5 things to know for November 21: Stocks, Zuckerberg, E. coli, Saudis, Nancy Pelosi

Posted at 4:21 AM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 06:21:25-05

Before you head out on the roads or finish packing for your holiday travel, be sure to check the latest weather and traffic forecasts (you’ll thank yourself later). 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. Stock market

If you have investments, now is NOT the time to check on them — if you want to preserve your mental health. Stocks have been a mess. The Dow dropped 552 points yesterday and is 2,500 points off its peak after months of rough seas. In fact, all three major indices have given up their gains on the year. Why the doom and gloom? There are a few concerns: high interest rates, crashing oil prices, stalling economic growth, the fading effects of tax cuts, tariffs and, of course, the US-China trade war. And while your hard-earned money may be taking a hit, remember to spare a thought for the ridiculously rich among us. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has lost roughly $42 billion since his net worth peaked in September at $168 billion. And Mark Zuckerberg has lost roughly $34 billion from his peak worth in July and is now worth $52 billion.

2. Facebook

Speaking of Mark Zuckerberg, the face of Facebook, in an exclusive interview with CNN Business, defended his company from public criticism and said he won’t heed investors’ calls to shake up its top brass, adding he has no plans to step down as the company’s chairman. “A lot of the criticism around the biggest issues has been fair, but I do think that if we are going to be real, there is this bigger picture as well, which is that we have a different world view than some of the folks who are covering us,” Zuckerberg told Laurie Segall. Facebook has been persona non grata as of late following public mishaps and concerning revelations. Most recently, a New York Times investigation suggested the company had attempted to ignore and conceal Russian interference on its platform and hired a media company to discredit activist protesters by linking them to billionaire Democratic donor George Soros.

3. E. coli outbreak

PUT DOWN THE ROMAINE LETTUCE. It could be crawling with E. coli. The Centers for Disease Control warns people to completely stay away from romaine lettuce because of a nationwide E. coli outbreak. Thirty-two people, including 13 who have been hospitalized, have been infected with the outbreak strain in 11 states. One patient even developed a dangerous form of kidney failure. No single distributor or source has been identified as to blame, so the FDA is warning consumers to avoid all types and brands of romaine lettuce and to throw out any you might have lying around. Oh, and if you’re in Canada, you may be affected, too. Just stick to arugula or something.

4. Saudi Arabia

With the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi still a point of international tension and concern, President Trump yesterday released a statement essentially backing the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, saying there is a possibility he did not know of the killing last month at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Trump’s statement also signaled there would be no repercussions from the US regarding the death of Khashoggi, who lived in Virginia and worked for The Washington Post. Top Republicans were not happy. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, GOP Sen. Bob Corker, tweeted, “I never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.”

5. Nancy Pelosi

The race is on for who will be the next speaker in the new Democratic-majority House of Representatives. Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed like an obvious option, but some Dems who oppose her bid have been making serious noise. A group of 16 House Dems released a letter vowing to vote against Pelosi, saying the party needs new leadership. But US Rep. Marcia Fudge just retracted her bid to challenge Pelosi. House Dems will hold a vote next week to select their leader. But things could get complicated in January, when the new session of Congress starts, and the full House must vote for speaker.



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“My comments were taken and twisted and used as a political weapon against me by my opponent. That is just wrong.”

Mississippi GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who’s under fire for saying she’d “be on the front row” if a supporter invited her to a “public hanging.” Since her comments were made public, Walmart, Union Pacific and Boston Scientific have asked for campaign donations back as Hyde-Smith is locked in a midterm runoff.


Just a lil’ munch

Sorry to those of you who don’t like animal videos, but it’s almost Thanksgiving and this tiny hamster feast is too cute. (Click here to view.)