5 things to know for October 30: Synagogue attack, migrants, Merkel, wildlife

Posted at 4:06 AM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 06:27:18-04

You don’t have to feel helpless in the face of so much grim news. Check out CNN’s Impact Your World to find out how you can help those who are hurting. 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. Pittsburgh synagogue attack

Pittsburgh was bathed in blue last night as buildings in the city were illuminated in tribute to the 11 people killed in the shooting attack on the Tree of Life synagogue, called the deadliest attack against Jews in US history. A day after the suspect made his first court appearance, the first funerals for the victims will take place today, with people in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood saying a final good-bye to brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal and Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will visit the city today, and that is generating some controversy (the city’s mayor wants him to wait), with some saying the President’s heated rhetoric isn’t helping the nation. The White House pushed back strongly on that.

2. Indonesia plane crash

Lion Air flight 610 was essentially a new jet, so why did it crash into the Java Sea minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing 189 people? Investigators seek to answer that question, as divers work to retrieve passengers’ remains. A few bodies have been recovered, along with assorted personal items found at the watery crash site, but Indonesian authorities said it’s unlikely the remains of all passengers will be found. The jet was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, one of the plane maker’s newest and most advanced jets. It had only flown 800 hours. Since weather doesn’t seem to be a factor and the pilots were experienced, the focus of the investigation will be on the aircraft, a former NTSB official said. Click here for the latest updates on this air tragedy.

3. Immigration

President Trump is sending 5,200 troops and military equipment to the southern US border. The troops will be there to stop a large group of Central American migrants bound for the US, although they’re still hundreds of miles away. Trump says he’s keeping his promise to protect America’s borders, but critics say this is just a play to his conservative base a few days before the midterm elections. Many of the migrants reportedly plan to ask for asylum, but the Trump administration is coming up with a plan to limit the number of people who could make such a request by creating a waitlist and forcing those seeking asylum as a family to choose between being detained together during immigration proceedings or having children separated from their parents.

4. Angela Merkel

The woman often called the most powerful woman in the world is about to give up her power. German Chancellor Angela Merkel won’t seek re-election when her term expires in 2021. The four-term Chancellor, who’s led Germany since 2005, said it’s “time today for me to start a new chapter.” The decision means Merkel’s dominance of politics in Europe is coming to an end. One policy analyst suggested Merkel, 64, stepping off the world stage means global politics could get even more “disorderly.” Merkel’s popularity in her country has waned, in part because of the refugee crisis of the past few years. Learn more about her political career and scroll through pictures of her life.

5. Wildlife

Wildlife populations across the globe have fallen by more than half in just over 40 years — and it’s all man’s fault. This dire portrait of the world comes via a new report from the World Wildlife Fund. It says populations of more than 4,000 mammal, bird, fish, reptile and amphibian species declined 60% between 1970 and 2014. The report blames deforestation, pollution and climate change caused by humans for the rapid wildlife declines. World Wildlife Fund wants an international treaty, similar to the Paris climate agreement, to protect wildlife and reverse human impacts on nature. The group’s leader urged action now, saying, “We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it.”


Mystery solved

Remember that viral photo of the couple that got engaged at Yosemite? The photographer said he’s found them.

Good-bye Apu?

Is “The Simpsons” about to drop Apu, the Indian-American character deemed offensive by some? Don’t believe the hype, says the show’s executive producer.

Not too happy

President Trump’s been playing Pharrell’s “Happy” at rallies. The hip-hop hitmaker wants him to cut it out (and really, haven’t we all heard it enough?).

Grab and go

Walmart’s getting in the cashierless store game. It’s setting up a Sam’s Club Now store in Dallas that’ll operate an awful lot like an Amazon Go store.

Fixer upper

Why buy a house in New Zealand when you can buy a whole town? One on a lake on the country’s South Island is on sale for a cool $2.8 million.


Apple alert

Apple’s keeping the details about its event this morning in New York under wraps, but word on the street is that the tech giant will unveil some new iPads.


“We’re broken as a club, broken as a city, but we’ve come together before.”

Leicester City Football Club fan Geoff Peters, describing how Leicester, England, is trying to heal after the death Saturday of the team’s owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, in a helicopter crash near the club’s stadium


Cat walk

First, a fashionable feline checked out the models at this Istanbul fashion show. Then, it took to the runway. (Click to view.)