National News

5 things for December 27: Snow, anthrax threats, infrastructure bill

Posted December 27, 2017 6:07 a.m. EST

— Rich people are doing so well these days that their spending on luxury goods isn't even keeping up. Now, here's what 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.)

Weather

Erie, Pennsylvania, didn't just get a White Christmas, it got a Whiteout Christmas. The city got hammered with 34 inches of snow Monday - shattering records. Then yesterday, it got hit with another 24 inches, for a grand total of 58 inches over two days. That's almost five feet! It's the highest two-day snowfall total in the entire state of Pennsylvania!

The rest of the Midwest and eastern US will be in the deep freeze throughout the holiday week. The wind chill will be in the single digits when revelers ring in the New Year in Times Square.

Syria

The first medical evacuations of people in desperate need of care have started in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus. The Syrian Red Crescent and International Committee of the Red Cross said four people have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta, which is controlled by various rebel groups and has been surrounded by Syrian forces for more than four years. In total, more than 600 need to be evacuated, most of them women and children.

Argentina

The plot has thickened in the mysterious 2015 death of an Argentine prosecutor. A judge ruled that Alberto Nisman didn't kill himself but was murdered. Nisman was found with a bullet to his head just days after he filed a report accusing former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and other officials of covering up Iran's involvement in a 1994 Jewish community center bombing that left 85 people dead. And he was supposed to testify before lawmakers about it the next day.

Anthrax

In South Korea a deadly weapon is back in the headlines, one that's far easier and cheaper to make than North Korea's ballistic missiles: anthrax. Fears of a possible anthrax attack from the North are growing. South Korea has bought 1,000 doses of vaccine to give to counterterrorism agents or civilians, but there's no plan right now to vaccinate the general public.

Infrastructure

Fresh off his tax reform triumph, President Trump sets his eyes on a big infrastructure bill for 2018. The President said a spending bill to fix the nation's bridges, roads and airports should be easy to get through Congress. But he'll definitely need Democratic votes -- not a sure thing at all. Trump promised a $1 trillion bill on the campaign trail, but the White House has been kicking around a more modest $200 billion proposal.