National News

5 things for May 7: White House, Hawaii volcano, Russia protests

Posted May 7, 2018 6:19 a.m. EDT

— Check out the world's longest sea-crossing bridge (it's 34 miles!), which opens this summer in China. 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. White House

There's enough news coming out of the White House to justify a newsletter all to itself:

-- No one's sure what to make of the ongoing legal strategy of President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani. He's now saying Trump may indeed plead the Fifth if subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

-- Giuliani also raised eyebrows by saying Michael Cohen, Trump personal lawyer and fixer, may have paid off other women on behalf of the President.

-- CIA director nominee Gina Haspel reportedly offered to withdraw her nomination after some White House officals raised concerns with her ability to get confirmed. But she's staying in for now after the President said he still supported her.

-- The real Stormy Daniels talked with the fake Donald Trump (better known as Alec Baldwin) on "Saturday Night Live," where she warned "a storm's a comin', baby."

2. Hawaii

More than two dozen homes have been destroyed on Hawaii's Big Island as lava from the Kilauea volcano continues to gush from the earth. And that's not the only issue residents on the island are grappling with: there's also earthquakes and lethal gas. Over the weekend, a 6.9-magnitude quake jolted the area, the island's most powerful tremor since 1975. Neighborhoods affected by volcanic vents have been evacuated, although some residents were allowed back in to their homes briefly yesterday to quickly gather a few items.

3. Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin was sworn in to his fourth term as President today, after a huge anti-government protest in Moscow over the weekend. Hundreds of people were detained during the protest, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was dramatically carried through the crowds by police. He was later released.

As for Putin, he'll serve as Russia's leader for six more years, which means he'd be in power for 24 years. That would make him the second-longest-serving Russian leader after Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who ruled the country for 29 years.

4. India

Another brutal rape case has shocked India and the world. A 16-year-old girl was kidnapped from her home in a village in northeastern India, taken to a forest and raped by a group of men. After her parents sought justice from the village council, the men assaulted the teen's parents and burned down the family's home with the teen inside, killing her. It's just one of a number of rapes this year that's renewed public anger over sexual violence in the country. In response, India's Cabinet passed an executive order last month making rape of a girl younger than 12 punishable by death.

5. Japan

The number of children in Japan has hit a record low. There's 15.53 million children in the country, about 170,000 fewer than last year. It's the 37th straight year that the number of children in Japan has declined. Children make up only 12.3% of the population there, compared to 18.9% for the US, 16.8% for China and 30.8% for India. Japan's been struggling with low birth rates for decades. But unlike other industrialized countries with similar problems, it hasn't been able to make up the numbers with immigrants. Government attempts to encourage Japanese citizens to have more children have so far only been successful in Tokyo.