5 things to know for October 24: Saudi Arabia, Russia, Willa, oil spill, lotto winner

Posted at 3:57 AM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 06:12:19-04

How do you say “frappuccino” in American Sign Language? The baristas at Starbucks’ first US sign language store know. 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

We’ll hear from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman later this morning, in his first public speech since international fury erupted over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Crown Prince will speak on a panel at the investment conference in Riyadh that everybody bailed on after outrage grew over the Saudis’ involvement in Khashoggi’s death. It’s not clear if the Crown Prince will address the scandal. In Washington, even President Trump has grown tired of the kingdom’s ever-shifting stories in the Khashoggi case, calling it “the worst cover-up ever.” The US also said it would be pulling the visas of the men suspected of killing Khashoggi.

2. Russia

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin may meet up again next month. Trump said they’d likely meet in Paris, where both men will be for the 100th anniversary of the WWI armistice on November 11. They’d surely talk about Trump’s intention to pull the US out of a nuclear weapons treaty with Russia that the US President says the Russians have violated. They’d probably also talk about Trump’s threat to pretty much restart the nuclear arms race. Trump said this week the US would build up its nuclear arsenal until other nations “come to their senses.”

3. Tropical Storm Willa

Willa is a tropical storm this morning as it moves northeast toward the US-Mexico border. It made landfall as a Category 3 storm, then weakened as it moved over mountains. Willa will absolutely soak Texas today, which is already dealing with flooding in some parts. The storm may dump an additional 4 inches on the Lone Star State. After leaving Texas, Willa is expected to drop up to 2 inches of rain on the Southeast, before heading out into the Atlantic and turning into a nor’easter that will sock the East Coast over the weekend.

4. Gulf coast oil spill

Did you know there’s an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico right now? And did you know it’s been going on for 14 years? Details of this largely unseen environmental emergency emerged last month in a Justice Department report. The spill, called the Taylor oil spill, started in 2004 when an oil platform owned by Taylor Energy sank during a mudslide caused by a hurricane. It’s estimated it has been spewing up to 30,000 gallons of oil a day for 14 years! Another estimate says the spill has leaked 153 million gallons since 2004. If those are right, the Taylor spill will soon be worse than the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 and be among the largest offshore environmental disasters in US history.

5. Mega Millions

We have a winner in the race for that $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot. (And it isn’t me, since I’m sitting here at work writing this.) Mega Millions and the South Carolina Education Lottery say a winning ticket was sold in that state. If you haven’t checked your ticket, the winning numbers are 5, 28, 62, 65, 70, and the Mega Ball was 5. If you didn’t win, don’t worry. There’s still time to get a ticket for tonight’s $620 million Powerball jackpot.


“I’m a very proud Georgian.”

Democrat Stacey Abrams, during a gubernatorial debate, defending her presence at a 1992 burning of a Georgia state flag that included the Confederate battle flag design. The midterm elections are less than two weeks away. Here are five things you need to know about them.


Full steam ahead

Talk about tempting fate. Looks like work on that full-size replica of the Titanic — which would sail the planned route of the ill-fated original — is a go.

Rap battle

Looks like it will be “Fast Car” versus “Super Bass” now that folk singer Tracy Chapman has sued rapper Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement.

We belong together

NBC’s “The Voice” will be gaining the voice (of the ’90s, at least), when Mariah Carey joins the singing competition show starting next week.

Debate duo

After slugging it out in a debate for a Vermont state House seat, the two candidates shocked the crowd with a little duet.

Not so bright

The man told the robbers at his store to come back later, when he’d have more cash in the register. They did, and you can guess what happened.

Not photoshopped

A rectangular iceberg? This pic has got to be a fake right? Nope, it’s real. NASA spotted it last week during a flyover of Antarctica.


Dress you up

It’s a dog, in an elephant costume, because that’s what Halloween’s for. (Click to view.)