5 things to know for November 19: Wildfires, midterms, Mexico, Argentina

Posted at 4:08 AM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 06:08:10-05

You think your rush hour backup is bad? Some tourists at Disneyland Japan waited 11 hours in line this weekend just to meet Mickey Mouse on his 90th birthday! 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. California wildfires

Brace yourself, because sadly, it looks like it’s going to be another week of devastation in California. The Camp Fire has been burning for more than 10 days, taken at least 77 lives, and destroyed thousands of structures, and officials say it’s only about halfway done. Cal Fire, the state’s forestry and fire protection agency, says the blaze likely won’t be fully contained until November 30.

Amid the horrible news coming out of the Camp Fire, there are a few moments of comfort and kindness to be found. A ‘bus driver from heaven’ evacuated a school bus full of young students because their parents weren’t able to make it to the flame-surrounded school. Elsewhere, a 93-year-old woman with no phone, internet or way to get out was finally saved when a garbage man sped down her street and picked her up. Here she is, safe and sound on the garbage truck.

2. White House

Could there be more serious White House staffing shakeups soon? President Trump seemed to imply that pretty heavily during a Sunday interview on Fox News. “I have three or four or five positions that I’m thinking about,” The President told Fox News’ Chris Wallace “Of that, maybe it’s going to end up being two. Maybe. But I want to — I need flexibility.” Reportedly, Trump is considering replacements for Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Chief of Staff John Kelly. On the topic of new White House faces, Trump announced late last week that he plans to nominate the acting chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, to permanently lead the agency. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker also got a hard vote of confidence from the President, who said during the same Fox News interview that any decision to curtail the Mueller investigation would be “up to him.”

3. Midterm elections

It’s been almost two weeks since the midterm elections and results are still coming in. Ready to update your scorecards? Here are the big ones: In Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson conceded the Senate race to Republican Gov. Rick Scott yesterday after a statewide recount. In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams has recognized Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp as the winner of the state’s election for governor, but has not conceded, per se. Instead, she told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Kemp will be the ‘”legal” governor, but not necessarily a legitimate one. In California, a whole mess of Democrats picked up official House wins over the weekend: Gil Cisneros has defeated Young Kim for a House seat representing Cali’s racially diverse 39th Congressional District, which was previously held by a retiring Republican. Mike Levin defeated Republican Diane Harkey to represent the 49th district, and Harley Rouda defeated incumbent representative Dana Rohrabacher, who has held the 48th Congressional District for nearly 30 years.

4. Mexico death

Questions surrounding the disappearance of a North Carolina teacher in Mexico last month appear to have gotten a tragic answer. According to a post on the verified Facebook page of the Governor of Chihuahua, Patrick Braxton-Andrew, 34, was killed by a drug dealer from the Sinaloa cartel while out for a walk. A Facebook page set up to find Braxton-Andrew said that Chihuahua state authorities had confirmed the death. Braxton-Andrew disappeared October 28 after leaving his hotel in Urique.

5. Argentine submarine

You may remember the horrifying story from last year about an Argentine submarine that vanished with 44 people aboard. The vessel was found this weekend, exactly one year and a day after it disappeared. The ARA San Juan, which “suffered an implosion” days after its last known contact last year, was found about 2,850 feet down on the Atlantic ocean floor. Argentina’s Defense Minister Oscar Aguad said, unfortunately, the country does not have the capability of retrieving the submarine because of the depth of the wreckage site.


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Friends forever

Winnie the Pooh knew exactly how to love on a sweet little boy with cerebral palsy at Disney World, and yes, I definitely cried while writing this.