National News

5 things for July 27: Russia probe, North Korea, family reunions, Pakistan, Facebook

Look to the skies tonight, if you live in the Eastern Hemisphere. That'll be the best place to see the longest-total lunar eclipse of the century. 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.)

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Doug Criss (CNN)

Look to the skies tonight, if you live in the Eastern Hemisphere. That'll be the best place to see the longest-total lunar eclipse of the century. 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. Russia investigation

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, claims then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN. And Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller.-Cohen alleges he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians' offer by Donald Trump Jr. By Cohen's account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources.

Cohen's claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it in July 2017 by The New York Times. CNN's Chris Cillizza says if Cohen's telling the truth, it's the biggest step to date toward suggesting or proving collusion between Trump and the Russians. But if Cohen's bluffing or can't deliver, this Russia bombshell is much ado about nothing.

2. North Korea

The possible remains of US troops killed during the Korean War have been handed over by North Korea. A US Air Force C-17 plane flew to Wonsan, North Korea, to retrieve an initial 55 cases holding the suspected remains. The plane later landed at an air base in South Korea, where troops from the United Nations Command presented an honor guard. President Trump called the return of the remains a "great moment for so many families." Returning the remains was a commitment North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made last month when he met with Trump.

The remains will be flown to a military lab in Hawaii for DNA analysis; it could take months to determine how many service members can be ID'd. North Korea handed over the remains on the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the conflict, which-killed of tens of thousands-of Americans.

3. Family separations

The deadline for the Trump administration to reunite immigrant families it separated at the Mexican border has come and gone. The government says it reunited 1,442 families by yesterday's deadline (including children released to other relatives or friends). But that still leaves more than 700 children in government custody. Some parents have already been deported, while others have criminal histories or declined to be reunited with their kids -- a heartbreaking choice parents often make to give their kids better opportunities. It's not entirely clear what's next for children still in US custody -- or whether the government will be punished for failing to meet the deadline.

4. Pakistan election

Imran Khan claimed victory in this week's elections in Pakistan. But all of his political rivals say the voting was rigged. Khan, a former cricket star, promised to fight corruption and build the country's economy as he works to create a "New Pakistan." Pakistan's election commission is expected to confirm the results today, but it looks like Khan's party didn't win enough seats in the legislature to hold an outright majority. If that's the case, Khan will have to cobble together a governing coalition with the same rival political parties that claim voting irregularities.

5. Facebook

Ouch. What else can you say about what happened yesterday to Facebook on Wall Street? The social media giant's shares plummeted 19%, wiping out $119 billion in market value. It was the worst day for any company in stock market history. The plunge was so deep that it knocked Mark Zuckerberg (who personally lost $16 billion) from fourth to sixth on the list of the world's richest people. Facebook's said it's going to spend a lot of money to improve safety and security on the site, which will eat into profits for a while, thus the Wall Street freak-out. But financial analysts say Facebook has structured itself to bounce back from this, so investors shouldn't panic.



Going native

Vancouver's pulled the plug on Morgan Freeman as the voice of its public transit, opting for the soothing sounds of Seth Rogen instead.

Papa John v. Papa John's

John Schnatter is taking the pizza chain he founded to court,-saying it has treated him in a "heavy-handed way" since his ouster over a racial slur.

Reading assignment

Think you finished "The Autobiography of Malcolm X?" Well, you're not done. An unpublished chapter of the book was sold to the NYC-Public Library.

Rest in peace

Miyako Chiyo, the world's oldest person, has died at age 117. Chiyo lived in Japan, where it's almost no big deal for people to live past 100.

The cat's meow

Ever wonder what that special something is that drives entrepreneurs to success? A new study says it might be a parasite found in cat poop. No, really.

Taking some time

Cardi B won't be "finessing" with Bruno Mars this fall on tour. She wants to spend more time with her new baby girl.


Sky high

The second quarter GDP number comes out today, and it should be a good one. Economists predict it might be as high as 4.9%-for the quarter. The economy's doing gangbusters right now, and CNN's-Stephen Collinson says President Trump deserves some of the credit.


Quiz time

Jackpot! The winning Mega Millions lottery ticket was sold in California by what kind of business?

A. a supermarket

B. a-gas station

C. a liquor store

D. a movie theater

Play "Total Recall: The CNN news quiz"-to-see if you're right. And don't forget, you can also find a version of the quiz on your Amazon devices! Just say, "Alexa, ask CNN for a quiz."



The number of people hurt after about 800 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa -- some wielding electric saws, shears and mallets -- stormed a border fence between Morocco and Spain and clashed with police


"We are going to leave the station because (it) is now unsafe to be here."

KRCR anchor Allison Woods, announcing during a live newscast that the station in Redding, California, was being evacuated as a wildfire approached


Easy does it

Tom Cruise makes jumping out of airplanes (or scaling skyscrapers) look so easy in the movies. James Corden finds out it's not as easy as it looks. (Click to view.)

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