5 things to know for February 27: Cohen, North Korea, Brexit, slain family, Chicago

Posted at 4:08 AM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 07:42:39-05

Welcome to Split-Screen Wednesday. We’ll be keeping an eye on President Trump’s summit with North Korea’s leader, then turn our attention to Michael Cohen’s testimony in Washington. 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. Michael Cohen

The man who once bragged he’d take a bullet for Donald Trump may instead inflict some serious political damage on him. Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-fixer and lawyer, will testify publicly this morning before the House oversight committee. The most explosive thing he’s expected to say: Trump knew his longtime adviser Roger Stone had contacted WikiLeaks about hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign before they were released.

But that’s not all. In a copy of his 20-page statement, obtained by CNN, Cohen calls Trump a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat” in testimony that also touches on the Trump Tower Moscow project and hush-money payments. CNN’s Stephen Collinson said it seems Cohen is set for revenge. The President fired out a preemptive tweet this morning, dismissing Cohen as just “one of many lawyers” who represented him. Anyone can watch full coverage of Cohen’s public testimony on CNN starting at 9 ET — wherever you are.

2. US-North Korea summit

Round 2 of President Trump’s negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is underway in Vietnam. The President meets with Vietnamese officials today before having dinner with Kim. Expectations are low for this summit, with the US apparently abandoning an earlier request that the session result in the North agreeing to give a full accounting of its nuclear program. Everything seems to be riding on Trump’s belief that he can charm the North Korean leader into some kind of deal. Here are five things to watch for in this summit.

3. Brexit

The UK’s divorce from the EU is supposed to happen in about a month. But for the first time, there’s serious talk about delaying Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May has been hashing out yet another version of a Brexit deal that UK lawmakers will vote on March 12. If it fails, Parliament could hold two more Brexit-related votes: one would let the UK leave the EU without a deal on March 29 (though everybody considers that a nightmare scenario and it’s unlikely to pass); the second would delay Brexit by a few months, giving the Brits more time to get their act together.

4. Pennsylvania family killed

It’s all just incomprehensible. Five family members in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, were killed. The primary suspects? Two of their relatives. Police think Shana S. Decree, 45, and her 19-year-old daughter, Dominique K. Decree, killed their relatives, including three children, in a cramped, first-floor apartment, but they don’t know why. Shana Decree told detectives the whole family “wanted to die,” but investigators don’t really have a motive yet for this horrible tragedy.

5. Chicago mayoral election

No matter who wins Chicago’s mayoral runoff, one thing is certain: History will be made. Whoever claims victory, the city will elect its first black woman mayor on April 2. Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle emerged from a crowded field in yesterday’s election to make the runoff. Lightfoot is an ex-assistant US attorney who wants to reform Chicago’s troubled police department. Preckwinkle is the president of the Cook County Board and has made improving education and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour her top priorities. The winner will replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who decided not to run for re-election.


more than 4,500

The number of complaints of sex abuse against unaccompanied minors from 2014 to 2018, according to US Health and Human Services Department documents


The pleasure principle

If your idea of a good time in Sin City includes Janet Jackson, you’re in luck. Ms. Jackson starts her first Vegas residency in May at Park MGM.

But is it really scraping the sky?

If you want to check out a “horizontal skyscraper,” you’ll have to take a trip to Chongqing, China, to look at this engineering marvel.

Offering a sense of closure

A high school government class wanted to help solve civil rights crimes. So, they drafted a bill that President Trump signed into law

Where did THAT come from?

Imagine walking through a forest in Brazil and stumbling across something you know shouldn’t be there — like a humpback whale carcass.

Big givers

Jeff Bezos is not just the world’s richest man. Bezos and his soon-to-be ex-wife top the list of the world’s biggest philanthropists.


“If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave ‘professionally?'”

Actress Emma Thompson, in a letter to Skydance Animation explaining why she won’t work with John Lasseter, Skydance’s new animation chief. Lasseter left Pixar last year after he was accused of sexual misconduct. At the time, he put out a statement apologizing to “anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture.”



All tricked out

Yes, we know we just had a trick shot video the other day, but these guys turn everyday, mundane actions — like putting a pizza in an oven or mail in a slot — into such awesome aerial adventures. (Click to view.)