, a man with no formal foreign policy experience and deep ties to Russia. He’ll breeze through the nomination now that the Dems don’t have the votes to stop him. Tonight, the full Senate could vote on Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA director.
AND FINALLY …
He means it this time
He’s shown us how to shop with a baby and how to wash cars with them. Now this New Zealand dad lays down the law with a lesson on discipline. (Click to view)