5 things to know for October 18: Saudi Arabia, deficit, campus attack, Jayme Closs

Posted at 3:51 AM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 06:12:14-04

Are job titles important? Read what happened when an advertising agency decided to ditch them. And 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. Saudi Arabia

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs President Trump this morning on his meetings with Saudi and Turkish leaders over the disappearance and apparent death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Criticism is mounting over the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis, with many saying Trump seems more interested in providing cover for the Saudis than in finding out the truth. Turkish officials say they have evidence that Khashoggi was killed in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul and that many of the 15 Saudi men implicated in the incident have high-level ties to the Saudi government. Khashoggi’s final column for the Washington Post, in which he advocates for freedom of the press in the Middle East, was published last night.

2. US deficit

President Trump asked his Cabinet secretaries to cut their budgets by 5% next year, as his administration tries to get a handle on the rapidly ballooning federal deficit. The deficit jumped to $779 billion in fiscal year 2018. That’s up 17% from last year and the highest level since 2012. Republicans blame Democrats, saying they’re resistant to cutting spending on social programs. Dems point the finger at the GOP’s massive tax cut. Republicans haven’t talked much about the deficit or federal debt since Trump took office. But that’s all they talked about when Barack Obama was in the Oval Office. CNN’s Z. Byron Wolf says the GOP hypocrisy on this is stunning, even by Washington standards.

3. Crimea campus attack

At least 18 people died in an attack on a college in Russian-annexed Crimea. The victims, mostly teens, were killed when a bomb exploded in the school’s dining room. Many of the dead had also been shot. About 50 others were injured. The suspect in the attack, reportedly a fellow student, killed himself in a library. Authorities first called this a terror attack but later reclassified it as a murder investigation.

4. Jayme Closs

The FBI is asking for help to find a missing 13-year-old girl whose parents were found dead. An Amber Alert was sent out for Jayme Closs, who disappeared Monday from her Wisconsin home. A 911 call was made from her home, but when deputies arrived, Closs’ parents had been shot to death and she was gone. The FBI believes Closs is in danger.

5. Climate change

Want to stroll through the Blue Mosque in Istanbul or ride in a gondola through the canals of Venice? You might want to plan those trips for sooner rather than later. They’re just a couple of dozens of World Heritage sites endangered by climate change. A study published this week says the flooding risk in the Mediterranean region will increase by 50% by 2100, while the risk of erosion will jump by 13% during the same period. The impact on historical icons would be significant, unless the world takes action, the study warns.


The end is near

The upcoming season of “Orange is the New Black” will be the Netflix series’ last, but some say, creatively at least, it comes a couple of seasons too late.

In the driver’s seat

How do you make surgery less scary for kids? Give them tiny electric cars and let them drive themselves to operations.

Toke tourism

Ready to roll up to Canada to enjoy its just-now-legal weed? Be careful before you light up, because there are lots of rules.

Off key

An ice shelf in Antarctica seems to be singing, and the whole thing is downright scary.

The robots are coming

Meet Mica. She’s an AI assistant that looks you in the eye, offers a warm smile and will probably lead the robot apocalypse against us all.


CNN town hall

CNN’s Dana Bash moderates a live, one-hour town hall with Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is running for US Senate in Texas, at 7 p.m. ET. (GOP Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign declined to participate.) To stay up to date on all election events, subscribe on your Google or Apple calendar.


$365 million

The value of the massive deal boxer Canelo Alvarez signed with sports streaming service DAZN. It’s the richest contract ever signed by an athlete.


What the heck is that?

A school of fish just stopped and stared at a drone that crashed in a lake. But hey, you’d do the same thing if a drone crashed into your living room. (Click to view.)