5 things for February 2: FBI memo, Cape Town, Nassar, France clashes, Castro son

Happy Groundhog Day...

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 12:57 PM
Updated: Feb 2, 2018 12:57 PM

Happy Groundhog Day! Here's hoping that Punxsutawney Phil gives us some good news. Now, here's what 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. FBI memo

That GOP memo alleging misconduct by the FBI in the Russia investigation will probably come out very soon -- possibly today. President Trump indicates he won't stop its release. Two sources told CNN that Trump is telling his friends he thinks the memo helps undermine the Russia probe. Critics say the memo is a mischaracterization of the facts and weaponizes intelligence for a political fight. There's fear in the White House that FBI Director Christopher Wray will quit if the memo is released. His predecessor, James Comey, tweeted amid the controversy that "weasels and liars never hold the field." CNN's Stephen Collinson ponders five big questions about the memo.

2. Cape Town water

Cape Town issued new water restrictions as the South African city inches closer to "Day Zero." Residents aren't supposed to use more than 13 gallons of water per day (a typical bathtub holds about 80 gallons). City officials fear the city will run out of water on April 16, which they're calling Day Zero. Drought, climate change and population growth are blamed for the crisis. Making matters worse: Only about 55% of residents are curbing their water use to daily limits.

3. Larry Nassar

One of Larry Nassar's attorneys said she doesn't believe he could have assaulted so many people -- or that all the women who've confronted him in court were actually harmed. "There were girls who had perfectly normal lives that never questioned the medical treatment done by Larry Nassar," lawyer Shannon Smith told a Detroit radio station. The blowback to her comments was intense. Doctors and physical therapists blasted her, saying she was misrepresenting what they do and could possibly deter people from getting treatment. Even Nassar tried to distance himself from her comments.

Meantime, the town manager of Meridian Township, Michigan, apologized on behalf of his community to Brianne Randall-Gay, one of Larry Nassar's victims. "We failed. ... We let you down," Frank Walsh said. "We felt this needed to be done in public because what happened to you was in public." Randall-Gay complained to police there about Nassar in 2004, but the complaint went nowhere.

4. France clashes

Four people were shot and 18 injured after migrants clashed with each other in the French port town of Calais. It's not clear what sparked the violence. Calais was once home to a so-called "jungle" camp that held hundreds of migrants hoping to make it to the UK. The camp was torn down in October 2016, but about 500 migrants remain in the city. France and Britain signed a treaty last month aimed at speeding migrants' UK asylum applications.

5. Fidel Castro's son

The oldest son of Fidel Castro killed himself. Cuban state-run media said-Fidel "Fidelito" Castro D-az-Balart was 68 and had suffered from depression in recent months. He led Cuba's nuclear program until a falling-out with his father led to his dismissal. When his uncle, Raul Castro, took over as Cuban President in 2008, Fidelito was named as his science adviser.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

3

The number of shootings at middle or high schools so far in 2018. The latest was in Los Angeles, where five people were wounded after a 12-year-old girl opened fire. Police say the gunfire was-"unintentional."

BREAKFAST BROWSE

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

O(h)-Canada

You thought the United States was the only nation having anthem issues?-Our nice neighbors to the north fight about theirs, too.

RIP, Connie

You may not know her name, but you've probably seen Connie Sawyer on screen. Hollywood's oldest working actress passed away at age 105.

Hot item

It took Elon Musk just four days to sell out of those $500 flamethrowers. Now, we're all set for the zombie apocalypse.

Shining his light

Meet the 15-year-old delivering hundreds of solar lamps to folks still without power in Puerto Rico months after Hurricane Maria.

Rich get richer

Wait, King James might end up with the Golden State Warriors next year? So, parity in the NBA means one super team and the 29 others are garbage?

Sweet deal

Employees at Hostess aren't just getting bonuses because of the new tax law. They're getting a year's worth of Twinkies and Ding Dongs,-too.

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH

Jobs report

The January jobs report drops this morning at 8:30 ET. Economists think it will be another good one,-believing-175,000 jobs-were gained last month.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"We step up every single day and have been doing so for a long time. The fact that you don't realize this means it's time for you to step down."

A letter from more than 20 female artists and music executives, demanding that-Recording Academy President Neil Portnow step down for saying after the Grammys that female artists need to "step up"

AND FINALLY ...

Hey y'all

Reese Witherspoon teaches a master class on Southern slang, so all you Yankees will know how to properly use cherished Southern phrases, like "fit to be tied" and "dern tootin'." (Click to view.)

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