National News

5 things for January 23: Shutdown ends, Israel, USA Gymnastics, TSA, Pope Francis

Posted January 16, 2018 6:21 a.m. EST

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1. Government shutdown

The shutdown showdown is over ... for now. President Trump signed a bill last night that ends three days of deadlock and keeps federal funds flowing through February 8. Senate Democrats ended the shutdown after getting assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the GOP will pursue action on immigration, including possible work on a DACA fix. The Dems' liberal wing is furious about this. They think Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer caved and gave up all the leverage they had to help the Dreamers.

Plus, they say there's no guarantee that whatever the Senate comes up with on immigration will be taken up in the House, which is full of hard-line GOP members opposed to any DACA deal. CNN's Stephen Collinson says that yes, getting out of the shutdown so quickly is a win for President Trump, but it only delays what will be one of the biggest decisions of his young presidency: whether to let 700,000 people brought to the US as children without proper documents stay.

2. Israel

The US embassy may move to Israel a lot faster than we first thought. Vice President Mike Pence told Israel's parliament that the embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of next year, after officials earlier said it would take three to four years. President Trump upended decades of US policy, inflamed tensions in the region and sparked outrage across the world when he said last month that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The recognition complicates the Mideast peace process because Palestinians also consider the city their capital.

3. USA Gymnastics

Top executives of USA Gymnastics stepped down as the sentencing hearing for ex-gymnastics physician Larry Nassar continues. Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley all resigned from the USA Gymnastics board of directors, and the organization's president said the resignations will help the group implement changes. Nassar is to be sentenced this week after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct. He's admitted to assaulting young women under his care, including the more than 140 brave girls and young women who are speaking out during his sentencing.

4. TSA

The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out a stricter screening program for air cargo into the US from five Mideast countries. Cargo from seven airports in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will be subject to additional screening. Those countries were picked because terror groups indicate they want to attack airplanes and other aviation targets from there, the TSA said.

5. Pope Francis

Pope Francis apologized to sex abuse victims for comments he made defending an embattled bishop. Francis had said last week that there was no "proof" of wrongdoing against Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused of covering up for a priest convicted of sexual abuse. Supporters of victims of clerical sex abuse challenged his suggestion that "proof" is a prerequisite for believing a victim's account. Francis said he was sorry and that it was a poor choice of words, but he maintained his defense of Barros.


"And every friend that I know has a story like mine."

Singer Halsey, who moved the crowd at New York's Women's March with her poem recounting her experiences with sexual assault


People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Music master

Hugh Masekela was more than a musician. The father of South African jazz provided a soundtrack to the '80s anti-apartheid movement. He died at age 78.

Bottoms up

Come hang out at the Portland, Maine, bar that's famous for not serving alcohol.

Off the road

Crushing news for music fans: Singing legend Neil Diamond has Parkinson's disease, and he's retiring from touring.

Out over inclusivity

She made history wearing a hijab in a hair care ad campaign. Now, she's out -- over old tweets she wrote dissing Israel.

Love is in the air

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren't the only royal couple getting hitched this year. Princess Eugenie is tying the knot, too, with her longtime boyfriend.


Oscar nominations

Academy Award nominations come out this morning. Sunday's SAG Awards gave us some hints on how things might go.


$39 million

That's how much Netflix lost when it cut ties with Kevin Spacey


Former President George W. Bush's approval rating now. It was just 33% when he left office in 2009.


Tricky Tuesday

Today is as good as any to check out these sweet shots from a trick shot group called Dude Perfect. A trick shot group? Yeah, we'd never heard of one either. (Click to view.)