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Tsunami kills at least 222 in Indonesia

At least 222 people were killed, with hundreds more injured and missing, including members of a pop band, after a tsunami hit the coastline of west Java and Sumatra, Indonesia.

Posted: Dec 24, 2018 1:16 PM
Updated: Dec 24, 2018 1:50 PM

Yes, the government is (partially) shut down, but that's not going to stop NORAD from tracking Santa Claus tonight. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door on this Christmas Eve. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Politics

It's Christmas Eve and part of the government is shut down, but the news is still coming fast and furious out of Washington. First up, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary pause on an order holding an unnamed, foreign government-owned company in contempt over a mystery court case related to Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. This will give the Supreme Court time to decide if it wants to intervene in this particular case, which is the first known legal challenge related to Mueller's probe to make its way to the high court.

Earlier in the day, President Trump said he would replace outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis by January 1, months earlier than Mattis' planned departure. The President was reportedly infuriated at the tone of the coverage of Mattis' resignation and took action to replace him sooner than planned. So Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will take over for Mattis, on an interim basis, at the start of the new year.

Now, what about that shutdown? It will continue past Christmas (the Senate is not in session again until Thursday) and there's a strong chance it'll still be going on when the new Congress meets in early January. A bit of negotiating went on over the weekend between Senate Democrats and the White House, but as of right now, a deal to end all of this seems to be a long way off.

2. Indonesia tsunami

At least 281 people were killed after a tsunami struck Indonesia over the weekend, and fears are high that more massive waves could be on the way. That's because the volcano that triggered the tsunami is still erupting. Survivors described fleeing for their lives from the wave that crashed -- without warning -- through beach resorts, homes and businesses. It washed away a pop band that was performing near the beach. Hundreds were injured and more than two dozen people are missing. Indonesia's President ordered the country to buy tsunami early warning detectors. Despite a history of deadly tsunamis, Indonesia hasn't had an effective early warning system for years.

3. Al Qaeda and planes

We don't hear about Al Qaeda as much as we used to, but it's still around. And the United Kingdom's security minister warns the "resurgent" terror group wants to attack passenger planes in Europe. Al Qaeda is working on new methods to bring down planes, says UK Security Minister Ben Wallace, who also warns that President Trump's decision to pull US troops out of Syria will create a "new safe haven" for terrorists to launch attacks on the West.

4. Morocco tourist killings

More people have been arrested in the horrifying beheading deaths of two Scandinavian tourists in Morocco. A total of 13 people are in custody so far. Four of them are suspected of directly taking part in the killings, while the other nine were arrested for their alleged connection to the four murder suspects. Morocco considers the killings to be a terrorist act. In a video which purportedly shows the decapitations, some of the suspects pledge allegiance to ISIS. The bodies of the victims -- 28-year-old Maren Ueland of Norway and 24-year-old Louisa Jespersen of Denmark -- were found on a remote mountain range.

5. Lost and found

Since it's the day before Christmas, let's talk about something more in keeping with the holiday spirit. Like the subway rider in New York who did something really nice last week. He found a purse with $10,000 in cash on a train platform. Instead of going on a Christmas gift spending spree, he took the bag of cash to the police. Turns out it belonged to a Manhattan woman who was headed to Russia for a vacation. The man said he didn't think he'd done anything all that special and that it was "something most people would have done."

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding."

Queen Elizabeth II, in her annual Christmas Day message

BREAKFAST BROWSE

A Christmas miracle

The two sailors had been stranded in the Caribbean for weeks. They were low on food and water and out of fuel. Then the cruise ship showed up.

Ice, ice baby

Sweden's famous ice hotel is up and running again, this time with 15 new suites carved out by artists and designers.

Tongue tied

Here's a list of all the words you couldn't pronounce properly this year, along with a handy-dandy pronunciation guide.

All that glitters ain't gold

It was a great story: Porch pirates hit by an engineer's "glitter bombs" as they stole packages. Turns out there's a little bit more to this tale.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$10 million

The amount of the fine South Korea hit BMW with over the automaker's handling of a string of engine fires in the country

AND FINALLY

Christmas fail

Ever tried to take a good Christmas photo of your cats? Yeah, this cat owner couldn't do it either. (Click to view)

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 786168

Reported Deaths: 15016
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2607976353
Riverside566811153
San Bernardino52471908
Orange520631128
San Diego44577760
Kern31379354
Fresno27668355
Sacramento21297375
Alameda20558374
Santa Clara20410296
San Joaquin19793414
Stanislaus16319335
Contra Costa15837199
Tulare15599256
Ventura12328143
Imperial11558314
San Francisco1074599
San Mateo9522143
Monterey946767
Santa Barbara8862110
Merced8750134
Kings728377
Sonoma7060114
Marin6557112
Solano608555
Madera429658
Placer346641
San Luis Obispo336927
Butte274835
Yolo274754
Santa Cruz22188
Sutter164210
Napa161413
San Benito130111
Yuba11187
El Dorado10684
Mendocino84918
Lassen7310
Shasta68714
Glenn5503
Colusa5096
Nevada5066
Tehama4984
Humboldt4826
Lake46510
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2214
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1610
Del Norte1361
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc240
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Broken Clouds
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Hi: 90° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
Oroville
Clear
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Feels Like: 75°
Paradise
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 60°
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Chester
Clear
38° wxIcon
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Red Bluff
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Willows
Broken Clouds
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Heat and haze were on the menu today but a cool-down is in the works for next week.
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