National News

5 things for June 6: Primaries, Guatemala volcano, EU same-sex couples, Kate Spade

Posted May 22, 2018 6:25 a.m. EDT

— Just how hot is the job market in America right now? For the first time in two decades, there are more job openings than people to fill them. 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. Politics

Democratic hopes for retaking the US House rely in huge part on the Dems winning several seats in California. But it's still not clear where things stand after last night's primaries. Many votes remain uncounted in the most competitive races because of large numbers of mail-in and provisional ballots. And a printing error in Los Angeles County left 118,000 voters off the roster, including The Fonz (kids, Google "Happy Days"). Democrats need 23 seats to take back the House. But California's "top-two" primary system -- where the top two vote-getters advance to the November ballot, regardless of party -- could hurt Dems in key districts where many candidates split the blue vote.

In other primary races, an Alabama congresswoman who disavowed President Trump was forced into a runoff, while New Mexico likely elected the first native American congresswoman. People also voted in Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is cutting back the Senate's August recess so the body can vote on key appropriations bills and fill judicial vacancies. But CNN's Z. Bryon Wolf says it's a Jedi-like move by McConnell to keep Senate Dems off the campaign trail, which could help save the GOP Senate majority this fall.

2. Guatemala volcano

We're only just now beginning to fully comprehend the level of devastation and misery that the Fuego volcano eruption brought to Guatemala. At least 192 people are missing after the volcano erupted over the weekend. Right now, the official death toll is at 72. Many were killed by hot gases and rocks that raced down the volcano after the eruption, while whole villages were buried under blankets of ash. One woman fears she lost her parents, brothers, sisters, six nieces and nephews and other relatives. Funerals have begun, even as seismic events and new ash and gas flows have started up again.

3. European Union & same-sex couples

Same-sex couples got a big win in Europe after the European Union's top court ruled that they are entitled to the same residency rights as other married couples, even in EU countries that don't recognize same-sex marriage. Essentially, the EU's Court of Justice ruled that the word "spouse" is gender-neutral and includes same-sex couples. So, all EU countries must give married couples, regardless of sexual orientation, the right to move freely and live where they wish in the European Union.

4. Facebook

Forgive us for repeating ourselves, but Facebook is in trouble again over its data-sharing practices. The social media giant says it gave Chinese smartphone maker Huawei access to its users' data. That's troubling to a lot of folks because US intelligence agencies have described Huawei as a security threat. Huawei is one of four Chinese device makers that Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with so the companies can recreate Facebook-like experiences for their users. US officials worry China can use Huawei smartphones for spying, something Huawei denies. The partnership with Huawei ends this week, Facebook said.

5. Kate Spade

"I remember my first Kate Spade." That was the beginning of a lot of social media posts yesterday as word got out that the iconic designer, known for her line of sleek, colorful handbags, had died. Spade, 55, hanged herself in an apparent suicide in her Manhattan apartment. Her death sparked an outpouring of grief online, with many women noting that buying their first Kate Spade handbag became a sign of professional achievement.

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

That's the number to the national suicide hotline. While the suicide rate in the United States has seen sharp increases in recent years, studies show that the risk of suicide declines sharply when people call the hotline.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

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

Costume change

The Miss America pageant spikes swimsuits, evening gowns and the whole concept of judging women by their physical appearance.

Wonder woman

Meet the female cop in India who breastfed an abandoned baby found dumped in construction-site rubble.

Feed the meter

Parking's at a premium wherever you go, but $760,000 for one parking spot? That's pricey even for Hong Kong.

Magical meeting

Two Gerber babies -- 90 years apart -- meet in the most adorable photo you've ever seen.

Another one bites the dust

Lord & Taylor's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York is closing, yet another sign that it's just plain tough to be in the retail biz these days.

TODAY'S QUOTES

"Be more vigilant, more aware of the responsibility that each of us has towards others."

Liliana Segre, an 88-year-old Italian senator and a survivor of Auschwitz, warning Italy's newly formed right-wing government about its anti-immigrant rhetoric

"It wasn't my finest hour."

Bill Clinton, trying to clean up his tone-deaf comments from earlier this week about #MeToo and Monica Lewinsky

HAPPENING LATER

Breaking bread

President Trump will host the first iftar -- the sundown meal that breaks fasts during the holy month of Ramadan -- of his administration at the White House today. But Trump's rhetoric and actions towards Muslims means many are skeptical about sharing a meal with him.

TODAY'S NUMBER

12,000

The number of earthquakes -- related to eruptions from the Kilauea volcano -- that have hit Hawaii's Big Island in the last 30 days

AND FINALLY

Taste the rainbow

Who's hungry? A pastry chef tries to make some "gourmet" Skittles. (Click to view.)