National News

5 things for January 11: Trump, mudslides, Myanmar, organ donation, Islam

Posted January 9, 2018 6:02 a.m. EST

— Scientists think they've figured out what's been sending mysterious radio bursts from deep in space. 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. President Trump

Will President Trump agree to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller? Trump didn't answer that question during a news conference, but he really, really, really wants us all to know that such an interview wouldn't be necessary anyway because he thinks the whole Russia investigation is a witch hunt and there was "no collusion," a phrase he used seven times in one answer. But the President's hedging on this flies in the face of what he said last year, that he'd be "100%" willing to testify under oath about former FBI Director James Comey. 

2. California mudslides

Hundreds of first responders. Helicopters. Dogs. Those are just some of the tools being used in the frantic search for people missing after deadly mudslides in Southern California. Seventeen people were killed when mud, trees, rocks and other debris -- triggered by heavy rains -- gushed down hillsides, destroying homes in coastal communities already ravaged by last year's wildfires. At least 17 others are missing. Blocked roads and downed power lines hamper the search, but there have been some heart-stirring rescues, like the one of a family of five, including a newborn, plucked from the roof of a muddied, flooded home.

3. Myanmar

Myanmar admits some of its security forces were involved in the massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslims found last month in a mass grave. It's the first time the country's military has ever admitted to causing any of the violence that's driven more than 650,000 Rohingya from their homes to Bangladesh since August. At least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the first month of attacks, which the US and UN consider ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya from mostly Buddhist Myanmar.

4. Organ donation

Organ donations spiked to another record last year, fueled by a distressing trend: the opioid epidemic. The number of deceased organ donors topped 10,000 last year, the fifth straight year of all-time highs, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. About 40% of this five-year increase comes from people who died of drug overdoses, many of them from opioids. People who die of drug overdoses are considered good candidates for organ donation because they're generally younger and "tend not to have the burdens of diseases associated with aging."

5. Religion

Islam may be America's No. 2 religion in a few decades. The Pew Research Center predicts that by 2050, the US Muslim population will be 8.1 million, more than double the 3.45 million in 2017. But despite the massive growth, Muslims would still only be about 2.1% of the total US population. Immigration fuels this growth. In 2016, a record number of Muslims immigrated to the US, and the Muslim population tends to be younger than other religious groups, so they have a higher fertility rate.


"You are 100% responsible."

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, blasting USA Gymnastics on Twitter and saying the organization enabled former team doctor Larry Nassar, who has has admitted to sexually assaulting underage girls


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All about the money

Mark Wahlberg reportedly got paid way more than Michelle Williams for "All the Money in the World" reshoots, and the Twitterverse is ticked off about it.

In the dark

When you're running the world's largest consumer electronics show, you need electricity, which the Las Vegas Convention Center had none of Wednesday.

Panther power

A GoFundMe campaign to help kids in Harlem see the upcoming "Black Panther" superhero flick gets some help from some big-time celebs.

Cloud cover

No, it wasn't "Independence Day." But a lot of folks wondered if it was after a cloud shaped like a huge spaceship hovered over Sydney.

Back to the future

American Girl dolls usually deal with history, but not the one named Luciana Vega. She's a Martian astronaut.


$4.8 million

That's how much in jewelry thieves armed with axes stole from a shop inside Paris' Ritz Hotel.


Waltz of the marbles

2018 stressing you out already? It's fine. Watch this magnet marble run paired with Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers" and relax. (Click to view.)