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5 things to know for April 8: Kirstjen Nielsen, freed American, UK tech rules

CNN's Rick Damigella talks to "Game of Thrones" composer Ramin Djawadi about the music that accompanies the show ahead of the premiere of the final season.

Posted: Apr 8, 2019 10:40 AM
Updated: Apr 8, 2019 10:40 AM

Congrats to the Baylor Bears, the new queens of the court. They beat Notre Dame last night to win their third women's college basketball national title. 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. Kirstjen Nielsen

Kirstjen Nielsen is out as the secretary of Homeland Security. Nielsen has been the face of President Trump's hardline immigration policies, but apparently she wasn't hardline enough for Trump on his signature issue. Nielsen didn't resign willingly, a source told CNN, with her resignation announcement coming after a tense meeting at the White House with the President. Nielsen's tenure at Homeland will probably best be remembered for her defense of the administration's zero-tolerance policy, which caused widespread outrage after hundreds of migrant children were separated from their parents. Trump named Kevin McAleenan, who is the US Customs and Border Protection commissioner, as Homeland Security's acting secretary. Nielsen is just the latest high-level departure from this administration. Keep up with all of the exits here.

2. Abducted American freed

Kimberly Sue Endicott is free this morning, after her dream trip to Uganda turned into a nightmare. Endicott and a guide were kidnapped by gunmen last week while they were on an excursion to see gorillas at a Ugandan national park. The armed gang demanded a ransom of $500,000, Ugandan police said. Security forces rescued Endicott and the guide, who were both unharmed, yesterday in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. A ransom was paid to free them, a source told CNN.

3. Libya

There's been an uptick in violence in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, so the US is pulling troops out of the country. The troops -- who provide military support of diplomatic missions, counterterrorism activities and improving regional security -- are being temporarily relocated. US officials wouldn't say where these troops are being sent due to security reasons. The increase in violence comes from attacks by a renegade Libyan general who has launched an offensive against the country's UN-recognized government.

4. Burned Louisiana churches

Over an almost two-week span, three black churches in one rural parish have burned in suspicious fires. St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church have all burned since March 26 in St. Landry Parish, about 30 miles north of Lafayette. Officials call the blazes "suspicious" and have stepped up the law enforcement presence at other churches in the area. Black churches were often the targets of violence, including arson fires, during the civil rights era.

5. UK and tech companies

Social media companies could be held legally responsible for any violent content on their platforms under new rules proposed by the UK government. The rules, intended to make the internet safe for kids and other vulnerable groups, would force tech companies to scrub from their platforms any content that incites violence, encourages suicide or constitutes cyber-bullying. The government would block access to websites or apps that fail to comply and the senior managers of those tech companies could face civil fines and criminal liability. More details on the proposed rules will be available today in a government position paper. European countries have taken a more robust approach in trying to regulate tech companies than the US has.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Knowles sisters, Part 1

The Beyhive is buzzing after Netflix hinted it will drop a new Beyoncé documentary next week called "Homecoming" ...

Knowles sisters, Part 2

... but don't expect little sister Solange Knowles to follow in her big sister's footsteps at Coachella. Solange dropped out of this year's festival.

Do better

Reba McEntire hosted the ACM Awards last night and promptly pointed out that not a single woman was nominated for the show's top award. (Check out the list of winners here.)

Welcome back to Westeros

The beginning of the end for "Game of Thrones" is near, and here are the questions we better get answered.

NUMBERS OF THE DAY

17 feet

That's the length of a python -- with 73 eggs!!! -- that scientists caught in the Florida Everglades

$12 million

That's how much Motel 6 will pay to settle a lawsuit after several of its Washington state locations gave their guest lists to ICE

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY ...

Just showing off

A tour group got its money's worth in California's Monterey Bay when a group of whales decided to put on a show. (Click to view)

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 886939

Reported Deaths: 17167
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2904866944
Riverside650561275
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Orange576351423
San Diego53263863
Kern33551413
Fresno30220430
Sacramento24811474
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Butte302651
Santa Cruz272524
Napa190814
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San Benito141114
El Dorado13024
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Lake67815
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Trinity250
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Very strong winds and dry conditions are driving critical fire danger today. A Red Flag Warning for high fire danger, a Wind Advisory, and a Freeze Warning are all in effect for the start of your Thursday.
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