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5 things to know for September 27: Whistleblower, Syria, Legionnaires', El Paso, snow

In audio obtained by the Los Angeles Times, President Donald Trump says that whoever provided the whistleblower with information about his call with the Ukrainian President is "close to a spy," adding that in the old days spies were dealt with differently.

Posted: Sep 27, 2019 9:00 AM
Updated: Sep 27, 2019 9:00 AM

A new study about the number of birds dying off is alarming. But fear not. There are things you can do, from your own backyard, to stop global bird loss.

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. Whistleblower complaint

The allegations contained in the much-discussed whistleblower complaint released yesterday are explosive. It accuses President Trump of abusing his powers "to solicit interference" from Ukraine in the 2020 election and the White House of trying to cover it up. White House officials, allegedly disturbed by Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, tried to "lock down" all records of the call, including the word-for-word transcript, the complaint alleges. Democrats started a formal impeachment inquiry this week based on what's in the complaint.

Trump later lashed out at the person who provided the whistleblower with info about his phone call. Trump said whoever did that "is close to a spy," and then he added what some people took as a veiled threat: that in the old days, spies were dealt with differently. The identity of the whistleblower remains publicly unknown, but his or her safety was raised yesterday when acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified before the House Intelligence Committee about the complaint. CNN's Stephen Collinson lays out how a week that was supposed to be filled with drama at the United Nations turned into America's latest impeachment melodrama.

2. Syria

Syria is once again accused of launching a chlorine attack against its own citizens. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the attack by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad happened on May 19. It's unclear how many people may have been killed or wounded in the attack. Pompeo said it was part of the Assad regime's campaign of violence in Idlib province, which has killed more than 1,000 people. Idlib is the last stronghold of the rebels who have battled Assad's forces for years. The Trump administration ordered retaliatory strikes against Syrian regime targets in 2017 and 2018 after reports of chemical weapons attacks by Syria.

3. Legionnaires' disease outbreak

There's an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in North Carolina, and it's connected to a state fair. There are 25 confirmed cases, the state division of public health says, including one death. The source of the outbreak is under investigation, but many of the patients reported attending the NC Mountain State Fair earlier this month. Airborne droplets from water rides at the fair are being looked at as a possible cause of the outbreak.

4. El Paso mass shooting

The Texas Walmart where 22 people were killed could reopen in November. A company spokeswoman said construction work at the El Paso store is "progressing smoothly," and Walmart is aiming for a reopening on November 6. Construction crews have been renovating the property since the shooting in August. An area of the store will be dedicated to the shooting victims. The mass shooting at the store was one of the deadliest attacks against Latinos in the US.

5. Weather

Fall officially began this week, but it's already winter in parts of the Rocky Mountain states. A big winter storm will blast its way through the northern Rocky Mountains this weekend. The early season snow event could be "historically significant," the National Weather Service office in Great Falls, Montana, says. From 15 to 36 inches of snow are predicted, with even higher tallies in the mountains. Blizzard conditions are predicted, too, since winds will be as strong as tropical-storm-force, with gusts at hurricane-force. Winter storm warnings will be in effect for parts of Montana from this evening until Sunday night.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Hips don't lie

The halftime show at next year's Super Bowl will be a hip-shaking affair, now that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira are signed up to perform.

Welcome to the (royal) family

Looks like there's going to be another royal wedding. This one will involve Princess Beatrice, who is marrying a property tycoon next year.

Less likely

Facebook without the likes? It could happen. The social media giant will soon start rolling out a test in Australia that'll hide the likes.

Right place, right time

A teen football player in Ohio lifted a car to save his trapped neighbor. What have you done for the folks in your 'hood lately?

Mark was here

It took decades, but someone finally found Mark Twain's signature in a cave he helped make famous in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

TOTAL RECALL

Quiz time

According to the Anti-Defamation League, which hand signal is now a hate symbol?

A. Peace sign

B. Thumbs up

C. "OK" symbol

D. "Hang loose" or the shaka sign

Play "Total Recall," CNN's weekly news quiz, to see if your answer is right.

TODAY'S NUMBER

500

The number of letters a Maine woman said she got from United Healthcare in just five days

AND FINALLY

Who left the barn door open?

Looks like cows popping up on the road in New Hampshire is a thing. Thankfully, these kids are around to herd them up. (Click to view.)

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
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Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
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Butler65129
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Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
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St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
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Escambia4808
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Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 61006

Reported Deaths: 738
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13423223
Davidson13162143
Rutherford352539
Hamilton330538
Sumner189756
Williamson170816
Knox15919
Trousdale15085
Out of TN138410
Wilson114817
Putnam10117
Bradley9594
Robertson92413
Sevier9153
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Montgomery7327
Lake6970
Tipton6967
Bledsoe6291
Bedford6239
Macon5977
Hamblen4724
Maury4543
Hardeman4114
Fayette3685
Madison3522
Blount3403
Loudon3322
Rhea3150
Dyer2913
McMinn27619
Cheatham2693
Washington2610
Dickson2580
Lawrence2326
Cumberland2134
Sullivan2104
Anderson1952
Jefferson1821
Lauderdale1804
Gibson1771
Monroe1556
Greene1512
Smith1502
Coffee1410
Cocke1360
Hardin1257
Warren1230
Obion1192
Haywood1183
Franklin1163
Marshall1152
Wayne1150
Carter1031
Giles1031
Hickman1030
McNairy1011
Marion944
Hawkins862
Lincoln860
DeKalb850
White853
Roane810
Overton721
Henderson710
Weakley701
Campbell691
Claiborne680
Grundy652
Chester630
Unicoi590
Grainger560
Polk550
Carroll521
Crockett523
Henry510
Cannon490
Sequatchie490
Jackson470
Johnson460
Humphreys392
Meigs380
Perry370
Morgan311
Decatur270
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Scott260
Stewart260
Union250
Moore210
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Houston200
Benton151
Hancock110
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Van Buren90
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