5 things to know for November 27: Paul Manafort, General Motors, Facebook, Mars

Posted at 4:00 AM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 06:27:07-05

Feeling a little put off by Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Then, today is your day. It’s Giving Tuesday, a day to raise funds for charitable causes. 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. Russia investigation

Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement with the Justice Department by lying to the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s office two months after he started cooperating in the Russia probe, prosecutors said in a stunning court filing. So, the deal that Manafort, the one-time chairman for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, had is now “breached,” and both sides now request that Manafort’s case move to sentencing. Manafort, in the court filing, says he doesn’t agree with prosecutors’ claim that he lied. So, what is he accused of being untruthful about? Prosecutors say Manafort lied “on a variety of subject matters,” and Mueller’s office says it will provide details at a later date.

2. General Motors

The shockwaves are reverberating from Detroit to Washington after GM announced it will shut down five North American factories and cut 15% of its salaried workers. This major restructuring of the company means GM will stop making sedans the car-buying public no longer wants — like the Chevrolet Volt, Impala and Cruze and the Buick LaCrosse — and focus on SUVs, hatchbacks, crossovers and trucks. The carmaker, which saw decent earnings last quarter, is also making a big bet on new technologies, as it eyes Silicon Valley’s push into self-driving cars. The moves will save GM $6 billion a year by the end of 2020. But this will also cost 8,000 salaried workers their jobs. About 6,000 hourly workers will either lose their jobs or be reassigned to other plants.

3. Midterm elections

Yes, the midterms are still going on, but they’re almost over. The last US Senate race — the racially charged runoff between GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy in Mississippi — is today. Hyde-Smith has been dogged by questions about just what exactly she meant by that “public hanging” comment from a few weeks ago. That’s made this race close, but the consensus is that she’ll pull it out, since Mississippi is the reddest of red states and President Trump campaigned for her yesterday at two rallies. Meanwhile, Democrats are still picking up seats in the House. Their net gain is now 38 seats, after Republican Mia Love conceded her race in Utah. That leaves just two races to be called, and the Democratic candidates lead in both.

4. Facebook

Later this morning in London, documents Facebook had hoped to keep secret might be revealed during an “International Grand Committee” on disinformation and “fake news.” Representatives from the United Kingdom, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Latvia and Singapore will be there. Facebook’s just sending a VP and not CEO Mark Zuckerberg. CNN’s Hadas Gold and Donie O’Sullivan detail how UK lawmakers ended up with the documents and what might be done with them.

5. Mars lander

After seven months in space — and “seven minutes of terror” — NASA’s InSight lander touched down on Mars. InSight will spend two years studying Mars’ interior, where the building blocks below the planet’s surface recorded its history. The landing was watched around the world, and the folks back at mission control celebrated with the coolest handshake in scientific history. The terrifying seven minutes was how long it took InSight to set itself down on the Red Planet. During the tricky maneuver, InSight slowed from 12,300 mph to 5 mph before it gently landed on the surface.


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Police escort

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CNN Digital’s examination of anti-Semitism on the continent starts with a new CNN poll, which reveals that 1 in 20 Europeans surveyed say they’ve never heard of the Holocaust. CNN’s Clarissa Ward believes anti-Semitism never really disappeared from Europe, and a Holocaust survivor fears the world hasn’t learned the lessons from mankind’s darkest years.


Just looking

What do you do when a curious killer whale swims by your kayak? Absolutely nothing. (Click to view.)