5 things to know for November 2: Midterms, Russia, Google, school bus stop crashes

Posted at 4:04 AM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-02 06:17:14-04

They are 10 remarkable trailblazers who have truly changed the world. Meet this year’s CNN Heroes. 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. Midterm elections

It was billed as a big announcement on asylum policies, but President Trump’s address on immigration turned out to be more like his typical campaign speech. He said he would sign an executive order next week that would restrict asylum rules to close the door on the Central American migrants now trekking here through Mexico. He also said US troops he’s sending to the border could fire on migrants if they threw rocks at the soldiers (Pentagon rules don’t allow that; here are a few other fact checks of the speech).

At a rally later in Missouri, the President called the concept of birthright citizenship — enshrined in the 14th Amendment — a “crazy, lunatic policy.” It’s clear Trump is doubling down on stoking immigration fears to shore up the GOP’s Senate majority, even if it ends up costing the Republicans the House.

2. Russia investigation

Political operative Roger Stone was in contact with at least one senior member of the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks disclosures during the 2016 presidential race. We now know this because an October 2016 email exchange between Stone and then-Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon was published in The New York Times and in an opinion piece Stone wrote for The Daily Caller.

Here’s why it’s important: The emails are among documents in special counsel Robert Mueller’s possession as he investigates whether Stone had an inside track with WikiLeaks and whether he shared any of that information with then-candidate Trump or Trump’s inner circle. WikiLeaks published hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman that may have come from Russian hackers.

3. Google walkouts

Google employees worldwide briefly walked off the job to protest sexual harassment and discrimination scandals that have dogged the tech giant. All this comes after a New York Times investigation showed that for years the company had paid executives accused of harassment millions in severance packages. The protests’ organizers want Google to end forced arbitration in harassment cases; make data on gender, race and ethnicity compensation gaps more transparent; and create a clear, inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.

4. Ethiopia

The first female Supreme Court chief in Ethiopia’s history has been sworn in. The selection of human rights lawyer Meaza Ashenafi is part of a wave of appointments of women to top positions in the country. Just last week, Sahle-Work Zewde was picked as the country’s first female President. And Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reshuffled his Cabinet so women now hold half the seats. The Prime Minister has embarked on liberal reforms since taking office in April and has pushed for more “gender parity” in key leadership positions.

5. School bus stop crashes

For at least the fifth time in three days, a vehicle struck kids trying to get on a school bus. The latest incident happened in Tampa, where police say a fast-moving car hit several people. Two adults and five children were hospitalized. Other crashes occurred in Mississippi, Indiana and a second Florida city. The Indiana incident was the most heartbreaking: A 9-year-old girl and her two brothers were killed while crossing the street to catch their bus.


Christmasy enough?

Starbucks unveiled new holiday cups that make no doubt that they are, indeed, holiday cups.

Eternal flame

Check out the hillside in Azerbaijan where a fire has burned continuously for 4,000 years.

The robots are coming

Meet Sophia. She laughs and smiles and frowns just like you. She probably wants to replace you, too.

Well, you don’t say

Apple bragged for years about its iPhone sales. Now, it plans to stay mum about them, a likely nod to flatlining growth.


Jobs, jobs, jobs

The October jobs report comes out this morning, and it might be the most closely watched one of the year since we’re just days ahead of the midterms. Economists predict more strong numbers.


“For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn’t have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote, … you are dishonoring your family.”

Oprah Winfrey, in a fiery stump speech for Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate


Quiz time

Having your appendix removed decreases your chances of developing what disease?

a) Asthma

b) Diabetes

c) Parkinson’s

d) Salmonella

Play “Total Recall: The CNN news quiz” to see if you’re right. And don’t forget, you can also find a version of the quiz on your Amazon devices! Just say, “Alexa, ask CNN for a quiz.”


Got a candy hangover? If you’re staying in, check out what’s streaming in November, including Robin Wright as President in “House of Cards.” You can also listen to Barbra Streisand’s new politically charged album, or head out to the theater for more musical drama in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”


All hail the queen

Cuteness alert! Yes, we know we ran a mega-cover version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” yesterday, but we just couldn’t resist sharing this adorable 3-year-old girl’s version. (Click to view.)